Friday, April 18, 2008

Passover By Design

I'm not Jewish, but I have recently been looking into following a Kosher or Halal eating lifestyle. So I've been very interested in Susie Fishbein's Kosher by Design cookbook series. And since my friends and try to do a Passover seder every year or so, I jumped at the chance to take a look at her new cookbook Passover by Design.

This really is a beautiful cookbook stuffed with recipes that could be used for Passover or really any other meal. In March it made the top 100 book list on both and Barnes and Below I'll post some questions/answers with Susie, as well as some pictures of completed recipes and table decor. Happy cooking and eating!

(From her website)

The author of the widely popular Kosher by Design series of cookbooks speaks about her unique project for Passover.

Q – Passover by Design is the fifth in your cookbook series. How is this latest one different from all your other cookbooks?

A –This cookbook is solely focused on Passover. It includes so many helpful suggestions for preparing dishes that are as eye-pleasing as they are delicious. Kosher by Design cooks know that simple elegance is part of what has made this series unique. That aesthetic theme carries over into Passover by Design as well. Also, you’ll notice a blend of both familiar and brand new recipes. I painstakingly went through the previous Kosher by Design cookbooks and completely reformulated over 100 recipes to be thoroughly kosher for Passover.

Q – What’s the benefit of a Passover-centric cookbook?

A - First, everything you need is presented in one complete cookbook. You won’t have to shuffle through several cookbooks, marking pages with sticky notes, to plan your meals. Secondly, you won’t have to go through the cumbersome effort of calculating and substituting kosher for Passover ingredients. It’s not a matter of simply substituting one cup of potato starch for one cup of flour. I spent scores of hours refining the measurements to get them right for each recipe. That’s a huge time saver.

Q – Beside the reformulated recipes, what else is new in Passover by Design?

A – There are over thirty brand new recipes, with some exceedingly simple to prepare. For this book, I teamed up with Moshe David, a rising star in the kosher catering circuit, to design over twenty unusual recipes not normally seen on a Passover table, such as Teriyaki Chicken Sat├ęs and Thai Sole Rolls. We also present some very healthful cooking techniques that are useful year round.

Q – Does Passover by Design include tablescaping ideas for holiday decorating?

A – For sure. My team and I really shook things up for this holiday looking for ways not only to decorate the table but to enliven the Seder itself. John Uher shot the beautiful photography as he has for the previous books. The visual effects are stunning and people will be able to adapt them for their own moods and settings.

Q – When and where will Passover by Design be available?

A – Passover by Design is scheduled for release on Feb. 28, 2008. Like the other books in the Kosher by Design series, it’ll be available through, Barnes & Noble and and certainly at any good Jewish bookstore near you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Littlest Pet Shop

We've come a long way from the Strawberry Shortcake dolls and My Little Ponies I played with in elementary school.

When I received my own dolls and toys from the Littlest Pet Shop collection, I was certain of two things: 1. My friends and I would have loved this when we were kids; and 2. Its been a lo-ong time since I was a kid.

These cute stuffed animal pets come with a code that you can use to log in online - hence, their status as Virtual Interactive Pets or VIP's. You play with the toys at home just like in the old days. But when you log in online, you can adopt and play with your toys in a whole new world. (Click here for a video about the fun that waits online).

There's also high-tech accessories that are certainly up a little girl's alley. Like this digital pen. You know we would have loved this back in the 80's!

So there you have it - cute, colorful, stuffed animals and toys just like we had when we were kids - that comes with digital accessories and interactive tools online. Check it out!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Points: Women have them, Men need them

This book isn't quite my style, but it might be yours. Its written for men who are slightly domestically challenged. I'm not a man...and my husband is a specimen of domestic perfection (he cooks, cleans, and shops much better than I do!). But if your husband is not quite so talented in these areas, it might be a good one for you...or him! Its a fun one so check it out!

(From the Publisher)

Women Have Them, Men Need Them
By I. Glebe
Published by Running Press
December 2007;$12.95US/$15.50CAN; 978-0-7624-3052-9

For years couples have been at war:
Who left the seat up? Who dented the car? And all this time, unbeknownst to men, women have been keeping score.

Until now. Intrepid researcher and lazy relationship partner I. Glebe reveals the secret formula that has kept relationships off-balance for years.

Sometimes taking out the trash gets a guy "points" and sometimes it doesn't (Is it actually trash night? Did he leave it on the curb or on top of her car while he shot some hoops?) The accrual of these nebulous points has determined everything from whether a guy gets to watch the game in peace, or attend a bachelor party. In Vegas.

Points is both a handbook and a cheat sheet. Guys are guaranteed* to find some helpful point-gaining ideas. (Don't worry, she'll never suspect you got them from a book!) And women are guaranteed** to learn new methods of profiting from the inevitable blunders.

If bestselling titles like He's Just Not That Into You helped you narrow the field, The Rules brought you together, and Why Do Men Have Nipples explained all the weird quirks and smells, Points will make you and your partner (this one or the next one) winners for life!

*Not Really **Of course.

I. Glebe
is an ordinary guy. It is from this unique vantage point that he was able to uncover the secrets of relationships and how to make them work for you, even though you may not want to. Having experienced the best and the worst of seven marriages (including two of his own), he can safely say that he is as close to an expert in this stuff as anyone walking the planet.

For more information, please visit