Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chanukah Party Ideas continued...

Blogging while nursing isn't as hard as I'd have thought.  And since I have started reminiscing parties of Chanukahs past, I decided to post pictures of a few more parties I've done.
2 years ago I invited over a few couples over for a small Chanukah get together.  I decorated the table in a more sophisticated black and white color scheme.
For center pieces, I baked dreidel cookies which I poked a whole in before baking so that I could string them on to the branches I brought it from outside.
For the appetizer, I served salad in tortilla bowls.  I served fish for this party.  I made sushi, and tariyaki salmon.  I served it with the traditional latkes.
For dessert, there was of course, homemade chocolate donuts with strawberries.

Tortilla Salad Bowls
  • 8" flour tortillas
  • Pam cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450.  Pam a cupcake pan.  Place a tortilla in every other cup, allowing space so that the tortillas don't over lap.  Pleat the edges of the tortilla so that the center lays on the bottom on the cupcake cup and the outer edge comes out forming a bowl.  Place the baking pan with the tortilla into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the tortilla is darkened but not burned.  Let cool for a few minutes to allow to harden before removing from pan.
Can be made a day in advance.  When ready to serve, lay on plate and fill with salad, allowing some to spill out. Drizzle with salad dressing.

 
Have a happy Chanukah!

Chanie

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanukah Party Made Easy

It's been a few months since I posted anything here.  Pregnancy took over my summer and beyond, but B"H, 2 weeks ago I gave birth to boy #4.  He is such a perfect addition to our family.  Once I get past the initial new mommy faze, I hope to get back to blogging in full swing.
Being that Chanukah started tonight, I felt a need (during my few sitting moments) to post some quick Chanukah party ideas.
I love to play host, and what better time then Chanukah, when we have 8 nights to party.  I usually make a few parties for family and for friends.  (Obviously, this year will be different, still haven't gotten into the full swing of supper making, never mind planning and hosting a party, but we will try to make sure the Yom Tov will be exciting for my kids anyways)
Picking a color scheme, helps pull the look of the party together and gives it a more finished polished look.  For this party, I chose to stay with the classic blue.  I decorated the table in the Chankah gift theme. 
For the center piece, I covered a box (shhh, it was actually 2 lasagna boxes) with chanuka wrapping paper to create the base for the Menorah.  I filled glass cups with sugar and used tall blue candles to complete the Menorah.

I decorated the table with mini "gift boxes" (soap boxes covered with wrapping paper and tied with curling ribbon)  and Chankah confetti.

I served the party buffet style.  Although the tradition is to serve milk on Chanuka, I chose to serve meat at this party.  I set up stenos with kid (and adult friendly) foods.  My menu included sweet and sour meatballs, rice, french fries, latkes and hotbogs (invited  families with kids so had to keep the menu simple)  along with a vegetable platter.  On the dessert side, I served chocolate donuts drizzled with blue glaze, mini cupcakes with blue and brown frosting, (notice the cupcake stand:  made up of presents as well), dreidel cookies and an apple trifle with strawberry sauce.

 

Blue and brown icing top the mini cupcakes displayed on a gift box cupcake stand.

 

I tried keeping the drinks in the color scheme as well....  I made blue lemonade by adding some wilton food coloring to regular lemonade. 

 











Chocolate Donuts (credits for this recipe goes to the Spice and Spirit cookbook, although I do modify the recipe a bit)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tbs. margarine
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • Oil for deep frying
Ganache topping:
 
  • 1 cup dessert topping
  • 9 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Blue Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tb. oil
  • 4-5 Tb. water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • a few drops blue food coloring
Dissolve yeast in water and sugar, in a large bowl.  Allow to sit for a few minutes until yeast starts to bubble.  Add remaining ingredients and knead until smooth (apx 10 minutes in machine, longer if kneading by hand)
Cover dough and allow to rise till doubles, apx 1 hour.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4" thick. Using either a doughnut cutter or 2 different size cookie cutters (one large and one small) cut out doughnuts.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
 
Heat 3"-4" of oil in a pot until hot but not smokey. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time, they cannot be crowded or they will not rise properly.  Fry with the cover on.  When golden, turn over and fry other side.  Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
 
For icing: Heat whipping cream till just begins to bubble, remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips till melted and smooth.  Add vanilla and mix.  Allow to cool.
 
