Tag archive for "Jew"

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Shana Tova! Welcome to my Rosh Hashana Table!  Love, The Jewish Hostess

holiday table settings, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings

Shana Tova! Welcome to my Rosh Hashana Table! Love, The Jewish Hostess

3 Comments 12 August 2013

 (Enjoy my Rosh Hashanah table setting from September 2011!)

Dear Hostesses,

Even though Rosh Hashanah came a little bit later this year, for some reason I was still scrambling till the last minute. Thank goodness  it all came together somehow by the time it was time to light the candles! Setting my table took about three days, (believe it or not), and of course it always looks so effortless when the guests walk in.

1- My tablecloth- a simple linen hem stitch cloth was the backdrop for the beautiful dishes that my mom packed up as a gift to me before the holiday. She had owned them for about 40 years, and I seem to remember the navy dishes with the gold scrollwork being piled high at the the disco-dinner party that my parents had made for my older brother back in the 70′s. Looking back, she still wishes that she had ordered more than service for 18. Out of curiosity,  I checked on Replacements.com and actually found these dishes! Unfortunately they are out of stock but will let me know if they ever uncover any more.

2- My napkin rings are lucite each napkin ring has a small hole to display a flower. You can purchase them at The Jewish Hostess Shop.  I didn’t want to deal with keeping real flowers alive with water that would spill on everyone’s new holiday clothes, so I sent my daughter to the flower district on 28 Street between 6 and 7th  in Manhattan to find very real looking orchids which we snipped with scissors and slid into each ring.

 

3- Honey dippers- I bought these wooden honey dippers from www.craftparts.com. They were so inexpensive! About $30. for 50 of them. The little kids had a great time sliding them into the lucite napkin rings, and I also bought honey sticks (not shown) which we also slid into the napkin rings on the kids table.

 

4- I have about 6 of my grandmother’s little crystal shot glasses (above), so I poured some honey into each of them and spread them along the length of the table.

5- I had a lot of fun putting together my centerpiece of “new fruits” for my Rosh Hashanah table. Last year I purchased this L’Objet centerpiece bowl from Parci Parla, and I knew that it would be a perfect match for my mom’s gold dishes. I purchased a gold apple for about $15 from “Aimee”, and a gold butterfly from Karen’s Invitations on Avenue U  and then ran into Ouri’s fruit store to get whatever new gorgeous fruits that were still left on the shelves. Ouri had the best Medjool dates, mini pineapples, dates on the vine, concord grapes, champagne grapes, raisins on the stem, Meyer lemons (which gave a pop of color), and several more fruits which I cannot remember the names. (If you really want to know ALL of the names of these fruits then I give you permission to email Martha Stewart with any questions and I’m sure she will answer you right away- let me know!)

6- I love these little tasting spoons and bowls that I found online from  http://www.worldmarket.com, and I especially loved how cool all of the red pomegranates seeds looked lined up in the white ceramic tasting spoons before we said the Beracha.

7- Sugar in a mini silver dish…. (above), and “sillet”(next to the apple and the medjool date) made by my mother in law- which is a Syrian recipe for the gourd. I will hopefully post this gourd recipe by next Rosh Hashanah!

After this pic was taken, we put out the rest of the berachot which included leek edjeh, (fried patties made by my mother in law) sugared quince, and loobiah (meat stew made with black eyed peas)


8. Note the natural honey in the wood crate  from Ouri’s fruit. Ouri warned the women in the fruit store not to let their families eat the “waxy” exterior which he said is not kosher. Just serve the delicious honey that drips out!

Shana Tova Oometukah to all of my Jewish Hostesses!!!! Love, Marlene

P.S. Check out Candy Gabbay’s Missoni Mania Rosh Hashanah table!!!!

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“Thanksgivukkah” Table and Decor-Syrian Style!

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

“Thanksgivukkah” Table and Decor-Syrian Style!

4 Comments 19 June 2013

 

Thanksgivukkah, Tahanksgiing, Hanukka Table Decor, 1

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Dear Hostesses,

In case you haven’t heard, the new code word for the next huge family get together is “Thanksgivukkah”. This year, in a rare alignment of calendars, Hanukka and Thanksgiving fall on November 28, 2013. Astronomers say that we won’t see this occurrence again till the year 79,811 so  I decided  to make a big deal out of this menorah/pumpkin  shidduch (or buzzrah  as they say in Arabic) by re-creating  a Syrian Jewish Hanukka table with a twist  of Thanksgiving thrown in.  Some may say that this American/Jewish holiday connection is pure coincidence, but I’m thinking that there is a greater cosmic connection that’s just waiting to be blogged about.

