DIY Classy Floral Napkin Rings by Lauren Avital

at home, DIY, holiday table settings

DIY Classy Floral Napkin Rings by Lauren Avital

3 Comments 13 January 2012


Dear Lauren,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your creativity with The Jewish Hostess readers. I’m loving how you took  inexpensive shower curtain rings and transformed them into stunning napkin rings that could easily sell for $25+ on sites like Barney’s NY.  The great thing about these napkin rings is that you can use them several times and as soon as you get into another napkin ring mood, you can go ahead and create a brand new color pop themed dozen. Great Job, LAUREN!!!! Marlene

p.s. Attn: all Jewish Hostess readers: This site is for YOU and meant to feature all of YOUR Jewish Hostess talents! Please share your great recipes, table settings and DIY photos HERE!

Hi Marlene,

I am always inspired by your blog, I love how it is a hub for creativity and truly exemplifies the commitment women have to their families and home.

My husband was away this week and I decided to make projects to keep me busy.  I was walking around Ikea and found these Orchid flowers ($1.99) a stem and immediately thought they would be perfect for napkin rings! I wanted the lucite look for the actual ring but didn’t want to spend a lot, so I headed over to the bathroom department and found a pack of 12 clear shower curtain rings for ($1.79) I put it in my cart and said “I’ll figure out how to attach it when I get home.”  I passed by Lana’s Fabric for some matching green ribbon and I was all set.  I cut the orchid in half so that it wasn’t so overpowering for the napkin. To hold the gap in the center of the ring to the flower I used electrical tape that I found in my toolbox because it was most pliable and adhesive for a strong and steady hold.  Wrapped some ribbon to cover the tape and sealed it with hot glue – Voila!  I am so happy with the finished product – under $1.50 each you can’t go wrong!

Lauren Avital

Pretty Napkin Rings

Beautiful Orchids Napkin Ring

Beautiful Flower Napkin Ring

Orchid Napkin Rings

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A Tasty Moroccan Tu Bishvat Table From Hana Itzhaki in LA

Tu Bishvat Recipes and Table Settings, tu bishvat table settings

A Tasty Moroccan Tu Bishvat Table From Hana Itzhaki in LA

1 Comment 12 January 2012

Thank you Hana- So happy to connect with Jewish Hostesses in LA!! Thanks for sending in you Tu Bishvat table! Your menu is so similar to our Syrian appetizers- its really a small world after all! Marlene M.

“Dear Marlene,

“Hi Marlene,

For Tu B’Shevat this year  I prepared a table full of small plates that centered around fresh and dried fruits, nuts, olives and an assortment of Moroccan pastellim. A simple olive green table linen displayed an enormous bouquet of fragrant purple blossoms (I honestly don’t know what they’re called. The tag read “Costco stock bouquet”), The variety of colored fresh and dried fruit plates served as festive decoration and sweet snacks. For more from the menu and a link to a great citrus salad recipe visit . Hana Itzhaki.”


Photo via

Recipe for Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar

Recipe via Bon Appetit

Attention Hostesses- Grand Marnier listed below  is not recommended as a kosher liquor as per the Star K website- does anyone have a good idea for a substitute? 


  • 7 each of grapefruits, navel oranges, tangerines, and clementines
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 8 kumquats, thinly sliced (optional)


  • Cut peel and white pith from all fruit except kumquats. Slice clementines crosswise into 1/4” slices. Cut between membranes of remaining peeled fruit to release segments. Mix fruits in a large bowl. Add Grand Marnier, if using; toss gently to incorporate. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
  • Combine sugar and mint in a small food processor. Pulse until mint is finely chopped. Transfer fruit to a large bowl, scatter kumquat slices over, if using, and sprinkle salad with 2 Tbsp. mint sugar. Serve remaining mint sugar alongside.


