Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shabbat menu

Last week, I did a ton of work for Shabbat, so I figured I could have a slightly easier Friday this week! Plus, my freezer seems to be full no matter what I do, and it is SERIOUSLY time to start emptying it.
So -- Here's my stress-free Shabbat menu this week:

Fresh Whole Wheat and Oat Bran Challot
Vegetable Soup
Cholent with vegetarian kishke

(that's all I'm making fresh, plus a vegetable platter, and maybe a fruit salad. Also making a platter of vegetables to take over to a friend for her kiddush)

From the freezer:
Potato Kugel
Random Sides
Tofu Shnitzel

What are you making for Shabbat? Or are you taking a break from cooking too?

Coupon Code for the Hut!

More and more people in Israel (and all over the world, but I'm focusing on Israel) are doing their shopping online.

For Israelis this means we can order higher quality items at a significant discount over local pricing.

You just have to know where to shop!

If you've never shopped at The Hut before, I've got a discount for you!

LAST CHANCE - 15% off for new customers
Expires: 9pm 30/01/2015
So QUICK! Head on over to The Hut and see if they have the exact thing you were looking for!


Join SnapIn Today!

I'm sure you've heard some chatter about SnapIn. And if you haven't I'll fill you in right now.

SnapIn is a new program that offers rebates to consumers in Israel. But you don't have to fill out any rebate forms or clip any "proof of purchase" labels! That makes it an amazing way to save some money! (Especially now that supermarket coupons seem to have disappeared.)

I'll explain how it works:

Instead of clipping coupons and then trying to be sure you remember to use it before it expires at the magic store that accepts it, with SnapIn you shop as usual, at any store you like - the supermarket, health food store, makolet...

After you shop, you take a picture of your receipt and upload it to SnapIn using their handy upload apps for your smartphone or PC (or you can send it by email). Please be sure to upload your receipts no later than 30 days after the purchase!

If you bought an item that qualifies for a rebate, they will credit your account! 

When your account accrues 100 shekels in rebates, you will receive a payment.

Want to know which items qualify for rebates?
As of today (Jan 29, 2015), the following items qualify. This could change, however.

Similac Comfort 
Similac Advance Plus
Nestle Fitness cereals and cereal bars
Yoplait yogurts
Emek 9% cheese
Specialty cheeses by Tnuva
Titulim Premium diapers
Pireus products (goat yogurt, cheeses, etc)

In addition, SnapIn promises a "Surprise" category of rebates, so even if you don't purchase the products on the list, you may qualify for a rebate!

It took me only a couple of minutes to submit receipts, and the payoff could be GREAT.

So what are you waiting for? Be sure to sign up for SnapIn TODAY, and start getting those great rebates!

If you like this post, be sure to follow me on Facebook so you don't miss out on more great ways to save!

this post contains affiliate links

Food Recall! (Israel)

Yet again, Israelis who like fish need to check their fridges.

"HaTikva Smoked Fish" and The Ministry of Health have announced a recall of the following products:

1. Herring (labeled Matias) Fillets in oil - 480g packages, with a sell-by date of 6.4.15

2. "Palmida" in oil - 480g packages, with a sell-by date of 9.4.15

The affected products tested positive for listeria.

The products are being recalled from store shelves, and consumers who have purchased these products are asked NOT to eat them, but to return them to the store where purchased for a refund.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

El Al fare sale

El Al has a fare sale going on!

Check it out before you book your next flight - you may find a great deal! But hurry - this sale ends soon!

Thank you for using the affiliate link in this post!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekly Menu

It's already Monday night and I'm still flying by the seat of my pants/skirt as far as meals go, since I never made a plan. My days are pretty full with all that goes on already, so having a plan is pretty essential if I'm going to a)stick to my budget, b)use the food I have in the house, and c)feed my family relatively balanced meals. I know when I don't make a plan, we end up figuring out less healthy "survival" meals, and often that means when I'm out on a walk I'll pick up pitot or bread, cheese, bourekas, etc even if I had no plans to buy those things that week!

So - in an effort to make tomorrow an easier day, and to save me the panic and "survival shopping", I will plan my menu now:

Sunday - already over, I don't even know what we had (in my defense, half the family had some minor stomach bug and weren't even hungry)
Monday - more of who-knows-what, and Shabbat leftovers for supper

Lunch: Rice, lentil patties, salad
Supper: Split pea soup, Baked Ziti, steamed kishuim

Lunch: Split pea soup, banana muffins, baked apples
Supper: Felafel 

Lunch: all the leftovers from the week
Supper: fresh dinner rolls, sloppy sams, roasted vegetables

How do you stay on top of feeding your family? How many meals do you cook every day?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shabbat menu planning

This week, I'm planning my Shabbat menu on Wednesday night, because I suddenly glanced at my notes for the week and I noticed that I have a LOT of guests this Shabbat!
SO I must, must get started! I almost did my baking today, but in the end I couldn't, as we ended up with a million things to take care of that got in the way of baking.

