Chanukah Sameach!

***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANKS FOR SHARING ALL OF YOUR GREAT IDEAS!***

Chanukah Sameach!

I really can’t believe it’s Chanukah already! I feel like we just took down the Sukkah (or did you?!)

I’m so excited to join in the 2012 Hanukkah Blog Party! So many fantastic bloggers, so many incredible recipes. Please take a look around and be inspired! The best part? One in 6 chances of winning a prize! See below for giveaway details! FYI – at the last blog party,  one of my readers WON!

My idea was for printable Chanukah decorations and gift tags! Here is a PDF (TheKosherHome_ChanukahArt) for you to print at home! I’ve made picture frame sized images for 8×10, 5×7, 4×6, and 3×5 – mount them on blue cardstock if you’d like or as is! There is also a banner, gift tags and circles for the tops of cupcakes, or stick them on Chanukah Gelt! Go ahead – embellish with glitter and rhinestones! Ideas are as endless as you imagination!

Go ahead – feel free to send me some pictures of how you use these printables in your home, or at your Chanukah Party! I can’t wait to see! Some ideas are below!

DOWNLOAD FILE HERE: TheKosherHome_ChanukahArt

Welcome to the first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It’s traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we’ve got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats. 

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

2 copies of Susie Fishbein’s new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
2 copies of Leah Schapira’s  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 
2 copies of Esther Deutch’s CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! 
Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post tell me your favorite way to decorate your home for Chanukah!

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:
Latkes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin

Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes
Donuts and Desserts: 
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll! 

Crockpot Mac n Cheese!

 

Crockpot mac n cheese. You heard that right! Did I lose you yet? Soft, creamy, delicious and decadent.

I’m sure by now you know I’m a huge crockpot user (and lover!) Long days out of the house, while the rest of my family still needing to eat has encouraged me to get creative.

Peoples objection to weekday crockpot meals is that they feel each meal tastes, or has the consistancy of chulent. I’m here to tell you now, I don’t make chulent. I think I’ve made it once or twice. But the leftovers are unappealing and for most people inedible. The thought of throwing it out upsets me.

When I stumbled upon a fantastic blog, crockpot365.blogspot.com I was smitten! Browsing through the recipes, Mac n Cheese caught my eye! Raw noodles in the crockpot? Must be a mistake! No. No, it wasn’t.

My version, adapted from there produces a creamy, decadent bowl of comfort yumminess.

I must say though, this recipe is not a “set it and forget it” one. I suggest keeping an eye on it. I took pictures during the cooking process for you to see. While this isn’t a recipe you can set at 7am and eat at 8pm, it’s a treat for you to enjoy!

Crockpot Mac n Cheese!
 

Ingredients
  • 12oz’s uncooked noodles (I used rotini, because that’s what I had on hand).
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tap pepper

Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Spray the inside of the crockpot with an oil based spray. Pour mixture into crockpot and set on high for 3 hours. Do not open the lid!
  3. After 1 hour, life the lid and take a peak. Give the mixture a stir. Replace the lid and walk away.
  4. After another 30 minutes lift the lid again and stir. The mixture should be soft and bubbly, but not burning on the edges. The noodles should be fluffy as they’ve absorbed the liquid.
  5. Depending on your crockpot, your mac n cheese may be ready now, or it may need more time.
  6. At this point, feel free to enjoy it as is, or if you are like us, you may want to pour it into a ceramic diah, sprikle with cornflake crumbs, some paprika and some shredded parmesan cheese! Bake for 5-8 minutes in the oven at 400′ until it reaches the level of doneness that you enjoy!

*my recipe includes baking it in the oven for 5-8 minutes to give it a crispy top. Depending on how you enjoy your mac n cheese, feel free to not do this part (we fight over the crunchy bits!)

This will either serve 4 people, or 1 (!) depending if you are willing to share.

Thanks{giving} and Excuses.

Excuses. We all have them. I’m not trying to offer one. Instead, I’m jumping back on the blogging bandwagon head first!

This week, my dear friend Melinda, from Kitchen-Tested  and I organized the first Kosher Food Bloggers Conference in NY. What an event! The vibe of the bloggers, the excitement of the sponsors, the gorgeous location The Carlton Hotel was incredible and inspiring! 

More pics and a video to come, promise!