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Sara Kasten’s Freilechen Purim

purim recipes, baskets, and decor

Sara Kasten’s Freilechen Purim

No Comments 12 January 2012

Sara- Thank you so much for your continual inspiration on the holidays! Marlene
“Dear Marlene,  I am enclosing pictures of my shelach monos
for this year.  The little ceramic house lifts up and the actual shelach monos are inside.
The centerpieces were made from cardboard mask faces purchased at a 99c store and at party city. I added the embellishments and the base.”
Sara Kasten







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40 Cloves of Garlic ‘n Chicken-Passover Recipe for 40 Years in the Desert!

kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, kosher recipes, Passover Recipes

40 Cloves of Garlic ‘n Chicken-Passover Recipe for 40 Years in the Desert!

No Comments 11 January 2012


 Andre Balog, who taught kosher cooking in New York City, adds a mixture of fresh green herbs this traditional French recipe. He considers this a symbolic Passover dish, since the Jews wandered for forty years in the desert before reaching the Promised Land. The garlic flavor is mild because the cloves are cooked whole. Be careful not to slice or otherwise damage the cloves; that releases an enzyme that produces the intense garlic flavor.

Jewish Hostess note: adding garlic to your Jewish holiday recipes also adds huge health benefits for all of your family members and guests.

  •  Garlic has been proven to reduce blood pressure, 
  • It’s antibacterial effects can ward off a number of bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptococcal meningitis, Candida albican and Staphylococcus. The problem with most antibiotics is that bacteria develops resistance to them, however this is not the case with garlic. 
  • Garlic naturally increases antioxidant enzymes  in your blood and can help against the damaging effects of nicotine and slows the aging process of your liver .
  •  A garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer
  • Click HERE for more garlic nutritional benefits written by the New York Times.

You can get more delicious recipes from this fabulous Passover Cookbook-just click below.

40 Cloves of Garlic ‘n Chicken Passover Recipe

       Makes: 6 servings

  • 4 heads garlic, yielding 40 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • One 4-pound chicken
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  1. Separate and peel but do not chop the cloves of garlic.
  2. Combine the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Roll the garlic cloves in this mixture and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Place the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil in a Dutch oven, reserving a little to sprinkle over the chicken. Place the chicken in the Dutch oven, then sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper over the top. Place the garlic around the chicken.
  5. Mix the parsley, chives, basil, thyme, cilantro, chervil and bay leaf Sprinkle over the chicken.
  6. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove the bay leaf and serve.
  7. Subscribe NOW to win this PASSOVER cookbook of the month the NYT Passover Cookbook.
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An Amazing Earthy Table Setting by Sari Tawil

holiday table settings, thanksgiving table settings

An Amazing Earthy Table Setting by Sari Tawil

No Comments 11 January 2012

Dear Sari, Thank you SO much for sending in your Thanksgiving table setting! I know that somehow November faded into January but I just want to say that your table setting is so pretty and your table decor ideas can be used until the buds start blooming for Springtime!

Thanks again! Marlene M.

“I usually don’t do this my kids made me lol.

I wanted a earthy look so I worked around my beige dishes, burlap fabric as my cloth which cost $10.00, I overlaid a runner from Blossom Blu. My chargers were from Amazing Savings & cloth napkins were from Home Goods which were $12.00 for a dozen. My big splurge were the napkin rings from Kitchen Caboodles which I couldn’t resist… My best were the acorns from Wegman’s which have a cinnamon scent.” Sari Tawil



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Timeless Rustic Table Decor by Jane Choueka

thanksgiving table settings

Timeless Rustic Table Decor by Jane Choueka

No Comments 10 January 2012


Dear Jane, 

Thank you for being such a good friend and being so patient with me. I know you sent this pic way back in November, but even though it’s January 10, I just want to say that  I LOVE your Thanksgiving table and I am so happy to share it with The Jewish Hostess readers!! Your table decor ideas are truly inspiring for all year round. Its a great reminder for all of us to just take a look outside and bring some of mother nature indoors. A trip to Amazing Savings certainly adds the perfect color and finishing touch! Keep sending your pics! Love, Marlene

“For my Thanksgiving table, I went with a simple fall look.. I started by buying a piece of fabric in a terra cotta color and used it as a runner. I bought napkins with leaves,  and white rectangular plates from Amazing Savings.  I placed them over a round straw colored placemat. For the finishing touch I cut branches from a tree in my backyard and used it as a  centerpiece.” Jane Choueka

