Archive Page 2

20
May
14

Pasta Chips


I recently got all 5 varieties of Vintage Italia‘s Pasta Chips… I must admit that the idea of a pasta chip, intrigued me, though I didn’t think the various flavors of pasta could be duplicated in a chip – which resembles a cracker more than it does a chip; I certainly was in for a surprise!

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Spicy Tomato Herb, Garlic Olive Oil, Alfredo, Sea Salt and Marinara.  Each of the five flavors will have you humming Italian tunes...

Spicy Tomato Herb, Garlic Olive Oil, Alfredo, Mediterranean Sea Salt and Marinara. These chips will soon have you humming Italian tunes…

I tasted some of them and so far between the Garlic Olive Oil (which I liked a lot!), the Mediterranean Sea Salt and the Marinara, the Marinara Pasta Chips are my favorites, I still have two more flavors to go. Made from Durum Wheat and Semolina Flour these chips are oven baked and not fried. Each flavor was inspired by seasoning used in different areas of Italy.  With 60% less fat than regular potato chips, they are destined to become a new favorite. The hechsher is from the OU and are considered dairy. You can find them at: pastachips.com

I tried the marinara chips with a dill dip and found the combination delightfully delicious

Buon appetito!

SYR

19
May
14

Manhattan Sephardic Congregation’s Celebration


Yesterday, Sunday the 18th, the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation celebrated its 24th anniversary at Manhattan 101 Club on Park Avenue. The congregation held its annual dinner which coincided with the end of LaG ba’Omer and the beginning LaD ba’Omer. Dinner was at 7:30, but the smorgasbord started at 6:00…

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A partial view of the crowd and one of the serving tables.

A partial view of the crowd and one of the serving tables

There was song and music even during the smorgasbord…

Hazan Marc Hazan entertaining the crowd with traditional Moroccan tunes.

Hazan Marc Hazan entertaining the crowd with traditional Moroccan tunes.

After ma’ariv, the dinner got under way…

Rabbi Raphael opens the dinner and the tzaddikim candles auction.

Rabbi Raphael opens the dinner and the tzaddikim candles auction.

A partial view of items auctioned…

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Rabbi Meir Ba'al Haness, various members of the Abuhatzera family and more...

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Rabbi Meir Ba’al Haness, various members of the Abuhatzera family and more…

Items were auctioned off ranging in price from a high of $25,000 to as low as $5,000.

After buying a Rabbi Meir Ba'al Haness candle, Regina Schild adresses the congregation as Irving Schild looks on.

After buying a Rabbi Meir Ba’al Haness candle, Regina Schild addresses the dinner participants as Irving Schild looks on.

The evening was catered by Foremost Caterers. Years ago, while I was still leaving in Monsey I used to be a mashgiach for this caterer, usually at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. It presented its clients with superb food then, and yet only managed to get better with the passage of time. Great food, great company, a beautiful venue, a superb evening! Who can ask for more?

CS

18
May
14

Lag Ba’omer Bonfire


After 32 days when we mourned the historic deaths of Rabbi Akiva‘s students – Torah sages that could have changed the way the world regards Torah – we’ve come to the 33rd day when deaths of the students no longer occurred. Of the 24,000 Rabbi Akiva had, only 5 were left including Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Bar Yochai went on to become the greatest teacher of his generation and the author of the Zohar. Last eve, motzey Shabbos, and carrying on until nightfall today, we celebrate Lag Ba’omer. Lag Ba’omer commemorates the anniversary of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai‘s death. Around the world this day is celebrated with pilgrimages to Rabbi Shimon‘s kever in Meron, bonfires in the evening and a day of general mirth, as the cycle of death stopped.

Last eve, I happened to be in the Marine Park neighborhood, having stayed at a friend’s house for Shabbos. and on motzey Shabbos, we went to see a local bonfire in honor of the occasion on East 33rd and Avenue P….

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LgBomr1

The crowd sang the famous Bar Yochai pizmon and the spirit of comradery united all those present, regardless of ethnicity and religious customs…LgBomr2

Truly, a beautiful and heart warming evening!

CS

14
May
14

Elan Kornblum on Kosher Scene Radio


We are finally back, having taken a break for a few weeks after Pessach, and tonight show, at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) will feature a conversation with guest Elan Kornblum

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Elan is Editor and Publisher of Great Kosher Restaurant Magazine, he’s widely traveled and truly knows the kosher restaurant scene after years of experience. He’s seen restaurants come and go, trends change and more. We will be discussing what makes a classic, lasting restaurant and more.

