Category Archives: Contests and Cookbook Reviews

It Pays To Blog (and Tweet)

The blogosphere is full of contests.  I’ve even held one or two here on Miriyummy.  One of my favorite bloggers and longtime reads, A Mother in Israel, posted a contest where you could win a tallit.  Now, granted, I don’t actually use one myself, but I was tempted.  The company offering the prize, Galilee Silks, had some gorgeous tallitot for women.

It was a simple contest, really, just either blog about the contest on your own blog, or tweet about it.  I did both.  It seems I was the only entrant to do so (blog AND tweet), and guess what?  I won!

In spite of the fact that there were some really cool blue and pink and red tallitot for women on offer, I gave my prize to Ju-Boy.  The man can be pretty outrageous at times, but his taste in tallitot is really boring sedate.  It seems my man does not want to be a peacock in shul.

The prize arrived just in time for Chanuka.  I’ve wanted to get a picture of him wearing the tallit for a while, but he’s made this his Shabbat tallit, and the camera doesn’t come out on Shabbat in the Miriyummy household.  This past Saturday night he took it out to give it to Optimus Prime, who’s going to be adding the tekhelet, so I got my supermodel husband to don the tallit for everyone to see.

Galilee Silks has some seriously gorgeous tallitot and other prayer accessories for sale.  They seem to cater to the international market (prices are quoted in dollars), but it’s worth stopping by just to look and admire their work.



Win A Tallit Via A Mother In Israel

Another contest!  But this one isn’t mine, it’s being held over at A Mother in Israel.  The prize is a gorgeous tallit from Galillee Silks, a specialty silk designer located on Kibbutz Beit Haemek.

Embroidery pattern for Ju-Boy's tallit bag -- my wedding gift to him

When Ju-Boy and I got married I bought him a tallit.  He wore it first under the chuppah and has worn it every single Shabbat and chag since we’ve been married.  I gave this to him as a wedding gift, together with a tallit bag that I embroidered over the months of our engagement.  The bag has held up well, but the tallit, well… the tallit has seen better days.  There’s just so many times you can dry clean the thing.  Chanuka is coming up and I think a new tallit would be a wonderful gift, especially since Ju-Boy’s birthday also falls on the night of the second candle.

So this contest has my name all over it, but if you think you stand a chance against the fates and believe this was meant to be yours, just click on the link to A Mother in Israel and then this tallit is just a tweet or blog post away.

Good luck to all of us!

Quick and Kosher — And The Winner Is…


Didi holds up the entries in the now-famous Tupperware bowl
Didi then drops the bowl on the floor and Miriyummy has to pick it all up…
Shy-Boy chooses the entry, and the winner is…
Congratulations faith/emuna!

Please send me an email via the Contact Miriyummy widget on the right-hand side of the blog, give me your name and address and I’ll have Feldheim send you a copy!


A Miriyummy Cookbook Review — Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes

As an avid cookbook collector I can often find myself identifying with the author.  After all, even if the cookbook is full of dishes I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) cook for religious, dietary or various ick factors, I still buy the book because something appeals to me.  I feel like Carine Goren is a long-lost sister, can so get into the geekiness of Alton Brown, and I want to be Nigella Lawson when I grow up.  So when the nice people at Feldheim Publishers asked if I would review a book called Quick & Kosher: Meals in Mintues I thought, hey, that’s me!

Well, it’s not.

This is the second book by Jamie Geller.  Her first book, Quick & Kosher: From the Bride Who Knew Nothing, would never have been a book I would buy.  When I got married (the first time) I was a twenty year old bride who knew everything.  At least, I thought I did.  I certainly did know my way around the kitchen (thanks, Ma).  I was putting meals on the table even in my single days.  I even helped cook for my own sheva brachot, hosted by The X’s clueless single friends.

Jamie Geller, on the other hand, claims that when she first got married she prayed under the chuppah,

“that even though I had never cooked anything in my life, somehow I would be transformed into a savvy balabusta.”

