Tag archive for "New Jersey"

A Healthy and Gorgeous Shavuot Buffet Lunch by Claudia Bildirici

holiday table settings, parties, shavuot recipes and ideas, shavuot table settings

A Healthy and Gorgeous Shavuot Buffet Lunch by Claudia Bildirici

11 Comments 17 April 2015

Its one thing to be a creative Jewish hostess, but its so amazing to me when talented Jewish women use their strengths to better the community and people in need.

I’m sure you remember Claudia Bildirici’s Bento Box Passover Seder Table, but did I tell you that she is one of the founders of the famous Lottie’s Kitchen in Israel? Learning from their mother’s gracious hospitality and giving nature, Claudia, her sisters Linda Dayan, Susan Menashe, and Nina Cohen helped found Lottie’s Kitchen in memory of their famous mom, Lottie Chalom a’h. Lottie was known for her great cooking and generous hospitality. What better way to memorialize Lottie Chalom than an organization that feeds the  families of hospitalized patients in Israel? Read more about Lottie’s Kitchen HERE in The Jewish Press.

Every  summer, Claudia and her sisters host the most magnificent Lottie’s Kitchen Day  in Deal, N.J. Delicious kosher baked goods for sale, cooking demonstrations, kitchen gadgets for sale, and a delicious lunch that will really make your day one of the most enjoyable of the summer!  You will know that I am not kidding when you see these pics from Lottie’s Kitchen  2009. This year, Lottie’s Kitchen will be held at Adele and Jeff Cohen’s home on Elberon Avenue in Deal, New Jersey on July 7, 2011. Save the date! More info to come!

Claudia- thanks for sending in pics of another one of your holiday tables! We want your recipes also!!!! Marlene

“Marlene, first I must thank Josh for the flowers! I added shells to the flowers, being summer has almost started. I made a healthy,light, and parve lunch.

  • Seitan kebabs recipe from Candle Cafe
  • Rice tofu wraps with peanut dipping sauce from Susie Fishbein  (use tofu instead of chicken)
  • Mushroom/asparagus/endive
  • Greek salad

I know you cannot post all pictures. so I guess pick the winning one! HAHA
Also please let your  Jewish Hostess readers know that the new Trader Joes in NJ sells amazing pasta! Lemon pepper or basil garlic all OU parve!
They also carry fresh pizza dough whole wheat /pesto and reg for ……get this .99 !!!! Can u believe under a buck?!
Thanks again!!

Rice Tofu Wraps:

(Claudia-PLEASE invite me to your next holiday meal!!!)


Mushroom Asparagus Endive Salad:


Greek Salad:


Syrian Style Pickles:

(love the shells!!!)

A Perfect Lunch Buffet!!

Thanks for sharing, Claudia!!!




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Shavuot Tablescape from Table Set GO!- Great Floral Centerpiece Ideas!

holiday table settings, shavuot recipes and ideas, shavuot table settings, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

Shavuot Tablescape from Table Set GO!- Great Floral Centerpiece Ideas!

No Comments 15 April 2015


In the summer of 2011, the Table Set GO event in Deal, New Jersey (sponsored by the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center) showcased the communities’ women’s striking table decor talents. Each table represented a unique Jewish holiday ‘s theme. The botanical holiday of Shavuot was displayed by Barbara Chehebar, Ruthie Bibi, and Adele Pardo. This table decor’s shades of blues and purples heralded the arrival of Shavuot’s custom of decorating one’s home, the synagogue and even the Torah scroll itself with greens and flowers in honor of the holiday. This custom of flowers and greens was based upon a statement in Midrash that the foot of Mount Sinai (where the Jews stood in awe, awaiting the granting of the Torah) was carpeted with greens and sweet smelling flowers.

To accent the Shavuot table’s floral decor and centerpiece, the girls used Kim Seybert napkin rings, geometric Pucci scarves, sky blue bordered china dinnerware, and sparkling crystal stemware. Delicate blue dotted quilted linens were the backdrop to this elaborate variety of sweet smelling Shavuot florals. Mini Torahs and two mountains of roses, represented the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinaii. Thank you ladies for all of your hard work, table setting ideas inspiration! I’m so glad that we have the photos to remember this stunning event! 


