Archive for October, 2012

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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New for 2012: Yiddish Yoga Hanukkah Gift Baskets

An Inspiring Jewish Holiday Gift for Fun and Fitness

Hanukkah gift basket yoga wellness

Boy did we love putting these Hanukkah gift baskets together as a new product this year! I had fun making this combination of Yoga and Yiddish – I just think it makes a super Jewish holiday gift for just about any fitness-minded person on your gift list.

This new kosher Hanukkah gift is an inspiration for the older person on your list especially. It includes a fun book, “Yiddish Yoga,” about a yoga skeptic whose granddaughter gives her a gift of yoga classes. Kvetching, stretching and schvitzing follows as Bubbe starts to find yoga exhilarating. As a yoga lover myself, I know how she feels! The grandma winds up meeting new friends and even changing her outlook on her future – all from a gift given by her granddaughter. Now that’s an inspiring Jewish holiday gift!

Who wouldn’t love to receive this great Hannukkah gift that combines this sweet story with a Yiddish mug, tea with Sarabeth’s honey, and snacks for after yoga? Keep it in mind for any health-conscious people on your Hanukkah gift list. It’s really super for a  young-at-heart grandmother, but I really think anyone who likes yoga would love this Chanukah gift basket!

Get it There by December 8th (First Night of Hanukkah)!

Remember, 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 kosher Hanukkah gifts arrive by the 1st night of Chanukkah (December 8th), if that’s what you request. Don’t forget to sign up!

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Hanukkah Traditions

What is Hanukkah About?

Hanukkah is about way more than giving Jewish holiday gifts and eating delicious treats like potato latkes. It’s easy to lose track of the real meaning behind the holidays when so many new holiday traditions are always being created. But let’s take a moment and remember what Hanukkah is all about: it’s a Jewish holiday celebrating the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greeks, who were trying to wipe out the practice of Judaism.

The Greeks had taken over the Jewish temple and dedicated it to the worship of Zeus and other gods for several years. The temple had even had pigs sacrificed in its midst, obviously a particularly painful slight for the Jews who had worshiped there.

In 167 B.C.E. Antiochus, the Syrian-Greek emperor, made observing Judaism a crime. It was punishable by death! He ordered the Jews to worship his Greek gods, and had his soldiers approach Jewish townspeople to get them to bow down to an idol, and then eat the flesh of a pig. As you can well imagine, this outraged the Jews, of course. One of their High Priests, Mattathias, refused to bow down. He and his five sons began attacking the soldiers, setting off a large battle.

When eventually they won this battle, the Maccabees (as they came to be called) rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem.  It had to be purified with ritual oil burned in the temple’s menorah. There was only enough oil to last one day as the Eternal Flame, but it miraculously burned for eight days. Thus, the 8 days of Hanukkah!

Do you know what the word “Hanukkah” actually means? This Hebrew word means “dedication,” since this Jewish holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple. One of the funny things about this holiday is its many spellings. Is it Hanukkah? Chanukkah? Or Hannukkah? Since it’s transliterated, it really doesn’t matter! But however you spell it, this is one Jewish holiday everyone loves to celebrate.  Because Hanukkah is all about the miracle of the oil, we use oil in our cooking. The delicious fried foods we make to celebrate include donuts, “sufganiyot,” and potato latkes.

So this year, follow our recipe for delicious potato latkes and while they’re crackling in the pan, take a moment to reflect on the real meaning of Hanukkah: the re-dedication of the temple, and the miracle of the survival of Judaism!

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