This second book comes five years and four children later, where Jamie once again has to learn how to put dinner on the table, once more

“magically cook up something impressive, despite the fact that the kids are clutching your skirt, scraps of lunch are still on the table and chocolate syrup is dripping from the counter onto the floor.”

There’s just no way I can identify with Jamie, this book is so not for me.

Well, it is.

First, this is a big book!  Big, burgeoning with recipes, and beautiful!  Kudos to the food stylists and photographers, who elevate this from cookbook to food porn strata.

Almost every single recipe is one I would want to try.  Almost, I said.  Remember, there’s still the ick factor I was talking about earlier.  So while each recipe is kosher, and takes either 20, 40 or 60 minutes to make, you won’t find me rolling up my sleeves to make Chicken Fiesta (there’s a mango in there, a WHOLE mango), or Lamb Meatballs in Pita.  The dreaded lamb has an avocado relish, a double ick factor for me.

But there are so many other recipes I would want to try, among them:

  • Red Leaf Lettuce with Dried Cranberries and Pecans
  • Greek Style Chicken with Lemon and Dill
  • Thai Chicken Soup
  • Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Basil
  • Cranberry Walnut Salmon on a Bed of Spinach
  • Carrot Cupcakes

Cranberry Walnut Salmon On A Bed Of Spinach

And not only are there interesting recipes in here, Jamie has them in menu format, so if you are really going headless chicken on the way home from work or gymboree, or, like me, are having a series of brain farts (I did not just say that, did I?) and can’t think of what to serve with what, Jamie has solved your problem for you down to the bottle of wine.

So my lesson learned here?  Never judge a book by its publicity.  Jamie writes,

“…unless you join the circus, nobody teaches you how to juggle…”

Jamie will get you there if you give her half a chance.

New Cookbook Giveaway — Quick and Kosher Meals in Minutes


Are you a fan of Ready Steady Cook?  Or maybe 30 Minute Meals?  I used to watch these shows all the time but always had issues with the fact that a lot of unkosher ingredients were used and I had to improvise.  Now Jamie Geller does all that work for you, and has written a cookbook on how to get supper (or lunch, or Shabbat) on the table in 20, 40 or 60 minutes.  She’ll even tell you what wine goes with the meal.

I’ll be reviewing this book early next week, after I’ve had a chance to go through the huge amount of possibilities inside.  In the meantime, I’ve got a copy to give away to a very lucky Miriyummy reader.  All you have to do is just comment on this post that you want your name put into the hat (or the Tupperware bowl, which is what I used in the last contest).

Jamie Geller

I’ve been looking through this book, there’s some really cool stuff in here.  This week I’m going to try the Mexican Burgers with Flour Tortillas and the Bowties with Salmon and Peas in Lemon Dill Sauce.  I guess I can start my diet next week… I seem to be saying that all the time now.

So don’t forget to leave a comment; I draw the names out of the Tupperware bowl on Thursday evening, November 4th.  Good luck!

KBD Teens and 20-Somethings: And The Winner Is…




Congratulations Daphna!  Please get in touch with me and let me have your address so Artscroll can send you your cookbook.

Another contest starts next week, for yet another cookbook, watch this space!


A Miriyummy Cookbook Review: Kosher By Design Teens and 20-Somethings

I’m so excited, this is my first cookbook review!  I feel very Anna and Kristina-ish.  I already own two of Susie Fishbein’s cookbooks, the first one being the very first in her KBD series, Kosher By Design, and I suppose what you could call the prequel to her series, The Kosher Palatte, which is the most sophisticated fundraising cookbook I have ever seen or owned.

Let it be said that I am neither a teen nor a 20-something (nor do I play one on TV).  What I am is the mother to one teen and three 20-somethings, and the step-mother to three 20-somethings, and one almost-teen (he’s 12) who loves to cook.  I have a house full of this book’s demographic.  One top of that, this past Shabbat we had many guests who also fit the demographic, including a teenage bride with a secret confession (you’ll have to read on to find out what it is).

