Tips to Celebrate Purim

JDate’s Jewish holiday Hamentaschen recipe

Yield: 48 cookies (1 per serving)

Hamantaschen

Celebrate Purim

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Prune, Apricot or Plum, or Poppy Seed Filling

Directions: Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix lemon peel, vanilla extract and eggs.

Stir into flour mixture until dough forms a ball. (Use hands to mix all ingredients if necessary; add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle.)

Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

*Prepare desired filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll half of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 level teaspoon filling onto each round. Bring up 3 sides, using metal spatula to lift, to form triangle around filling. Pinch edges together firmly. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Prune Filling: Heat prunes and enough water to cover to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; drain well. Mash prunes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Apricot or Plum Filling: Mix jam, almonds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in just enough bread crumbs until thickened.

Poppy Seed Filling: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.

*Filling options: Prune Filling

  • 1 (12 ounce) package pitted prunes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Apricot or Plum Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups apricot or plum jam
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (about)

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1 cup poppy seed
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

NOTE: To speed up the making of these Jewish holiday cookies, use canned apricot or poppy seed filling.

Click here for more Hamentaschen recipes.

Check out JDate’s Tips to Celebrate the Holiday

Party Purim style!

Over this Jewish holiday, celebrants are commanded to eat, drink and be merry! According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai” and if you’ve read the story that’s a big leap. At JDate they celebrate Purim every year by throwing nationwide Jewish holiday parties across the U.S. and Canada where we invite all JDaters to imbibe ‘til they can’t tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman.

Note: One should not drink so much that they violate other commandments or become ill. Also if you’re a recovering alcoholic or can have adverse health risks due to alcohol, you’ll have to sit out this part of the Jewish holiday.

Dressing up for Purim

One thing that perfectly complements the drinking commandment of the Jewish holiday is the carnival atmosphere that often accompanies a Purim celebration! It’s said that Purim has Mardi Gras meets Halloween feel and many parties encourage participants to masquerade as their favorite characters in the Purim story or any other fun outfit befitting the Jewish holiday. Costumes are used for participants to hide themselves, much like Esther hid her Judaism from King Ahasuerus, Mordechai hid his knowledge of foreign languages to uncover the plot on King Ahasuerus’ life or when Haman was once mistaken for Mordechai in the streets in Sushan by Haman’s sister. But the one who is truly hidden behind the events of the Purim story is G-d. Many believe that the miraculous events of the Purim story stem from divine intervention and although there is no mention of G-d in the Book of Esther, Jewish philosophy believes that the reason for His omission is to emphasize the very point that G-d remained hidden, but was nonetheless present and played the largest part in the Jewish holiday story.

Click here for more from JDate.com 

Floating 4-Leaf Clovers Recipe

Instead of using regular ice cubes in your party punch, stay in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and prepare these cute clover cubes. They’re made with soda so they won’t dilute your beverage. They can be made weeks in advance and stored in the freezer. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Four-Leaf Clovers

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 12 clover cubes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons chilled lemon-lime soda, divided
  • 12 lime slices
  • Lime peel (about 6 inches)

Directions:

  1. Pour 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda into 12 muffin cups; freeze until solid. On a work surface, cut lime slices into quarters. Rotate each quarter slice clockwise until one end of outer edge touches the center; place over frozen soda.
  2. To make a stem, cut the lime peel into 1/2-in. pieces. Place at one corner of clover. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour remaining soda into cups until lime is almost covered. Freeze until solid.

Originally published as Floating Four-Leaf Clovers in Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2003, p187

Anti-Superstition Society Party

from Life.Time.com – Jan. 6, 1941, issue

Breaking mirrors. Spilling salt. Walking under ladders. Lighting a third cigarette with one match. The list of arcane superstitions influencing the behavior and peace of mind of human beings around the world is, it seems, almost limitless. And for the superstitious, no day holds as much peril as Friday the 13th. The very thought of, say, a black cat crossing one’s path on such a day is enough to send ordinarily sane men and women into conniptions.

Baked cookies bearing the number 13 being served at an Anti-Superstition Party
Photo by William C. Shrout—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images©

But for a group of Chicago-based businessmen and inveterate debunkers in the middle part of the last century, each Friday the 13th was the perfect opportunity to point out how thoroughly preposterous — and, from an economic point of view, how counterproductive — such fears can be. In December 1941, LIFE magazine photographer William C. Shrout attended a dinner of the venerable Anti-Superstition Society of Chicago, and came away with incontrovertible proof that just because grown men don’t believe in fairy tales doesn’t mean they’re opposed to having a good time.

