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wine to toast 5780

10 Wines to Toast the New Year
 Looking back through the 20th century, sweet wines such as  Manischewitz or Mogen David concord wines were found on just about every Jewish Yom Tov table. However,  due to the entrepreneurial vision of the Herzog family, hundreds of kosher wines are now available and enjoyed year round. The kosher wine palette has become selective and sophisticated . Kosher wines are produced and  enjoyed from vineyards and wineries around the world including Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, France, Argentina, Chile, and of course, Israel and California.
As Yom Tov  approaches, we will be presenting a series of articles, and highlighting some wine favorites. The reviews and descriptions include those by experts, wine vintners and KosherEye tasters. 
Gabe Geller, Director of PR and Wine Education Manager for Royal Wine, recently shared some of his wine insights and observations. He reports that " the new releases, produced by innovative newcomers and venerated estates alike, are really something to get excited about. "Whether we’re talking about Herzog wines from California, Terra di Seta wines from Tuscany, Elvi wines from Spain, or Netofa from Israel, it’s clear that today’s kosher wines can compete with any other top-rated label. Quality is everything. Drinking kosher wine is no longer a compromise in quality.”

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kosher van road trip
Ready, set,  pack the car! So you're renting a beach or mountain place and going on a road trip to get there. For the kosher family, this can be a big challenge. In addition to leisure gear to enjoy at the destination, your kosher kitchen has to come along. If you're like many families we know, dining out opportunities are rare, and even if you are in the heart of Miami Beach or the Catskills, home cooking is preferred at least some of the time. Eating in - saves money, saves time, and is usually healthier and more leisurely with a family.e compiled a list of what to bring, and what not to bring along. The KosherEye team usually heads to a beach in the summer...and has had many years of experience in stocking a vacation condo. We're primarily sharing cooking related tips, but have also provided a few general tips for other vacation packing.

Before we rent a unit, the first question we ask: Is the oven self-cleaning? As soon as we arrive we check the oven, and press that cleaning button!
Do remember that the Dollar store is your friend. Almost all of the items listed in the must bring section are available for $1 each. We are ardent fans of Dollar Tree stores. Remember, we are not looking for top quality kitchen tools or longevity, we are looking for 2 weeks of functionality. However, if you plan to be a regular vacation renter, you may want to upgrade and keep your vacation supplies from year to year. Many frequent travelers purchase 2-3 large tubs and keep dairy, parve and meat kitchenware in storage in the labeled tubs. 
We take along insulated bags and re-usable ice packs to store our transportable foods and to use at our destination as well.
If possible, pre-plan your menu to ensure that you have the right kitchen supplies. If you plan to serve both meat and dairy, take along     the correct implements and serving tools. 
Add the KosherGPS app to your available phone apps 
We welcome YOUR travel suggestions to add to our list. This resource will be ongoing and permanently accessible and printable. 

Kosher Road Trip Packing List   kosher mini van road trip copy

Microsoft Word kosher road trip columns.docx

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Passover Guides 2019
                                                                                     Screen Shot 2019 03 23 at 10.18.44 PM

Some kashrut agencies have released their 2019 Passover guides,
including information about items that can be used without special Passover certification.  

We will be updating our listings as additional consumer guides become available.


                                                                                                OU Guide to Passover 2019

Three versions of the OU 2019 Passover Guide are available:

1. The OU 2019 Passover Guide - Online Version is available HERE


 2. PDF copies of the OU 2019 Passover Guide sections may be downloaded HERE


3. You may order the printed version of the OU 2019 Passover Guide HERE:

The OU 2019 guide is available. Click HERE to see ordering information.  If you are an OU member and you already receive OU's Jewish Action magazine, the guide was mailed along with the spring issue of Jewish Action.  Online Passover information  is available on the OU website at https://oukosher.org/passover/.  Also, the OU app gives you access to Passover 2019 information.


 

Star K 2019 Passover DirectoryStar K 2019 Directory Abridged
For Star-K Passover Directories, Guides, Abridged Web Edition,
and more, click here: Star-K 2019 Passover Directories and Information
 


CRC Passover 2019 Pesach Guide
Click Here for the CRC Passover 2019 Guide


Canada 2019 Passover Magazine
Click Here for Canada's Passover 2019 Magazine  


 OK Passover Information Coming Soon

Click Here for the OK Passover Information


Kashrut.com heading 
Click HERE for Kashrut.com Passover 2019 Information.



Chabad

Click HERE for Chabad's 2019 Printable Passover Guide


Trader Joe's Products
Click HERE to see Trader Joe's items certified kosher for Passover
by the
Kosher Check Kashrut Agency
KosherCheck Kashrut Agency

 

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Jerusalem plate texted

Outstanding! The only way to describe the ever-changing food experience of Israel. Over the years the country has expanded its palate and become more sophisticated, more international, but still steeped in middle-eastern pride. The sensational breadth of food choices for the kosher eater is unmatched anywhere in the world. Once again, we ate our way through Jerusalem with a brief sojourn to Tel Aviv. Join us as we share our food journey...