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Esther Sassoon’s Zebra ‘n Stripes Purim Party Theme

purim recipes, baskets, and decor, purim table settings

Esther Sassoon’s Zebra ‘n Stripes Purim Party Theme

1 Comment 10 January 2012

Dear Esther, Thanks for connecting all the way from Israel! Love your Purim table, and keep sharing! Marlene

“Hi Marlene, Happy Purim! Here are some pictures of my purim table. The theme this year is zebra. My kids are dressed up as zebras and we had fun with the zebra print on my table! I also made zebra printed cookies for mishloach manot for all the kids!  Have a wonderful day!”

Esther Sassoon

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An Authentic Cowboy Purim Seudah

purim recipes, baskets, and decor, purim table settings

An Authentic Cowboy Purim Seudah

1 Comment 09 January 2012

Thanks Lisa for these great party pics- not only is this rodeo theme fun for Purim, but we can get inspiration here for a boy’s (and girl’s) birthday party or barbecue. I love how only you infused the Syrian mazza onto your Aztec/Mexican blankets! America is such a melting pot of  food and heritage! Looks like you all had a great time on the ranch! Marlene

Hi Marlene, These pics are from my friend Kim Tawil’s cowboy themed Purim party! Lisa Cohen




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Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

breakfast recipes, kosher bread recipes, kosher dessert recipes, kosher recipes, mothers day recipes, shavuot recipes and ideas

Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

2 Comments 08 January 2012

I originally found this whole wheat banana bread recipe on the King Arthur website. I kept experimenting and trying to make it taste good while making it low fat and sugar free. When I tried using Earth Balance instead of butter, it really was still not low fat, and it had a bitter after- taste. I decided to try applesauce instead of the butter and it added a nice sweetness to the recipe while still keeping the banana bread moist. I also substituted brown rice syrup for the brown sugar  and it was slightly less sweet but delicious.  I doubled the amounts, and baked this delicious healthy breakfast bread into mini paper loafs and sent it over to my married kids so that they keep coming back for more…….

If you use brown rice syrup in this recipe you will taste the delicate sweetness but you will not experience the sudden spike in blood sugar caused by desserts made with regular sugar .  Natural, and made with fermented brown rice, brown rice syrup is a great source of manganese, iron, potassium and B- group vitamins. Read more about Brown Rice syrup HERE. Enjoy! Marlene


Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf


    Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf Recipe:
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup (or 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ or 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the applesauce and brown rice syrup until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, and bananas, beating until well combined. The mixture will be fairly smooth, with some scattered small chunks of banana.
  3. Beat in the honey and eggs.
  4. Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring until smooth.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the bread for 50 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  7. *All ovens vary in temperatures so please use your discretion with baking times! Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes; then remove it from the pan, and set it on a rack to cool completely.
  8. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 to 18 servings.


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Lucie Levy’s Color Infused Purim Table 2012

purim recipes, baskets, and decor, purim table settings

Lucie Levy’s Color Infused Purim Table 2012

10 Comments 07 January 2012

Thank you Lucie Levy- So glad to post this Purim table just as we are running to go listen to the Megilllah! Love your  table- such happy colors! Marlene

“Hi Marlene,

I rented an orange tablecloth and colorful napkins from B and B Party rentals. The round assorted color place mats and wine holders are from Target .  Mini shot glasses are from Closeout Connection. Turquoise vases are from Botanica Florist and my place cards are wedged on a cork screw. Happy Purim!” Lucie Levy





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Fun and Functional: Putting a Home Office to Work

at home, kosher recipes

Fun and Functional: Putting a Home Office to Work

No Comments 07 January 2012

Thank you Lenore Cohen for sharing your DIY home office tips with us!

Attention all Jewish Hostesses! Lenore has many talents! Check out her website!