GKRM

Meanwhile, in case you haven’t heard it yet, please listen to our last show with Dr. Felicitas Kort. Dr. Kort is a Life Coach, with psychology degrees from the University of Pennsylvanya and universities in Venezuela. 

Don’t forget to tune us in this evening on BlogTalkRadio.com at 10:00 pm, we will be waiting for you.

CS

12
May
14

Kale, Kale, Kale


In a comment to our post of January 21 of this year, our good friend Lévana Kirschenbaum suggested that we discuss the different types of kale available on the American market. While it’s more easily found in autumn and winter, you can still find it even now.

The most commonly found is the Curly Kale sometimes known as Scottish Kale

Kale, Curly Kale, or Scottish Kale

Kale, Curly Kale, or Scottish Kale

For a delightful vegetarian recipe made with this version of kale and a meat variation of it check out our Caldo Verde.

Another fairly common variety is Russian or Red Kale…

Russian or Red Kale

Russian or Red Kale

Red or Russian Kale has a softer texture, is slightly sweeter than Curly Kale and has a somewhat buttery taste. When used together with the more common variety it produces a nice color combination while adding a subtle sweetness to the dish.

For tomorrow’s breakfast I will use Red Kale to make this delicious sounding recipe which I just found (on Kalyn’s Kitchen

Photo from: Kalyn's Kitchen

Photo from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

The most delicious kind of kale, however is Tuscan Kale or Cavalo Nero

Tuscan Kale or Cavalo Nero

Tuscan Kale or Cavalo Nero

Used mostly in Tuscan dishes, it’s hard to go back to any other kind of kale after savoring this tender and nicely flavored variety.

Kale is descended from the wild cabbages of southern Europe. It thrives in cold weather but grows successfully all over the world. The addition of some baby kale juice will spruce up any raw carrot juice drink. Kale is an excellent source of beta carotene and vitamin C; it is a good source of folate, calcium iron and potassium; it contains bioflavonoids and other substances that protect against cancer. It’s only known drawback is that it may produce gas in some people.

When you make a salad, a soup, a fritata, don’t forget to use kale for a superbly delicious and healthy addition.

CS

28
Apr
14

Yom HaSho’a – Holocaust Remembrance Day


I am the son of Holocaust survivors. Prior to WWII, my parents were a successful young middle class couple with a seemingly bright future ahead in Lodz (Poland). My father was a department manager at the Ettingon Brothers textile dye manufacturing plant in town and my mother was a nurse at the Jewish hospital. In 1939, as the Nazi troops marched into town, their world was plunged into darkness and horror. The Germans tore my then 3 year old brother Yitzchok ben Yaakov (alav haShalom), from my mother’s arms and I never got to know him.

By courtesy of the same murderers – and their collaborators – I never was held by any of my grandparents, nor any of my uncles, nor any of my aunts, for neither was I to see them alive. The blood of innocent Jews has not fully dried up on European soil, yet – for the last seven decades since the war ended – there are those those who vehemently deny the stark historical truth, while survivors are still around, while Germany’s own archives record the persecution, enslavement and murders…

Yesterday, the 27th of April, was the sad anniversary of the massacre of those whose only crime was to have been born Jewish in a Europe that thirsted for a hated scapegoat, in a Europe where – in spite of a number of courageous gentiles who endangered themselves and their families to hide and save Jews – prejudice, ignorance and greed melded into one simple cause: Annihilate the Jew!

At around noontime, this past Sunday, the annual Holocaust Observance Day was held in front of the Iranian Mission to the UN on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s East Side.

Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld, opened the proceedings, as he introduced the various speakers…

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Malcolm Hoenlein

Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld

Speakers included, members of a Russian Jewish organization of survivors, elected politicians, community leaders, rabbis and more. While almost everyone spoke eloquently and from the heart, two of them really stood out:

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Weiss (with whose religious hashkafot I hardly agree), spoke eloquently and forcefully about the existential danger to Israel (and Jews in general!) that Iran’s current regime represents. He reminded us that in 1994, Hezbollah (Iran’s Lebanese puppet) was directly responsible for blowing up the Buenos Aires Jewish Center (AMIA), killing 87 and wounding 100, two years after Islamic Jihad claimed credit for bombing the Israeli Embassy (in the same city) killing 29 and wounding 250.

For the record, in October 2006 Argentinian prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos formally accused top officials within the government of Iran with orchestrating the bombing and Hezbollah for carrying it out. Their indictment stated that the decision to approve the bombing was ultimately made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but other senior government members were also part of the discussion, including then-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahijan and National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rouhani (Iran’s current charming, smooth-talking-terrorist President!).