The book was well-thumbed this Shabbat and here are a few of the comments I received:

Famous Seamus makes fudge for Tinky

From my daughter Tinky:  OMG, you just have to make me the Cauliflower Cheese Soup, and the Pizza Soup, and the Spicy Garlic Bread!  When I suggested that perhaps she might want to try cooking these recipes herself she was absolutely incredulous.  So the recipes appealed to her, but not enough to get her into the kitchen.  When Shabbat was over, however, I did manage to get her and her friend Famous Seamus to make the Easy Fudge.  They followed the recipe, found it easy and quick to make, with the most difficult part being waiting for the fudge to set in the fridge.

Chip, Ju-Boy’s son, seemed interested in the book, but in his usual laconic manner just mentioned he thought there were too many recipes with mushrooms in them, and he doesn’t think teens like mushrooms all that much.  Tinky agreed with him, but Didi, my lone teen, completely disagrees.  She’s just discovered mushrooms, noshes on them throughout the day, and thought that the Layered Mushroom Ziti would be a fun project to make back in her national service apartment full of teenage girls.  She also liked the idea of the Mushroom-Crusted Roast Beef, but would leave out the roast beef part.

Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust

Chip brought home a friend for Shabbat, Aussie-Boy, who is here studying for a year or two.  He claims to be a baker, and I instantly fell in love with him over a discussion of the pros and cons of self-raising flour and the genius of Heston Blumenthal.  Aussie-Boy turned his nose up at the Chocolate Tart in Pretzel Crust but did think the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sticks were worth a try.

Son of Yummy Mummy, a 27 year old who does a bit of cooking on his own, leafed through the book and said there were many recipes in there he would like to try.  He didn’t elaborate much, but is known as one of the quieter ones in his family, so I suppose that would have to do.

A few paragraphs ago I hinted a the secret confession of a teenage bride.  Sounds like something out of the National Enquirer, doesn’t it?  It’s not.  Hadarina has been married a whole two months and in that time has developed a passion for feeding her new husband.  She’s got a tiny little kitchen, not much bigger than the cookbook itself, but she grabbed the book, insisted everyone in the family enter the contest in order to win her a copy, and said that with the exception of a few icky recipes (she is still a teenager, after all), she would enjoy the book immensely.  We were actually discussing the book as we walked home from shul on Friday night (her family was eating with us)  and she confessed to me that her husband is a good cook on his own.  And the reason she wants this cookbook?  To be a better cook, she wants the compliments!

Confessions of a Teenage Bride

And finally, my co-worker Merbi, a true blue vegetarian, spent her lunch break perusing the book and said the word yummy quite a few times, especially over the Szechuan Noodles and the Chocolate Fluffernutter Quesadillas.  Merbi is a newly-married 29 year old, still qualifies as a 20-something and makes the most amazingly deliciously aromatic lunches, so she knows what she likes, and she certainly liked a lot of recipes in this book.

Artscroll have been kind enough to offer Miriyummy readers a discount for anyone who wants to buy the book:

Preorder your copy today at – enter the coupon code KBDBLOG at checkout to save 10% and receive free shipping in the continental U.S. Join us online to find more reviews and giveaway contests! Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation is aimed at the young and digital-savvy fast-food generation and those who cook for them. Susie Fishbein is an everyday cook who loves to share her passion for cooking and entertaining with friends and family. Her enthusiasm for food and entertaining led to the creation of her best-selling cookbook, Kosher by Design, published in 2003 by ArtScroll Shaar Press. For more recipes and updates, visit our blog or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

I also oohed and aahed over a few recipes, and there are some days that I still feel like a teenager, chalashing for some pizza or munching on junk food while I watch MTV.  One of the recipes that appealed to me most was the Spicy Carrot Sticks, which the good people at Artscroll have allowed me to reprint here:

Spicy Carrot Sticks

  • 6 large carrots, peeled, ends trimmed
  • 1 egg white from a  large egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1.  Preheat oven to 450˚F. Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.  Cut each carrot in half to make 2 (3–4 inch) pieces.

