Tuesday, September 30, 2014

$10 off at Educents!

(Sponsored Post)

http://www.educents.com/signup-bonus.html#kosherfrugal Have you heard of Educents? It's a great site where people like us can get some really awesome educational materials for lower than retail prices!

I know it's not only for homeschoolers like me - so many of you have written to me that you supplement your kids' reading or math or even some other subjects!

So, I am very excited to tell you that Educents has offered a special $10 gift card to anyone who joins Educents using the links in this post! You may even be able to score some things for free with your $10!

Happy deal hunting!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Better World Books Sale!

YES! Fall is here! Well, at least that's what the calendar says. SO... go ahead and save 40% off your order of 6 or more used books from BetterWorldBooks.com (US customers), or 20% off your order of 6 or more used books (international customers). 

Sale ends on September 24, so hurry!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale!

(sponsored post)

Maybe you've wanted to learn a new crafting technique (or even a cooking skill?)? Craftsy is a great way to do that! And I have great news for you!

Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale is happening now! Learn from the world's best instructors in the comfort of your home, when you shop up to 50% off ALL online classes! Once you enroll you can watch your classes anytime, anywhere, forever. Hurry, offer expires September 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT (That's 8:59 AM on September 23, 2014 in Israel). Shop Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale and save. 

I'd love to hear what you think of your Craftsy course! Please let me know!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I've been making some version of this soup for nearly 20 years! I was inspired by a recipe from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, The The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest
It's one of my favorite autumn soups. 

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1-2 apples, coarsely chopped
olive oil
2 butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
water for the pot
salt, pepper, cinnamon to taste


Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, and apples, and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes, until it all begins to brown.
Add butternut squash, and continue stirring, until the squash is slightly softened. Add water to the pot to cover the squash and apple mixture. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30-40 min. Remove from flame, and puree using an immersion blender, Add salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste.
Serve hot. I've occasionally served this soup cold too.

Don't forget to save those squash seeds - you can roast them! I put them in granola, but you can also just eat them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Planning for Rosh Hashana

Planning for Rosh Hashana

I'm beginning my Rosh Hashana menu planning now, because I plan to make double this Shabbat and freeze, so a couple of meals for the holiday will be well underway. So far we have guests for 2 lunches for Chag, but none this Shabbat

So far, here's the plan for this week's cooking - I need to use up some of what is in the house before we go and get more. So here's what I can make right now using what I've already got, and hopefully there's enough here to freeze some to make Yom Tov easier!

Butternut Squash and Apple soup (making a huge pot!)
Vegetable soup
Spicy Roast chicken
Vegetable-Noodle Kugel
Roasted eggplant and kishuim
Something with beets
Apple Cake

If I find more I can make, I'll keep you posted. Going to start my chopping now!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Save money on gas!

This month (September 2014) you can save money on gas just by planning to fill up on Mondays!

TEN gas stations will be discounting the price per liter of gas - it will cost 7 shekels/liter on Mondays in September (from 6 am till 10 pm) instead of the regular, much higher price.

(In Eilat, gas will cost even less)

Check if there's a Ten near you or on a route you travel!

Happy savings!

Printable Coupon (pet food)!

Do you have a dog or a cat? (No, I don't have either! I am very allergic to both, but I'm still sharing this with my friends who have pets, even though pictures of cats make me sneeze)

If you do, it seems that you're in luck - you can get some coupons sent to you via SMS or you can print them out

Just go to the CIBAU/CIMIAO Facebook Page and request yours!
(you'll have to click "Like" on this page in order to get it to work)


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kindle App (Free)!

Still don't have aKindle ?

You can still read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices!

It's a really quick download, and it is great! While we do have a couple of Kindles in the house, I have one child who prefers the Tablet. Not to mention the teen and his iPad (no, I did not buy him the iPad, he won a contest!)

So get your Kindle App today - no need to wait, and start enjoying digital reading. It's very convenient when life is "on-the-go" and when you've run out of room on your bookcase (um, yeah. that sort of happened)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins with Sunflower seeds

Pumpkin, while available mostly year round here, always makes me think of autumn.

In the past 40-something years, I've had quite a mix of autumn experiences, actually, from living in places with spectacular autumn color changing trees, with cool, crisp air, to living in places where the seasons barely change, to being in places where autumn seems to start in the summer...