The Waldorf by Hilton
How fortunate we were to stay at this hotel. We spotted a 2-night online special, and we grabbed it since a stay at this property was on our wish list! From the minute that we arrived and when we were greeted by George, the ever- smiling doorman, we knew it was a superb choice. The service, the room, and the amenities were excellent. The food -- Let us tell you about it!

As in most hotels in Israel, breakfast is included. The Waldorf’s breakfast was absolutely lavish in presentation and assortment. In addition to a served menu which featured omelets, smoked salmon benedict and more, there was an extensive (or shall we say an extreme) buffet with hot casseroles, breads, salads, vegetables, fruits, a coffee bar, a juice bar and anything one can think of as a breakfast food. No need to eat again until dinner, but of course, we did!

And then, we were delighted to be invited as guests by the Waldorf for lunch on Shabbos, where we experienced another outstanding meal. The presentation was even larger than the breakfast buffet -- complete with salads, vegetables, deli and hot meats -- veal, chicken, beef, tongue, and of course, dessert. Do be aware that Kiddush grape juice is included, but wine is not. The dining room area is lovely as is the entire hotel.
Click here for our  "conversation" with Waldorf Chef Itzik Mizrachi Barak.

La Régence at The King David
We have previously stayed at The King David, Jerusalem's most historic property which is still the chosen hotel for world leaders and international celebrities. It is also the popular location for "lobby dating" where prospective shidduchim candidates meet and greet. The hotel continues to live up to its much heralded past as an elegant Jerusalem landmark. How honored we were to be hosted for dinner by Haim A. Spiegel, the Director of Food and Beverage for Dan Hotels.

The King David is one of the stars in the prestigious Dan property “lineup” which is found throughout Israel and in Bangalore, India. The La Régence, led by Chef David Biton, is considered one of the top dining rooms in all of Israel. What a meal we had! Chef Biton has been recognized for his imagination, creativity and expertise in using contemporary food ingredients, innovative combinations and lovely presentations. The menu changes seasonally.
 
      
We were privileged to be served an appetizer and dessert tasting selected especially for us by Chef Biton, and then we chose our own entrees.
Appetizers included beef and wild rice crackers served with a horseradish aioli, Cacao and sesame crackers with shredded goose liver, Oxtail consommé with marrow bone,
Tomato Leather King David

Tomato leather filled with white fish sea bream salad and veal sweetbreads with cabbage.  We must admit that some in our party were a bit squeamish about the oxtail consommé and the sweetbreads. Those that ventured a taste enjoyed them! 

Between courses we were served a refreshing chilled mint-parsley granita. Excellent!

For our entrees, we selected Fillet of Beef, Lamb Chops, Beef Entrecote, and Wild sea bass schnitzel. Each was perfectly prepared and simply sensational.
Dessert - honestly, we were too full to enjoy the beautiful platter, which included mango fruit sorbet, chocolate olive oil truffles and marzipan cake. The evening was memorable, an exquisite gourmet feast. By the way, The King David's wine menu has been awarded the best of Israel for the 3rd consecutive. The restaurant's sommelier chose one of his favorites to pair with our dinner... Galil Yiron 2014. This wine selection is affordably priced at $27 and is available in the U.S.

               Steak at the King David Small                  2014 Galil Mtn Yiron Galilee                       Lamb Chops           
               Beef Entrecote at the King David Hotel          2014 Galil Mountain Yiron                       Lamb Cutlets at the King David Hotel
 

The Eucalyptus Restaurant
When you travel to Jerusalem, do not miss this experience. It is a one of a kind restaurant, created and run by a family steeped in the history of the Middle East. The food is a love letter to the past. Eucalyptus Chef Owner Moshe Basson edThe executive chef and owner, Moshe Basson, is the entrepreneur behind this restaurant. He is friendly, outgoing and a talented storyteller. Ask him to sit with you and share his family history.
It all started in 1960, when a child (Moshe Basson) celebrated Tu Bishvat (the new year of the trees) by planting a small eucalyptus plant in the yard of his parents’ home in Jerusalem. Under this very tree the First Eucalyptus restaurant was opened by the Basson Family.

The restaurant thrived, as did the tree, and it focused on local and regional produce. Moshe Basson, utilizing his schooling in agriculture and passion for studying ancient script, has created a menu with centuries old regional dishes. In time, he became an authority on herbs, indigenous edible wild plants and their culinary uses.

