couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “rosh hashana”

Food News Roundup – SodaStream, 100-calorie club, Rosh Hashana products and more

1. The possible closing of the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim went viral on social media but according to the company they are NOT closing down the factory and moving to the Negev right now.  They are in the process of making a decision as to the fate of the Mishor Adumim facility but if anything does happen, says the Director General of SodaStream, it will be based on financial considerations and not the BDS movement.  SodaStream currently has a factory in Lahavim in the Negev which will be undergoing expansion in the near future.  If SodaStream does decide to fire workers in the Mishor Adumim factory, it will be only be a few hundred and the factory will not close but will continue to hire Palestinians, Arab Israelis, and Jews.  Source: Yisrael HaYom

2. One of the biggest difficulties I have found when trying to diet here is the nutritional labeling, which is most frequently per 100 grams and not per serving size.  While using 100 grams allows us to compare the nutritional quality of different products, if I need to count calories, I have no idea how to take that number and convert it to a cup, slice, or other portion size.  Other people, frustrated by the insufficient nutritional labeling in Israel, created a “100 calorie club.”  On their web site, you can find a multitude of products in Israel that are 100 calories (or really close).  Since calories are not the only measure of a healthy diet, the web site also rates each product based on the amount of salt, sugar and fat it contains.  They also have a Facebook page for the latest info.  It doesn’t cost anything to join the club but by joining the movement you are telling manufacturers that they need to provide consumers with practical nutritional information.  Who knows? Maybe even the Ministry of Health will listen and make it mandatory.


3. Tivall has come out with a great new snack- crunchy corn nuggets in flavors such as barbecue and extra spicy.  They got favorable reviews from Yediot Ahronot and from my kids.  Unfortunately I haven’t found a coupon for it but the price pretty low- 8.90 shekels at most stores.


4.  Have you noticed any unusual looking grapes on the market?  Machon Volcani, Israel’s agricultural research center, has developed three new strains of grapes for our culinary pleasure.  “Mitzpeh”grapes are large, purple and with pits that look like seeds.  “Big Pearl” grapes are named for Dr. Avi Perl who is the primary researcher of these new strains. They are pale green with huge pits which can be cracked open in your mouth and a thin peel.  The third strain, “Ancient Red”, is a clear purple with a very fruity flavor and a very high level of antioxidants.   Source

5.  Two honey-flavored products have come out exclusively for Rosh Hashanah. Tenta, whose factory is in Sderot, has a honey-flavored sucking candy with only 14 calories and no artificial colors and Klik has come out with “honey stings”- chocolate with a touch of honey.  Each package is 5 shekels.

6.    Elite has combined my two favorite products- coffee and chocolate- into one 80 ml container.  Each coffee shot has 75 mg of caffeine which is slightly more than a cup of espresso and comes in milk or dark chocolate.   Source

Pre-Rosh Hashanah sales and deals

We have just finished our second week of school- two weeks of picking out chugim, getting back to a routine, figuring out what to make for lunches, and homework, homework, homework.  Throw into the mix an out-of-the-country spouse, and you can just imagine how I haven’t been able to post for a few weeks.

There is no time to spare, however: we need to start getting ready for the holidays.  Here are some of the latest sales and deals:

1. The annual book fair at Heichal Nokia in Tel Aviv is going on now.  They don’t advertise that they have English books (but they also don’t advertise that they don’t).  All books are 7 for 100 shekels but if you bring the coupon below you can get 8 books for 100 shekels.  The fair is open Sunday-Thursday from 10:00-22:00, Friday from 10:00-16:00 and Saturday night from after Shabbat until 23:00.  The address is Yigal Alon 51 in Tel Aviv- Gate #4 next to Aroma.  For more information go to their Facebook page.

2. Nu- Pharm is selling hundreds of products at the low price of buy one, get the second one for 1 shekel.  To see what products are on sale, click here.  Stock up on the products you need for the holidays while the prices are low.  Sale ends 30 September 2014.

3. The supermarkets are slowly pulling out their loss leaders.  Go to Israflyer or Webflyer to see each store’s sales for that week.  Here are some of the deals I noticed:

Shufersal Sheli–  Shufersal brand honey (with the Israeli Standards Institute’s seal of approval), three 1.5 liter bottles of Pepsi or three rectangular containers of Starkist tuna for 10 shekels.  Sale ends 29 Sept 2014.  Limit three of each sale items.

