Archive for Jewish Recipes

Win a Passover Gift with our Kosher for Passover Dessert Contest!

kosher for Passover cake

With so many unique and meaningful traditional foods that must be prepared for the seder (like charoset and gefilte fish), kosher for Passover desserts are one part of the seder menu where we can get a little more creative. We want to know what you’ve tried in your own kitchen that’s been a hit Passover dessert!

Enter our Passover Dessert Contest!

Challah Connection is giving three wonderful kosher for Passover gifts to the lucky winners submitting our favorite, most creative Passover dessert recipes.

Have you made your own gourmet version of chocolate covered matzo perhaps? Maybe you’ve kicked that recipe for Passover sponge cake up a notch or two, or created your own version of the traditional Passover raspberry roll cake? Please share your success!

Win a Passover Gift as a Prize, or Send It to your Seder Hostess!

RULES: By Monday, March 18th, post your kosher for Passover dessert recipe in the comments section of our blog or email it to Jane@challahconnection.com along with any other interesting facts related to your recipe. If emailing, include subject line: “Passover Dessert 2013.” Recipes will be judged based on creativity, originality and ease of use. Winners will be announced on March 20th. If you are a winner, we will email to notify you and at that time get your name and shipping address so we can send your prize.

First Prize:

Our delicious Savory Nosh Basket for Passover, a value of $119.99.

 

 

 


passover macaroons gift basket

Second Prize:

A sweet Passover Candy and Macaroon Platter, a value of $39.99.

 

 

 

 

Passover cookies gift basket

Third Prize

Schick’s Assorted Kosher for Passover Cookies, a value of $14.99.

 

Prizes will be shipped to you or a recipient that you choose (US shipping only).

We can’t wait to choose and share some wonderful, creative kosher for Passover dessert recipes with you.

 

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Have a Purim Celebration with Homemade Hamentashen!

Purim Hamantashen Recipe to Make and Share

Purim is on Sunday, February 24th. This is the time to plan your Purim celebration! Everyone loves Hamentashen cookies, and with the recent snowy weather this is the perfect time to spend time in the kitchen whipping some up! Here’s an easy recipe for Hamantashen that you can fill with whatever kind of sweet fruity fillings you like. You can box up some of these and send them as a homemade Purim gift basket. Or, leave the baking to us and send a sweet Shalach Manot gift basket through Challah Connection!

DOUGH: Makes enough for about 24 cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature (or use additional butter)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash (optional) and coarse sugar (optional)

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Combine the butter and shortening in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the orange juice, and then beat in the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in two additions.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times just until the dough comes together. If the dough is very sticky, knead in another tablespoon or so of flour. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm enough to roll. (The dough can be refrigerated overnight. If necessary, let stand at room temperature briefly to soften slightly before rolling out.)

4. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out as many rounds from the dough as possible; gather up the scraps and reserve. Spoon a generous 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each round. Fold three sides of the dough over to form a triangular pastry, leaving a little of the filling exposed in the center, and pinch the seams to seal. Transfer to the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between the pastries. If desired, brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Combine all the dough scraps and roll out to make more pastries.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastries are lightly golden around the edges. Transfer the pastries to a rack to cool completely. When cool, drizzle with chocolate, if desired.

Click here for Filling Recipes!

Invited to a Purim Party? Or Sending One?

Send some Purim joy with our celebratory Shalach Manot Purim gift basketshamentashen, award winning rugelach and our finest babkaOrder by February 15, 2013 for on-time Purim delivery and take 10% off your order of $60 or more.*Order online or call 866-242-5524 to place your order. If you have ordered from us in the past, we have your recipient addresses.

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Kosher Hostess Gift for Thanksgiving

Need a Kosher Hostess Gift for Thanksgiving? Cookbooks are Great!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Check out my terrific stuffing recipe that includes–challah! Get a free plain challah with any order over $50.*

Anyone who’s having you over for Thanksgiving probably enjoys cooking – or at least let’s hope so! If you’re looking for a kosher gift to give your Thanksgiving hostess, here are a few ideas.

