4 Gorgeous Fruit-Filled DIY Tu B’ishvat Centerpieces

holiday table settings, Tu Bishvat Recipes and Table Settings, tu bishvat table settings

4 Gorgeous Fruit-Filled DIY Tu B’ishvat Centerpieces

2 Comments 27 December 2011

Enjoy this re-post from our creative Jewish Hostess Lillian Shomer! Don’t let Tu B’ishvat get swept by the wayside. This meaningful Jewish holiday celebrates the continual re-birth of the miraculous trees, flowers and exotic fruits  that we tend to take for granted. Add some Tu Bishvat fruit ‘n florals to your holiday week! Marlene M.
P.S.Tu Bishvat, The 15 0f Shevat 2013 begins in the evening of

Friday, January 25

and ends in the evening of

Saturday, January 26
We’re getting rid of your traditional bowl of fruit and flower arrangement this holiday. Actually, we’re combining them!
Yes, It’s hard to believe that Tu b’shvat is just around the corner in this bone chilling weather. The holiday of new blooms and fruit is probably more applicable in Israel rather than New York. But, we can always pretend, right? The answer is yes. So I decided to bring this holiday to our tables in a rather unusual way. I came up with something modern, easy to do, and best of all, affordable!
Floral spheres are a great way to update your Tu b’shvat table. To incorporate the holiday we used some of the 7 species in our arrangements and color coordinated them with the flowers. (i.e., pomegranates with red flowers, grapes with purple flowers). I always find that if you use one type of flower in an arrangement it just has a more expensive feel to it. I don’t suggest mixing too many kinds of flowers, but if you’re planning on doing so, try to stay in the same color family.
What you will need:
  • A vase – I got these gorgeous mirror vases in the flower market in New York. It was the great deal at only $6.00 a piece.

$6 Dollars!

  • Floral foam ball – I also got these in the flower market, (they have everything you need) but you can get them online at www.oasisfloral.com
  • Flowers – You guessed it, the flower market. They have great deals and always a great selection. I suggest you choose carnations as they are inexpensive and give a nice clean surface to your arrangement. I used them in my red “pomegranate” arrangement. Spider mums, hydrangeas or any other large flower will also look great and save you a lot of tedious work. If you opt for a small flower on a short stem, make sure you have a lot of time on your hands.
  • Fruit – We used three of the seven species for our table–Dates, pomegranates, and grapes. Apricots are not of the seven species, but it’s traditional to eat dried fruit on Tu b’shvat. And let’s face it, it adds a lot of color! You can get most of these in your local market. The only seasonal fruit are pomegranates.

  • Wood BBQ sticks
Directions:
1. Soak the floral foam in water. This will help keep your flowers fresh.
2. Take your flower of choice and cut the stems leaving about 1.5″ of the stem still in tact.
3. Put the foam in the vase and start sticking the flower stems in the foam! I suggest working the flowers in lines wither horizontally or vertically. This will give your centerpiece a clean and neat look.
4. Once you’ve covered the sphere with flowers, simply pierce a piece of fruit with the bbq stick on one end, and place the other end in the floral foam. continue doing this until you’ve reached your desired amount of fruit per centerpiece. In case you’re wondering, this is the holiday aspect of the arrangement!
It’s that simple.
How cute? An easy way to bring pizzazz back to your tu bishvat table.
So, when the weather outside is frightful, floral spheres make for a fun project that will bring spring into your home, and will certainly make for an interesting Tu b’ishvat dinner conversation! The great thing about this arrangement is that you can make it all year round with any flower. Be creative and have fun with it.
Special thanks to Silver Spoons on Avenue U in Brooklyn for the use of their magnificent table accessories!
Happy Holiday!
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An Easy and Elegant Hanukkah Table by Yvette Kassin

chanuka table settings, holiday table settings

An Easy and Elegant Hanukkah Table by Yvette Kassin

No Comments 24 December 2011

Yvette! What a gorgeous and elegant table! Its amazing what you created out of some martini glasses, candles, and silver boxes! Happy Hanukka! Marlene

“Hi Marlene, for my Hanukka table this year  I used nine silver gift boxes lined up in a row. The middle box was on a glass cube filled w jeweled beads to give it height for the shamash. On each box I put a blue martini glass filled with water and floated a candle in each one. I scattered silver stars, gelt and dreidles around the table.

