November 22, 2014

A Challah Fairy Tour

challahfairyoriginal

challahfairyoriginal

I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Chana Lee, aka, The Challah Fairy, for brunch on a very busy erev Shabbos (Thursday afternoon).  Chana Lee graciously offered me a tour of her heavenly kitchen.  Below is a brief photo essay of the sensual experience.   Smell the delicacies with your eyes, or visit The Challah Fairy in New City, New York in person, to experience it with the rest of your senses!

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with The Challah Fairy, it is a dairy restaurant/café located in New City, New York under Rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Zushe Blech.  They serve a really delicious spread of breakfasts and lunches as well as cater for many local events and businesses.  The café is most famous for its Challah French Toast (which my out of town guests came back for daily while visiting with us) as well as their cinnamon crumb, raisin or chocolate chip crumb challahs.  As someone who doesn’t eat wheat/flour products, I found the quiches and salads to be as satisfyingly deliecious as the baked goods smelled and looked!  We of course, took a sampling of Challahs, rugelach, cookies and cakes home to enjoy with the rest of my family for Shabbos. If you are unable to come visit the café in Rockland County, you might get lucky and find The Challah Fairy Challahs in a store near you.

 

 

 

Free Slurpees at 7-11 this Friday

slurpee_lemonade

slurpee_lemonade

Its that time of year again! Grab your free Slurpee from your local neighborhood 7-11 store this Friday, 7/11/14 between 11am and 4pm.  A lot of Slurpee flavors are Kosher but if you are not sure which ones are or are not Kosher, check this list here.  I’m craving the new Slurpee Lemonade made with ‘real’ fruit juice.  Which flavor will you get?

Find your nearest 7-11 store here.

Reduce Hot/Cold Food Containers For School Lunches

reduce

A very good friend of mine keeps raving about these amazing PBA-free containers that keep food incredibly hot for your children’s lunches.  They are the Reduce line of products and the Reduce 10-Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Food Jar can be found here on Amazon for only $9.99.  I bought 2 already and can’t wait till they arrive.  What a nice way to serve a healthy hot lunch to your children in school.  I’m making mine dairy because I’m pretty sure the main food that’s going in there will be piping hot macaroni & cheese (with real melted cheese not the powdered type).

Here are more great features of these Reduce products:

  • Keeps food/soup warm for up to 6 hours
  • Holds 10-ounce
  • Made from BPA-free material
  • Made of recyclable materials

What is your child’s favorite lunch?  Won’t these Reduce hot or cold food containers be a treat for them as well!

Meat Me Kosher Restaurant Review

meatme2

A few weeks back I was invited to dine at the new Meat Me French Kosher restaurant located on Amsterdam Ave between 95 & 96th street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  We enjoyed our time there tremendously – between the ambiance that indeed had a French bistro look and feel:  quiet and intimate yet lively in color and style, the three course meal that was expertly prepared by the owner/Master Chef,  and the warmth and friendliness of the owner/ husband and wife team, Yardena & Shlomo Gor.

We started with the Meat Me Sampler for two consisting of mini Peking duck, Moroccan cigars, mini beef Teriyaki Skewers, mini Merguez and Chicken Tex-Mex served with three Sauces.  Each mouthwatering and delicious.  We then had the Delmonico steaks which is the chef’s specialty which was prepared to let the natural flavors that are inherent to any quality cut of meat that has been carefully curated by a chef with the depth of experience Chef Shlomo has.   Needless to say we enjoyed our steaks, our mixed drinks prepared by the full bar found in the restaurant and our hot molten chocolate cake dessert.

The nicest part of our meal, however, was our informal interview with the owners.  It turns out that French Chef Shlomo Gor, owner of Meat Me which he opened exactly a year ago in August of 2011, is the previous owner of the Bistro Grill in Greatneck and the 5 Towns, restaurants we enjoyed when we lived on that end of New York City.  Then we discovered that Chef Shlomo Gor was also the chef for the famous BoxTree, probably the fanciest of Kosher restaurants in history famous for its ‘gold room’ made from real Tiffany gold that was turned Kosher for a few months about 8 years ago by a frum businessman (who also turned a nice profit on the place as well after selling it for more than twice what he bought it for). We remember The BoxTree as well since it was the place where my husband and I went to celebrate our engagement on Tu B’Av, 9 years ago.

Chef Shlomo Gor is an obvious choice for a restaurant of The BoxTree’s caliber and a classy french restaurant like Meat Me, being a family restaurateur trained in Lousane, Switzerland and having owned restaurants in Eilat and Luxemberg as well.  He claims his specialty is giving non-Kosher flavors to Kosher such as his Coq au Vin where he uses smoked Turkey and a good French wine in place of bacon.  His sefardi Tagine is famous for its powerful medley of sweet and spicy apricots, orange juice and ginger.

Not everyone appreciates a beautiful table and good food on that table, but if you do, Meat Me with Swiss trained French Chef Shlomo Gor, is a good choice for you.

