Beijing Bound: A Trip for Food and Family & Our Travel Essentials

23 May 2017

 

We are Beijing Bound for the next week!  As mentioned in our last post, while some of our trip is definitely vacation, the function of the trip is primarily visiting family.  My husband was born in Beijing and much of his family still lives there.  While there, I’ll have the opportunity to learn some family dishes as well as we’ll eat tons of Chinese cuisine from all of the regions of China.  Preparing for any international trip, there are of course some travel essentials we all need. Continue Reading…

Chraime Salmon – Your New Shabbat Favorite

16 May 2017

“Chraime,” I vocalized with an aspirated “chhh.”  “Chhh…RAM…Chhh…RAMIE…Chhh…RA-EEM…”.  My husband turned to me as I continued to practice and try on different pronunciations as though I were trying on shoes for the perfect fit.  He tells me he loves me then asks me if I have something in my throat.

I haven’t figured out how to pronounce it yet.

This post may include affiliate links.  For our full disclosure, click here.

If you’re a friend of mine and a foodie, chances are you’ve heard me rave about the 2015 cookbook, Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomon.  And, if you’re a foodie, you’ve definitely heard of the 2012 best seller, Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottelenghi.  Both books have given us a peek into the diverse and flavorful cuisines throughout Israel and both brought to culinary vogue shakshuka and fattoush.  After hearing about this traditional Shabbat fish stew, I decided these two books should be consulted. Continue Reading…

5 Things Mom Taught Me & The Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

12 May 2017
This year, like many, my mother and I are separated by distance.  Where I would have liked to have planned a perfect Mother’s Day Brunch to share with her (together with a gift giving including the bath products I got her from Atlanta Bath Company), this year we’ll chat over phone.  And considering finals week so far, I will be a mixture of a mix of nerves and exhaustion. The best thing about most moms though, is that they usually understand and they’ve definitely seen you at some of your lowest moments.

Mom and Me | Mother's Day Brunch

Mom and Me: A Quintessential 80’s Childhood Picture

Through Hell and Back

Most of our lowest moments were spent together, trying to pick up the pieces after my dad passed away when I was ten.  My mom had been a young mother and we relied a lot on him before he fell ill.  I watched, not able to comprehend the magnitude of it all, as my mom had to deal with the crushing agony of caring for both him and me.  He had brain cancer and the nature of his disease meant that, at times, he needed help with every single aspect of living, worsening as it progressed.  She had to carry that responsibility alone for two years, while watching the man she loves suffer.  I can’t even imagine how she got through it, but she did.  And she ensured I did, too.

Watching her go through that, I learned a lot.  Each year I gain more perspective, too.  While we don’t always get along, I have massive respect for what she accomplished under the circumstances.  When I become a mother myself, I can only imagine I will gain even more appreciation.

Here are the top 5 things I’ve learned from my mom.

Continue Reading…

10 Recipes to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo All Weekend Long

5 May 2017
Healthy Blood Orange Paloma | Cinco De Mayo Recipes
It couldn’t be more perfect that Cinco De Mayo falls on a Friday this week.  That means you get to celebrate Cinco De May all weekend–Seis De Mayo, Siete De Mayo–it doesn’t matter.

Luckily for you, I’ve partnered up with the same incredible ladies from our past roundups for National Poultry Day, Valentine’s Day, and for St. Paddy’s Day to bring you 10 new Cinco De Mayo recipes with options for many different diets.  Check out these recipes and let us know which ones you try!

10 Flavor-Packed Cinco De Mayo Recipes


10. Sweet Potato Black Bean Vegetarian Enchiladas by Oven Struck

Oven Struck shares with us this vegetarian spin on enchiladas with drool-worthy photos all along the way. These look super healthy and delicious.  I can’t help but wonder how they’d be if I added a little chipotle pepper *makes a note for later*

Sweet Potato Black Bean Vegetarian Enchiladas Continue Reading…

Cinco De Mayo Steak Fajitas & Dealing with Addiction

1 May 2017
Cinco De Mayo is a favorite holiday for many Americans and — at least the American version — is a far cry from the event it is supposed to memorialize.  It is not, contrary to popular belief, the celebration of Mexico’s independence (which is actually September 16th); instead, it’s a celebration of a military victory.  American tradition has rendered it to be more akin to a Mexican version of the American St. Paddy’s day–a celebration of one of America’s many cultures.  A holiday of food and drink.  That’s why I don’t feel so bad sharing my “Cinco De Mayo Steak Fajitas,” despite the fajita’s shaky association in Mexican cuisine.

