Tuesday, December 30, 2014

14% off at IWooT!

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2014 is ending, and IWoot's got a 14% off coupon code for you!

Check out their unique collection of products! They have some really great gift ideas! And affordable international shipping, which always makes me happy.

To get your 14% off the whole site, be sure to use code END2014
Code valid until midnight 31st December

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Culinary Tour with Susie Fishbein!

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click to register
I just heard about the second annual Susie Fishbein Culinary Tour to Israel, and it sounds like a really wonderful opportunity for everyone I can think of!

If you love foods of the world and local culture while traveling, this is the trip for you to take to Israel this winter!

This trip with Susie Fishbein will take place from Feb 12-19, 2015, and the itinerary is packed with hand-picked experiences, including a halva workshop, wine tastings, shuk tours, humus workshop, goat cheese workshop, sessions with top chefs, and so much more! Please check out the full itinerary - it's truly impressive!

The trip is fully kosher, but is open to everyone. The main point is to bring together a group of people who love good, local food on this amazing trip!

If you plan to join, please be sure to include "kosherfrugal.com" in the space provided on your registration form. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Did you know that SOMETIMES an Israeli car rental agent can actually get you a decent deal on a car rental overseas?

So if you're traveling, why not check out a "blue and white" car rental agency and see how they compare?

It's worth a try! Please let me know if this works out well for you!

*this post contains affiliate links

Shimrit brand yeast recall

Recall Alert: "Shimrit" brand yeast packets

The affected product is 50g packets of fresh yeast granules, and packets of fresh yeast granules sold together with a dough conditioner

Use by dates of the recalled packets are: 26/12/2014, 29/12/2014, 30/12/2014, 1/01/2015, 2/02/2015, and 3/01/2015

The recalled products have an off smell, and consumers are requested to err on the side of caution and NOT use them.

The company is removing the products from store shelves.

Anyone who has already bought either of these products with the above dates stamped on them is asked to call the company at 1-800-263-888 to arrange for a replacement.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thinking of a Tami 4 water bar?

Click this picture for more details!

Thinking of getting a Tami 4 for your family?
Check out their sale! 
As you know, sometimes you may want to splurge, but it's always better to find a sale!

*this post contains affiliate links

Cinnamon & Nut Coffee Cake

Ok, you know who you are.
YOU asked for this recipe.

I thought I'd posted it before but I cannot find it on my blog, so I guess I hadn't.

So here it is!
(This is the cake that FLEW at the kiddush, by the way, and also the one that got people to ask me if they could order cakes for Shabbat from me.)
I have no pictures because it was so crazy here and I forgot to take a picture before Shabbat!

Makes one 9 x 13 inch baking pan, or 2-3 loaf pans

2 eggs (or 4 tablespoons flaxseed mixed with 1/2 cup hot water, allowed to cool for 10 min)
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk OR water + 1 tsp vinegar (I made it with water and vinegar)
3 1/3 cups flour (I mixed white and whole wheat)
pinch of salt
3 tsp baking powder

150g walnuts, crushed coarsley
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

mix together eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar, and milk/water-vinegar mixture. Combine flour with salt and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Mix well to combine.

Pour half the batter into 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Sprinkle half the nut/cinnamon/sugar mixture over batter. Cover with remaining batter. Cover the top of cake with remaining nut/cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake for about 1 hour at 175 C (check with toothpick to make sure it's done)

Allow to cool before cutting.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Black Bean Cholent (vegan)

A lot of you have asked how I make my black bean cholent.

I hope not to disappoint you, in case this wasn't clear to you, this is a vegetarian/vegan cholent.

It's quite tasty, but if you were hoping for beef, you won't find it here. I think the last time I ate beef I was about 20 or 21 years old (nope, not saying what year that was, use your imagination)!

If you're looking for a Gluten Free Vegan Cholent, click here!

Here's what I do:

1-2 large onions, chopped coarsely
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 medium sized potatoes, cut into chunks
500g whole grain barley (not pearl barley), soaked in cold water overnight
2 cups black beans, already soaked (overnight) and drained, can also use 2 cups cooked black beans
spices: salt (1 tablespoon or so), black pepper (1/2 tsp or more), cayenne pepper (a pinch or 2), smoked paprika (2 tablespoons) - be generous with the seasonings! If cayenne is too hot for you - you can safely leave it out.
water to fill the pot

Place everything in the crock pot and let the pot do its magic!

Just before Shabbat starts, I add frozen vegan kishke to the pot. This is the perfect Shabbat morning cholent accompaniment! 

Barley and Black Beans waiting on my pantry shelf

Shabbat Menu!

It's that time again, when I try to come up with my Shabbat menu, and then I fall back on all my old stand-bys (my family isn't feeling adventurous these days).

So I made sure to have the basics in the house - but I don't have much for a green or Israeli salad yet. I assume I can rectify that situation soon.

