April 27, 2017

What To Do For Chol HaMoed

Pesach is a great time to enjoy with family and friends and to get out of the house and take part in the many wonderful activities available from New York to Israel.  Here is a list of some free or low cost activities that can make your Passover a tremendous success!

New York Area

For those with little ones, here’s a list of the Uncle Moishy Concerts this week.  They’ll be at the Atrium in Monsey first day Chol HaMoed and then Brooklyn, Lakewood & Far Rockaway.

NCSY is hosting their annual Six Flags Great Adventure days on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – the park is rented out and there should be Kosher food available to purchase.  Tuesday at 3:00pm there will be an additional NY Boys Choir concert at the park.

If you are in the NY area, take advantage of the gorgeous weather and take a FREE ferry to Governor’s Island, Ikea or Staten Island, go bike riding, shopping and have a picnic.

JDeal has some great deals right now including discounted tickets for a NY Sky Ride, NY Science Museaum, and bike rentals near Central Park.

While in Manhattan, take advantage of the newly Kosher for Pesach kitchen at My Most Favorite Food and treat you family to lunch or dinner out!

Israel

If you are fortunate enough to be in Israel for Pesach, here is a list of some wonderful FREE  and low cost activities all around Israel for Chol HaMoed including free museums, concerts & kids activities.

Outside of Israel & New York?  Please share with us in the comments section some of your great Chol HaMoed activities.

Wishing you a Chag Sameach!

Kosher Certification Apps {FREE}

Kosher Guides

I just added a new folder to my iPhone which I labelled, Kosher Guides.  In it I have all of the Kosher Certification Apps, which happen to be FREE.  You can download any or all of these apps onto your iPhone or iPad:  cRc Kosher (Chicago Rabinical Council), OU Kosher, OU Passover, OK VegGuideOK Kosher Food Guide.  These apps are available for the iPhone and iPad.

cRc App

In the cRc Kosher App, you can look up products by category -beverages, foods, fruits and vegetables, liquor and even a slurpee section. The cRc Kosher app also has a Recommended Agencies page where they provide the symbol of all Recommended or ‘kosher’ kosher certifications in the US and all around the world.  This is probably one of the best features from all of these free apps since if you are in a store and see a symbol you don’t know, you can just quickly check your iPhone to see if its on their list.  If its on the list you know its an acceptable certification.  I find a lot of products from Trader Joe’s where I don’t recognize the Kosher certification and once I research it, it turns out to be fine.

OU App

The OU Kosher App allows you to search to see if a particular product is Kosher, provides Kosher Alerts on products that have lost certification as well as lists all the newly certified products.  A Website and Kosher Hotline number are also included for additional questions right at your fingertips. I’ve called the OU Kosher Hotline number of times (especially before Passover ) and they are quick to respond and very helpful.  The OU has a separate OU Passover app you can download which is a tremendous help around Pesach time listing all their products that are and are not kosher for passover.

OK Guides

The OK Kosher Food Guide lists all of their certified products and includes an OK Passover guide in it.  The OK Vegetable Guide is a separate app, created to help the Kosher consumer learn the most thorough methods of cleaning and checking vegetables for insect infestation teaching methods that were originally developed for the mashgichim in OK restaurants who wash and check large amounts of produce without compromising Torah standards.  Due to popular demand these guidelines are now available to the Kosher consumer in app form and online at OK.org site.

These are some really helpful apps, from some exceptional companies, especially at Passover time and all FREE!  Download them all now and let me know how you like them!

For more free apps, check out these 16 free fitness & weight-loss apps.

Purim Shpeal: My Top 5 Tips For Purim

So, its that wonderful time of the year again!  Purim.  If you’re anything like me, along with all the happy feelings the month of Adar elicits comes a little bit of anxiety.  Time to organize those Purim Baskets.  Time to start thinking about Passover cleaning.   To ease some of that anxiety, I’ve compiled 5 Tips to help you enjoy your Purim, the wonderful, fun holiday full of sweets, alcohol, gifts & giving along with a rich history full of inspiration and miracles.

Tip 1: Recycle & Reuse

The first thing I like to do is go through my boxes in storage labelled “Purim”.  I keep all the previous years’ kids costumes there as well as extra packaging materials for Mishloach Manot.  I take inventory of what I have that might fit a child and see who might need something new.  My kids are still pretty young so I can get away with dressing them in almost anything and they’re still happy.   Once I go through the boxes, I see that I have almost enough that I hardly have to buy anything new.  But of course, Purim is such a great time to express your creative flair, that I do also make a bunch of creative home-made baskets as well.  If you don’t have such a Purim box yet, make one this year for next year.  Don’t forget that you can always make last minute mishloach manot from the gift baskets you’ve already recieved.