Thank you! Yvette Kassin”

Hanukkah Table Ideas

Hanukkah Table Ideas
Hanukkah Table Ideas

Hanukkah Table IdeasSubscribe Now: and win a chance for a free copy of “Dare to be Different!” The fabulous NEW COOKBOOK by ROBIN JEMAL!!!

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Victoria Arnold’s Beautiful and Meaningful Hanukkah Table Setting

chanuka table settings, hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings

Victoria Arnold’s Beautiful and Meaningful Hanukkah Table Setting

1 Comment 20 December 2011

Thank you Victoria for your beautiful pictures! Although I love your Hanukka table centerpiece, runner and napkins, my favorite part of your post is your daughter’s inscription on your dads’s quilt. That’s really the whole purpose of our traditions and beautiful tables.Continuing our heritage! Beautiful. Thanks again for sharing! Marlene M.
“Hi Marlene!
The cool thing about my table is the only money I spent was on the Hanukkah gelt!The runner is some fabric that my son purchased many years ago when he decorated our Hanukkah table.A cool side note is that our oldest daughter had made a quilt for her dad out of the reverse of this fabric-white background with a star of David in the blue fabric.  On the back of it she had written out the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22-26) which her Dad had prayed on her every week on Shabbat before she got married.

The menorah was a gift our son had given his Dad for his 50th birthday.
It is called the tree of life.  Our son wanted his Dad to know how much he appreciates his Jewish heritage.

I also had loved the idea that I had seen on your website where someone had made a menorah out of individual candles placed in little cups of sugar.  I did one at every one’s place setting. I used shot glasses filled with sugar and had a bunch of extra tall birthday candles (left over from my father’s 90th  birthday).  I just picked out the blue ones.

I didn’t have enough gold chargers for everyone, so I just placed one under the plate at each end of the table.

Our napkins were navy blue ones that we also use for Passover.  I had some pretty blue velvet ribbon with gold trim.  I just cut a piece, wrapped it around the napkin and placed a piece of Hanukkah gelt on top of it.

The other candlesticks on the table are just a varied collection.  Some were wedding presents for my parents when they got married in 1941.

I placed the menorah on a mirrored tile (I like as much candle light as possible, as well as the reflected light). I left the blinds open so the candlelight would also reflect off the window.

I sprinkled Hanukkah gelt down the runner.

I added keeled place card holders at each place for sparkle.

The pictures on the wall in the background are a collection of family wedding pictures.

I will send pictures of the fabric and the quilt when I get home from work.

The dreidel was given to our family a long time ago by my husband’s father. Victoria Arnold.”

 

menorah,

 

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10 Jewish Women Bloggers and Kosher Recipe Blogs That You Should Follow:

chanuka table settings, hanukka recipes and tablesettings, kosher recipes

10 Jewish Women Bloggers and Kosher Recipe Blogs That You Should Follow:

3 Comments 17 December 2011

 

 

 

Subscribe Now: and win a chance for a free copy of “Dare to be Different!” The fabulous NEW COOKBOOK by ROBIN JEMAL!!!

 

Dear Hostesses,

Check out these  fabulous Jewish Blogging women who work very hard to bring us Jewish holiday highlights, decor and kosher recipes from all over the world. Here’s a roundup of some of them!

1- The Jewish Hostess- The Jewish Hostess is a place for all Jewish Women to be inspired by one another. My special love is displaying gorgeous pictures of Jewish Holiday Table Settings and parties  that women send me from all over the world.  Of course, gourmet kosher recipes are also a huge part of our  holiday meals and you can find tons of ideas for holiday and weeknight menus on The Jewish Hostess, many with a Sephardic and middle eastern flair!

 

2- Learn how to make garlic knots out of challah dough! Great to use these soft  challah knots for sandwiches on Shabbat!

Click on the video below from the famous kosher cook Jamie Geller from Joy of Kosher.

garlic-knot-thumb challah dough

 

3-Kosher Shopaholic- Friday night chicken soup recipe and dreidel shaped noodles! YUM!

On Kosher Shopaholic you will also find regular sales and deals, coupons, money savings tips, and reviews of products that interest the Jewish consumer.

 

shabbos chanukah soup2shabbos chanukah soup3 shabbos chanukah soup

 

4- For more great holiday deals,  coupon, freebie, or money-saving
idea,
visit my Yeshivah of Flatbush elementary school classmate, Susan Ehrenfeld Sharf over at Daily Cheapskate. She scouts the web for deals like this Barnes and Nobles 30% discount ! Who doesn’t love a good deal???

