Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Asian Purim Sueda

Purim Day is always a crazy hectic mess of a day. You put so much thought and effort into the holiday only to have it fly past you. I am always amazed by the insanity of it all.

For this working mommy as I wrote in my previous post we went Asian this Purim. For my shaloch manot we gave out sushi and candy sushi for the kids.

My table filled with sushi from Main Ingredient

For the first time ever I was making Purim Sueda for my family. I didn't have tons of money to spend on decor and so everything I made was homemade. My budget was $25. Yah, that's pretty small. I used it on paper goods and some actual paper. My kids enjoyed making the paper lanterns and the place card paper fortune cookies. I lit some candles on the table and even fabricated a paper lantern tree from branches found in the yard. 

 My menu was pretty simple. I made my own eggrolls that my mother ended up helping me fry. My sisters contributed by bringing the sesame noodles, broccoli, drinks and rice. I made the beef and chicken which I prepared by marinating them on Friday before Shabbos. The salads were easily put together an hour before the seuda.

My kids were great and each felt special in their costumes. They were all bought on sale either through amazon or Target during the Halloween season. My husband was a sumo wrestler (so funny cause he's super healthy skinny) and I was the geisha. My daughter also was an Asian princess, my 2 boys ninjas, my toddler a dragon, and my baby an Asian cutie :)

This was hands down the best picture of the day. 
All in all it was a really great day! No meltdowns, no crying, ok maybe a little whining from the kiddos about the nosh, but overall it was a wonderful day spent with my family. We even had time to pop in at the Rabbi's party/sueda after hours. Thanks Ma for babysitting!

Till next time,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Asian Purim: Paper Fortune Cookies

So here's how the story goes.
Last year I unfortunately promised my son that he could be a ninja
"Next Purim."
He wanted to be one so badly, but alas, there were no ninja costumes in sight during the pre-Purim rush. So I simply told him "next year."
Well come Halloween last October, while perusing Target there were 2 ninja costumes in both my sons sizes. After pleading and begging I bought them both.
And can you guess what my son saved from my whole house debacle? Yup! The ninja costumes! They made it into our new rental.
So we're going Asian this Purim.

I normally strive for "unkitchy" themes. I kind of like to be original, so the whole Asian theme didn't really excite me. It's been there, done that! You know what I mean??

There are a few things you should know about me when it comes to Purim......

1. I hate face paint. I'm ok with painting with a brush and getting it all over my hands. The messier the better, but if it goes on my face NO WAY. I hate cakey make-up. Foundation, gloss, uch YUCK!! So the idea of having to paint my face entirely white and then with more makeup makes me want to hurl.

2. I'm a really good cook, but I hate baking. I also HATE crafting with food. I think fondant is disgusting. I will totally eat it and I think that what some kosher bakers do is absolutely amazing! The edible art that can be made is beautiful and I admire many bloggers and bakers work, but because I work with crafts all day long -to eat eat it just seems wrong. Can you tell? I'm totally not into baking.

3. To me it's all about the packaging and presentation. You can have the best Purim shaloch manot idea with themed out food and a totally creative idea, but if the packaging is all wrong, it's a missed opportunity. I'm learning that I'm kind of a crafting snob! LOL.

OK. and lastly.....

4. I get so busy with orders before Purim that I never have time to do my own shaloch manot. I need something simple and easy. Above all else, it's got to be on a budget. With a family of 5 and Yeshiva Tuition.... I think we can all relate. RIGHT?? They don't call us starving artists for nothing.

So here's how I came up with my package this year.
I could have made Asian dishes and given them out..... TOO MUCH WORK.
I could have given out fortune cookies and sacki. NOPE.
I could have gotten chinese takeout boxes and stuffed them candy. BORING.

After wracking my brain I actually came up with a pretty simple plan. I called my local store, Main Ingredient who happens to be a good friend and asked him how much it would cost for 60 packages of vegetable sushi.  The price was so cheap and completely in my budget.

So there you have it. Sushi it was.
A complete shaloch manos without having to do any work :)
Now for the packaging. At first I was thinking maybe we should put a cute nutrition label on it, but then I ran into a beautiful craft involving paper fortune cookies. PERFECT!!

Total inspiration from ONCE WED!!
Click on the link for step by step instructions

This video really helped me visualize how to make them. I can read instructions, but I find videos to be much more helpful.

So how did mine come out???

I think the fortune is pretty cute too :) 
 And for the kids? Well, I went against my better judgment and TRIED to make candy sushi. But after 3 attempts this is all I could make. As least we got a picture :) I'm trying to convince my kids to give out the real deal for purim. Don't think I'm going to be able to persuade them.......