By Lenore Cohen

When we moved into our new apartment, my husband insisted that I keep my design skills out of his “home office”, his way of giving me “less work to do”. How considerate! Yet as the first year passed the room became steadily harder to look at, a constant source of mess, disorganization, and just plain yuck. Needless to say, that door stayed closed most of the time. More importantly, though, the room wasn’t being used to it’s full potential. An organized workspace is the physical equivalent of writing a business plan. It forces you to get organized yourself, be more productive, and do better work. So as a gift for our first wedding anniversary, I decided to give the room a complete overhaul. Following is a step by step “how-to”.

As you’ll see, with a little creative thinking, redesigning a room doesn’t need to break the bank.

1)My husband runs the website for a retail store. Products he needs to add to the site used to sit in piles all over the floor, messy, forgotten and collecting dust. I got these bookshelves from Ikea for just $25 each; I like the way they resemble retail store shelving. They were easy enough to put together, and I hired a handyman for just $20 to mount them safely to the wall.  Now it’s easier to see all the products on the to do list, and the room is neater and easier to clean.

2) The “Money Wall”. The most attention grabbing part of the room– I created a wallpaper using foreign currency and some self-adhesive foam core boards. First I ordered a pack of ten boards from Next I printed out foreign currency from about 12 different countries, which I found by doing a simple google image search. I sliced the bills apart using a paper cutter from staples (picture of “Slicing money”). After that it was a simple matter of peeling the protective sticker off of the foam boards and layering the bills on one by one. Because they were self adhesive I didn’t even need glue. I chose to use boards rather than directly using the wall because now I can take the project with us when we move! Once I had all the boards ready, I lined them up on the wall and hammered a tiny nail into each corner. The nails are invisible and so are the boards- the end effect is a custom wallpaper.

3)Next was the floor. My husband liked the unfinished wood (don’t ask me why!) but I felt the room needed some warmth. As a compromise I chose an area rug from instead of wall to wall carpeting. I like how the design of this one looks like It’s coming out of the wall.

4)Next was the workspace itself. The uncomfortable chair had to go, I got a proper one from Staples. Then I installed a magnetic pushpin board and trash can from the container store, both simple and sleek black. I also bought a leather desk organizer from; now all the to do lists and random ideas are filed and the desk is easier to clean. Last was a wall calendar sticker from Staples- it’s actually a whiteboard that sticks to the wall! The total cost of these accessories was less than $60.

5)The finishing touch: The printer was sitting on the box it came in. Not exactly pretty. Rather than buy a new piece of furniture, I opted to cover the box in a thick, beautiful wrapping paper from Paper Moon. The deep red color picks up on some of the tones in the foreign currency wallpaper behind it. Now the only eyesore left in the room was transformed into an inconspicuous background element.

And there you have it- some creative thinking, a little time put in, and the office is now both fun and fuctional. (Picture of “after”) Now when guests come by, I keep the door open and show it off– and more importantly, my husband is getting more work done in a more productive way. Now, about that other spare room….

To see more of Lenore’s work and other home improvement how-to’s, visit her website at
Follow her on twitter at

How to Get Your Family to Eat Healthy on Purim

purim recipes, baskets, and decor

How to Get Your Family to Eat Healthy on Purim

1 Comment 07 January 2012

A Happy AND Healthy Purim Holiday

Beth Warren MS RD

“Eat me, eat me”

Practically every adjective, like gooey, squishy, sticky, smooth, rough, colorful, sweet and sour ,can be used to describe one word…candy. One word, however, cannot be used: healthy. Let’s face it. The Jewish holiday of Purim revolves around the sweets. The mishloach manot, or food basket, which requires two blessings or two different foods, has somehow evolved into a haven for a multitude of junk foods. From bubble gums, to winkies, gummies, lollipops and taffies, the colorful cascade of unhealthy snacks find their way into your house screaming, “eat me.” Turn the unhealthy day into a welcoming challenge. Here are helpful tips to take Purim back to the slogan “Marbim B’Simchah” (“increasing happiness”) rather than putting a damper on the celebration with junk food:

“Plan, Plan, Plan” The New Purim Mantra

The first healthy undertaking is giving your family advanced notice of the rules on Purim so it does not become a free-for-all sweets extravaganza. Explain to them this: “We put each mishloach manot on this (predesignated) table. We do not open each one right away. At the end of the day, we’ll put all the candy in a pile and each choose 3 of the ones we want to keep in our own bag and put away in the kitchen. That bag will be yours. Nobody but you will eat from it. So it is your responsibility to choose whether you’re going to eat it all at once or more spread out. It’s your decision.”  By stating the plan firmly, in advance and then holding to your word, you are accomplishing a few key parenting examples:

  1. You are not restricting all unhealthy snacks and setting children up for an unhealthy relationship with food. We don’t want to be too restrictive especially in a day that children are hit with so much temptation and socially, so many other children are eating it.
  2. At the same time, you are being healthful and teaching the concept to your children by limiting the amount of junk food. There is a case of, “How much is too much?” at play.
  3. You are teaching your child the art of responsibility and self-control, key factors in maintaining a healthy weight during their lifetime.

The Realist

A better option, if possible, is to get your hands on the mishloach manot before you children and get rid of all the junk (ideal J), or takeaway some of the “worst” treats like those with only sugar and artificial coloring. Even if you have two minutes from when the doorbell rings until your kids come down to see the candy, a lot of strategic junk food swapping can take place during that time. Getting rid of the temptation is a constant theme of the day.

Mind Your Body

This rule never gets old for both you and your family: eat breakfast. It is essential both going into and throughout the Purim day to fuel the body with foods it does need to stay satisfied. And by breakfast, I don’t mean an 80 calorie yogurt. Make it count. Try oatmeal with walnuts and strawberries, plain non-fat Greek yogurt with granola and blueberries, or 1 egg yolk with 2 egg whites and veggie omelete.

Eat at Set Times

It is important that you don’t get too hungry on Purim. If you do, than you are susceptible to the ample amounts of junk food temptation. The feeling of hunger ignites the survival instinct. Your inner self takes over forcing you to grab whatever food available. Purim is a day of atypical temptation, testing the strictest dieters’ self-control. So fuel yourself the right way and stay steps ahead of the seemingly never-ending, devilishly enticing sweets.

Also, it is easy to get swept up in celebration that you do not realize how much time passed since you last ate. It may be helpful to set reminders to eat a healthful snack at scheduled times. If you’re craving sweets, try an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter before digging into the pot of gold…chocolate coins.

A plus about the day is that the mandatory Purim meal is relatively early in comparison to other Jewish holidays. Take advantage of eating your biggest meal during this time, leaving dinner to be a lighter meal of protein and vegetables. Keep the plate model in your mind: ¼ protein ¼ starch and ½ of the plate non-starchy vegetables. If you want to go back for a second helping, take more vegetables. Lastly, if you feel your willpower dwindling, allow a controlled indulgence now. Make a smart choice like 1 oz of dark chocolate with nuts after you eat your meal.

Get Rid of It!

As Purim comes to a close and the kids go off to bed, smile and exhale a sigh of relief. Another Purim has passed and girl, what a great one it probably was. Your eyes scan the house and stop on piles of junk food comfortably covering your entire dining room table. Now what? The old you would waltz over and graze through the snacks, tasting a few. The new, prepared you, takes some of the empty mishloach manot packages and starts to stuff the candy back, feeling more liberated with every candy bar you shove inside.  You make a phone call to ….. and donate your candy or you send it off with your hubby to work the next day (of course, making him sign a written contract that he will in no way engage in eating the bag of spoils nor keep it inside his office).

What is the excuse for keeping the candy in the house? If your child was allergic to a food, would you allow him to eat it or entice him by having it stocked on your pantry shelves? Think of too much candy as harmful to your child as well. Instead, use the sweets from Purim as an opportunity to get your children involved in charity and donate the foods. If you do feel like they need to have some, let them choose 1-3 snacks to keep and to pick a storage spot in your kitchen. Then, explain that these are theirs to keep and that they can choose to eat them when they want. But if they eat them all at once, then that is all they will get. If it hits the Passover mark and the candy is still in existence, pack it away with your Chametz and after the holiday, sympathetically explain, “I’m sorry, the candy didn’t make it through the holiday” never to be seen again…

That is, until next Purim.

