Archive for March, 2011

Today, Honor Your Favorite Doctor

Honor your favorite Doctor today–National Doctor’s Day–with these beautiful artworks.
The physician’s prayer is an emotional plea by the healer for guidance. The twelve tribes, a mortar & pestle, medical herbs, and Moses’ brass serpent symbolize the art of healing. This gorgeous piece makes a wonderful gift for your favorite Jewish medical school graduate, doctor, and any medical professional. Framed 18″x18″

Healing Arts Prayer Framed Art for a Medical Professional
This lovely artwork makes a beautiful gift for your favorite Medical School graduate or any medical professional. Adapted from Maimonides’ Prayer, this Prayer for the Healing Arts features the following text:O Compassionate G-d – Thou hast chosen me to watch over the health of Thy creations. I now apply myself to my calling. Support and strengthen me in my task so that I may aid those in need.
Framed size is 9″x13″. Mahogany frame with Royal Blue mat.

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Not The Same Old Hagaddah

Shocking news on the hagaddah front–have you heard? Maxwell House is “modernizing” their hagaddah–the seder staple at many a home. One change is gender neutralizing. For example, the Four Sons are now going to be Four Children (a little weird in my opinion). But there are other changes too, including the Starbucks coupons (just kidding). You can read it all here at The Jewish Week. Better start brushing up on the four questions. This year one of them will be about the best way to brew your coffee!!

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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


-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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Marshmallow Hamentashen? What’s YOUR Favorite Flavor?

Put Your Baker’s Hat On and Dream…

In today’s New York Times, Joan Nathan describes Israeli’s love for exotic hamentashen flavors: marshmallow, amaretto, marzipan, halvah, chocolate chip cream, sweet red wine and cinnamon to name a few. Interestingly, Challah Connection partnered with a local baker several years ago to create our own hamentashen recipes: Sour Cherry with Semi Sweet Chocolate Drizzle and Lemon Poppy Seed.

What’s YOUR favorite Hamentashen flavor? Do you have a great idea for a new exotic flavor? We want to know! Please click here and post your idea on our blog. Maybe it will be next Purim’s biggest rage!

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It’s Purim–Time to Party

I was visiting my friend Gail a couple of weeks ago and we were chatting about the overall malaise that seems to have infiltrated our lives. No surprise, given the amount of snow we’ve had here in the Northeast and the dismal economy that is keeping too many people from finding jobs. But, Challah Connection is always a bright spot in any conversation, and when we spoke about Purim, it felt like spring, or a time to be happy.
Purim Pure Essentials
Purim is all about freedom, rejoicing and PARTYING! And even better, it’s a mitzvah (good deed) to celebrate Purim with food, drink and merriment! Who can argue with a party dictated by your rabbi? Gail, who is not Jewish, brought up a great point–that Purim is just a plain old good time to party–Jewish or not! Yes, kind of like Mardi Gras.

I remember the Purim parties of my growing up years: bland expressions of festivity in the last 15 minutes of Hebrew school with some dry hamentashen and grape juice served in solo paper cups.
In contrast, the Purim parties of today are sophisticated gatherings with gourmet food, music and fun. As a matter of fact, while writing this, I received an email invitation for a “Purim Prohibition Party” at a super-cool hotel on the Lower East Side in New York. I’ve seen some other fun sounding events which I’d love to attend, but I will actually be in Berlin on Purim. I’ll be visiting my son Harry, who is spending his “gap” year between high school and college on an amazing voyage that has taken him from Portland, OR to Israel and Eastern Europe. It will be my mission to see how Berliners observe this terrific holiday of freedom and celebration. In the meantime, before I leave, it’s all business here at Challah Connection, making sure that your Shalach Manot and Purim gift baskets get out on time. Chag Purim Sameach!

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