Two Magnificent Holiday Table Settings by Karen Tawil

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Two Magnificent Holiday Table Settings by Karen Tawil

10 Comments 27 March 2013

Karen Tawil is one of the most creative and talented people I know. Years ago, Karen volunteered for a Sephardic Bikur Holim bake sale that we were working on.  In one day, she ran down to the flower district and bought tons of  bonsai plants, flowers, and all sorts of containers and ribbon, and created about 50 of the coolest Shabbat arrangements for sale. Needless to say, we were all sold out within hours, and it greatly helped us add to the profits and enjoyment of the day!

I must also add that Karen and her husband Neil own  Bright Eyes, the BEST place to shop for designer sunglasses in the Tri-State area. Bright Eyes is Located at 508 Kings Hwy # 1, Brooklyn, NY 11223-1917

Call Karen or Neil for more info:(718) 382-8722 ‎

Thanks for sharing your breathtaking holiday table settings with us, Karen!  You make it look so easy!!!

p.s. To all of my Jewish Hostesses! keep sending in your holiday photos to marlene(AT)thejewishhostess.com! use the @!!

Marlene

“Hi Marlene,

I love the reaction of my guests when they come into our home and they get excited with all they see. I feel like the table setting makes the meal memorable even if its a meal as simple as bbq. For shavuot lunch it was just the four of us. I used a woven leather placemat from Pottery Barn with a silver charger ,the dishes are limoge and the flatware is lucite. I used stargazer and blue hydrangeas…….

For dinner table decor, I used a silver liner with a shimmer white overlay. Everything else was simple. As it was the holiday of Shavuot,  I just wanted it to be about the flowers. I put six vases across the table filled with roses, lisianthus,philanopsis,calla lillies and peonies. In front of each place setting, I put a single orchid in medicine tubes. The napkin rings were made out of silver leather from the fabric store sealed with a hot glue gun. Simple and elegant!!! Karen Tawil”

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10 Fabulous Tricks to Create Your Own Exciting Holiday Tablescape and Decor

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10 Fabulous Tricks to Create Your Own Exciting Holiday Tablescape and Decor

6 Comments 22 March 2013

p.s. don’t miss the newest table setting ideas and easy healthy recipes weekly to your inbox! CLICK HERE to subscribe!

Dear Hostesses,

If your Shabbat and Passover Holiday table setting decor is starting to look about as old as your wedding photos, then its time to wipe your table setting slate clean and dare to think past your same old table cloth and boring white napkins. Update your holiday table scape and watch your friends and families eyes light up as they enter the room. Sometimes we just never get to uncover the rainbow of creativity hidden under our daily “to do” list of cleaning and cooking. Well,  The Jewish Hostess has appeared here on your laptop just to give you that extra nudge to spark the FABULOUS  inner hostess within!

1- Start with your holiday theme and color scheme. Is it a holiday? A dinner party? Are you in the mood for a hot bright color on your table? OR just a calm romantic feel?

For my modern/rustic Tu bishvat table photo shoot this year, I wanted to inspire my Jewish Hostesses with the fresh feeling of trees, nature,and the beautiful  fruits of the Shiv’ah Minim of Israel.

I found a gorgeous hot pink cherry blossom fabric from the Marimekko shop in Crate and Barrel and had it cut to size. I left the edges raw on both ends because:

1- I really don’t sew, and

2- the raw edge fit in perfectly with the rustic look.

I borrowed the tree trunk bases, and the plastic monstera leaves (also pictured below- on the jungle themed Purim table) from my sister in law. For tons more table setting pics , recipes, and details about this Tu Bishvat  table setting, please visit me at The Jewish Hostess.com.

Tu Bishvat, The Jewish Hostess

Below, I used ombre blue macarons in plastic canisters to create a modern day sweet menorah centerpiece for my Hanukkah table decor. Silver and blue carried the evening with placemats, silverware, dreidels, and royal blue cake pops as place card holders. The lit candles in the center added a soft ambiance to the room as everyone served themselves at the buffet.

