7 Species Recipe Contest

I just returned from another amazing trip to Israel where I was one of 3 leaders shepherding 14 Jewish moms helping them learn and grow their Judaism and spirituality. Naturally, given the foody person that I am, one of my favorite places in Jerusalem is Mahane Yehuda—the main food market where spirituality and life lessons (patience, self control among the top) abound, especially on Friday afternoon before Shabbat. Let’s just say: OY—very hot and crowded. But, during my visits there I was reminded of the truly biblical foods, the Seven Species:

  • Olives
  • Grapes
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Figs
  • Dates
  • Pomegranates

Photo By Erika Yarmoff

Photo By Erika Yarmoff

These are the foods that accentuate a sense of continuity between the biblical Land of Israel and the modern state. They were very significant during ancient times, as the fruits were discovered and embraced the very moment the Israelite’s entered the land after their bondage in Egypt.

 

 

With Rosh Hashana just 7 weeks away I wanted to get you thinking about something yummy to prepare for the holiday! With that in mind, I challenge you to come up with a recipe that includes as ingredients at least 3 of the 7 species listed above. Whether the recipe is for an appetizer, main course, or dessert, everything qualifies as long as the recipe includes at least 3 of the 7 species. The individual with the most creative and tasty submission will receive a 7 species tote bag! Additionally, one runner-up will receive a 7 species pot-holder.

Entering To Win The Tote Bag Is Easy!
  1. Formulate a recipe for an appetizer, main course, side dish or dessert that includes at least 3 of the 7 species
  2. Include instructions for how to prepare the meal
  3. Post your recipe & instructions as a comment below
  4. Submissions must be made by August 16th. The winners will be announced shortly after.
  5. We will email you if you are a winner or runner up.

Best of Luck!

Jane Moritz
Owner

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Rosh Hashana Is Just Around The Corner!

We are in the heat of the summer, but Rosh Hashana is not far away. Don’t be caught off guard this year, as the holiday falls on Wednesday, September 4th this year, just two days after Labor Day.

 Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is a time of celebration of the New Year and new beginnings. It is an occasion to embrace friends and family, and enjoy this very special time of the year together. Don’t forget about the blowing of the Shofar (the rams horn), which is heard several times on the holiday. Get the kids involved with their own High Holiday Shofar this year; it is sure to keep them occupied!

Gift giving is a very common theme that surrounds the Jewish New Year. There are many food staples for this holiday including: apple cake, apples, honey, challah, and much more! Here at Challah Connection we have a plethora of Rosh Hashana gift baskets that will be sure to leave a sweet taste in your mouth. Some of our most popular gifts include:

Here at Challah Connection we have a fabulous Rosh Hashana product catalog prepared for you, featuring a wide array of New Year gifts. Click Here to request our catalog, which will be going out soon!

Click Here to browse our selection of Rosh Hashana products. It’s never too early to start thinking about what you want to surprise someone special with this New Year.

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Introducing Camp Care Packages

With the school year winding down and hot weather rolling in, it seems that everyone is gearing up for summer. The kids won’t be home for long though, as before it you’ll be helping them pack for summer camp. Whether it is their first or fifth summer away from home, being away from mom and dad for an extended period of time is never easy. Here at Challah Connection we want to make this transition a little smoother, which is why we are introducing Camp Care Packages. We offer a large variety of products, which are sure to fulfill the desires of each and every camper!

 

Who doesn’t love cookies? Nights spent out in the woods can be rough, but make them a little sweeter with our Assorted Cookie Tin. Each tin is complete with six scrumptious flavors including Chocolate Chunk, Double Chocolate Chunk, Ginger Molasses, M&M, Macadamia White Chunk, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter with Reese’s Chips, Pecan Chocolate Chunk, Gourmet Sugar Cookies.

 

 

 

Maybe what they’re really craving after days of camp food is a classic kosher meal. The Jewish Deli Gift Crate includes many of the Jewish deli classics packed securely into a wooden keepsake crate. Included are: 2 pounds of Hebrew National salami, 8 authentic, Lower East Side Black and White cookies, Eli’s European Rye Bread, 2 cans of Dr. Brown’s soda and much more!

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love babka and challah? Put a smile on your campers face with the Kosher Bakery Classics Care Package. This package includes: fresh baked challah, fresh baked babka, assorted rugelach, and black and white cookies. These goodies will definitely last them a while; that is of course if their friends don’t see what mom and dad sent them!

 

Click Here to see our full selection of Camp Care Packages.

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A Special Fathers Day Story

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I was thinking about a special Father’s memory to share with you. One of my more memorable Father’s Day experiences occurred a few years back when my dad took my brother and me out to Coney Island for the day. The first thing we did was catch a Brooklyn Cyclones game, the minor league affiliate of the New York Mets. To be honest, it was not the baseball game that I found to be exciting, but just the atmosphere I was surrounded by. I still remember my dad pointing over the left field fence and saying “That’s Astroland, the amusement park that my uncle once owned”. What followed was a lecture on all of his favorite rides, and I could see that he was getting so much enjoyment out of sharing these memories with us.