Dip doughnuts in chocolate.  Allow to set (won't harden, remains a delicious creamy chocolate on top)

Mix the glaze ingredients together adding the water only a bit at a time till it reaches a thick but pourable consistency.  Drizzle glaze over iced donuts.

Wishing you and your family a happy Chanukah!

Chanie

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Easy Rainbow Ices

I have such find memories of summertime in Crown Heights, stopping at Nosh World for a scoop of rainbow ices.  The other day I decided to make some for my own kids (who don't have Nosh World just around the corner)  The recipe I made was super easy and I'm sure a lot healthier then the original.  It till is flavored artificially, but at least it has the added benefit of being made with pure fruit juice too.
It has been a while since I have had rainbow ices, but I think this tasted pretty similar to what I remember.  The ices are also the prefect texture.
I used lime and raspberry flavors but feel free to pick your own family's flavor, or make it with more then 2 colors.


 












Easy Rainbow Ices
for each color:
  • 1 package jello dessert (flavor of your choice)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Dissolve jello in boiling water.  Add both juices and sugar, stir quickly to prevent jello from setting before mixed in. (If it sets too quickly, don't worry, as it will all be combined properly when blended later)
Freeze each color in separate containers till completely frozen (a few hours or can take overnight).
Place one color at a time in the blender and blend till smooth.
Place one large spoonful at a time into container, alternating colors.  Return to freezer to refreeze.

Enjoy,
Chanie

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Rain Day Activity - Cupcake Decorating

Our luck has it, that the first day of summer vacation it rained :-(  Now how to keep my boys happy yet pull them away from that dreaded wii (I despise that thing, for a number of reason, but when the weather is bad, and my boys are on my back, I sometimes go against my better judgement.)
I suggested cupcake decorating and got a great big sound of approval, and so it was.  I quickly whipped up a small batch of buttercream and took out some cupcakes from the freezer, and an activity was born.
My boys had a fun time, especially when I took out some fondant for them to work with.
My middle child, the non-vegetable eater, ironically, made a vegetable garden.  (and proudly announced that he will eat his vegetables)  My oldest, a boy after all, made the Montreal Canadians logo (Go, HABS, Go!)  My youngest made a fruit patch.
Was so much fun and a great way to spend some quality time away from electronics.  (although they finished only to run back to their video game)





playing with fondant


Thank G-d, after the not such great beginning, we've gotten much better weather for the first few days of this week.  Monday,we went to the waterpark at Kent Park with my sister-in-law and her son, if you're a Montrealer, or someone traveling here during the hot summer months, it's definitely worth checking it out with the kids. 
Tuesday, my kids played outside with neighbors, before heading to he park for a game of soccer.  My middle boy, was enrolled in an organized soccer game with a coach once a week.  This week was the last scheduled game, however, probably because it was one of those days between school and camp so everyone was off schedule, the coach and my son were the only shows.  Oh well!  The coach started some drills with my sons, but then gave up and went home when no one else came along.  
My boys still had a great time playing soccer, tennis and baseball.




The weather didn't keep up for Wednesday and today, but at least the boys have started camp so there is something for them to keep busy with for those 6 hours each day.


Enjoy your summer,
Chanie

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

I read in the the May 2011, Parents magazine, a recipe for pancakes made with pumpkin.  My kids love pancakes so I thought this would be a great to add a new vegetable to their diet. 
The recipe in the magazine started with a pancake mix, but I never get the use of mixes for something so simple to make as pancakes.
I decided to update the tried and loved recipe that I always make, and just add some canned pumpkin to the batter. It came out fabulous, and no one was the wiser of the added ingredient.  After eating a couple, I did tell my husband about the extra ingredient, but he said the taste was almost the same, only thing noticeably different was the color, which was yellow.


