Archive for Hanukkah

New Holiday Products

My favorite thing about my job is talking to you–our beloved customers. Whether it’s to hear of something we did with awesome greatness or about a problem where our “human-ness” got in the way, speaking to you allows me to learn more how Challah Connection can secure that special place in your heart called “online home.”

My second favorite job activity is finding new products for you. I have been having ALOT OF FUN lately! I’ve scoured the food shows, gift shows and every possible place to find you gifts that you want to share with friends and family–or for yourself! My travels have produced some exciting new kosher gifts, such as the NYC Food Tour Tower, Happy Hanukkah Chocolate Gift Box and Blissful Brownie Gift Box (we are happily working our way through the sample box sent to our office–these are GOOD). As for Jewish and Judaica gifts, we have some gorgeous new menorahs, dreidels and decorations from Emily Rosenfeld, Gary Rosenthal, Tamara Baskin and some terrific Israeli artists. We have also found a really impressive new artist, Murray Eisner, who has taken a pop art approach and applied it to some of our favorite food icons. His prints make stunning additions to your homes and offices. Finally, for all of the baseball lovers out there (and there are alot of you!), we have teamed up with Steiner Sports to offer you Ballparks of the MLB and a baseball commemorating Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit.

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Latkes–The Light of the Hanukkah Kitchen, Recipes Included

Hanukkah is once again upon us and I am dusting off the giant frying pan I use just once a year. shari and jane2 I know many people prefer to buy already cooked latkes to avoid the mess and lingering smell, but once or twice a year, I find it very gratifying to make them and it makes Hanukkah a bit more special. (For those of you who prefer to buy, Challah Connection latkes are as close to homemade as you can get and we deliver them all over the country.)

If you are like me–a homemade latke person–then listen up as I have some terrific recipes to share with you. I picked the brains of some fellow kosher food bloggers and got some impressive spins (not related to the dreidel spinning) on the classic latke. Of course the classic latke is still terrific and you can click here for our recipe.

Amy Kritzer writes the blog “What Jew Wanna Eat” which features Jewish food recipes, each with a dash of her own creative flair. In that vein, Amy has created Latke Nachos with Homemade Queso for those of us who want some Mexican flavor with our latkes. Latkes Nachos from "What Jew Wanna Eat" I love the idea of cheese and black beans and will definitely be trying these.

Latkes Nachos with Homemade Queso

Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
40 mins

“Nacho” average latkes! These are Latkes Nachos!
Author: Amy Kritzer
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Hanukkah
Serves: 2

For queso:
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup plain yogurt (such as Noosa), at room temperature
¼ cup cream cheese (full-fat), at room temperature
¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature (this helps melting)
¾ cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature
1 diced chipotle in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
Salt to taste
For latkes:
1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups) into a bowl of water.
2 tablespoons onion, small diced
3 eggs, whisked
2 cloves garlic, minced


Fellow Kosher Foodie Liz Rueven also fills her blog Kosher Like Me, with mouthwatering kosher recipes. Her premise is an interesting one and not-so-uncommon: Keeping kosher at home is easy but when venturing out in the world, finding high quality and interesting kosher food becomes a challenge. So Liz, like many, eats vegetarian when she is out and her blog features restaurants she likes along with recipes from the many chefs she meets.

Marcia Selden's Spinach & Zucchini Latkes--Kosher Like MeLiz features a few latke recipes but my favorite are the Spinach and Zucchini, by Marcia Selden Catering.

These veggie packed latkes are more green than potato and are deliciously savory. Enjoy them with sour cream topping, below, if you want to go dairy.

These latkes are NON-DAIRY (pareve)


2 C. blanched and chopped fresh baby spinach
2 C. zucchini
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled
1 large onion
2 large eggs
½ C. matzo meal
2 Tbs. thinly sliced garlic
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ Tbs. Kosher salt
Canola oil


Grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion in food processor.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the grated mixture in a bowl and add the spinach, egg, matzo meal, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
In large, non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan on medium high heat.
Spoon the batter (about 2 Tbs. per latke) into pan, being careful not to crowd the latkes.
Cook until crisp and brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in oven until all pancakes are fried.
Drain on paper towels and keep warm on a wire rack in the oven on low heat. Serve with herbed sour cream.

