Posts Tagged ‘Challah’


It’s that time of year where the Jewish Community is entertaining. Conversations go like this:

Me: Will you be entertaining over the holidays?

Friend:  Having 1o guests for dinner on Sunday night and on Monday night, 16 guests are coming over. For lunch we got invited to X house on Monday and X house on Tuesday.

Me: I’m off to Ottawa. I won’t be cooking a lot but will be bringing in kasha and bow ties for my parents and some challah buns for my friend.

So let’s talk about those challah buns. You see, I saw a link for 20 Rosh Hashanah Inspired Dinner Ideas by   I shared it on Facebook and asked my friend in Ottawa if I should make #16 and bring it her house for lunch. She replied: Yes Please.

So I assembled the ingredients: (P.S. for the complete recipe please click here).

-small frozen Challahs (available at No Frills at Bathurst/Wilson).

– 1/2 cup of Craisins

– 1/2 cup of PC  Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

-Zest from one orange.

new year - ingredients

Then I had fun breaking the challahs apart and stuffing them with the combo of chocolate chips, orange zest and Craisins, and the forming them into little knots. The last step was a quick egg wash. Then they went into a preheated oven at  325 F for 20 minutes.

new year - bun

From those six small frozen challahs, I got 12 small DELICIOUS stuffed buns. They were almost like a dessert bun. Next time, I think I’m going to stuff with them with apples and cinnamon. Seriously, one could get very creative with this recipe!!

new year - final

I also bought 16 honey sticks for each guest. I took this idea also from facebook as I follow these four fabulous sisters who have a blog called Dinner Table HQ. When I read their latest blog post about Rosh Hashana and the Dinner Table, I said “wow I like that idea” and went out and bought some honey sticks at Wychwood Farmers Market.

new year - plate

To all my Jewish Friends……wishing you all the best for a sweet New Year.



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Today I discovered a new product that I think is just brilliant. It’s called Beetborsht Inabeerbottle.
harbord - beet
I’m familiar with Borsht as I grew up with it but would NEVER (repeat NEVER) go near it. It was in a ugly bottle and it was simply unappealing.

However today I went into Harbord Bakery and came across this new concept and in a nano second I was having a sample. Within another nanosecond, I was buying 2 bottles. Just like that!!

harbord - store

The brains behind this bottle are: Rafi, Tyler and Misha.  Rafi (on the right) is one of the owners of Habord Bakery, along with his sister Susan. They are proudly celebrating their 70th Anniversary and this beetborsht inabeerbottle was created to celebrate this occasion.

harbord - rafi

Harbord Bakery is famous for this product as well as many other baked goods.

harbord - challah

On a side note: My dad is turning 87 at the end of August and I’m sure I will be bringing him a few bottles for him to enjoy. It’s going to be the perfect gift. I have no doubt, I will bringing more bottles to Ottawa for the Jewish New Year in September as well.

For more information:

Harbord Bakery, 115 Harbord St, Toronto
(416) 922-5767

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As you know I love to entertain. I enjoy all aspects: the menu planning, setting the table, selecting the flowers as well as the napkins etc etc. As you might also know…I’m NOT MARTHA STEWART. Infact I have blogged several times about my FAILED projects…cake pops, and floating fish….are two projects that come to mind.

However this project even I CAN DO. Basically it’s edible napkin rings made out of frozen challah dough. WHAT A GENIUS IDEA, non?

I discovered this project, years ago, while sifting thru the cookbook: Kosher By Design, by Susie Fishbein and knew that I had to try it.



1 frozen challah, defrosted (Lenchners or Montreal Kosher)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

sesame seeds or poppy seeds


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover one large baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Take 2 empty paper towel rolls and cover them with a double layer of tinfoil. Then cover the tinfoil with parchment paper. ***Tape wont stick to parchment paper so use a thin strip of tin foil to act as a rubber band.