I think someone forgot to tell me how soon Thanksgiving was. This week? WHAT!?!? As an an ex-pat to the States (I’m originally from Australia) Thanksgiving is a national holiday that I LOVE! yes, LOVE! The food! The colors! The smells! Sitting around a large table with your nearest and dearest eating great food, a few drinks and hopefully no men watching football in the living room!

It always cracks me up how the population goes ca-razy! The internet goes wild with questions like “How do I cook for a party of 8?” (Um, 8? pppft!) “How do I reheat all the side dishes?” “Can I bring tupperware to take home leftovers?” “How may desserts should I serve?”

I’ve been scouring the internet (and our Pinterest boards) for a roundup of best-of-the-web for you!

Fun Tablescape idea from HGTV!
Full details here.

Indian Corn Napkin Ring.
Full details here

A gorgeous Fall Mantle.
Full details here.

Cranberry and Apple Chutney.
Full recipe here.

 Top rated brussel sprouts.
Full recipe here.

Two (yes, two!) ingredient pumpkin cake!
Full recipe here.

Pecan Pie Bars. Be sure to use margarine instead of butter to keep it pareve!
Full recipe here

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a great Thanksgiving cocktail. Go ahead – wait until the guests have left, kids are in bed and the fireplace is dying down, I won’t tell!
Full recipe here.  

So, enough excuses! Watch out for weekly blog posts going forward! xxx

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning!

WOAH! This has certainly been a busy month!

With my late work hours and busy weekends preparing for Yom Tov, I’ve grown to love (again!) my crockpot. At least twice a week it gets used – chicken and rice, split pea soup and a new recipe from my “Twitter” friend, Caroline – Taco Soup! I’ll post another recipe for that another time, but it does call for a pack of Taco Seasoning. Has anyone else ever noticed the sodium count on those! Oh Boy!

On a mission to find a healthier version, here is the recipe I came up with.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Spice
 

Mix and store! Doesn’t get easier!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2T ground cumin
  • 1.5T salt
  • 1.5T black pepper (freshly cracked, if possible)
  • 2t paprika
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1t dried oregano

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a container, shake it up and store in a cool, dark place.
  2. If you have a spice blender, go ahead and give it a whirl!

 

{Yom Tov Tip} Soups!

I never understood why chicken soup was a requirement on families weekly Shabbat and Yom Tov tables. I get it. It’s yum. It’s wonderful with lokshen. Or matzah balls.

But, it holds up a burner on my stovetop for 6-8 hours and can cost a small fortune. Granted, you can make lots of containers of it, and throw it in the freezer. But there are so many more recipes to try!

A few of our favorite include roast tomato, spicy zucchini, split pea, carrot ginger, potato leek and more! Here are some of the best of the web…

Sit back, simmer and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: Everyday Food
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

 

Recipe Credit: food.com
Photo Credit: Member, Rita for food.com

 

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe contains non kosher ingredients. IN place of 2 cups of ham, we recommend some diced pastrami, or beef stew!

Recipe Credit: food.com
Photo Credit: Andy of LongMeadow Farm

 

Recipe Credit: allrecipes.com
Photo Credit: member WYSIWYG on allrecipes.com

Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

 

What’s you favorite soup? For more ideas, check out our pinterest board http://pinterest.com/thekosherhome/soup/

 

***GIVEAWAY*** Don’t forget to comment on the Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah recipe for a chance to win Levana’s new cookbook!

Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!

Welcome to the first ever Jewish Holiday Blog Party, hosted by Jessie of Taste and Miriam of Overtime Cook, and sponsored by Kitchen Aid! As you may know, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is coming up, and Jewish bloggers from all over the world are celebrating with all kinds of twists on traditional Rosh Hashanah foods.

 

To kick off the celebration, Levana Kirschenbaum is giving away a copy of her fabulous new book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment on this post. Limit one entry per reader per blog so click over to the other participating blogs below for your chance at additional entries! Giveaway ends 5 am eastern time on September 11th, 2012. Prize is sponsored by Levana and available to readers from all blogs participating in the Rosh Hashanah Blog Party. Prize can only be shipped within the US. 

 
I’m so excited to join the Rosh Hashanah Blogger Party! Special thanks to Miriam at overtimecook.com and Jessie from jessiekaufman.com for putting this all together!