 

My Most Favorite Food Restaurant Turns Kosher For Passover

successcake

My Most Favorite Food Restaurant – Open Chol Ha Moed Passover 2012 & Year Round

My Most Favorite Food is a wonderful restaurant that boasts a rich & flavorful history in the city of Manhattan.  In its present Upper West Side of Manhattan location, it caters to the large Jewish & kosher-keeping community who live and thrive there.  Their menu offers a full range of delicious healthy foods for gluten-free & gluten-lovers alike.  They offer a wide assortment of seasonal salads, grilled/baked fresh fish and the traditional home-made pasta dishes found in most dairy restaurants.  They also have a mouth-watering menu of fresh home-baked desserts, available to eat or take-out.

The owners of My Most Favorite Food found me through this website and invited to come and eat in the restaurant to write a review.  That was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up since, first, I was familiar with the older, My Most Favorite Dessert Company and was curious to see why the name & location change and second because, well, who doesn’t need a night out in the city with the hubby (on the house!).  So, while my review may subconsciously be skewed by the fact that I got a night out on the house, I can definitely say that after my meal, I would go there again as a paying patron, in a heart-beat.

The restaurant is gorgeous and fitting to the upper west side location with its combination of red brick warmth and full length cool city windows.  The serving staff were attentive, knowledgeable and provided us with a relaxing and pampered experience.  And the food was superb.   I am on the Dukan Diet which means I am wheat, gluten & pasta free.  So the grilled Salmon and Greek Salad were my choices.  My husband, on the other hand, can keep skinny while still eating an entire plate full of baked ziti at 10:00pm (which was when we finally got the kids to bed & drove out to the city).  My salmon was wild (which is much healthier than farm-fed), fresh and perfect.  My husband’s pasta was just as delicious and fresh.  For purposes of this review, I made sure to taste my husband’s My Most Favorite Cheesecake and regretfully, it was so good I couldn’t stop with one bite!  Had it not been so close to Passover, I would have brought home half the take-out bakery goods for Shabbat.  And the other half as guilt offerings for my kids for leaving them with a babysitter for the evening.  They have these adorable little mini-cupcakes & cookies beautifully decorated for the kids.  They were just too pretty to leave in the store!

However, I think what’s most notable about this wonderful restaurant is the lengths they go to to satisfy their customers.  Some of you may know that when I’m not running The Kosher Shopaholic, I do business coaching for a living.  So I am accustomed to noticing a star when I see one.  Not many business owners would expend the amount of effort, time and money to turn an entire (pasta, pastry, cake) restaurant and off-site commissary Kosher for Passover. But My Most Favorite Food, catering to the needs of the surrounding Kosher community does.  You can live anywhere in the US and still order from their wide assortment of “I-can’t-believe-its-Kosher-for-Passover” selections as they ship throughout the country.  Of course, if you live closer by, you can call in an order for delivery or better yet, take the whole family out to eat there for Chol Ha Moed.   And after the seders moms, you deserve a break! 

Click here to see their full Kosher-for-passover menu.  And if you do go visit them, make sure to tell them I sent you!

BTW – the dessert in this picture is their success cake: layers of almond meringue with French vanilla crème, garnished with toasted almonds.  Available for passover and year round!

Kosher Food & Wine Experience, 2012 – Sold Out to over 1,000 Consumers

kfwe-lamb

Welcome to the 6th Annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience, well vicariously, at least!

Kosher wines & culinary treats from all over the world were showcased at the KFWE2012.  It boasts the most comprehensive tasting of Kosher wines in north America with more than 200 wines from 40 wine producers as well as an extensive selection of kosher liquors.

Sponsored by Royal Wine Corp, the KFWE 2012 was sold out with close to 1,000 paying consumers who got to sample from the vast portfolio of Royal Wine Corp wines, featuring as well the best selection of Kosher food, liquors and wines in the world.

At the afternoon tasting, open only to trade professionals and press (me!) I was able to taste some of the newest wine & liquor products on the market like Morad Winery Danue Passion Fruit wine made from Passion Fruits (not grapes), rendering them a ‘shehakol’ wine was one of my favorites.  Tart and fruity it tasted like an exotic vodka mixed drink.  Its definitely going to grace my Purim table and make it into some of my upcoming Purim Mishloach Manot packages as well.  Speaking of Vodka, Distillery no 9 introduced its brand new Kosher for Passover and all year round Vodka today at the show as well. They kindly mixed it with some grapefruit juice for my late morning breakfast treat!   That’s me holding both the vodka & my drink at 12 noon today!