As Jews in America,  we are very grateful to be able to celebrate our holidays publicly without fear of being persecuted. Just the fact that we can honor the mitzvah of lighting the menorah at the front window to shout out the 8 day miracle of Hanukka is reason enough to bring out our finest china and table decor to honor our peaceful place in Jewish history. For that reason alone, we should all proudly acknowledge and celebrate Thanksgiving.   As a Sephardic Jew living in America I now understand that we are a minority of Jews residing within a minority of the larger Ashkenazi Jewish population. When our community first arrived on these shores in the 1900′s, they were quickly swept up in the wave of fellow immigrants that had also fled for a better life in the U.S.A.. Fast forward one hundred years,  the Syrian Jewish culture readily absorbed many delicious flavors from their surrounding American and Ashkenazi Jewish neighbors while still retaining the pride of their homeland. It’s no wonder I received this email from Rina Kassab who wrote,

“Hi Marlene, in Syria we had no idea what Sufganiyot is! We made Atayef with Ricotta (lebeh) and Walnuts (joz). My Atayef are ready to freeze fresh for Hanukka!
Hope u like!”

I then decided to skip the Sufganiyot and  create a Syrian style Hanukka table sweetened with a tray of sweet chopped nut filled Atayef and drizzled with shirah- a thick rose water syrup freshly made by Rina. Rina told me that on Hanukka in Syria, the Jewish women prepared 8 small glass cups that were filled with half water/half oil and then inserted a handmade wick within each one. (Whaaaat? No Jonathan Adler Menorot?)

And guess what? In Syrian, NO GIFTS were given on HANUKKA!  Gift giving was reserved for Purim!  I wonder if the Ashkenaz Jews had the tradition of eight surprise filled nights way back in the old country. Comment below if anyone you know has the answer! (Hmmm…. why do I suspect that gift giving during December in our great U.S of A evolved into a fabricated American marketing spending scheme…)

I also added in an extra candle that is lit every year by Syrian Jews whose ancestors fled Spain during the expulsion by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Expelled on Tisha B’Av over 500 years ago, several Jewish families wandered for months until they stumbled upon the Syrian community of Aleppo, Syria some months later on  Hanukka eve. So grateful were this group of exiles to finally find a homeland that they lit an extra candle to commemorate this miracle. To this day many Syrian Jewish families still light an extra candle on Hanukka, some knowing the story of their wandering ancestors, and some just  following this custom by tradition without really understanding why the extra candle is illuminated.

Enjoy my “Thanksgivukkah” table! Flowers and pumpkin menorah designed by Marzan Flowers.

Photos by the talented Morris Gindi of morrisgindiphotography. Call Morris for weddings and special events! Product and architectural shoots. Check out his website HERE and Instagram feed HERE.

Thanksgivukkah 19{‘

Modern Silver Hanukka Menorah by Parci Parla in Brooklyn. Call Sherri at ((347) 587-5179 for pricing.

Orange roses  by Marzan Flowers (917)406-6259.

Thanksgivukkah, menorah,  Sephardic,Hanukkah 20

Note the extra candle lit! (Want to know why? Read it above)

Thanksgivukkah13

Dreidels filled with a scooped out and silver sprayed pumpkin by Marzan Flowers. Silver tray by Christofle.

Personalized napkins by ipersonalize.(Call or text Joy  718-490-7063 for more options)

 

Thanksgivukkah7

Custom Hanukka Straws by personalize. Call or text Joy (718)490-7063 for all of your tabletop personalizationClick here for more personalization ideas!

Blue trimmed linen napkin and blue and white Ikat tablecloth by Tabletoppers- Call or text Michelle at (646)258-0929

Custom Hanukka Place cards  with exotic blue feathers by Karens Invitations. Call Karen at (718) 339-1929

Thanksgiving Rooster Cupcake Topper by Kitchen Caboodles. Call Helen at (917)691-4599

 

Thanksgivukkah, Sephardic Hanukkah, Atayef, 17

Although I was really doing great on my diet, I didn’t even flinch when the photo shoot was over and I was able to eat an entire Atayef without a drop of guilt. My grandmother used to make these sweet crunchy treasures and each bite was worth every single calorie. Thanks Rina!!!

