Sunday, December 30, 2012

My House Update.....

If you follow me regularly then you know that my house has been going through some issues. It all started with a little leak that turned into a much bigger situation.  Although we are still living in a rental.... and the basement is slightly creepy, I am trying hard to look at the bright side. We are almost ready to start rebuilding and I can hardly wait! At least I get to show tricks and techniques to rebuild and decorate on a budget.


In the meantime I need to go through all my boxes and filter through all those old pieces that were transferred to the rental property. I really don't want to have to shlep them back to the studio!! There are just too many pieces! So I decided to have an End of the Year Clearance Sale! The perfect way to end this fantastic year with my fans. Let's get rid of those pieces just hanging around the studio and retire some collections.

Check out for clearance items and don't forget to use your 35% off code CRZYDLZ. Sale ends 1/1/13.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hanukkah Latkes

As you can imagine, I’m a kind of out of the box type of person. I am always looking at normal everyday items and thinking about how or what I could do with them differently.

You will often find me in my studio and not in my kitchen. Cookie cutters and chocolate molds are just not in my vocabulary. However, upcycling is.

Upcycling is a new term being used in the art world and one of my new favorite things to do. According to Wikepedia it’s the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

So in my craft crazy mind I concocted some great Chanukah projects using items that are in your regular everyday kitchens, just using them a little……differently. Each night I will feature 1. Here's the first!! 

Chanukah Shaped Latkes
A dreidle latke?? Oh yah! Yummo!! Who wouldn’t love a menorah latke??
Here’s a how you make these super simple delicacies.

First you gotta make the batter.  
Simple Latke Recipe:
5lb bag of potatoes
1 large onion
4 eggs
½ cup of flour
1 Tablespoon of salt
¼ TSP Black pepper

You want to keep your potatoes in ice cold water after you peel them. If not they will turn brown. Once you finish blending all the potatoes and mixing in the ingredients you want to drain all the extra water out.

Then you are going to add oil to your frying pan – about half way up so your pan is half full with oil.  You can make sure your oil is ready by adding a little batter into the oil and seeing if it sizzles.

Put your cookie cutters into the pan and scoop the batter into each of the cookie cutters.

You know that they are ready to flip when they no longer stick to the bottom. If you can move the latke then you know that they are ready to flip.

When they are brown on both sides they are ready to take out of the pan. Let it cool for a few minutes. Those cookie cutters are HOT! Take your knife and cut along the edge of each of the latkes to help separate them. Then just push them through. They should easily come out.

They are so delicious and yummy. The thickness of the potato is what makes these so delightful!

Till next time!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hanukkah Tablescapes

So if you follow me on Facebook you would have noticed that I went on a bit of a Hanukkah rant this morning. It went something like this......

When did blue and silver become the Hanukkah colors??? I'm kind of a little upset about it. It never used to bother me, but seriously. WHY? I'm doing research for my next blog post and all that comes up are blue and silver. Not sure why it bothers me, but I'm very much annoyed. Anyone else bothered by this??? Perhaps it's just me and my "out of the box" - "non conforming" self.

After a very interesting discussion, it was established that the colors stem from the Israeli flag of blue and white. So I guess it was decided, by the powers that be, that in order to combat the holiday season of green and red the "Jewish" colors of blue, white, and silver had to be the Hanukkah ones. Hmmm.... I guess you could say that it's a color war of sorts, right?? LOL.

When I was a teacher, just starting out, I taught middle school girls at a modern orthodox school in Beverly Hills. We used to get into some very interesting conversations and one time it happened to be about Christmas. One of my students mentioned that Christmas was very similar to Hanukkah and she wanted to know how that came to be. If you're a history buff like me you will find this fascinating, but I won't bore you "others" with the details. I just want to point out a couple ideas that can be "food for thought."

- Ever wonder why Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights? Seems similar to Christmas.... look at all the lighted houses!

- Did it ever occur to you that Chrismas and Hanukkah are on the same "days?" Hanukkah = 25th of Kislev and Christmas = 25th of December.