 











Pumpkin Pancakes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin from a can (not pumpkin pie filling)
In one bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In second bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and pumpkin.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix till batter in slightly lumpy.
Heat small amount of oil in frying pan, and fry spoon fulls of batter.  Flip pancake when bubbles appear on upper side.
Serve with pancake syrup.

Bon Appetit,
Chanie

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Preschool Graduation

Last week, my baby graduated from preschool. (Maybe I should stop calling him 'my baby')  His class celebrated by inviting the parents to hear the boys do their daily davening (prayer) followed with the distribution of diplomas.  My son couldn't be prouder! And as a mom, I can say the same as well.
We celebrated his achievement at home as well.  I made cupcakes to serve for dessert after supper.
Cant believe he's going to be in Yeshiva next year...

 


Have an amazing fun filled summer,
Chanie

Friday, June 3, 2011

National Doughnut Day

Today is National Doughnut Day.  Are you celebrating?  Although I could never refuse a good fresh doughnut, I think I'll forgo this holiday this year (and possibly every other year)  We have our own doughnut holiday, on which every year I go into my kitchen, roll up my sleeves and produce yummy chocolate covered fried doughnuts (they got to be fried, or they just don't cut it.)
In honor of the woman who served the doughnuts to the troops during World War I, I will post below the recipe I use for my Chanukah doughnuts, which is always finished to the last drop. 
Fried doughnuts have to be eaten when they are fresh.  They do not taste good when  stored for the next day.  The batter however can be covered and placed in the refrigerator overnight.



Delicious Doughnuts
  • 4 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tbs. margarine
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • Oil for deep frying

Ganache topping:
  • 1 cup dessert topping
  • 9 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve yeast in water and sugar, in a large bowl.  Allow to sit for a few minutes until yeast starts to bubble.  Add remaining ingredients and knead until smooth (apx 10 minutes in machine, longer if kneading by hand)
Cover dough and allow to rise till doubles, apx 1 hour.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4" thick. Using either a doughnut cutter or 2 different size cookie cutters (one large and one small) cut out doughnuts.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Heat 3"-4" of oil in a pot until hot but not smokey. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time, they cannot be crowded or they will not rise properly.  Fry with the cover on.  When golden, turn over and fry other side.  Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.

For icing: Heat whipping cream till just begins to bubble, remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips till melted and smooth.  Add vanilla and mix.  Allow to cool.

Dip doughnuts in chocolate.  Allow to set (won't harden, remains a delicious creamy chocolate on top)

Yum!

Have a good shabbos,
Chanie

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dairy Cinnamon Twists

With all the cheesecakes and other heavier desserts on the menu, I thought a lighter dairy cookie was in order.  I combined a few recipes to come up with this one.  It has a taste closer to a cinnamon bun then the crispy twists sold in the stores.


 









Cinnamon Twists
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs. shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Icing:
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • about 2 tbs. milk
In a large sauce pan heat the sour cream until lukewarm; remove from the heat. Add the sugar, baking soda, salt, and yeast and mix well. Allow to sit a few minutes.
Beat in the egg, shortening, and vanilla to the sour cream mixture until combined.  Add flour one cup at a time.   Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead apx. 10 minutes.  Divide dough in 1/2. Roll out each into a 6 inch by 12 inch rectangle.
Spread each rectangle generously with butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle a layer of  cinnamon-sugar onto the buttered dough.  Pass rolling pin over dough.  Fold the rectangles in half the long way.  Again pass rolling pin over with only a little pressure. Cut both filled doughs into 1 inch thick strips. Twist each strip and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Place the twists close enough to each other that they hold the shape of the twist but not pushes together.
Cover and allow to rise for one hour
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
While the twists are cooling prepare the icing. In a bowl combine the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and enough of the milk to make the glaze drizzle easily. Drizzle the icing over the twists.