Thanksgivukkah 6

Thanksgivukkah 3

This fantastic silver sprayed pumpkin  menorah was designed and hand crafted by Yuval and Ina Marzan of Marzan Flowers.

Call them for your festive events, holiday tables and hostess gift arrangements at (917)406-6259.

Love this IKAT blue and white table topper by Tabletoppers- Call or text Michelle at (646)258-0929

Thanksgivukkah 4 Thanksgivukkah 5  Thanksgivukkah 8

 

 

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Delicious Hanukka cake  with Pumkins on top(!!!) designed by Rachel Benun of Flour Power. Call Rachel for your next special event! (917)881-2428

Lucite cake knife by Parci Parla (347)587-5179

 

Thanksgivukkah 12 Thanksgivukkah 14

Gorgeous multi layered wrapped gift cake by callmecookie1! Call Latifah at (347)536-9361

Wine Decanter by Pampaloni

Thanksgivukkah 16

Cake detail by  by callmecookie1! Call Latifah at (347)536-9361

Thanksgivukkah, Hanukka Cake, 15

Hope u enjoyed! XoXo

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Missoni Mania on Rosh Hashanah by Candy Gabbay

DIY, holiday table settings, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings

Missoni Mania on Rosh Hashanah by Candy Gabbay

No Comments 19 May 2013

Enjoy this Rosh Hashanah inspiration from 2011….

Feast your eyes on this colorful and daring Rosh Hashanah holiday table that Candy Gabbay whipped up after dashing to the Missoni Target sale last week! Candy is constantly ahead of the trends, it’s no wonder that she pulled this hot table decor  together using a MISSONI SHOWER CURTAIN!!! 

P.S  If your table setting is fun, unique, inspiring,  and one of a kind, then we want to see it too!!!! Send it over to marlene (at )thejewishhostess.com!!!

 

“Hi Marlene,

  Since the only thing I could find of Missoni in Target was a shower curtain, I had to buy it even though I didn’t need one! So, I decided to turn it into a table cloth and base my table settings around it! It’s so fun and colorful, just like me! I got so many comments on it as my BBM picture, so I decided to share it with your website. The photos are attached, if you have any problems opening it let me know!
  I put a solid black tablecloth first. Then took the Missoni reversible shower curtain and placed in center and folded sides up so you would see the black and white pattern along the edge of table. I bought flowers that coordinated with the colors on the curtain and placed them in small circular vases down center of table. Found the exact green from the cloth in plates at Amazing Savings and loved the cool shape. Added black and white napkins, a Missoni candle, and last but not least my outrageous challah cover that I needle pointed myself! As you can see I like color!”
Candy Gabbay
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Rosh Hashanah in Morocco? Check out Sarah’s Table!

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

Rosh Hashanah in Morocco? Check out Sarah’s Table!

2 Comments 19 May 2013

“LIKE” this post! (above this pic!)

(Enjoy Rosh Hashanah inspiration from 2011….)

Thank you Sarah for sending in your “Night in Morocco” themed Rosh Hashanah! WOW!!! I wish I was there!

Sarah created this Moroccan themed evening on Rosh Hashanah  by buying nargilla smoking pipes as props from Kosher Palace on Kings Highway. Always thinking of making her guests feel cozy and right at home, she also somehow found a minute to run to  Canal Street in Manhattan to purchase pashmena wraps which she artfully displayed on the back of each chair. Comfortable Morrocan patterned silk slippers were displayed in a basket at the foot of the dining room table. Moroccan drums and mirrored trays on this fabulous Rosh Hashanah table completed the holiday decor. Thick candles and Moroccan inspired candlesticks topped off the festive Jewish New year.

This is one table that will inspire us all to make our Jewish  holidays fun AND memorable! Thanks again for sharing your evening with us, Sarah!

Make sure you  subscribe now so you don’t miss a single kosher holiday recipe orholiday table setting idea!