Send this Barefoot Contessa Cooking Set before the holiday, and your hostess will no doubt be inspired. It includes some really great Thanksgiving recipes: Accidental Turkey, balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, mushroom and leek bread pudding, and sweet potato puree!
Also great: it has a 10 step guide to preparing for Thanksgiving called “Foolproof Thanksgiving.” Now what hostess doesn’t need that?! SEND IT! $99.99
Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Thanksgiving Hostess GiftI also like the idea of Deb Perelman’s new Smitten Kitchen cookbook as a kosher gift for the Thanksgiving chef. Deb Perelman is one of my favorite cookbook writers, and she is also Jewish. While this cookbook isn’t “Jewish,” it does include some fabulous Jewish recipes mixed in with over 100 recipes in total. BUY! $74.99

jewish muslum Cookbook Thanksgiving Hostess GiftSince you’re gathering at Thanksgiving to celebrate thanks and togetherness, this big and glossy cookbook makes a perfect hostess gift for the holiday.

It’s a collaboration of 2 old friends, a Jew and a Muslim, who grew up together in Jerusalem. I think it’s a special gift to give for Thanksgiving, when we’re celebrating the American melting pot!BUY! $74.99

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New for 2012: Barefoot Contessa Hanukkah Gift Basket!

Hanukkah gifts cookbook

A Great Kosher Gift Basket  for the Chef on your List

We’re so excited to feature this new Chanukah gift basket built around Ina Garten’s new cookbook “Foolproof.”  Kosher holiday gifts don’t always have to include just food – they can also be about food! We think this Hanukkah gift basket is just the right recipe for a perfect Jewish holiday gift. And I just love Ina Garten’s style of cooking. Did you know that “The Barefoot Contessa” is Jewish by both birth and heritage? She was born “Ina Rosenberg,” in Brooklyn, NY.

I paired the Barefoot Contessa’s newest book with some of her most favorite ingredients: kosher salt and terrific olive oil. Then I topped off this great kosher gift basket with one of Ina’s favorite Jewish desserts, rugelach. (I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite desserts, too!)

You can send one of these great cooking combos as a kosher holiday gift to an aspiring chef on your gift list – a new bride, a student graduating college – and they’ll love it. Or send it to someone who just likes to cook, and I’m sure they’ll find Ina Garten’s recipes are inspiring and delicious. This is a Chanukah gift basket to keep ‘em thinking about your thoughtfulness all year long, every time someone asks “What’s for dinner?”!

Hanukkah Starts December 8th!

Have you signed 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 Jewish holiday 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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The Perfect Rosh Hashana Apple Cake

Entertaining for Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana is one of my favorite holidays. It gives us a perfect excuse to invite friends, neighbors, and fellow congregants over for a celebratory meal. But sometimes the deadline of attending services can make entertaining with a full meal feel rushed. Wish you could still celebrate with friends, but make it easier and more manageable? Here’s an idea: open your home for a quick, sweet nosh of dessert and coffee. That way you can invite as many visitors as you feel like celebrating the Jewish New Year with.

Rosh Hashana Apple Cake

Have an apple cake delivered, plate it up, and you've got an instant Rosh Hashana celebration!

If you’re thinking of having a gathering to celebrate Rosh Hashana, a delicious apple cake is the perfect thing to serve. If you’re looking for the easiest way to entertain, you can order a Rosh Hashana Apple Cake and all you have to do is find the right serving plate! Our kosher apple cake is so delicious, it was featured in the New York Times. Delicious and moist, with no trans fat!

A Simple, Delicious Apple Cake Recipe

Want to make your own? Here’s my favorite recipe for the perfect Rosh Hashana Apple Cake. You can print this apple cake recipe and keep it on hand, because it’s also a great ending for your Yom Kippur meal!

The Jewish New Year is also a great time to send a kosher gift basket to someone special. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness! Some people you might not have thought of who’d love this gift: your temple youth group coordinator, Sisterhood president, or even the temple caretaker. Start the year off right by doing a mitzvah and recognizing their hard work and volunteer time. Send a kosher gift basket that includes our delicious apple cake, and they’ll remember your thoughtfulness all year long!

