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Fool, Falafel, and Tehina (Ful Medemas)- The Syrian Way!

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Fool, Falafel, and Tehina (Ful Medemas)- The Syrian Way!

7 Comments 06 February 2013

 

 

Falafel, Hummos, Falafel, The Jewish Hostess

 

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When Nina Mustacchi tagged me on Instagram with her Fool Medemas recipe, I was intrigued to know more about her, and the exact details involving this Allepian flavor infused side dish. (click HERE to see it on Insta- and if you are not on Instagram yet, then please do so because you are missing out on a lot of Jewish Hostess fun!)

Of course, an authentic dish always tastes so much better when you get the background the the food and the real chef behind it, so Nina happily shared her story with me for all of my Jewish Hostesses to enjoy.

Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1970, 15 year old Nina Maleh knew that Syria was not a welcoming  place for her her and the Syrian Jewish community that had lived there for 3,000 years. Travel restrictions, business limitations, jail time, and Nazi-type beatings inflicted by the Syrian government were commonplace among all innocent fellow community members. One by one, the Syrian Jewish community began to escape the country. Most of them trudged perilously by foot to Israel, Turkey, and Lebanon. Nina’s parents had decided to escape Syria the year before so that they could set up a home in Brooklyn for when Nina and her two brothers would be able to escape to Brooklyn.  In 1985, Nina and her two young brothers fled the country by walking 12 hours through mountainous roads to get to freedom in Turkey. Soon after, they finally  reunited with their parents in Brooklyn, N.Y. The day that 17 year old Nina stepped into her new Brooklyn home, she met her future husband, who coincidentally happened to be visiting her parents. Nina told me that the minute that he set eyes upon her, he proposed on the spot! (phew-what a trip!!)

Nina told me that every Shabbat lunch she now serves at least 15 salads- Halaby style. (Halab-meaning milk, is the Arabic word for Aleppo, known as the place where Abraham our forefather rested and fed  his camels on his journey). The Halaby Jews are known for the abundant variety of salads and mazza that they serve with every Shabbat meal. Here is the Halaby version of fool, hummos, and falafel, which is also made Egyptian style by Egyptian Jews and Arabs alike. Pita bread is usually used to scoop up this flavorful concoction.

There are 3 components to this dish:

2-The tehina- The Syrian style tehina is thicker and more lemony than the traditional more watery Israeli style of tehina. The tehina is the bottom layer.

2-  The fool- (fava beans)- The Halaby or Allepian version of fool is much more lemony than the Egyptian method. Here Nina recommends using canned fava beans as opposed to the more time consuming task of boiling dried fava beans. This is the second layer.

3- The falafel patties- made with dried chick peas, soaked overnight. The falafel patties top this dish.

Falafel, Fool,and Hummos- The Syrian Way!

Falafel, Fool,and Hummos- The Syrian Way!

Ingredients

    Tehine-
  • A jar of raw tahina
  • water
  • salt
  • lemon
  • garlic,
  • cumin to sprinkle on top.
  • Fava Bean or Fool Mixture:
  • 1 can of Fava beans
  • 2-3 heads of garlic, mashed
  • salt
  • lemon
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • olive oil
  • chopped tomatoes
  • parsley
  • Next:Top dish with falafel patties:
  • 1 bag of dried chick peas
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt, pepper

Instructions

    Tehina (bottom layer)
  1. Mix all ingredients together to taste. Should be thick like yogurt consistency.
  2. Fool (fava bean salad mixture- goes on top of tehina layer)
  3. Boil can of Fava beans for 10 minutes only.
  4. Mix with 2- 3 mashed fresh garlic,
  5. salt,
  6. lemon
  7. cumin,
  8. paprika
  9. olive oil
  10. chopped tomatoes
  11. top with chopped parsley.
  12. Add olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top.
  13. Make the falafel patties:
  14. Soak the dried chick peas overnight.(You can't use canned chick peas)
  15. Should be soft enough to break with your nail- not soft enough to smash.
  16. Grind chick peas in Cuisinart with parsley and cilantro.
  17. Grind with 2-3 cloves of garlic with each pulse using total 1 head of garlic. Add 2 tbsp flour or a little more till you can press into firm patties.
  18. Pan fry with vegetable oil or:
  19. bake it by rolling each ball in flour, dip in olive oil, fry it lightly to keep its' shape, and then spray with Pam and bake in a cookie pan.
http://www.thejewishhostess.com/2013/02/fool-falafel-and-tehina-ful-medemas-the-syrian-way/

 

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Fantastic Fuchsias for  your Passover Seder Table Decor!

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Fantastic Fuchsias for your Passover Seder Table Decor!

