Tag archive for "Bishvat"

Chicken with Wine, Apricots, Dates, and Cranberries- Perfect for Tu Bishvat!

kosher chicken recipes, kosher recipes, rosh hashanah chicken recipes, Tu Bishvat Recipes and Table Settings

Chicken with Wine, Apricots, Dates, and Cranberries- Perfect for Tu Bishvat!

1 Comment 30 December 2012

Apricots and dates, dried apricots,

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Thank you  Ellin for this nice chicken recipe! I love this for Tu Bishvat as it has lot’s of delicious fruits to flavor the chicken! Tu Bishvat fruits are traditionally from the land of Israel- mainly  grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Tu Bishvat this year starts on Friday evening January 25, and continues till Saturday January 26 at sundown.

Perhaps we can even adapt some new Tu Bishvat fruits for this recipe!

Take the Tu Bishvat Chicken challenge!

Anyone have good ideas to convert this into a Tu Bishvat chicken recipe? Comment below!

Chicken with Dried Fruit adapted from Chef Confidential

by Ellin Orlinsky


  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 head garlic peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbs dried oregano
  • 2 tbs dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 chickens cut into 1/8ths
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Put chciken in a large baking dish. Pour fruit mixture over chicken. Cover and marinate in fridge overnight.
  2.  Preheat oven to 350. bake 1 hour the remove dried fruit from the pan reserving fruit. return chicken to oven for another 1/2 hour. discard bay leaves. season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3.  To plate: Spoon pan juices over chicken with cooked fruit. ( I put all the fruit back on when reheating the chicken). Enjoy!

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A Tu Bishvat Table That Martha Stewart Would Be Proud Of!

kosher recipes, Tu Bishvat Recipes and Table Settings, tu bishvat table settings

A Tu Bishvat Table That Martha Stewart Would Be Proud Of!

21 Comments 14 January 2012


Tu Bishvat table decor, The Jewish Hostess

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Let’s Bring Tu Bishvat Into The 21 Century!

The holiday of Tu Bishvat (or Tu bishevat) always summoned to mind a couple of  boring dried fruits on a paper plate given to us as ten year old kids in yeshivah. It wasn’t really very exciting, and I particularly remember almost breaking a baby tooth as we tried to bite off a bit of the dried black hard-as-a-rock carob boxer strip that was touted as a special new fruit by our teachers. Being one of the producers of The Sephardic Heritage Museum film project, I had the honor of interviewing over 300 community members, many of whom remember celebrating the exciting holiday of Tu Bishvat way back in Syria. I was astounded to  hear that the now pandemonium holiday of Purim was a mere passing around of Syrian pastries like Samboosak and Graybeh to their neighbors, but Tu Bishvat or “Id Il Jar” (pronounced Eed El Jar- the holiday of trees) was the one holiday that the children and parents alike truly looked forward to. Every year, a month before the holiday, the moms started to sew luxe velvet bags with a drawstring that would soon contain exotic fruits that the children had never seen before. We take our pineapples, watermelons, and  mangos for granted nowadays, but I doubt that there were carts in the souk in Aleppo that exhorted these wonderful sweet new treats. I was told that it would take the adults weeks to seek out and save these fruits to excite the children and keep the memories of the Tu Bishvat holiday alive.

Upon speaking to one of my Tu Bishvat bakers (below), Margalit Dweck, I was astounded to hear that she and her husband have a Tu Bishvat dessert “seder” table every year on the eve of the holiday (this year Tu Bishvat falls on Friday evening, January 25, 2013). Rabbi Joe Dweck reads from the special Tu Bishvat book (photo below), points out the new fruits to his children, and recites the berachot. He proceeds to tell some Tu Bishvat stories, and the kids show off their Tu Bishvat art creations made in school. As a special treat, Margalit whips up a pomegranate martini shared by her and her husband.

Rabbi Joseph Dweck was kind enough to relay to me some Tu Bishvat fruit for thought. He mentioned the halachic aspect of how, when a Jewish person plants a fruit tree, he is not allowed to eat from it for three years, and of course the new year to begin counting begins every year on Tu Bishvat,(so if you planted a tree a month before Tu Bishvat- by the time TuBishvat rolls around 4 weeks later, that first year is already counted).

On an even more inspirational level, Rabbi Dweck explained our human connection to the trees, and how it even began with the story of Adam and Eve. The holiday of Tu Bishvat should inspire us to see the beauty and sweet flavor  of Hashem’s proud work- the wonderful shades of red, green, and orange… plus the abundant flavor and juiciness that exudes from each one of the fruits that our trees bear. Did you ever stop to think that we are similar to the trees? We try to  grow strong, establish rock solid roots, and try to bear beautiful fruits that we are be proud of – our children, hessed, mitzvoth, and our work.