So here's the plan:

Friday night (13 people total)

Fresh Whole Wheat and Oat Bran Challot/maybe Spelt Challot from guest
Chumus (guest making), Other salads (TBD, I have to check what I have ingredients for)
Mushroom-Barley Soup
Spicy Roast chicken (making a whole chicken plus pieces - I've got legs and thighs and wings)
Potato Kugel
Roasted Kishuim (summer squash) with garlic
Roasted Root Vegetables
(baked tofu shnitzel for the vegetarian)
Apple Cake (guest bringing)
Cookies or Brownies

Shabbat Lunch (15 people total)

Fresh Whole Wheat and Oat Bran Challot
Cholent + Vegetarian Kishke
Oven-friend chicken
Roasted Kishuim 
Potato Kugel
Fresh Vegetable Platter
Apple Crisp

That's as far as I've gotten. I'm really tired right now, so maybe tomorrow I will suddenly remember something I'd planned to make but forgotten?!

What's doing at your house this Shabbat?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Menu for the week

I would LOVE to be able to plan my weekly menu, but I am so low on fresh produce, I can only do a bare basics plan -- I'm going to have to fill it in more as the week goes on. Please leave a comment below with some ideas!

So here's what I've come up with so far:

Sunday: lunch - vegetable-noodle soup, muffins from the freezer
Supper - Split Pea Soup, Pasta, salad

Lunch: leftover split pea soup,??
Supper - Tomato soup with rice, Tuna-Wakame patties (scrambled eggs for the kids who won't eat that), ??

Lunch: Leftover tomato soup, sandwiches
Supper: Felafel

Lunch: Pancakes, ???
Supper: Pizza, Roasted veggies?

Lunch: all the leftovers from the week
Supper: Pasta with ??

That should do it!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Today's red lentil and tomato soup

Had to quickly come up with a soup to share with a friend's family who could use a hand right now. So I ended up making this soup, it was so yummy! I ate 2 bowls of it for lunch.

Red Lentil and Tomato Soup
makes approximately 16 servings

1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
1 large red pepper
olive oil
500g red lentils
1 large can tomato paste (580g, 28-30 Bx)
salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes

Dice the vegetables and saute in olive oil in your (large) soup pot . When beginning to carmelize, add rinsed lentils and lots of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the lentils start to break apart. Add tomato paste, more water, and seasonings to taste. Bring back to a boil, then simmer for another 10 min.
Serve piping hot. It's perfect with a nice crusty bread!

10% off at Vardinon!

Looking for a nice gift for someone, or need a new "something" for your home?

If you use the link below, you'll be connected to a survey, and at the end of the survey you'll get a coupon for 10% off your purchase at Vardinon (this CAN be combined with their 50% off sale)!

Happy Savings!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

This week's menu

It's turning into a crazy week for me - there is no hot water in my house still, and my hands are cracked and bleeding from washing vegetables, dishes, and my hands in F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G cold water! I truly hope I can get the plumber to come here tomorrow and figure out the extent of our problem (is it a quick small repair, or a large, very expensive repair?), and maybe even shut off the dud shemesh so we can use the electric boiler if we have to wait to repair it.

Anyhow, because of this craziness I anticipate a lot of time shuttling off to shower outside of our home, and a lot of time waiting around for a plumber. (Just trying to be realistic!) So not much time for shopping.

So who knows how much of this menu I'll stick to! But I'll give it a try. And forgive the question marks, some of my menu depends upon what produce I end up buying this week - but I never know what I'll find when for a great deal!

Lunch: vegetable and lentil stew, crackers and chumus
Supper, pancakes, roast potatoes, unstuffed cabbage, and leftover soup with noodles

Lunch: Sandwiches and cut vegetables
Supper: Baked ziti, steamed kishuim

Lunch: Red Lentil Soup, ???
Supper: Chinese-style vegetable soup, Rice, tuna patties

Lunch: Sandwiches, leftover soup
Supper: Tomato soup, Rice, Red lentil patties, vegetable sticks

Lunch: All leftovers from the week
Supper: Pizza, salad, ???

What's your plan for the week?

How my boys got free glasses in under an hour

My boys both wear glasses. Not surprising, as I am severely myopic.

Both boys have been reminding me for several months that it's been over a year since they had their eyes checked. One said he couldn't see out of his glasses at all, and then, he even managed to break his glasses in half at the bridge just to prove his point! And this did, in fact, motivate me to check out my options. Buying glasses in this country, frankly, scares me. It's just so notoriously expensive, and I wasn't sure what to do...

