Sheva Brachot Cranberry Ice

I feel like I can’t let the week pass without posting at least 1 recipe.  

So, I thought I would post what I served for dessert first. Sometimes, last is best.

For the Sheva Brachot I served cranberry ice, with sugar cookies and fresh green and red grapes for dessert.

The sugar cookies recipe was already posted much earlier. I will try to include a link later.

This recipe is very fast and easy and also very economical.

Ingredients 

1 16 oz. can cranberry sauce 

1 cup ginger ale, or lemon lime soda

Optional: garnish with mint leaves 

Instructions 

Blend cranberry sauce in food processor until puréed. 

Fold in ginger ale or lemon lime soda.

Freeze in ice cube trays. 

After it is frozen, remove from freezer and defrost slightly. 

Blend again in food processor and refreeze. 

Defrost for 1/2 hour before serving. If not using cookies, garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Since we had 28 guests, I used 3 cans of cranberry sauce and 3 cups of soda.

I think this recipe is very flexible and easily adapts to other canned fruits and liquids. In the future, I may try it with canned pineapple and coconut milk. Raizel suggested canned cherries. 

Raizel has become my culinary consultant and she has many good ideas. I guess this blog has been helpful for her too in many ways!

Here are the pictures. I didn’t use ice cube trays, and after I puréed the cranberry sauce, I used a tin pan:

  
Here I folded in the ginger ale.

   

After I puréed everything for the second time, this is how it looked:

  

The Cranberry Ginger Ice was a big hit! This is all that is left:
  

Raizel said, “the texture is perfect and this is yummy!”

Enjoy!

Sheva Brachot DIY Centerpieces & Set Up

Sheva Brachot are a time of celebration. The bride and groom are treated like a king and queen for the week. In their honor, it is customary to decorate the table and make it beautiful. 

I am time challenged. The drive for beauty needed to be tempered with a practical need for an easy clean up. 

The salads were made by my sister-in-laws. I didn’t know this, but the mother of the groom, my sister-in-law, Hana, loves to make salads. They were a work of art. I could taste the love!

   
 We bonded in the kitchen, while chopping vegetables and washing pots, and setting the table.

You can see how great and beautiful they were. 

To save time, we used store bought ranch and Caesar salad dressing. Raizel was very happy! They are her favorites.

In addition, my other sister in law also brought the wine. She and my husband are minor wine connoisseurs. So, her selections were perfect and well chosen.

For the tables, we used very fancy plastic tableware, tablecloths, runners and napkin holders. I was very pleased with the results:

  

For such a special events, many people make beautiful and often creative centerpieces. I was very excited with the centerpieces I made:

  

In general, I have a set of mirrors, bud vases, silk flowers and colored stones that I use for special occasions. This time, I thought I would try something different.

I took the mirrors and using a glue stick, put glue over them. Then, I put silver glitter over glued mirrors and let them dry.

  

After that, I put a heart shaped candle holder and a tea light in the center for the final effect. 

The tablecloths, plates and napkin rings were also silver, so everything matched.

To make it a little more brighter and more festive, I put flowers on the table too.

When the ShevaBrachot were over, I simply washed the glitter off the mirrors. Despite my husband’s concerns, there was very little mess.

Simple, fast and easy with a touch of elegance!
 

Mazel tov!🎉

Sheva Brachot

Sheva Brachot


Last week we hosted Sheva Brachot in our home for my husband’s nephew and his new bride. It was a wonderful and joyous occasion.

I very much want to share all my recipes from the event, but, I think that I need to spend a few minutes explaining what Sheva Brachot are.

Trying to explain this has become a bit of a challenge. I humbly submit that my area of expertise is in preparing kosher food, not on the finer points of Judaism. So, I am going to use my own words to explain Sheva Brachot and then include references at the end of this post for anyone who might be interested in learning more about the Jewish wedding ceremony and its traditions.

So, here is some background:

Eating is considered a holy act. Whenever we eat, we always say a blessing before and after.

Bread is particularly holy, and before eating bread, we wash our hands, say a special blessing and then say a blessing over the bread.

After eating a meal that includes bread, Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon) is recited.

After reciting the Grace After Meals, in the presence of 3 people, a cup of wine is used and an additional blessing is also said. This cup of wine is called a “Cup of Blessing” or “Kos Shel Bracha.”

A minyan is a prayer quorum of ten men over the age of 13 required for traditional Jewish public worship.

The week following a wedding is known as the week of the Sheva Brachot.