 

 

 


Print your coupon for 30% off one item, in-store, at Barnes and Noble.  Good until 12/24/11.

And don’t forget about the $10 off $20 coupon for toys and games at Barnes and Noble.

5- Check out Esti Berkowitz’s blog at Prime Time Parenting for the latest deals on gourmet kosher products and products for  growing Jewish families. Esti has been connected with brands and bloggers from around the world since 2008!

6- Get some GREAT kosher recipes from The Kosher Blogger Margo Sugarman who lives in Israel. Try her lowfat, low carb latkes all year round!

 7-I’ve got to try to make this EDIBLE MENORAH! HOW PEFECT IS THIS HANUKKA IDEA ??

From my friends at COOK KOSHER.com

8- Check out this crafty no-mess DIY post by Creative Jewish Mom over in Israel. Your kids can learn how to make their own crayon resist

Hanukkah wrapping paper! Gorgeous and so personal!

Crayon resist gift packaging+tags

9- Learn how to make Skirt Steak Diablo with Zahava from Kosher Camembert.  Zahava has been featured in Saveur, PhotoGrazing, Food Gawker, and Tastespotting.

 

11-WAIT!!  I have five more great blogs!! Busy in Brooklyn should keep you clicking!.  Check out this Hanukkah snow globe!

12- Please visit  The Kosher Foodies.  You will love their healthy recipe for Lentil and Brown Rice Burgers!!!!!!

 

13- Fashion- Isha has the chicest picks of fashion and style for every Jewish woman. Enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

14- Koshereye has all the latest info on all of the top kosher products on the market. Check them out!

Subscribe Now: and win a chance for a free copy of “Dare to be Different!” The fabulous NEW COOKBOOK by ROBIN JEMAL!!!


 

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Queen Esther Reigns and Entertains With Regal Purim Decor!

at home, parties, purim recipes, baskets, and decor, purim table settings

Queen Esther Reigns and Entertains With Regal Purim Decor!

No Comments 17 December 2011

 

The Queen Reigns & Entertains!

 

Why not go all out this Purim for your special guests? Details, details, details– that’s what it’s all about! Pull out your finest wines and most creative ideas, and share the celebration with special friends and loved ones.
Your guests’ eyes deserve a feast as well! Achieve a regal and festive effect through antique golden dishware with matching glasses and utensils. The bright gold carving on each contrast and mirror blood red tablecloth with intricate details of its own.
Stained glass lanterns and candles provide a warm, inviting glow, beckoning to your guests to sit and enjoy each other’s company in front of the flickering light. A variety of masquerade masks and handmade Hamentashen help lighten the mood and bolster the festive atmosphere. Happy Purim!



Lanterns and masks from Pier1 Imports (pier1imports.com)
Design by Salut Event Planning (
salutparties.com)
Hamentashen by One More Bite Signature Desserts, 646 207 7019
Photography by Morris Antebi Photography (http://www.morrisantebi.com/
)


 

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Wishing You A Purim Table Setting with Power and Panache!

holiday table settings, purim recipes, baskets, and decor, purim table settings

Wishing You A Purim Table Setting with Power and Panache!

5 Comments 11 December 2011

 

To all of my Jewish Hostesses- Can you believe its almost Purim ?

I love the holiday of Purim because it really reminds me that  as women that we can all be mini Queen Esthers in our very own unique way.

 Just think about it- Queen Esther was literally able to influence HISTORY and go against the grain by using  her own unique intelligence, wit, and sophistication.  

For me, the best part of being a “Jewish Hostess” is that we all own certain “powers”, just like Queen Esther had. We all own the power to rise up to the occasion and help fill community needs.  We own the power to inspire greatness in our spouses and our children. 

We own the power to set the tone for a  happy family and holiday  atmosphere in our homes.

Its time to start using, and re-using our hidden “inner strengths”.

For some of us this  might seem overwhelming. Lets begin with our very own Purim Seudah!

1-Start planning your Purim menu, (I  will start listing recipes soon…) Your family’s tastebuds never forget your delicious Purim delicacies!

2- Begin thinking about your joyful holiday table. Mental snapshots of your memorable holiday tables will be stored somewhere in your kids’ brains  and will be dug up again when its their turn to create special holiday moments for their children.  