You– This store has prices that knock out the competition.  Hawaii shampoo/conditioner is only 5 shekels (YOU members only) and a 4-pack of Filtuna tuna (including tuna with canola oil) for only 17.90 shekels!  With a 100 shekel purchase, you can get whole fresh carp for 14.90 shekels/kg and Adom Adom fresh lamb shoulder for 59.90 shekels/kg.  They also accept Rav-Tav cards at 100%.  Sale ends 15 Sept 2014.

Yesh B’schunot– Also has a 10 shekel deal- Telma cornflakes, Emek Hefer honey (with the Israeli Standards Institute’s seal of approval), Yesh brand gefilte fish, three 1.5 liter bottles of Pepsi, 4 bags of Yesh pasta, three cans of mushrooms, or three cans of Yesh brand pickles all for 10 shekels.  Sale ends 24 Sept 2014.

Shufersal Deal/Online– Four 450-ml wine glasses or a 34.6 * 20.7 * 5.3 cm rectangular glass pan for 10 shekels.  I bought the pan and will get a few more for Pesach.  The Brita Marella with three filters is 99 shekels and the SodaStream Genesis Deluxe is only 199 shekels (moadon members only).  Thirteen fancy plastics disposable bowls and serving spoons for 29.90 shekels.  Sale ends 24 Sept 2014.

4.  If you are traveling in the near future, you must check out this deal on three spinning hard plastic suitcases- 50, 60, and 70 cm, TSA locks and in a choice of many colors for only 299.90 shekels at Harmonia Labayit.  I can’t vouch for their quality but at that price they are worth a spin.  To find a store near you go to their web site.


Awesome hamburger deal from Mega BaIr- expires 31 Aug 2014

I just came back from Mega and wanted to share this great deal with you.  You get 1 kg of Adom Adom fresh beef (tzavar or tzlaaot) ground, a squeeze bottle of Heinz mayonnaise, and 4 hamburger buns for only 59.90 shekels.  You can multiply this deal by three in one purchase which is what we did.  The store didn’t have hamburger buns left so they allowed me to get half-sized baguettes or a voucher for the hamburger buns.  The meat is definitely not as lean as we usually buy but is tastier for hamburger that way.  Of course my kids don’t realize that I am taking that meat and making my leek and meatballs recipe for Rosh Hashanah… shh- don’t tell…

Rosh Hashana is coming- cook your vegetable dishes now!

Normally I start warning you in July about the impending collision between the beginning of school and the month of non-stop holidays.  This year we have all been somewhat distracted by kidnappings, Tzuk Eitan, and more.  With the 72 hour truce currently holding, I will be cautiously optimistic and begin my persistent reminders.

Why do we need to start thinking about Rosh Hashana now?  For those of us with children, the beginning of the school year is a very stressful time- learning schedules, getting all of the supplies/clothing/lunches organized, finding chugim, babysitters, tzaharonim and more.  The last thing we need to worry about is making meals for a month of holidays!

This year there is another issue that needs to be addressed- shmita.  However you decide to hold, shmita invariably results in increased prices for fruits and vegetables and occasionally (unfortunately) the guest who doesn’t hold by your standards.  For this reason I recommend you start stocking your freezer with as many vegetable dishes as you can- potato kugels, pashtidot, apple pie, etc.  This way you are taking advantage of the currently low prices and are using vegetables and fruits that don’t have holiness- kedusha.

What vegetables are cheap this week? Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and onions have been 2.90 shekels/kg in several stores.  Last year I posted my freezable potato kugel recipe; today I will post my carrot cake/kugel recipe.  This recipe makes 4-5 English cake tins depending on the size of the tin.  They freeze with ease for several months.

Carrot Kugel (Pareve)

Adapted from The Kosher Palette


1 bag of carrots

3 cups of whole wheat flour (even if your family doesn’t like whole wheat, this is a great recipe to hide it in) or white flour

1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups canola oil

6 large eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla extract


Peel and boil carrots until they are completely soft.  Mash them with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a fork until completely combined.  Pour into pans about halfway full and bake in a 180C oven for 45 minutes (for turbo drop to about 20 minutes).  Kugel is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Don’t  forget this step- it is hard to tell if they are cooked through without confirming)  Wrap well with aluminum foil when cool and freeze.