Herbed Sour Cream


1 C. sour cream
2 Tbs. each-chopped flat-leaf parsley, chives, fresh dill
1 Tbs. lemon juice, plus 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
Kosher salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Now that you are inspired to cook the best latkes ever, you will want to present them to family and guests on a platter worthy of your effort. We love our Lights of Hanukkah platter , which of course, you can buy at Challah Connection.

Happy Hanukkah!

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Corporate Gift Giving for Jewish Colleagues: Do’s and Don’ts

When you are sending corporate holiday gifts to Jewish clients, customers, employees, coworkers or even your Jewish boss, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


Personal items are not appropriate for corporate gift giving, Challah Connection-Send anything that is too personal. A kosher food gift basket is the optimal gift for holidays including Hanukkah.

-Don’t send alcohol unless you know for a fact that the recipient drinks alcohol and there is no company rule against alcohol gifts.

-Review your company gift giving policy as well as the company policy of the recipient. There are often dollar and content restrictions on both sides.

-Don’t send different gifts to different people within the same office. You do not want to create tensions or questions as to why one person got “X” while another got “Y.”



Sweet Sentiments Holiday Basket, Challah Connection-Send a kosher basket that is large enough to feed the entire office.

-Send a kosher gift basket that every can eat. There are many food allergies that need to be considered—gluten free, nut free, sugar free. Do your research before selecting a gift to determine whether you need to address these.

-If you are sending to someone that is Muslim, a kosher gift basket will often be acceptable.

-If you have determined that alcohol is appropriate, wine from Israel is a special gesture (do not send alcohol to anyone who is Muslim—this is strictly forbidden).

California Dried Fruit and Nut Crate, Challah Connection-Send your gifts from a company that has a deep understanding of kosher food rules. You can determine if they do by asking a few questions such as: “What is your kosher certification?” or “What is the certification of Product XYZ?” If they need to ask many other people (and put you on hold for a long time), the company is not well versed in kosher/Jewish gift giving. The right company should also have a wide array of kosher gifts, not just 2 or 3. It is preferable to select a company where their entire shop is kosher (challahconnection and koshergiftbox are 100% certified kosher). Finally, the selected company should have experience with corporate orders and is willing to resolve any product or delivery issues that may arise.

-Be sure to include a gift message with your gift. Common corporate messages are “Happy Holidays, Wishing you a happy and prosperous 201X” or Happy Holidays, We appreciate your business and look forward to our continued relationship in 201X.” NOTE: Happy Holidays encompasses all December holidays without offending anyone. However, if you know that your recipients celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you can alter the introduction accordingly ie Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas.Rugelach Gift Tin, Challah Connection

Above are some of Challah Connection’s most popular kosher corporate holiday gifts.


Jane Moritz is Owner and Chief Maven Officer of Challah Connection and Kosher Gift Box, the premiere online purveyors of traditional kosher gifts for Jewish holidays, shiva, Jewish birthday celebrations and all Jewish gift giving occasions. Her companies have been “Creating Kvells Since 2002.”

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Hanukkah 2014 Facts and Traditions

When is Chanukah? Hanukkah starts at sunset on December 16 and lasts until December 24. First candle is lit on December 16 and the last candle on December 23. (See below about candelighting.)

What is Hanukkah? Also called the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication by the Jewish Maccabees of the holy Temple in Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E. During the rededication, they lit the menorah with the oil that was left. When the oil lasted for 8 nights rather than the one that was presumed, it was considered a miracle and is why we now call Hanukkah the Festival of Lights.
Hanukkah Pure Essentials, Challah Connection
How is Hanukkah celebrated? Hanukkah is not a religious holiday and is considered to be a rather minor one in religious spheres. However, in America, where the bulk of the world’s Jews live, Chanukah has become a significant event with celebratory traditions and gift giving.

Hanukkah Traditions:

Eating Fried Foods: Like all other Jewish holidays, there are important food traditions and for Hanukkah the tradition is to eat foods fried in oil. Potato latkes are the most popular Hanukkah food while donuts (usually jelly), called Sufganiyot in Hebrew, are also popular.

