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kosher van road trip
Summer 2020! 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 especially this year, 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. We have 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. 

This year we must add some new items to our packing list: We consider these items necessities, not options. Disinfecting spray and wipes; Protective masks both washable fabric masks and disposable masks; disposable gloves; Temperature thermometer. And, be certain that you are aware of closest medical clinic. 

We suggest that you add KosherGPS, and Trippingkosher.com  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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Time to Think Stuffing! 

stuffing genius.com

Famous pairs: Adam and Eve, Ben and Jerry, Bert and Ernie, Batman & Robin, wine and cheese, corned beef and rye…and of course, turkey and stuffing.  At Thanksgiving, most Americans consider the stuffing just as important as the turkey!  Some call it dressing; some put it inside the turkey and some serve it on the side. Stuffing can be fruity, savory, made of rice, farfel, matzoh meal, cornbread, bread crumbs, quinoa and more. It can be parve, meat, or even gluten-free. Many stuffing recipes are family heirlooms, passed down from a grandmother’s or bubbie’s kitchen, or can be simply made from a convenient stuffing mix. We are presenting some of our favorites, including some packaged choices. Enjoy!  ... And by the way, do send us a recipe for your favorite stuffing. Thankgiving Day is November 28!  Gobble, Gobble!

Gaga's Heirloom Stuffing 
Wild Rice Cranberry Apple Stuffing
Gluten Free Wild Rice Stuffing
Classic Bread Stuffing
Daphne Oz‘ Mushroom & Vegetable  Stuffing
Challah Stuffing
Chestnut Stuffing

Easy Corn-Bread Stuffing
Herbed Thanksgiving Slow Cooker Stuffing
Herbed Stuffing with Jack's Kosher Gourmet Sausage

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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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hanukkah bottle 2019 joomla copy 

A Toast to Latkes, Lights & Miracles
It's time to celebrate  Hanukkah, with some special wines.

Yatir
The Yatir winery, founded less than 20 years ago, is regarded as one of Israel’s most respected wineries, and recently introduced the celebrated Yatir Creek 2016 and Yatir Mount Amasa White 2017 to the U.S. market. This boutique winery releases about 150,000 bottles a year, which showcase the unique terroirs of Israel’s Yatir Forest in the southern tip of the Judean Hills. 
We always  feel unsure about  which wine to serve with each food. And, yes, it does make a difference. We do like full bodied reds with meats, and whites or rose with fish and pasta, but what should we serve with latkes? 

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To access the OU Passover Ingredient Baking and Cooking Substitution Charts, click this link 

OU Passover Substitutions Page 59 Custom

 

  Complete List of Pesach Substitutes by Eileen Goltz
"At some point during Pesach preparations we’ve all tried to convert a main stream recipe into a Pesach one only to discover that we don’t have a clue as to what to substitute for a chometz ingredient. This panic moment is why I started compiling my COMPLETE LIST OF PESACH SUBSTITUTES. I’ve added some great new substitutions this year, thanks to readers who’ve sent in their own ingenious creations. If anyone has any other substitutions  to share please let me (eztlog@hotmail.com) know and I’ll attach them to the next Pesach article." 

1 oz. baking chocolate (unsweetened chocolate) = 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon oil or melted margarine
16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate = 6 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup oil and 7 tablespoon granulated sugar
14 oz. sweet chocolate (German-type) = 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 2/3 tablespoon oil and 4 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar minus 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 tablespoon potato starch pulsed in a food processor or blender
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk for dairy baking = 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a 1 cup measure, then fill to 1 cup with Passover nondairy creamer. Stir and steep 5 minutes
Butter in baking or cooking use pareve Passover margarine in equal amounts. Use a bit less salt
1 cup honey = 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
1 cup corn syrup = 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water, boiled until syrupy
1 cup vanilla sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 split vanilla bean left for at least 24 hours in a tightly covered jar
1 cup of flour, substitute 5/8 cup matzo cake meal or potato starch, or a combination sifted together
1 tablespoon flour = 1/2 tablespoon potato starch
1 cup cornstarch = 7/8 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar = 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs = 1 cup ground cookies or soup nuts plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup bread crumbs = 1 cup matzo meal
1 cup matzo meal = 3 matzoth ground in a food processor
1 cup matzah cake meal = 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon matzo meal finely ground in a blender or food processor and sifted
3 crumbled matzah = 2 cups matzo farfel
1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese = 1 cup cottage cheese pureed with 1/2 stick butter or margarine
Chicken fat or gribenes = 2 caramelized onions, Saute 2 sliced onions in 2 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until the onions are soft. Puree the onions once they are golden.
1 cup milk (for baking) = 1 cup water plus 2 tablespoon margarine, or 1/2 cup fruit juice plus 1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk =1 cup instant nonfat dry milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup boiling water and 3 tablespoons margarine. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. To thicken, let set in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
1 cup wine = 13 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix together and let set for 10 minutes.
For frying: Instead of chicken fat, use combination of olive oil or vegetable oil and 1 to 2 tablespoons pareve Passover margarine.
Eggs: Passover egg substitutes don’t work quite as well as the chometz egg substitutes. For kugels, matzo balls, fried matzo and some cakes the recipes will probably be ok. However, if you want to avoid them (and I do) you can add one extra egg white and 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil for each yolk eliminated when baking. Use only egg whites as the dipping to coat and fry meats.
Italian Seasoning = 1/4 teaspoon EACH dried oregano leaves, dried marjoram leaves and dried basil leaves plus 1/8 teaspoon rubbed dried sage. This can be substituted for 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning.
Curry Powder = 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons red pepper, 2 tablespoons turmeric, 2 tablespoons ground ginger. Makes 2/3 cup.
Pancake Syrup = use fruit jelly, not jam and add a little water to thin. I always like to combine the jelly and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat it gently before I serve it.
Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar = 3 tablespoons white vinegar, 1 tablespoon white wine, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix to combine. Makes 1/4 cup
Flavored Vinegar = lemon juice in cooking or salad, grapefruit juice in salads, wine in marinades.
Water Chestnuts – substitute raw jicama
Orange Liqueur = substitute an equal amount of frozen orange juice concentrate
You can mince the tops of green onions and use them in recipes that call for chives or use celery tops instead of parsley (who are we kidding, we always have parsley during Pesach)

Eileen Goltz is a kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She  is a graduate of Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics for various newspapers, magazines and websites across the U.S., Canada, and South Africa as well as the OU Shabbat Shalom Website.Visit her website konfidentiallykosher.com

 

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