Enjoy!
Chanie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Smoked Salmon Sushi Bites

Sushi is a fun bite size appetizer. Some have mastered the art of rolling sushi, yet sometimes want as easy way out (especially when hosting friends and don't want to spend hours doing prep), others have yet to figure out the proper technique and therefor don't bother with it.  Here I share a no-fail, delicious way to serve up sushi that no one can mess up (okay, let me take that back, I do know people who can mess even this up.)


Lox sushi squares

Tuna avocodo sushi













Smoked Salmon Sushi
  • 1 2/3 cups sushi rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 7 oz. lox
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste or spicy mayo (see recipe for spicy mayo below)
  • 2 sheets nori (seaweed paper)
  • soy sauce, spicy mayo or/and wasabi (for serving)

Rinse rice well, in cold water (for a few minutes). Place rice in small sauce pan with water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower flame and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from flame and allow to sit, covered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and mix to dissolve.  Spread rice onto a nonmetallic dish and sprinkle with the vinegar mixture. Stir for 5 minutes, or until rice is cooled.
Line a 9"x13" baking pan with a large piece of saran wrap (leaving a generous overhang) Place lox pieces in pan and spread with wasabi paste or spicy mayo evenly on top.  Spoon rice into pan, pressing down firmly to cover the lox and wasabi.  Top with nori sheets, and fold up overhanging saran wrap to cover.  Place a piece of cardboard on top of the sushi to weigh it down.  Refrigerate 1 hour or up to one day.  Turn onto cutting board, lox side up.  Slice and serve.

Spicy Mayo
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Bon appetit,
Chanie

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Miniature Cheesecake Trifles - Shavuot Miniature Desserts

Just the other day, I  stopped at the dollar store to pick up a couple of things, and came across the cutest mini stemmed cups and mini spoons.  I just know I had to figure out something go do with them for Shavuot.   I decided to use no-bake cheesecake filling to make a simple, easy yet very presentable dessert.
I made a milk chocolate and a plain cheesecake mixture and made different combination using different toppings I had on hand.  Do feel free to try your own favorite topping.


Milk Chocolate Cheese Filling
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 7 oz. good quality milk chocolate (plain without and filling) - melted and cooled
  • 7 oz. cream cheese

Whip the whip cream till peaks form.  fold in melted chocolate.  In a separate bowl, whip cream cheese till creamy.  Fold cream cheese into chocolate mixture.

No-bake Cheesecake Filling
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 Tbs + 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2/3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together till smooth.  Fold in whip cream.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch

Choc. art, blueberry, and choc. curl












Topping Ideas:
  • fresh fruit (I used blueberries)
  • grated chocolate or chocolate curls
  • chocolate "art" : melt chocolate chips.  Can draw any shape by placing in sandwich bag.  Make a small at the tip of the bag and pipe design onto wax paper.  Place into freezer to harden.
  • chocolate-peanut butter crunch (recipe follows)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch
  • 3 1/2 oz. chocolate chips - melted
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (can use crunch or smooth)
  • 1 1/3 rice crispies

Mix melted chocolate and peanut butter together, until completely combined.  Stir in rice crispies.  Press onto baking pan and place in freezer for 10 -15 minutes to harden.  Crumble and use as topping.  (I placed this on bottom, in middle and on top of my trifle)

Enjoy,
Chanie

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Decadent Cream Cheese Truffles - Shavuot Miniature Desserts

I love dairy foods and desserts, after all who doesn't, so it's probably doesn't come as much surprise that I look forward to a Yom Tov, that is not all about the roast (yes, we got to make some of that too, but at least I can put emphasis on something other then that).
I find great pleasure in offering a variety of desserts, but find that at the end of the day, I have a bunch of open cheesecakes. Although they still taste as good, it doesn't look as presentable to reserve.
This year, I decided to make a miniatures dessert table.  Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to try all different recipes to include on my Yom Tov Viennese table.
A few weeks ago, my husband was flipping through a cookbook, in my mother's house, and came across a picture of cheesecake truffles.  He thought they looked delicious....  I don't remember which cookbook it was (so I cannot call my mother, since my mothers cookbook collection is pretty big) but remember the basic ingredient.  Since it came out delicious, I must have gotten it correct.  I thought it would look and taste fabulous, dipped in milk and white chocolate.