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The Gorgeous Hanukah Table Setting at Table Set Go in Deal, New Jersey

chanuka table settings, hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings, kosher recipes, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

The Gorgeous Hanukah Table Setting at Table Set Go in Deal, New Jersey

4 Comments 04 November 2012

Alls I can say is “WOW” to the fantastic Hanukka table created by Betty Esses and Gracie Silvera. They really put their heart and soul into their Hanukka  display for The Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center Table-Set-Go charity event in Deal, New Jersey. The ladies used a deep ocean blue colored cloth as a base for their Hanukka table and layered it on the festive Hanukka colors from there. Silver Chilewich placemats lined their elegant but casual silver rimmed china. A Tiffany shopping bag graced each place setting. Grace Sivera’s dreidel collection, amassed from her travels all over the world came in handy as she creatively dangled a unique dreidel from each turquiose blue Tiffany mini gift bag. Driedels that were drizzled along the table were craftily dipped in glue and then blue and silver glitter, and added even more sparkle to their Hanukka table decor. The hydrangea filled blue vases were purchased from Home Goods, and the unique sterling and blue dotted drinking glasses were borrowed from Surrey Lane on Avenue P in Brooklyn. Even though it was the middle of the sumer, Grace and Betty fried soufganiyot and baked Hanukka cookies!  Blue and silver ribbons of different widths and colors tied around the soufganiyot platter flowed down both sides of the table.

Thanks so much ladies for your fabulous Hanukka inspiration!!!!

Photos by Victor Gindi

Click here to get your silver Chilewich placemats for Hanukkah!


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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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Designer Showhouse: Decor By the Shore

at home

Designer Showhouse: Decor By the Shore

14 Comments 21 May 2011

I’m SO proud of my cousin Lizzy Sarway who has managed to pull off this awesome charity event to be unveiled this week in Deal, N.J. Spend a relaxing day by the shore and treat yourself to the talents of the most acclaimed interior designers of the decade. Take a sneak peek of Lizzy’s behind the scenes pics that she just sent over!



WIN 2 Tickets to Decor by the Shore!

Just comment below and tell us why you would love to come see this gorgeous showhouse!

Make sure you leave a valid email so we can contact you in case you win!!!!

Entry to designer showhouse with free tickets valid for May 31- June 5

Announcing a Truly Special Event:
Designers’ ShowHouse: ‘Décor By the Shore’

New Jersey ShowHouse,
136 Ocean Avenue, Deal, NJ
Contact: Liz Sarway 917-693-6805

A Designer ShowHouse will be staged in a magnificent historic mansion built in 1906; Just a little more than an hour from New York City [exit 105 of the Garden State Parkway, south].

The Show will run from May 26 – June 30, 2011.  Showrooms representing over twenty well-established interior designers will be on display, including, Jamie Drake, John Ike, Nick Calder, Kerry Delrose, Bjorn Bjornsson, Robert Passal, William McIntosh, S.Y. Interiors, Lee Najman, and Jamie Herzlinger, as well as by Studium Tiles, decorative painters, and landscape designers.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Fridays 10am – 4pm
Saturdays Closed
Closed also Wed, Thurs, Fri, June 8,9,10

Parking: Free parking directly across the street at the Deal Casino beach club parking lot

Tickets: Single entrance$30
Group Rate over 10 people, one day$20
Art Event & Sale 6/28$30
Luncheon with Decorators/ Home Décor Expo 6/29$30
Package for Single Entrance, Art Night, Luncheon/Expo$70

Proceeds will benefit the Sephardic Community Center of Brooklyn, New York www.SCClive.org / 718-627-4300

There will be self guided tours throughout the house daily.

On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, from 10am ~ 9pm there will be a special viewing of paintings from consultants, galleries and artists.

On Wednesday, June 29: 12 noon lunch. Meet some of the decorators responsible for the mansions décor.  A panel discussion with some of the designers will be followed by a Q&A.

On Wednesday, June 29; Experience the Home Décor Expo on the mansion’s front lawns and discover all there is to know about Home Décor from experts in their fields.









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Hanukka 2011 With the Cohen’s!

chanuka table settings, holiday table settings

Hanukka 2011 With the Cohen’s!

1 Comment 03 January 2011


Hanukka 2011 With the Cohen’s:

“Hi Marlene..it was a simple sugar recipe..the icing was egg whites and powder sugar…added my food coloring and presto all the colors we wanted…i got paint brushes from rc 10 for $2….you don’t need alot of money to make an afternoon of memories…we played music,talked and painted…..Vicky”


Your Hanukka table really shows the great love of the Jewish holidays and efforts to infuse that happy atmosphere within your home. The sparkly tinsel menorah, and your gift wrapped centerpiece boxes really add so much joy to the room.