As LIFE explained to its readers in its Jan. 6, 1941, issue, in which some of the photos in this gallery first appeared:

At 6:13 p.m. on Friday, the 13th of December, 169 audacious and irreverent gentlemen sat down to dine at 13 tables in Room 13 of the Merchants & Manufacturers Club of Chicago. Each table seated 13. Upon each rested an open umbrella, a bottle of bourbon and 13 copies of a poem called The Harlot. The speaker’s table was strewn with horseshoes, old keys, old shoes, mirrors and cardboard black cats. Before it reposed an open coffin with 13 candles. The occasion was the 13th Anniversary Jinx-Jabbing Jamboree and Dinner of the Anti-Superstition Society of Chicago … [which] meets regularly on Friday the 13th. (There have been 13 Friday the 13th’s in the last eight years.) Behind the ribaldry of its recurrent dinners lies the very sound thesis that superstition annually costs this country an inexcusable sum of time and money. People postpone trips because of mirrors and cats. Businessmen defer decisions because of calendrical coincidences.

To combat these persistent bogies, the Society has assembled much counter-evidence. According to mathematical laws of probability, one of 13 guests of different ages at any dinner party may very well die within a year. But the ratio of probability will soar even higher if 14 guests attend. One corpse out of 18 is a 50-to-50 bet.

A black cat sits on a man's shoulder at an Anti-Superstition Party

“Panther, a three-year-old black cat, is delivered to General Lorenzen, Keeper of Black Cats, by its mistress, Mrs. Olive Morrison. The Society advertised in the paper for a ‘large, docile black cat’ to preside at meeting, got 159 offers.” — Photo by William C. Shrout—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. Go spill some salt on a black cat beneath a ladder, or something.

Drink to Autumn!

These beverage recipes are featured in the October 27, 2014 issue of First for Women magazine.  

 

Sweet Vanilla-Pumpkin Whirl

Yield: 1 Serving

Vanilla-Pumpkin Whirl
Sweet Vanilla-Pumpkin Whirl/Photo by First for Women magazine©

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup toffee almond creamer
  • 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

In a blender, puree all ingredients for 30 seconds or until smooth.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin-Apple Rendezvous

On a chilly Autumn night, what better to have than a delicious drink in your hand to warm you up? (TWO drinks? One in each hand? ha) This beverage can be made with or without alcohol.
Yield: 1 Serving

1/4 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chilled ginger ale or ginger brew
1-1/2 oz. orange vodka (optional)
Directions:

In shaker with ice, combine all ingredients.
Shake. Strain into sugar-rimmed glass, if desired.
Enjoy!

Severed Hand Sangria

Recipe courtesy of Nadia G.

Severed Hand Sangria
This punch is NOT for kids.
Photo: Cooking Channel TV

Yield: 10 glasses

Ingredients: 

  • 1 non-powdered Latex glove
  • Filtered water (enough to fill latex glove)
  • 2 bottles Dry red wine
  • 3 cups Sparkling water
  • 3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 ounces Brandy (or Cointreau)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 fresh oranges, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh pink grapefruit, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh limes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup natural sour cherries in syrup

Directions:

  1. The night before the party, fill a few latex gloves with some filtered water, tie them up like you would a balloon and freeze overnight.
  2. In a big punch bowl, combine red wine, sparkling water, orange juice, Brandy, brown sugar, fruit slices and sour cherry syrup.  Stir and add 1 frozen ice-hand. (latex glove removed)

Red Ruby Sangria

Red Ruby Sangria
Photo Credit: the Food Network

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large pomegranates
  • 2 red Bartlett pears, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 star fruits, thinly sliced
  • 3 bottles red wine, such as Rioja
  • 1 cup brandy or cognac
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice, such as Pom Wonderful or grenadine
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 liter club soda, chilled

Directions:

  1. Spread some newspaper out on the counter because the bright red pomegranate juice can stain. Cut the pomegranate in half, open it up and you’ll see clusters of very juicy garnet seeds encased in a smooth off-white pulp. Gently pry out the ruby kernels with your fingers or a pointed knife, removing any of the bitter membrane that may adhere. Put the pomegranate seeds in a large pitcher or container and add the pear and star fruit slices.
  2. Pour in the wine, brandy, and pomegranate juice. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and star anise; give the mixture a good stir to combine.
  3. Chill the sangria in the refrigerator for several hours or up to overnight for the flavors to come together.
  4. Just before serving, top the sangria off with the club soda and mix to combine. Spoon the fruits into glasses or goblets and pour in the sangria to fill.
Originally from FoodNetwork.com

Haunting Hot Chocolate

Ooooooh, spooky! Delight little goblins and float a ghost-shape marshmallow on this hot white chocolate drink.

Haunting Hot Chocolate
Photo by Better Homes & Gardens©

Yield:  6 ounces or 5 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup vanilla-flavored baking pieces or vanilla-flavored candy coating
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla Whipped cream (optional)
  • Ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Purchased marshmallow ghosts (like Peeps®)

Directions:

  1. Remove peel of orange with vegetable peeler; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla-flavored baking pieces, orange peel, and nutmeg; whisk over low heat until baking pieces are melted. Remove orange peel. Whisk in remaining milk and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Serve warm in mugs. Add a marshmallow ghost, dollop with whipped cream, and sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (Haunting Hot Chocolate)

Per serving: 221 kcal cal., 12 g fat (9 g sat. fat, 20 mg chol., 72 mg sodium, 22 g carb., 5 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

REAL SIMPLE Magazine’s Cocktail Party Tips

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