Don’t be so serious with your table style and I am the first one to talk! I have to make an extreme effort to be a fun person, just ask my kids! 

Just remember- Use YOUR OWN STYLE and let your imagination run free with your color schemes and themes. Purim is special because its a mitzvah to be JOYFUL and lighthearted, no matter what serious matters that we all might be going through.

Maybe you will be inspired by this little collage of tropical inspiration that I whipped up- just start with a  base color that you are in the mood for- and layer it on! I can’t wait to see the table ideas that you come up with!   Marlene

Juliska Classic Bamboo Platter, 20″
$198 – bloomingdales.com

Kim Seybert “Tile” Napkin
$28 – bloomingdales.com

Nason Moretti
$98 – barneys.com
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Happy First Birthday- Baby Susan!

birthday parties, Dessert Buffet Bars, kids, parties

Happy First Birthday- Baby Susan!

12 Comments 10 December 2011

Meet my talented niece Ruth Gindi! You may think that this party was personally decorated by Amy Atlas herself, but Ruth single handedly pulled off this fabulous DIY  first birthday party for her little daughter in less than two weeks. When I was a kid, I was lucky if I got a birthday sponge cake layered with cherry and pineapple jam-(why on earth did my mom keep choosing those um….. yummy flavors??), and some balloons plastered onto the ceiling, but it seems that those memories are fading fast as we speed up to 2011!!!

Modern moms like Ruth Gindi take the cake when it comes to entertaining nowadays!! Ruth whisked through many gourmet kosher cookbooks for her party menu,  but mentioned that she was especially inspired by Kosher Elegance, the new gorgeous cookbook by Efrat Libfroind. She also personally printed out all of the party invites and girly food printables at home on her printer.

So excited to post these pictures- thanks Ruth! Gorgeous job!!!  Love, Auntie Marlene

“Hey Aunt Marlene !

Here are a few pictures from my daughter’s 1st birthday party. The theme was bows of course! And everything was decorated pink and white.
The menu was kid friendly as well as adult friendly…
roasted corn salad, exotic cabbage salad,
veggie burgers with chummus, wheatberry salad,
fig,goat cheese and carmelized onion pizzas, tri color tomato salad ,
roasted veggie wraps, Fred’s salad,
tri color sandwich stacks,
sambusak, spanach jiben Syrian recipe for spinach and cheese muffins), bow- tie noodles, baby pizzas
strawberry yogurt with granola, and berry salad.
Some of my desserts were:
cheesecake pops, chocolate covered strawberries,
bow shaped chocolate lollypops, pink rice krispy treats,
french macaroons, merengues, mini cupcakes,
White chocolate fruit cream dream, and much more!!
I purchased downloads on Etsy.com for all the food labels, straw flags and giveaway boxes.
 I also wrapped each glass cube or vase I was using in pink ribbon and finished it off with a bow to carry out the theme.
The number 1 centerpiece was made by the new Ave P and East 3rd florist. He was very well priced!
I had so much fun planning and  decorating this party!! Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Cupcakes by Alexia Benzaken  (646) 725-3135
Cake cookies merengues macaroons by Margalit Dweck
Photography by Vicki Ades Photography

p.s. Ruth happens to be selling gorgeous handcrafted baby bows- all colors and styles! Perfect for your little girl or as a gift! Contact Ruth at "the chic boutique" (917)596-9422


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Syrian Style Hameen Cholent by Judy Shacalo

kosher main dish recipes, kosher meat recipes, kosher soup recipes, shabbat recipes, Sukkot Recipes

Syrian Style Hameen Cholent by Judy Shacalo

No Comments 10 December 2011

Thank you Judy Shacalo for sharing this delicious hearty Sephardic style cholent recipe with us! Perfect for any winter Shabbat meal!
Check out this  Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker on Amazon! Only $58!

 Syrian Style Hameen Cholent by Judy Shacalo

  1. Chop 3 large onions (4 if medium size) and cut into chunks.
  2. Saute onions until brown.
  3. Add 1 package of flanken meat with the bone marrow bones.
  4. Saute until brown, then cover with water and let boil for one hour.
  5. In the meantime take one cup of cholent mix beans, cover with water and boil for 20 minutes. Drain beans.
  6. When meat has cooked for one hour, place at bottom of crock pot; put beans on top of meat.
  7. Wash and peel a pack of fingerling potatoes and 2 medium size sweet potatos, place on top of beans.
  8. Spice with 2 tbsp of allspice, a dash of black pepper and 1 tblspoon of chicken consome.
  9. Place 6-8 raw eggs on top and cover with water.
  10. Let cook all night until Shabbat lunch and enjoy!