PLUS- your hand painted cookies are a great fun family idea ! Magnificent! Thank you for sharing! Marlene


$2.00 off On Any Aleve 80ct or larger


$1.00 off 2 Ziploc Brand Bags


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Sheila Gindi’s Gourmet Hanukkah Meal and Luxe Holiday Decor!

chanuka table settings, holiday table settings

Sheila Gindi’s Gourmet Hanukkah Meal and Luxe Holiday Decor!

4 Comments 24 December 2010

Be impressed with Sheila Gindi’s Hanukkah table!
Here are some of the details:
  • shot glasses filled with rice pudding rimmed with blue sugar
  • chocolate dipped strawberries, blue and white cake in a jar
  • oreo truffles
  • black berry and coconut macaroons(store bought)
  • marshmallow pops rolled in sugar
  • crustini with ricotta and figs
  • crustini with sundried tomato jam and goat cheese
  • Hanukkah napkin rings from pottery barn
  • apple pie (copied the idea from Iris Shalam’s Facebook page)
  • p.s. Sheila designs  dessert bars and bridal shower decor- contact Sheila- click HERE.

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Take Off Your Shoes!

healthy body

Take Off Your Shoes!

1 Comment 31 August 2010

Did you know that there are more than 58 muscels  in each human foot?
We love the way sneakers can keep our feet cushioned and well protected, but just  how much of all this is really good for us?

The simple act of walking uses more than 200 muscles; cushioning the feet in shoes all the time can throw you off balance, weaken the foot muscels, ligaments and tendons. Keeping shoes on our feet all the time, may inhibit sensory input from thousands of nerve endings in the soles of our feet, which can lead  to many problems in the foot, leg, and back..

I was introduced to barefoot training at a fitness conference in New York City over 10 years ago. I was excited to bring back this concept to  my group fitness class, but was uncomfortable to ask my  student to take off there sneakers. It was and is a common misconception by most, that the more cushioning and stabilization for your feet the better it was to protect your ankles, knees and back.
In actuality, its the exact opposite. An imagery I often tell my students is imagine your hand is fitted in a stiff glove, and all around the glove are lots of cushions, gels, and air pockets. With all the “stuff” around your hands it brings limited movement to your fingers. Your palms won’t be able to open and close. Your fingers won’t be able to spread open. In time, the muscles, ligaments and tendons will loose its strength. The wrist will weaken, and so will the elbow and shoulder. Everything is connected.

The same concept can be used for our feet. When you take off your shoes, the toes are able to spread out more easily, balance of the body improves, you can use your joints, ankles and hips more. A benefit of going barefoot is that it stimulates the circulation in your feet and can have a positive effect on all your organs.
Try doing a lunge with your supportative sneakers and see how that feels. Now, try the same lunge barefoot. Notice how much more control you need to contribute in order effectively do the same exact movement. Did you “thump” on the landing of your lunge knowing the supportative sneakers will protect you from the floor below?
Working out barefoot takes control, poise and mind fullness.

Try a few times a week to walk around the house barefoot. Engaging in muscles that are usually covered up.Its no wonder that babies kick off there booties- they know in order to learn to walk properly-they need there toes to touch the ground.

About 5 years ago, I had an amazing opportunity to conduct my summer classes in a karate studio in long branch new jersey.
Upon taking the space, the terms were that students must take off their sneakers in order to protect the delicate matting of the studios’ floor. I was hesitant to accept, but was way into the summer season and needed to act fast.
I agreed- we exercised 5 days a week with classes ranging from Cardio Fusion, Med ball and sculpting classes. It was a huge success. Women still come over to me with wonderful barefoot memories of that summer.
In the fall of the same year, I was determined to keep my sneakers off. I did and encouraged my students to do the same, until I stubbed and broke my toe on a dumbell while I was instructing. Since then, I will only teach barefoot training in an equipment free class to promote safety.
I was in search of a sneaker that would allow my foot the freedom yet protection from injuries.
After dozens of sneakers and years later I was finally introduced to “nike free” sneakers. These sneakers improved balance, agility, and foot strength. Thinner, lighter and more flexible designs mimic the foot’s natural form.
I encourage all my students to work out in them. If you do buy them, start off slowly-first once a week and little by little add more nike free time to a full week. At first you may feel cramping, that’s normal. In a few weeks time your feet will adjust to the new  demands.
More manufactures are following suit. As I give them a try I will send you my feedback.