Truthfully, I really like autumn when I don't have to be the one to rake the leaves (um, I'm allergic to trees!)! So for whatever reason, pumpkins and cranberries always brings me into an autumn place for just a few moments, which is a nice thing!

So here are my autumn flavored muffins. I have been eating these all week.
Let me know if you try them out!

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins with Sunflower Seeds


2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 cup hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
dash of cinnamon
dash of ground cloves

Note: if you prefer your muffins with eggs, you can sub 2 eggs + 1-2 tablespoons of water for the flaxseed water combo


Mix flaxseed with hot water in a large mixing bowl. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then add vanilla extract, sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree, and mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl, and mix gently till combined. Fold in cranberries, sunflower seeds, and spices.

Fill muffin cups, and bake at 180 C for 25-30 min (check with a toothpick to be sure they are done)

Enjoy your momentary foray into autumn!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Updated list of price controlled foods

Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know about government price controls on food in Israel:

The price listed is the MAXIMUM price for the specified item - in theory, a store can discount it further, if they want to.

If a store is selling price controlled items for a higher price, they are in violation of the law. You can (and should) report these violations to the regional supervisor.

And for those wondering, a while back the Ministry of Finance decided that Badatz milk products are also price regulated products, so stores cannot be charging more for the Badatz-supervised milk, leben, butter, sour cream, cheeses, etc!

Here are the items that are supervised, and the maximum price to consumers:

(I'm showing prices for the entire country, excluding Eilat, by the way. Eilat is exempt from Ma'am, so prices there will be lower.)

Lechem Achid (I believe this is about 65% whole grain) - 750g loaf, 5.11
White bread, 750g loaf, 5.11
Challah or yeast cake, 500g, 5.58 (don't ask me what kind of yeast cake this is referring to, I have no idea!)
Lechem Achid, sliced and packaged, 750g, 7.67
White bread, sliced and packaged, 500g, 6.82

Regular Kitchen Salt, Fine Kitchen Salt, Fine Table Salt, and Coarse Table salt, 1 kg, 2.09

3% milk, 1 liter, bag, 5.30
1% milk, 1 liter, bag, 4.95
3% milk, 1 liter, carton, 6.30
1% milk, 1 liter, carton, 5.90

Eshel, 4.5% fat, 200ml, 1.65 
Gil, 3% fat, 200ml,  1.52 
Sour Cream, 15% fat, 200ml, 2.44
Sweet Cream, 38% fat, 250ml, 6.60  
Butter, regular, 100g, 4.13
Emek Cheese (at the cheese counter),per kg, 45.45 
Gilboa Cheese (at the cheese counter), per kg, 43.14
Gvinah Levana (white cheese), 5% fat, 250g 5.11 

XL eggs, regular, 1 dozen, 13.60
L eggs, regular, 1 dozen, 12.50
M eggs, regular, 1 dozen, 11.50

Do you ever see stores overcharging? Have you ever made a report to the supervisory board?

If you found this post informative/useful/important, etc, please find me on Facebook so you won't miss any updates! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Improvised "Pasta with Cheese Sauce"

A couple of months ago, I noticed an interesting post in one of those groups on Facebook where people post their dinner menus.

Among all the fancy "poached salmon with risotto and wilted baby spinach with fresh mushrooms" and other such gourmet (um, read: unrealistic for a busy family) menus was a GEM. It was a "Cheater's Macaroni and Cheese" recipe, that, get this -- had no cheese in it! 

I was intrigued and filed away the idea. Because, after all, we know that the cheese is the expensive part of a pasta meal, and I was wondering if we could find a way to "frugalize" our pasta meals, but still have milk protein in it.

So this week, I took that recipe and tweaked it to work with my family's preferences.

And here's what I came up with:

Improvised Pasta with "Cheese" Sauce

This makes a really large batch. Enough to feed my family of 6, including a teenage boy and a bottomless pit almost teenage boy AND have leftovers for my hubby to take with him to work for lunch the next day. Feel free to cut it in half.