Beth Warren MS RD CDN runs a private nutrition counseling practice in Brooklyn, NY. These tips and more are available when you “Like” her facebook page Beth Warren Nutrition or on her blog at

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Three Fantastic Authentic Passover Tablescapes by Kineret Spector

kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, kosher recipes, passover seder tables, Passover Table Settings

Three Fantastic Authentic Passover Tablescapes by Kineret Spector

No Comments 05 January 2012

WOW! Kineret you’ve done it again- I’m so glad to be able to help  share your wonderful Passover seder table ideas. I am constantly amazed at how one Egyptian-Passover-escape-from-bondage-theme can be translated into so many unique holiday table ideas. Thank you, thank you, thank you for inspiring us all. To all Jewish Hostesses – Check out Kineret’s facebook page BSG TABLESCAPES .   Marlene

p.s.- Attention a hostesses! Rememeber to snap some pics of your seder table pics to win one of 3 great prizes! Send PICS to marlene (at)

1- $100 gift certificate to Parci Parla- the fablulous table top shop on Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Kim Seybert, Jonathan Adler, Ralph Lauren Home, Coffee Table Books nd so much more!

Parci Parla Inc 565 Kings Hwy, New York, NY 11223

(347) 587-5179 ‎
2- $75 to STRETCH activewear by Jeanette Sabbagh- Jeanette can make sure you look chic while sweating off those matzo pizzas! Call her at 917-678-6000 for personal activewear shopping for every body size!
3- A Gorgeous Orchid plant by Shirley Barnathan- call Shirley at (917) 535- 8387 for all of your holiday and party flowers. Free Delivery in Brooklyn.

             “Hi Marlene,

             Hope this finds you well. I’m sending you some Passover tablescapes from years past.  Haha, no pun intended

Many Jewish families already have many of the kinds of items I used for this “Exodus from Egypt” themed table- various clay and brass pots and vases, and even wooden camels!  The palm leaves are from the plants in my front yard. Blue and black paired with gold and silver is reminiscent of ancient Egypt.  Metal bangle bracelets from the local flea market make awesome napkin rings. Finally a gold chain around the table with place cards tied to them remind us how we were chained together in bondage, and how we are bound together in our heritage.
Here are a few more ideas!
Covered Hagadot and flowers make an elegant spring theme for any Passover table!
Another favorite of mine, our Nile theme, with my version of Miriam and Yochevet looking on among the reeds (Ross finds!) Baby Moshe name card holders (below) add a whimsical touch for the young and young at heart!
If you like what you see please LIKE our page BSG TABLESCAPES on facebook for many good ideas.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Pesach!
Kineret Spector



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Warm Breakfast Quinoa With Almond Butter and Cinnamon

breakfast recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes, kosher rice and pasta recipes, sugar detox recipes

Warm Breakfast Quinoa With Almond Butter and Cinnamon

8 Comments 04 January 2012

This morning I couldn’t wait to start Sari’s Sugar Detox so I cooked up  a breakfast recipe that was inspired by the Couldn’t Be Pareve website. I omitted the sugar and replaced it with a little bit of honey.  This recipe is gluten free, soy-free, and vegan. I really enjoyed this warm nutty quinoa. It really made me feel like I was finally giving myself a great start to a long day. You may have to play around with the amount of cinnamon or honey that you prefer, but feel free to add a variety of fruits or ground flax seed. This quinoa recipe is large enough for at least 2 people so make sure to share it with a family member or just cut the recipe in half.

I can’t guarantee that your kids will say that it tastes as good as a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but you can give it a try! Enjoy ! Marlene

Warm Breakfast Quinoa With Almond Butter and Cinnamon:

kosher recipe ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup water or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • dried fruit and nuts for topping
  • honey for topping (optional)

Combine the first five ingredients (apple sauce through cinnamon) in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the almond butter and honey are melted and the mixture is hot. Add the quinoa and stir until hot. Divide between two bowls and top with dried fruits and nuts. Drizzle with honey if desired.