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Gold is Here to Stay for Your Holiday Table Top!!!

chanuka table settings, hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings, mother's day tables, passover seder tables, purim table settings, rosh hashanah table settings, shabbat table settings, shavuot table settings

Gold is Here to Stay for Your Holiday Table Top!!!

4 Comments 09 December 2011

 

Thanks Karen Tawil for sharing  your GOLD table setting for your holiday table! 

I’ve been getting tired of the same old  silver, and I’m so ready for for some matte and polished GOLD  inspiration! Marlene

“Hi Marlene, I’m loving all the brushed gold that I’ve been seeing, so I got in the mood to set my table using gold accessories,which I haven’t used in a while. My house is contemporary so a lot of my old things are too traditional. I updated with a few new items, and as they say, “mix the old with the new”.

By the way the tablecloths are all custom sizes which my daughter Rachel is selling. I have two square tables and she got me gorgeous 90 by 90 squares which I have a hard time finding in a store. So to all the Jewish Hostesses, bring  out  your gold table decor, because  “Gold is Back”!!! Karen T :-)”

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Its Time to Vote for The Hanukka Table That You Love The Most!

chanuka table settings, hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings

Its Time to Vote for The Hanukka Table That You Love The Most!

74 Comments 07 December 2011

Enjoy these Hanukkah tables from Dec 2011!

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER WIHH MOST VOTES!!! RAQUEL FALLAS!!!! #2!

The treasure trove of  Hanukka tables sent in by our amazing Jewish Hostesses are SO unique and display the wonderful energy and passion that was  put into their holiday atmosphere. I’v e become obsessed with each holiday table scape  and I’m amazed at  how each fabulous hostess reinvented the traditional Hanukka holiday table. The Jewish Hostess is all about each and every one of us and how we can all be inspired from one another!

Thanks so much to Lorraine Kasavi, Raquel Ralack, Paula BenZaken, Kim Dabah, Raquel Habert, Lori Mizrahi, Esther Sasson, Lorene Sasson, Sarah Nuseiri, Sheila Gindi, Yvette Kassin, Michelle Dayan, Rochelle Cohen,Victoria Arnold,Doris Dweck, Barbara Franco, and Vicky Cohen for taking the time to photograph and share your  special holiday with The Jewish Hostess readers.

Let your imagination run free with all of these table setting ideas. There are no rules when it comes to tweaking your own theme for your table top. Make your own brand new table statement by reinventing your old color combinations. Adding new textures such as lucite, glass, gorgeous soft flowers, feathers, and fabrics are all possibilities for new table inspirations from the Jewish Hostess Hanukka pics on this site. Enjoy and bookmark these pages!

Please COMMENT BELOW with your favorite and most creative tablescape.

Although I LOVE THEM ALL only one lady can win this  FREE copy of Kosher Elegance by Efrat Libfroind- A $39 value.!

 WHICH TABLE  BELOW INSPIRED YOU MOST OF ALL?

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW AND HELP CHOOSE A WINNER!

1- Loraine Kasavi’s Mahjong Lunch Table-

2- Raquel Fallas’s Inspiring Hanukka Table:

3- NEWLYWED PAULA BENZAKEN LIGHTS UP HANUKKAH WITH A MAGNIFICENT HANUKKAH TABLE:

4- Kim Dabah’s Fabulous Hanukka Dessert Table:

5- HAPPY HANUKA BY RAQUEL HABERT!

6- Lori Mizrachi’s Sparkly Hanukka Table:

Hanukkah Table Settings

7: Two Beautiful Hanukka Tables from Esther Sassoon in Israel:

8: What a Hanukka Table! By Lorene Sasson

Hanukkah Table, table ideas,

9: Sarah Nuseiri’s Decadent Hanukka Table:

10: Sheila Gindi’s Impressive Hanukka Table!:

Hanukkah Table Settings

11: Easy and Elegant by Yvette Kassin:

Hanukkah Table Ideas

12: Michelle Dayan-My First Hanukka Party:

Hanukkah Party Table Ideas

13- Rochelle Cohen’s Sparkly Hanukka Table Setting!