Hanukka-Table-Decor

2- Use elements from the holiday theme on your table. This past Rosh Hashanah, I used 2 white curvy horns (you can see one of the horns in the center of the table below) that I found at a gift show in NYC. I also bought miniature honey jars from Amazon. Mini white tasting spoons held pomegranate seeds in front of each place setting.  My homemade Rosh Hashanah jelly apples were the hit of the night!

The-Jewish-Hostess-410x550

I also bought wooden honey dippers online,and  I purchased burgundy velvet to use as napkin rings at 99 cents a yard.You don’t have to spend a fortune on napkin rings, and oh, what a difference a napkin ring does make!

3- Mix the old with the new! The dishes navy and gold dishes  above were my mom’s. I still remember them being stacked up in the dining room for my brother’s disco/dinner party in the 70s. Mix your old dishes with modern stemware,  flatware and simple dishes like the Annie Glass dinner plates above.

4- Change your  table scape STYLE ! Just like we get tired of putting on the same outfit every other day, that’s how you should feel with your table scape. You should see the proud look on my married girls  faces every time they bring their families over for shabbat.  Once in a while I even get a slight nod of recognition (did I see a smile??) from my teenage son before he rushes out of the house. One time he even helped me fold the napkins for our  last year’s Tu Bishvat table !(below).

(p.s.)If you think that I actually potted those beautiful hyacinth plants for Tubishvat, well I’ve got a secret to share! I actually picked them up at the flower district on 28 street in NYC. Brought them home, and threw some bright orange kumquats onto the moss. In the center of the crated grass I placed a cake plate and mounded some new fruits atop. Voila!

Tu Bishvat Table Decor, The Jewish Hostess

5- Reinvent your  old drinking glasses, bowls, ribbons, table cloths and more:

The table below was one of my first creative holiday tablescapes. Two days before Purim, I ran to the 99 cent fabric shop and found the animal print, used sterling drinking glasses given to me as a wedding gift and transformed them into vases. I Bought some Purim masks online, stuck them into my “NEW” vases with flowers from the corner store. I then bought a silver chain trim and cut and glued the trim into napkin rings. As you can see, I mixed blue black, burgundy and red, (colors that I wouldn’t think of using on my table) and it was even prettier in person.

Think of floating flowers in bowls, using pretty salad plates to pass appetizers, and pretty  wood baskets to hold your challah rolls.

Purim tablescape

Purim Table Ideas, The Jewish Hostess

6- Layer! Layer, Layer!

The table below was created by my sister in law and I for a jungle themed Purim. We layered a bridge table cloth (turned it on the diagonal), bought plastic monstera leaves online, layered with wooden disposable plates, cheap jungle themed fabric used as napkins, and tied it all together with wooden napkin rings. Again, we had a ball at the flower market picking out bright tropical leaves and flowers. Remember to pop out your table with COLOR!(#8 below) I rummaged through my closets and found an orange (my favorite color) salad bowl that looked amazing and added another layer of dimension to our table scape. Can you see the hanging jungle themed paper lanterns in the back room? Another layer that added to the ambiance of the evening.

Purim-Centerpiece-550x366

7-  BE CREATIVE!!! One of my favorite tables were from a Passover table setting contest that I ran last year. Two teenage girls surprised their mom for the holiday and created their Passover table decor from scratch. Blue fabric was folded into a runner and laid across the center of the table representing the splitting of the sea. Their family name was printed in gold lettering and attached to each hagaddah on top of  each place setting. Sequin trim was transformed into napkin rings, and blue vases with simple flowers topped it all off. Imagine how great their mom felt!

Passover Tablescape, The Jewsh Hostess

8- Use COLOR to EXCITE!!! Studies have shown that bright colors add to the hunger factor, and  instantaneously put us in a good mood. Below, my neighbor used striped Mexican blankets and pillows that she owned,   to dress up her holiday decor. (You can actually find Mexican table decor HERE)

Sukkot Table Ideas, The Jewish Hostess

Always remember to use flowers, bright candles,or  an eye popping napkin to shake up a ho hum table.