During this period, the seven blessings that were recited under the marriage canopy (chupah) are repeated after each meal attended by the newly married couple that is attended by a minyan (a prayer quorum of 10 men). The minyan also must consist of a person who was not at the wedding or present at the couple’s earlier meals.


Following the completion of the meal, a cup of wine is used to lead the Grace After Meals. The seven blessings that were recited under the marriage canopy are repeated.

People are honored with reciting each of the first six blessings.

Then, the person who led Grace After Meals recites the seventh blessing over the first cup of wine and a second cup of wine is filled.


The 2 cups of wine are then poured together into a third cup.


 One cup of wine is given to the bride, and another to the groom. The third cup is then shared by the community.

I have seen it done where the cups of wine are 2 different colors which are then mixed together to become unified.

The symbolism of this ritual is very beautiful. It symbolizes the bride and groom joining together and entering the larger community with a new identity as a married couple .

I will post some of the recipes following this post.

Thank you for reading!

References:
A-Guide-to-the-Jewish-Wedding

Celebrating a Jewish Wedding II

Grace After Meals Chabad

weddingguide

wedding

bh_text

Slightly Off Topic: Versatile Blogger Award A La Deux

versatilebloggeraward3

As I have shared, when I started this blog, I really just thought that it would be a good way to organize my recipes and share them with family and friends. It’s sort of a personal hobby. 

I really don’t promote my blog to friends or family members. My mother is my major culinary consultant. My friend Malka is a close runner up.

Despite my lack of self promotion, this blog has evolved into a life of its own. My little blog has turned into a wonderful, global social networking opportunity. I feel like I have a glimpse of the kitchens of other people all over the world. What an amazing concept!

Over the past few months, I have been graciously nominated by my fellow blogging sisters for 3 Versatile Blogger Awards.

As I am time challenged, it is difficult for me to respond to awards, and still post recipes.

Unfortunately, however, I was sick last week.

So, with my spare time recovering from a cold, I had an opportunity to finally respond.

I guess I find blogging relaxing.

Thank you all for your kindness and patience.

The rules:

  1. Thank the person that has nominated you & include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs of your choice.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.
  4. Share seven different facts about yourself.

So, to begin, I would like to thank my fellow blogging sister Trina from Itsgoodtobecrazysometimes for her support and recognition:

https://itsgoodtobecrazysometimes.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/the-versatile-blogger-award/

Trina writes about her experiences with mental illness. As I work in mental health, I really appreciate her point of view and applaud her efforts. She is also an animal lover, and those who read my blog know how much I like cats.

7 Different Facts About Me:

As this is part of an ongoing response, I am not quite sure how many facts that I have already listed. Nevertheless, here are more:

1. I am starting a new blog for my thoughts and experiences unrelated to food, called coffeeklatch(in)sight, so that I will hopefully minimize my off topic postings.

Here is the link:  https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/

2. I like to cook.

3. I do not like cake decorating. It is kind of funny, but when my girls were born, I took a class on cake decorating. I always wanted to learn how to make homemade cakes decorated with roses. After that class, I was cured. Now I  only decorate with candies, chocolate and frosting.

4. I do not understand social media.

I need a lesson on Face book, Instagram and Twitter. Any recommendations on how to create a Facebook page, etc., would be greatly appreciated.

5. I love sewing and crafts.

6. I am clean but not tidy.

7. I love to play sudoku.

Now for nominations. Here are the 15 blogs on different topics.

https://pumdiets.wordpress.com/

http://peaceandloveandveggies.com/

http://meladycooks.com/

http://liliscakes.com/

https://onebowlvegan.wordpress.com/

http://fuelforyoursoul.com/

https://cookingfromheart.wordpress.com/

https://plateitupblog.wordpress.com/

http://mykitchenmythoughts.com/

https://gtamilselvi90.wordpress.com/

https://lins239.wordpress.com/

http://drchdietfood.com/

https://ronitpenso.wordpress.com/

http://whatskatieupto.com/

https://pantryportfolio.wordpress.com/

Please visit these wonderful blogs and show your support for our fellow bloggers!

Congratulations!!!

congradulations

Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day. 

It happens to be my grandmother’s birthday. And, today, my husband’s nephew is also getting married!!!

  

In general, this is a holiday to celebrate romantic love. 

My husband always chuckles that the reason I chose to marry him was very unromantic. He always wishes I would have married him for his good looks and lean hard body. Instead, I married him because he was respectful towards his mother. 

