Category Archives: Organic

Sheitels And Strollers Mergers With Primetime Parenting

It has been a year since I started to blog about my life as a kosher foodie mom raising a family in New York. With two blogs running parallel lives, I’ve decided to move all of my Sheitels and Strollers content into Primetime Parenting.

Please come on over and continue the conversation, which always has something to do with kosher food, fun, frugal finds, and forty-plus parenting in “primetime”.

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Filed under Family Fun, Gourmet kosher, Hey Moms, Kosher, Organic, Primetime Parenting, Rockin' Recipes, Shopping Kosher

Legendary Chef Jacques Pépin To Host The 4th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off

cookoff_top_enterGrand Prize Winner Receives $25,000 Prize Package

I was just at Kosherfest 2009 last week in Secaucus, NJ, and I have to start my diet all over again. That should be the worst news, but there really were so many new and healthy kosher food and beverage products; MimicCreme, a non-dairy and non-soy gluten-free blend of cashews and almonds cream substitute, Brain Toniq, which touts itself as the only non-caffeinated “think drink” designed to increase mental focus, function and clarity, Kosher Valley offers kosher turkeys and chickens raised without the use of antibiotics or animal by-products, and are free to roam in a humanely-raised, stress free environment. Then there were the classics that we grew up with, like Manischewitz which now has an -natural Ready-To-Serve Broth with no MSG. That’s progress. You can also test out your cooking creativity at the 4th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off. I’ve included more information about the all-natural Broth and cooking contest below. By the time I finished this article, I already had an idea, hopefully you will too!

SECAUCUS, NJ (October 2009)—Just in time for the holiday season, The Manischewitz Company announces the launch of the 4th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, a cooking contest designed to encourage home cooks to challenge themselves in preparing a kosher meal using the new Manischewitz all-natural Broth, made with real chicken and beef. The contest encourages home chefs to experiment with different ethnic foods and to think of preparing a Kosher inspired meal as part of that experience, in the same way people enjoy preparing Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and other popular ethnic cuisine. Entrants will compete for a chance to be crowned the “King or Queen of Kosher” and win the $25,000 grand prize package including GE Profile kitchen appliances, cash and more. Five finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to NYC to compete live on March 18th at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. The contestants will be judged by an on-site cooking panel consisting of food media and other culinary experts. This year the cook-off will be bigger and better than ever with legendary acclaimed chef, Jacques Pépin as the celebrity guest of honor who will act as MC, head judge and award prizes. Pépin is one of America’s best-known chefs, widely recognized as the host of eleven acclaimed public television cooking series and the author and publisher of twenty-six cookbooks. He is also a founder of The American Institute of Wine and Food (WIWF) and has been the Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Institute (New York) since 1988. “I am thrilled to be a part of the 4th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off!” said Chef Pépin. “I always encourage people to experiment with new types of ethnic cuisine and products.” Chef Jacques Pepin has created some exciting recipes using the new Manischewitz Broth which will be available in the recipe section of www.manischewitz.com.

“Over the past three years over 10,000 people across the country, spanning all ethnic backgrounds, have shared some amazing recipes.” says David Yale, President and CEO, of The Manischewitz Company. “As the leader in the kosher market, we pride ourselves on our wide range of specialty products that inspire cooks of all types to create exciting kosher inspired recipes.” Just-in-time for the Cook-Off, The Manischewitz Company has added a new line of ready-to-serve broths to its extensive portfolio of kosher products, giving you additional items to add to your creative recipe! New Manischewitz Broth starts with a recipe, not a formula, and is slow cooked in small batches. Filtered water is added to all natural ingredients and real kosher chicken and beef stock to deliver that homemade taste. Manischewitz Broth is packaged in a 14 ounce, easy open, pop-top can or a 32 ounce easy to pour reusable carton and is available in three flavors: Chicken, Reduced Sodium Chicken and Beef. Look for these wholesome broths in the kosher and soup section of supermarkets nationwide. Suggested retail price for the can is $1.69 and $2.99 for the carton.

As an added bonus, this year’s event will benefit Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM), a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Updates on JAHM will be available on http://www.Manischewitz.com shortly and will continue through the end of JAHM on May 31, 2010. The Manischewitz Company is the official corporate sponsor of JAHM, and will work with the JAHM steering committee to drive awareness of events and programs. How it works The Manischewitz Cook-Off invites U.S. residents 18 or older to submit an original, easy-to-prepare entrée. All recipes must be original, kosher, include a new Manischewitz Broth product, have no more than a total of eight ingredients and be prepared and cooked in one hour or less.

