Thursday, December 31, 2015

Shabbat Menu Planning Time

It's the end of the week, again! Can't believe it? You are not alone, neither can I! It's crazy how the days just keep slipping past! 

And winter has crept up on us, too. Some people are even saying it will snow here on Friday night. Honestly, I don't mind if it snows on a Friday night -- As long as we don't lose power! (Because if the power goes out, I think my cholent will be ruined...)

So keeping in mind the cold we're looking at, we want to make sure to have a warm, enjoyable Shabbat. Friday night we're having some friends join us. Here's the plan:

Homemade Whole Spelt and Oat Bran Challot
Vegetable Soup
Vegetarian Liver, Homemade Chumus, Cut-Veggie Platter, Pickles and Olives
Other salads if I get to them
Oven Fried Chicken
Black-Eyed Peas (there's been a bag in my pantry for a really long time now!)
Roasted Cauliflower
Potato Kugel
Apple Crisp
For lunch, I'm putting up a Black Bean Cholent and we'll have whatever is left from Friday night. 

I've got some bananas waiting to be used, so I'll make banana-coconut chocolate chip cake and popcorn for snacking!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Big Savings for Book Lovers!

Shop the Better World Books End of Year Sale and save big on used books!
--- Retrieved from ---

NO Coupon code needed! Just order 4+ books from the Bargain Bin and get 15% off your order, or 8+ books from the Bargain Bin and get 25% off your order! And of course, there's always free shipping, worldwide!

Any guesses what I'm going to be doing tonight?

Fraudulently Labeled Oil

Recently, some oil bottlers have introduced fraudulently labeled oils to the market.

These bottles were bottled by companies operating without proper licensing and without any kashrut supervision. They are labeled "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" with various kashrut certifications, but in actuality they are oils of vegetable origin and are not known if they are certified kosher.

The following oils were lab-tested and verified that they are of vegetable origin, NOT olive oil:

Gilad brand "Extra Virgin Olive Oil", max. acidity 0.5%, 1L bottles with a sell by date of 31.12.2018

Tabor brand "Extra Virgin Olive Oil", max. acidity 0.8%, 1L bottles with a sell by date of 21.12.2018 (producer number is 7532)

In addition, be aware that inspectors found labels for the following companies during the inspection of the bottling facility found to be fraudulently labeling oils: Shaarei Yerushalayim Olive Oil, Yerushalmi Olive Oil, Tabor Olive Oil, Gilad Olive Oil, Gilboa Olive Oil, Zeit V'Gefen Olive Oil (שמן זית שערי ירושלים, שמן זית ירושלמי, שמן זית תבור, שמן זית גלעד, שמן זית גלבוע, שמן זית זית וגפן).

Please share this post with others so people can avoid these oils! 

For more information about how to make sure the oil you are buying is authentic, please see this post from the last time there was an olive oil scandal.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Menu for the week!

Hi everyone, it's that time again. The time on a Sunday when I wonder what I should make for supper... and then I realize it's time to make a menu for the week so I don't do this every day! It's so much easier for me to feed my family when my menu is already planned out! That way I can go about my day, and when I need to cook, I just cook! Without having to rummage thru the freezer and pantry and wonder what to make. Instead, I do all that rummaging on Sunday at some point and then I plan out my menu based on what I see I have (or what I plan to buy).

So, here's the plan:

Sunday night: Black Bean and Tomato Soup, Quick Garlic Bread

Monday night: Shabbat Leftovers

Tuesday night: Split Pea Soup, ???

Wednesday night: Steamed or roasted veggies, Macaroni and Cheese

Thursday night: Scrambled eggs, ???

OH MY. I really haven't figured out my menu very well. I guess it will be ok, there are always going to be days when I don't feel inspired to cook, and I guess this is just one of them. It doesn't help that there are hardly any vegetables in the house, I think! If I pick up some vegetables tomorrow, maybe I'll be more inspired and I'll update this menu. (Watch this space for updates!) 

And now, I'm off to bake some muffins with those bananas I threw into the fridge before Shabbat so they wouldn't get moldy!

Better Butter Prices!

Good news. It seems more competition is bringing lower prices!

Currently, Israeli butter is mostly sold in its price controlled version - 100g for 3.92 NIS.

But there's a new butter on the market for those who are looking for a better butter deal (and maybe even a better butter?)!

Shufersal has started marketing their private label Dutch butter for 6.84 for a 200g package, which works out to 1 shekel less than the price controlled version for 200g, or a savings of 12%. So it may be worthwhile to put butter on your "Buy At Shufersal" List. (Yes, I try to keep track of which stores in my area have the best prices on which products. It really helps!)

I am really looking forward to seeing more private labels come onto the market, more breaking up of the "monopolies" and more prices coming down for the average consumer. All of us here in Israel can really use this sort of help with our budgets! Lower prices will really help us all find that breathing room we need - and I know many people need it. I hear about the need to lower grocery spending from people in all income brackets. It just seems like we ALL feel we spend too much of our incomes on food.