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A Chic Parisian Rosh Hashanah by Raquel Habert

rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings

A Chic Parisian Rosh Hashanah by Raquel Habert

2 Comments 19 April 2013

Rosh Hashanah flashback-2011!
Raquel Habert is a very busy woman. Besides finding the time to cater everybody else’s Rosh Hashanah holiday table, she also found time to create a fabulous Parisian lunch for her entire family. This lunch is a perfect inspiration for SUKKOT, so keep these pics on your desktop and wait for your stomach to start rumbling!!! Call Raquel to cater your next party! Enjoy! Marlene

Hi Marlene,

Inspired from my trip to Paris last year – I wanted to serve all the food in individual portions Not being able to  find the right table cloth, so I went to the fabric store and bought a black leather cloth and made a runner from that black and white fabric. I happen to love inspiring messages, so each Eiffel tower place card holder  had a word printed on it – happiness, gratitude, honor, love grace etc … and each card also the guest’s name on it.

I found butterflies at Kitchen Caboodles and placed them on my napkins.
Mirrors were used as chargers.
I set up the food in the kitchen on display boxes with mirrors And I also bought lamp posts online to create the Paris street setting.
I also got the individual ramekins from kitchen caboodles and the martini glasses and large glasses for salads.

I’ll send over the pics now !
Raquel Habert
(917)536-2122


carmelized onion goat cheese tarts with fresh figs and truffle oil

 mac and cheese logs

fried eggplant squares topped with sautéed spinach and piece of grilled salmon on top

string bean salad

 

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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

rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings

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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DIY Mishloach Manot Purim Cards- For That Extra Special Touch

purim recipes, baskets, and decor

DIY Mishloach Manot Purim Cards- For That Extra Special Touch

2 Comments 14 January 2013

Dear Hostesses,

Every Sunday, we venture out to different parts of Brooklyn and NYC to check out some of the new exciting neighborhoods.

Last week, we journeyed out to Smith Street in Downtown Brooklyn and the sweet sight of moms and dads wheeling strollers and Sunday morning coffee shops made me feel like I’d like to spend a little time discovering the area. Looking for some great shopping, I started to scout around. You might be thinking that great spending to me means Intermix, Scoop, Chanel, and Prada- (well, it doesn’t hurt to window shop!), but really fun shopping is when I can walk into a store like Paper Source, and feel like a kid again. Located at 102 Smith Street, it’s a crafter’s dream.   For anyone that’s really a kid at heart, Paper Source will allow you to create to your heart’s content. The friendly staff will help you choose from arrays of colored and patterned paper, glitter, stamps, and tons more. (They didn’t pay me for this post! REALLY!)

Paper_Source_Brooklyn

I decided then and there, that I would try to see if I could challenge myself to some DIY Purim cards. After browsing around in heaven for a couple of minutes, I realized that I had to speed it up seeing that my hubby and kids were getting a little fidgety. I quickly threw some coordinating card stock, a wine bottle stamp, gold ink, leaf patterned ribbon, raffia, a burlap ribbon, and a hole puncher into my basket. As the sales girl rang me up, I also grabbed some packaged glue dots which ended up being a key ingredient to my DIY cards.

That evening, I was so excited to rip open my Paper Source bags. I felt like I had just gotten home from the toy store. The best part of the whole night was that I put away my phone, my kids became a part of the process, and together we created a fantastic mess, plus the one of a kind cards below.

The secret to this scrapbooking style of card making is to layer, layer, and keep on layering. And if you make a mistake, then LAYER again!

For my mishloach manot this year, I am thinking of buying wine, grapes, and cheeses and mounding in a basket. The greens and purple and golds were a good choice for me.

The Jewish Hostess 2

Using the same colors and materials, we created several different designs featured below. Which one is your favorite? What colors would you choose for your own DIY Purim card?

 

PURIM,  DIY, The Jewish Hostess

Purim Card DIY 2

Purim Cards , Paper Source

Purim Cards

Purim Card DIY

P{urim Cards, DIY , Paper Source

Below are some inspiration boards by the pros at Paper Source. I snapped photos in the store so that I could grab some ideas later on.

Paper Source, The Jewish Hostess DIY 4

A hole puncher is a great tool to help you weave cord through any shaped card like the heart shape below:

Paper Source, DIY, The Jewish Hostess 5

See how their layers create such a professional and handcrafted look?

Paper Source, DIY, The Jewish Hostess1

Paper Source, DIY The Jewish Hostess 3

Stamps like the “Thank You” below can really make it look like you did the calligraphy yourself.