3. Cut the dough into 6 sections. Divide each section into 3 equal pieces.

Make sure the strips are kind of thin.


4. Roll each piece into a piece of rope. Place the ropes side by side on the parchment paper . Pinch the open ends together. Start to braid the dough and then pinch the ends at the bottom

Getting There. ps. braids should be about 7 to 8 inches. I measured. (shock)

5. Place the braid over the prepared wrapped tube. Wrap it around so the top and bottom ends meet.

6. Pinch the ends together to make a complete circle. (really pinch as you don’t want them to open up)

7. Repeat this process, placing up to 4 rings per tube.

8. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds or popyseeds or both.

9. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

PS if your guests dont eat them…I freeze them and put them out for the next time I entertain.

Happy Entertaining!!




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I bake Challah every week. Well kinda – I cheat. At least, I’m honest, right?

I should take a minute and explain what is Challah!! Challah is a braided bread that is served on the Sabbath(Friday Nite to Saturday Nite) in Jewish homes. I grew up with Egg Challah from Rideau Bakery in Ottawa but when I moved to Toronto I discovered that there was a variety of different challahs. ie raisin, whole wheat, with a sugary coating on top etc.

I also found out that you could make it!! I tried – I really did but it was never as good as all my friends who make it on a regular basis. (you know who you are)

Then I discovered: FROZEN challah and never looked back. There are two competing brands out there – Montreal Kosher and Lenchner’s. Im not loyal – I just grab whatever I see.  I really think they are both amazing but some of my friends say that one rises better than the other. Perhaps one day I will try and test out both challah’s side by side.

Step 1: I usually buy it frozen from No Frills (at Bathurst/Wilson) or Metro (Bathurst/Lawrence). However you could find it at any major grocery store from Bathurst/Lawrence to Bathurst/Rutherford.

Step 2: I unwrap it, lay it on parchment paper and cover with saran wrap. Then I wait 6 hours. (not 4, not 5).

Step 3: I take the wrapping off, and put an egg wash on it (my fav. step)

Step 4: I put the challah in the over at 325 degrees F and bake for 35 minutes. (not 30, not 40).

Step 5: see above photo for the finished product

I serve it on Friday nite and its generally GONE by Sat. Nite. However if you have leftovers – challah can be used to make a wicked french toast!!

I kinda like the whole wheat challah these days but truthfully they are all fanatastic.

All I know – is that this challah rocks and I look forward to making it every week. Baking challah makes my apartment smell great, and you can’t beat the convenience. Sure, it’s not the same as taking the time to make it from scatch – but I can’t get over the fact that IT ALWAYS COMES OUT amazing.

Hope you get a chance to try challah one day soon!!

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Schwartz Family Photo

I met Ellen Schwartz years ago. I can’t even remember how many years ago but it was certainly over 5 years ago. Ellen spoke about her son Jacob, the foundation she established and more. Here’s the condensed version: Ellen has a son with a neurodegenerative disease called Canavan Disease and there is no cure.

I went to yet a second event where Ellen was teaching us how to make Challah (a Jewish braided type of bread served every Sabbath). I remember her telling us that every Friday morning she bakes challah. I was impressed.  She then told us that she bakes one challah for  her family and one to give away. I was floored.

I was touched by her thoughtfulness. Her strength. Her ability to think of OTHERS when her life was stressful. It spoke VOLUMES about what type of person she was.

Ellen and her husband Jeff, created a foundation called Jacob’s Ladder in 1998 that aims to benefit children like Jacob and reduce the occurence of neurodegenerative diseases.

This weekend, Jake’s Gigantic Give, will be taking place where children can feel the power of giving back, Nov. 27 and 28th, between 10 and 4, at the Giving Store, 150 Lesmills Road. It’s a truly unique concept and I hope you click on the link so you can read more details about the event.

I feel so lucky to know so many awesome women like Ellen and Stacy (see last weeks blog entry about Zareinu).

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