Look out for my next post. I'll be writing about my Asain Purim Sueda on a MAJOR budget. I even gave myself a specific $ amount I could spend. Anyone who knows me, knows that's impossible!! My kids will be making paper lanterns Motzei Shabbos, and I'll even show you the costumes! 
Well, you know what 2 will be! 

Till next time. Chag Purim Samayach!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

First Ever Kosher Cupcake Bake-off!

A couple weeks ago I was privileged to host the first ever Kosher Cupcake Bake-off at Breezy's on Central Ave. The idea was set in motion at the second annual pre-Kosherfest Social Media Dinner.  Esti Berkowitz my SweetUP partner and I hashed out the idea and got Jamie Geller of Joy of Kosher fame to host. Having it at Breezy's was the obvious choice. It's the destination for high end tabletop and kosher baking goods in the tri-state area. This was all done to raise money for Achiezer, an organization that is helping to rebuild the Five Towns and support those people affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The idea was to find some really great kosher bakers and to set them on the task of creating 3 elaborate Purim cupcakes which would include a variety of secret ingredients. They only had 45 minutes to decorate them! The judges would judge them on taste and presentation. The winner would be featured in the Joy of Kosher Magazine  as well as owning the bragging rights of winning the first ever kosher cupcake bake-off!!

The fruit was delicious from Fruit Platters and More and we bopped to the music of DJ Ben Black

Left: Jamie Geller
Right: Breezy 

Treat Table by Cup of Cake NJ
Treat Table by Delightfully Sweet

Treat Table by Cake a Bite and Lil' Miss Cakes

Some of our awesome swag
Cookie Cutters from Breezy
Mini cupcake cups from moi

Mini bottles of Cherry Heering Liqueur

My hand painted mini cupcake cups


The Judges
Left to right
Bobby Lloyd the owner of Magnolia Bakery
Tamar Genger
Alessandra Rovati from Dinner in Venice 

Contestant #1  Cup of Cake NJ

Contestant #2 Delightfully Sweet
Contestant #3  Lil' Miss Cakes

Contestant #4 Cake a Bite
Contestant #4 Cake a Bite

Deciding which one should win! 

Breezy with Michal of MLW design

The Winner!! Cup of Cake NJ

Sunday, February 10, 2013

DIY Shaloch Manot Ideas

I think it’s fair to say that Purim is probably the most creative Jewish holiday. Even the simple novice –the person who has not one creative bone in their body- can shine during this Yom Tov celebration. It was with this idea in mind that my graphics artist, Mirel from Oomph Creative and I collaborated to create a set of themed out DIY Shaloch Manot Purim Tags and Labels. Using 15 of the most popular Shaloch Manot themes we designed ready-made tags and labels that can be customized or personalized with each of the family’s names on them.  All you do is PRINT – CUT – CRAFT. It’s that simple.  All the sets include water bottle labels, cupcake wrappers, nosh bag toppers, packaging tags, and cupcake toppers.  Of course you can add more or take out and only pay for the pieces that you need. You can see the full line of what we are offering this Purim Season by clicking here.

So what can you do with our tags??? Below are a few ideas using our themed out pieces J


Watch out! Curves ahead! Those brownies and the tools are perfect compliments for your construction themed shaloch manot!

This construction themed shaloch manos is packaged inside of a sand pail. It includes an orange soda, some chocolate covered rice cakes (dirty rocks anyone?), a brownie, nutty chocolate chews, and some rock candy.


Make sure to eat lots of Nosh this Purim! It’s just what the doctor ordered! This set includes a “pill” cookie, some jelly bean medicine, some water that’s good for the heart, and a pill shaped cupcake. Cookie and cupcake featured: Cup of Cake NJ

 Another idea you can do is use our Prescription label and attach it to a mason jar. Fill your jar with some “pill” shaped cookies. These cookies featured come from Cup of Cake NJ

Purim/Mardi Gras Theme:

This one happens to be my favorite them because it brings in a color element plus it’s just so fun over the top! This shaloch manot is stuffed inside of margarita glasses and topped with candies in gold and green, some Halva, and Cheery Hearing Liqueur. There are candy canes in purple, green, and gold and jelly beans in those colors too! As a decorative element there are necklaces, feathers, and confetti!!

All of these cupcake toppers can be personalized or custom made to fit your own shaloch manot theme. These beautiful cupcakes featured come from Cup of Cake NJ

And for all of you Kosher Scoop Fans here’s an exclusive Purim Code to use on the site! Save now on labels or use it on one of our beautiful hand-painted glass creations!!