Truffles before coating












yum!


 


  


 


  Decadent Cream Cheese Truffles   (makes apx. 60 truffles)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Beat cream cheese till smooth.  Slowly add confectioners sugar until completely blended.  Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until well blended.  Refrigerate 1 hour to firm.  Shape into small 1" balls.  Return to refrigerator to firm up before dipping in chocolate coating.

Chocolate Coating
  • 2 bars (3.5 oz each) white chocolate
  • 2 bars (3.5 oz each) milk chocolate
Melt each type of chocolate separately in double boiler, or fondue.  Take a lot of care when melting chocolate.  Melt on low heat (too much heat will mess up the texture) and make sure the chocolate doesn't get into contact with any water.  Dip half the truffles in milk chocolate and half in white chocolate.  Drizzle truffles with opposite chocolate then coated in.
Keep in fridge till ready to serve.  Freezes well, so great to make ahead for Shavuot.

My husband proclaimed this 'melt in your mouth goodness!'

Enjoy,
Chanie


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rainbow Cookies

A few weeks ago, Evening With Friends (our local Chabad women's organization), had a Yom Iyun.  It was a full day of workshops, on the topic of raising our children.  It started with coffee and cakes in the morning, Stopped for a nice hot lunch, then the main speaker and after a few hour break there was an evening session which the men were invited to as well.
It was a really great day, from which I walked away feeling I've come out with a lot of great insight.  For this years main speaker, they brought out Rabbi Manis Friedman.
I was asked to make some sort of baked good for the evening cake table.  I made rainbow cookies.    Although these cookies look beautiful, they are fairly easy to make.
I made the recipe from the Spice and Spirit cookbook (aka The Purple Cookbook)

 











Tri-Color Cookie Squares

for each layer (so you need each of the following ingredients times 3):
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. almond extract
food coloring (one layer each on red, yellow and green)
1/2 cup margarine (melted and cooled)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 10" x 15" jelly roll pans and line with parchment paper.  (if you don't have three pans, just make one layer at a time, as it bakes and cools pretty quickly) Prepare each layer separately. Beat eggs and sugar together. Add flour, extract and and a few drops of ).  Continue beating till mixed well (apx 2 min) Fold in cooled margarine.  Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly being sure to reach all the corners.   Bake for 12 min.

filling and glaze:

32 oz jar raspberry jam
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup nondairy creamer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Spread apx 1/2 cup jam between layers, pressing gently on layer to make sure the layers are completely joined.
In a saucepan, melt margarine, and stir in cocoa.  Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Mix till smooth.  Spread over cake while glaze is still hot and easily spreadable.  Allow to cool and harden completely before cutting into 2" x 1" cookies.