Holiday Potato Latkes, Challah Connection

Lighting the Menorah: The menorah is a 9-branched candelabra. There is a branch and holder for each of the eight candles and one for the Shamash—the candle used to light the others. The menorah is also called a Hanukiyah.

Colorful Aluminum Menorah, Challah Connection

Playing Dreidel at Hanukkah Parties: The dreidel is a 4-sided top with Hebrew letters on each side. There is a special dreidel game that is played and the winners eat Hanukkah gelt—foil wrapped chocolate coins. Dreidel is played at Hanukkah parties or at the nightly Menorah-lighting.

Sharing Gifts: Hanukkah is the largest Jewish gift giving holiday of the year. Typically, families have their own traditions of sharing Hanukkah gifts typically either every night for eight nights or just one.

In America, corporate gift giving at holiday time is standard practice. Giving gift baskets and other food gifts to colleagues and clients for
Jeweled Dreidel, Challah Connection
Christmas or December holidays is well accepted as is gift giving to Jewish colleagues and clients. For Jewish clients, kosher gift baskets are recommended to ensure that everyone in the office can enjoy it. Challah Connection has an impressive assortment of kosher Hanukkah baskets and Hanukkah food specialties that are appropriate for family, friends and business colleagues.

How to spell Hanukkah? There are several acceptable spellings: Hanukkah, Hanukah, Chanukah, Chanuka

Happy Hanukkah!!



Written by Jane Moritz (, Chief Maven Officer, Challah Connection

Challah Connection is the premiere online kosher gift company specializing in Jewish traditional gifts for Jewish Holiday, Shiva, Jewish Birthday and all Jewish gift giving occasions . “Creating Kvells Since 2002”

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Thanksgivukkah Is Just Around The Corner!

Thanksgivukkah is just around the corner! Now you may be asking what is Thanksgivukkah, and why have I not heard of it before? Well, this year, for first the first time since 1918 Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap. The first day, and second night of Hanukkah happens to fall on the day of 

feasting, family and football: ThanksgivingDon’t take this coincidence for granted though because we are not going to see another overlap until the year 2070! This overlap of holidays is getting so much attention that Thanksgivukkah even has its own dedicated Twitter and Facebook pages.

Because the holidays are falling at the same time, combining traditional Thanksgiving

dishes along with favorite Hanukkah foods will make for a more festive meal. Sweet Potato Latkes are the perfect side dish and for turkey stuffing–none better then our challah stuffing. Don’t forget about some of our other tasty favorites, such as the Apple Cake, which has been described as homey, well burnished and thickly paved with apples and nuts. If you love that, then you will definilty be a fan of our mouthwatering Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake, which makes a lovely gift. Feeling something a little sweeter and chocolaty? Be sure to check out our yummy Chocolate Meltaway Cake, our Chocolate & Cinnamon Babka Combo Pack, as well as our festive Orange and Black Cookies!

Make sure to embrace this special occasion

with friends and family, as it is not going to come around again for a very long time! Also, be sure to check out our special “Thanksgivukkah” page with a great assortment of products for both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving!

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Kosher Corporate Holiday Gifts

Kosher Corporate Gifts for Jewish Colleagues

It’s tricky enough to find the ideal corporate gift. When it’s a company holiday gift for a Jewish colleague, it can be even more complicated! Not all Jews keep kosher, but when you’re sending a holiday gift you want to be extra careful to make the best impression. Sending kosher corporate holiday gifts from the Challah Connection will give you total peace of mind, and we’ll make the selection process super easy. We even help you with the most appropriate gift card language!