Would you like to try an amazing barefoot cardio class?
Find out my schedule for WillPower&Grace. A class that infuse positive thoughts with practises borrowed from yoga, pilates.  Your feet, body and mind  will thank you!

Sari Dana
Group Movement & Lifestyle Enthusiast

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Pure Inspiration by  Sari Dana

healthy body, healthy living, healthy mind

Pure Inspiration by Sari Dana

No Comments 08 July 2010

This week, I was honored to be part of an inspiring day of health, fitness, and wellness. For this event, a group of bighearted women put aside their own needs and journeyed together with purpose, passion and strategy to create an unforgettable inspiring day. I was invited, along with other motivating professionals, to teach my willpower& grace® exercise experience. “Pure Inspiration” was a one-day event  to raise funds for Sharre Tefliah, a synagogue in Eatontown, New Jersey, yet it spurred ideas that will inspire a constant strive for health and wellness. I excitedly responded with a YES!  I was eager to apply my knowledge and love for fitness to a good cause.

nspiration is the theme in which I live my life.  I’m moved by fearless individuals who spend their time an energy creating  unique potentials for themselves. willPower & grace®, (yes, the w is lowercase), is a special barefoot cardio workout that infuses a positive philosophy through elegant movements and physical strength. Positive thinking during the intense workout will encourage you to continuously strengthen your body, mind, and soul and live Ihappily in a body you love.

Minutes before the class began, I learned that the congregants of this synagogue have spent 18 of its 20 years in existence servicing either in a trailer or in a home. 2 years ago, a structure was built, however, the interior was lacking a few important sections. I began to reflect on the women that created this amazing day and felt the desire to help, just like them.

At that moment, I was deeply inspired to do something awesome.  Sometimes all we need to navigate the pathway to greatness is to be inspired by someone else.  I led my class, full of energy, with inspirational thoughts, aware that I am part of a fantastic cause.   If we keep our eyes open and our hearts receptive, we can be a part of the great inspiring things happening all over our communities. We can then generate others on the path to greatness.

Think: Who are you inspiring? What can you share? Who can you share it with? We may not realize it, but people, especially our families, are perceptive to all that we do!  Imagine how the world would be if we created a circle of inspiration.  Be an exciting you! Honing in on your desires will allow you to pass on pure inspiration to those all around you. Pass it on!

Sari Dana

Group Movement Instructor

Life Style Enthusiast

July 4, 2010


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Hats Off To Life!

kosher recipes

Hats Off To Life!

1 Comment 25 May 2010

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”-Eleanor Roosevelt

There are life events that change us forever.

Using all of her inner resources, Margie Bijou was able to transform heart wrenching grief  into a positive energy that has added  to the  joy and glamour of hundreds of weddings and Bar-Mitzvahs.

In her own words, this is Margie’s story:

Chapter One: Ezra Abraham:

“My Mom called me one day and told me that my 16 year old cousin Eddie  was going in for a biopsy of a cyst on his knee. It wasn’t a big deal but she was just wanted to make me aware. (Ironically on ER that week, there was a girl who was a soccer star who came into the ER with a sprained knee and walked out with an amputation due to a tumor in her lower leg.) So I told my mom that she shouldn’t ever assume anything.I repeated the epsiode details and she shouted some line in arabic which meant “HOW DARE YOU EVEN BREATHE such negativity!!!!!!!

I still remember the email my dad had printed for us that told us Eddie had at the most 3 months to live. He was 16.
We weren’t the closest of cousins. My uncle had moved his family to New Jersey and as hard as it is to be close with my family that lives a block away, its is 4 billion times harder when they live in another state.
I only got to know Eddie because of his illness..

Chapter Two:  Sherri
My cousin was having a Bar Mitzvah for her son and needed a hat to complete her outfit. Of course, none were to be found across the entire tri-state area, so I decided to search the net. I got hooked on Ebay and started buying every vintage hat that  I could find. Federal Express showed up at my door every day for 2 months and the hat boxes started to stack up underneath the baby grand  piano…..About 200 hats later I finally found something in the same vicinity of the green we needed. A veil arrived. I sewed it and made it to fit…..Ah finally the outfit was complete.

A week later I received a frantic phonecall from  Sherri whose son’s bar-mitzvah was in three days. “Margie- my dog Othello jumped onto the dining room table and chewed my hat up into a thousand little pieces!!”