Paper Source, DIY, The Jewish Hostess 2

I hope you enjoyed my DIY Purim card. Even though life gets so hectic, its all about the personal touches in life. Whether we make our own Purim cards, lovingly pinch hammentashen, or tuck our kids in at night, its all about the memories that our kids take with them as they grow, and g-d willing raise their own families. HAPPY PURIM!!! XOXO

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Two Beautiful Hanukka Tables from Esther Sassoon In Israel

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

Two Beautiful Hanukka Tables from Esther Sassoon In Israel

No Comments 03 December 2012

Thank you Esther Sasson! Esther lives in Israel and shared pictures of  two beautiful Hanukka parties that she created. Esther plans parties and dessert buffets in Israel. She also creates beautiful flower arrangements such as the menorah centerpiece below. You can contact Esther at asassoon@neto.bezeqint.net.

“Hi Marlene,

These pictures were taken in Israel at a Hanuka party that I made for my husband’s students and their wives.

In the first pictures I made an olive themed party. I set out all different types of marinated olives.  For the centerpiece of the main table I made a menorah out of  glass squares  built on top of a long glass sheet. The cups are filled with olive oil and can actually be lit with floating wicks.  Under the menorah I put a small jug of olive oil pouring into a square of olives.

On the buffet tables I just put pretty, purple, brown, and green artificial flower arrangements, that I made,  with pretty olive trifles.

The blue party pictures were  a party that I made for the Syrian women of Israel. I just took mirrored trays and set them with all different types of desserts. The menorah centerpiece in the middle was built out of long goblets filled with blue marbles. On top of the goblets I put small cups of blue water with tea lights in them. On the table itself I put all kinds of blue Hanuka knick knacks like marbles, candles, coins, and dreidels.

That’s basically what I did in a nut shell. If you have any more questions, I’d be happy to answer.

Good luck, Esther”

Hanukkah Table Settings

 

 

Hanukkah Table Settings

Hanukkah Table Settings

Hanukkah Table Settings

Hanukkah Table Settings, hanukka desserts,

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Yeshivah Bakers Jewish Holiday Cupcake Wars, 2011- Re-Cap!

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings, kosher recipes, purim recipes, baskets, and decor, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, sukkot and rosh hashanah recipes

Yeshivah Bakers Jewish Holiday Cupcake Wars, 2011- Re-Cap!

4 Comments 31 October 2012

Welcome to The Jewish Hostess!   Click HERE  and Subscribe Now for free table setting ideas and a chance to win the cookbook of the month!

Yeshivah Bakers Jewish Holiday Cupcake Wars, 2011- Re-Cap!

On Wednesday, November 16,  the Sephardic Community Center hosted hundreds of community women to gather and soak up  the talents of the celebrity bakers that reside within the Syrian Jewish community. Never before have all of our expert “Jewish Hostesses” mommy bakers gathered  in one place for a friendly fundraising competition.

This day of unity featured the creative baking expertise of six teams consisting of 2-3 yeshiva moms, each team representing a different community school.

Each team was given a Jewish holiday theme (which was chosen at random), in which they had to create a cupcake from scratch that represented that theme. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a one of the judges (I think I gained about 3 pounds that day- but it was SO worth it!!!!) for the competition, along with Claudia Bildiricci (of the famous “LOTTIE BISCOTTI”) and Katy Zanville of Sprinkles Cupcakes, NYC.

The clock struck at 12:15, and  the girls  flurried about in organized precision, rolling, baking, fitting, topping, and assembling their cupcake themed displays.As their masterpieces began to take shape, you could hear the “oohs and aahhs” among the crowd of amazed women. In 90 minutes they would  be judged by their creativity, adherance to the theme of the holiday, and deliciousness of their cupcakes.

While the bakers were hard at work, the hungry audience was ushered into a fabulous lunch bar that was catered by A Kosher Affair. A gorgeous turquoise themed chinese auction full of tempting gifts for every Jewish Hostess had tons of  tickets stuffed into each box, each one awaiting a lucky winner.

Though these events seemingly fall into place SO easily, we all know that it takes women like  Lisa Elo and Linda Sasson who can defy the conventional. and pull a monumental gathering like this  together.  Another thanks to our MCs for the day- Gail Mizrahi, Lynda Levy, and Linda Sasson.

Please comment below and mention everyone that I may have forgotten to thank!

