Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekly Menu

I am having a hard time transitioning to summer menus. It's hot and I have little energy in the late afternoon for cooking. SOOO... if you have ideas for healthy suppers that 1)my husband and kids will eat 2)preferably don't have too many ingredients I'm unable to eat (right now that includes nuts, dairy, and wheat), 3) can be eaten cold, and 4) are not expensive and are preferably vegetarian, PLEASE let me know!

In the meantime here's my plan for the week:

Sunday night: rice, roasted kishuim, roasted corn, baked beans,  watermelon

Monday night: Garlic bread, lasagna, salad (I'll probably have polenta with tomato sauce and nutritional yeast) - that's a birthday dinner!

Tuesday night: Scrambled eggs, home-fries, cut vegetables

Wednesday night: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (more polenta for me), make-your-own salad

Thursday night: No idea yet!

Lunches will be random whatever shmorgasbord of things I can put together without too much thought...

How are you handling this summer heat?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Shabbat Menu!

This has been a super crazy week, and for Shabbat we have a houseful of guests!

We will be 11 people Friday night (plus an infant), 13-14 people for lunch, and 8 (plus an infant) for seudah shlishit.
And somehow I still have shopping to do tomorrow - so not only a I behind in the cooking, but I am also behind in the shopping!

Of course, I could freak out, and I probably will freak out. But for now, I will pretend it's all good and that I have things under control...

Here's the plan:

Friday night:
Homemade Challot
Salad course - vegetarian liver, cut veggies, other salads
Spicy Roast Chicken
Potato Kugel
Broccoli (Roasted)
Apple Kugel
Chocolate Cake

Homemade Challot
Salad Course
Black Bean Cholent
Potato Kugel
Apple Kugel
Watermelon, Chocolate Cake

Seudah shlishit:
Challah Rolls
Egg Salad
Pasta Salad
Potato Salad
Leftover spreads and salads from lunch
Cut vegetables

Ok, now, if I wasn't earlier, I am totally looking forward to a Shabbat nap!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

UPDATED PRICES: Price Controlled Foods

New prices for some breads went into effect recently (June, 2015). I decided to republish the entire list with the new bread prices for your convenience.

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

--- Retrieved from ---

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

(The prices shown below are for the entire country, excluding Eilat. 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, 5.31 (was 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, 7.30 (was 7.67)

White bread, sliced and packaged, 500g, 6.49 (was 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, 13.20
L eggs, regular, 1 dozen, 12.10
M eggs, regular, 1 dozen, 11.20

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!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shabbat Menu!


Here's my Shabbat menu, since it's Thursday night already (seriously not sure how that happened, but it did!):


Homemade challah from the freezer

Vegetable soup (will make it fresh tomorrow)

Chicken from the freezer

Potato Kugel from the freezer

Roasted Cauliflower (will make it tomorrow) (2 shekels/kg!!)

Roasted Kishuim (will make it tomorrow)  (2 shekels/kg!!)
Black Bean Cholent with vegan kishke (will make that tomorrow)


Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Mangos, and Cherries for dessert!

Seudah Shlishit will be really random - whatever I find - challah, peanut butter, yogurt, fruit, carrots, tuna, egg salad, etc

And that is how we're handling Shabbat here this week! What are you doing?

Another Food Recall (Israel)!

Tnuva and the Health Ministry announced a recall of shredded "Emek" cheese (labeled "Emek P'titim").

The affected product may be contaminated with listeria.

Please check your fridge for Shredded Emek cheese, 500g bags, barcode number 7290004122560, with a use-by date of 20.8.2015.

The recalled product was distributed in the Jerusalem and Southern regions for sale.

Consumers who have purchased this product are advised NOT to use it. Please get in touch with Tnuva with any questions, at 1-800-666-244

While instructions for returning the product were not given in the recall, you should be able to return it to the store where purchased. If you have questions, please call Tnuva.

Food Recall (Israel)!

"Zahavi Hakerem" brand, together with the Health Ministry, announced the following recall:

Mildly Spicy Green Schug (green lid) with barcode 7290000462172) with an expiration date 23.11.15. The affected product has production code 15147 stamped on the lid.