Our kosher certified company gifts will make you look like a gifting superstar! Whether your colleagues keep kosher or not, they’ll appreciate that our corporate holiday gifts are very high quality and kosher certified. Here are some kosher corporate gifts to consider sending your Jewish colleagues.

kosher corporate gifts pure essentials

This Corporate Holiday Gift is a Best Seller

This is a kosher holiday gift that’s been one of our top sellers for close to 8 years. Fresh and delicious baked goods that are great for Hanukkah and Christmas – a fresh challah (think:french toast), our signature babka and favorite rugelach, and gourmet dried fruits. These baked goodies are always shipped in peak freshness, so they can’t be in transit more than 3 days. Send it soon!  BUY! $94.99


Send a Corporate Gift for the Whole Office

kosher corporate gifts Hanukkah Christmas

When you need a corporate holiday gift that makes a whole office happy, this is the one to choose! It’s for up to 12 people, and includes a mix of delectable sweets and special savories. Granny Smith Apple Coffee Cake, rugelach, and California dried fruits are complemented by savory treats including gourmet Brazilian cashews, Meditalia Basil Tapenade and Smoked Salmon Pate. And they’ll love the non-denominational white tin and wicker basket adorned with snowflakes. BUY! $199.99


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Christmas & Holiday Gift Giving

Non-Denominational Holiday Gifts: Do it Right, Make it Special

Whatever holiday your friend, colleague or family is celebrating this season, we’ll help you send the perfect gift. At Challah Connection we love helping people send high-quality, delicious gifts to people celebrating so many different joyous events in life. We can help you decide on just the right kosher holiday gift that we know anybody would appreciate, even if they don’t know what “kosher” means. That’s because when it comes from Challah Connection, what they’ll really see is your thoughtfulness in sending such a splendid and delectable gift!

Americans generally think of Hanukkah, Christmas and now Kwanzaa as “the” winter holidays. But there are other joys celebrated this time of year as well.

December 8th is Bodhi Day, marking the day that the Buddha experienced enlightenment (“Bodhi”). The winter solstice is on December 21st, which a friend of mine’s yoga center celebrates with a Winter Solstice kirtan. They close out the year with an ancient fire ceremony called a “homa hotra” – you write on one piece of paper what you need to let go of from the past, and on another what you wish for the future. Then you throw your papers into the homa hotra fire and send their messages toward the heavens in the flame and smoke. Sounds a lot like some Jewish New Year activities, doesn’t it?

December 21 is also the beginning of the Hindu festival of Pancha Ganapati, celebrated through December 25 in honor of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. Of course then there’s Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which is followed by Boxing Day in British enclaves. December 26th is also the beginning of Kwanzaa, which is celebrated through January 1st.

There are so many lovely holiday traditions to celebrate across many faiths. Sending a non-denominational holiday gift can really be the best way to go to show you care and you wish them happiness and peace. Here are some great ideas of what to send.

kosher corporate gifts pure essentials

Everyone loves challah and it makes a wonderful batch of holiday French toast – no matter what holiday that is! And this cheery basket includes delicious ethnic treats like babka and rugelach while being decorated in a cheerful yet non-specific holiday way.  BUY! $94.99

wine basket holiday gift corporate Jewish gifts

Celebrating any of the winter holidays is more cheerful with our elegant wine basket gift. It is a kosher certified holiday gift, but it is also totally non-denominational. A bottle of wine and some sweet and savory treats to enjoy with it – sounds like a holiday to us!  BUY! $124.99

We’re Here to Help!

Call us for any help you need in selecting the right holiday gift for your clients and colleagues. We’ll make sure whatever you select is culturally appropriate, right down to how you wish them a happy holiday – whatever holiday they’re celebrating! Orders placed by 12/18/12 can be shipped for just $9.99 flat rate ground shipping, and there’s no minimum order. (You could save an average of $6.50!)

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Holiday Gifts for Colleagues

Should you Send a Kosher Corporate Gift?

If you’re looking for a kosher holiday gift for a colleague, Challah Connection is here to help you out, and help you make the best impression with your colleagues! Sending a kosher holiday gift to a colleague is a thoughtful gesture they will appreciate, regardless of whether they keep kosher or not. Sending a company holiday gift from the Challah Connection is a simple way to ensure your colleague is getting the perfect gift. We’ll even help you with the most appropriate gift card language! Our kosher certified company holiday gifts will make you, and your company, look great!

What Is “Kosher-Certified”?

Our kosher corporate holiday gifts feature products that are of the highest quality, and are kosher certified. That means all the ingredients used to prepare the product are kosher, and the production process itself is also kosher. Certified kosher products are specially labeled to identify the rabbi or kosher certification agency that certified them.  Remember that old commercial for Hebrew National? Kosher holiday gifts really do answer to a higher authority!

kosher corporate gifts pure essentials

What if My Colleague Celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas?