 For official contest details log onto http://www.manischewitz.com and complete the official entry form and submit your recipe online. You can also enter by mail by sending your recipe entry to: Manischewitz Cook-Off, c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. All entries must be received by January 31, 2010 For more information, prize details, rules and regulations, log onto www.manischewitz.com.

To inspire you for Cook-Off try this delicious chicken dish: POT OF OLIVE OIL BROTH POACHED CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKES AND TOMATOES Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, cut up 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 cups onions, diced 1 1/2 cups celery, diced 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped 42 oz Manischewitz® Chicken Broth (3 cans) 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped 2 bay leaves 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved 2 whole tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips Preparation: PREPARATION: 1. In a large stock pot sear chicken skin side down in olive oil; remove. 2. In same pot, sauté onions, celery and garlic. 3. Add Manischewitz® Chicken Broth, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a boil, then reduce heat 4. And chicken. 5. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and tender, skimming off any fat or broth that comes to the surface; add water if necessary to keep chicken covered. 6. Remove chicken and set aside on serving platter. 7. Skim off any remaining fat or froth; add artichokes, tomatoes and basil; simmer briefly. 8. Serve with chicken. Serving Suggestion: Strain 1 1/2 cups of stock and add to 1 1/2 cups of couscous for a quick side dish. NUTRITION INFORMATION • Servings per Recipe: 6 • AMOUNT PER SERVING: • Calories (kcal): 709 • Total Fat: 47g • Cholesterol: 226mg • Total Carbs: 24g • Dietary Fiber: 9g • Protein: 50g

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Shopping At TJ Maxx With The Kids

tjmaxxI was approached by a PR firm to see if I was interested in how many kid friendly and back to school items I could find at TJMaxx and Marshall’s. The good news is that I was given $25.00 to spend in both stores.  The good news is I love shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, the bad news is that it is hard for me to just spend $25.00. I have never spent less than $100 at either store and I didn’t know what to expect. Not so easy a task with three kids in tow (four, two, and one). I had to plan for eve” shoesry possible situation, so I brought some juice boxes to tide them over so I could quickly search for their “back to school” sneakers since it was something that they really needed (you know how these kids grow out of a new pair of shoes in five seconds). 

We decided to go to the TJ Maxx on New Hyde Park Road near Lake Success and easily accessible from either the LIE or Union Turnpike. As soon as we arrived my kids were already clashing over who would push the stroller with their baby brother in. I knew instantly that this shopping trip would be a very fast one. Then, my four year old daughter said that she “had to make”.  Having been in this prediciment  before at this same store, I knew we had to go through the houseware section to get to the restrooms. I love this section and I always find unique bowels and picture frames.  I also found a turquoise body pillow that was soft and fluffy for $12.99. You should have seen my kids testing out these pillows (yes, they laid down on them right in the middle of the isle) and that is what they wanted.  I’d show you the picture but I had to return it because it was not good for my very allergic husband.

As we were on our way out of the store, my kids spotted the food section. I thought I had it easy because what food would TJ Maxx have that was kosher certified by a symbol (kosher authority) that I knew and trusted? I was pleasantly surprised when I found a couple of cookies (I initially noticed them because of their style of packaging) that I bought for the kids to snack on and as well as a flavored bottle of water drink that my daughter just had to have. The Late July Organic Mini Milk Chocolate Bite Size Sandwich Cookies (kosher OUD) late july organic mini milk chocolatewere very good and chocolaty. Not only is the packaging very colorful, but it features endangered animals and Late July is donating 10% of the profits to the Jane Goodall Institute. The original price was $4 and TJ Maxx had them for $2.99 for a 5 oz box. This is more than I would want to spend on cookies which I don’t even buy anymore because it is easier to just make your own (my husband has an awesome oatmeal cookie recipe). Since %10 of profits donated to the Jane Goodall Institute, it was worth it to me. I could only find one package of these USDA certified organic cookies but they can be found at Whole Foods or latejuly.com. Not to worry, a few inches away I spotted a box of Market Squares Vanilla Circus Cookies. These cookies are all natural and do not contain Trans Fats. A 2 oz package sells for $2 and TJ Maxx sold them for $1.29. Again, these are kosher certified by the cRcD (Chicago Rabbinical Council Dairy). I was originally drawn to this box because of the cover with two lions roaring at each other. No wonder, the owner of the company and his partner have a background in advertising, design and photography. They produce each and every design themselves. These cookies are also very tasty. In fact, Market Square was founded in 1982 by James L. Lockhart and his son David. James L. Lockhart is also a well known wildlife artist and his work can be seen online at Walden Press Museum Editions. market sqaure vanilla animal crackers

