December 11, 2017

Win Kosher Organic Chicken from KOL Foods

KOLChicken-SkewersThere are a lot of things that I love about summer time but one of the things I love the most is finally being able to barbecue.  My BBQ steaks are tastier than any fancy restaurant – just ask my husband and so is my chicken.  Maybe its my recipes or maybe its the organic healthy ingredients I use. Or a combination of both.  My favorite place to order healthy organic, pasture-raised Kosher chickens and meats is from KOL Foods.  And lucky for us, they are running a contest where you can win $135 worth of Organic Kosher chicken!  Visit KOL foods here to enter the contest and win!  And treat your families to some delicious barbecues all summer long.

To go along with your healthy organic, pasture raised chicken that you either buy or win (or both) from KOL Foods, here’s my mother’s recipe for a sweet, savory whole BBQ chicken (one of the first recipes I shared on this site) – it is so easy and so delectable, you will be making it all summer long.  Its on my BBQ for supper tonight, as I write this.  Here’s the link to this simple and delicious BBQ whole Chicken recipe – the secret is to use your actual barbecue!

Here’s the link to win some free Organic Kosher chickens from KOL foods again.

And here’s a link to buy some KOL kosher organic meats and chickens.

 

Meat Me Kosher Restaurant Review

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.

 

Cheesy Recipes: Less than $8 To Make

Here are some great cheesy recipes for Shavuot (a Jewish holiday where we traditionally serve dairy meals) or for the 9 Days ( a Jewish period of mourning where we don’t eat meat meals)  that are rich in taste but very low in price!   They each cost $5- $8  in ingredients.

Home made PIZZA.  I like to buy my pizza dough at Trader Joes for .99 cents.  Trader Joe’s has kosher pre-made regular, whole wheat and pesto pizza doughs in the refrigerator section.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, most local kosher pizza stores will sell you pre-made pizza dough for around $2 – $3.  Combine that with 2- 3 tablespoons of  tomato basil marinara sauce – which I have found both at Trader Joe’s and retail grocery stores, Kosher, for $2.00.  Add a bag of  shredded mozzarella cheese for $2.50, when you find it on sale at the Kosher market, and you have your pizza for $5.50.

Tasty tipI like to splurge on the spicy marinated mozzarella cheese on Shavuot to make a fancier pizza. Even if I splurge on that $5.49 for marinated mozzarella cheese, I still get my pizza for $7.50 (we split the cost of the marinara sauce with the baked ziti below) !

 Ingredients: 1 pizza dough, 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce, 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese or 1 log shredded.
Preparation: Roll out the pizza dough by hand till it fits in a round pizza dish. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce to cover all the dough. Optional – sprinkle some garlic powder, basil and oregano on top. Pour the mozzarella cheese on top – try to cover all the dough. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Baked Ziti is so easy and quick to make and always tastes great.  Following my  7 Steps to Kosher Savings, you should be getting your pasta for under $1.00 these days.  Combine that with the remainder of the tomato basil marinara sauce from above ($2.00) and your bag of shredded mozzarella cheese for $2.50 and this dish cost you $4.00!  Splurge on the fancy cheese and it costs you $7.00 splitting the cost of marinara sauce with pizza above.
Ingrediants: 1 box of Ziti, 3/4 jar of marinara sauce, 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese or buy a log and shred it yourself.  Preparation: Boil water in a large pot.  Add the ziti and cook according to directions on box (around 10 minutes).  When ready, drain the pasta and pour into a baking dish. Pour 3/4 jar of marinara sauce over the pasta. Pour the shredded mozzarella over the pasta.  Mix all together and bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the Pizza and Baked Ziti recipes are my own, I adapted them from
Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes cookbook
.

Hungarian Potato Casserole.  I probably got my shopping genes from my Hungarian grandmothers.  I also received from them some heirloom recipes that are to die for!  This dish might be heavy on your hips but its is light on the wallet and really delish.