Do you have any thoughts on this trend?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Shabbat Menu Planning

It's Thursday night again! I can't believe how the weeks keep flying by and before you know it you're staring Shabbat in the face - and with Shabbat starting at 4pm-ish, well... even I feel like I need to start getting ready Thursday night! But I was so happy that last week I was able to cook so quickly, so I'm going to try to keep everything super simple again!

Here's the plan

Homemade Challah  (set the dough up already tonight, used Spelt Flour this time - I'm avoiding wheat for the time being...)
Vegetable Soup (or Split Pea Soup, depends on my mood tomorrow)
Spicy Roast Chicken with Rice
Vegetarian Rice and Tofu Shnitzels (shnitzels from the freezer, I made a large batch last time) for the resident vegetarian
Apple Crisp
Butternut Squash (not sure what I'm doing with it yet)
Lettuce Salad with Honey-Cinnamon Oranges
Vegetable Sticks (cucumbers, peppers, carrots, kohlrabi)
Black Bean Cholent for lunch 
Kiwi or other fruit for dessert

How are you handling these early winter Shabbatot?

Another Recall

TUSSO brand has announced a recall of the following products, due to reports of mold:

TUSSO chocolate brownies, made with whole wheat, and no sugar added (production date 04/11/15, expiration date 01/07/16)

TUSSO chocolate brownies, made with whole wheat, with chocolate-orange flavor and no sugar added (production dates 04/11/15 and 05/11/15, expiration dates 01/07/16, and 02/07/16)

TUSSO "muffins" cake, orange flavor, made with whole wheat, and no sugar added (production date 26/10/15, and 17/11/15, expiration dates 22/06/16 and 14/07/16, respectively)

The following products are being recalled as a cautionary measure:

TUSSO cinnamon "muffins" cake, made with whole wheat, and no sugar added (production date 18/11/15, expiration date 15/07/16)

TUSSO marble "muffins" cake, made with whole wheat, and no sugar added (production dates 26/10/15, 26/11/15, expiration dates 22/06/16 and 15/07/16, respectively)

Consumers are asked NOT to eat these products. Please call customer service at 03-902-0333 to arrange a refund/replacement.

Please share this post with your friends and family who may have purchased these products!

Food Recall

S.H. Salatei HaShef (ס.ה סלטי השף) has announced a recall of the following products:

Chumus, 700g, production date 8/12/15, expiration date 28/1/16

Chumus, 3kg, production date 6/12/15, expiration date 28/1/16

Chumus, 3 kg, production date 9/12/15, expiration date 29/1/16

Red Cabbage in Mayonnaise, 200g, production date 10/12/15, expiration date 10/2/16

Turkish Salad, 200g, production date 1/12/15, expiration date 1/3/16

Eggplant in Mayonnaise, 200g, production date 22/11/15, expiration date 21/1/16

Techina, 500g, production date 13/12/15, expiration date 13/2/16

Techina, 200g, production date 22/11/15, expiration date 22/1/16  

Lab tests show that these products may contain Listeria. Consumers are asked NOT to eat these salads. Anyone who has purchased them should call customer service at 054-263-8586 or 04-647-3996 to arrange for a refund or replacement.

Please share this announcement with your friends and family who may have purchased any of these products. No one wants to get sick. Thanks!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Menu for the Week

It's time to plan out my weekly menu, so I took inventory and we're doing really fine with everything except fresh veggies.
So tomorrow I have to buy whatever vegetables I can find inexpensively!

So here's my tentative food plan:

Sunday night (we had): Red and Black Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup, Pita Pizzas, (Vegan Polenta "Pizza" for me)

Monday Night: Shabbat Leftovers

Tuesday Night (break the fast): Split Pea Soup, Baked Ziti, Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (got a whole lot of grapefruits from a neighbor), Salad

Wednesday Night: Scrambled Eggs, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Thursday Night: All the leftovers from the week

Snacks will be popcorn, apples, carrot sticks, roasted chick peas, muffins from the freezer

Lunches will be Soups and Sandwiches

What's on your menu this week?

Huggies Sample Pack you have a little one in diapers?

If you want a FREE sample pack of Huggies, sign up for their Club membership and they'll send you some freebies!

If you sign up, let me know what you get!

(I don't have any kids in diapers, so I'm not signing up for this one)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Free Sample!

Try out the new Wissotsky Kids teas FOR FREE!

Just sign up for your free sample (and choose 3 flavors) and it will come in the mail!

And note - if you were part of that caffeine and kids discussion, it seems Wissotsky may have been listening in... They proudly post a "Caffeine Free" label on these teas!

Enjoy your teas, and don't forget to share this with your friends!

Cetaphil Coupon!

Get a coupon for 30% off your next Cetaphil purchase.

Just go to Cetaphil's coupon sign-up form and enter your name, cellphone #, and email address.

A few seconds later, you'll receive an SMS with a link to your coupon.

I downloaded it to my phone so I can have it ready when I'm at the store.

Enjoy your savings!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Shabbat-Chanukah menu!

It's still one of the shortest Fridays of the year this week! I'm giving myself a "pass" and buying challah this time, because I know I have way too much to do tomorrow.

