A Rosh Hashanah Decorative Centerpiece.

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I decided to make a functional centerpiece for our Yom Tov table.

I used a marble slab (from William Sonoma, used as a serving cheese tray etc.) as the base and then added apples, pomegranates, challah and honey to be used at the meal as well as a decorative piece.

The mini honey jars are a variety of local honey and are fun for tasting with challah and apples of course!

The round challah was braided and baked with the glass bowl in it so it was perfect to add to the centerpiece.

Slice some apples, use a variety and enjoy!

Add a tiny bud vase of flowers if you wish and you’ll see your table transformed.

Wishing you all a Ksiva V’Chasima Tovah, Shana Tovah Umesukah!

Good Shabbos

Simple & Sweet. Tea Infused Honey Cake.

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The final product!

Simple. Sweet. Delicious.

Labels are from evermine.com (Tall Rectangle Labels – Apothecary Neat – Cappuccino – 1.875″ x 2.75″ – printed on Premium Waterproof Vinyl Labels)

The ribbon is divine twine – you can order it from here in a variety of colors.

Slide the cakes into clear cello bags (from paper mart.com or other sources like michaels) and tape underneath, trim if need to.


Sweet Things Come in Small Packages!


These are still my favorite and fastest way to package up mini honey cakes to give out.

They are baked in oven safe wooden containers called Panibois.

You can purchase them here (these are approx. 2 1/4″ x 4.5″ ): Panibois 

I used my own parchment paper, cut to fit inside and they came out beautifully with that rustic look.

These will be placed in cello bags with a label, ribbon and maybe some honey sticks and small apples. (Photo coming soon.)

One batch of my favorite honey cake batter made from here, made 16 mini cakes.

Happy Baking!

Apple Scented Play Dough!

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The absolute SOFTEST play dough ever!

We made this in our Aleph Art Room today and the kids had a blast!

It’s officially one part cornstarch to two parts hair conditioner but honestly I have made this using a variety of conditioners, each one a different weight and it seems best to start with one part cornstarch to one and a half parts conditioner and add a little bit if need to, until smooth.

The kids took home their ‘apple’ in ‘honey’ (vending machine capsule) and were so very proud!

Use apple scented conditioner (we used green suave but the color wasn’t very green so I added green food coloring to the conditioner) and cornstarch. That’s it!

Of course add a fabric leaf and a twig if you wish:)


Apple Stamping

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Super easy. Super cute AND the best part is the adorable little handles carved out for little hands!

Slice each apple in half, lay flat, then slice two lines parallel, downwards but not all the way. Then cut inwards toward your handle!

To make a ‘Basket of Apples’, cut craft colored paper for a child’s own imaginative design of their very own basket.

Rosh Hashanah is in the air!

Home Made Pita & Falafel!

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Summer is all about taking time to do the things one often doesn’t have time for during the  year.

So, it has been months that I’ve been dreaming about getting into the kitchen and being creative, making falafel and pita from scratch and relaxing with an authentic Israeli meal!

I must say that this Falafel recipe is incredible and so is the Pita bread and Techina!



FALAFEL (Yield about 20 Falafel balls)


    • 1 cup dried chickpeas (I used canned chickpeas)
    • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (I omitted)
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 4-6 tablespoons flour
    • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)
    • Chopped tomato for garnish
    • Diced onion for garnish
    • Diced green bell pepper for garnish
    • Tahina sauce
    • Pita bread


  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (I used my vitamin). Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours. ( I only refrigerated it for 1 hour and did need to add flour so it wouldn’t be sticky).
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets. (I used my hands)
  5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375ºF in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.

TECHINA (From Michael Solomonov’s cookbook ZAHAV)

  • Juice of 1 1/2 large lemons (about 1/3 cup), more to taste
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, grated (or minced)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1 cup sesame tahini (I use the 365 brand)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin, more to taste

In a blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let mixture sit 10 minutes. Add tahini, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the cumin, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add 1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water while blender is running, a little at a time, until sauce is smooth. You’re looking for a perfectly smooth, creamy sauce.

PITA BREAD (From Michael Solomonov’s cookbook ZAHAV)

  • 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Mix together ½ cup water, the yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or a large mixing bowl. Mix using the stand mixer or a wooden spoon until blended. Add the yeast mixture, another ½ cup of water, and the oil and mix until the dough forms a ball that pulls clear of the sides and bottom of the bowl. If after a few minutes the mixture doesn’t form a ball, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it does.
  3. The moment the dough starts to pull clear of the bottom of the bowl, add ½ cup water and continue mixing until incorporated. The dough should feel tacky when slapped with a clean hand, but it should not stick. If it sticks, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour. Alternatively, let it rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, with a rack in the upper third. Place a baking stone or an inverted baking sheet (I used a cookie sheet) in the oven to preheat as well.
  6. Roll the dough into 8 balls the size of baseballs. Cover with a cloth and let rise until they are about the size of softballs.
  7. Roll each dough ball to about ¼” thickness with a floured rolling pin on a floured work surface. Place one or two (I placed more, as many as would fit) at a time on the baking stone or baking sheet and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately, or let cool.

Window Cookie Boxes!

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So. Y’know those moments that you work so very hard for? Those times when you have placed your entire heart and soul into a mere few hours of an event, program or dinner?

Well, last night was one of those times.

For many, many years, we have had the honor to host the Camp Emunah Touring Shluchos 10th grade summer program. It is always a highlight of our summer as we tap into the incredible energy found deep within this fun loving, upbeat group.

Last night, however was a bit different as I had the most beautiful experience to host my very own daughter who is participating in this very program she basically grew up with.

And yes, apart from feeling a bit old incredulous that I am witnessing a full circle before my very own eyes, I was simply moved and so very grateful.

Grateful that not only my ankle has healed enough to bake, cook, decorate and host but grateful to see my daughter at this stage in life, so happy and so full of energy, the kind that reminds me of those teen days, I now reminisce about.

One of the things I like to do is send off the girls with a favor. This year I decided to package two extra large cookies per girl (that’s 100 cookies!!) and pack them in the most adorable cookie boxes! (I know…I never even knew there was such a thing!).

I must tell you, they were a hit and oh so cute!

Simply (or maybe not so simply) bake 100 cookies of your choice. Use a large cookie dough scoop and package the cookies with food grade tissue paper and bakers twine if you wish , and a label for personalization.


Good Shabbos!

Here’s the resources:

Cookie Recipe (I use Earth Balance margarine and skip the cranberries and fleur de sel)

Cookie Dough Scoop

Cookie Boxes


Paper liner