I love shopping at TJ Maxx and even though I didn’t find the shoes that I wanted for my kids (this TJ Maxx did not have shoes for kids) we found some yummy organic kosher snacks that had never heard about before. I still have a $20.00 credit because I returned the pillow and I am going to use if for when the Halloween costumes arrive and shop ahead for Purim costumes (Jewish holiday commemorating how G-d performs hidden miracles and we are hidden behind costumes). This holiday is especially fun for kids because they wear costumes to synagogue and school. I will be

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Filed under Family Fun, Gourmet kosher, Healthy, Kosher, Organic, Purim, Shopping, Shopping Kosher

“America’s Most Wanted Recipes” Get Kosher

America's Most Wanted RecipesA couple of weeks ago, I sent my husband to a foodie event in Manhattan promoting “America’s Most Wanted Recipes,” a new book just put out by Simon and Schuster. The part that had me most interested in this event was that they had requested that people make a kosher version of the over 200 secret recipes from 57 of America’s most popular food chains. As a kosher mom blogger and advocate for kosher food, I just had to be there. Unfortunately, my babysitting budget had been depleted so that I could attend the OU Advanced Kashrut Seminar for Women, a week long seminar that discussed what kosher is and what kosher is not. I learned so much and met some incredible people (I was even quoted in both The Jewish Press and OU.org). So, I sent my husband and main chef in our home, to the event. I advised him to schmooze with the people from the media and get the scoop.

 My husband had fun at the event and even came home with an assignment for us. We were asked to cook one of the recipes and convert it to a kosher one. When I saw one of my favorite appetizers from Houston’s (I used to eat there before I started keeping kosher), I couldn’t wait to get started. I remember eating at Houston’s in Chicago with my friends and sharing Houston’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Now, I could make a kosher version of this appetizer in my own home and eat as much as I wanted (that is a really scary thought). Another recipe I wanted to kosherize was the Olive Garden’s Salad Dressing. I remember the days of all you can eat salad at Olive Garden topped off with a tangy, basil balanced salad dressing. I also saw this as an opportunity for my husband and me to get creative with date night as well as good content to post on my blogs, which would also be posted on Epicurious.com.

We agreed to take a shot at a kosher version of Chili’s Southwestern Egg Rolls. Right off the bat we saw something we needed to change with the recipe. The recipe had a combination of chicken and Monterey Jack Cheese. Not kosher! Milk and meat (meat and dairy) are never mixed together. So, we decided to make the dish dairy. We both felt that the cheese was a key component to the success of the recipe. My husband and I both love large amounts of melted cheese on eggs, potatoes, Challah, pizza, and bagels and there is no shortage of cheese in our house (thanks to Costco and their affordable and delicious Natural & Organic Kosher Cheese). Yes, I do get very excited when discussing cheese! We substituted the boneless, skinless chicken breast with Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips, also kosher pareve. In order to get the grilled like sensation, we threw the pieces into a pan with a little canola oil for a few minutes. Yum. We also made our own avocado-ranch salad dressing with Hellman’s mayonnaise, avocado, and oil. All of the other ingredients were okay to use in our kosher version of the recipe. The final result, delicious and a new addition to our Shabbos and Yom Tov meals.

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Customers Sample What’s In Store for Rosh Hashanah at Costco in Far Rockaway

One of my weekly activities is to take my toddlers to Costco in Far Rockaway and replenish some of the staples in our cabinet. You know the items, Kedem Grape Juice, Empire Kosher Chicken, Milk, Eggs, Seltzer, Cheerios, Quaker Oatmeal, and Canola Oil, just to name a few. While we cruise the isles, we are tempted to try the array of food samples in our reach. In the kosher consumer world, sampling food is more than just an all you can eat buffet. The box of the item must be checked for a hechsher, or kosher certification, before the food can be consumed. If I am not familiar with the kosher certification of an item, I always request the packaging in order to ensure that the proper kosher certification is on the product. This is where Costco differs from all other main stream retailers. The people that provide the samples at Costco in Far Rockaway are familiar with the word and the meaning of kosher. I was so impressed by this concept that I have since cancelled my BJ’s membership entirely.  Why is Costco so into the kosher consumer?

I found out that the person behind the kosher friendly staff at Costco is Adam Self, general manager of the Costco on Rockaway Turnpike for the past three years, and a veteran of half a dozen other Costco stores in New York and New Jersey. Adam has tuned into the requests of the kosher consumers and he isn’t even Jewish. He is very aware of the benefits of kosher food products whether the consumers are Muslim, Christian, Vegetarian, Lactose-Intolerant, or Gluten-Intolerant. As the kosher mommy blogger and advocate for kosher food, I just had to introduce myself to Mr. Self.