My theory is: once a man is comfortable with you, he will treat you the way he treats his mother. I calculated that if my husband would treat me the way my husband treated his mother then our life together would be great. – I was right! 

My husband is not only handsome, he is as good to me as he was to his mother (A”H).

But, love is so much more than how another person makes us feel. 

Love is an action. 

We grow to love others by giving and doing for them. Love is the feeling that comes after we give selflessly of ourselves to another person. The more we give, the more we love we have.

 
Enjoy this special day with the ones you love!

Mazel Tov Chaim and Rivki!

Food For Thought-  Quote Challenge Day 3

This is my last day of my 3 day quote challenge. I can’t believe that I did it!

However, since I am posting this from my computer, and not my cell phone, the timing is off and it seems like this is the first post, rather than the third. Unfortunately, when I tried to fix it, it made it worse.  So, I am leaving it as it is. Everything happens for a reason!

Thank you Jenny Marie at Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety  who graciously nominated me.

Please check out Jenny Marie’s blog. She is a beautiful writer who touches on many meaningful and inspiring themes that are near and dear to my heart.

Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety

https://peacefrompanic.wordpress.com/

Here are the rules:

Post for three consecutive days

Posts can be one or three quotes per day

Nominate three different blogs per day

I am going to follow Jenny Marie’s plan and nominate bloggers on my third day, which will have to be Saturday night, after Shabbat is over. (Keep in mind that my timing is off. this is really being posting on 2/13/2016.)

As many of you know from my about page, I often speak about the power of our thoughts and the importance of being mindful and cooking with love.

Raizel often accuses me of being “too spiritual,” but, despite her teenage attitude, I think I have had an impact.

This is a quote by Raizel. I liked it so much that I made it into this picture:

This is one that I quote often:


Lastly, this is my food quote:

Enjoy!

And now for my nominees:

https://fonzandcancer.wordpress.com/category/hope-2/

https://jennylitchfield.wordpress.com/

http://unwedhousewifeblog.com/category/about-me/

https://thenobleaubergine.wordpress.com/about/

http://talkingtomyweightlosscounselor.com/

https://nourishedpeach.com/about/

https://enabilityblog.wordpress.com/about/

https://mioshotfood.wordpress.com/about/

http://liliscakes.com/about2/awards/blogging-award-rules-for-nomineesnominators/

 

Please visit these wonderful blogs and show your support for our fellow bloggers!

Congratulations!!!

 

Food For Thought- Quote Challenge Day 2

I was graciously nominated by Jenny Marie for a 3 day quote challenge.

To stay slightly on topic, I am accepting this 3 day quote challenge, but including a quote about food or eating each day.

Thank you Jenny Marie at Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety for nominating me for this challenge.

Please check out Jenny Marie’s blog:
https://peacefrompanic.wordpress.com/

Jenny Marie is a beautiful writer who touches on many meaningful and inspiring themes that are near and dear to my heart. Many have moved me to laughter and tears.

Here are the rules:

Post for three consecutive days

Posts can be one or three quotes per day

Nominate three different blogs per day

I am going to follow Jenny Marie’s plan and nominate bloggers on my third day, which will have to be Saturday night, after Shabbat is over.

I love this quote:


I am a huge fan of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who I find very inspiring and wise:

Finally, here is a food for thought quote:

  
Enjoy!

Food For Thought -Quote Challenge Day 1

I was nominated by Jenny Marie for a 3 day quote challenge.

I am accepting this 3 day quote challenge, and including a quote about food or eating each day, to stay slightly on topic. 

Thank you Jenny Marie at Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety for nominating me for this challenge. 

Please check out Jenny Marie’s blog:
https://peacefrompanic.wordpress.com/

Jenny Marie is a beautiful writer who touches on many meaningful and inspiring themes that are near and dear to my heart. Many have moved me to laughter and tears.

Here are the rules:

Post for three consecutive days

Posts can be one or three quotes per day

Nominate three different blogs per day

I am going to follow Jenny Marie’s plan and nominate bloggers on my third day, which will have to be Saturday night, after Shabbat is over.

Below are 2 quotes that are near and dear to my heart. One was a gift that I made with my friend Reitza Sarah, for our friend Aviva. Aviva leads a beautiful class that we are both a part of. I am posting it here as it encapsulates many of my core values and beliefs:

   

In the center it says “ein od milvado” which translates as “there is none besides Him.” Ein od milvado is a segula or a protective phrase that shields a person from danger. 