14- Victoria Arnold’s beautiful and Meaningful Hanukka Table:

15-Party Planner Doris Dweck’s Impressive Turquoise and Gold Hanukka Table:

16- Hanukka 2011 with the Cohens! by Vicky Cohen:

17- Barbara Franco-Modern Gold ‘n Bold on Hanukka!

 

 CLICK HERE FOR MORE LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE HANUKKA TABLES!! 

GIVE ALL OF OUR JEWISH HOSTESSES A ROUND OF APPLAUSE!!!

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER WITH THE MOST VOTES!!! RAQUEL FALLAS!!!! #2!

AND THE WINNER OF THE COOKBOOK IS FRIEDA KATZ!!!!!

 

 

 FREE STUFF!!!

 

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Salmon with Crushed Pistachios and Grated Lemon Peel

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, kosher fish recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes

Salmon with Crushed Pistachios and Grated Lemon Peel

2 Comments 06 December 2011

Welcome to another Monday morning with the question of the day- “What’s for dinner???”

This easy salmon dish is healthy and gourmet too! Try adding it to your your Hanuka menu!

Salmon with Crushed Pistachios and Grated Lemon Peel:

  • 4 salmon fillets or steaks, about 6 ounces each, about 1 1/4 inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon peel
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios

Directions
1 Preheat the oven to 475°F.
2 Place the salmon in a baking dish. Mix the olive oil, mustard, and lemon peel and spread this mixture evenly over the surface of the fish.
3 Sprinkle with pepper and scatter the nuts evenly on top. Roast for about 15 minutes, depending on thickness, or until nearly cooked through but still darker in the thickest part of the center.

this recipe is by Ronnie Fein 

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Yummy Hanukka Cupcakes!

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings, kosher dessert recipes

Yummy Hanukka Cupcakes!

No Comments 05 December 2011

 

Thank  you Esther  Chrem of  “Cupcake Wars” for sharing your Hanukah recipe for  jelly filled cupcakes! Being a judge at cupcake wars I was gained about 10 pounds tasting all the cupcakes, and I kid you not! These Hanukka cupcake were delicious!!!!  A secret Hanukkah tip from Esther- lightly fry each donut in a pan before serving!!!

Enjoy! Marlene

Jelly Donut Cupcakes for Hanukka

Makes approximately 12 cupcakes.

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raspberry, strawberry, or grape jam
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. In a mixing cup, combine the soymilk, vinegar, and cornstarch and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Create a well in the center of the flour for the wet ingredients and mix gently.
Fill the liners 3/4 full with batter. Place a heaping spoonful of jam into the center of each cupcake, being careful not to overfill. The jam will sink into the bottom of the cupcake during baking.
Bake cupcakes for 21 to 23 minutes. Cool them completely on a wire rack, and then set uncovered overnight in a cool, dry place. This will make the tops slightly crispy, like a donut crust. Using a sifter, sprinkle the donuts with powdered sugar and serve with coffee.
Recipe courtesy of  http://www.vegnews.com/

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My 10 Minute Tu Bishvat Centerpiece- Easy and Beautiful by The Jewish Hostess

DIY, Tu Bishvat Recipes and Table Settings, tu bishvat table settings

My 10 Minute Tu Bishvat Centerpiece- Easy and Beautiful by The Jewish Hostess

5 Comments 05 December 2011

:

Subscribe Now: and win a chance for a free copy of  Amy Atlas’s New Book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It!

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE! 

 

 

This Shabbat,when my daughter’s friend took a double take at my colorful fruit and flower dining room centerpiece, my daughter explained, “Yeah, my mom is The Jewish  Hostess…. check out our Tu Bishvat table.”

“WOW- WHEN IS TU BISHVAT  YOUR MOTHER IS SO CUTE! HOW COOL!” Was her friend Danielle’s response.

Tu Bishvat is a celebration of the new trees and fruits of the land of Israel. It has loosely evolved into a Jewish Earth Day and celebration of nature. Its a moment to reflect upon the blessings of our natural surroundings as many of us race through our hectic city lives.

For many years on Tu Bishvat, my kids would come home with a crafty Tu Bishvat  green tree made of tissue paper, I’d buy some dried fruits pre-mixed on a plate, we would say the Shiv’ah minim berachot,  and hallelujah lets get ready for Purim.