This week's menu is going to feature the produce I managed to pick up for 2-3 shekels/kg, plus some of our regular favorites! (Some of the types of produce I got for 2-3 shekels/kg are: onions, potatoes, kishuim, baby beets, kohlrabi, green peppers, and cabbage. I also found sweet potatoes and carrots for 4 shekels/kg)

Here's the plan:

Split Pea Soup (for Friday night)
Oven-fried chicken
(tofu shnitzel for our resident vegetarian)
Roasted Kishuim (light green summer squash)
Roasted Baby Beets
Sweet Potato and Carmelized Onion Kugel
Stir-Fried Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Carrots, and Green Peppers
Apple Crisp
Black Bean Cholent (for lunch)
Dessert - whatever I manage to pull together!

After Shabbat, I'm planning a latke-fest, if my kids will help with all the prep! I'm sure they will, because they really want latkes! (Have you made latkes? Anyone else out there delay until the seventh night like me?)

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Chanukah and a "Chodesh Tov"!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Poverty = Food Insecurity

The Israeli media reported that there are currently 776,000 children living below the poverty line in Israel.

All too often, that means food insecurity. 776,000 children who may not be getting adequate nutrition, who sometimes have to go to bed hungry, or start their day without breakfast.

I wish I could help every one of those children, but I can't do it alone. Right now, we do whatever we can to help local people in need thru various channels. If you can, find your local food pantry, chesed organization, or Tomchei Shabbat program and start to make regular donations of food or cash. Or seek out a national organization like Leket Israel, and donate or volunteer. Even a small donation will help one more child.

We can make this world a better place, even if it's just a few shekels or a sack of potatoes at a time!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Thinking about costumes!

 *this post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

It's time to shop for costumes!

I know, we just lit the first chanukah candle, and here I am, talking to you about Purim. Sounds crazy?

Bear with me.

You see, if you don't want to have to pay premium local prices for your kids' favorite costumes, it's time to order them RIGHT NOW - unless you were super organized and ordered them right after Halloween.

But I'll assume you're more like me, and you just might not have gotten around to it a month ago...

Well, I'm here to tell you that you STILL have time to order costumes and they'll get here in time for Purim, assuming delivery times are the way they've been from China lately.

And I KNOW that ordering from Aliexpress (carefully checking prices and seller ratings, of course) will end up saving me money if the alternative is buying locally right before Purim. So don't wait! Figure out those costumes today, place your order, and you should be all set!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Shabbat Favorites!

This week, we're having a take-out Shabbat (from the freezer, of course!), so I'm not cooking.

But I thought I would share some of our favorite Shabbat recipes!

Our favorite challah is Whole Wheat and Oat Bran challah (can be made with Whole Spelt, as well)

We always like Split Pea Soup or Vegetable Soup

Favorite Chicken Recipe: Oven Fried Chicken

Favorite Kugels: Potato Kugel and Sweet Potato Kugel

Unfortunately, I can't post "Favorite Salads" because my kids are so picky and really only eat plain cut vegetables.

But most of us really like Vegetarian Liver, served on a bed of lettuce and garnished with tomatoes, pickles and olives (for some).

Most weeks we also have Black Bean Cholent for lunch.

And for dessert, brownies and cinnamon cake are always winners!

What's on your family's favorite list?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

EXPANDED Tuna Recall (Israel)

A few weeks ago, I posted here about a tuna recall, that affected a limited number of tuna cans.

Today, that recall was expanded.

In addition to the previously recalled products, the recall now also includes tuna sold with the "Prince" and "Diamond" labels (with a Chatam Sofer hashgacha) in 960g cans  production dates between Aug 18 and October 25 (2015), due to possibly elevated levels of histamine in the product.

Consumption of tuna with elevated histamine can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Consumers who have purchased this product are asked NOT to eat it.

To arrange for a replacement of this product, call customer service at 08-623-2983, Sunday - Thursday, between 8 am and 4 pm.

Please be sure to share this post with your friends and family who may have purchased this product!

iHerb December deals

I've told you all before about iHerb and that I buy certain items from them regularly (click here to see some of the items I buy from iHerb). I try to coincide my order schedules with their sales and free shipping deals, so I'm pleased to let you know that iHerb has this great offer for December:
-Free Airmail shipping for orders over $40 ( ₪ 155 )
-And an additional 10% off the shopping cart total for all orders over $60! ( ₪ 232 ) 

So don't forget to check iHerb's Specials and time your shopping JUST RIGHT so you can maximize your shekels! 

And, as a bonus, if you're new to iHerb, clicking thru any of the links on this page will load a $5 discount into your cart! So you'll get free products. Enjoy!

*this post contains affiliate links, clicking on them helps keep this website up and running. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Food Recall! (Israel)

The Ministry of Health and Dafna Spices announced a recall of the following items:

Diced Hot Red Pepper, in 80g and 120g canisters, and in 80g bags, with a sell-by date of 31/12/17.

The affected product may be contaminated with with a toxic fungus.

The products are being removed from store shelves, and customers who have purchased this product are instructed NOT to eat it.

Customers can contact Dafna Spices at 08-943-9190 to request a replacement product.

Please share this post with your friends and family who may have purchased this product!