No Comments 03 February 2013

Passover Table Decor, The jewish Hostess
Fantastic Fuchsias for for your Passover Seder Table Decor!Looking for new ways to make your Passover seder table more festive this year? A table with hot fuchsia and spring greens would make any guest get into the holiday spirit! Even Eliyahu may surprise you! Being an interior designer, I am always on the lookout for new creative ideas and inspiration, and this year Amanda Nisbet’s bold and exciting use of color evokes my Passover table. Nisbet is a successful interior designer who has created an award winning design reputation with her glamorous yet comfortable style. “I pride myself on never doing the same thing twice.” Her love of hot pink bright hues has inspired me to create this fantastic fuchsia fantasy table for Passover.by Elizabeth Braha- founder of Simple Dwellings Interior Design
Follow on Instagram @simpledwellings.
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Juicy Asian Style Lamb Chops with Crispy Roasted Mushrooms

kosher meat recipes, kosher recipes, kosher thanksgiving recipes, rosh hashanah roast , lamb, and brisket recipes, sukkot and rosh hashanah recipes

Juicy Asian Style Lamb Chops with Crispy Roasted Mushrooms

5 Comments 29 January 2013

 

Soy Vay Marinated Kosher Lamb Chops

Weekly Thursday mornings seem to roll around quicker than the Little Tykes toys that sped atop my kitchen floor over the past two decades. That sentimental part of my child rearing years has all but disappeared, (of course I’ve all but forgotten about the sleepless bleary eyed nights, sticky pacifiers glued to the bottom of my pocketbook…), but the familiar weekly whisper still persists…”WHAT ARE YOU MAKING FOR SHABBAT DINNER TOMORROW NIGHT?”  Hmmmm….

Choices, choices…. as I browse through my pantry ….

A new meat dish for Shabbat…. what’s quick… delicious…not TOO heavy…??? Maybe lamb chops???

YES!!!!  No need to marinate an entire roast! One or two bite sized chops per family member. Kind of pricey but SO  worth it for a quick change of pace on the Friday night dinner table. My once little ones now appreciate this bite sized delicacy and my youngest picky kid will actually take a couple of chomps!

My doorbell rings and the kosher chops are delivered very quickly from my local kosher butcher.

I minced some garlic, ginger, a grind of black pepper and a splash of olive oil and   Wasabi Teriyaki Soy Vay Marinade, and I was on my way!

Sliced and spiced my mushrooms and they too were soon ready to roast in the oven.

IMG_3410

They were truly a hit at the Shabbat dinner table. As proof I wish I could have taken a picture of the empty lamb chop platter! (no pics on Shabbat!)

Many lamb chop recipes call for “Frenched” lamb chops, which means that a butcher will take off all of the fat from the bone but I couldn’t disagree more! The fat on the bone of the chops will add more flavor to the bone, and as we all know- when it comes to lamb chops- forget about manners! It sounds greasy, but a real lamb chop lover will suck that bone dry. Of course you can tell your butcher to take most of the fat off the bone, but don’t leave it totally bone dry.

I really enjoy using the Soy Vay Marinade products because I don’t need to chop tons of fancy ingredients just to make a fabulous dish. PLUS- who wants all those  preservatives found in all of those other marinades? (YUCK! NOT ME!!)  The folks at Soy Vay have  done all the chopping and Asian culinary tasting work for us. It’s already and packaged  in their easy to spot Soy Vay bottles on the supermarket shelf. You can try it for yourself! It’s available at all Foodtown, Food Emporium and D’Agostino and Whole Foods supermarkets. You can also use one click shopping with Amazon link below.

Of course I would totally recommend these lamb chops as a special man treat for Father’s Day, and make sure to have Soy Vay  on hand for summer grilling!

For a fabulous grilled salmon recipe marinated in Soy Vay, click HERE.

Soy Vay Marinades

 

Here’s the EASY recipe:

Juicy Asian Style Lamb Chops with Crispy Roasted Mushrooms

Juicy Asian Style Lamb Chops with Crispy Roasted Mushrooms

Ingredients

    Marinate a six pack of lamb chops in a marinade of:
  • 1/4 cup of Soy Vay Wasabi Teriyaki
  • 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. About a half hour before serving:
  2. Place an empty roaster in a PREHEATED 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  3. Throw your lamb chops in the HOT roaster and let sizzle for about 10 minutes on each side.
  4. If you like your chops rare, then you can take them out about now. They will keep cooking even after they are removed from the oven. Keep covered till serving.
  5. I like to lower the oven heat to about 350 degrees and let them cook for another 5 minutes for the younger kids portions.
  6. Of course you can always grill them on the barbecue but I know that I have more control over the juiciness of these chops if the juices are marinating my meat in a roaster, and not dripping down into the bbq coals...
  7. For the crispy mushrooms:
  8. Clean and slice 2 boxes of button mushrooms (they shrink like crazy)
  9. Marinate in 1/4 cup Soy Vay Wasabi marinade.
  10. Place an empty roaster in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  11. Slide your mushrooms into the sizzling pan shaking the UNCOVERED pan every 2 minutes for about 15 minutes till mushrooms lose their juices and become crispy looking on the edges.
  12. Garnish grilled lamb chops with mushrooms and 2 teaspoons of sliced scallions.
  13. YUM!!!!
http://www.thejewishhostess.com/2013/01/juicy-asian-style-lamb-chops-with-crispy-roasted-mushrooms/

Thank you to the nice people at Soy Vay for sending over some bottles of their products for me to try!