Tip 2: The Kosher Work-a-holic

Holidays are an excellent time to build professional/business relationships.  (This tip comes from my alter-ego, The Kosher Workaholic).  Make sure to send a small Purim basket or card to clients, co-workers, your boss and associates.  It makes you look organized, professional & helps strengthen bonds.  You can find some Purim cards here.

Tip 3: Do-it-yourself Recipes

It is much less expensive to make your own gift basket, especially full of home-made delicacies, instead of buying a pre-made package or even buying packaged candy & Hamantashen.  This year, Purim falls out on Thursday so I’m pretty sure that Shabbat will be a recurring them in many Purim baskets.   I plan on going along with that and making mini-Challahs and my signature tomato dip .  Here’s also a delicious pecan-fig filled Hamantashan recipe for your enjoyment.  Feel free to use these recipes & gift ideas in your own baskets.

Tip 4: Jewish Crafting Sites

There are many wonderful Jewish crafting, hostessing and recipe websites that are full of amazing ideas to help inspire you.  Here are a few: CreativeJewishMom, The Jewish Hostess, Culinary Kosher.

Tip 5 – Pre-Made

I find it very helpful to remember that there are all sorts of pre-made mishloach manot packages I can order online.  It eases my anxiety while I’m so busy working that I haven’t prepared anything yet!   I also have a lot of family and friends who live out of town so these websites where you can order for Canada & Israel are a wonderful way to let them know they are loved.  Here’s a listing of just some of the websites that sell Purim packages, some are organizations where the proceeds go to charity and some are businesses.

Wishing you a freilichin happy Purim!

All About Purim, 2012

The very festive Jewish holiday of Purim starts at sundown on March 7th, 2012 and is celebrated all day Thursday March 8, 2012.  On Purim it is customary to listen to the Megillah, give money to the needy, send food baskets/Mishloach Manot to friends, eat Hamantashen and dress up in costumes.

What is Purim?

Here are some of the top resources where you can find the best information about Purim.

For more information about exactly what Purim is and how to celebrate it visit the NJOP website or Chabad website.

Check out Rabbi Avroham Goldhar’s Crash Course on Purim Video

Here’s Shalom Sesame’s take on Purim to enjoy with your kids!

Here’s a really delicious Hamantashen with pecan-fig filling recipe for your enjoyment as well.

Where To Buy Ready-Made Mishloach Manot Food Baskets

Here are some helpful resources where you can find a wide variety of Mishloach Manot at varying prices online, some of them with delivery services to many cities around the world.  Some of these websites are also charity non-profit organizations while some aren’t.

Designer Cookies*** (I first saw these as a fundraiser for the awesome women’s learning center The JRC, The Jewish Renaissance Center in NYC. 

Amazon (Amazon has just about everything!)

KosherLine

AllergyFreeKosher (gluten-free, nut-free, allergy-free options)

Keren Ayneim (procedes go to charity)

Not2Shabbey

purimbaskets.com

puriminabasket.com (ship to US, Canada & Israel)

Yossi’s sweethouse.com

Oh Nuts

BBBaskets

Bonei Olam (5×7 Gift Cards proceeds go to this charity)

Gifts By Occassions

KitchenArtCanada.com (to order and send gifts to Canada)

Michel Cluizel designer chocolates (the actual “basket” is made of chocolate and inside the basket will be several
assorted kosher truffles and three hamantaschen).

***These Designer cookies can be ordered from minibitescookies.com or Greenfield in NY or Bracha Rappaport in Lakewood.

 

National Jewish Outreach Program’s My Shabbat Project

How will you make this Friday, March 2, 2012 special? 

Join with Thousands of Other Jews in the US & Canada With NJOPs Shabbat Across America & My Shabbat Project.

This coming Friday night, March 2, 2012 hundreds of synagogues across the continent will take part in an historic national Jewish event to celebrate what unifies all Jews – Shabbat! Everyone is invited…singles, couples, families – all ages.  It’s Shabbat Across America!

Plus, this year, Shabbat Across America has gone virtual! If you are unable to find a sponsoring synagogue near you, you can still participate in Shabbat Across America by sharing your Shabbat Project.  Whether it’s lighting Shabbat candles, having Shabbat dinner with family, or turning off your smartphone, tell us your commitment to share in one special shabbos mitzvah.  Help inspire yourself & others by sharing your chosen Shabbat Project mitzvah on the Shabbat Project website here.

This year’s new, improved Shabbat Across America & Canada website features an interactive map sharing tool to get people stepping toward any and every possible way to observe Shabbat.  Come join us and invite your friends for this years, Shabbat Across America Shabbat Project!