- Besides the fact that Santa Clause was a made up character by Coca Cola why do both holidays have a gift giving element???

As I said before I won't bore you with the details, but if you want to know the answers to some of these questions you can read about it here, here, and here.

SO, let's now get back onto topic of what I really wanted to show you guys........ HANUKKAH TABLESCAPES!! I had so much fun looking for some this morning and I was surprisingly able to find some colorful ones as well.

The first one I want to show you comes from Breezy's. They were lucky enough to be asked to do a Chanukah buffet table for Elegant Impressions Magazine! You can read all about this super fun and oh so yummy tablescape on their blog. I love the color combo of turquoise and purple!!! BTW - Recipes are included and as always I love Breezy's tricks and tips!

    Milk and Cookies anyone?
The next one I found was at - If you have never been on that website, you can thank me after you go to check it out. Now that I am redoing my entire house due to my house debacle, I need a lot of inspiration  Houzz helps - a lot!

#1-  I L.O.V.E. this vase!!!

#2 - This is soooooooo crafty it's genius. 
#3 - The coins garland on the fireplace is so so so unbelievable!!!!!
Kind of loving the yellow polka dots of this theme......


This next one comes from the most recent issue of Joy of Kosher. Loving the HUGE dreidels!!

dreidel center piece

And if you need an invitation for your next Hanukkah shindig check out this adorable invite from SweetLEX on
Quirky & Fun HANUKKAH PARTY Invitation: Digital printable file

Quirky & Fun HANUKKAH PARTY Invitation: Digital printable file

Hope these ideas inspire you this Hanukkah Season!!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!!

I've always wanted to make Thanksgiving.
There's just something about a beautifully set Thanksgiving table.
So warm and inviting.
The delicious hot yummy meal.
I love the Fall.
I love the changing of the leaves.
The colors are so striking.
But alas, I never get to make it.
Thanksgiving is always spent at my Aunts.
Gathering once a year for a family reunion.
I am most thankful that we can still all get together.

Even though I can't put a Thanksgiving feast together in my actual home, I can at least post what I would do!

 I would try to find a set of eclectic turkey dishes. My color scheme would be hunter green, mustard, gold, and berry wine. I would get huge glass vases and add cranberries and chestnuts to the bottom and put XL pillar candles inside. Small candles would accents around the table.
I would would find an eclectic set of turkey dishes.

 Setting my table in a formal setting would be a must.

For the kids table, I would go with something playful and fun. It's always best to engage the little ones with a colorful and festive table.

the kids table
Frog Prince Paperie

I am really loving homemade candles this season so I would make as many as I could. 

Thanksgiving Tablescape...
Macintosh Apple Candles

gourd candles
Gourd Shaped Candles
I would also put together some beautiful crafts for the holiday decor.

thanksgiving2011 Happy Thanksgiving
Love the handmade pine cones.


 Not only am I thankful for my family, but I am also thankful to all of you. 
My fans are what keep me doing what I love to do!

Here is my gift to you! 


Happy Turkey Day! 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kosherfest Round Up and a Kick in the @$$

Honestly, I have been feeling a bit uninspired lately. 
Setting up the rental house and being a mommy to my 5 kids. 
Sometimes we need a little motivation. 
Other times we just need a good kick. 

Kosherfest did just that for me. 

Event #1 Kosher Food Blogger Conference. 

Look who was a sponsor!
The Kosher Food Bloggers are a community of bloggers, brands, and foodies that share a common passion for good kosher food and culinary adventure. Their first ever conference was held at the Carlton Hotel in NYC.  They had some really awesome speakers like Jamie Geller of Joy of Kosher, the genius photographer Noah Fecks, and the SEO master Joe Apfelbaum of Ajax Union.  

Why did I go? Why was I a sponsor? 
It's not like I'm a foodie.....

The truth is that my pieces lend a lot to the food world, especially kosher since I'm an Orthodox Jew. Food bloggers use my pieces in their photos, restaurants use my cake domes in their displays, and event planners use my custom pieces for their clients, weddings, and parties. 