As the Eucalyptus restaurant thrived and evolved, it has become a landmark for showcasing delicious local food. The Eucalyptus is a member of the Slow Food movement, creating its menu according to the organizations guidelines. Moshe's son Ronny now works with him as well. In addition to the food, we were impressed by the friendly staff and the excellent service.

We were privileged to be hosted by Chef Moshe, and were thoroughly amazed by the number of traditional dishes he presented. Which was our favorite? We could not choose as each was scrumptious. The menu is truly a reflection of Israel, it's aromas and tastes. If you go, be sure and order some of the house specialties, and don't miss the fabulous Maklubah. The "Maklubah unveiling" presentation itself is a show. The star in (addition to the dish) is Chef Moshe!
Unveiling the MakubahUnveiling the Maklubah

Click HERE to visit the Eucalyptus website.
And click HERE to enjoy some Eucalyptus restaurant recipes and our conversation with Chef Moshe Basson

The Shuk
The very knowledgeable Debra Nussbaum Stepen  of Debra Tours led us on a kosher tasting tour of Machane Yehuda. We think that no visit to Jerusalem is complete without a visit (or two or three) to the shuk. Debra is a licensed tour guide, well-versed in the history and highlights of the area, and shared her recommendations on the best places to eat and shop. (She is also a kosher foodie!) Although her fee is high, $280 for up to 6 people, the tour is one of a kind. We enjoyed every morsel we learned and of course every bite we ate...especially our tasting at The Jachnun Bar!

And more Shuk eating...
How we love Fish'en Chips, The Jachnun Bar, halvah from The Halvah Kingdom,pastries from Berman Bakery, and of course rugelach from Marzipan.

Our Celebrity Coffee - One morning when we were having our coffee at Aroma on Emek Refaim, we were so excited to meet "Amare" ...Amar'e Carsares Stoudemire . Embarrassingly, we admit that we did not know who he was... but he was gracious and friendly anyway, and happy to take photos with many of the other coffee drinkers.. Since that meeting, we have done the research and now understand that he is not only a former American basketball star, a player and owner of Hapoel Jerusalem -- the Israeli basketball team, but also a Israeli winemaker . Whew! 

More Food Glorious Food (and Drink)
One evening, we did sojourn  out of Jerusalem into Tel Aviv, where we attended the KFWE - Kosher Food and Wine Experience presented by Royal Wine and its Israeli importer and distributor Zur World of Wine. The wines of Israel took front and center at this event, alongside outstanding classic and new vintages from around the world. Vintners from France, Italy, Spain, and yes, even the U.S. were represented. Particular favorites included Koenig Brut, Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Champagne Baron de Rothschild both the rose and brut, and the creamy, irresistable parve Walders line of liqueurs. The evening's food consisted of lavish buffets presented by some of Israel's most popular restaurants including Skyline, The Meat and Wine Company and Resto. Needless to say, the experience was memorable and we look forward to further tastes of many of these wines! Once again, we must acknowledge and thank David Herzog and the Herzog family. Due to their vision, hard work, innovation and foresight, the Herzog family changed the taste, availability and perception of kosher wine throughout the U.S. and the world, and redefined the kosher wine industry.

And when we weren't eating...
Shalva wall   

The most memorable time we spent in Jerusalem on this trip was our visit to Shalva.  Shalva serves thousands of people with disabilities empowering their families with an  
all-encompassing range of services from the ages of infancy to adulthood. Shalva gives equal access and opportunity to all participants regardless of religion, ethnic background, or financial capability. What began as an afternoon program for eight children in a local apartment, has grown into a national center serving an entire spectrum of Israeli society.

Due to the personal need, generosity and vision of the Malki and Kalman Samuels family, the Shalva facility is now a new, state-of-the-art building.. In addition to a professional staff, Shalva is staffed by trained volunteers, mostly teens and young adults from Yeshivas, schools and seminaries throughout the area. Visiting Shalva was a life changing experience for us. Although we saw young people with heartwrenching disabilities affecting motor skills, speech, vision and brain function, we left with joy knowing that these children have a happy place to spend time and reach their best selves.  Shalva also gives their families a break. We encourage our readers to learn about Shalva by visiting the website shalva.org, and perhaps consider a visit or a donation.

Our granddaughter Shira Kalnitz, who is currently attending MMY seminary in Jerusalem, is one of  Shalva's weekly volunteers, and she will be running with Team Shalva in the Jerusalem Marathon on March 15. If you would like to support the team (all of the donations go to Shalva), please use this link: http://www.run4shalva.org/my/shirakalnitz

Shira and Shalva child 2
Shira with her special friend

If you would like to hear the amazing Shalva band, visit this link: http://www.shalva.org/new/watch-the-shalva-band-on-the-rising-star/

W
e say L'Hitraot to Israel. We're grateful for  the meaningful, wonderful and delicious time we spent in our homeland, and look forward to "Next Year In Jerusalem"!

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