Meanwhile, diagonally across the street, Iran’s supporters had their own counter rally… A small group comprised of individuals dressed like ultra-Orthodox learned Rabbis (some were even holding talmud tractates, which they – at times – would glance into), a group – who – in reality, is nothing more than the erev rav – a fifth column; a group made up of individuals who long ago forfeited their Jewish souls as they sold themselves to that putrid Iranian little maggot – Mahmoud Ahmedinajad – in exchange for funding for their organization (Neturei Karta). There are many videos, many photos online of these guys hugging, kissing, and cavorting with the Iranian murderer of his own people (did we forget already?!?). Yes, Ahmedinajad, the very one who – as a university student – was part of the mob that stormed the American Embassy in Teheran and held American diplomats captive while humiliating them daily for 444 days (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-r04SQ97_Q). Notice, in the video, who sits directly to the right of Ahmedinajad and see the photo below…

Rabbi Beck, leader of Neturei Karta USA, and part of his group with one of them proudly waving the Iranian flag...

Rabbi Beck, leader of Neturei Karta USA, and part of his group as one of them proudly waves the Iranian flag…

As I crossed the street to photograph their infamy, one of them screamed out at me: “The Zionists killed 6 million Germans and 6 million Jews.” I’ll let you, gentle reader, draw your own conclusions about such a statement and the one who uttered it…

Rabbi Weiss compared the Neturei Karta to the Jewish kappos (Jews who – in order to save their own lives, in the concentration camps – collaborated with the Nazis, sometimes ruthlessly), for their support of Iran, their support of Hamas and Yasser Arafat (while he was alive) and the prayers on behalf of the arch terrorist as he lay dying of AIDS in a sanatorium in France. He concluded his speech by leading the audience in stirring renditions of Shlomo Carlebach‘s (Z”L) Am Yisroel Chai and Od Avinu Chai.

He was followed by an even more electrifying speaker…

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Boteach just came back from a week in Rwanda, where he was a guest of President Paul Kagame during the commemorations of the bloody massacre that took place there during the infamous Rwandan civil war. He too spoke of the existential danger to Israel, the Jews and the US, if the Ayatollahs are allowed to build a nuclear arsenal. He disagreed however with Rabbi Weiss‘ equating the kappos with Neturei Karta. However ruthless the kappos‘ behaviour may have been, they had no choice, Rabbi Boteach said, for they feared for their lives! The Neturei Karta who claim to be devout Jews, who claim strict adherence to the Torah and Hakodosh Boruch Hu‘s everlasting law, do have a choice yet they openly and proudly collaborate with our enemies for the sake of a handout…

CS

20
Mar
14

A Conversation with Rachelle Kassai


rachelle-portraitThis evening at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTakRadio.com, we will be talking with owner/founder of Finchi’s by Aunt Rashi, Rachelle Kassai. Finchi’s offers a scrumptious variety of gluten, nut, sugar and dairy-free desserts, using only the finest European ingredients. Tonight, Mrs. Kassai will tell us what made her leave a successful path in the corporate world and pursue what she loves best.

Having tasted Finchi’s products over the last couple of years, I can attest to their truly being delicious and worthy of being offered at the finest banquets as well as at any family table.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, why not listen to last eve’s two-part broadcast with Chef Sara Black and Weight Management Counselor Vicki Rothschild.

Don’t forget to tune us in this evening at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTakRadio.com, when we will be talking with owner/founder of Finchi’s by Aunt RashiRachelle Kassai, for what promises to be an interesting conversation. We will be waiting for you.

CS

18
Mar
14

A Conversation with Sara Black and Vicki Rothschild


Sara-Black1abcTomorrow evening (March 19th) at 9:30pm (Eastern Time) we will be talking to Chef extraordinaire Sara Black, on BlogTalkRadio.com. Ms. Black hails from Israel and has a business here as well in her native land. Later this week we will post 6 Passover recipes which I’ve had the privilege to film and taste at a private demo given by Chef Sara. I can assure you they were all incredibly delicious in spite of the fact they were very quick and easy to prepare.

Chef Sara runs a catering company – Asparagus Catering – and is also a Private Chef here in the US as well Israel. In the past she was Executive Chef at various Israeli hotels and restaurants, as well as restaurants in France and other parts of Europe. Ms. Black consults on restaurants and more, and is ready to share her expertise with our listeners tomorrow evening at 9:30pm (Eastern Time) on our BlogTalkRadio.com show. The broadcast was pre-taped on Sunday February 23rd at Chagall Bistro, in Brooklyn’s Park Slope area, at brunch time. The recording has some background noise but even so, it makes for an interesting and entertainting listen.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, please listen to our show with ancient Hebrew book and manuscript collector, dealer and personal buyer Hersh Eidlisz.