 

 

 

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Italian Plum Torte  – A  Rosh Hashanah “New Fruit” Dessert

kosher dessert recipes, kosher pareve recipes, rosh hashanah desserts, sukkot and rosh hashanah recipes

Italian Plum Torte – A Rosh Hashanah “New Fruit” Dessert

10 Comments 26 January 2013

Italian prune plums are in season this month, and are a juicy “new” fruit for the Rosh Hashanah new year. They look like an extra large purple olive. In the 80′s, The New York Times printed this Italian plum recipe, and its been in my mother in law’s Rosh Hashanah recipe archive ever since. Its a moist cake recipe that can be made two weeks in advance and frozen with plastic wrap. When you pull it out of the freezer and warm it up, it will taste oven fresh.

This dessert is easy to make and gorgeous on your breakfast or Rosh Hashanah dessert table.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine (we use Earth Balance these days)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 Italian prune plums
  • Sugar & lemon juice – for topping
  • Teaspoon of cinnamon

Oven – 350 degrees

  1. Cream the sugar & margarine in bowl
  2. Add flour , baking powder, salt & eggs
  3. Beat well
  4. Spoon the batter into 8-10 inch spring form
  5. Split and pit the plums and place the halves on top of batter – skin side up
  6. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice and cinammon.
  7. Bake about 1 hour
  8. Remove and cool
  9. Refrigerate or freeze if desired.
  10. Serve plain or with whipped cream, dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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How to Seed a Pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah: Two Techniques

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How to Seed a Pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah: Two Techniques

5 Comments 26 January 2013

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Pomegranate fruit.

There are two techniques  to scooping out 613 of those pomegranate seeds!

The first one was sent in by Linda Dayan in Israel-:

Technique #1:

1-When my children were little, we wanted them to be a part of the preparing for Rosh HaShana. We used to put giant bibs on them and let them remove the seeds from the pomegranates. The reason that we eat this fruit on Rosh haShana is the symbolism of its many seeds; that we should have a new year filled with many mitzvot. It is even said that the pomegranate contains 613 seeds, the number of mitzvot in the Torah. I don’t know if this is true, but the counting was another way to keep our kids busy, while I was cooking!

Now that my children have B’H,  grown and we are both (hopefully) smarter… I have discovered easier ways to seed this delicious, healthy fruit. Here goes:

Put on an apron!

Roll the pomegranate on your counter, pressing gently around all sides.

Cut the pomegranate in half (like you would slice a grapefruit). Slice off the little crown on the top.

Place the two halves of the fruit face down on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and then a dish towel.

Get your poultry hammer or heavy wooden spoon and hit around all the sides – and top of the fruit.

Carefully, lift off the coverings and the rind. Those beautiful, bright red seeds will be yours for the taking.

Technique #2:

2– Watch the video now:

and/or read on….

First cut off the top of the pomegranate. With a spoon, gently take out some of the center core. Be careful not to squeeze or disturb the seeds. Next, use your knife to score the outer rind around the fruit. Put your thumbs in the center and gently pull apart the sections. Peel away some of the white skin. You may be able to remove pieces from the rind.

To easily remove the seeds, place the pieces of pomegranate into a large bowl of cold water. Now when you go to remove the seeds, they’ll come right out. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl. With the sieve, remove the skin floating on top. When the skin is gone, take out the seeds. Don’t freeze the seeds as they lose their color when frozen.

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Table-Set-Go Rosh Hashanah Table – Be Inspired!

holiday table settings, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

Table-Set-Go Rosh Hashanah Table – Be Inspired!

6 Comments 20 January 2013

On Tuesday July 11, the fabulously talented women of the Sephardic community in Deal, New Jersey unleashed their creative table setting talents to amaze hundreds of Jewish women who arrived to support the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center. This event, staged on the spacious summer porch of the home of our gracious hosts,Charles and Ariella Ben Dayan, was a competition that consisted of eight teams of 1-5 women per team. Each team was given a random holiday theme, in which they created a unique table setting. The basic rule was that they must use a 48 inch round table that was supplied to them, and from there on in, the sky was the limit.  An impressive lunch, chinese auction gifts, and demonstrations were also featured during the day. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so go on and feast your eyes!!!!