Ingredients: 6 large potatoes, 1 large onion, 2 Tablespoons of oil (canola or vegetable), 2 cups sourcream (you substitute heavy cream as well), 1-2 teaspoons of salt, 1-2 teaspoons of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.  Preparation: In a large pot, heat water until boiling.  Add peeled potatoes and cook until a knife can be easily inserted (approximately 35 minutes). Cook the potatoes until they are soft but firm enough to slice nicely. Drain. Set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan.  Chop the onion and saute until translucent. Set aside. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. In a bowl, mix onion, sour cream, salt, half the paprika and pepper. Combine the potatoes with the sour cream mixture. Grease a baking dish and layer the potato slices into the dish.   Sprinkle the rest of the paprika on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 Since potatoes are the main ingredient here, this dish is really inexpensive. (6 potatoes x $.69cents each) + (1 onion x $.50) + (8oz sour cream $1.39) = $6.03.  If you want to get fancy, throw in a layer of frozen broccoli flowers to add some extra health and color.
While this recipe is my family’s, there is a similar one found in Spice and Spirit: The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook (A Kosher living classic).""
Cheesy Challah Casserole.   I make this dish on Sundays when I have leftover challahs.  It is devoured in minutes.  Its like a fancy grilled cheese without having to stand over a hot grill.  This recipe is from The Balabustas Choice Cookbook.
 
Ingrediants: 1 medium challah, (sliced), butter, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, 2 cups milk, 4 eggs.   Preparation: Spread some butter onto both sides of the challah slices.  Arrange challah onto bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese.  Add more challah and cheese to fill the pan.  Beat the eggs with a fork and mix with the milk.  Pour the mixture over the challah and cheese.  Refrigerate until the liquid is well set into the challah (2-3 hours or overnight).  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Here’s my breakdown of the cost of ingredients for The Balabuste’s Choice Cheesy Casserole we’ve got 1 leftover Challah $3.00 + 1 bag of cheese ($2.50) + some milk ($1.00) and some eggs ($1.00)= $7.00.
Let me know in the comments section below how these recipes worked out for you!
Happy Kosher Savings!

Daily Deal Sites: A Rundown

What are Daily Deal sites all about?

A lot of people have been asking me about Daily Deals and what they are all about.   Here’s a rundown of what the daily deal sites are about and a list of the ones that cater to the Jewish and/or Kosher consumer.

Daily Deals

Daily Deal sites are a very popular way to save money on the everyday products and services that you purchase.  By taking advantage of group buying power, they are able to offer consumers the ability to purchase everyday services and products at seriously discounted prices.

Each day, the Daily Deal site features a ‘deal‘ that is available for a limited amount of time.  Some deals are available for one hour, most are available for one day and others are available for one month.  Anyone can purchase the daily deal by visiting the deal website.  The deal sites encourage customers to sign-up and register with them to get regular email updates about the deals they are featuring.  There is no fee to sign up.  You only pay for a deal when you purchase it.

The deals offered vary from discounts on restaurants, grocery and clothing stores, to various products and services.  Deals are offered by geographic location.  So, for example, if you live in New York, when you go to Jewish/Kosher daily deal site you will be shown Kosher restaurant deals for restaurants in the New York area.  You can achieve significant savings when you purchase a daily deal – as long as its for a product or service that you know you will use.  This is what’s behind the Daily Deal strategy – since the deal is only offered for a limited amount of time, you might be more likely to buy a product or service that you wouldn’t have otherwise purchased.  So, for products and services that you use, these sites offer great money saving opportunities.

Groupon:  The pioneer of the daily deal site is Groupon, who is the most well-known deal site today.  You can click here to see Groupon daily deal!

Which are the Kosher/Jewish Daily Deal Sites?

JDeal: JDeal is a daily deal site that caters to the Jewish Community.  They offer seriously surprising deals of up to 80% savings for restaurants, shows, and many other products and services that are of interest to the Jewish consumer.  Click here to see today’s JDeal.