 

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Favorite Brisket Recipe, In Time for Passover

I used to be a brisket purist and saute a couple of pounds of onions and brown the meat while making a big mess of my kitchen. Now, here’s what I do and the result is just as good as the messy and laborious method:
-line a 9X13 pyrex dish with tin foil. Use enough foil so that it can be tented above the dish. A 6 inch tent will do. Place the brisket on the bottom of the pan, on top of the foil.
-shmear a generous amount of ketchup all over the brisket
-add 2 cut up onions and 2 cloves of garlic (or more of each–you really can’t add too much onion or garlic) on top of the brisket
-add water to the bottom of the dish so that it covers about 1/2 way up the depth of the brisket. You can add some left over coffee for extra flavor. I have heard of some people adding coca cola to their brisket.
-tent the foil above–you are essentially steam baking the brisket
-bake in 350 oven for 2-3 hours. Check every hour to be sure there is enough liquid. The liquid will be your gravy so you need enough.
-When done, remove from the oven and cool. Cut in thin slices against the grain and put into a clean baking dish (one that you can serve from would be nice) along with all of the juices. Refridgerate or freeze. The day you are going to serve it, bake for another couple of hours at 350. Be sure to taste the sauce to see if you need salt, pepper or other spices that you like.

Yum.

Jane Moritz

Challah Connection

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Charoset 2012 Recipe Scramble

Passover Begins April 6–Get Your Culinary Juices Flowing

When it comes to making the Passover Seder Plate, most of us take a task oriented approach: Roasted Egg? Check, Horseradish? Check. Shank bone? Check. You get what I mean: it’s one of the seder tables’ most important items but making it is all about following the list of ingredients rather then how each looks or taste. Actually, the seder plate does have an opportunity for culinary creativity: CHAROSET*.

Announcing Our Newest Recipe Scramble:  Charoset 2012

Here’s how it works: Following are 5 categories of ingredients: fruits, spices, nuts and seeds, liquids and “glue.” To enter our recipe scramble, select a minimum of 4 ingredients from any of the categories, to create a charoset that you would enjoy. Don’t see an ingredient you want? Add it!

 There are only 2 requirements to follow: 1) that it have a mortar-like consistency and 2) that it be tasty enough to be enjoyed. Sweet or savory are ok.

Fruits

(fresh or dried)

Spices Nuts & Seeds Liquids “Glue”
Dates Cinnamon Almonds Red Wine Almond butter
Apricots Curry Power Walnuts Grape Juice Cashew Butter
Raisins Ginger Sesame Seeds Soy Milk Mashed egg yolk
Apples Tumeric Roasted Edamame Almond Milk Matzo Meal
Pears Cardomom Pomegranate Juice Avocado
Prunes Cumin Lemon Juice
Figs Coriander Lime Juice
Bananas Fresh Orange Juice with Pulp
Fresh Ginger
Cranberry
Mango

RULES: By March 27, post your charoset recipe in the comments section of our blog or email it to Jane Moritz, Challah Connection Owner along any other interesting facts related to your recipe. If emailing, include subject line: “Charoset 2012.” Recipes will be judged based on creativity, originality and ease of use. Winners will be announced on March 29. If you are a winner, we will email to notify you and at that time get your name and shipping address so we can send your prize.

PRIZES: First prize wins our fabulous Passover Fruit Basket (value $89.99) Second and Third prize wins a family gift box of 8 parve dark chocolate kosher for Passover bars from Matzel Toff! (Value $31) Prizes will be shipped to you or a recipient that you choose (US shipping only)!

CHAROSET 2012 sponsored by CHALLAH CONNECTION and our friends at MATZEL TOFF!

*What is Charoset? It’s typically a combination of chopped apples, walnuts and red wine that signifies the mortar to make bricks used by enslaved Jews in Egypt. It is one of the symbolic foods that we eat at Passover to remind us that we were once slaves but are now free.

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Favorite Passover Recipe–Apple Matzo Kugel

Passover is less than a month away, so why should I be surprised that people are searching for Passover recipes? Probably because we just finished baking hamentashen for Purim!

My all time favorite Passover recipe is Apple Matzo Kugel. I have made this every year for the last 5 and it always is delicious and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Apple Matzo Kugel

INGREDIENTS

-4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, cored and cut into medium dice
-½ cup light brown sugar
-1/3 cup orange juice
-7 plain matzos
-8 eggs
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 cups sugar
-½ cup butter or margarine, melted
-1 cup golden raisins
-1 cup dried apricots, medium, chopped
-5 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, for casserole topping

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice and set aside in a medium bowl.