BUT, I remembered that If you have Clalit Platinum, you can take your child (up to age 18) to any participating optician and get 600 shekels toward a new pair of glasses. In many cases, this amounts to free glasses.

I decided to go in Teverya (there are no participating opticians in Katzrin), as we had plans to be there on Friday anyhow. In the interest of saving time, I went to "Shimshon" because it was the closer of the two to where we'd parked (at my husband's workplace). We walked in, and found the store to be relatively crowded for such a small place of business.

But, to my surprise, within 5 minutes, an optician was taking down our insurance information, checking the boys' glasses for their latest prescription information, and getting testing underway. She convinced the optometrist to check them next. Then, when she saw how much the prescription for my younger son had changed, she convinced the staff to get these glasses done in time to take them home for Shabbat!
It was AMAZING. We walked in there around noon, and walked out at 12:50 pm with two new pairs of glasses, anti-reflective coatings and all, AND ZERO pressure to get upgrades, with no out of pocket payment whatsoever.

I'm thrilled, and my boys were also incredibly surprised that they got such stellar service!

For more information about joining Clalit or one of their upgraded plans, just click here to go straight to Clalit!

*this post contains affiliate links

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pantry challenge menu for this week

We are pretty well stocked up at the moment, and I see no reason to go out and buy anything this week - especially with a cold winter storm on the way (with the exception of milk and a few fruits and veggies, which I plan to get today when I'm out (we're out of apples and carrots and down to only 2 bananas!). Although I reserve the right to stock up on something if there is a "can't miss" sale, but I haven't seen that yet, and I don't plan to do much running around...

So, we have plenty of legumes, rice, pasta, and most staples, and we even have a lot of veggies, either fresh or frozen. Here's what I came up with using the things I see I have on hand:

Lunch: Pasta with tomato sauce and vegetables, (rice or baked potato for the kids who aren't feeling great)
Supper: Split Pea Soup, baked sweet potatoes, and fresh bread with spreads

Lunch: Lentil and vegetable stew (leftover from Sunday), sandwiches if anyone wants, using Monday's bread
Supper: Vegetable soup with noodles, Rice, Black bean "burgers"

Lunch: Split pea soup (leftover from Monday) with some kind of muffins
Supper: Tuna patties with Wakame,  roasted potato wedges, salad

Lunch: any and all leftovers 
Supper: Eggplant lasagna (I have breaded eggplant in the freezer), baked ziti from the freezer for those who won't eat eggplant, Green Vegetable Soup

For snacks, we have muffins (my freezer is well stocked with muffins), banana cakes galore in the freezer, kiwis I picked up for 2 shekels/kg because they are funny shapes, oranges, and some homemade granola; We also have cakes from the kiddush in the freezer if there's any reason to pull out cake!

I truly hope I don't spend more than 50 shekels this week on groceries! Anyone else feel like doing a pantry challenge this week?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking for a new bank?

I'm about ready to switch banks.

I've done a bit of research and Bank Igud's terms seem fairly good to me.

No fee checking account - good!

  0% interest if I need to use my "minus" for whatever reason - good!

  3% interest on my "plus"! - excellent!

I'm sure the terms will change eventually, but with new regulations making it easier for consumers to switch banks, I guess we can play the banking game here too!

Check it out!


*this post contains affiliate links

Making "Kiddush"

We're celebrating another learning milestone. This time it is our daughter's turn to complete a seder of mishnayot, so we're making a kiddush. This has become somewhat of a tradition for us to make a kiddush when the kids reach these milestones. I still remember the first one. We sponsored the Kiddush at the Young Israel of Hollywood (FL) Youth Minyan... Now it's about 7 years later, and we are seasoned kiddush-makers! We may not do birthday parties, but we sure do Siyum Parties!

So here's the plan for this one:

Cherry Jam Cake

Cinnamon Cake

Chocolate Cake

Banana Coconut Cake

Granola Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Egg Salad

Roasted Eggplant Salad



Vegetable platter

Fruit Platter

And then drinks!

I think I have to get to work on this!

Do you ever make kiddushim? I'd love to hear what you do!

Educents Coupon Code!

sponsored post

It's a great time to save on Educents' already great deals! They have some really great toys and educational materials. Not just for homeschoolers (though they are popular among homeschoolers!), anyone who wants quality materials for kids can buy Educents deals. So hurry and get an extra 10% off while you can!

Use code YearEnd10
*Valid through 1/4/2015

Click here to shop at Educents


this post contains affiliate links. thank you for shopping with my affiliate links!