About NJOP

The National Jewish Outreach Program was established by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald in 1987, to stem the losses of Jews from Jewish life due to assimilation and lack of Jewish knowledge. Since its founding, NJOP has become one of the largest and most successful Jewish outreach organizations in the world. Through attractive and exciting free programs, NJOP reaches out to unaffiliated Jews, offering positive, joyous Jewish experiences and meaningful educational opportunities. NJOP sponsors the acclaimed Shabbat Across America/Canada and Read Hebrew America/Canada campaigns, establishes Beginners Services and offers the Turn Friday Night Into Shabbat, Passover Across America and Sukkot Across America programs, Holiday Workshops, as well as free “Crash Courses” in Hebrew Reading, Basic Judaism and Jewish History. NJOP also has an exciting presence on the web, offering “Jewish Treats: Juicy Bits of Judaism, Daily” (a daily email) and “Jewish Tweets” on twitter.com.  For more information visit thier website here.

 

 

Oprah’s Dinner With A Jewish Orthodox Family in Brooklyn: Video Clips

Have you heard the latest, coolest, rage?  The famous Oprah is on a quest to learn more about different cultures, lifestyles and spirituality.  Her first stop was none other than our very own!  Oprah’s Next Chapter, which is her newest TV series on her OWN TV Network went to visit a Hasidic/Chassidish family in Brooklyn, NY.

The Ginsberg family, Shterna, Aron and their nine children, invited Oprah to join  them for a traditional Jewish meal of gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, potato  kugel and challah bread. During the meal, Oprah asks the children about growing  up without television and test their pop culture knowledge. Plus, Shterna and  Oprah share an aha! moment.

Watch the clip here: http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahs-next-chapter/Oprahs-Dinner-With-a-Hasidic-Family-Video#ixzz1mHMg3U99

What are your thoughts?  Did Oprah get an accurate experience?

Save 30% on the Top 10 Jewish Women’s Books

Save 30% on the Top 10 Jewish Women’s Books

Jewish eBooks is a great way to own your favorite books by the best Jewish authors, at seriously reduced prices since the price of eBooks are significantly less than the price or regular books.  Now,  Jewish eBooks is offering 30% off the top selling women’s books for all Kosher Shopaholic readers!

Take Rebbetzin Tziporrah Heller’s newest book, Here You Are , it retails in hardcopy for $25.99 is regularly priced $12.99 as an eBook but when you apply the 30% off code it only costs $9!  Super savings!

To take advantage of this amazing deal just enter the promtion code: JEB30KOSHER at checkout.

Buy any of these best selling books at 30% off now!

Green Fences by Riva Pomerantz

Here You Are by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

Breaking Point by Riva Pomerantz

Sun Inside Rain by M. Bassara

Terra Incognito by Libi Astaire

The Magic Touch by Gila Manolson

Outside, Inside by Gila Manolson

Captive Soul by Shoshana Schwartz

30 Seconds to Emotional Health by Miriam Adahan

Autumn Rain by Rachel Schorr

How to read eBooks

Jewish E-Books can be read on an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Nook, Android, Sony Reader and more popular eReaders & tablets as well as through Adobe Digital Editions Reader on your PC.

After you’ve made your purchase on Jewish eBooks, you will recieve an email from them to download your eBook.  Once you click on the download link you are ready to read it on any device you have downloaded it onto.

Contest Rules:  this code can only be used one time per customer, value of 30% off any of the above ebooks books.  Expires Feb 15, 2012

 

Man-o-Manischewitz 2012 Cookoff: Win $25,000 In Prizes (& get a coupon!)

Man-o-Manischewitz 2012 Cook-off: Win $25,000 in Prizes (& get a coupon!)

Which of us ‘professional’ mommy chefs doesn’t dream of entering a Food Network style cooking competition like the one Paula Shoyer of The Kosher Baker was just in on Sweet Genius last week?  I know that my family members are often impressed enough with my culinary talents to tell me often to quit my day job and open a restaruant or write a cookbook.  Who here doesn’t have similar dreams?

Well, Manischewitz is offering us a chance to make this dream come true.  You do not have to be a professional chef to enter their 2012 Man-o-Manischewitz Cook-off.  Its a culinary competition for the layman, the non-professional chef.  In fact, you don’t have to be a mommy to enter either.  Last’s year’s winner was none other than a man, Stuart Davis, 45, from Cherry Hill, NJ with his Chicken and Egg Donburi.  This winning recipe and many others can be found on the Manischewitz website.

The Cook-Off

To enter the Man-o-Manischewitz contest all you have to do is visit the Manischewitz website and create a wonderful original recipe using Manischewitz Ready To Serve Broth and one other Manischewitz product for a chance to win $25,000 in prizes, including Maytag® Appliances and the opportunity to fly to the New York finals to compete in front of Celebrity Chef Claire Robinson. Top entries will be judged in the Manischewitz test kitchen and then you, America, will vote in the 5th and final contest.