Two minutes later, Sherri showed up at my door with the chewed up remains of two months of searching hours online and a over a thousand dollars in useless old hats.
It was a catastrophe!!
The next day an idea popped into my head. I ran out and bought a green kippah and sewed it back together.I still remember sitting at the dining room table pushing the needle throught the suede and into my fingers…
After 4 hrs I had reconstructed it to what it looked like before (except for a few teeth marks).
Othello was sent to live with a very nice family in the country and Sherri looked like a supermodel!

About a year later I moved into a new house and the hats were packed into bins and stuffed into a closet way up on the 3rd floor.

Chapter Three: Fate

One week after mothers day in 2005 , my mothers only sister, my aunt Merle died of melanoma on her lung. She had been only just diagnosed 6 months before. That same October of that year,  2 days before Yom Kippur, my fathers mother, grandma Margie died.

Two days after that,my cousin Eddie succumbed to a 7 year battle with rhabdomyocarcessarcoma.

Not something you see every day. My uncle Irwin sat shiva for his mother and son in the same week.

What a crazy year.

These tragedies inspired me to want to make every day of my life meaningful and not to waste one moment of the precious time that we have.

When Eddie passed away, my Aunt Susan gave me his hats that he wore during his illness to add my collection. It was then that the idea to lend out the hats to raise money for his foundation came to me. He motivated me to want to give back to others.”

Chapter Four: Hats Off To Life

A room in my home has been converted into a “Hat Room” where many Jewish women of all ages try on gorgeous hats  and have a great time till they find just the right one!

The majority of the women that come in, are ones I have never even met or seen before, yet we bond as we try on dozens of hats…of course they bring over their  possible choices of outfits, shoes, and accessories, and  together we assemble their beautiful look for their momentous day.

Through out the last few years  I have accumulated many many stories some funny, some sad…and some just out of control!  Some days I seriously feel like a bartender and and not only  do I decorate ladie’s heads ,but  I also listen to what’s in their hearts as well…

Our hats are part of a private collection that consists of mostly vintage dress hats.Many of the hats have also been donated by people that don’t have a need for them anymore.

People are sharing! Women are calling other women to borrow hats. Designers are  calling me to donate their hats.

People are giving more than just money, they are giving of themselves.

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Leftover Makeovers

kosher recipes

Leftover Makeovers

3 Comments 01 May 2010

Shabbat Shalom
Your Peace of the Week
By: Marissa Anteby

Ughhh, my refrigerator is packed with holiday leftovers. If my family didn’t finish the dish the first time around, I doubt they’re going to like it any better re-heated. So, my plan is to transform my ordinary food in to a brand new meal. I’ve tried something like this before. Oh yes, I can work magic with a bottle of teriyaki sauce and peach salsa. In the interest of full disclosure (and in case any of my kids ever read this,) the term “work magic” is loosely used here as a euphemism for  “smother fish in tangy condiments.” Such culinary adventures may not have won over any taste buds but they have been the source of plenty of jokes. (Find all kinds of kosher sauce and salsa at Trader Joe’s  http://www.traderjoes.com/)

To jump start your imagination, here’s a few highlights from my past leftover makeover attempts:
–  Re-fashioned spinach quiche in to filling for puff pastry hors d’ oeuvres.
–  Re-purposed grilled vegetables as layers in lasagna.
–  Re-cycled sauteed broccoli and cauliflower for an egg and cheese soufflé.
–  Re-ran ginger snap cookies crumbled in to salad.

My theory is not to worry too much about making things perfect. Sometimes the beauty is in the imperfections. Anyway, to me, the menu is a secondary concern to the whole family dining experience. I know it may sound a bit odd, but the interaction is more important. Even if the kids are arguing, there’s automatic bonding that takes place when people share a meal together. Go ahead, buy a jar of teriyaki sauce and peach salsa, and you’ll see what I mean!

