Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

CELEBRATE - Food Family Shabbos

Food. Family. Shabbos. 
These are the themes most celebrated on my blog.
So imagine my excitement at seeing a review copy of a cookbook titled, "CELEBRATE - Food Family Shabbos" in my mailbox. This I could relate to!

CELEBRATE is a beautifully laid out and photographed cookbook packed with 200 sensational recipes and magnificent photos . It has a nice collection of basic recipes that would make it a wonderful gift for a kallah, but also expands to contain enough "fancy" recipes to allow for experimentation. 
Small twists like "Vanilla Challah" and "Horseradish Crusted Salmon" piqued my interest. 
Stunning S'mores Cupcakes and decadent Chocolate Raspberry Cake were also a "must make".

Let me tell you about the little extras that make me feel that this book deserves a spot on your shelf or in your gift closet.

  • Not one but two bookmarks! I've never seen a cookbook with bookmarks before, and I think it's a clever addition.
  • "Make Ahead" sidebar instructions, letting you know how you can prepare all or part of the recipe in advance. This is particularly helpful to the beginning cook, but useful to everyone. There are also "Passover Substitution" sidebars.
  • Cleverly organized with the usual sections such as challah, soup, sides etc., but taking it a step further with a "Shalosh Seudos" section. Note to self: Try the Everything Bagel Romaine Salad!

Proceeds from sale of the book benefit Emunah’s Children’s homes in Israel, making CELEBRATE ideal for gift giving.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

GWC2D Succah Hop - An Authentic Moroccan Succah

H/T Emmanuel Navon

GWC2D Succah Hop - Pretty Panoramas

The Cohnen family has generously shared these panorama photos of their succah walls, hand painted by their daughter, Nechama.

Nechama is quite talented. This is just one of the panels on her own succah.

See her work at Mailboxes of Monsey or on Instagram @mailboxesofmonsey
Tell her G6 sent you ;)

GWC2D Succah Hop - Scenes From a Satmar Succah

The wall decorations are handmade.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

GWC2D Succah Hop

Calling all Succah Hoppers.
Please send your photos to
Please specify if you'd like to be credited or remain anonymous.
And just to get you started, here's one from Eretz Yisrael.

HT: Penny Hirsch Rabinowitz

OCD Judiasm

OCD Judiasm... That's what the salesman referred to it as I marveled at the fact that people actually PAY for this little gem (which by the way, I received full permission to photograph, but I blurred the photo just because I felt it was right).
Is this what we are coming to? This obsessive need to pin down the exact spot where Hashem will accept our tefillos best? Do we honestly believe that His vengeance will be upon us if we recite one exit too early or too late on the Thruway? Why do we constantly need to add more obsessive details to the observance of our forefathers?
Would it not be more auspicious for our journey us to observe the halahos of Lashon Hora in the car with greater attention? Perhaps we should be more vigilant in giving rides, taking packages or creating other opportunities to do mitzvos on the journey in order to secure safe passage. But must we really measure "1/2 mile past Exit 22"?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Artisan Bread

I've posted many times about my challah - various strands of braided challahround challah, croation star challahs, but I haven't yet blogged about artisan bread, which makes a hearty addition to any Shabbos table, especially for those families that are into "the dips".
Artisan bread is a bread that is produced by hand in small batches, slowly fermented, and often utilizes steam to create its signature crispy crust. The resulting bread is soft, chewy and hearty with a hard outer shell.
You don't need many ingredients for this gem, but you do need some equipment. Firstly, you need an cast iron pot with lid, that can withstand oven temperatures of 500 degrees. Secondly you need a good bread knife ;)
There are lots of tutorials available online, but this is how I make mine for Shabbos with as little fuss and cleanup as possible.
On Thursday night, in a ziploc bag, combine three scooped cups (don't delicately spoon flour into the measuring cup and level neatly... dig right in and scoop, pack, and overflow the cup a bit!) of bread flour, 1/4 tsp. (yes that's all!) of dry yeast, 1 1/4 tsp. of salt and 1 1/2 cups of tepid water. Squish everything up in the bag until well combined. Dough will be sticky, but your fingers never touch it ;)
Leave the sealed ziploc bag for 12-24 hours (18 is just perfect, which fortuitously brings us to Friday afternoon).
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees with the lidded cast iron pot inside. When the oven and pot have reached the right temperature, turn the dough out on to a floured surface. It WILL be goopy. Fold in each of the corners once and flip the dough over to make a round ball. Drop the ball (careful! It's really hot!!) into the hot pot and put the lid back on. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 10 minutes more.
The result is bread like you've never had before. Eat bare, with dips or with my home-made mayonnaise. Once cut, it doesn't keep very well (make croutons), but there are seldom leftovers anyway.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Balsamic Blooming Red Onions

Every once in a while I like to make a truly PRETTY recipe, because I believe that people eat with their eyes, as well as with their mouths.
But in the summertime, I don't like to fuss in a hot kitchen too long either.
I was very excited to find this video, detailing how to make a balsamic blooming red onion, which can be used as part of an appetizer or to complement a main dish.
It was really so easy and delicious to boot.
Be careful though, the finished project is fragile!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Funfetti Cheesecake Hamantaschen

The problem with having a blog for years and years when you are heavily into tradition and family is that after a few years, you've pretty much blogged all you have to say ;)
I mean, how many photos of my hamantaschen do you REALLY want to see? (For a glorious look back, you can click here...)
Well this year, Nina Safar shared a new twist on an old favorite that I found completely intriguing. Funfetti Cheesecake Hamantaschen! I fretted a bit about the fact that I dislike baking dairy because a) you are very limited when the end product can be eaten and b) most of my baking utensils are parve. I decided though, to make the effort and to serve these on Purim night when we break our fast. Such fun Purim-looking delights, don't you think?