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Purim Preparedness
Purim Preparedness

I know that Purim is a few weeks off-but somehow the holiday creeps in and often I am left unprepared.

Every year I wait until the last minute to even think about Purim, and making Hamantaschen, and before I know it the holiday sneaks up on me and I end up buying Hamantaschen at the store or bakery.

Covered in Chocolate
Covered in Chocolate

Long touted for its affect on stamina and arousal, the Italian libertine Casanova ate chocolate before bedding his conquests. While the jury is still out on the possibility of chocolate being a sexual enhancer-we do know that chocolate tastes great. Just the mention of warm, luscious chocolate lights a fire in most chocolate lover’s hearts.

Skirt Steak Sliders
Skirt Steak Sliders

Sliders or mini burgers are perfect for football’s biggest game, or anytime you want a flavorful, but not too hefty portion. I love the big juicy flavor of the spicy skirt steak but definitely want to save room for dessert.

You Say Biscotti You Say Biscotti

Mandelbrodt, or almond bread, is an Ashkenazi confection that is usually twice baked. Similar to Italian Biscotti, Mandelbread are formed into loaves, sliced and baked. To keep the Mandelbread pareve, use dark chocolate for dipping instead of white.

Game Day or Winter Comfort Food
Game Day or Winter Comfort Food

Chili is the perfect accompaniment for Sunday game day or a movie night. I turned a dish that could be ordinary into something extraordinary by combining different types of beans, vegetables and peppers for layers of flavor. My family serves it steaming hot, right out of the slow cooker, accompanied by a platter filled with lots of tempting accompaniments.

New Year for the Trees
New Year for the Trees

Tu B’Shvat is this week and is the perfect day to reflect on how we might better take care of the earth and its resources. Though the holiday has changed throughout the centuries, Tu B’Shvat can be a day to celebrate the unique partnership between man and nature. It appears that now, more than ever, we need to be more conscious of everything we do and how it affects the planet.

So Trendy
So Trendy

So cupcakes are dead and pie is the new ….well, cupcake! Kumquats are the new pomegranate and vegetables, especially root vegetables are the new meat (I called that one last year). Kale is the new hottie in the sauté pan AND the salad bowl and not eating meat once a week is all the rage.

Start the New Year with Sparkle
Start the New Year with Sparkle

While New Year’s is not a Jewish holiday, I am always happy to raise a glass and join friends and loved ones in a toast. The collective hope for good health, happiness, peace and prosperity is always welcome and I do not ever hesitate to join in. This past year, especially, has been a trying one for many people throughout the world and I, for one, am happy to see the secular year of 2010 pass.

Something Else for Jews on Christmas
Something Else for Jews on Christmas

Last year I was on a one-chef campaign to bring chop suey back en vogue with an updated version for Christmas. What else is there to do on Christmas except to invite some friends over and EAT?!

Warm and Welcoming Soup
Warm and Welcoming Soup
  • Drizzle the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and place the squash cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the squash in the oven for 45 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a paring knife. When the squash has cooled enough to be handled, scoop the squash out of the shell.
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