As always, scroll all the way down to post your comments. Let us know what you think about leftovers and sharing meals and laughs with your family. 1 lucky winner will be chosen from people who comment on Marissa’s articles. The prize this month is a FREE Restorative Yoga Session from www.embodyinc.com

Shabbat Shalom,

Marissa Anteby is a wife, and a mother of 4 children. Her company www.embodyinc.com hosts holistic exercise classes in Cycling, Pilates, and Yoga, in cities throughout New York and New Jersey. Marissa maintains more than 10 wellness related certifications, including Reiki Massage, and Thai Yoga Massage. Marissa’s wellness tips for fulfilled living can be found on her blog www.embodyinc.blogspot.com

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Shabbat Shalom Hug for Mom

healthy body, healthy living, healthy mind

Shabbat Shalom Hug for Mom

No Comments 30 April 2010

Shabbat Shalom
Your Peace of the Week
by: Marissa Anteby

You deserve a hug for all the things you do for so many people. You may be surprised when I tell you who the best person is to give you this hug. It’s you! There’s no better time to get your hug, than right now. Good, bad, or indifferent, this week is coming to a close. It’s only hours away from being over. How about throwing the whole week behind you and allowing this Shabbat to be the start of something new. Can you envision it? Really experiencing each new moment as it comes, without the added narration of past disappointments or projections and fears of what may happen in the future? I say, let’s go for it. Let’s take the leap of faith together.  Release your grip on old patterns of behavior. If you think about it, you’ll agree, those habits aren’t benefiting you anyway.

Here’s a simple Mind/Body exercise you can do to clear out your subconscious cobwebs and stagnant energy:

1-  Stand tall, with your feet hip distance apart.
2-  Give yourself a big hug.
3-  Inhale, as you open your arms as wide as you can, throwing your arms behind you.
4-  Exhale, as you close your arms, embracing yourself once again.
5-  Repeat #2 thru #4, for a cycle of 8 repetitions.

For a bigger lift to your spirits, add the following variations:

1-  Go as slow as you can, with your arm movements and breathing.
2-  Turn your head to the right as you inhale.
3-  Turn your head to the left as you exhale.

If you’re feeling really brave, you might try adding some words to your movements:

1-  Say the word “big,” as you open your arms.
2-  Say the word “thanks,” as you close your arms.
3-  Giving yourself, “big thanks!”

You can even mix and match the variations or make up your own. Just remember to always be gentle with yourself. The object is to show a little appreciation to yourself, not get stressed out. After all, even though we never take the time to do it, thanking ourselves for all that we do, may be the most important gift of gratitude.

As always, scroll all the way down to post your comments. I really enjoy reading them, and 1 lucky winner will be chosen from people who comment, to win a FREE Thai Yoga Massage from www.embodyinc.com

Shabbat Shalom,

Marissa Anteby is a wife, and a mother of 4 children. Her company www.embodyinc.com hosts holistic exercise classes in Cycling, Pilates, and Yoga, in cities throughout New York and New Jersey. Marissa maintains more than 10 wellness related certifications, including Reiki Massage, and Thai Yoga Massage. http://embodyinc.blogspot.com/p/marissa-antebys-bio.html

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How to Relax, Shop, AND Get a Discount!

healthy living, healthy mind, kosher recipes

How to Relax, Shop, AND Get a Discount!

3 Comments 23 April 2010

Shabbat Shalom
Your Peace of the Week
by: Marissa Anteby

As a Wellness Educator, I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to help people experience more peace in their lives. Part of what I do is teach people how to practice relaxation techniques. After all, remaining calm takes practice, just as Yoga, meditation, and a whole host of other activities. Oh, hold on a minute, my husband is calling me…

Now, where was I? Let’s see, oh right; remaining calm. Well, if we need to practice, where is the ideal place to do it? One of my Yoga teachers, Rodney Yee, suggests, “Even if you do have a designated yoga room, on some days you may feel like practicing in a different space. Go with your intuition and lay down your mat wherever you wish.” http://www.gaiam.com/product/yoga-studio/yoga-instructors/rodney-yee/yoga+core+cross+train+dvd.do
Wait, now one of my kids needs me, and I think I hear the doorbell…

Wow, I can’t get a moment’s worth of quiet. I’m sure you can relate to being pulled in different directions at once. Hey, forget about laying down a mat, who has time for that? The whole world is a Jewish woman’s Yoga mat! We are constantly multi-tasking while striving to maintain a semblance of grace. That’s it, bingo! The best time and place to practice remaining calm, is always and everywhere. The family will need us, the phone will ring, but we can roll with it. Not to fret, it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, you can even practice a calming exercise while you’re out shopping. Yep, shopping!
The next time you’re in a store, try this; absorb the total experience. Don’t think about what happened a few minutes before, don’t worry about all the things you have to do a few minutes after, just be in the present moment. Focus on what you’re doing. Look around and really see al the colors and textures. Pick something up and really feel it’s weight in your hands. Some ‘retail therapy’ can do wonders for your mind. It can be a quick, much needed break.