My sister in law constantly tells me that I am truly an old soul, and a gnawing ache in my heart propels me to believe that she is right. As The jewish Hostess, I have planted myself into the awesome job of treasuring the old customs while adding a splash of modern hues and excitement to our holiday ambiance.

Enjoy the jolt of awesome color, new fruits, gorgeous flowers, and Tu Bishvat cakes baked by our fabulous community bakers. Keep scrolling below for more details about each photo.

A huge thanks to Miriam and Manny Haber who graciously allowed me to use their beautiful home for the photo shoot. Miriam is the ultimate Jewish Hostess.

The Jewish Hostess

Morris Antebi, photographer extraordinaire shot these fantastic photos for The Jewish Hostess in a flash. I was impressed with his professionalism, the most up to date digital photography equipment and the sharp artistic detail that he was able to capture with his magical lens. Please check out his Facebook page HERE. His commercial work and wedding and video  portfolio is not to be believed. Thanks Morris!!

Thank you Vicki Majors for bringing over the much needed tree trunks for the cake displays!

Cherry Blossom fabric for the table runner by Marimekko for Crate and Barrel.  Run over to Crate and Barrel for some great table decorating ideas!

Tu Bishvat, The Jewish Hostess


Candy Tree, The jewish Hostess

Candy and chocolate tree built into the dining room  chandelier by Louis of Avenue J Florists.

Candy and Chocolate displays and Gifts by Lucy Aini and Edlo Sorcher.

Check out their CANDY and CHOCOLATE website HERE.

Candies and Chocolate, The Jewish Hostess

More kosher delicacies from CANDY and CHOCOLATE.

Fruit Display, The jewish Hostess

Here I mounded fresh new fruits and the Shiv’ah Minim – strawberries, grapes, figs, apricots, pomegranates, dates, olives (back left), and fig bread by Mikhayla Bibi. 

Fuchsia cotton berry napkin by Crate and Barrel.

Gorgeous and useful circular white resin tray above by Parci Parla.565 Kings Highway New York, NY 11223

(347) 587-5179

Dried Fruits, The Jewish Hostess

Note the Tu Bishvat  berachot prayer books (above)for new fruits at the Tu Bishvat seder.

Tu Bishvat Tree, The Jewish Hostess

An amazing “Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate Tree” by Custom Berries Plus.

All strawberries are checked and cleaned and hand dipped in pareve or milk chocolate.

Note the delicious grapes that are dipped in chocolate and nuts on the base of the tree!.

By Esty Mosseri. Check out Esty’s Instagram page HERE and her WEBSITE HERE.

Tu Bishvat Cake, The Jewish Hostess,

Luv at First Bite by  baker Marlene Cohen. The perfect Tu Bishvat cake! (above)Branches and cherry blossoms! The bottom tier of the cake is a fluffy coconut cake, frosted with a parve buttercream frosting. The second tier is a strawberry vanilla cake, also frosted with buttercream frosting.  Love at First Bite caters all kinds of  kosher parties including showers, engagement parties, bar mitzvahs and more!

Follow Marlene on Instagram. Click HERE.

The Jewish Hostess Party,

Margalit Dweck is famous for her fabulous artistry in kosher baking for any hostess event. Floral Tu BIshvat Petit Fours (above) atop a monstera leaf are just a tiny show of Margalit’s talent. Follow Margalit here on Instagram.

Pink Cupcakes, The Jewish Hostess,

Mari Gindi’s Batter Up Confections are the talk of the town. Customized kosher baked goods for your every occasion. Check out her website HERE.

Date balls, Tu Bishvat, The Jewish Hostess

Adelle Soffer’s  almond and/or coconut date balls are the perfect healthy Tu Bishvat and all year round healthy snack go-to. Each date is cleaned and checked.Follow her Instagram feed HERE.

Pink Cake, The Jewish Hostess

Sweet Cakes by Sara Azizian. Sara can be reached at 646-400-7751 and/or sweetcakesbysara@hotmail.com. Follow her on Instagram  @sweetcakesbysara’. All the decorations are made from sugar and are edible. The flowers are from the Almond Tree called Almond Blossoms. The almond is mentioned many times in the Torah. It is described as “Among the best of fruits”. The almond blossom was also supplied as a model for the Menorah which stood in the Holy Temple.

Olives, The Jewish Hostess

Lesley Chera’s cured Sicilian, Kalamata, and  Cerignola olives are  specially seasoned . Choose from  in a variety of different flavors- Spicy, Rosemary, Lemon, Jalapeño,  Zatar are just some of the flavors in Lesley’s repertoire … Some are are even seasoned w fennel and citrus peel.. Perfect for any meal and a beautifu hostess gift. Lesley’s favorites are served with wine and good friends. Follow @LesleyChera on Instagram.