KosherKouponz: KosherKouponz is yet another daily deal site catering to Kosher, Jewish Orthodox community.  You can also find a wide variety of great deals and discounts of up to 80% off everyday services on your favorite Kosher restaurants, hotels, stores and products.  As their promotions say, “What does Groupon Know About Pastrami on Rye?  Not Much”!  Sign up for KosherKouponz daily deal here.

Jewpon:  Jewpon is another daily deal site that caters to the Jewish consumer.  They also offer some really great discounts where you can again save up to 80% on food, clothing, restaurants and other services of interest to the Jewish/Kosher consumer.  View the Jewpon Daily Deal here.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty Programs are different from Daily Deals .  Many restaurants and popular grocery stores offer loyalty programs that are smart to take advantage of since they offer you significant savings as well.  When you sign up with a loyalty program you recieve money back in the form of a rebate check or special discounts for each dollar you spend with them.  AllergyFreeKosher is a great online store that has a nice loyalty program.  Kosher Advantage is another loyalty program where, for $5 a month you get up to 20% savings when you shop in a participating grocery store or restaurant.  The Gateways Game Changer is another loyalty program that costs $10 a month and offers 5% savings with participating stores and restaurants.

So, now you have a pretty comprehensive list of all the deals available to help you save money.  These deals, of course, are good for anyone, not just the Jewish or Kosher shopper.

We’d love to hear from you, tell us, which is your favorite daily deal site or loyalty program?  Let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

 

No Nitrate Hotdogs, Organic Kosher Poultry & Meat: KOL Foods $5 off Coupon Code

No Nitrate Hotdogs, Organic Kosher Poultry & Meat: KOL Foods

Hotdogs are a favorite food among the kids in my house but not a favorite of their health-conscious mother.  I cringe at the thought of feeding those pure bodies unhealthy nitrates and nitrites.   Alas, I have found Kosher No Nitrate Hotdogs from KOL Foods!

KOL Foods has Kosher, Organic poultry, meat, fish and hotdogs.  They even carry Kosher, Organic lamb ‘bacon’ strips and organic Wild Alaskan Salmon!  All delivered to your doorstep or through a buying club that you can join from their website.

KOL Foods  Kosher Organic meat, chicken, turkey, & lamb products are all certified:

  • 100% grass-fed, 100% grass-finished and 100% pastured
  • Raised on non-industrial family owned farms and ranches
  • Never confined to pens or lots
  • No hormones added
  • No antibiotics
  • Approved by OU or Star-K. Glatt kosher as is indicated on the butcher’s label on each package.
  • Shechita techniques and “green” certifications.

If you join a buying club you don’t have to pay for shipping.  They have buying clubs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Boulder, Houston, Los Angeles, Madison, New York Metro area, San Francisco Bay area, Twin Cities, Washington D.C.

Click here to visit the KOL website to learn more about their products and make an order.

Use the referral code: kshop at checkout to get $5 off all orders of $100 or more.

Lancaster, PA: Kosher Vacations & Discount Amusement Park Tickets

Lancaster, PA: Kosher Vacations & Discount Amusement Park Tickets

Lancaster Pennsylvia, otherwise known as Dutch County, USA, is home to the largest Omish population in the US.   It is a great place for Kosher keeping Jewish families to go on vacation because there are many kid friendly amusement parks, farms and activities, located in serene country neighboods, and Kosher food is available.

Activities in the area

Dutch Wonderland is a kid-friendly amusement park full of rides appropriate for younger children.  There is a Kosher meat restaurant inside the the amusement park right near the park entrance where you can get hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken dishes and salads.  They also serve Kosher pizza but that has to be eaten outside the park in the picnic area.

CherryCrest Farms is another fun day of activities with a 5 acre long amazing corn maize maze, hay rides, a full petting zoo and 50 other bouncing, jumping country style rides and activities for children of all ages.  A Kosher Pizza stand run by the same people who run the Kosher Marts in the area can be found in Cherry Crest Farms as well.  This pizza can also be delivered to your hotel for a small fee.