Renee Salem Hanan, Co-owner of Shelly and Renee Productions, says, “There’s a sense of satisfaction, an excitement to finding an unexpected bargain. Trying on a new blouse or dress, etc. is an instant mood lifter!” As added incentive to do something nice for yourself, Shelly and Renee Productions is offering a free gift with purchase, at their sample sale of Nancy Gonzalez handbags (575 Madison Ave., 8th fl.) Hurry though, because this offer is good only on May 5th & 6th, while the supply of free gifts last! http://shellyandrenee.com/

Jonathan Zemmol of The Yellow Door concurs saying, “Sometimes the act of shopping, even for something as simple as a new vase or a lovely costume earring, can brighten someone’s day. The smallest of purchases can bring great pleasure. Everyone appreciates beauty, and it can be obtained at almost any price.” The Yellow Door in Brooklyn is extending their current Preferred Customer promotion to The Jewish Hostess readers; it’s $50 off any purchase of $200 or more. Offer expires May 9, 2010. Make sure to print out copy of this article to qualify for this special discount. http://www.theyellowdoor.com/ See, I told you practicing a calming exercise is easier than it sounds! As always, scroll all the way down to post your comments. Let me know what you think and if you tried some ‘retail therapy.’ Tell your friends to comment too, because 1 lucky winner will be chosen to receive a FREE Thai Yoga Massage from www.embodyinc.com

Shabbat Shalom,

Marissa Anteby is a wife, and a mother of 4 children. Her company  www.embodyinc.com hosts holistic exercise classes in Cycling, Pilates, and Yoga, in cities throughout New York and New Jersey. Marissa maintains more than 10 wellness related certifications, including Reiki Massage, and Thai Yoga Massage. embodyinc.blogspot.com

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Grow An Herb Garden In Your Kitchen

at home, healthy body, kosher recipes

Grow An Herb Garden In Your Kitchen

No Comments 21 April 2010

Those of you who read my other blog Sketch42 know that all year long I have been on a quest to eat local and organic food. (And this was before Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution!) You also know that IT AINT EASY! By mid-Feburary my family was quite sick of butternut squash, cabbage and apples…. Thankfully, Spring is here and I will soon be planting my garden in New Jersey. But this year, I will also be planting another garden. A little herb garden on my window sill.

Michael Pollan author of In Defense of Food, Food Rules and The Omnivore’s Dilemma (just some light reading about the current abysmal state of the industrial food system) lists growing your own food as the GREENEST thing you can possibly do.(Keeping Shabbat is also on his list!!!)  It’s also the healthiest food you will ever eat.

Here are the instructions for setting up your own herb garden:

1. You need one large pot, or a few smaller pots.

2. Put gravel or rocks over drainage hole.

3. Fill pot with soil mix – to 1” from top of pot

4. Use an organic fertilizer and mix in with soil

5. Scatter herb seeds on surface

6. Cover with soil according to directions on packet (some herbs seeds should not be covered)

7. Water well, but with a light touch

8. Keep watered

9. Seeds germinate in 7 – 21 days, depending on species (see seed packet for more information)

10. Grow in a sunny spot. They need between 4-6 hours of sunlight a day.

Herbs That Grow Best Indoors:

Tips For Successful Herbs:

– Light requirements: 6 hours in a sunny window for most herbs, 4 is OK for rosemary, mint, and parsley.
– You could also use a grow light. It should be approximately 16 inches above the plants and needs to be on for 12 to 14 hours to provide the equivalent of 6 hours sunlight. It looks like a fluorescent light tube.
– Drainage: All herbs require especially good drainage. The containers must have drainage holes on the bottom, and Leda recommend adding additional perlite or sand to a commercial potting soil mix (1 part perlite or sand to 3 parts mix).
– Watering: Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make when growing herbs indoors. The surface of the soil must be allowed to dry to a depth of 1-inch before watering, and then it should be a good, deep watering (until water flows through the drainage holes).
– Feeding: Herbs should be fed once a month with a half-strength organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion.

OR… You can buy ready made kits that make it super easy to grow your own herbs.
These kits also make great gifts!
1.Herb Garden Gift Basket  $39.95 (I love this as a Mother’s Day gift!!)

2. Garden in a bag - $9.00 These are so cute.
3. Self watering pots… Keeps plants watered for 7-10 days!
4. Indoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit – This kit has every spice you could want!

5. Indoor Garden Kit: Thyme Herb Kit $9.99

I really encourage you to plant a garden where ever you can!