I actually found Mr. Self exactly where an excellent general manager of a store should stand and that was near the kosher food section. He was engaged in a conversation with a kosher consumer when I politely introduced myself to him. I had so much to say, but my two year old had decided that she wanted to climb out of the shopping cart and do some of her own shopping. In my brief schmooze with Mr. Self, he had invited me to today’s kosher sampling event with representatives from major kosher brands. The event, which will be going on until Thursday, September 17, features kosher brands such as Gabila’s, Natural & Kosher, Geshmak, David’s Cookies, and Schick’s. The samples were plentiful and the company representatives both informative and friendly. It wasn’t just the Jewish customers filling up their carts with food for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah meals. All types of customers were delighted with the samples and filled up their shopping carts with kosher organic cheeses, kosher potato salad, knishes, kugels, and desserts. You could see the appreciation in their faces. Keeping customers educated about healthy food options is exactly what Mr. Self had achieved today. You don’t have to be Jewish to love kosher food, you just have to be conscious about what you are eating. That is the best thing that retailers can do for their customers, after all, they don’t call it customer care for nothing!

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What’s Cooking and What’s Not Cooking In A Kosher Kitchen

What do I, a kosher mommy blogger, a Rebbetzin from Boro Park, and a Mashgicha-a female Mashgiach- from Albany, NY, have in common? I was hungry for information on kosher food certification processes and the laws that make them kosher. These women, some of them from generations of kosher kitchens and some of them that just wanted to increase their own personal kosher curiosity. Last week, I spent the entire week with 24 of these incredible women at the OU Advanced Kashrut Seminar For Women and had an in depth look at “what’s cooking” and “what’s not cooking” in kosher cuisine today.  Rabbi Grossman, Director of OU Kosher Education, organized this opportunity for women after he had received requests from over 80 women for such a seminar last year. The week long seminar addressed the areas of kosher food management such as checking lettuce for insects (we did find one on our lettuce); baking bread (challah); blood spots in eggs; meat and dairy control; identifying and purchasing kosher fish and chicken; and becoming an educated kosher consumer.

The seminar also included a couple of field trips to OU certified factories, hotel kitchens and food service establishments.  It is incredible the amount of detailed processes, check lists, and quality control required for working in a large kosher kitchen or an OU certified factory.  I was so impressed by the OU kosher rabbinic staff – both those who are based in the OU office (rabbinic coordinators) and those who work outside (rabbinic field representatives) – and their extensive knowledge of animals, natural history, chemicals, medicine, and Halacha (Jewish Law) in their areas of concentration.  

I have been kosher for less than a decade, but after this course I can’t understand why anybody would not choose to keep kosher.  You don’t have to be a Jew or even an Orthodox Jew to benefit from kosher certification. In fact, Phyllis Koegel, OU New Business Development/Marketing Associate, shared some information on kosher consumers that I found most interesting. According to Mintel Market Research, “Kosher Foods Market – US Report,” January, 2009, The U.S. Kosher Marketplace is growing steadily.  According to the report, nearly 80% of All Kosher Food Sales are Outside of the “Traditional” Jewish Market. These markets include Muslim, Seventh Day Adventists, Vegetarians, and Vegans. Mintel also discovered that general consumers believe kosher food is safer, healthier, and better. Then there is the consumer with Dietary Restrictions such as Lactose, Shellfish, and Gluten Intolerant. This research confirms my personal opinion that consumers don’t have to be Jewish to love kosher food. However, if they are health concious consumers with food nutrition as a major priotity, Jewish or not, this is something we can all agree on. Still not convinced?

You can bring a world expert on kashrut — one of the Rabbanim and Mashgichim of the Orthodox Union — to your institution to share his expertise. Arrangements may be made for small adult groups to visit OU headquarters for an in-house session, seminar or shiur with an OU rabbinic expert. For more information, contact Rabbi Eliyahu Safran at safrane@ou.org or 212.613.8115.

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If Your Birthday Is Today Celebrate At Pomegranate And Receive A $100 Gift Card

That is right, Pomegranate is celebrating its first anniversary right now and they are giving away prizes with music and entertainment!

from 9:00am-10:00pm today. If you are there between 6:00pm and 7:00pm, look for me and I’ll interview you with my new Kodak Zi6 Pocket Video Camera that I got from the socialluxe lounge at BlogHer in Chicago last month.

Click here to see all of the activities going on right now! And if today is your birthday, celebrate with Pomegranate and receive a $100 gift card. See you there!!

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