Olives, Tu Bishvat, The Jewish Hostess

Jeanette’s Olive Garden (above) sells specially seasoned pitted cured olives in many flavors such as Zaatar,Lemon Zest, Jalepeno, Tapanade And Stuffed  Mozarella Olives too!
Pitted and Kid friendly too! Makes a perfect gift and for your own Shabbat table! Follow @JeanetteCohen on Instagram.

Meringue, The Jewish Hostess

“My name is Mikhayla Bibi.  I’m a graduate of Jerusalem Culinary Institute where I received my certification in both the culinary and patisserie arts. I was employed by Eucalyptus, one of Jerusalem’s most highly regarded restaurants as the bread baker. In addition I learned many biblically historical dishes which is part of the theme of this bread. Figs and Dates both among the seven species perfect for Tu B’shvat. Enjoy!”

I actually got to taste Mikhayla’s white meringue bowl filled with cream and topped with fresh grapes and pomegranate seeds. Divine! Follow Mikhayla’s Instagram page HERE


Macaron , The Jewish Hostess

Leila Akkad designed this Macaron Cherry Blossom Tree to fit in perfectly with our Tu Bishvat theme. Each macaron hung like an individual cherry blossom which had a gorgeous effect on the holiday table. Leila designs gorgeous macarons for your every hostess need. She actually created the macaron menorah featured HERE on The Jewish Hostess. Follow Leila HERE on Instagram for more fabulous kosher macaron creations!

Cherry Blossom Hand Stamped tag, The Jewish Hostess

Shirley Bar Nathan Flowers, The Jewish Hostess, floral display,

When Shirley bar Nathan heard that I was working on a Tu Bishvat table, she ran over with this hot pink flower arrangement that worked perfectly with my modern rustic theme. Thanks Shirley! Follow Shirley’s fantastic floral shop here on Instagram.

Check out the fabulous centerpiece that she made for my Rosh Hashanah table HERE.

Iced Fruit Pops, The Jewish Hostess

Sophia Cohen’s new Urban Pops are the talk of the town! Made with fresh fruit, and frozen to perfection, makes me just want to lick these delicious pops right off the screen!

Flavors like apricot, blueberry, watermelon, mojito, pina colada, and limonata are just some of her citrus delights. Email Sophia Cohen HERE for more info!

Fruit Tarts, The Jewish Hostess

My niece Shirley Dana is an amazing baker.  Her desserts are made in her own strictly kosher, dipped kitchen, and are baked personally from scratch to order. She works hard to create sweets that not only taste like heaven, but that can be seen as tiny works of art as well. Using only the finest ingredients, her desserts can be glamorously displayed at an event, but equally enjoyed on a cozy night at home. Check out her website HERE.

Date cake, The Jewish Hostes

“Tu bishvat encompasses a variety of delicious fruits and nuts that represent Israel, but it goes beyond that. In my eyes, the holiday also serves as a reminder for how our country was built, all the hard work that went into it (and continues to go into it), all of the men and women who joined forces to create our homeland. This kosher cake contains dried fruit and is encrusted with almonds, a clear correlation to tu bishvat. Frosted with chocolate to represent carobs, the top is decorated with date balls. They’re dusted with pink sanding sugar to tie in the gorgeous pink and brown theme. Circle-shaped and filled with so many accompanying flavors, the cake symbolizes all the different “flavors” that have worked together, not in a hierarchy but rather equally in a circle, to form our beautiful country.” By Yvonne Orfali- The Cravery. Check out Yvonne’s Instagram feed HERE.


Fig Bread, The Jewish Hostess


Mahia Fig Liquor, The Jewish Hostess

The official liquor of the Tu Bishavt Holiday! Mahia Fig Liquor!  Kosher. Distilled by the Nahmias family.

Place your  order with Amazon.

The Jewish Hostess Table Decor,

Gold Rimmed Coffee Cups by Michael Wainwright.

Rimmed Resin Circular Tray by Parci Parla.565 Kings Highway New York, NY 11223

(347) 587-5179

Close up of resin tray below.

Resin Tray, The Jewish Hostess

Chocolates, The Jewish Hostess

The bags and tags below were hand stamped with a cherry blossom stamp  by moi! When Miriam told me that as a child in Mexico they would run into the house with wide paper bags on Tu Bishvat excited for their delicious new and dried fruits from their parents,(originally from Aleppo, Syria) they played a game of, “Who sees ‘Id Il Jar?” (the holiday of trees). And when the kids said- “WE SEE HIM!!!” They would fill up their bags with candy. Inspired by her story, I decided to recreate my own rendition below…..

Dried Fruits, Tubishvat Display, The Jewish Hostess

So easy and fun to make these hand stamped cherry blossom craft bags! I also purchased the wood grained cardboard boxes above from Paper Source.

I think I almost bought the entire store out! Check out Paper Source HERE

DIY, The Jewish Hostess


Phew! All done….

Hope you enjoyed! Please share on Facebook. Pinterest, and and Twitter!

Would love to hear your comment below!!!

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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


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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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