Lunch Sponsored by Fairway
The best part of doing what I do is meeting the friends that I make online and seeing them in person! Melinda Strauss of Kitchen Tested  is truly one of those people. I finally got to meet her Kosher Food Blogger buddy Shelley Serber of The Kosher Home {on a budget}. Of course we became instant friends. Meeting Leah Shapira was also super swell. Not only is she the author of Fresh & Easy, but she also runs the website Cook Kosher and is a managing food editor for Ami Magazine

Event #2 Pre Kosherfest Social Media Dinner 

I had the privilege of co-hosting the Pre Kosherfest Social Media Dinner with my SweetUP  partner Esti Berkowitz and the KosherEye team. 

This year, KosherEye and SweetUP served-up the best in social media networking at the 2nd Annual Pre-Kosherfest Social Media Dinner at Abigael’s on Broadway. The who’s who of foodies, magazine editors, and lifestyle bloggers dined on an exclusive menu created by celebrity Chef Jeff Nathan. In true social media style, IPhones, instagrams, Facebook shares, and tweets were just as handy as fork and knife. People followed along from right in the room to miles away by following the designated hashtag for the evening, #kfeast12.

Upon arrival, guests were treated to glasses of champagne sponsored by Royal Wine! This gave people enough time to finally meet their Facebook and twitter followers in real time. 

The sponsors of this year’s dinner were a perfect fit for the impressive group of bloggers. The room was thrilled to hear about some of these brand new products from our Premier Sponsor, Manischewitz CompanyThe Chanukah House, Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, and Macaroon Dough!

Look out for my next post with some more details
on this super fun project for kids! 
Food man LLC, the creators behind Matzolah and winner in the Best New Passover Product Competition that took place before Kosherfest, brought down what Moses didn't have room for, Matzo granola!

As guests were served three courses, each just as delicious as the next, the “getting to know you” chat began. Each guest presented an “elevator” speech sharing who they were, and what they were about, in no more than 1 minute!

Once the main meal was concluded, delicious desserts were served, complimented by Cherry Heering Coffee Liqueur! A bottle of this lovely liqueur was placed on each table, accompanying after dinner coffee, and miniature bottles were included in the swag bags.

As the evening was drawing to a close, our very special guest, Alex Rapaport, founder of Masbia Soup Kitchen, shared a few words about his organization. When this event was conceptualized, the importance of recognizing and giving back to a non-profit organization was essential. Masbia was that organization and proceeds from the event went towards this organization. It was a great honor to give all additional food items from our sponsors to Masbia, who have been providing warm healthy meals to families affected by the hurricane, and to the teams helping with the aftermath of Sandy. The evening ended on a very positive note.

Esti Berkowitz and me - ready to go home after a wonderful night
In the next few months, the SweetUp Team will be putting on a Chanukah Hangout benefiting the children of Chai Lifeline, A Kosher Cupcake Cook-off, Social Media Soiree and Fashion Show! True to our mission of connecting Jewish bloggers from all backgrounds with brands that want to reach these bloggers, we are you one-stop networking team! Please join us on Facebook and on twitter @sweetup2012.

Event #3 Kosherfest!

Finally the BIG day had arrived! I had never been to Kosherfest before and I was soooo excited! I got to meet some really amazing people and eat some really delicious food. I came home a bit tipsy and stuffed.  

Susie Fishbein with her new Kolatin product!

 Paula Shoyer is like my other half.
She's from Long Beach  and went to HALB and HANC.
It's like she could be me, but I haven't been on the
Food Network nor have I written a book! 

Leah Shapira of Cook Kosher signing my new cookbook
Fresh & Easy

Jamie Geller  from Joy of Kosher
She graciously gave me a new copy of
Quick & Kosher to replace the one that got
ruined in my house debacle

Funny costumes!
He could braid those havdalah candles quick!

7th Heaven for my husband. 

Kosherfest was just the right kick that I needed to restart and recharge my creative batteries. Can't wait to show you all the new Chanukah pieces I have been busy creating since Kosherfest! 

Till next time!