Archive for December 2nd, 2010

02
Dec
10

A Freilachen Chanukkah – Chag Chanuka Sameach


In some households wittingly or unwittingly some things may border on imitating goyishe ways with gifts becoming more important than the actual message of Chanukkah. The Menorahs that we light and put by the windows or doorways, whether simple or ornate are a testament that in spite of all our faults, Hakodosh Boruch Hu finds us worthy of being saved. Every mighty empire of yore, conquered us. Every mighty empire of yore found it necessary to torture, kill and try to obliterate us as a people and every mighty empire of yore only has the ruins of its long lost glory to show for all its troubles, as each of these once mighty empires has been relegated to the dustbins of history. And yet, we Jews are still here in spite of our numerous enemies past and present.

The late British historian, Professor Arnold Toynbee referred to the Jew as “the fossil of history.” How hopelessly wrong the good professor was! How absent his understanding of the real force behind history!

A fossil is inert, dead. Look at tiny Israel, it produces more literature, scientific and technical books per year than the whole Arab world together. Its medical advances save lives all over the world… all this in spite of the constant non stop threats and terrorism emanating from the countries that surround it.

Chanukka is not just a time for latkes and sufganyot, not only do we light candles but families come together in ways not always apparent on regular days. To remember our past, to pay homage to the people we are, to celebrate our future we looked for fun items at Kosherfest, items that would help bring the true message of Chanukka alive. We found these 3D cupkake and cake molds in the shape of dreidels from The Kosher Cook. Bake together with your child, it’s fun, it’s educational and it binds both of you. The laughs, the hugs, the delight, the love, those are all part of the message and the rejoicing of Chanukka.

Dreidel Cake mold

3D Dreidel mold

After using the 3D Dreidel mold – we used a cake mix, Duncan Hines’ Devils Food – we put the pieces together and got these results:

Delicious dreidel cupcakes!

The one on the left was decorated with Nut Crunch, the one on the right with Assorted Nonpareils. Not bad!

These molds are available on line at The Kosher Cook, at your favorite Judaica store and kosher supermarkets. Check out the website, they have lots of fun and interesting items. Enjoy cooking with your children and as you light the oil on the menorah rekindle the light of love in your and your child’s heart.

If anyone cares to send us some pictures of things they’ve done with their children, we’ll gladly post them on these pages.

Please send them to: kosherscene@gmail.com

SYR

02
Dec
10

Natural Village Cafe


Warm, welcoming, classy, delicious… these four words give us a faint idea of my impressions of Natural Village Cafe (2 Avenue I – across from Shoprite Supermarket – Brooklyn, NY 11218; Tel: 347.492.5337 or 347. 417.6424). The restaurant is cholov Yisroel and pas Yisroel, with a mashgiach temidi and under the certification of Harav Meir Goldberg of the Va’ad Hakashrus d’Flatbush.

Upscale atmosphere, organic fare, beautiful and healthy in every possible way...

Nina Shapir, who presides over this eatery is truly a fascinating personality, the personal journey that changed her life and motivated her to open this establishment is full of commitment and dedication.

Fourteen years ago, Mrs. Shapir – a very young mother of three – found herself sick and unable to move, unable to cope. It was not a question of being financially overwhelmed, any such concerns were well taken care of. Medical tests and treatments produced no positive results, on the contrary things inexplicably kept getting worse. She met Harav Chay Azoulay, from Herzliya, who told her the real malady was not physical but rather one that affected her neshama. After some thought, trying to make sense of Rav Azulay’s words, she went on a detox diet with the help of healthfood stores, intent on ridding herself of all negative energies. This decision was followed by six very hard weeks before she saw any measurable improvements but soon after she was her old active, curious, intelligent, enterprising self again.

At this stage, Nina decided to help others who, though similarly afflicted, may not be aware of the real source of their health troubles. She went on to study Healing Arts at The School of Natural Healing in Utah from which she graduated. Seven years ago her first organic restaurant opened its doors. Her partner, however, was not frum and it proved frustrating eventually Nina bought her out. In 2008 she moved to the present location which combines her personal philosophy, her exquisite sense of aesthetics and the true love of a foodie for superb fare. She also has an an office adjacent to the restaurant where she treats the many in search of natural healing.

The restaurant sports geometric patterns on its walls and ceiling, with warm earth tones that give us a clue to the owner’s style and personality. Chef Bobby Brabaloni is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – America’s foremost Culinary School – a fact which becomes obvious when you see the presentation, smell the aromas and taste the wonderful flavors.

My companion and I started our early dinner with a dish of Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

It consists of white mushrooms with sauteed onions, creamy pesto sauce, melted mozzarella and feta cheeses with a kick of chopped parsley. It was a perfect opener to a memorable meal.

We segued with their Village Pizza

Village Pizza

It came in a sesame crust, red onions, mushrooms, two types of mozzarella cheese and their very own red sauce. I know pizza, I’m a pizza addict and I must confess this one ranks among my favorites. My companion also found it delicious.

Next we had their Salmon Salad…

Salmon Salad

A superbly tasting salad fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled salmon, pan sauteed red inions, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms with a subtle teriyaki sauce. A fitting crown to our meal!

Wholesome food, warm ambience, reasonable prices, a nice bakery on premises… I know I’ll be back again and again.

CS

Natural Village Cafe on Urbanspoon




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