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Make Your Own Greek Yogurt-Video

kosher dairy recipes, kosher recipes

Make Your Own Greek Yogurt-Video

2 Comments 01 April 2010

Mark Bittman has done it again.

This DIY greek yogurt is yummy with the Syrian spice zaatar, olive oil, lemon, and salt sprinkled in.

Serve with Matzoh crackers  (or pita chips after  Passover), of course with a dairy lunch.  Spending many summers by my in-laws home in New Jersey, I can still see the blob of yogurt  inside the tied handkerchief  that was dangling over the sink. Its always considered a delicacy for the family, and my mother-in-law still drops off a batch of home-made yogurt every so often. The time has come for me to start making it myself!!  Watch the video and PLEASE send in pictures if you decide to make it yourself!!

Reprint from the New York Times

THE so-called Greek yogurt that has become popular in recent years is neither a special kind of yogurt nor uniquely Greek. It’s simply yogurt from which much of the water has been removed, a concoction that in its thickest form can be called yogurt cheese. You can find yogurt cheese in every country that has a history of yogurt making. In addition to being thicker and richer when eaten straight, it makes superior spreads and dips.It can be made at home from ordinary yogurt, and its consistency can be varied: it can be similar to sour cream, crème fraîche, or mayonnaise, for which it’s a good substitute, or it can be thick enough to cut with a knife.

Producing yogurt cheese is quite simple. It takes a couple of hours, but your presence is required only for minutes. All you do is strain some of the water out of yogurt, until it reaches the thickness you want. For straining, I recommend a colander or coarse strainer lined with a clean cotton dish towel of fairly fine weave, what used to be called flour sack. (Many recipes suggest the use of cheesecloth, but you’d have to use about 10 layers for the same results.) Dump a quart (or whatever quantity you like) of yogurt in there, set the colander over a bowl in the refrigerator, twist or tie the top of the towel, and wait.

To speed the process, squeeze every now and then, or don’t bother. When the yogurt has reached the consistency of sour cream, twist and squeeze once more and scoop out the yogurt, which will have been reduced in volume by about half. (I suppose you could save and drink the yogurt-water, or cook with it, but I don’t.) Store the thickened yogurt in a covered container and use it within a week or so for best quality.

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Shabbat Shalom, Your Peace of the Week

healthy mind

Shabbat Shalom, Your Peace of the Week

1 Comment 10 March 2010

Written by: Marissa Anteby

Wow! You did it, you got through the bulk of your preparations for Passover. It’s almost Shabbat.

You deserve a reward.  Treat yourself to a little ‘me time’ to congratulate yourself for all of your efforts this week.

What I’m giving you here, is something you should be giving yourself on a regular basis; permission. Yep, permission to take a break. Sit down for a moment and pause. What would make this even better? Oooh, how about a foot massage? Here’s a quickie pressure point massage that will re-charge your whole body.

If you like, you can use any cream you have and rub it in to your feet with the technique I’ll be sharing with you. Next time you can even go out and buy the following items to make your own homemade scented oil;

6 oz. of Sweet Almond oil

6 drops of Jasmine essential oil

4 drops of Frangipani essential oil

3 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil

Note: essential oils can be purchased at https://www.youngliving.org/oils4wellness

1) Sit down and take your cream, oil, or just your bare hands and rub the the sole of one foot, from heel thru the inner arch to the ball of your foot, all the way to your toes, and the top of your foot.

2) With one hand, hold your foot by the ankle, with the thumb of your other hand, use long strokes to press your inner arch, moving from your heel towards the ball of your foot. Make these strokes, slower and deeper. (Try not to slouch your shoulders while your doing this – my tips for a shoulder massage aren’t in this article ; )

3) Keep holding your ankle with one hand, and use your other hand to tug your toes one at a time. Start with your big toe. Repeat that 2 more times; tugging each toe.

4) Now push your thumb in to the mound at the base of each toe. So, you still have one hand holding your ankle, and the thumb of your other hand is massaging the sole of your foot. Move from big toe mound thru little toe mound. Stop at any toe that needs a little more attention.

5) When your ready, switch to your other foot!

Shabbat Shalom,



Marissa Anteby is a wife, and a mother of 4 children. Her company www.embodyinc.com hosts holistic exercise classes in Cycling, Pilates, and Yoga, in cities throughout New York and New Jersey. Marissa maintains more than 10 wellness related certifications, including Reiki Massage, and Thai Yoga Massage.

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