Feel free to post your TNT (tried n’ true) freezable fruit/vegetable recipes as well!

What to do with those kids on Wednesday

If you aren’t one of those people who has miraculously finished all of your Rosh Hashanah preparations by Tuesday night, you are looking for something to do with your kids while you are frantically running around the house.  I really think having children help prepare foods for the holidays helps them feel important and if you make the effort to thank them in front of guests for the lovely creation they prepared, it goes a long way towards boosting their self esteem.  Of course, you are going to have to erase from your mind those lovely pictures of elegant desserts and finely diced vegetables- kids aren’t able to do it, and when you relax your standards, it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Here are some ideas for foods your kids can prepare.   Some are appropriate for different ages so know your child’s capabilities.


I love marzipan.  It is easy to work with and tastes great.  You can buy it plain or colored and use it as sculpting material or as the glue between petit buerre crackers to all sorts of creations such as a sukkah with green sour sticks for schach. Don’t buy the fancier type for eating- it is too smooth and soft for sculpting.

Stuffed fruits

Take a pitted date or an apricot and fill it with: marzipan, nuts, candied cherries, raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc.  Or turn the date inside out and roll it in coconut after filling it.

Cookie painting

Make icing with powdered sugar and water added to make the right consistency with a few drops of vanilla extract and food coloring.  Paint premade or prebought sugar cookies.  Extra points for apple or shofar-shaped cookies.


Also known as “batzek sukar”, this is also great for molding or cutting out shapes with cookie cutters.  You can get in different colors or color it yourself.  Use the creations as table decorations if you like.  We have a great aversion to fish heads so we make them out of fondant- they are much tastier than the original.

Kadoorei shokolad

The classic Israeli kids dessert.

This is the traditional recipe- I am going to add chocolate chips for a change as seen in newer recipes:

  • Mix the following in a pot over a warm flame:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup liquid- milk, water, soy/rice milk, wine

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (unless you are using vanilla soy milk)

  • When it is all melted, add 100 grams of margarine and continue mixing until melted.
  • Mix with 1 package crushed Petit Beurre crackers (~1/2 kg)
  • Shape the mixture into balls or logs (“chocolate salami”).  If the mixture is too dry, add more liquid.
  • Roll in sprinkles, coconut, or chopped nuts.

There are lots of different brands of petit buerre crackers, but to us the only ones with taste are the Gattengo Bros. brand:



Although this dish went out of fashion in the 80s, it is making a comeback for busy parents everywhere.  If you don’t have a trifle dish, you can get a great bowl at Ikea for only 7 shekels.  Layer chocolate cake (can be old/stale also), whipped cream, chocolate syrup or liqueur, chocolate chips and/or fruit (our family doesn’t like fruit).  The top and bottom layers should be whipped cream.  You can decorate the top as we did:



My kids love Milkys, but I don’t like the price.  Our compromise: we make them at home.  You can use chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding with or without food coloring, or jello.  Make the mix and pour into short wine glasses. When cool put whipped cream and sprinkles on top.  I got tired of buying the disposable glasses so I bought a set of four wine glasses from Ikea for 25 shekels.


Fruit faces

If your kids are too young to cut fruit, take a cupcake tray and fill with different types of cut-up fruit.  Let them make funny faces with the fruit, cover the plates and serve that night.  Pomelit and coconut make great hair, raisins can be eyes and dates make great noses.  Don’t forget orange slices for smiles!  Here are some ideas:


That is all for now- post your own ideas as well!

Wishing all of my readers a happy, safe, and healthy New Year.

The final countdown

No, I am not talking about Syria, although I will get to that later.  Tishrei is right around the corner, and we need to be prepared.  Tonight is the night to plan the next few days so you don’t get caught unawares and out of time.


If you have school-aged children, know that there are only three days this week- Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.   Right now- make sure you have three sets of school outfits washed and ready, three sets of meals for school, and three water bottles if you can. (We fill the bottle about 1/4 – 1/3 full with water and put it in the freezer.  In the morning we add cold water and the water stays cold all day.)  Make sure they don’t need to bring anything special to school for the holiday- if so, put it on the calendar and get it now.  Now hopefully you can “forget” about school for now.