Cinco De Mayo Steak Fajitas

Cinco De Mayo as a drinking holiday

Just as with America’s St. Paddy’s Day celebrations, Cinco De Mayo is a holiday with a tradition of drinking.  Whether it be of tequila or Mexican beers, nearly every bar will have a themed drink or two for the holiday.  It is fun for most, but it can be difficult for anyone recovering from alcohol addiction.   Continue Reading…

Moroccan Spice Chicken Wings & Chef Brooklyn BBQ Mat Review

29 April 2017
Moroccan Spice Chicken Wings


This post may include affiliate links.  For our full disclosure, click here.

If you have been following Almost Kosher’s journey so far, I don’t think I have to tell you how much we loved Morocco.  Memories of the sights, the sounds, the people, and places, but especially the food bring a smile to our faces.  Bargaining in the mellah and the souks and the crazy drivers–it seems like a titillating love affair we’ve been playing back in our minds ever since we got back.  These Moroccan Spice Chicken Wings, spiced using the spices we bought on our honeymoon, remind me of all we loved about the food.

Utah Spring

Spring is starting to shyly peek around the corner here in Utah. Despite it nearly being May, snow showers have dared to encroach what should be mild sunny days.  So when the sun popped out this weekend I just had to pull out our charcoal grill (a tiny little Weber for our condo balcony).  I’ve been craving chicken wings like crazy, too, so I decided upon these Moroccan Spice Chicken Wings to satiate two cravings: Morocco and wing.

Product Review: BBQ Grill Mats by Chef Brooklyn

It so happened that we also had these new grill mats by Chef Brooklyn to try out, too.  Boasting that you will “[n]ever need your barbecue grill brush again,” I was excited to see if they worked as well as claimed and how they held up to the grill.  Overall?  I was pleased. Continue Reading…

Virgin Coconut Mojito and Bath Bombs

27 April 2017
By this time each week, I’m pretty much over it.  I’ve typically put in 60 hours altogether between work and school, I’ve cleaned up after my cats over a dozen times, brainstormed at least six new blog ideas (only two of which will ever make it to the blog), and attended at least three social events.  That’s not even counting whatever hours I put in and plans we have on Friday.  I make up the inevitable mental fatigue by picking one luxury for myself each week.  This week it was a bath bomb by Atlanta Bath Company and a virgin coconut mojito.

Treat yo self

First of all, I’m a bath bomb connoisseur.  One of our local bath product companies knows me and my husband by name.  My valentines present this year included $100+ dollars worth of bath products, with more than half of that being bath bombs.  I’ve bought local, homemade, uber-brands, no-name brand, and mass-produced-and-sold-at-target bath bombs.  What I’m trying to say is…I know a good bath bomb when I smell it.  Yet, I was not prepared for the insanely delicious smelling and super moisturizing experience from Atlanta Bath Company‘s signature Coconut Rose bath bomb.  It was…perfect.

Coconut Rose Bath Bomb

As soon as it hit the water, it erupted into thick, luxurious bubbles and filled the tub with delicate rose petals.  I honestly squeed a little with childish joy when I saw it.  And the smell…oh my GOSH…the smell!  It was gorgeous and delicious and beautiful.  I lit some tea lights, turned on some relaxing music, turned off the light, and slipped into the water and away from reality.  I paired it with a virgin cocktail — my coconut mojito, which I’m sharing with you today — and I felt like the week just melted away.

Coconut Rose Bath Bomb and Mojito

I’m already on their website ordering their “Wine Down” bath bomb and their Lavender and Vanilla gift set to send to my mother for Mother’s Day.  You should do the same for the mothers (including yourself!) in your life–trust me, it will be appreciated!  If you want to save 10% off of your order and get free shipping on orders over $35, use our code ALMOSTKOSHER when you check out.