3. Break the matzo into 2-3 inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft, but not mushy. Set aside.

4. While the matzo soaks, in a large bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk until blended. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins and apricots.

5. Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzoh and add the matzoh to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish or a 10X14 inch pan. Dot the top of the kugel with the 4 tablespoons of butter.

6. Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Cooks Tip: The kugel can be made 2 days ahead, cooled and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350 degree oven.

Makes 12 servings.

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It’s Shavuot–I’m Cooking Dairy

It’s a rainy, disgusting day here in CT, but I am feeling sunny as I put together my ingredients for the homemade blintzes I am about to start making. First the crepes, then the filling–then the 2 together! We are not religious-here in my house-but we do love to celebrate the Jewish holidays, particularly the food traditions. Now that we are eating much less meat then ever, blintzes are going to be very well received. As you may have previously read in this blog, my kids have been shunning meat and chicken in favor of cremslach (yummy cottage cheese pancakes), challah french toast and blintzes. Recipes for all of these, plus many more dairy recipes at Challah Connection. Let me know what you’re cooking tonight–Chag Sameach!

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It’s A Pancakes-For-Dinner Night

I have been cooking Shabbat Dinners for my family since my first son Sam was born–that is almost 20 years of Shabbat dinners. As my mother taught me, I have always thought that the “appropriate” Shabbat meal is brisket or roast chicken, challah and all of the rest of the side dishes. In the “old” days–up until about 5 years ago–my Fridays were structured around challah baking and the rest of the meal. Since Challah Connection is busy, busy all 5 days (actually 7+), little by little I have been chipping away at my Friday tradition. First to go, unfortunately, was the challah baking. However, I realized that while my husband Josh loved my home baked challah, my kids were actually perfectly content with the challah that we sell here at Challah Connection. Next to go was the hours of shopping and prep for the rest of the meal. To be honest, I have been feeling a little lost on Fridays without a traditional meal to prepare. But, here’s the interesting and very good news…

A couple of months ago, I learned from Harry and Mike (my only 2 at home now, ages 18 and 14 respectively) that they are not liking meat too much anymore and what they really love are dairy meals like my challah french toast, matzo brei, blintzes, pancakes and omelets. Great!! Those are easy to make, don’t require any prep time, are “Jewish” in nature and best of all they really love them. The only problem with this is that it’s not really what Josh and I want to be eating, but we can handle this one night a week.

I’m pretty excited about what I’m making tonight. This is a recipe from Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Cottage Cheese Chremslach. They are pancakes made with cottage cheese and matzo meal (recipe below), fried in oil and topped with sliced strawberries and confectioners sugar. The picture looks scrumptious and best of all, I think my kids are going to love them. Will let you know if this recipe passes the test!

Cottage Cheese Chremslach
From Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking
Note: Technically, this recipe is a Passover recipe hence the matzo meal and Grapeseed or Passover oil. For non-Passover, I plan to use matzo meal and canola oil.

Makes about 18

4 eggs
1 cup 4 percent cottage cheese (you could use low fat if you prefer)
3/4 cup mile (whole or low fat)
3/4-1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 cup matzo meal
Grapeseed or other acceptable Passover oil or 2 tablespoons butter for frying

In a bowl, with a fork, beat together the eggs, cottage cheese, milk, salt, and sugar. Stir in the matzo meal. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a 10-to 12-inch skillet, over medium heat, heat enough oil to cover the bottom by a scant 1/8 inch. When the oil is hot, pour a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet. It should form a pancake about 4 inches in diameter. If it is too thick to spread this much, add a little more milk. The pancake should sizzle immediately. Fry until the first side is golden brown, 60-90 seconds, depending on how hot the oil is. Turn the pancake. The second side takes less time, about 30 seconds.

Drain the pancakes on paper towels or brown paper and serve while still very hot.

Variation (Jane’s opinion–this is a worthwhile step)
For a puffier pancake, separate the eggs, beat the yolks with the milk, then beat the whites until they form peaks and fold into the batter.

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