So here's the plan:

Friday night: Us plus several guests

Whole Wheat and Oat Bran Challot
Vegetable Soup
Salads: Purple cabbage salad, roasted eggplant and peppers, lentil salad with persimmons and craisins, (and hopefully green salad with honey-cinnamon oranges or an Israeli salad)
Spicy Roast chicken
Potato Kugel
Butternut Squash (not sure yet what recipe)
Black Bean "meatballs" with sweet and sour sauce (for the vegetarian)
Apple Crisp

Dessert will be chocolate cake and tea

Shabbat lunch:

Black bean cholent
Baked shnitzel
Potato Kugel

Now that I know what I have to make, I really ought to get to work. So far all I've done is put the black beans up to soak and pull some chicken out of the freezer to defrost. 

I think it's going to be a long night ahead of me.
What about you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Promotion: Chanukah Q&A from Mi Yodeya

Hi, it's Ester's son again. I must have had so much fun writing this other post that i came back for another. :)

Over the past year, i've been active in the online community Mi Yodeya. Mi Yodeya (MY for short) is part of the Stack Exchange Q&A network. MY is Q&A about Judaism. It's totally free, anyone can come in and ask or answer.

For this Chanukah, some of Mi Yodeya's active users decided to put together a treat for you (everyone) -- a special Q&A booklet with Chanukah questions -- real questions, from real people, shared on MY.

Click this picture to get to the download!

It has 8 two-sided pages, one for each night of Chanukah. You can print it out, or read it digitally. We've included something for everyone in there, so that it can be enjoyed by little children and learned rabbis, each on their own level.

By now, you must be desperate to find out where you can get it. So, you can click on the picture above, or type in the short link or CLICK s.tk/miyodeya to go right to it. It's a quick dowload.

And of course, don't forget to check out Mi Yodeya itself for even more Judaism Q&A! Short link: mi.yodeya.com

profile for Scimonster at Mi Yodeya, Q&A for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more
^ My user profile

Monday, December 8, 2014

Menu for the week

Here's my thrown-together menu for the week, based loosely on staples I know I have in the house. I'm going to have to assume I can manage to get some decently priced fruits and vegetables Monday or Tuesday...

Breakfast will be oatmeal, toast, whatever
Lunches will be sandwiches or leftovers from the previous night.

Here are the Suppers:

Sunday: Fresh Whole Wheat Dinner rolls, Black Bean and Tomato Soup, Scrambled eggs, Cut veggies

Monday: Embellished Shabbat Leftovers

Tuesday: Split Pea Soup, Baked Ziti, Cut veggies

Wednesday: Tomato-Rice Soup, Lentil Patties on fresh rolls, veggies

Thursday: Soup? Oven fries, tuna patties? really not sure about this meal, actually! (feel free to share ideas!)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

IWOOT - sneak preview sale!

Looking for a great gift, or special item for yourself?

IWOOT is such a fun place to look!

Haven't checked it out yet? Well, you are in luck, because right now there is a GREAT Preview Sale going on - IWOOT is having Black Friday Part II "declining sale" tomorrow, (the % discount will decrease throughout the day!) and instead of waiting, you can get 20% off right now, at the sneak preview sale!

Make sure to use code PREDECLINE

Valid from 6pm 4th December – 6am 5th December (Times are London Time, I believe)

this post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Evaluating My Overseas Shopping Habit

Now that the dollar - shekel exchange rate has gone all the way up again (it's about 3.9 today, you can check the current rate on XE or The Bank of Israel) it's time for me to re-evaluate my strategy of ordering certain items from overseas.

Not only is the dollar exchange rate prompting me to do this, but iHerb's announcement of higher international shipping rates REALLY made me think. (They have instituted weight based shipping rates, but give 50% off shipping for orders of $20+, now. Here are the new shipping rates for international orders: Up to 1 pound = $4.45; from 1 pound to 2 pounds = $8.90; from 2 pounds to 3 pounds = $13.35; from 3 pounds to 4 pounds = $17.80)

So let's take a look at some products I know people buy from abroad but have started to become more available here.

Product                        iHerb price             Vitacost Price               Local Price

Coconut Sugar (454g)   $5.09/19.97nis        $4.99/19.58nis            19.90 - for 500g

Coconut Oil (946ml)      $14.35/56.30nis      $17.89/70.18nis          74.90 - for 1liter

Pink Salt (909g)             $9.96/39.08nis        $9.79/38.40nis           32.50 for 1kg

Grey Sea Salt (454g)       $4.48/17.58nis        $5.00/19.62               12.90 for 1kg!

Maple Syrup (946ml)        $24.98/98.04          $22.19/87.09              98.70 for 1080ml

Vitamin B12 (250-1000mcg) $20.60/80.76nis     $20.60/80.76             75.40 for 240   

I could go on all night comparing products like this, but I think you can see a pattern here. Now that the exchange rate is so much higher than it had been, ordering from abroad may not be saving us money. The prices listed above do not even take shipping charges into account!

Of course, there will always be that special item you just cannot get here. And for those, I am grateful for international shipping! But I for, one, will likely be waiting for a LOT fewer packages to arrive, at least for right now. (But I will still order my fragrance free shampoo, I don't have any other way to get it!)

Although if I am going to be realistic, now that I’ve discovered AliExpress.com, I don’t know if I really will be waiting for fewer packages overall!

If you STILL want to order from iHerb or Vitacost, go ahead! And be sure to take advantage of iHerb's first time customer discount, and sign up for $10 off your first order at Vitacost, too!

this post contains affiliate links