So now, the moment you’ve been waiting for!!!! First of all, let me introduce you to some real Jewish Hostesses in every sense of the word!

The Barkai Team

Susie Sorscher, Margalit Dweck, Melissa Soffer

The Hillel Team

Sari Rishty,  Alexis Cohen

The Yeshivah of Flatbush Team

Jamie Bailey, Sarah Dweck, Jennifer Terzi

The Shaare Torah Team

Sharon Haber, Mary Sutton, Tunee Mizrahi

 

Tha Magen David Yeshivah Team

Esther Barnathan, Esther Chrem,  Sarine Segal

The Yeshivaht Derech Eretz

Frieda Cohen Fortune Nakash,  Fortune Farca

Sherri Gindi, GLadys Haddad, Linda Sasson, Lisa Elo

 

Judges Katy Zanville, Claudia Bildiricci, and Me

MCs Gail Mizrahi, Lynda Levy

Racing against the clock…

I wish that I could have uploaded ALL  of the gorgeous pictures taken by Mark Greenberg that day but the pics below were the best ones!

And NOW……. for the CUPCAKES!!!!!

Passover By Hillel Yeshivah bakers was displayed as a petite seder plate atop a silver star shaped dish. The girls created their very own mini gold pillow, wine cup, celery dipped in salt water and charoset out of home-made modeling chocolate. The cupcake was a unique fleur de sel “red”  velvet (representing the river of blood on Passover!) cupcake with yummy coconut cream cheese frosting (get it? Cream cheese on matzo….) Great Job, Girls!!!!

Barkaii Yeshivah bakers displayed a fabulous Achashverosh Crown shaped vanilla vodka (for the liquor on Purim….) flavored cupcake. The filling had a tinge of whiskey flavor which added to the authenticity of this delicious Purim dessert. The clever use of the upside down champagne glass, the mask, and fondant megillah really amazed the crowd!

The Yeshivah Derech Eretz yeshivah bakers really captured the spirit of Simchat Torah by using fun filled ingredients like home made caramel, a peanut butter frosting, chocolate, M and Ms and nuts. Hand made steps leading up to a torah  hid their surprise candy cupcake. Thank you girls for sharing your  wonderful talents with us!

Magen David Yeshivah’s glamourous hand made menorah and fondant candles spread Happy Hanukah vibes throughout the crowd. Gleaming handpainted chocolates and fondant soufganiyot graced the mirrored tray and  looked too good to eat!  The “present themed” cupcake was actually a scrumptious jelly doughnut cupcake- I hope that the  Magen David bakers will share this Hanukah cupcake  recipe with us! Thank You, girls!!!

 

And now for the talented  Shaare Torah Sukkot bakers! This unique vanilla date cupcake (dates representing the lulav, which grows on the date tree) was filled with a citrus curd flavored with etrog zest and etrog liquor . The topping was a light meringue frosting that symbolized the clouds that Hashem protected us with in the desert (WOW!). The whole intensely flavored cupcake was enclosed in a star (that we see through the bamboo sechach) cutout cupcake holder and sat atop a mini  bamboo Sukkah.

Candied tangy etrog peel dipped in chocolate sat aside a shot of fizzy etrog liquor. (as a judge, I admit to drinking a shot in the middle of the day. For those of you who know me, they will tell you that I wasn’t that much more fun…) The whole modern Sukkot ensemble was so enjoyable to view as well as to eat…. Thank you girls for all your hard work!

This jewel toned  Rosh Hashanah ensemble was cleverly designed with several rounds of tree bark that were layered atop each other for a three dimensional , natural look. Apples, flowers and hand rolled and painted bumble bees really evoked that festive Rosh Hashanah holiday season. Apple cinnamon cupcakes filled with a cozy apple pie filling was topped off with cinnamon honey filled cream puffs and drizzled with caramel. Served with vanilla ice cream, this dessert really took the cake and was voted as the winner of $2600 for The Yeshivah of Flatbush! Mabrook to all the girls for a job very well done!!!

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Kim Dabah’s Fabulous Hanukkah Dessert Table!

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

Kim Dabah’s Fabulous Hanukkah Dessert Table!