Do you have any last-minute haircut appointments, doctor appointments etc. to schedule?  Be efficient- call tonight and leave a message or book on the internet.  I was just surprised to call a hair salon which has a full messaging service at 11:00 at night!

Rosh Hashana

First things first- make a list of what still needs to be done.  Break it down into the following categories:

  1. Guests– if you have, confirm if they have allergies.   Get the guest rooms and bathrooms ready.  What time are they coming?  Do you have to pick them up?  If so, from where?  If you are a guest, find out what you can bring/make/do to help your host.  If you really want to make the hostess happy, offer to bring some already-seeded rimon 🙂
  2. Going away?– if you are, make sure your neighbor has your key in case of emergency, timers are set, pet/plant sitters arranged.
  3. Laundry– make sure your tablecloths, towels, linens and holiday clothes are washed.   If you have a European machine, you know how how long it takes so plan your time accordingly.
  4. Table– do you have enough tables and chairs?  if not, arrange to borrow from a gamach or a friend now.  Do you have enough tablecloths, silverware, plates, serving dishes, napkins, bowls and cups?  If not, figure out how many disposable items you will need to purchase and get it soon. We found very nice biodegradable plasticware that looks just like the Solo brand and wasn’t too expensive.  Don’t forget candles, matches and long-lasting candles.
  5. Food– Make an inventory of your freezer and start planning meals if you haven’t already.  We all need to purchase fruits and vegetables this week- don’t forget apples, rimon, dates and a new fruit.  Most stores are open Saturday night and have extended hours this week to get your last minute shopping done, but don’t go tonight or Sunday for chicken- wait for Monday or later.  You might be tempted to shop for groceries online, but just remember that you are one of many so expect many items to be out of stock.  You don’t want your order to come Tuesday night missing half the items and you have to run out Wednesday morning for them.
  6. Clothing–  do you have enough for a three day holiday?  I know my son already outgrew the last set of clothing we bought him and we have so far been unsuccessful in dragging him in to purchase another -gasp- three outfits.
  7. Kids– make a list of everything they can do and have them do it.  If it makes your life easier, bribe them.  We have offered 10 agorot- 1 shekel per chore (depending on their ages; can be done multiple times) or three levels of rewards- ice cream, pizza, movie depending on how many they do and whether they work together or not.   I will post some recipes/activities to keep them busy Wednesday while you finish your last minute chores.
  8. Beit knesset– if you go, do you have your seat/membership paid for?  If you can, find out where your seat is beforehand so it will be easier to find it during services.  Do you have enough machzorim?  Do you know where they are?  If you are not going, do you know who can blow the shofar for you?   If your beit knesset has a tzedaka campaign during the holidays (selling honors or having someone come in from another agency), budget now what you are willing/able to spend.   Discuss it with your husband/wife so there are no surprises.
  9. Syria– I said I would get back to that topic.  Although everything is still up in the air, nobody was ever harmed by being prepared.  Stock food/water/medicine in your protective room.  Make sure you have the necessary supplies in case of emergency.  Read the Emergency Situation Preparation Guide by Pikud HaOref.  Check out the Pikud HaOref web site for more information.  If for some reason you do not have your protective masks, click here for a list of distribution centers.  If you do have, make sure they are the right sizes for your family members.

That’s it for now- if you have that all written out, you deserve a break!

Free Rosh Hashana cookbook from Maimon’s

Go to Maimon’s web site and download an e-cookbook for the holidays.  The recipes are in Hebrew but I like making the effort because the quantities are what you can get in the store (one packet of baking powder, etc…)

Get Yad Mordechai honey personalized for the holiday

For 25 shekels (including delivery), you can get a 250 gram bottle of Yad Mordechai honey with your choice of photo and your personalized bracha for the new year.

You can design up to 7 bottles per delivery.  Delivery takes 10 business days.  Offer ends Rosh Hashana 5754 or while supplies last.

Click on this link to start. The Facebook app will ask for access to your public profile, friend list and photos so use your dummy account if you don’t want to share that information.

Only 27 days until Rosh Hashanah!!!!

Free mini cookbook from Strauss

Click here to get some yummy recipes for the holidays (Hebrew).

Mega will be open Motzei Shabbat erev Rosh Hashana

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