9- Create your own place cards! For the Sheva Berachot table that I whipped up in honor of my niece’s wedding, I had an inked stamp made up with their name, ordered lime green ink and had every guest’s  name printed on each place card. Since we had the groom’s family over for the first time, every new guest had a comfortable place to sit. I placed the teens together, and the bride and groom’s parents next to us. It made everyone feel important and added a touch of color to the table. (more pics of this table to come soon….)

Placecard for table setting, the jewish hostess

Placecards, Table Decor, The Jewish Hostess

10- Try NOT to let your guests know that you were sweating in your bathrobe cooking all day!!! (see photo below)

The Jewish Hostess ,Sheva Berachot

The Jewish Hostess

NOW ITS YOUR TURN! I hope that  I’ve inspired you to dig into your storage closets, run into a fabric shop, borrow table decor from a friend, and browse your local florist for unique vases, containers and gorgeous flowers, and maybe you will  decide to make place cards for your guests!

p.s. Be happy!!! There is nothing more fun than knowing that you’re beautiful table scape has added to the ambiance and excitement of the evening.

One last request- TAKE PICTURES!!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR HOLIDAY TABLES!!! CLICK HERE to email your pics to me.

Happy Holidays!

XoXo

Marlene
p.s. don’t miss the newest table setting ideas and easy healthy recipes once a week to your inbox! CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

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Susan’s Modern Glass and Floral  Passover Seder Plate

at home, passover seder tables, Passover Table Settings

Susan’s Modern Glass and Floral Passover Seder Plate

6 Comments 14 March 2013

Susan Menash happens to be another favorite person in my life. Her talent is knows no bounds- just check out her  photography website HERE and you will know what I mean. I especially love the pictures of the seniors on her site as there are so many great stories waiting to be told…..

I love her seder plate creation from 2011 as it teaches us that a little imagination goes a long way….

Enjoy! Marlene

“Hi Marlene,

I used 2 rectangular vases from Crate and Barrel but you can choose to use up to a dozen small vases as your base. I had a piece of glass made up  24 inches by 12 inches. (You can use any clear tray or any thick piece of glass ) I filled my vases up with water, orchids, (last longer in water) and topped with my glass seder tray.

I was thinking of putting red or blue tropical fish to symbolize the parting of the Red Sea sea  but I didn’t want to be stuck with the live fish after the seder.

Now that I think of it, I should have given the fish away as Afikoman gifts for my grandchildren.

Susan Menash”

 

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Roast Duck in Mixed Fruit Sauce With Black Currant Preserves

kosher chicken recipes, kosher main dish recipes, kosher meat recipes, kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, Passover Recipes, rosh hashanah chicken recipes, rosh hashanah roast , lamb, and brisket recipes

Roast Duck in Mixed Fruit Sauce With Black Currant Preserves

1 Comment 13 March 2013

 

 

Thank you Gloria Kolbrin from Kosher Cookbook for this new recipe for roast duck- a perfect Passover recipe. Although I personally have never cooked duck before, I know that many of my family members would love it. Maybe now it won’t seem so intimidating! Thanks Gloria! 

Perfect for Passover:

 

ROAST DUCK IN MIXED FRUIT SAUCE M SERVES: 8

This is a mouth watering recipe that is relatively simple to prepare save for cleaning the ducks.  Major TIME saving hint: Get pre-roasted unseasoned ducks and then braise them in the sauce!

Prep time: cleaning kosher duck-endless- ask butcher for help

Prep time: 5 min. Roasting: 1 ½- 2 hours   Sauce- 10-15 min.