4 Comments 31 October 2012

 

 

 

Thank you Kim Dabah for sharing your gorgeous Hanukkah themed table with us! The  white lucite rectangles and cubes add a subtle modern architecture to your dessert buffet. Blue frosted cupcakes, Dreidel blue linzer tarts,  dipped marshmalow treats and Hanukkah cookies are a kids Hanukkah feast. The gorgeous swirly Venetian glass menorah is the perfect setting for your Hanukkah centerpiece. Wow! Happy Hanukkah! Marlene M.

 

 

 

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

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Lorraine’s Hanukka Mahjong Lunch Table

hanukka recipes and tablesettings, kosher recipes

Lorraine’s Hanukka Mahjong Lunch Table

5 Comments 15 October 2012

My friend Lorraine Kasavi decided to get a head start on  Hanukka by surprising her mahjong game with a fabulous Hanukka themed lunch table. Her love of color is evident by her gorgeous display of shades of electric blue flowers and Hanukka table decor. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous Hanukka table pictures with us, Lorraine! Love you and Happy Holiday! Marlene

p.s. Lorraine happens to be a Brooklyn based watercolor artist and teaches painting classes to adults and teen. Group and private rates available. Contact Lorraine at lkasavi@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

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A Glorious Sukkot Dinner Fiesta by Miriam H.

holiday table settings, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

A Glorious Sukkot Dinner Fiesta by Miriam H.

1 Comment 10 October 2012

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My neighbor Miriam is a beautiful woman inside and out. Her glowing personality is evident with every greeting, smile, and hug that that she gives with the utmost generosity. Miriam’s vivid and deeply hued table top Mexican themed dinner table decor instantly put her holiday dinner guests in a festive mood, and these pictures make me happy every time I look at them! These fiesta themed dinner  table top photos are truly beyond words, and I am so happy to present it to my Jewish Hostesses!

Miriam used Mexican blankets as her table runners, and scattered gloriously striped Mexican pillows among huge fruit and flower filled champagne glasses as her ingenious centerpieces. Her dining room table served as a buffet table as the huge doors behind beckoned her guests to the fabulous Sukkah that was built as an extension to her home. Thank you Miriam for sharing your fabulous Mexican themed Sukkkot dinner party with us!

p.s. If  you love this Mexican fiesta table setting theme as much as I do, then please checkout these Mexican party supply sites:

 

 

 

 

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A Sukkah Table That will be Remembered For Years to Come

holiday table settings, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

A Sukkah Table That will be Remembered For Years to Come

No Comments 19 September 2012

Thank you Kineret Spector for sending in this beautiful inspiring story about the importance of carrying on our wonderful Jewish holidays and traditions! Marlene

The Reason for Everything

It was Sunday night dinner in our Sukkah.  Family and good friends totaling 20 were gathered around the table, already a beautiful sight!  I beamed at my guests for a minute and thanked everyone for being there, before turning to go in for the soup. Suddenly, my friend Jody’s daughter spoke up.”I want to say something!” she announced.  We all turned to look at Gilda, 6 years old, a normally reserved and serious child, and shy around adults – definitely not one to speak up at a table of 20. But Gilda showed no sign of hesitation as she continued, ”I just want to say how happy I am to be here in this Sukkah, and it is so beautiful in here, and I really love it.  I am so happy.”  Her eyes glistened as she looked around the Sukkah.

I was speechless. Years of hosting, cooking, decorating, inviting. Every Shabbat and holiday, as we say, Eem kol ha lev - with our whole heart.  And always to a happy, satiated, and appreciative crowd.  But Gilda’s pure and genuine compliment, in all its simplicity, instantly reminded me (and provided a case in point to my whole family), why we do this at all.  For our children.  For the next generation of Jews.

Every Shabbat and Holiday is ultimately for them, but especially Sukkot.  We know the symbolism of a sukkah and retell it every year.  But for children, it’s even more than that. It’s a fort! A little hut! A small house! An enchanted little getaway. And we get to have this in our driveway every year because we’re Jewish!  While the Sukkah is being erected, the kids are hard at work at the decoration table, making paper chains, paper lanterns, and welcome signs.  They get to decide where it goes.  It’s their own little Sukkah fort.  Truly, the party starts that evening, as it all starts to come together.

For Gilda, the magical appeal of a sukkah may have been just that spark that evoked the gush of appreciation and awareness. I’m so lucky. I’m so happyI’m Jewish. I’m part of something. Our kids do as we do.  We tell them we’re Jewish, we model the rituals and tradition, we tell and retell stories of our ancestors, we explain and we teach. But to witness the moment when the first burst of genuine spirituality is stirred in a child – that is just a transcending experience.  From oldest to youngest, we were all touched by a little bit of sukkah magic that night.