Rosh Hashanah

Table by:

Marcy Smeke, Pauline Assa, Michal Gindi, Grace Chehebar, Tunee Missry

This  Rosh Hashanah table is truly a work of art and imagination. The table was lined with a vintage table cloth. Next, the girls layered the table with bamboo place mats, a gold woven place mat, green glass charger, gold dish, a hand painted gold leaf salad plate, embroidered leaves napkin and gold flatware. Note the symbolic silver apple that tops off the whole place setting. Of course we “dip the apple in the honey” to symbolize the hopefully sweet upcoming New Year.

Are you starting to get a little anxious about when is Rosh Hashanah this year of 2011? Well, mark your calendars and get back on the beach! You’ve got till Sept 28 at sundown to start dipping those apples…..

 

Above: Note the LIVE FISH swimming in the elongated green vases. A genius idea!!! Of course the fish are a perfect symbol of The Jewish New Year, as many people serve the head of the fish on the Rosh Hashanah table to symbolize the fact that we should be the “Rosh”  (the head)and not the ” Zanav”(the tail).

The fish also symbolize our custom of “Tashlich” in which we throw our sins into a live body of water that contains fish.

The photo above was taken by Norma Cohen just seconds before an ocean breeze sent one of the vases toppling over. Thankfully Grace Chehebar saved the day and scooped  all of the flopping fish off of the porch and flung them into the second vase.

Note the Shofar candlesticks above!!!

Above :I LOVE the silver apple casually placed in to the bowl of green apples!!!

Below: Don’t miss the fresh honey oozing out of the honey combs! (The girls whispered to me that  the honey combs can be bought HERE .)

In my opinion, the real hit of the whole table was the apple that doubled as a honey jar. Pauline Assa explained her unique Rosh Hashanah invention to me in 4 easy steps:

  1.  Take an apple and slightly slice off the bottom so that it sits upright.(leave a flat bottom so the the honey doesn’t leak out)
  2. Scoop with a melon baller
  3. Swish some lemon juice around the apple sides and top (this may be done the night before the holiday).
  4. Fill with honey.
  5. HOW COOL????
  6. Stay tuned to The Jewish Hostess for more of the fabulous Table Settings displayed by the Jewish women who came together for the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center on July 12 2011!!! (Coming up…… Sukkot, Shabbat, Chanuka, A Garden Party, Shavuot, and Passover……..)

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A Royal Rosh Hashanah Table Setting! By Viviane

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A Royal Rosh Hashanah Table Setting! By Viviane

2 Comments 19 January 2013

 

Enjoy Rosh Hashanah inspiration from 2011!

WOW!! What a gorgeous holiday table!!  If you are looking for elegant table setting ideas then you’ve come to the right place! Viviane’s flair for color and style is evident with the effort that she put into her Rosh Hashanah table. Shades of the color purple are associated with royalty, wisdom, and mystery in which the flowers, dishes, placemats and stemware add the extra touch of sophistication to the table.

 I love how she so cleverly used  Kim Seybert napkin rings as a backdrop for printed place cards for her guests! And the individual simanim for each family member! What a cool idea! Love it! I’m sure adults and children alike went home with wonderful holiday memories that reflected the effort and thought that went into this special holiday table setting. (Not to mention all the the yummy kosher holiday recipes that were prepared as well! Viviane- send us your holiday menu also!!) Shana Tova! Marlene

“I got my idea online from a Chinese hostess website. I bought the spoons from a restaurant warehouse and the plates underneath from CB2. I went to Paper Moon Invitations on Avenue P and had them print up the cards with each beracha. Then I went to Lana fabric on Kings Highway and bought organza plum ribbon and tied each one to each spoon. Every person got their own plate with their own spoons and simanim. What a nice night! Viviane”

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Have A Wild Purim Party With the Mamiyes!

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Have A Wild Purim Party With the Mamiyes!

11 Comments 15 January 2013

 

 

 

 

Purim Party -Centerpiece-2-550x366

 

 

Enjoy this re-post from 2012….

 

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Dear Hostesses, I know that your are all thinking that I am the one responsible for this magnificent jungle themed table, but no, I must admit- all of the credit goes to my official partner in crime, my sister in law A……Mamiye. About two weeks ago, she graciously invited my family over for a Purim Party Seudah, and thrilled to be let off the hook, I quickly accepted.

A….. always puts extra effort into her Purim Party theme and  literally involves every member of her family into the fun of the holiday. One year she came to my door dressed as the wicked witch, with themed mishloach manot in hand, and each kid (plus my brother in law) was in tow as another member of the Wizard of Oz family. (I was told  that if I posted the pictures, I would be excommunicated). Another fun year she made us all dress up in 80′s garb and I had a great time exhuming my old favorite lime neon green shoulder padded short jacket (the matching mini-mini skirt wouldn’t zip), and I blew off the dust from my beloved 3 inch hanging gem encrusted  gold costume earrings (why I still have all that stuff, I do not know). I PUFFED up my hair, and tried to replicate my  Stagelight blue eyeshadow (who remembers Blue Roses sticky lip gloss?). ( If this era applies to you,  click here and reminisce with fads from the 80′s). Anyways, Allegra treated us all to a whole 80′s experience that Purim holiday, including an entire homage to Rick Springfield and his music. (ahem).