Click here for more information about Kosher Mart food available in the area.

Stratford Railroad is another great activity for the children, they can take a ride on a Thomas train when he’s in town or just take a real old-fashioned train ride through town.

There are also some great children’s museums like the hands-on Museum and you can take any number of tours of Omish farms and horse & buggy rides.

Finally, Hershey Park which is about 45 minutes away from Dutch County, is another well-known amusement park with rides for younger and older kids.  Kosher Mart food stand can again be found right near the entrance of the park.

Discount tickets for Dutch Wonderland and Hershey Park can be purchased from the Kosher food vendors outside the park.  You go to the outside door of the restaurants and they sell you tickets to the park at 15 % off.

Twighlight passes:  When you purchase your tickets after 3pm for the following day, you can use these tickets to visit the park  for free after 3pm the day before the tickets are to be used.

 

A Light Italian Feast Featuring Levana & Jack’s Gourmet Sausages

Levana’s Light Italian Feast

Last night I had the pleasure of attending one of Levana’s famous cooking demo’s in New York City.  As an extra added bonus, Jack’s Gourmet Sausages were being featured in Levana’s Light Italian Feast – the title being quite an appropriate oxymoron, since, the dishes were individually ‘light’ yet the meal was indeed a feast.  I don’t think Levana call pull off anything less than a gourmet feast.

I’m really not sure which to be raving about first, my discovery of my new love of sausages thanks to the incredibly tasty and easy to make Jack’s Gourmet or how much fun Levana’s demo was.  One of the guests who has attended at least four such Monday night cooking demos says that “its better than a Broadway show – Broadway is always re-runs, Levana is always original”.  How’s that for a compliment!

If you are in the New York area on a Monday night, make sure to sign up at Levana Cooks for an amazing dinner show.  You may also learn some great cooking techniques!  If you can’t make one of Levana’s live demos, you can always get any one of her bestselling Cookbooks from Amazon.

Coupon Code for Jack’s Gourmet Sausages

Jack’s Gourmet Sausages, a  new and delicious Kosher meat and sausage company on the scene, has a website where you can order from directly.  Use the code: “10% off” at checkout to get 10% off your order.  Then head on over to Amazon and buy one of Levana’s famous cookbooks to make some awesome dishes with it!

You can also watch Levana & Jack’s Gourmet YouTube Video showing you step by step how to make an amazing sausage Paella.

Pictured here is Levana’s Sausage Paella  (out of this world) and  Levana’s Plum Tart – rated # 1 as my most favorite Shabbat Dessert from now on!

 

 

The Best Chicken Dinner – With a Low Price to Match

Barbecue chicken recipeThis is the second of a series of articles that I am writing for Culinary Kosher, a beautiful Kosher cooking website.

The Best Chicken Dinner – With a Low Price To Match

I have the tastiest and easiest recipe for Barbecue Chicken that I am so excited to share with my readers on Culinary Kosher and The Kosher Shop-a-holic.  The best part about this recipe is that it feeds your whole family, generously, for around $7 – $8!

Here’s the big money saving tip.  Use a whole kosher chicken.  Whole chickens are much less expensive than cut up chickens – often $1.00 per pound less than a cut up chicken. A whole 3lb roaster can run between $6.50 to $7.50 and goes a long way.  I’ve found that the Costco frozen Empire chickens tend to be the least expensive roasters around;  although with the loyalty rewards program from one of my local Kosher markets, a whole chicken runs me around the same price as Costco’s.   A whole chicken is also much juicier than a cut-up one and contains a lot more meat per pound when cooked.  By buying a whole chicken instead of a cut-up one, you can save around $3.00 per chicken.

Whole chickens are often intimidating, so people tend to pay the extra cash for the cut-up version.  Here’s a little trick to make whole chickens less threatening.  Use a kitchen searing scissor to clean it – just cut away the extra fat and skin with the kitchen scissor in 1 minute flat.  Then wash the chicken and prepare it whole, with a good recipe like the one below.