I’ve tried to push the envelope for a fun apple challah recipe for the holidays! Adding pomegranates takes it over.the.edge! I may have had to break into it to taste! Yum! Yum! With a drizzle of extra honey, what could be better?

Feel free to use your favorite challah dough recipes – egg, water, whole wheat, or even store bought frozen. What I love about this recipe is it’s ease! I’m now working very fulltime, with a long commute to boot (and loving it all!). Baking challah weekly isn’t something I haven’t been able to work into the schedule, unfortunately! So when I was introduced to a  new item on the market, Viola! Hallah! I couldn’t have been more excited! Little mess, little fuss, great results!

Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!
 

Ingredients
  • Challah dough
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced smalled
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • egg white or honey

Instructions
  1. Sprinkle cinnamon on the diced apples and add pomegranates. If you have a hard time finding pomegranates, go ahead and use pomegranate flavored craisins!
  2. Roll challah dough into a long and thin strip. You can either use a rolling pin, or your finger tips!
  3. Add the apple and pomegranate mixture all over the dough. Along the long side of the dough, pinch the edges so the mixture is enclosed.
  4. Roll the dough into a round challah, place into a round tin, or on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Brush with egg white and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. While warm, drizzle with honey and enjoy!

 

Stop by and check out some of these amazing Rosh Hashanah themed recipes on the following blogs:

Challah and Bread:
Marlene of The Jewish Hostess made Apple Challah
Amanda of The Challah Blog made Pomegranate Challah
Shelley of The Kosher Home made Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!

Sides, Salads and Starters: 
Sarah of Food, Words, Photos made Tzimmes (Rosh Hashanah Carrots)
Tali of More Quiche, Please made Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Roberta and Lois of Kosher Eye made Simanim Salad
Chanie of Busy In Brooklyn made Pomegranate Coleslaw
Rivki of Life in the Married Lane made Super Salad
Hannah of Cooking Manager made Beets Marinated with Ginger and Garlic
Sina of The Kosher Spoon made Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous
Shulie of Food Wanderings made Rosh Hashanah Salad
Hindy of Confident Cook-Hesitant Baker made Warm Roasted Beets with Farro
Sarah of Kosher Street made Sweet Potato Apple Tzimmes
Main Dishes:
Jessie of Taste made Smoked Salmon
Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Chicken with Dates
Michele of Kosher Treif Cooking made Coconut Chicken Strips with two dipping sauces
Melinda of Kitchen Tested made Key Lime Glazed Duck
Stephanie and Jessica of The Kosher Foodies made Chicken Braised in Pomegranate
Liz of The Lemon Bowl made Beef Brisket
Estee of Anyone Interested? made Easy Breazy 5 Minute Brisket
Desserts and Drinks:
Miriam of Overtime Cook made Mini Apples and Honey Tarts
Laura of Pragmatic Attic made Fresh Ginger Honey Cake
Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Honey Caramel Apple Galette
Danielle of Hugs and Cookies xoxo made The World’s Best Rugelach
Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat made an Apple and Honey Cocktail
Nick of The Baking Process made Apple and Date Honey Squares
Lisa of The Monday Morning Cooking Club made Honey Chiffon Cake and Traditional Honey Cake
Leah of Cook Kosher made Pomegranate Ice Cream
Nossi of The Kosher Gastronome made Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel
This is the first of hopefully many exciting Holiday Blog Parties, so if you would like to join in the fun, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com.

Julia Child Turns 100!

Dear Julia,

Happy happy birthday! Today, would have been your 100th Birthday! What a legacy you left as a chef, author and tv personality.

In 1961, you penned the now classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking(1961), with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Roast chicken, Beef Bourguignon and Tarte Tatin your repertoire was endless! And that was just the beginning.

More than anything, dear Julia was your now famous “Never Apologize!” You are so right. We love to try new things in the kitchen, and sometimes they turnout not how we expected! Never Apologize!

Your are sorely missed, dear Julia. May your legacy continue. May your humor continue to inspire us in the kitchen, as your voice resonates!

Love,
The Kosher Home.

Here are a few links to some of Julia’s best recipes!
Fresh pita bread
Cream of leek and potato soup
Salad nicoise

Chocolate Mousse

For more info on Julia’s 100th Birthday, visit https://www.facebook.com/JuliaChild

ANZAC Biscuits!