Kineret Spector lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four daughters.  Please ‘like’ her facebook page BSG Tablescapes. 

 

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Update Your Holiday Table Decor on a Budget!

at home, DIY, holiday table settings, holiday tables, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

Update Your Holiday Table Decor on a Budget!

No Comments 19 September 2012

This year, I decided to dump my tinsel sukkah decorations and try to find some updated sleeker last-minute looks. As most of my kids would rather get creative with a new latte in Starbucks, this year I  did not have the cute home made decorations that they used to bring home from second grade art class, and thankfully my fourth grader was really SO excited to help with the fun DIY napkin rings that we dreamed up together.

Step 1- I checked online at Jamali Gardens  and found gorgeous artificial hydrangea balls to hang from the scach or our Sukkah. Each one comes with a green ribbon loop that makes it easy to hang. You can buy them packaged in a set of 6, they come in lavender, green, and white, these gorgeous blooms can probably be passed down to your grandchildren if you keep them stored away with your Sukkah. (On the other hand, I think that they would be a great addition to a summer barbeque gracefully hung from an umbrella or awning.)

2- We shopped at IKEA and found some inexpensive botanical artwork to hang up as a modern Sukkah Decoration. It comes wrapped in plastic, which we kept it protected from the weather.

3-IKEA also had stunning $5 chandeliers in all shapes and sizes,

but unfortunately we did not make sure that they were waterproof,(we tried covering them with garbage bags) and unfortunately, they didn’t last too long…..

Ikea chandelier,REGOLIT Pendant lamp shade, white Diameter: 17 ¾ "  Diameter: 45 cm

4- We decided to make our very own crafty napkin rings. We ran over to Karen’s invitations on Avenue U in Brooklyn, and found lime green ribbon. Ran home, found a glue glun and, voila!


5- As for the dragonflies….. I bumped into Jill over at ETSY and she was able to whip up and ship 50 hemp knotted dragonflies for me to top off my DIY napkin rings. What do you think?

6- Table Runners- Craving something original, I decided to run back over to Karen’s Invitations and purchase some handmade papers that she sells by the sheet. If you are looking to buy some stunning handmade paper sheets online, you can CLICK HERE, HERE and HERE.

I decided to keep the ripped edge look of the gorgeous orange and gold handmade paper by folding each sheet down the middle lengthwise and ripping it slowly. Each sheet became a long rectangle, and I placed each edge under a lime green square table topper that I purchased from Michelle over at Table Toppers on East 4 Street in Brooklyn. Flowers, greens and ceramic containers are from Shirley Bar Nathan atop a fresh monstera leaf. The flowers and the monstera leaf lasted the whole week, and can be used over and over again! (The monstera leaf can also be used as a place mat.)

I always have simple glass votives and tea lights to scatter on my table for extra sparkle, purchased from Crate and Barrel.

 

 

7- You can also use your handmade paper to line the table for your bottles of kosher wine, and barware.
8-Don’t forget that even a brightly colored glass water bottle such as Perrier adds a splash of color to the table! Enjoy!!!!
9-What did you do to add a modern splash to your table??? I’d love to hear!!!  Questions??? Comment below!!!
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Rosh Hashanah Tropical Brights! Thank You Lorene Sasson!!

holiday table settings, rosh hashanah table setting ideas, rosh hashanah table settings

Rosh Hashanah Tropical Brights! Thank You Lorene Sasson!!

No Comments 27 August 2012

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Enjoy this Rosh Hashanah 2011 inspiration…

Thanks Lorene for another stunning holiday table setting! I love your tropical greens, reds and oranges! Those colors make me so happy and in the mood yet to eat ANOTHER holiday meal!!!

These festive colors and easy runner idea is also great for a Sukkot table!

Shana Tova!! Marlene

Hey Marlene,

Shana Tova!

I did the first night by me and it was just a few of us. My kids colored little Shofar name cards, and because I love the colors of the dates,apples and poms I had to make a centerpiece with them. Here’s my table! Enjoy!
from Lorene Sasson
p.s. The green runner is actually a sheer window panel from Ikea.  And the plates are from Amazing Savings!
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