Here are two wintery-looking corporate holiday gifts you might want to choose from.

This cheerful non-denominational gift basket will appeal to everyone. It’s been a top seller here for many years. While this is a kosher holiday gift it really is also appropriate for colleagues who celebrate Christmas. Jewish or not, everyone loves challah and it makes a wonderful batch of holiday French toast! Gourmet treats like babka and rugelach are holiday treats anyone can appreciate. This is a great corporate holiday gift for an office where you have Jewish colleagues and colleagues who celebrate Christmas.  BUY! $94.99

wine basket holiday gift corporate Jewish gifts

Our elegant wine basket is also a stylish and elegant choice for clients and colleagues who celebrate any of the winter holidays. It is a kosher certified holiday gift, but it is also totally non-denominational. A bottle of wine and some sweet and savory treats to enjoy with it – sounds like a holiday to us!  BUY! $124.99

We’re Here to Help!

Call us for any help you need in selecting the right holiday gift for your clients and colleagues. We’ll make sure whatever you select is culturally appropriate, right down to how you wish them a happy holiday – whatever holiday they’re celebrating! Orders placed by 12/18/12 can be shipped for just $9.99 flat rate ground shipping, and there’s no minimum order. (You could save an average of $6.50!)

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A Unique Hanukkah Celebration

We just had to share this idea!

Hanukkah cookiesToday one of our clients in Los Angeles ordered 3 bags of blue and white cookies for Hanukkah. They are for her annual “Vodka and Latkes” party.

This is her 4th year and it has grown from a handful of people to more than 60! For the first time this year, she is having waitstaff who will be carrying trays of different flavors of shots; peach, marshmallow, etc. After you drink the shot, you eat a latke.

order potato latkes for Hanukkah

She serves her latkes with caviar and crème fraiche. The party is “all about having fun and celebration.” Festive attire is requested on the invitation. Her 23 year old daughter came up with the idea. Good thing she was already “legal” to drink!

Throw your own version of Vodka and Latkes! We’ve got the best potato latkes right here to get your party started!

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New Kids’ Hanukkah Gift Basket Items

New Hanukkah Gift Ideas for Kids

Who gets more excited about Hanukkah, do you think: kids, or grandparents? It’s true that it’s more fun to give than receive, but don’t try telling that to any children you know under the age of 6 or 8 for sure! Whether you’re giving little Hanukkah gifts each of the eight nights, or just giving one super special holiday gift to the little folks on your list, we’ve got some great new items you’ll love to give almost as much as they’ll love to receive!

Books for Hanukkah

chanukah gifts for children books

Looking for some wonderful little gift items for your kinderlach? We love these great little Chanukah stories! This is a great set of books to pair with other children’s Hanukkah gifts. BUY! $17.99

kids cooking gift Hanukkah

Kids in the Kitchen!

It’s the heart of every Jewish home, so get those kids cooking with this perfect Hanukkah gift for any child ages 6 and up. It includes the “Chanukah Treats for Kids” cookbook, with 8 Hanukkah recipes (including latkes!) - one for each night of the holiday. BUY! $54.99

Double the Hanukkah Gifting Fun

Hanukkah gift puzzleThis engaging puzzle helps kids learn about the miracle of Hanukkah while keeping them busy with large pieces designed just for small fingers! Perfect for ages 5-9. BUY! $19.99

Hanukkah traditions gift basketTradition, Tradition!

This Hanukkah gift basket of traditions is just right for 2-to-5-year olds. Get them started learning about the holiday with The Complete Guide to Hanukkah book, a Baby Yiddish book, a plush menorah, numbered candles, gelt coins, dreidel and more! All of the holiday traditions in one great Hannukkah gift basket!  BUY! $84.99

Get your Hanukkah Basket Shipped for December 8th!

When you sign up for the Challah Connection newsletter, you automatically get holiday discounts and shipping priority. This means if you are on our list we will ensure your gifts arrive by the 1st night of Hanukkah (December 8th), if that’s what you request. Don’t forget to sign up!


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