Virgin Coconut Mojito

If you’re looking at this right now and saying, “girl, I don’t want a VIRGIN mojito!” I get it, I absolutely do. So I’m going to tell you right now–just tip some rum into your cup and the problem is solved. Continue Reading…

Mimouna’s Moroccan Roots & Harissa Chicken

17 April 2017

This post may include affiliate links.  Please see our complete disclosure here.

In the divisive politics of today, it’s easy to allocate all conflict to black or white conditions. This was unfortunately the attitude many–even ourselves–were conditioned with when we prepared ourselves for our Marrakesh honeymoon.  We had even planned to stay hush about our religion so as to not stir up trouble for ourselves.  When you watch the news on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you would think it would be dangerous to be Jewish in a country with a Muslim majority.

It turns out, as most things are, it isn’t quite as simple as all of that.

Ben Youssef Madrassa | Marrakesh, Morocco

Morocco’s Jewish Affection

We were happy to find that the people of Marrakesh were very proud of their history, including their Jewish history.  A few vendors selling in the square flaunted their elaborate Hanukkiahs with intricate Hebrew carving for purchase.  Even some stopped my husband to inspect a tattoo of his that features Hebraic script only to tell us a story of how they had a Jewish friend or neighbor years ago ending with a fond: “what a great guy!”

This didn’t mean we were eager to announce our religious affiliation in a country so foreign to us.  And, as seen by graffiti in the Mellah, anti-Judaism sentiment did exist.

Judaica found in a shop | Marrakesh, Morocco

Humans are rarely simple and–oftentimes–there is a lot more than what meets the eye.

Morocco once was home to a large population of Jewish people.  Their remnants remain everywhere, not just in the Jewish quarters.  Many estate sales in the square were full of antique Judaica.

Mimouna

Most of the Moroccan Jews have relocated to Israel or Canada, where they’ve spread their own unique flavor of Judaism.  One Moroccan-Jewish custom which is gaining popularity even among Ashkenazim is the celebration of Mimouna.  A three-day post-Passover tradition with disputed origin, many American Jews are adding significance by inviting Muslim community members over for a feast.

If you choose to celebrate Mimouna, we think this Morocco-Inspired Harissa Chicken is perfect!

Mimouna Continue Reading…

Passover Recipe Ideas to Get your Pesach On

5 April 2017
passover recipe ideas
Passover is upon us and, for observant Jews, that means a week of worrying what’s Chametz or Kitniyot, and depending on your views, that could mean a whole lot of things are not accepted.  By now, most of us have already planned our Seders out and know what we are serving.  However, perhaps you still need a dish or two to round out your meal.  Or, maybe, a few of us haven’t planned our Passover recipes out at all.  No judgement here! I’ve put together some Passover recipe ideas for something a little different for you and your family this year.

Check them out and let me know if you try any!

Almost Kosher’s Passover Recipe Ideas


For the kiddos:

Consider a matzo meal chicken nugget meal for the picky eaters in your life.  Of course, you could always do the tried-and-true matzo pizza, too.  Sweet potato gnocchi goes over well with our pickiest eaters: toddlers.  And, if your kids can’t go a morning without a cereal, try homemade matzo granola. Continue Reading…

Brown Butter Salmon & Time Management Tips

2 April 2017

This post may include affiliate links.  Please see our complete disclosure here.

If I could go back in time, right now I’d choose to go back to when I registered for classes for this semester.  I would have shaken myself and asked me if I was crazy, and why did I think it was OK to register for a 13 credit load.  Particularly, one which includes Constitutional Law and College Algebra (I am not a math person).  However, as popular culture has educated us, messing with the past is tricky business–if I had done that, I wouldn’t have learned how easy brown butter salmon is.

Brown Butter Salmon

Time Management Tips for Adult Students

The truth is, going to college as an adult with a full-time job, home ownership (including HOA) duties, and all the other things on our plates is hard.  But it’s do-able.  Here are my tips for how I succeed in school, get everything turned in on time, and still work full-time at the law firm and here on the blog: Continue Reading…