After all the alcohol, I found my way to Pomegranate.  Actually, they found me since their waiters were walking around with their delicious offerings.  I took pictures of as many trays as I could manage while still eating and drinking.  Pomegranate showed off their creative and award winning chefs with their home-made Corned Beef (I could use some more right now, please), signature dip bar and butcher block.  Some of the exclusive delights they were passing around featured some of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever had: Prosciutto, Tongue Polonaise, Wasabi Coconut Lamb Quenelles.  All from a grocery store!  One that is setting a new standard in the kosher market.  And lets not forget the marketing standard they set with their brilliant Yalili music video as well! Remember that?  I’m a fan of everything Pomegranate and will be giving myself a break this Passover when I order their Corned Beef, Tongue Polonaise and Wasabi Coconut Lamb Quenelles instead of attempting to cook anything nearly as good myself!  Hey, Ari, maybe you’ll send a few pound of these my way for the shout-out  :  )

There was a vast array of other culinary options that I was unable to sample since I came to the afternoon event (who could I possibly find to put 4 toddlers to bed for me so I could stay on…?).  But here are some of the delights the lucky 1,000 consumers and additional press & trade folks got to sample.  A selection of homemade Sushi from AviGlatt.com, Short Rib Sliders from Bistro 1310 of Borough Park, Barbecue Oxtail from etc. steakhouse of Teaneck, New Jersey (they are the one’s who won the KosherFest Cook-off a few months back), Jack’s Gourmet Mexican Style Chorizo sausages, JoBurg Dried Beef (Biltong) Carving Station, Le Marais Smoke Duck Breast,  Meat Me’s Peking Duck, Silverleaf Caterers Tiramisu Cake-Up, Sushein of Lower Manhattan’s Crispy Cake with kani & fresh tuna, The Reserve of Lakewood’s Seared Prime Beef.  Drooling yet?

Back to the wines.  Royal Wine Corp announced the first two wines from their newest kosher winery in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon Pinot Noir and a Washington Meritage.  Bartenura celebrated New York’s Big Blue superbowl win with a, you got it,  Big Blue Bottle of Bartenura Sparkling Moscato, all of course, featured at the KFWE.  And the nicest news, for sustainability enthusiasts and our environment is that Royal Wine Corp has gone “Green” with their newest solar power system on the roof of their New Jersey headquarters.   What’s not to like about this company!?

See you all next year at KFWE2013 – I’ve already booked my babysitter!

Check out my Facebook Page to see my live coverage of the event and in case you missed it, make sure you read my review of this past years’ KosherFest, 2011 as well.

Free Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream Ice Cream on Valentine’s Day

ben-jerrys-americone-dream-free-300x257

Here’s a really nice freebie for Valentine’s Day, that famous American holiday where people give cards, flowers, chocolate (and now ice cream) to the ones they love.  You can get a free Ben & Jerry’s AmeriCone Dream ice cream this Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012.   Just go to your local Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop between 5pm – 8pm and you’ll get this ice cream freebie - no coupon necessary.

AmeriCone Dream is vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl.  Find a Ben & Jerry’s store near you here.

The Kosher Scoop Cooking Magazine {& 25% off Artscroll Coupon & Contests}

kosherscoop

Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired has gone digital!  Our beloved Shabbos reading gourmet kosher cooking magazine has finally launched its online version cutely named, The Kosher Scoop.  Now, you can find your favorite Kosher Inspired recipes and food articles all online and read them during the rest of the week too!

Along with an exciting line up of recipes from leading Kosher foodie celebrities like Estee Kafra and Norene Gilletz, they have some great contests and coupons to offer.  When you sign up to subscribe to the Kosher Scoop online Magazine for free, you will also receive a coupon code for 25% off from Artscroll.  As well, go ahead and like & share their Facebook page to be entered to win $100 in products from The Peppermill and win one Estee Kafra’s cookbooks.

 

Jewpon: $3 off Monsey Barbecue & Save On Challah Pans

royalchallah

There are some really good deals on Jewpon this week.   First, if you live in Monsey (or plan on visiting) you can save $3 on a plate, laffa or pita at Monsey Barbecue.  Monsey Barbecue happens to be one of my favorite place to eat chicken out in Monsey.  They have the freshest grilled chicken around and give very generous portions. I’m grabbing this deal and you should too!

Jewpon is also offering these really cool silicone Challah pans that were all the rave at KosherFest this past fall.  The pans are shaped the way you want your challah to come out (sort of like a bunt cake pan) so you don’t have to worry about doing any fancy braiding of your challah yourself.  You just plop it into the pan and voila – you have gorgeous shaped challahs.  Ingenious.  Its a ‘why didn’t anyone think of this before’ type of thing!

I do not yet own this pan because I have the regular old fashioned oval challah pans, enjoy braiding the challahs myself and love the way my challahs come out .  However, this pan is very tempting.  It is clearly a huge time saver (not to mention fun to use).  I think it also makes a GREAT Gift for the Kallah (new bride) or hostess in your life.

Get your Silicone Royal Challah Pan from Jewpon here!

Don’t forget to buy your $3 off Monsey Barbecue Deal here as well!

My Shalom Bayis Challah

 

 

 

Save 10% On All Kosher Sparkling Wines & Champagnes

sparklinewine

Save 10% On All Kosher Sparkling Wines & Champagnes

With so many reasons to pop open a bottle of champagne, Kosherwine.com decided to put ALL of theirs on sale for you with no minimum purchase! Use coupon code 70438E4 for 10% off anything from their Sparkling Page.

KosherWine.com has the largest selection of Kosher wines, champagnes, liquors and grape juices online.  They also have a nice variety of gift baskets and packages to choose from.

Save 10% on Kosher Sparking Wines right now. Sale ends on Sunday, January 1, 2012.