Holiday Gift Picks

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen, by Amelia Saltsman
This book is comprised of recipes and folklore written by the daughter of a Romanian mother and an Iraqi father, who was born and raised in California, surrounded by the glorious bounty of local farmers markets. With this heritage, her recipes jump off the page and say, “cook me.” Dishes like Blood Orange and Olive Oil Polenta Upside Down Cake; Pure and Simple Brisket; Roast Chicken with Tangerines, Green Olives and Silan (date syrup) yes, there’s a recipe for that. There are extraordinary vegan dishes as well. North African and European flavours meet and shake hands with California cuisine. The best dishes of three worlds will surely lure you back into the kitchen.
Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, by Laura Frankel
In our fast-paced lives, the slow cooker is one our most important appliances. Laura Frankel has compiled a book of regional and ethnic/Jewish and Kosher recipes, spanning the globe. She’s got the skills. Laura was Executive Chef of Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering. Osso Buco (veal shank) with Gremolata and White bean Ragu has a place in my permanent repertoire, and joins Creamy Risotto with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions. I am contemplating a Moroccan feast with Lamb Tagine for my next dinner party. And Black Forest Bread Pudding is a miracle of delicious flavors that starts with a day old loaf of bread. This is a remarkable book that has become front and center on my cookbook shelf.
Which Fork Do I Use, by Rosemarie Burns and Linda Reed.
“The world was my oyster, but I used the wrong fork,” said Oscar Wilde. Too bad this book had not yet been written. Entertaining for business and traveling internationally will never make you nervous again. At a dinner, you will know which water glass is yours, and whether your bread plate is on the right or left side. Millennials, just going out into the world for work and pleasure, must read this book. You will see how to set a buffet table, a formal and informal dinner table, how to set for a breakfast meeting. You will read how to throw parties with aplomb and tips on serving wine. This is the most social-confidence-building book I have seen in a long time. The authors were trained and certified by the Protocol School of Washington.
Hyley’s Tea
Ah, the holidays! A time for lunching, brunching, dining, snacking, sipping, drinking and over-indulging. Well, we say, it’s the holidays. Santa has his little helpers, and personally, I can’t get through this joyous, festive, totally fun month of December without my little helpers: Hyleys SlimTea, Sleep Tea, Detox Tea and the exotic Garcinia Cambogia.
Hyleys Slim Teas are 100% natural Green teas made with Senna leaves,
and fruit flavoring that promote body cleansing, detoxification and a healthy digestive system. They come in delightful flavour
options like Acai Berry, Blueberry, Goji Berry, Pomegranate and Raspberry as
well as a Five-Flavour Assortment.
Hyleys Sleep Teas are designed to naturally help individuals fall asleep easier. The caffeine-free herbal formulation acts fast but gently, encouraging healthy sleep patterns. Packed with all natural ingredients such as chamomile flowers, Valerian root, rosemary leaves, lavender blossoms, peppermint leaves, and lemon balm leaves, Sleep Teas come in both soothing Mint and Chamomile. As for the Detox Tea and Garcinia Cambogia which they say cuts down belly fat, I’ll keep those until the holidays are over and we all rush back to normalcy.
Actifry rates right up there with the Microwave and the toaster in my opinion. It lets us be naughty but all the while, we are being nice and remaining guilt-free. Who doesn’t like the occasional French fries, but cringes at the calories. T-Fal has changed all that. Hard to believe, but you cut up three big Yukon Golds, open the lid and toss them into the basket. Then you add two teaspoons of olive oil, and press start. In about 25 minutes, like magic, you will have crisp, golden brown French fries with 3% fat compared to 9% in the oven baked fries. Are you going to miss eating all that fat? In my family, the two year old, the 90 year old and everyone in between can’t get enough of them. In fact, when I said I didn’t feel like slicing up the potatoes for French fries, a teen-ager jumped up and said, “I’ll do it, mom.” There are all kinds of delicious dishes you can make which would normally require a deep fryer: bbq wings, for example. Save your olive oil for the salad.

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