Braising & Glazing- 45 min.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ducklings
  • 2 lemons
  • 12 ounce jar black currant preserves
  • 24 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/3 cup potato starch dissolved in 1 cup water
  • 24 ounces frozen mixed fruit (blueberries, strawberries, peaches)-defrosted
  • Optional-1 tablespoon Passover cherry liqueur

EQUIPMENT

  • 1 large roasting pan
  • 1 non stick roasting rack
  • Medium saucepan
  • Long handled fork

DIRECTIONS

1.     Preheat oven to: 375 F.

2.     Clean ducks thoroughly. Rinse inside and out with cold water. Cut one lemon in half and rub the skin of the ducks with the lemon halves. Place ducks, breast side up, on the roasting rack in the roasting pan. Place pan in the oven and roast 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, begin to prick the duck all over with a long handled fork. Be careful not to get spattered with fat. Remove some of the melted fat with a baster if it begins to crackle too much in the pan. Continue to prick ducks every 15 minutes until they are browned. Ducks need about 15 minutes per pound to properly cook. When the breasts have browned, I like to flip the ducks over so that their backs can brown as well. Prepare the sauce while the ducks are roasting.

3.     Put juice, preserves and allspice in the saucepan.

4.     Squeeze remaining lemon. Remove pits. Add lemon juice to saucepan.

5.     Stir ingredients over medium heat until preserves melt. Add potato starch mixed with water. Stir sauce until it has slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add mixed fruit and liqueur. Set aside.

6.     When ducks are done, remove them from oven and allow to cool. Cut them into quarters with either a sharp knife or poultry shears. Arrange quarters in an oven to table serving dish. Pour sauce over duck. (You can either finish the recipe at this point or cover the pan and refrigerate duck until the next day.) Return duck to the oven for about 45 minutes or until skin has glazed. Baste every 15 minutes. Before serving, make sure each quarter is covered with sauce and berries. Serve hot with starch of your choice. (Thin sauce with cranberry juice if it becomes too thick.)

Optional: Garnish duck with fresh mixed berries.

 

Claudia’s Gorgeous Passover Tablesetting

at home, passover seder tables, Passover Table Settings

Claudia’s Gorgeous Passover Tablesetting

1 Comment 10 March 2013

Claudia Bildiricci, our very own Martha Stewart, deserves a academy awards for her creative genius for her Passover Seder table decor.

Mini picture frame place cards, a quail’s egg, gold chargers atop a a damask backdrop and an orchid are just some of the  table top details that make this night different from any other! Great job, Claudia!


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Reflections of My Family’s Syrian Seder in Mexico by Margo Zarif

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

Reflections of My Family’s Syrian Seder in Mexico by Margo Zarif

5 Comments 05 March 2013

Dear Margo, Thanks so much for sharing your Passover holiday traditions with us. Its so nice to hear how our brethren in Mexico continued their Syrian Jewish customs and Arabic foods to this day. So similar to our community here in NY!  What  gorgeous flowers and  table setting. I love it! Marlene

“For the past few years, Pesach has been a holiday that I get to share with my family in Mexico. My mother was born there and we have been going back and forth for years. As we’ve all gotten older, random long trips were not so easy because of school and work obligations we all had. We continue to go for weddings, bar mitzvahs and brisses, but those trips aren’t as long as they used to be. Taking that into consideration, we decided to make sure we get there during the Passover holiday. Its not everyone’s #1 holiday because of all the work it entails, but it happens to be my favorite. It’s the time I get to spend with all my family over there. It’s a different trip when you aren’t running back and forth between events and parties and you get to just ‘hang out’ and be together. Since before Purim of this year, my siblings and I couldn’t wait to go to Mexico. Thankfully, we still communicate with our family from there a lot, due to all of the technological advances we’ve seen, but we couldn’t wait to just BE there!

I’ve been telling Marlene for years about my experience there and she always told me it would be so interesting to tell everyone how the holidays are over there.

It is essentially the same community, just in a different location. There were those who left Syria and went to Mexico, taking with them the rich culture and traditions they shared in Syria. Our Seders go just the same as they do in New York, with the same songs, tunes and traditions. To me, it’s very comforting, knowing that we are doing things in the ways of our ancestors, not breaking tradition because of where we live.