 Fast forward to Purim 2012- Knowing that we would have to spotlight this holiday table on The Jewish Hostess, we quickly began to brainstorm.  An adventurous sarfari theme came to mind and we got to work. Digging into both of  our  storage closets, we dug up anything and everything that was wood, orange, green, exotic, and bright. Within three minutes my niece was at my door ready to pick up my tropical finds.

A….. went to work on the computer and in her own words “‎​Got the bandana’napkins’ and the hanging balls and animal print bags from Oriental Trading. Dirt cheap. Got the ‘bambu’ disposable plates from Paper goods. All the rest is yours and my stuff dug up from the archives!”

A….. spent the next two days singlehandedly setting up her table, and  so excited with how it was coming out, she called me at midnight to come check it out. 

Twenty years ago A….. and I used to dream of running to Bergdorfs, but now all we were thinking of was when we could find a minute to run to the flower market for some brights  that would polish off the table. We finally got there yesterday, parked illegally and within 10 minutes we had acquired a bunch of beautiful vines, leaves, and exotics, plus, of course, a parking ticket.

I ran to the fruit store (this was the one day of the year that Ouri’s didn’t have baby bananas!) and I grabbed some mangoes, kiwis, oranges, and pineapple, brought it to her house dumped them into our wood bowls, and within three minutes we were ready for photographer Gary Zindel to snap some photos.

Check it out A……’s Purim party efforts below and enjoy! Happy Purim! Marlene

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The Jewish Hostess Jewel Toned Sweet Rosh Hashanah Table 2012

holiday table settings, kosher recipes, rosh hashanah simanim, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings

The Jewish Hostess Jewel Toned Sweet Rosh Hashanah Table 2012

2 Comments 12 January 2013

 Enjoy this repost of my Rosh hashanah table setting from 2012!

What will be YOUR Rosh Hashanah table decor style for 2013?

This Rosh Hashanh (2012), I decided to purchase two ram’s horns as accents to my Rosh Hashanah table decor. The horns flanked a centerpiece of gorgeous orchids and ruby red roses and “new” Rosh Hashanah fruits embedded within the display- all designed by  Shirley Bar Nathan.

Originally I had planned on using jelly apples with butterfly place card holders on each dish (pictured down below), but the jelly apples were a little more tedious than I had anticipated, so I ended up using about 10 of them as an accent on the table. I bought a couple dozen bumble bee sugar shapes on Amazon.com.
Sugar Bumble Bees Cake Decorations (1 dz)

My napkin rings were simple burgundy strips of tied velvet ribbon that picked up upon the colors of the pomegranate and the new fruits within the table’s centerpiece. A simple wood honey dipper (saved from last year’s Rosh Hashanah table setting) slipped into each “napkin ring” served as extra Rosh Hashanah table themed decor. Every table setting had their own little individualized plate of Simanim, which made it much easier to clear away and serve my dinner buffet style on the server. Candles and little golden tea lights added to our romantic themed new year’s table. Email me with any questions! Wishing all of my hostesses a healthy an happy and successful year!

P.S. PLEASE FOLLOW @thejewishhostess on Instagram for up to the minute new recipes and table setting ideas shared by Jewish women worldwide.

 

 

(photo taken by the housekeeper at the start of the holiday)

 

 

 

 

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British Themed Bridal Shower by Daniella Salem

bridal showers

British Themed Bridal Shower by Daniella Salem

No Comments 07 January 2013

What a stunning bridal shower! Thanks for sending in these photos, Nathalie! Im loving how your “mum” used the patten of the British flag to line the fabulous cupcakes, cake pops, and desserts! Love the umbrella invitation, and fish and chips too. The colors happen to be such a bright and gorgeous contrast. I’m sure it looked “smashing”!