ANZAC Biscuit

As an Ex-Pat, who still calls Australia home it was time I introduced my neighborhood to ANZAC Biscuits. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. It is said, that the wives of World War I soldiers would send these cookies to their husbands at war. Because they are egg and dairy free, they would not spoil and would travel beautifully.

Light and airy. Crispy and crunchy. What could be bad?

Although my recipe veered a little away from the original, the flavor and texture was incredible. Needless to say, my NY neighborhood loved them.

ANZAC Biscuits!

 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • ¾ cup fine shredded coconut
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut, flour and sugar together.
  2. Over low heat, melt the honey and margarine together in a saucepan. Mix the soda and the boiling water and add to the melted margarine and honey.
  3. Add honey mixture to the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheets lines with parchment paper.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes.
  5. Be sure to watch them carefully!
  6. They tend to spread, so be sure to leave lots of room between them on the cookies sheets.
  7. These freeze beautifully and can easily doubled and tripled.

Recipe loosely adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/anzac-biscuits-i/

 

 

Winter Wonderland Party!

I know, I’ve been super quiet around here the past few weeks. My Mum and Dad are in town, and we celebrated our daughters 4th birthday party last week!

While I know a party like this (with 24 kids!) seems so NOT on a budget. I can’t lie and say it didn’t cost. It did. But I have no doubt that it was much cheaper than taking 24 kids to a party venue (bowling, bounce house etc).

The trick is to be well prepared. Very well prepared. We decided to go for a Winter Wonderland theme about 18 months ago (when it was snowing and she LOVED it!) With a theme set, the brainstorming and research began! Some of my favorite party stylists and websites are, of course, Amy Atlas, Hostess with the Mostess, and so many more!
Inspiration is endless. What’s important is to know when to stop. To start, i picked a color pallete. White. Aqua. Silver. I considered touches of red, but felt it would seem too Christmas’y.

Now for the details:

ACTIVITIES: We had activities outside (scarf decorating, snowglobe making, snowball tossing, stamp painting, snowman figurine painting and a winter-themed scavenger hunt). I hope to write a post about the activities this week! Then, we all headed inside to cool off and the tablescape was revealed. 75+ snowflakes hung from the ceiling, and the fireplace was covered floor to ceiling!

FOOD: Where do you begin? Popcorn! Ice Cream! Cupcakes! Blueberry Parfaits! Cake Pops! Marshmellow Pops! Jello! All in the color theme of white, aqua and silver accents! Here are some pics of the food on the tablescape.

THE CAKE: I put a lot of thought into the cake. Can I get it to stand up? How will the hat stand on top? What will I use as a scarf? Decisions. Decisions. While searching for salad bowls one night, I had my own “UHU moment!” Salad bowls upside down look like the belly of the snowman! Sweet! While I’m no Cake Boss, I tried my hardest to get the end result looking fabulous! People couldn’t believe the cake! I had to quietly tell them that not EVERY part of the cake was real. Only a small portion. In the heatwave we had, I was worried about it all standing tall and not melting! Here is a picture of the final result:

EXTRAS: Finding the perfect party hat for the kids (and some fun-loving adults) was a tough endeavor. What does one do? Yup, we make our own! We bought a basic party hat, took it apart, traced it on cardstock, cut, take embellish and just like that, homemade party hats!

Want to check out more of the parties I have styled? They have been featured on Apartment Therapy Family here and here.

This was TRULY a labor of love. Everything was handmade, handcut, handpainted. There is no pricetag on this, or our daughter’s happiness (and surprise!) when she walked down the stairs in her PJ’s early that morning to see it all. THAT makes it all worthwhile.

Until next year….

Pom Spritz

There’s nothing nicer than coming home after a long, hot day to an ice cold drink!

You know what makes it taste better? A real glass. An adult glass. An adult beverage glass. Grab the champagne glasses that you haven’t used in years, clean it off and enjoy!

This recipe can either be made alcoholic, or virgin (non alcoholic!)

Add some pomegranate seeds for a great garnish, and a little surprise crunch.

Pom Spritz
1
 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Pomegranate Juice
  • ¾ cup sweet sparkly white wine or lemon soda

Instructions
  1. Pour into a glass, garnish with pomegranate seeds, put your feet up and enjoy!