Tag: purim

Shalach Manos Ideas

I thought I’d post some shalach manos ideas that I’ve done in the past, in case you’re scrambling for ideas at the last minute. I usually like to give out something creative, or at least tasty. I feel like we get so overloaded with cellophane wrapped “junk” that giving just another bag of it will just add to the pile. Instead, try to come up with a dish that can be served at the meal, or incorporate servingware or a gadget that will be useful in the future. Your shalach manos will stand out, be remembered, and appreciated.

I do realize that this is not for everyone. At the end of the day, mishloach manos is a mitzvah that does not have to be elaborate or cute. It has gotten so out of hand in some neighborhoods. Everywhere you turn – every store, school, organization – is selling baskets for you to give out. Personally, I enjoy coming up with creative ideas and putting them together. But I don’t do it every year. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I definitely recommend giving a donation to an organization that is close to your heart, and sending out Purim cards (from the organization, or personal) letting people know that you’ve opted to send a donation in lieu of shalach manos. I did that last year (you can see the card in this post).

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

For Teens:

@”Mini Me” – A diet basket for the teenager – mini carrots, mini apples, mini rice cakes, mini orange juice.
@”Lets go to the Stadium” – Popcorn, soft pretzel, can of soda, packets of mustard.
@”Breakfast on the Go” – Danish/donut and small chocolate milk or iced coffee.
@”A Girls best Friend” – Jewelry holder with hanging candy watch, ringpop, winky (or homemade cheerio) necklace etc.

Just Married:

@”Lechaim” – Martini glass with olives and a mini vodka.
@”Bakerman” – Small basket filled with a mini rolling pin, mini jelly, a hamantasch, and a recipe for hamantaschen.
@”An Apple a Day” – Candy apples in an assortment of toppings. Cover styrofoam in faux grass and stick a few candy apples in.
@”In the Kitch” – oven glove with something homemade and a mini alcohol.

For Anyone:

@”Chocolate Lovers Dream” – Mini Boston Cream Pies with chocolate dipped strawberrys and a few red torino chocolates.
@“Shushan Shushi” – Sushi salad prepared on a plate with a side of chopsticks, ginger, soy sauce and wasabi.
@“Sweet & Salty” – Chocolate dipped pretzel rods with assorted toppings.
@”Crazy for Chocolate” – Mini chocolate bundt cake with mini chocolate liquor in the center.
@”Mexican Fiesta” – 7 layer dip with a bag of tortilla chips.

For Teachers, Therapists (or anyone you need to incorporate a nice gift into the shalach manos):

@Cheese plate and spreader with crackers, cheese, jelly or chocolate spread.
@Vase filled with rock candy and real or faux flowers.
@Pie tray or pie server with homemade or store-bought pie.
@Pitcher with lemon, lemon tea and tea biscuits.
@On the go insulated coffee cup with coffee, coffee candy and mini starbucks liquor.
@Set of boxed shot glasses. Fill each glass with different candy or chocolate and wrap in gift wrap.
@Bottle of wine with a nice wine stopper. Pair with chocolate.
@Theme cookbook with a matching gadget – for ex. book on ice cream with ice cream scoop, or book on cookies with a cookie cutter.

I hope you enjoyed these shalach manos ideas! If you need a second bracha, you can always give wine, a mini alcohol, chocolates or a clear box with hamantaschen.

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Savory Hamantaschen Trio

I am SO excited to post these delicious and festive savory Hamantaschen for Purim! Honestly I was more excited about making these into triangles, then about how they would taste. But once I gave them a try, I couldn’t even pick a favorite – they were all THAT good. I’m not gonna lie, making these Hamantaschen is time-consuming. But in my humble opinion, they are well worth the effort. You can make them for your Purim Seudah or give them out for Shalach Manos. You can probably even make them in advance and freeze them. Go ahead and get creative with the fillings. You can do a deli roll one – just cut up some turkey and pastrami into strips, mix it up with some bbq sauce or honey-mustard. Or try a brocolli, cauliflower or carrot filling. Really, anything goes. If you have more of a bagels ‘n lox kind of meal, you can make very large triangles with the puff pastry, bake them (empty), and fill them with eggsalad, tuna, or any other dips (think serving bowls). Or make individual salad bowls for each place setting. The skies the limit, really! So go ahead, get out your rolling pin, and in the spirit of “Venehapoch Hu”, whisk up a batch of these “not your typical” hamantaschen!

