12 Tips for Reducing Stress when Hosting a Holiday

Chicken soup chicken transformed. See tip #12

Chicken soup chicken transformed. See tip #12

Stressed when you’re hosting?  Who isn’t?

There are a few super simple ways to make holiday planning a whole lot easier and more streamlined.

Here are my top12 tips for getting organized and reducing some of that stress before ANY dinner/event you host: Continue reading

8 Charoset Recipes Sure to Spark Chatter at your Passover Seders

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Is charoset one of your favorite dishes on the seder table? Why not use it as chutney or cake filling at other times of the year? But first… Seder. Read on.

Julie Levine, San Francisco lifestyles blogger and friend at Florence & Isabelle, has joined forces with me again this week as we share a wide array of charoset recipes for your Passover table. These chopped and blended mixtures reflect ingredients grown in regions as far apart as Eastern Europe (Ashkenazic) to the Mediterranean and the Middle East (Sephardic). We hope you’ll consider serving more than one of these (how about all 8?) as you explore the symbolism of charoset and the different flavor profiles from communities across the globe.

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Lucky Giveaway Winner

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Lucky Arline from Middletown, NY! She’ll have this beautiful handmade Seder plate at her Passover table this year.

Julie and I would like to thank ALL of you who took the time to respond to our question about how you’ll be changing something at your Seder tables this Passover. Your answers were heartfelt and fascinating. Continue reading

WIN this Barbara Shaw Passover Seder Plate!

Seder Plate Giveaway from artist, Barbara Shaw.

Seder Plate Giveaway from artist, Barbara Shaw.

As we approach Passover, I’m teaming up with Julie Levine at Florence & Isabelle for two fantastic Passover posts and one fabulous giveaway. Today we’re featuring modern, stylish, handmade gifts from artist, Barbara Shaw. Next week, you’ll find a charoset recipe roundup to end all other charoset roundups.

And here’s the best part…we’re giving away this gorgeous seder plate (above), courtesy of Barbara Shaw Gifts, valued at $100 to one lucky reader. (See below for all the juicy details.) Continue reading

Perfect Panini with Sincerely, Brigitte Cheeses

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

When balmy spring breezes blow away winter’s chill I lean towards quick, no- fuss meals so I can head outside at every chance I get.This seasonal shift  is a perfect time to turn to your panini press for quick and creative melted cheese sandwiches that can easily be tailored to everyone’s tastes. I’m always on the lookout for distinctive cheese but sliced cheeses, with unusual flavors, are harder to find. That’s why I was so thrilled to discover Sincerely, Brigitte cheeses. Continue reading

Fuss-free Artichoke Tart for a Quickie Dinner

 

photo: Robin Selden

photo: Robin Selden

If you know that your family will be racing to the finish line even before they begin your Purim meal, consider keeping your entree super simple with this Artichoke and Gruyere Tart. We love that it’s meat-free so all hamantaschen, even those laden with butter, are fair game.
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Celebrate with Chocolate Halva Hamantaschen

 

Photo: Amy Kritzer

Photo: Amy Kritzer

Welcome guest blogger, Amy Kritzer!

When I asked Amy if she had a tempting hamantaschen recipe for Purim 2016 she shared this recipe with chocolate and tehini at the center of this holiday cookie. Read on to see how Amy shines as she puts new twists on traditional Jewish baking:

Back in college, I was attending a hamantaschen making party, much like an young coed would do, when my gentile roommate asked me: “Is this the holiday where you eat a lot and drink wine or fast? If it’s the former, I’ll come, if it’s the latter, you’re on your own.” Continue reading