My grandmother makes both Sedarim for over 40 people, so she gets started weeks before, stuffing Kibbe, frying potatoes and making sure every detail is accounted for. She has a special eye for beauty on her table and I have learned so much from her over the years, she truly exemplifies the word ‘shaatra’. As my family arrives, our smiles grow bigger and our conversation flows as if we have just seen each other yesterday. That is the beauty of family that you love so much, distance doesn’t allow for it to break away.

My favorite part of the Seder is having my uncle proceed over the Hagaddah. Over the years I have learned so much from every single song we sing and discuss and have even found myself ‘studying’ for the Maggid portion of the Hagaddah. Sometimes we find the same Perushim as my younger cousins, which also makes me so happy, knowing how unified we are as Jews and as a community.

We stay up until the wee hours of the night, singing, learning, discussing and reminiscing and I love it! The only slight detail that I forgot to mention is one thing that sets Mexican Pesach from any other, the allowance for tortillas over the course of the holiday! As we eat corn, the stores make a special batch of corn tortillas just for Pesach, making Pesach just a bit different.

Years ago, I used to feel bad having just half of my family close to me in New York, but I have learned over the years just how lucky I really am, to be able to have these experiences because I have an amazing family just across the border!”

Margo Zarif

 

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Chicken Wonton Flower Appetizers

bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah parties, kosher appetizer recipes, kosher meat recipes, rosh hashanah chicken recipes, rosh hashanah pasta, salads, and lunch ideas, shabbat recipes, sukkot and rosh hashanah recipes, Sukkot Recipes

Chicken Wonton Flower Appetizers

5 Comments 02 March 2013

Kosher Chicken Appetizers

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Chicken WontonFlower Appetizers by Esther Mitta via Instagram

Use these golden chicken bites as an impressive Shabbat appetizer or as a an add-in to any meat meal. Bake for so many less calories and fat, as the wonton skins add so few carbs, its worth every nibble!

Golden Chicken Flower Appetizers

Golden Chicken Flower Appetizers

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion sliced thinly
  • 1 package chicken cutlets, cubed into small pieces.
  • 1 tsp chicken consomme, salt, pepper
  • 1 pkg wonton skins

Instructions

  1. Caramelize the onion on the stove with 2 teaspoons oil.
  2. Add chicken to golden onions
  3. Add salt, pepper, and chicken consomme, stirring till cooked.
  4. Place a tablespoon of chicken mixture inside one wonton skin laid flat.
  5. Gather and secure with two toothpicks as pictured above.
  6. Deep fry or brush with oil and bake at 350 degrees for till golden.
http://www.thejewishhostess.com/2013/03/chicken-wonton-flower-appetizers/

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WIN 5 FREE and FABULOUS  Passover HOSTESS Prizes!

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

WIN 5 FREE and FABULOUS Passover HOSTESS Prizes!

78 Comments 01 March 2013

The jewish Hostess Passover Giveaway

 

Dear Hostesses,

Give yourself a pat on the back for getting this close to Passover with a smile! (even if you aren’t smiling, then try to fake it till u make it!) Take a break from kitchen duty and IMAGINE yourself in this candy colored apron that tells the story of Passover in  a coral modern print by the award winning Barbara Shaw. Barbara also designed coordinating the matzo holder that will add that extra holiday touch to your table.

Passover Made Easy by Victoria Dwek and Leah Shapirah is the 2013 MUST-HAVE PASSOVER COOKBOOK talk of the town. This clever iPhone matzo inspired case is on the MOST WANTED PASSOVER GIFT list of girls and guys alike!

And last but not least, these Kosher Chaf-K certified French macaroons by Dana’s Bakery are the perfect after Passover dessert for your guests. These French style macaroons are the perfect Shavuot and Mother’s Day dessert for your guests.

Just enter the contest below to win ALL 5 PRIZES!!! It’s so EASY!!

Good LUCK !!!!

AND THE WINNER IS…… JACKIE SINGER!!!!!

 

1-Tech accessory
etsy.com

2-Kosher  Chof-K Gluten Free Macaroons (not for Passover! Will be delivered right after the holiday)
danasbakery.com

5-Pharaoh Print Apron Brick Red
barbarashawgifts.com

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