Marlene

Hi Marlene,

My mum, Daniella Salem, made me the most amazing shower when I was getting married last year. The theme was British because I grew up there. The invitation was an umbrella because it always rains there. Everything was red, white and blue and she even made fish and chips to stick with the theme! But the most spectacular part was the dessert table which was covered completely in flowers with white desserts only. It was the most magnificent shower! She used the center flower strip for a gorgeous table later in the week. No one does it like my mum :) Best,

Nathalie (Salem) Galapo

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Happy Birthday to Mom! Pink and Pearls Table Setting by Dalia Dabah

birthday parties, kosher recipes, mother's day tables, tu bishvat table settings

Happy Birthday to Mom! Pink and Pearls Table Setting by Dalia Dabah

No Comments 06 January 2013

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Wow Dalia- your mom must have cried when she saw how hard you worked to put this birthday party decor together!  The feminine pink cherry blossom napkins are reminding me that Tu Bishvat is coming up! (Friday night, January 25 2013). Love the pearl napkin rings and the LEBAS filled glass slipper! The ruffled pink placemats are the perfect touch. As many  Sephardic women know, LEBAS is a symbol of happy occasions, and we frequently display these candied almond at our festive events. They come in many colors to match the occasion. If you don’t have live near a kosher market, you can buy KOSHER JORDAN ALMONDS HERE.

If any of my hostesses are looking for some party  cupcake ideas, check out this book that I just found on Amazon!

Thanks again, Dalia! Marlene

 

Hi Marlene,

I wanted to do something special for my mom’s birthday this year to show her how much we appreciate her.

I put Lebas (candied almonds) in Wilton glass slippers and printed name cards.  The menu was: samboosak, fried fish, spanech, pasta pesto, caesar salad, asian noodles, mini pizzas, and quinoa.
For dessert, I had personalized cookies made by Aliza Salem.  I made a cake, cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels, pudding cups, fruit bowls, and peanut butter blossoms.
Thanks for your inspiration!!
Dalia Dabah

Pink Birthday Party, The Jewish Hostess

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Looking to create custom cool labels for your water  bottles? Click HERE for a great site!

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Crispy No Fail Latkes- The Easy Way!

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, kosher recipes

Crispy No Fail Latkes- The Easy Way!

1 Comment 01 January 2013

Thank you Kim Kushner for sharing your  better latkes technique! Kim offers keys to healthful cooking and  eating on her blog, kimkushnercuisine.com. Kim believes that the effort that goes into our cooking comes back to us many times over by encouraging our family and friends to eat healthy, keeping close with family get togethers, and inspiring recipe sharing among us all.

Find out more about Kim’s fabulous cooking classes HERE,

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Crispy, Salty & Oily- Latkes the real way

Every year I swear that I won’t do it again the next year. Latkes. But then, the holiday season approaches: bright lights fill the sky, Christmas music blares from every radio station, the streets of NYC are packed with holiday shoppers. I can’t help but love this time of year. Once I’m in the holiday spirit, I can’t help but get the urge to whip out the potatoes and onions and start from scratch. I know that I could pick up some pretty decent latkes at many places in New York, but we all know that nothing, I mean nothing, beats homemade. So, I roll up my sleeves, crack the windows open, and start frying…
But, I will say that this year was different than most. I think I may have finally figured out how to actually enjoy the latke making process. Below you will find a few tips in red.
Best Potato Latkes
makes about 22 small latkes (actually the perfect size!)
In the past I have made huge, huge batches- that kept me frying on 3 frying pans for hours. This is a mistake. You are better off making small quantites and doing it a few times, rather than doing it all in one shot. Trust me. Large batches end up burning, and the mess is just too much to handle.
4 large russet potatoes, peeled
4 small-medium yellow onions
3/4 cup matzo meal (this is the real deal, old school)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons rice bran oil or canola oil (I use rice bran oil for frying, it’s a healthier alternative and makes no difference in taste)
Grate the potatoes and onions in a food processor or on a box grater. You can do them seperately or at the same time. Now, you will need to squeeze out the extra liquid from the potatoes and onions. I find that the best way to do this is by wringing them out in a towel to get as much of the liquid out as possible.Take an old, but clean towel, and place about 3 cups of your gratings into it, and wrap the towel around it. Wring them out and then place into a large bowl, do this with all of your gratings.
In a separate bowl, crack 3 of the eggs, and beat with a fork. Stir the matzo meal into the beaten egg. Pour the gratings into the egg bowl, and use your hands to smush it all together. The mixture should be sticky and wet, but not too wet. There should not be any liquid swimming in the bottom of the bowl. If you feel that your mixture is too dry, take the remaining egg, and crack it into a small bowl, beat it with a fork. Pour a drop of that beaten egg into your potato-onion mixture. You do not need to add all of the egg, just as a much as is needed. Add the salt and pepper, and mix well.
Prepare a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and let it get hot. I like my latkes to be uniform in size, so I use a small ice cream scooper to measure out each latke. Scoop out 4 latke mounds and place on the pan, press down slightly so they are flattened a bit. Now, listen carefully:
Be patient, and do not overcrowd your pan. Resist the urge to touch, pat, move, or flip the latkes too early on. Let them cook for at least 2 minutes per side. Keep the temperature at medium-high and do not play with the temperature dial. They are better off cooking slowly that way they don’t burn on the outside and undercook on the inside. Flip them once, when really golden, and cook on the other side for 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and pace on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to cool. Now, take a step bake and relish in your glory. Take a bite- and see why they really are worth the fuss. Happy Chanukkah and Happy Holidays to all!
Peel your potatoes & onions (I used more than 4 potatoes because mine were teeny tiny!)
 