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10 Cool Tu Bi’ Shvat Activities for Today’s Kids

kids, kosher drink recipes, kosher recipes, Tu Bishvat Recipes and Table Settings

10 Cool Tu Bi’ Shvat Activities for Today’s Kids

2 Comments 04 January 2012

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


As some of my Jewish Hostess readers may know, I am involved in interviewing many elders for The Sephardic Heritage Museum which has really  forced me to think about what  memories my kids will take with them as they go on with their own lives.  Many of the elders that we interviewed, recalled great anticipation for Tu B’ishvat during their childhood in Syria. They all reminisced about how their mothers would sew them a cloth bag with a drawstring, and their parents would collect  treasured “exotic” fruits such as pineapples and grapefruits, and Syrian pastries until giving it to them on the  day of Tu Bishvat. Kids would savor their treats, and share and trade with friends for weeks afterwards. Can you imagine this year, Tu Bishevat 2012, handing your kid a home-sewn velvet bag filled with kiwi, papaya and almonds????? lol-  this year, a baggie with some fruit rollups and apple sour sticks just might do the trick!

Growing up in Brooklyn, in the 70’s, my friends and I still joke about the the inedible rubbery brown carob stick that they used to dole out to students on Tu B’shevat at The Yeshivah of Flatbush. Well, I can just imagine my kids tossing that carob right into the trash can if I tried it on them today!

As my quest for a modern day Tu Bishvat continues, here’s a list of some holiday ideas to try with your kids. Use your imagination and send in your great ideas and traditions to me so that we can all share it on The Jewish Hostess:

1- Watch the video above to appreciate the beautiful flowering country of Israel. When you are done watching, You may just book a one way  ticket to Israel!

2-Rebuild trees burnt in Fires in Carmel, Israel Since Tu Bishvat  calls for the renewal of nature, what better way to teach kids how to reach out to others in time of need?

Tzedakah via internet. Perfect for kids with short attention spans!

3- Grape Juice Sangria-

Let your kids pick out which fruits they like and let them help chop and mix.


Grape Juice Sangria

  • 1 medium bottle of kosher grape juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (optional)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 pear cubed
  • 1 apple cubed
  • 1 orange pith removed and cubed
  • 3 cups carbonated  plain or lemon-lime beverage
  • 1 cup of red grapes cut in half

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate for several hours. Be creative but only use the fruits that you know your kids will like! Serve in your prettiest fruit cups.

4- Make Tu B’shvat Pomanders out of fresh oranges . Use these decorative balls as centerpieces in a bowl on your breakfast table. Creative Jewish Mom has easy projects for your creative kids.

Orange Pomander

5-Does you kid love  the combo of sticky wood and glueMake a Fruit Crate and display it on your dinner table with a bunch of grapes, some dates, and a cut up pomegrante. What a centerpiece! Click HERE for easy instructions.

6- Connect with nature right in your kitchen and plant a seed in an egg shell. Or learn how to easily plant apple,  orange, grapefruit, tangerine or lemon seeds HERE. Planting a seed teaches kids patience and responsibility in our modern day world of instant rewards.

Try planting seeds in an egg carton as another down to earth craft!

photo via Good to Grow

7- Make your own flowering dried fruit sculpture with the kids- they will feel so proud to leave it out all week on your family dining table!

Click HERE to get creative!


8- Have a Shiv’a Minim Tu Bishvat Family Seder .

Click HERE to find out how.

9 – Buy A Tu Bishvat classic for kids- Sammy Spider’s First Tu B’Shevat
– an educational book, and a great children’s gift for all year round!

10- Check out how I came up with this year’s Tu Bishvat centerpiece HERE.

Let’s start some new Tu Bishvat traditions in our homes this year, and maybe one day, in about 2020 or so, our grown kids will be planting a seedling in their kitchen, making grape juice sangria, sending money to plant a tree in Israel, or creating their own Tu Bishvat centerpiece with their own little ones…..

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Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie @vickyayal via Instagram

kosher thanksgiving recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, shabbat recipes

Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie @vickyayal via Instagram

No Comments 04 January 2012

Here’s an easy sweet potato pie addition to any Shabbat or Thanksgiving dinner by Vicky Ayal shared via Instagram. Enjoy!

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