I’ve recently discovered that Tu Bishvat was an exciting holiday for kids way back in Syria, which was my grandparents home town. Actually, Tu Bishvat was even more exciting than Purim  in which the adults celebrated the Megillah holiday by passing around the typical Syrian pastries to fellow neighbors and friends.

In Syria, weeks before Tu Bishvat arrived, the older women and mothers would gather beautiful fabrics and start sewing velvet bags with a drawstring for their excited children. Within these bags the adults would gather exotic fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, peaches, and plums  that the children would have  to savor on the holiday of Tu Bishvat. Each child would have a unique  bag that they would bring to school on Tu Bishvat and show off  and trade their tropical treasures with their friends. The kids would sleep with the bag tied to their bed post for several weeks until the seemingly magical bagful of  sweet holiday memories was empty. Many of our Syrian Jewish community members who have recently arrived from Syria have saved their hand sewn Tu Bishvat bags till today.

As our many of us barely know how to sew, and thankfully we  only need to go to the corner grocery store to pick up a pineapple, this tradition has fallen by the wayside. That doesn’t  mean that we shouldn’t find ways to make this Jewish holiday meaningful and memorable in our own way.

This year, my family agreed  to set our Shabbat table several days before Tu Bishvat arrived. As my kids are getting into my Jewish Hostess table settings, each one pitched in with ideas. This past Thursday I decided to  take  a trip into NYC with the older kids to check out the flower market on 28 Street between 6 and 7th. Walking into each store is another adventure, and I knew I couldn’t go wrong purchasing any of the beautiful florals that abound on that wonderful street.

Looking at my centerpiece, I could really tell you that I sat with dirt, a shovel and wood crates and assembled these beautiful hyacinth and grass plants all by myself, but I have to be honest with you. They were sitting right there on the sidewalk outside the store, all perfect and ready to go. My daughters and I chose 2 grass plants ($15 each) that were planted into wood crates, and 2 hyacinth plants(about $20 each). We decided that we would figure out how we would set the table later on. I bargained a little, asked the guy to re-pot some of the plants that were a little wilty looking, paid, got the car from the parking lot, pulled up, and he happily put the plants into the back seat. Check out Paradise Plants website HERE. 

On Friday morning, I was so excited to set my table, I almost forgot to cook for Shabbat. I tried several variations, but in less than 10 minutes, I placed the 2 grass boxes one in front of the other and perched a glass cake plate in the middle atop the wood edges of the crates. The whole family mounded some pretty grapes, kumquats, pears, etc.in the center. (Ouri’s Fruit  on Avenue U in Brooklyn is getting in their exotic fruits for Tu Bishvat this week, so I will make another trip over there on Monday.) I then placed the 2 gorgeous smelling hyacinth plants on either side.

As for the  hot pink flowers on my lime green napkins…… although I was contemplating buying up all of these gorgeous artificial flowers myself, I have decided to share this great find with my Jewish Hostesses. They were about $2. each, and you can find them about 3 or 4 stores to the left of Paradise Plants. (I’m sorry, I threw out their business card!)

Love these hot pink flowers!

I’m so glad that I set the table and photographed it before my husband came home because as soon as he entered the house, he started sneezing and coughing, claimed a migraine, and blamed his brand new allergy on my poor perfumed hyacinth plants. Within minutes my plants were banished to the outside freezing windowsill, so if any of you know my cellphone, then just text me and I will give you permission to snatch them from  my front porch!

My Banished Hyacinth Plants

In case you were wondering, Here is my new centerpiece sans the hyacinth plants:

Send in your Tu Bishvat centerpiece or  new fruit arrangement idea for a chance to win Paula Pryke’s Gorgeous New Book, Decorating with Flowers!
Decorating with Flowers: Classic and Contemporary Arrangements

Take your pics- an iPhone works the best! and just click here to email me!

 

This year, we will have a Tu Bishvat Seudah, make Tu Bishvat Sangria, Almond Date Truffles, Shiva Minim Wheatberry Salad, talk about the environment and the earth, and enjoy the taste of beautiful springtime in the midst of a mid-winter February here in NYC.

I hope you will too!

I’ve also compiled a list of  10 EASY AND GREAT THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS ON TU BISHVAT. Check it out HERE.

To learn more about the UNFORGETTABLE holiday of Tu Bishvat, CLICK HERE.

Happy Tu Bishvat! Marlene M.

 

 

 

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