Ever since Halloween finally came and went last week, my four-year-old has asked me numerous times, “When is it time for Hanukkah?” So, since last year’s printable Hanukkah countdown calendar was such a hit, I decided to make a new version for this year. Since this year Hanukkah overlaps with Thanksgiving, I decided to embrace the fall colors to help your little ones count down the anticipation in the days leading up to Hanukkah (or Thanksgivukkah as so many are calling it). Unlike last year, I couldn’t make chai (18) to Hanukkah work thanks to the calendar configuration but it’s designed for you to start counting down on Sunday, November 10th.
I’m back! Not sure where the time has gone but it’s been way too long since I’ve posted and I do apologize. If you’ve stuck around despite my absence, thank you ever so much! I can’t believe that November is here and that Hanukkah is right around the corner. It starts the evening of November 27th which means it is just over 3 weeks away! So time to start shopping and/or crafting some gifts! Today’s project is one that would be perfect for Hanukkah or really any gift-worthy occasion.
Sorry for being MIA – between all of the holidays, work and some health stuff, that’s just the way it goes sometimes. I had high hopes for finally getting a good pic of our sukkah, made from our chuppah frame. Alas, that didn’t quite happen. But, I’m back with a little something I made for a dear friend who is in the midst of wedding planning. There are just times in a girl’s life when no ordinary thank you note will do and goodness knows that in the months leading up to a wedding, there is no shortage of thank yous to write! Continue reading
Please excuse the interruption in the regularly scheduled high holiday programming but there was a challenge over at Moxie Fab World that I just needed to enter and it required me to think of Hanukkah while in the midst of Rosh Hashanah prep. OY! So, over in the Moxie Fab World, there was a Holiday Gift Tag Challenge. And yes, even though Rosh Hashanah is a clearly a much bigger holiday than Hanukkah, the challenge was for the winter holidays, namely Christmas but since Hanukkah doesn’t appear to be getting much love, I decided I better throw my hat in the ring. Continue reading
I happen to know a whole bunch of babies celebrating their very first Rosh Hashanah and thought I’d add some holiday flair to their baby gifts. Continue reading
I can’t believe that Rosh Hashanah starts the evening of September 4th! It’s coming up so quickly and I have so many projects still floating around in my head and we’ve been dealing with a bunch of, well, life. At least one thing I can take care of pretty easily is ordering my new Jewish calendar to help myself enter the new year organized!
For those that don’t know, the Jewish calendar follows a lunar calendar. Although secular calendars have tried to be more inclusive of Jewish holidays, they often only include the major ones and often confuse when they actually start and end. So, I like to have at least one Jewish calendar in the house so that I always know when the holidays are. Some even provide details like candle-lighting and Torah portions. Ours hangs in the kitchen for daily reference and use as a family calendar. There also happen to be some gorgeous ones out there that add a nice little Judaic flare to your wall. You can also give one as a fabulous Rosh Hashanah hostess gift if you are lucky enough to have someone cooking for you! So, once again, I am sharing with you my picks for a 5774 Jewish calendar:
My yearly pick hasn’t changed from last year (shockingly) and will probably always be the Jewish Art Calendar by Mickie Caspi. You can see each piece of artwork featured on Caspi’s website. I LOVE Mickie Caspi. She sort of reminds me of a Jewish Mary Engelbreit in terms of the warmth and cheer of her art. We gave both sets of parents her parents’ gifts when we got married and her artwork is simply beautiful.
I am super bummed that there is not an updated Sammy Spider kids’ Jewish calendar. We ordered one for my son last year and it has been fantastic with great monthly projects/stories. The only saving grace is that the 5773 version actually goes through the end of secular 2013 so I guess we can hold off but I am still bummed nonetheless.
My Very Own Jewish Calendar is seemingly kid-friendly but it’s certainly no Sammy Spider. But, could be worth a try.
The art featured in Jewish Celebrations: Paintings by Malcah Zeldis offers a lot of vibrant, family imagery that kids and adults alike would enjoy.
If you need something a bit more portable or to keep on your desk, check out The Jewish Museum’s Jewish Engagement Calendar. I am contemplating this one for blog planning purposes especially.