 What You Need:

large pot
5-6 cups water
2 bags whole wheat pasta
1-1.5 liters milk
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt, pepper, granulated garlic, oregano to taste

First, bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta. It will' look like there's not enough water in there, but that's because there ISN'T. Bring the pot back to a boil and stir the pasta as it cooks in the small amount of water. Eventually the water will all be absorbed, and the pasta won't be fully cooked yet. Turn off the flame. Add milk and seasonings to the pot. Stir well, and turn the flame back on. Bring it to a boil, and continue stirring as the pasta cooks in the milk. It will absorb some of the milk, and some of the milk will thicken as it absorbs the pasta's starches, so it will become somewhat saucy. It won't be super saucy, because if you don't let the pasta absorb enough of the milk, you'll just have pasta in spiced milk. When it appears to be ready, turn off the flame, cover the pot, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Mix once again before serving.

Note: the pictures in this post are from my attempt with whole wheat linguini, but it worked better with whole wheat fusilli.

Second Note: this is not a perfect imitation of macaroni and cheese, but for us it was "good enough". And just as I strive in life not for perfection, but rather for "good enough", that is what I strive for with my kitchen experiments as well. Especially the money-saving ones when money is tight.

I hope this helps someone out there!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Better World Books Sale!

Save on used books with the Better World Books Literacy Day Sale. Free shipping worldwide!
You'll save 15% when you purchase 5 or more used "Bargain Bin" books. Sale ends Friday, September 12, 2014 at 3pm (EDT).

You must know by now that I'm an impossible book addict, so I'm off to go find some good deals!

Vegan Raisin Bran Muffins (with zucchini/kishuim)

These are my absolute favorite muffins to make when there is an abundance of kishuim around! I'm sure you all saw my post about how I got tons of kishuim (zucchini-like summer squash) really cheap from the sug bet rack. Well, there have been more there, day after day, and, well... it turns out I bought A LOT.

So, to rescue my overflowing vegetable drawer, I made these delicious, moist, whole grain, fiber-rich, relatively low sugar vegan muffins.


2 heaping tablespoons of ground flaxseed (I grind them in my Coffee Grinder but you can buy them already ground)
1 cup of hot water
1 cup orange juice or 1 cup of cold water + a splash of vinegar
1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil, you can choose your favorite oil)
1/2 cup sugar
1 generously packed cup of shredded zucchini/summer squash/kishuim - I peeled it so there wouldn't be green flecks in the end result. Peeling is optional, however.
2 cups sifted whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins


Combine flaxseed and hot water in a large mixing bowl.  Mix and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add orange juice or water/vinegar mixture, oil, and sugar. Mix well. Add shredded squash. Stir to combine. Add flour, wheat bran, salt, baking powder to the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine but don't overmix. Finally, fold in the cinnamon and raisins.

Fill the muffin cups all the way up, and bake at 180 C for about 25-30 minutes.
This recipe makes 12 generously sized muffins, if you want smaller muffins, fill the muffin cups halfway and make 24 small muffins.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Science Night 2014!


Once again, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space is sponsoring free science events around the country!

Various scientific research institutes and science museums around the country will be opening their doors on Sept 18, beginning mostly at 5 pm, for free science events - the theme this year is Marine Science.

The program sounds great, so I wanted to make sure that all of you hear about this!

Here's what's going on: (It is best to verify in advance if advance registration is required) 

UPDATE (Sept 18): Kinneret College will be hosting events too!

MadaTech in Haifa will have special programs from 5:30pm - 10pm

The Technion will have programs for all ages from 5 pm - 10pm

Haifa University will have programs beginning at 5pm

Migal (in Kiryat Shmona) will have free events beginning at 5pm

Tel Aviv University will have events from 4pm - 11pm.

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem will have events from 5pm - midnight. They will also run programs in Maaleh Adumim beginning at 5:30 pm

The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem will have events, but the exact program has not yet been publicized.

The Open University will have events at the Raanana campus, from 4pm - 10:30pm.

The Weizmann Institute will have events from 5pm - 10pm

Oranim College will host events, but the details have not yet been publicized.

Bar Ilan University will have events from 5pm - 10pm

SCE will have events in Be'er Sheva and Ashdod from 4pm - 9pm

The Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute (Eilat) will have events from 5pm - 10pm

I really hope you can find your way to one of these events! Let me know if you went, I'd love to hear about it!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

All this for under 20 shekels!

Whenever I find myself near the mini market/makolet, I check the "sug bet" rack to see if there are any worthwhile deals there. It's greatly reduced in price, and if it hasn't been sitting out in the sun for long, it's very often still perfectly usable.