 

The real journey came though after the game, as we strolled down the Coney Island Boardwalk. We literally could not walk for thirty seconds without my dad pointing out a great place he used to frequent as a youngster. We stopped at a diner to eat dinner at around 7pm, the same diner that my dad would eat at as a kid. “Just the way I left it,” he said satisfyingly. I could tell because the décor looked like something out of a 1970’s film. Then it hit me, this is what my dad really wanted for Father’s day. He didn’t want to go on an extravagant vacation, but he just wanted to spend the day with his children, and share a memorable part of his life with us. Remember that when you’re out hunting for a Father’s Day gift over the next week. Maybe you can’t make it out to your father’s hometown for the day, but instead try ordering the Jewish Deli Food Crate or a copy of the sports history book titled Great Jewish Men. Use this as a spark to get him to share a story with you about something he cherished as a child. Not only will it make you closer with your dad, but maybe one day you’ll be sharing the same story with your children.

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Introducing Our Line of Jewish Father’s Day Gifts

If you haven’t been keeping up with your calendar lately, Father’s Day falls on June 16th this year. Don’t sweat it though; we have a fabulous new collection of Kosher Father’s Day Gifts that will definitely put a smile on dads face.

Swing for the fences and surprise dad with the Ballparks of the MLB framed wall piece. This attractive, ready to hang piece features 30 cylinders of game-used dirt, one from each ballpark in the Majors, and gives fans an opportunity to “own” a piece of every Major League ballpark. If dad is always trying to give you a lecture on the history of sports, don’t hesitate to order him a copy of Robert Slater’s book titled Great Jews In Sports. Complete with facts, figures, and statistics, Great Jews in Sports documents the contribution of Jewish athletes to the world of sports over the past two centuries.

 

 

 

Is dad the foodie of the family? We’ve got you covered with our vast selection of Kosher Gift Baskets. Check out our NYC Food Tour basket which is an easy way to bring a little bit of the lower-east side into your home. From babka to Bazzinni, from Dr Brown to black and whites, these scrumptious foods have become icons of New York’s immigrant roots. Maybe he’s more interested in the Jewish deli experience, which is why we are introducing the Jewish Deli Gift Crate. Packed with 2 pounds of Hebrew National salami, 8 Lower East Side Black and White cookies, 2 cans Dr. Brown Cream Soda, and much more, you can’t go wrong!

We’re sure most dads are hoping for a money tree this Father’s Day. Here at Challah Connection we can’t guarantee that, but we do have an awesome selection of money clips to keep all of those crisp bills organized. Give dad a chuckle with the Yiddish Proverb Money Clip, which features an engraving that reads, “With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well too.”

That’s not all we have though! Click Here to check out our full selection of Father’s Day gifts.

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Introducing Lox, Bagels & Deli Baskets!

If you haven’t been keeping up with your calendar lately, Fathers Day is just around the corner! Surprise dad with one of these delicious deli-style gift baskets!

New York City is home to one of the most famous and authentic Jewish brunch foods – lox and bagels. However, we understand that not everyone can easily make a trip into the city to enjoy this delicious meal. That is why at Challah Connection we are introducing the NYC Brunch Basket. Packed into a lovely woven basket, the lucky fressers (eaters) will receive a half pound of smoked salmon, 6 tasty and chewy toasting bagels, cream cheese, and much more! Purchase this today for $109.99, and you don’t even have to deal with all of that Manhattan traffic! Click Here to learn more!

 

 

Remember back when mom and pop would take you to the Jewish deli around the corner, and all of the distinct aromas that you can still make out from miles away? Well here at Challah Connection we have created a similar experience that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home! With this Kosher Deli Deluxe Basket comes 6 tasty and chewy toasting bagels, a quarter pound of smoked salmon, 2 full pounds of our favorite kosher salami from Hebrew National, as well as Eli’s European Rye Bread. Purchase today for $249.99, and Click Here for complete details on this special offer!

 

 

Looking for a simpler version of the Jewish deli experience? Well we have just the right Jewish Deli Gift Crate, which is perfect for any occasion! Securely packed in a wooden crate are a 2 lb. Hebrew National salami, Eli’s European Rye Bread, real deli mustard, 2 cans of Dr. Browns Cream Soda, and much more! Purchase today for $119.99, and Click Here for complete details.

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Jewish Mother’s Day Gifts With Meaning

"An accomplished woman, who can find?
Her value is far beyond pearls."

-excerpt from A Woman of Valor

Here at Challah Connection, we think that Mother's Day gifts should carry meaning. Here are our top 3 choices. Each one will bring meaning to the day and honor your "mom" as the Woman of Valor that she is. Or, if you prefer, peruse our entire department of over 30 Mother's Day gifts.
With love, Jane Moritz (mother of 3 sons)

Woman of Valor Take 5BUY NOW: $64.99 
Woman of Valor Take 5

I love the Biblical hymm, Woman of Valor. It portrays women as the strong, confident and capable beings that we are. This gift marries a delicious nosh with the beautiful woman of valor mug with herbal tea.