Another portable option seems to be the Executive Jewish Calendar but this doesn’t really look like it packs much pizzazz although maybe it’s great inside. Who knows? Has anyone tried it?
Well, there you have it. I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of kid options since I think the calendar is a great place to add a little daily dose of Judaism. Maybe I’ll have to get a head start on next year and start designing a kids’ DIY Jewish calendar (I remember buying one of those for myself in college and loving it – it came with stickers and everything!). Oh the wheels in my brain are a turnin’…
Hope this helps you start to prepare for the new year just a little! You can always check out last year’s free printables if you want to get a jump on some super easy but sweet decorations to ring in the new year. Or check out what I think is the Best Honey Cake Recipe Ever! And stay tuned for more new year’s sweetness in the coming weeks!
I will spare you all of the crazy details but life has really gotten in the way of crafting lately so when I saw the current Air Mail Challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog, I just knew I needed to enter and get those creative juices going again! You see, after finding this older Denami Space Needle “stamp” stamp on eBay a while back, it was simply screaming to be combined with Sending Love from Seattle. I decided to make my own Sealed with a Kiss by combining one of my fave alphabets with the lips from Mama Elephant’s Cup of Wishes. I finished it off with an airmail stamp from Paper Source and skinny airmail washi tape. Inks used: VersaMagic Night Sky, Brilliance Rocket Red and Brilliance Starlite Black. All ready to send to a far-away friend in need of some love!
Last year I introduced you to my go-to challah recipe. Well, I still like that one just fine but truth be told I have a new favorite. If you own any Jewish cookbooks, chances are at least one of them was written by the amazing Joan Nathan. (Pretend you are watching me bow down here because there really are no words for me to describe how amazing Joan Nathan is when it comes to the Jewish kitchen). Not only are her cookbooks full of delicious recipes and beautifully written but they are chock full of history as well. My favorite book, probably because it speaks to the American Studies major in me, is Jewish Cooking in America. But the book that is home to my new favorite challah recipe is The Foods of Israel Today which makes my mouth water thinking of all the yummy foods my husband and I tried on our Birthright trip in 2005. The “Beigel Family Challah” really showcases the farm fresh eggs we get each week from my friend Andie’s Farm. After all, the recipe uses a total of 5 eggs - just look at that gorgeous yellow hue! Mmmm…eggy goodness!
Thanks to the folks at Knopf for allowing me to share the recipe with you in full! My one suggestion is to brush on a little bit of honey after the final egg wash – personally, I prefer this little added sweetness to seeds. And, if you are like me and need visual directions, turn to the The Challah Blog for easy to follow braiding tutorials- the challahs pictured above were six strand loaves for a baby naming this past weekend. Enjoy!
Beigel Family ChallahExcerpted from Joan Nathan’s THE FOODS OF ISRAEL TODAY (Knopf)
Yield: 2 CHALLAHS
1 ½ packages dry yeast ( 1½ scant tablespoons)
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus ½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 ¾ cups lukewarm water
8-8½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the water
- Whisk the oil into the yeast, then beat in 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time, with the remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add 8 cups of the flour. When the dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook both for the mixing and the kneading).
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out the bowl and grease it, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in bulk. The dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees and then turned off. Punch down the dough, cover, and let rise again in a warm place for another half hour.
- To make a 6-braided challah, take half the dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll each ball with your hands into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide. Pinch the strands together at 1 end, then gently spread them apart. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Regroup to 3 on each side. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2 to the middle, then move the second strand from the right over to the far left. Regroup and start over with the outside right strand. Continue this method until all the strands are braided, tucking the ends underneath the loaf. They key is to always have 3 strands on each side so you can keep your braid balanced. Make a second loaf the same way. Place the braided loaves in greased 10-by-4-inch loaf pans or on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.
- Beat the remaining egg and brush it on the loaves. Let loaves rise another hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and brush the loaves with egg again. Sprinkle on poppy or sesame seeds.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and loaves sound hollow. Cool the loaves on a rack.
8/8/13 Update: If you copied the recipe when originally posted, please note that a line regarding the proper rise time for the first rise was cut off. The recipe has now been updated with the complete directions. I apologize for any confusion. Mamaleh