Grate your potatoes and onions
Place your grating in a dish towel
Wrap the towel around the gratings
Wring the gratings in the towel- squeeze like crazt to get as much liquid out as possible!
 Beat your eggs in a separate bowl
 Pour the potato and onion into the egg and matzo meal
Use your hands to combine
 For perfectly sized latkes, use a small ice cream scooper
 I fry mine in Rice Bran Oil
Heat the oil over medium-high heat
 Be patient and don’t over-crowd the pan
 Fry until golden & crisp
Let cool on a paper towel line baking sheet
A MAG Sheva Berachot by Barbara Franco- Pink and Red!

sheva berachot table settings

A MAG Sheva Berachot by Barbara Franco- Pink and Red!

No Comments 24 December 2012

 

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“Hi Marlene,
Here are some pictures from the Sheva Berachot I made for Susan and Maurice Kassin. The theme was pink and red. For napkin rings, I printed out a wallet-sized picture of them from their engagement in black and white. Then, I punched a hole in the corner and alternated between pink and red ribbon to tie the picture around the napkin. The name cards are heart shaped sugar cookies with hot pink sprinkles covered by a rectangular shaped cookie with names written in edible marker. The giveaways are pink pillow boxes filled with Red Hots candies and tied with red and pink ribbon to coordinate with the theme. Hope you like!”
-Barbara R Franco

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Come Play Cards! A Casual Gourmet Lunch by Frieda Kassin

card game lunch, kosher rice and pasta recipes

Come Play Cards! A Casual Gourmet Lunch by Frieda Kassin

2 Comments 24 December 2012

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Thank you Frieda Kassin for sharing your gorgeously displayed and gourmet card game with us! SO impressive!!! The wheat berry salad sounds like a winner! I can’t wait to try it! Marlene
“Hi Marlene,
The striped tablecloth was actually custom made. I used the lucite boxes as platters and the lids separately as platters…. Here are some recipes from my card game….”
Frieda Kassin

Recipe for Wheat Berry Salad: (pictured below)

  • Make wheat berry according to package but instead of water use use imagine vegetable stock.
  • Roast 3 cups butternut squash on tray with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.
  • Toast 1 cup mixed nuts in pan with olive oil, when done remove from pan and in the same oil sauté 2 shallots or 1 red onion. When translucent add 2-3 cups fresh chopped kale but don’t let it get wilted
  • In serving platter mix all ingredients together. Leave some of the freshly chopped kale and nuts to put on top. Serve at room temperature

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Quinoa Oreganata

  • Make quinoa according to package using imagine vegetable stock instead of water
  • Chop red onion and colored peppers very fine and add to quinoa once it’s cooled
  • Chop in food processor sundried tomatoes with its oils, kalamata olives and green olives with their oils leaving it still chucky
  • Add it to quinoa
  • Chop some fresh oregano and add it
  • Add salt, pepper and dried oregano
  • Serve cold or room temperature
  • Enjoy!

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Berta’s Award Winning Movie Themed Bridal Shower

bridal showers, Dessert Buffet Bars

Berta’s Award Winning Movie Themed Bridal Shower

No Comments 02 December 2012

 Thank you Berta Naftali for sharing your very special bridal shower with us! I love the movie theatre theme, and how you coordinated the desserts, flowers and candies.

Little details like how you flipped over your white lucite trays to add height and a more modern touch makes all the difference. Using your glass table without a cloth is also another great look. Red, black and white are a classic big hit color combo. Your bridal shower truly wins an Academy Award!

Marlene

“Hi Marlene,
These are some pictures of my movie themed bridal shower.To start, we gave out mini popcorn buckets for our invitation.We had a candy table to mimic the consession stands at the movie theater. There were raisenets, Milk Duds, Dots, Mike ‘n Ike, Twizzlers,  Crunch a Bunch ; all the candys you buy at the theaters.

The desserts were made by Mari Gindi.

My center peice cake, was made by my sister in laws. All desserts were made around the theme and the colors black white and red. My mother and I really worked hard to put it all together!!”

Berta Naftali

 

 

 

 

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The Jewish Hostess Shops Ikea and West Elm for a Hanukka Blue Table Setting!

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

The Jewish Hostess Shops Ikea and West Elm for a Hanukka Blue Table Setting!

13 Comments 01 December 2012

 

 Please “like” this Hanukka post and share with your friends!  A lot of hostess effort went into this holiday table!

 (Enjoy from Hanukka 2011!)

Happy Hanukka to all of my Jewish Hostesses!