Enjoy,
Chanie


Monday, May 23, 2011

Lag B'omer Sleepless Marathon

Been gone for 2 months.  At first I wasn't feeling well (nothing serious, just spent a week really under the weather), and once you're off, its so easy to push off coming on again.
So now for take 2, I'm going to, Bli Neder, go back to posting regularly.
Well, Lag B'omer was yesterday, but I missed all the parade (I'm sure it was nothing like the Great Parade, but it would have still been wonderful to spend the day outdoors with the kids.)  I had orders for 2 different Upshernishes for Sunday, and my plan was to do one Saturday night and the other Sunday morning, and have them both out of my house by 1pm so that I could join my kids for the afternoon.  I did not take into my calculation that Shabbat only ended at around 9:30pm.  After Havdola, putting the kids to bed and cleaning up, it was after 10:30 and I was already exhausted.  Well, I had no choice but to suck up my fatigue and get on with the decorating.  Of course, as the hours went by, my motions slow downed.  At 4am I considered going to sleep, only to realise that if I did that, I would not be able to wake up and function properly to finish up the orders, so a few coffees and a few hours later, I was still in the kitchen when my kids started getting ready for their day at the parade.
Both cakes got out on time (second one was picked up at 10am) and I thought I'd go to sleep for a couple of hours, to wake up somewhat refreshed.  HA!  I tossed and turned for 2 hours before finally giving up and getting out of the house.
Still had no chance of going to my kids, as my tenants fridge died and we had to go find them a new one.  None of the appliance stores had the right size in stock.  (there are cabinets above the fridge, so it has to be a certain amount of inches. 
Well, at least we finished the day together, with a bar-b-q. Served veal chops (marinaded in Club House 5 minute Montreal Steak Rub Marinade) and hamburgers with garlic bar-b-q sauce, with a fresh salad, a pasta salad and bakes beans.  Great, delicious, last minute bar-b-q, that the kids really loved!
This morning, I feel somewhat refreshed, after an eight and half hour sleep.

iPad cake
Toy Story cake









Thanks for stopping by,
Chanie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

8th Days New Music Video - A Real Hit

My boys are big 8th Day fans.  Their music is fun, and in English.  Wasn't to much surprise that they really enjoyed the concert when the Marcus brothers preformed in Montreal, at the MTC, this past Chanuka, on the 8th night (how appropriate).  The spirit in the hall was electrifying, with the kids dancing through the aisles.
In concert at MTC

Posing with Bentzi Marcus
Posing with Shmuli Marcus













Of course, it should come as no surprise that my 3 boys sat glued to the screen, last night, watching the newly released music video for Ya'alili. This song is  a great dance tune and being that my kids are half Sfardi, half Ashkenazi, it hits close to home.  (yes, in our home it's not odd to see gefilta fish served along side traditional spicy sfardic salads.)
Watch the video, I'm sure you'll enjoy it just as much as we are.


This song is from their new CD called Chasing Prophecy.  You wont regret it, if you purchase it, as it contains a lot of great songs.

Chanie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Purim 2011

So Purim came and went, and what a busy day it was. 
A few weeks before Purim, we get into the frenzy of themes, costumes and what to give for Mishloach Monot. 
Costumes ideas were thrown around, but nothing hit me.  I decided to go through some of my children's books for inspiration.  It hit me in "Mr. Potato Head Around The World".  My kids were going to be gondoliers from Venice.  I took out pictures from my recent trip to the Venetian in Las Vegas and had my inspiration for the costumes.  Took 2 nights of sewing plus ordering hats online (which I needed to make a new band for), and I was pleased with the end product.













Gondoliers at the Venetian

Now we needed a Mishloach Monat that could to tied in with our theme.  For the boys, we decided on pizza, fries and a coke.  For most kids, this is their favorite Italian food. 
 









For the adults, we decided to go with a pasta dinner.  I bought 20lbs of rainbow fassili in Jetro.  My kids sat with sanitized hands, for 4 hours, separating them by color.  I planned on making my own marinara sauce, but in the end (due to lack of time), repackaged store bought sauce.  I also included a piece of mozzarella cheese, some fresh garlic, a Rome tomato and a basil leaf for garnish.  I made Italian flag cookies as our Purim card which said "Buon Purim dalla famiglia Hagege" (Happy Purim from the Hagege family).  The Italian is thanks to my friend C.M., a born and breed Italian.

 











Purim was much fun, thanks to the spirit at all Purim parties.  Motzoi Shabbos, our shul had a masquerade pizza party, which was lots of fun for both kids and adults alike.  Sunday morning, we had a big breakfast after megilla reading, also at shul.  I was invited out for the Purim Seuda to a friend of mine, and boy did she cook up a scrumptious meal (Thanks G, for having us!)  The rest of the day I spent in the kitchen since I was so disorganised with my mishloach mones this year.  (thanks to being out of town the week before and having lots of orders, BH, to fill)

One of the non-theme Mishloach Monas which I also gave out.

Till next time,
Chanie