Here’s the recipe

Place the whole, cleaned chicken into an aluminum pan.  Pour on store bought barbecue sauce (about half a bottle) and honey (about 2 tablespoons to cover the chicken).   Turn on your barbecue – two back burners on and front burner off.  When its nice and hot (350 – 375 degrees Farenheit) place the chicken in the aluminum pan onto the front of the barbecue.  Close the lid of the barbecue and let it cook for 1.5 – 2.00 hours.  That’s it!

If you’ve used my 7 Steps to Kosher Savings strategy you’ve bought your barbecue sauce on sale for well under $1.00 – so the entire dish costs you about $7.00 and feeds a family of six generously.  I usually serve it with some baked potatoes which can be placed directly on the barbecue while the chicken is cooking.

This will be the juiciest, tastiest, finger-licking chicken you will ever make.  In my house, we eat the bones its so tasty!  And so incredibly easy on the budget and your time!

Let us know in the comments section below how you enjoyed this dish!

Have any great budget-friendly recipes you want to share?  Email them to me or share them in the comments section below.

 

The Kosher Shopaholic & Culinary Kosher Team up to Find You Budget-Friendy Gourmet Recipes

culinarykosherThis was a post I wrote for CulinaryKosher a beautiful website that features Kosher recipes for the at-home Kosher-gourmet chef.

The Kosher Shopaholic & CulinaryKosher team up to find you Budget-Friendly Gourmet Recipes

I’ve gone through some of the amazing recipies contributed to Culinary Kosher by you readers and found some of the best thrifty, budget-friendly, healthy and tasty meals for your entire family.  Guess what? Being a good home economist doesn’t have to clash with looking like a gourmet chef.

Yaelw’s Tuna Quiche is such a simple and light meal for these hot summer days. It has become my easy go to meal when I have no ingrediants in the fridge and less than 5 minutes to cook (but still want to look gourmet). Seriously, my husband was so impressed the first time I served it he told me to publish it in a gourmet magazine! If you’re like me, you always have extra cans of tuna lying around the house.  And if you follow my thrifty 7 Steps to Kosher Savings those cans of tuna lying in your pantry have cost you under $1.00 each.  If you are concerned with the high mercury levels found in tuna today (especially pregnant and nursing moms) you can easily substitute wild salmon for the tuna.

My next favorite gourmet-thrift meal is Malki’s mac&cheese.  Since I have lots of  young kids in the house, I need many variations of this child (and might I say husband) friendly dish.  It calls for eggs and sour cream along with cheddar cheese.  Again, following The Kosher Shopaholic strategies will mean that you always pay under $1.00 for any type or brand of pasta that you buy.  In that case, this dish is again under $5 and allows you to be a great home economist as well as a culinary giant.

My famous Cheesy Hungarian Potato Casserole is actually very similar to Malky’s gourmet mac&cheese, only instead of macaroni you use potatoes. This meal can be used as a fancy side dish to fish, like I did for Shavuot, or as a stand-alone meal.

For heart-healthier low fat versions of these meals, try using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t change the taste or quality at all.  And you can use these great Chobani Greek Yogurt coupons .

If you like this article, come and visit The Kosher Shopaholic, for more great money saving tips, deals, Kosher coupons, reviews and resources.  I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below as well.

Win Levana’s newest Cookbook: The Whole Food Kosher Kitchen

Win a free copy of The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen

Contest ends tonight!

Head on over to my Facebook page and  like The Kosher Shop-a-holic  to be entered to win a signed copy of Levana’s newest best-selling cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple.  One lucky, random fan will be picked on August 17, 2011 to win a free copy.

Looking forward to socializing with you on Facebook.  Don’t forget to also subscribe to The Kosher Shopaholic on the right of this page to get free email updates on the latest deals, coupons and reviews for the Kosher consumer.

A special thank you to the generous and talented Levana Kirshenbaum for donating her amazing cookbooks.