This year I decided to get an early start on my Hanuka table setting.Being that my Amex card was getting a little rusty, I decided to get into the holiday spirit and  venture out to Ikea and West Elm to see if I could whip up some Hanuka table decor inspiration on a budget.

I decided to stick with the traditional Hanukkah blue and silver color combo because I already owned blue water glasses given to me by my consuegro (Syrian word for son-in-law’s mother) as a Rosh Hashanah gift, plus I happen to own a set of blue and silver rimmed Greek style dishes (a perfect Macabee theme!).

After an hour or two of piling anything and everything blue or silver into my shopping cart at Ikea, this is what I finally ended up with:

  1. Hanukah blue cotton place mats at $1.99 each. A great buy!
  2. Silver mirrored squares-(come in a pack of 4- these are a great investment- buy a dozen or two- you can use them on a dessert bar, as placemats, or you can even line your entire table with them. Your friends will definitely ask you to borrow these mirrored squares when they see how cool they look on your table…) I placed 4 in a row as a runner in the center of the table and then place one atop each blue placemat.

 

3. Go run and buy these beautiful silver candles from Ikea before they run out of them! Eight of these festive candles look so elegant lined up along the center of the table-menorah style.  Ikea also has gorgeous cobalt blue glass candle holders that fit perfectly as a base for my  new silver candles.  I placed four candles into their bases in a row to the right and the left of my own “shamash” vase. (Note- my son reminded me that this “menorah display” cannot be used as the actual menorah- even if I decided to use a candle as a the shamash in the center- according to tradition, the menorah has to be fashioned out of one piece of metal, wood, or glass…like in the beit hamikdash…)

4. I couldn’t resist buying two velvety bluish purple pillows at $19.99 from Ikea to place on silver gray chairs (from B and B party rental in Brooklyn, N.Y.) at both heads of the table of the table.

5. Dashing into West Elm (while the whole family waited outside), I purchased  these stunning silvery shimmery cotton napkins at $7 each. They look perfect atop each plate. I neatly folded each one and topped with a sparkly dreidel. I also found delicious kosher blue and white swirley lollipops at West Elm that I placed on the  mirrored table runner as well.

Hanuka Flowers, Cakes, Cookies, Boxes and Sparkle and Chairs:

      1. Again, thank you to B and B party rental for these gorgeous silver grey chairs. Ballroom chairs always add that touch of elegance for all of your  holiday table decor and party needs. Call B and B at (718) 436 – 8433 or go visit at 1076 38th Street, Brooklyn, NY.
      2. My good friend Shirley Barnathan happens to be a Brooklyn and NYC florist. Check out her Facebook  florals  here. She ran over with some gorgeous Hanuka-blue dyed feathers, and within minutes, she draped them from my dining room chandelier. Shirley also filled my center vase with stunning silver sprayed leaves. Within seconds she picked up my dying orchid plants with replaced them with vibrant new ones. She also brought over some place card holders that I borrowed for the photo shoot. Its great to have friends in the business!
      3. The magnificent and gorgeous Hanukka cake is by Fortune Farca. You will be amazed at her bakery creations! Check out her Facebook page HERE!  The beautiful and delicious Hanukaa dreidel cookies are by the talented Esther Dana. Check out her Facebook page HERE There’s nothing like gorgeous holiday themed baked goods to cozy up the look of your table.
      4. Chocolate Hanukka Coins, Dreidel and Hanukka Ornaments are inexpensive and really add to the holiday excitement. Sticking to one or two colors within your scheme  give a more elegant look. Shop here for Hanukkah Table Accessories and inspiration!
      5. You can find silver boxes and gorgeous ribbon in  local shops or try sites like M and J trimmings for pretty Hanuka blue ribbons.
      6. Hanukka sprinkles and nonpareils can be used as “sand” to sprinkle around chocolate coins and dreidels. They will really add a lot of pizzaz to your table!  Click here for a selection of Wilton Kosher Sprinkles. Use the White Glitter Sprinkles for extra sparkle.
      7. P.S. Don’t forget to buy inexpensive Dreidel Ice Cube Molds! (see ice cube pic below). Kids love ‘em!
      8. Keep scrolling down below to see the rest of my Hanukka table setting.

Use these suggestions as a basic guide for your own unique Hanukkah table decor. Using your favorite silver or blue or white tableware as a base, and then shop around your favorite discount stores, florist, Crate and Barrel, Ikea, Target, or West Elm for fun accessories to add to your holiday centerpiece. Of course if you want to go all out, you can click on over to Barneys for a real first class treat -to your wallet!

Of course I can’t wait to see your Hanuka holiday tables! Please send your pics over to marlene (at) thejewishhostess.com.

I have a fabulous brand new gourmet kosher cookbook for the most voted winner!

What do you think of this holiday table setting? Comment below with your suggestions for your sparkling Hanukka celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

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