Don’t forget to tune us in tomorrow evening at 9:30pm (Eastern Time) we will be talking to Chef extraordinaire Sara Black, on BlogTalkRadio.com. We’ll be waiting for you!

 *** UPDATE ****

VickiThe Second part of tonight’s show, on BlogTalkRadio.com, will be a live interview with Vicki Rothschild, a Weight Management Counselor. Vicki managed to shed more than half her weight, eight years ago (after 20 years of struggle with Super Morbid Obesity) and tonight she will share her path to weight loss.

Her weight management program, includes:
* Unwavering support and guidance.
* Motivation, Inspiration and Insight.
* Accountability.
* An endless array of strategies and tips to get you through all situations and every obstacle you face.
* Learning new skills and behaviors to halt mindless & emotional eating.
* A satisfying, delicious plan that you will want to continue forever.
* Hundreds of scrumptious, satiating, recipes for Shabbos, Yom Tov or every day to wow you, your guests.

Don’t forget to tune us in this evening at 9:30pm (Eastern Time) we will be talking to Chef extraordinaire Sara Black, followed by successful Weight Management Counselor, Vicki Rothschild, on BlogTalkRadio.com.

CS

17
Mar
14

Purim in Providence, RI


I spent the weekend visiting family and friends in Providence, Rhode Island, in anticipation of Sunday’s Purim Parade. In spite of the cold, a fair number of families showed up for the yearly event.

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ProvPur1

The crowd gathering…

ProvPur6

Children and adults alike dressed up for the occasion in very distinctive costumes, such as the Alice in Wonderland‘s Mad Hatter accompanied by Hulk Hogan (as bodyguard?).

ProvPur2

Pluto and the Cookie Monster…

ProvPur3

Garfield the Cat…

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…a cute little kitten (one of my granddaughters)

ProvPur4ab

The parade got under way with a uniformed marching band, under the asuperb direction of musical phenomenon Fishl Bressler (atop a truck), leading. Among the participants were the town’s Rabbonim, Rosh Yeshivos and the Rosh Kollel.  A non-Jewish Scotsman, with kilt and all, proudly played the bagpipes.

Though it barely lasted an hour, due to the brutal cold, the parade brought out the comraderie and the mirth of Providence’s frum community. It was my first attending the parade and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

CS

10
Mar
14

Fifth Avenue Synagogue – A morning of Learning


Yesterday, the 7th of Adar – Sunday the 9th, I attended a Full Morning of Learning, at Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue. What could be more appropriate on Moshe Rabbeinu‘s yohrtzeit than to honor him with communal learning?

There were fifteen lectures mostly (though not exclusively) dealing with Purim and Megillas Esther divided into three one hour sessions. There was plenty of choice for all levels, for all tastes.  For the first period I attended a lecture by Rabbi Eli Mansour from the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in Brooklyn

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Fifth-ElMan

Rabbi Mansour’s topic The Secret of Megillat Esther concerned the mistake Haman made when he thought the month of Adar would be a perfect time to annihilate the Jewish people. Rav Mansour quoted sources from R. Yonatan Eybischutz‘s writings, the Zohar and the Talmud, which aptly described Haman’s misunderstanding of the lots he cast before deciding which month would be best for the success of his nefarious intent.

Next I listened to Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky, from Shapell’s Darche Noam Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael.

Fifth-ShayKar

His spoke about Jewish Humor: Not a Laughing Matter. What makes a joke uniquely Jewish? Why is it, if you substitute another ethnic or religious group for the Jews the joke – at best – has diminished its impact or becomes totally unfunny? He also brought down various sources from the Talmud, Midrash and more. An example of a joke that only works fully if you understand the Jewish psyche and would barely cause a smile if the characters were not Jewish, goes as follows:

On the day of the Eastern Seaboard blackout in 2003, Max changes a light bulb. Sally, his wife is looking out the window and as soon he screws in the new bulb, she’s is appalled to see all the lights in the neighborhood go off; in dismay she cries out:

Max, what you done?!?!?

My last session was with Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Rosh Yeshiva at Baltimore’s Ner Yisroel Yeshiva.

Fifth-YisFran

He spoke on Favorite Lessons from Megillat Esther. Rav Frand stressed the importance of Megillat Esther in our time and in our values, the importance of an individual reaching out of his/her comfort zone to achieve one’s full potential.

All in all, it was a very interesting morning filled with inspiring and thought provoking lectures.

CS




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