For my favorite Woman of Valor framed print, click here.

NYC Kosher Brunch Basket

NYC Brunch Basket

Our brand new brunch basket, which includes lox and bagels for 6, is one of my top picks because it is a perfect "gather-round-the-table-gift" to share with Mom and the family. It's familiarity to Jewish culture makes it heartwarming and welcomed by Mom and the entire family.
BUY NOW: $99.99 
Free Ground Shipping: enter code FS9913

Freshwater Pearl Hamsa by Michal Golan

The hamsa is an object of peace and protection–2 qualities that Moms try to bring to the home. The beautiful work of art by Israeli artist Michal Golan will provide Mom with solace and therefore the entire home. This is a gift that is perfect hung on the wall and will be cherished for many years to come.

BUY NOW: $104.99

Free Ground Shipping: Enter code FS9913

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Finding Modern Meaning in the Passover Story

We tell the Passover story every year about us being slaves in Egypt and the hardships we endured. How can we really relate it to our modern lives? When I was in Israel, I visited “Women of the Waters”—the most beautiful mikvah I have ever seen, in Tzfat. On their website, www.tsfatmikveh.com, they shared Passover wisdom this way:

“The Kabbalah wisdom teaches us that anything holding us back, that enslaves us and blocks our unique divine light from shining, is called Egypt – (in Hebrew Egypt is called Mitzrayim, the narrow straits). Yes, whatever it is that distorts our clarity of vision and purpose, preventing us from feeling our true essence aligned, things like anger, sadness, jealousy, dependency on peer approval, impulsivity, resentment, laziness, desire to control, dishonesty, materialism etc. are all our modern day “enslavement”, these are all binding and imprisoning us from accessing our true selves and our personal miracles.”

How do we enslave ourselves by narrow minded thinking, prejudice, etc.? With Passover beginning in less than a week, now is a great time to think about your vision of your most free, creative, well “aligned” self.

Is there someone who helps bring out your best self? Why not send a Passover gift basket to that special friend? Feeling distanced from family, emotionally or physically? Vow to reconnect this spring, or even “attend” the family seder from a distance using Skype. Feeling enslaved by technology? Make Passover an excuse for a technology holiday – use the land line only until Passover ends. Looking for a closer connection to your community? Invite someone new to your seder, or offer a seat at the table to someone who just moved to town. If you live in LA, let me know – I know someone who moved there just last week and would really love and appreciate an invitation to seder!

In reaching out to others, we sometimes find more of ourselves. Think about how to navigate your way out of the narrow places, widen your horizons, and expand your expression of your true self during this time of wonder.

 

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Seder Plate 101

The Elements of the Seder Plate

seder platePreparing the seder plate can get to be a little rote – we’ve done it so many times before. We don’t think too hard about it, we just follow the printed directions on our seder plates! But in case you need a little reminder of why we’re really doing “all this,” as it says in the Hagadah, here’s a brief lesson in the elements of the seder plate.

1. Three matzot.

They’re actually meant to symbolize the three castes of Jews: Priests, Levites, and Israelites. Then there’s also the three measures of fine flour Abraham told Sarah to use for the matzo. Finally, Abraham and Sarah were visited by three angels. So three is a big Passover number!

2. The lamb shank.

It represents the sacrifice that was made the night before the Jews left Egypt. After that, a sacrifice was made every year in the Holy Temple on the afternoon before Passover. Can you imagine that sacrifices were made in the temple? Hard to conceive of today!

Passover seder plate3. The egg.

It symbolizes the holiday offerings people brought to the Holy Temple. It’s also a symbol of life and renewal, of course.

4. The bitter herbs (maror).

Our forefathers were plenty bitter during their enslavement in Egypt, and this is our reminder of their suffering.

5. The Charoset.

This delicious treat is meant to symbolize the mortar and bricks the Jews made during slavery in Egypt. Apples, nuts and wine make a tasty reddish “mortar” – good thing there was no concrete back then or who knows what charoset would have to be made of!

6. The root vegetable.

We place a non-bitter root vegetable on the seder plate to remind ourselves of the arduous work the Jews did as slaves.

eclectic Passover seder plate7. The lettuce.

It’s actually also a reminder of the bitterness of slavery. When Pharaoh first deceived the Jews into working for him, he was not so harsh. But eventually the Jews became entrapped in cruel slavery. The symbolism is that the lettuce leaves are sweet, but if you left Romaine lettuce to grow, its stem would eventually turn bitter and hard. So remember, use Romaine, not iceberg!

If you’re invited to be a guest at the seder this year and you need a Kosher for Passover gift, a seder plate is a wonderful Passover hostess gift that will always be appreciated. Many families put more than one seder plate on the table, especially when there’s a large group. So bring along one of our beautiful seder plates, or add to your own collection!

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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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