Celebrate Tu B’Shvat

Celebrating Trees on Tu B’Shvat

Tu B’Shvat is celebrated by planting trees and eating fruits and nuts. It’s a bit too chilly here in the US to plant trees right now, but we can surely celebrate with some delicious kosher gift baskets of fruits and other delicious treats!

Marking ”The New Year for Trees”

Why a new year? Because the Torah says fruit from Israeli trees can’t be eaten during the first three years of the tree’s life. The fourth year of fruit is set aside for G-d, and then in the fifth year the tree’s fruit can be harvested and eaten. The fifteenth day of the month of Shvat is used as an arbitrary date to begin counting those years, even if the tree was just planted a few weeks before that date.

Fruit Baskets are the Perfect Tu B’Shvat Gift

kosher gift basket Tu B'shvat fruits

Send your friends and family a special Tu B’Shvat gift basket with 4 pounds of fresh fruit in a lovely keepsake wicker basket! It includes cashews, unsalted peanuts and truffles to enjoy with that delicious fruit bounty. This gift basket shouldn’t be in transit more then 2 days. BUY $74.99

kosher gift basket nuts dried fruit Tu B'ShvatSend California’s Best Natural Treats

Here’s an elegant idea for this Jewish holiday: share our elegant wooden crate filled with 5 of California’s finest gems; dates, pears, pistachios, turkish apricots and Berry Blossom Trail Mix. We know California isn’t Israel, but this kosher gift basket is certainly in the spirit for Tu B’Shvat! BUY $44.99

gluten free fruit basket Kosher giftA Gluten Free Gift Basket Option

Looking for a gluten free gift basket? We love this kosher gift basket that’s centered around fresh fruit and also adds in some gluten free treats. Our all-natural Chocolate Rugelach that is not only gluten free, but also dairy free, nut free and soy free. An accompanying tin of Torie and Howard Organic hard candy is gluten free as well. BUY $79.99

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Solutions for 2013 Resolutions

The staff at Challah Connection searched deep within our souls this week (well, okay, maybe we were just goofing around and skimming the surface?!). Anyway, we had a great time coming up with some thoughtful resolutions for the upcoming New Year. Then, we found just the right solutions to help us reach our lofty goals!

New Years Resolution #1: HAVE MORE FUN

We took a very “scientific” poll and found we needed to be more, well….Mashuga. With New Years coming—this is time to practice!

new years basket

This New Year's basket has it all!

New Years gift wine basket

Fun, elegantly packaged!

mashuganuts new years gift

The name says everything....

New Years Resolution #2: EAT BREAKFAST

Nutritionists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Good thing everyone here knows that challah makes the best French toast!

Solutions:

babka breakfast basket

This will do nicely for breakfast....

  holiday breakfast basket

Can I start this resolution before New Years?

holiday breakfast basket giftbasket

Is it morning time yet?

New Years Resolution #3: LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

We all need a language that the kids can’t understand, don’t we?! Yiddish fits the bill.

yiddish mugh gift

Drink and learn? Cool!

 Yiddish holiday gift

Jane especially loves this idea!

 

New Years Resolution #4: LEARN OUR BEST FRIENDS’ LANGUAGE

Dogs are so important to our lives, and we love them so! We’re going to show our love by learning more about how to raise ‘em right and speak in ways they can understand.

yiddish mugh gift
And we thought KIDS were tough?!
Yiddish holiday gift

The pooch's point of view matters!

 

New Years Resolution #5: BE MORE OPEN MINDED

Well, if we need to be less “black and white,” we’d better create some shades of gray!

new years cookies

Black + white = grey....

rugelach new years gift

I think I can, I think I can...!

baklava new years gift

Almost at my resolution...!