Plus you can print a $1.00 off Manischewitz broth coupon (to use as you test your recipe) right here.  You din’t think I’d leave you without a coupon, did you?

I’ve got my recipe all ready to enter.  I think I stand a good chance to win!  I’ll be sure to post my winning recipe here once the competition ends.

Let us know in the comments section below, will you be entering the competition?

How To Make Hanukkah, 2011

Tablescape by The Jewish Hostess

Chanukah Resources

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins this year on Tuesday night, December 20th and ends on December 28, 2011.  While it is not required to make a Chanukah party to properly celebrate the festival of Hanukkah, Chanukah parties have become a fun and much anticipated tradition among all Jews no matter what their religious observance.

Below is a list of resources ranging from how to light your menorah, the historical significance of Hanukkah, to how to make homemade donuts and latkes as well as some inspiration for a gorgeous Hanukkah party table.  I hope these resources will enhance your celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Chanukah Tablescape

This gorgeous Hanukah Tablescape by The Jewish Hostess can provide you with some inspiration for a beautiful Chanukah party setting of your own.  As fancy and ballabuste as this looks, its actually very inexpensive to make.  All the items were purchased from Ikea and West Elm.

CookKosher donuts

Donut Making Video

Donuts are a Chanukah celebration must-have.  Here’s a short and simple video recipe on how to make home-made donuts by CookKosher.  I love the suggestion at the end to use pizza dough as a shortcut.   I happen to have a freezer full of Trader Joe’s Kosher 99cent Pizza Dough which I can’t wait to use for my home-made Chanukah Donuts.

Latkes from JoyofKosher

Latke Making Video

Potato Latkes are another tradition found in every Jewish home at Chanukah time.  Here’s a quick and easy video of how to make potato latkes for Chanukah by JoyofKosher.

Kosher Cookbooks

For a greater variety on latke and donut recipes you can check out our cookbook gurus Norene Gilletz and Levana Kirschenbaum.  Their best-selling cookbooks, The New Food Processor Bible (a must have in every Jewish home) is on sale for only $20 on Amazon and The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen (another must have) on sale now for only $10 on Amazon.  I’m buying these awesome cookbooks for my preschool teachers as unique Chanukah Gifts that I’m sure will be very loved.

For New Yorkers, Levana is also hosting a Chanukah cooking demo Monday night on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Free Chanukah eBook

Don’t miss your FREE Chanukah eBook , The Jewish Treats Complete Guide To Chanukah which is packed with helpful information like the story of Chanukah, what to do on Chanukah, how to light your menorah and a fun dreidel game.

Chanukah Videos

You can watch an Aish.com  short vort here from Chief Rabbi of South Africa Warren Goldstein about why the Jewish people celebrate the miracle of oil and not the military victory that occurred on Chanukah.  Enjoy this year’s lively Chanukah music videos, all FREE as well!

Dreidel Noodle Recipe

Here’s my Shabbos Chanukah Chicken Soup recipe showing you how to make dreidel noodles!

Gift Guide

Here’s The Kosher Shopaholic Hanukkah Gift Guide for those of you who are last minute shoppers, like me!

Win

Don’t forget to enter my contests to win a $200 gift basket or a free “Missing Menorah” DVD from Shalom Sesame.  You can also purchase the Shalom Sesame DVD set at $15 off using the code KSH102 at checkout.

Ever wonder what the Hebrew initials Nun, Gimmel, Hay, Shin represent on the dreidel?  They stand for “Nes Gadal Haya Shem” “A Great Miracel Happened There”.

Whishing you a freilich, fun-filled, beautiful and tasty Chanukah!

 

Chanukah Jewish Music Videos: Free

Chanukah Jewish Music Videos: Free

Here’s a quick round-up of some of the really fun Jewish music videos out on YouTube right now for Chanukah.  There’s also a free song download available in MP3 format at the bottom of this post.  Enjoy & Happy Chanukah!

Click on any of these links to play the video.

The Maccabeats Miracle

Yeshiva Boys Choir, Those Were The Nights Of Chanukah

Miracle by Matisyahu

Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages by Aish

I Light It  by NSCY

Candlelight by the Maccabeets – the song that made them famous!

FREE DOWNLOAD of Rebbetzin Tap’s Channukah song, “The Biggest Light!”
Go to MostlyMusic and put song #15, The Biggest Light, in your basket and it will be given to you for FREE!   A great song for all ladies and kids!

Click here for some great FREE Chanukah package giveaways!

You can find a review of popular Jewish Children’s Music here.