3.  Cut each carrot half in half lengthwise. With the cut-side-down on your cutting board, cut each half into 3 equal strips to make thin carrot sticks.

4.  Place the egg white into a large shallow bowl or container and whip with a fork or whisk till foamy.

5.  In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, water, garlic powder, cumin, sugar, paprika, and white pepper.

6.  Place the carrot sticks into the beaten egg; toss to coat the carrots in the egg white.

7.  Stir the carrots into the spice mixture. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the salt.

8. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

9. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl.

Spicy Carrot Sticks -- definitely going into the Miriyummy rotation

As a post script — I made these carrots on Monday night for a small get together in our house with some friends.  I doubled the recipe and didn’t have any white pepper so I used black instead.  I also left off the salt.  I wish I could show you a picture of what my carrots looked like, but my piggy friends ate the whole thing before I could remember to snap a photo.  So, yes, they’re good!

Free Kosher By Design Recipe Index

Kosher By Design is in the middle of a vast promotion campaign for Susie Fishbein’s latest in the series, Teens and 20-Somethings.  Blog reviews have already started, watch for mine on October 28th.

In the meantime, Artscroll Press, the publishers of the KBD, are offering my readers a chance to download the index to all KBD recipes for free.  This is an 18 page PDF of more than 900 recipes featured in all the the KBD cookbooks to date.  So the next time you are frantically searching for the recipe for that amazing Ebony and Ivory dessert, or can’t remember which one of the books contains the recipe for the Wasabi Pea Crusted Salmon (oh yum!), panic no more, just check your handy-dandy index and life is once again copacetic.

KosherBy Design Recipe Index — just click the link to download your free copy.

And if you still haven’t entered the contest to win a free copy of KBD’s Teens and 20-Somethings, just head on over to this post, follow directions, and that cookbook may just become yours!

By the way, I can vouch for that Ebony and Ivory dessert!  The first time I had it was at Serene Shar’s house one Shavuot lunch.  With that first taste my eyes rolled up into my head, my body shivered in delight and my soul thanked my stomach for sharing the experience.  Wanna know where to find the recipe?  Well, you just have to check the index….

Kosher By Design – Teens and 20-Somethings — Win A Free Copy!

Win a free copy of Susie Fishbein’s latest in the Kosher By Design series:  Teens and 20-Somethings!

The book is being released on October 27th and I’ll be posting a review on October 28th.  So how do you win a copy?  All you have to do is subscribe to the Miriyummy blog (click on the Sign Me Up button on the right hand side of this page) and then post a comment that you are now subscribed.  Those of you wonderful people who are already subscribed, just comment that you are already one of my amazing subscribers.  All comments will enter into a random draw (probably out of a hat, yes, a real hat) and the winner will be chosen after my review hits on the 28th.  Simple enough!

You can also subscribe to the Miriyummy Fan Page on Facebook and let me know in a comment, that makes you eligible as well.

The contest is open to EVERYONE!  That means that you don’t have to live in the continental United States to be eligible, you can be living down the block from me in Ra’anana, on a gorgeous Jerusalem hilltop, under an umbrella in London, in laid-back Melbourne or even in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.

Kosher By Design Teens and 20-Somethings joins the existing KBD family:













If you are one of my readers who is addicted to the series (don’t try to deny it, I know who you are), or are a KBD newbie just wanting to try out the latest book, this is the contest for you.

So remember, my review of KBD Teens and 20-Somethings hits on October 28th.  Subscribers get automatic notification, and then the winner will be announced.

Good luck!



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