 

New Years Resolution #6: STAY CALMER, BREATHE DEEPER

Ah, the eternal elusive goal, isn’t it? We resolve to do this all the time. Maybe these solutions will get us there for 2013!

yoga new years gift

Yiddish and Yoga? But of course!

chicken soup new years gift

Now THAT's calming! Grandma's soup and a challah. Ahhhhh....

 

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Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen in NYTimes

Smitten Kitchen cookbook author Deb Perelman New York Times article
We love Deb Perelman’s cookbook!

I was so happy to see this New York Times article last weekend, about Deb Perelman and the Smitten Kitchen.

Deb Perelman, who happens to be Jewish, is one of my favorite cookbook writers. The New York Times article about the Smitten Kitchen‘s creator says, “Mrs. Perelman’s style appears to resonate particularly with young women learning to cook. She is conversational, self-deprecating and often seems to be confessing, without ever really yielding embarrassing details.”
Indeed, she is a self-taught chef who used to be a art therapist and makes everything in a tiny little kitchen in New York City. I’m sure she’s finding that cooking is great therapy, too!
Check out Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It makes a great Christmas gift or holiday gift, especially for the under 40 set on your gift list.

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Christmas Holiday Gift

The new cookbook isn’t “Jewish,” but it does include some fabulous Jewish recipes mixed in with over 100 recipes in total.
Any aspiring chef, new bride, recent college grad, or adventurous cook will love this cookbook. Send it to anyone who celebrates Christmas, Kwanzaa, or “Festivus”! BUY! $74.99
Looking for other unique Christmas gifts or non-denominational holiday gifts? Challah Connection is here to help you select just the right holiday gift – for any holiday! Call us for more great gifting ideas or help deciding what to choose.

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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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New for 2012: Miracle Brunch Hanukkah Gift Baskets

We Love these Great New Hanukkah Gift Basket Items!

It’s been really fun coming up with great new products to our Hanukkah gift baskets this year. If you’re looking for special Jewish holiday gifts, Challah Connection has a creative selection of Hanukkah baskets that I’ve put together to suit the people on your list.

Kosher Gift Baskets Hanukkah Brunch Basket

Kosher Hanukkah Baskets that make  ”Miracle Brunches”

This is a great kosher gift basket for anyone who likes to cook and entertain.Send this Jewish holiday gift to friends or family, and they can whip up some delicious blueberry muffins in adorable Chanukkah muffin cups to serve overnight guests – or themselves!   I love it when there’s an opportunity to make breakfast into a special occasion. There’s also flatbread and gourmet smoked salmon pate in this Hanukkah basket, along with some fantastic Meditalia basil pesto tapenade (great on crackers or in an omelette), and roasted chickpeas for snacking.

We rounded out this great kosher Hanukkah gift with coffee, tea and honey. I couldn’t resist adding a Happy Chanukah dish towel, and topping it all off with some peony foiled chocolates. Yum! It’s a delicious and festive Jewish holiday gift that’s perfect when you’re looking for something a little different, and memorable.

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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Stuffing Recipe for Thanksgiving

Looking for a Delicious Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe?

I love stuffing, especially when it’s made with one of our delicious challah loaves! Here’s my go-to recipe for Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Stuffing for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. plain challah cut into ½ cubes
  • 6 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh cultivated white mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten until blended

How to Make Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Preheat over to 400.

Spread challah cubes in single layer in a large baking pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a large, heavy frying pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms and celery and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 8 minutes. Add to the challah cubes, along with the tarragon and parsley. Add stock or broth to the same pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add to the bread and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.

To bake the stuffing in a turkey, fill the cavities with the stuffing and truss. Increase the roasting time of the turkey by 30 minutes.

Butter (can use margarine) a baking dish large enough to hold the remaining stuffing. Cover with foil and bake alongside the turkey for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes longer.
To bake all the stuffing in a baking dish, preheat oven to 325.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish and spoon stuffing into it. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes longer.
Makes about 12 cups stuffing; enough for 16lb. turkey

Copyright, 2010, Challah Connection

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