This product has bee recalled because of a possible listeria contamination. The company is actively removing the product from store shelves, but some have already been sold. The sales took place in the Northern part of the country ONLY.

Please check your pantry, and if you have this product, please call the company at 1-700-555-006 to arrange for a refund.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Vitacost Savings (Ending Soon)

Wondering if there's a way to save money on specialty food products or vitamins/supplements?

Well... There IS!

I normally buy these kinds of things of things, and some soaps, shampoos and lotions designed for people with sensitivities from either iHerb or Vitacost.

I highly recommend you get in the habit of always checking which one will save you more money before you order, as it can really vary. Not only do prices vary, shipping varies, and coupons/sales vary as well.

But this week, my bet is on Vitacost! There's a BIG Sale going on!

Use code SUMMER5 to get $5 off your $55+ order (and free shipping in the US, sorry - no free international shipping)
Use code SUMMER15 to get $15 off your $100+ order (and free shipping in the US, sorry - no free international shipping)
 Use code SUMMER30 to get $30 off your $180+ order (and free shipping in the US, sorry - no free international shipping)

If you've never shopped at Vitacost before, you can sign up for a $10 coupon to be used when you make your first purchase! Click here to sign up for that coupon!

Also, if you start your purchase at Ebates, you can save even more. If you haven't yet signed up for Ebates, you can do that right now (click here)!

Let me know if this helps you get a good deal!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Shabbat Menu

This week is a quiet Shabbat (with guests, some of whom are gluten-free, for seudah shlishit) and a busy Friday for me, so here's my Shabbat menu.

(I hope to get this all done late in the afternoon)

For Friday Night and Shabbat Lunch:

Whole Wheat and Oat Bran Challot 
Spicy Roast Chicken with Rice
Pan fried tofu with rice
Potato Kugel
Apple Kugel
Make your own salad
Black Bean Cholent

Suedah Shlishit:

Challah Rolls
Egg Salad
Tuna Salad
Cut vegetables - cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots
Various Salads and Spreads
Baked Apples 

Baking and Snacks: Popcorn, Brownies, Banana muffins

And now, I'm off to try to take care of all I need to do!

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Budget-Friendly Snacks

If your kids are anything like mine, you'll hear "I'm hungry" a LOT this summer. It seems the business of being a kid really works up an appetite!!

So I'm trying to figure out how to keep our snacks healthy and filling, and inexpensive.

I find this much more difficult here in Israel than I did in the USA. There, I'd find healthy-ish crackers, pretzels, granola bars, and other convenience foods for truly ridiculously low prices - I used coupons, shopped sales, shopped at Big Lots and the "scratch n dent" food store. I always, always checked Target's clearance shelves (and almost always found an amazing deal - yes, even in the grocery section), and was not embarrassed to stock up on foods at Walmart when there was a great sale. When we lived practically next door to Aldi - I shopped there. Never once did I bump into anyone else from our little Jewish community at Aldi, though. I guess there was a stigma I did not care about, I preferred 19 cent deals!

But here - well, to be honest, the deals are harder to find. TRULY hard up here in the Golan with limited shopping options.

But - despite that, we still need to eat and most importantly, we need to feed our children!

So here's what we try to keep around for when the kids start the "I'm hungry" chorus:

Fresh fruit - we try to only buy the less expensive ones, so right now, pickings are slim. But since this varies week to week and season to season, we usually manage to keep somewhat of a variety of fruit around (right now we have apples, watermelon, and cantaloupe in plentiful quantities, other summer fruits are still a bit pricey).

Carrot sticks - carrots are usually one of the least expensive vegetables, and require no cooking. They can be dipped in something like techina or chummus or some other dip, or eaten plain

Cucumbers - same deal as the carrots, only they tend to be a bit more expensive than carrots.

Popcorn - we have a Popcorn Popper  so it's super easy to pop up a bowl of popcorn, and a bag of popcorn should cost less than 10 shekels/kg. I'm sure I paid 8 for a kilo last time I bought it. (I've seen some great deals at The Hut on small appliances like popcorn poppers, be sure to check them out!)