This is one of my favorite quotes, that is also on my About page:

  
Finally, here is a food quote:

  

 Enjoy!

My Fool From Lynz Real Cooking

My daughter, Raizel, has taken to reading some of the blogs that I follow. She is particularly taken with Lynn at Lynzrealcooking.com. When Raizel saw this recipe (and the peanut butter cheese cake) she said, “Mom, you have to make this! It looks scrumptious!”

Here is the link to her recipe:

My Fool

So, as I shared earlier, I have been home sick for the past few days. What am I doing with my spare time? Cooking!  So, this is my rendition of Lynn’s recipe.

My Fool

Ingredients:

2 cups red lentils

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

water to cover, or if using pressure cooker, 3 cups water to 1 cup beans

Instructions

Sauté onions with spices and lentils, until fragrant. Add tomatoes with juice and water.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Adjust seasoning.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 4 minutes and then released the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done. Adjust seasoning.

Crockpot. Cook on low until done.  Less water is required.

Here are the pictures:

Sautéing the onions, garlic and spices: 

  

 Lentils and tomatoes added:

 
Ready to add water:

    
The final product:

Everyone loved it! Raizel said, “make sure to tell Lynn how much I liked it!” 

Thank you Lynn for this wonderful recipe. 

We enjoyed it very much! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly Off Topic: Versatile Blogger Award

versatile blogger award 2

I have been blogging for only a short while, and it has been an eye-opening experience! I am learning so much.

When I started this blog, I really just thought that it would be a good way to organize my recipes and share them with family and friends. It has turned into a wonderful, global social network opportunity. I feel like I have a glimpse of the kitchens of other people all over the world. What an amazing concept!

Over the past few months, I have been graciously nominated by my fellow blogging sisters for 3 Versatile Blogger Awards.

As I am time challenged, it is difficult for me to respond to awards, and still post recipes. Unfortunately, however, I am home sick today. So, I have finally had the time to respond to the beautiful support of this community. Thank you all for your kindness and patience.

The rules:

  1. Thank the person that has nominated you & include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs of your choice.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.
  4. Share seven different facts about yourself.

So, to begin, I would like to thank my fellow blogging sister Parul Singhal from Gharkepakwan for her support and recognition:

https://gharkepakwan.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/the-versatile-blogger-awardmy-first-blogger-award/

I quote her blog often and her blog has introduced me to Indian food, which my family enjoys very much!

I thought I would be a bit creative and share 7 things about myself in an unusual way.

This is something that I often do with my patients and it a wonderful and fun exercise about sharing and identifying who we are. 

Who Are You Group Activity

What is your favorite color?

What are 3 qualities about that color that you like?

What is your favorite car?

What are 3 qualities about that car that you like?

What is your favorite animal?

What are 3 qualities about that animal that you like?

Interpretation: 

The positive qualities about a particular color are connected to one’s self-esteem, and how one perceives oneself inside.

The positive qualities about a particular car or mode of transportation are the positive qualities that other people identify with you.

The positive qualities about a particular animal are the positive qualities of how a person interacts in their relationships with others particularly as a friend.

So, here are my answers:

  1. My favorite color is orange.
  2. I like orange because it is cheerful, attractive and warm.
  3. My favorite car is my old (and sadly now defunct) Sion XB.
  4. I like the Sion XB because it is funky, cool and unique.
  5. My favorite animal is a cat.
  6. I like cats because they are graceful, soft and elegant.

Interpretation 

I see myself as a cheerful, attractive and warm person.

    Other people see me as funky, cool and unique.

    As a friend I am graceful, soft and elegant.

    Try this and see what your answers are. It is lots of fun!

    Now for nominations. Here are the 15 blogs on different topics.

    http://stephysweetbakes.com/

    https://diningwithcelia.wordpress.com/

    https://thebestwinesfromitaly.wordpress.com/

    https://ruggedkitchen.wordpress.com/

    http://damgoodfood.com/

    http://fueledbyvegetables.com/

    http://simply-delicious.org/

    http://marisasitaliankitchen.com/

    https://anchorwithkeidi.wordpress.com/

    http://kaleinit.com/http://kaleinit.com/

    http://passioncook.net/

    https://loveserveddaily.wordpress.com/

    http://snapshotsincursive.com/

    https://heenieblogsfood.wordpress.com/

    http://petersfoodadventures.com/

    Please visit these wonderful blogs and show your support. Congratulations!

    congradulations