I wish I had taken my camera with me to take a picture and show you what was there today. There was A LOT of stuff, and a man was there loading up his bags when I got there. We chatted a bit about whether it was worthwhile to buy the wilted lettuce, and each of us picked out what we wanted from the racks.

I ended up spending 19.10 NIS, and here's what I got:

A bunch of browning bananas that were still white and firm inside (=happy kids!)

a huge pile of summer squash (kishuim)

a huge pile of kohlrabi

2 scrawny stalks of celery

3 tomatoes

3 chunks of pumpkin

1 bunch of scallions

1 package of alfalfa srouts

1 package of chives

1 package of spinach

There were loads of overripe tomatoes there, that I didn't feel like buying, and also plenty of herbs. I let the other customer buying from the rack grab up all the lettuce, because it was too far gone for me. There were also overripe peppers, and carrots (those must have been sitting out in the sun too long), and some beets.

Anyhow, after I made my purchase, I started lugging my haul home, but I hadn't come prepared for a big haul. Then, about 2 minutes into my 10 minute walk home, my next door neighbor passed me on her "kolno'it" (a kolno'it is an electric golf-cart type of thing, that is very popular around here for people who don't have cars and have limited mobility, or even those with no limitations). Then she did a turn-around and offered to help. She had enough room in her kolno'it for my bags, so she piled them in, and we laughed and said "meet you at the house in a few minutes". It was really so sweet of her to help! Having friendly neighbors is so very nice!

But I was thrilled with my takeaway. I try to get only decent looking stuff from the sug bet rack - if I buy things that I have to trim too much off of, the savings plummet. It's not worth my while to buy second rate lettuce if I will need to throw out half of it, when I can get a huge head of lettuce somewhere else for 4 shekels or less, and not need to toss most of it!

I'm signing off now to go wash some veggies and start my cooking! I'll make some minor variations to the Shabbat menu to accommodate all the things I bought today. I'm also going to prep some of this for the freezer for later use.

Have you found any bargains today?

Shabbat Menu

Trying to plan a little earlier than usual, because I'd like to make Friday our Tiyul day this week!

We're having a family of 6 over for lunch, but Friday night it is just us.

Hopefully it will be a relaxing and enjoyable Shabbat!

Here's the menu:

Friday night:

Fresh Challot
Chicken in a teriyaki marinade/Tofu for the vegetarian
Stir-fried vegetables
Maybe one more side dish


Fresh Challot
Vegetarian liver and make your own salad
Black Bean Cholent
Oven fried chicken
Potato Kugel
Rice, Lentil, and Mango salad
Maybe one more side dish


chocolate chip cookies, 
marble cake, 
fruit if I buy any between now and Shabbat

Seudah Shlishit:

Potato kugel (I give up, they always want to eat potato kugel, so I'll make an extra)
Carrot muffins
Sandwiches and spreads
Cucumbers and Pickles

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Flavorful Lentil Patties

I wanted to make lentil patties with a lot more zing! to them. My old standby recipe was just not doing it for me anymore. Especially because my kids had gotten completely bored by them. But THESE were eaten happily!

So here's my new take on lentil patties:


oil for the pan (I used a small amount of olive oil)
1 large onion, diced
1 large red pepper diced
2-4 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup cooked green lentils
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 T. sesame seeds
1/8 - 1/4 cup flour (this will vary depending on the size of your onion and how "wet" your lentils were, and the humidity in your house... you want the mixture to hold its shape once you've made it into patties!)
salt, pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large skillet, and saute the onion, pepper, and garlic until softened and a browning.

Transfer onion, pepper, and garlic to a mixing bowl (if you have a stick blender) or the bowl of your food processor. Add lentils, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Blend or process till you have a sticky mixture. It's ok if you still see pieces of things. Mix in flour, salt and pepper, using a large spoon.

Heat more oil in the pan. Shape the mixture into patties and lightly pan fry on both sides.

Or, if you want to bake them, form patties and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and spray the tops with oil from your olive oil sprayer . Bake at 200 C  till done (I haven't timed it, sorry!)


p.s. I serve these with rice, or in a bun, or any which way. You can crumble leftover patties, if you want, and mix with a tomato-based sauce for a great vegetarian "meat" sauce for pasta.