Homemade Crackers - very yummy, but a bit of work. Much less expensive than store bought crackers

Roasted Chick Peas - these are an amazing snack. Just toss chick peas (cooked and drained) with olive oil and spices. Place on a baking pan and roast in the oven at 200C till they are crispy. They are super-addictive, so don't say I didn't warn you!

Roasted lentils - same idea as the chick peas above, and even cheaper! I like the chick peas better though.

Banana chips - in general, dried fruits are pricey here, but I'm finding banana chips to be surprisingly affordable. And since I can only eat bananas that have been cooked, it's one of the few ways I can enjoy a banana!

Muffins, of course. I buy fruit from the sug bet rack regularly and make muffins. Lately I've been getting kishuim from the sug bet rack too, and we really like muffins made with them!

What are your go-to snacks? I'd love to hear!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Weekly Menu

It's Sunday night, and I'm going to try as hard as I can to figure out this week's food plan.
I'm not feeling very creative though, and I'm finding it hard right now to accommodate everyone's food needs, allergies, and preferences. However, I will give it my best.

Here's the plan:

 (There are lots of carrot sticks in the plan, as we got some pretty inexpensively last week!)

Lunch: Sandwiches on Homemade Whole Wheat Bread, fruits and vegetables
Supper: Shabbat leftovers

Lunch: Red Lentil Soup with Peppers and Fennel, Carrot Sticks and other vegetables with techina
Supper: Baked Ziti, Steamed Kishuim

Lunch: Leftover Pasta and Soup, Vegetable Sticks
Supper: Rice, Black Bean Veggie Crumbles with Tomato Sauce, Corn

Lunch: Corn Bread, Rice with sauteed veggies, ??
Supper: Homemade Dinner Rolls, Scrambled eggs, Oven Fries, Carrot Sticks

Lunch: anything left from the week and/or sandwiches
Supper:  ??? we will  have to wait for inspiration!

I plan to bake some muffins, roast some spicy chick peas to crunchy perfection, and pop lots of popcorn for snacks besides fruit

Have  you planned your menu? I find when life is busy, planning helps keep things running smoothly.

Lower Rx Prices Coming Soon!

Misrad HaBriut announced that prescriptions that cost more than 16.00 shekels will benefit from the recent changes in the Euro-Shekel exchange rate.

In short, the cost of prescription medications is regulated by the Ministry of Health, and prices will be reduced by 5.37% on June 15, 2015. - changed from June 1 to allow time to update databases.

Hope this change will help some of you out there. If you have a script due for a refill and can wait until June 15th to fill it, doing so could save you some money. Obviously, I am not advocating skipping doses. I just know a lot of people refill scripts early to be sure they don't run out. This may be the month to wait, however.

Best of health to all of you!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Shabbat Menu

Time to cook for Shabbat!
Shabbat is special, and we like to eat our special Shabbat foods, with little variation, week after week...
Sometimes things get "changed up" because of seasonal prices. This week there weren't any super amazing deals to be had in our neck of the woods, though, so I'm working with whatever we managed to get...

Anyhow, here's the plan.

Challah: It may be obvious by now, I always make my Whole Wheat and Oat Bran Challah. It's always a hit, and I like making whole grain breads, especially ones with extra fiber and omega 3s from flaxseed!

Soup - not this week!

Salads: homemade chummus, eggplant with techina, vegetarian liver, cabbage salad, kishuim, peppers, and garlic roasted in balsamic vinegar, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, probably olives and pickles (canned) as well

Cholent - I almost always make a Black Bean Vegan Cholent, sometimes with Vegan Kishke. I'll try to make the kishke - not sure if I'll get to it. (Still haven't posted the recipe, sorry!)

Main Dish: Oven Fried Chicken and Baked Shnitzels, Tofu Shnitzels for the vegetarian(s)

Side Dishes: Butternut Squash Kugel, Potato Kugel, Apple Kugel, Brown Rice with Wild Rice

Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seudah Shlishit: Challah rolls, PB&J, egg salad, grapefruit halves, Carrot Muffins

Breakfast and Snacks: Banana Muffins, Popcorn, Spicy Roasted Chick Peas, perhaps popsicles

What are you making for Shabbat?