Prepare the dough:

What you’ll need:
1-2 boxes of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
rolling pin
flour
wide-rimmed cup or round cookie cutter

Leave puff pastry in the fridge overnight to thaw. Remove from fridge. Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out the pastry until it is thin. With a cup or cookie cutter, cut out circles in the pastry and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Take your leftover dough and roll it out to the same thickness. Cut more circles, until you have used up all your pastry dough. Refrigerate your circles as they will be difficult to use if they are left out.

For the Cabbage Filling:

What you’ll need:
1 bag coleslaw
1 large spanish onion
1 tsp sugar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
oil for sauteing

Slice your onion and saute in oil until golden. Add coleslaw, salt, pepper, and sugar and continue to saute until coleslaw shrinks and softens. Stir occasionally, and add more oil if needed.

For the Spinach-Mushroom Filling:

What you’ll need:
1 bag baby spinach
1 container mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
oil for sauteeing

Saute 3 cloves of garlic in oil, until fragrant, but not browned, about 2 minutes. Clean and slic mushrooms and add to the pan. Saute for 2 more minutes. Add baby spinach, salt and pepper, and continue to saute until spinach is completely wilted.

For the Pumpkin Filling:

What you’ll need:

1 can Libby’s pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
3 tbsp flour

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until incorporated.

Assembling the Hamantaschen:

What you’ll need:
prepared puff pastry circles
prepared cabbage filling
prepared spinach filling
prepared pumpkin filling
2 eggs, whisked
cookie sheets

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease your cookie sheets and set aside. Remove your pastry from the fridge and let thaw for a few minutes.  Brush the circles with egg, and fill with a spoonful of filling. Pinch the corners together to form triangles. Brush again with egg. Lay on a cookie sheet.

Bake & Serve!

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until golden.

HAPPY PURIM!

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Purim Busy Bees


I like to look out for good deals on costumes during the post-Halloween season. I found these adorable bee costumes for my girls on Carters.com, and I just had to buy them.

After having a baby recently, I realized I would need a matching bee costume for him too. But instead of spending the money on a bunting outfit that would probably be hot and uncomfortable, I decided to crochet a bee hat, and just dress him in all black. With Purim soon approaching, I ordered black and yellow yarn, and crocheted the hat a few days ago. I love how it turned out!

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Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods


I figured since we just passed Purim Katan, and shalach manos giving is right around the corner, I should share some shalach manos ideas. Two years ago, I made these yummy chocolate dipped pretzel sticks. A week or two before Purim, I started shopping for the ingredients. It’s lucky I did that, because for some reason, every single store was out of pretzel rods. I must have gone to every kosher supermarket in all the five boroughs until I found them. I bought so many bags that we were eating pretzel rods (sans coating) for the next couple of months!

To create these crunchy confections, I would recommend that you prepare a large working surface. This is a messy job! Make stations for the different coatings and cut sheets of wax paper to lay the pretzels. Make sure not to touch them until the chocolate has fully set. When you are done, you can mix up all the broken pretzels pieces with the leftover chocolate, sprinkles, nuts and nonpareils. Spread on a sheet of wax paper for an instant pretzel bark. That was the best part!

Pretzels Pairings:
White chocolate with black sprinkles
White chocolate with nuts
White chocolate with nonpareils
Dark chocolate with colored sprinkles
Dark chocolate with nuts

Other optional toppings:

Toasted coconut
Peanut/Pistachio/Hazelnut brittle from Bakers Choice
Chocolate lentils
Colored sugar
Crushed peppermint candy
Chopped Viennese crunch

Pretzels Pairings:
White chocolate with black sprinkles
White chocolate with nuts
White chocolate with nonpareils
Dark chocolate with colored sprinkles
Dark chocolate with nuts

Other optional toppings:

Toasted coconut
Peanut/Pistachio/Hazelnut brittle from Bakers Choice
Chocolate lentils
Colored sugar
Crushed peppermint candy
Chopped Viennese crunch

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