One of the biggest Jewish holidays, Passover, starts this evening at sundown. What would a celebration be without a playlist. Enjoy them, share them, and share the Passover story with your friends and families!
This past week, I have stumbled upon so many coins while diligently cleaning out cabinets, drawers, coat pockets, toy bins, car seats, and purses. I was searching for anything that might not be Kosher for Passover (Passover starts at sundown on Friday, April 6). My goal was to remove any food products that are fermented or can cause fermentation. I even got my kids involved. What started as a search for food soon became a coin collection.
My kids had fun finding as many pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters as they could. Since I was just invited to participate in a fantastic opportunity by #CBias to shop the #NOFEECoinstar at a local Stop & Shop, this was the perfect opportunity to cash in on these new found treasures.
This is especially exciting because there is a special NO FEE offer at select, participating Stop & shop stores when you cash out onto a Stop & Shop gift card via the COINSTAR kiosk (normal fee 9.8%). Whenever we can save an extra penny, we spend an extra penny!
So, we piled in the car with our treasure of coins and headed over to the nearest Stop & Shop in Glendale, NY. I also wanted to go to that particular Stop & Shop because they have a Starbucks in the store. Also, they have a very nice Kosher for Passover food section. This particular Stop & Shop has a parking garage that is covered. When my kids were infants, I so valued the convenience of not parking too far from the store and schlepping them in the cold and rain!
We were all excited about this because you can cash in your coins and apply that credit in a couple of different ways at the Coinstar kiosk. Again, that NO FEE benefit had me really excited! Maybe I would take advantage of the Stop & Shop gift card. The shopportunities were endless!
Well, the good news is that the COINSTAR kiosk is very, very easy to locate. When you walk in to this store, you can either turn left to go into the produce section, or turn right at hit the Strarbucks. If you walk straight ahead, the customer service desk, a DVD rental machine, and the COINSTAR kiosk is conveniently located in a row. The pretty green machine has coins on the outside of it. My youngest loved calling out each coin as we looked at the machine. I really liked how, if I wasn’t so into that Starbucks credit, I could apply my coins towards a charitable organization.
I also really liked how easy the machine was to navigate and how it was also available in Spanish as well. I approached the machine with my supply of coins in various Ziploc bags and saw the following message on the screen.
Really? I toggled between screens to see if maybe it was an error. Nope, sure enough, the machine was full of coins and we could not use it.
The kids were disappointed and confused. Since the customer service desk was conveniently located near the COINSTAR kiosk, I asked for help. The Stop & Shop customer service representative was very friendly and walked over to the COINSTAR kiosk to investigate the situation. Mission unaccomplished. This COINSTAR kiosk was full to capacity. My next question was “can you empty it?”. The answer was no. The customer service representative informed me that a representative from Coinstar would have to come out and empty the machine. She wasn’t sure when that representative would be in as the machine automatically sends a message to the company and Stop & Shop is not involved.
I think I was just as disappointed as my kids. The Stop & Shop representative suggested I visit another Stop & Shop location down the road about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I did not have that time on my schedule. Furthermore, every bit of gas we use at $4 per gallon adds up. We also had to get back to the house and continue our Passover preparations. The Stop & Shop representative added that the COINSTAR kiosk was utilized a lot and fills up all the time. I think that the COINSTAR people should be there more frequently to empty the machine. Maybe next time I should phone first?
Even though I wasn’t able to cash in my coins, we did purchase some Matzo. As I mentioned, this Stop & Shop has a nice selection of Kosher for Passover products. My kids were especially excited when they saw our personal friend, Mama Doni, on the box of Streit’s Matzo!
I would definitely use the COINSTAR kiosk again. I do think that I would phone first to make sure that the machine was not full and could accept my treasures. We took our coins back to our house and inserted them into our Tzedaka (for people in need) box. Maybe that is what we were really supposed to do with our treasures this time.
For more information on how you can enjoy the convenience of a COINSTAR kiosk check out their website. You can also LIKE them on FACEBOOK and follow them on TWITTER. See if there is a Stop & Shop in your area, or in an area you might be visiting a Stop & Shop.
DISCLAIMER: I have been paid (at Coinstar’s request) to try and blog about Coinstar’s products/services as part of a Collective Bias shopper insights study. All opinions are my own.
(contributed by Maytal Wichman, mamashealthybites.com)
Shopping for electronics with kids in tow can be a harrowing event; shopping for electronics with cranky kids in tow can be downright traumatic. J & R is an institution here in NYC and is known for its can’t-beat prices. With the opening of J&R Junior, it will now also be known as a great place to take kids while shopping for electronics.
J&R Junior is a brand-new kids store which is an inseparable part of J&R and where you can find the best selections of toys, baby gear and kids electronics. The store also holds developmental classes and full-time daycare, both run by MoonSoup. (www.moonsoup.net
Each year that I am a mom (my oldest will be 6 next week) the more I learn about how the products I feed my children affect them both mentally and physically. In fact, a new study by Researchers in Britain suggest “if a 3-year-old eats too much processed food, it might lower his or her IQ by the age of 8”. This is not an isolated issue and there are other factors that contribute to the development of our children’s IQ (read this article online at cnn.com. When I was asked to review Nature’s Child Nickelodeon Dora Applesauce and Nature’s Child Nickelodeon SpongeBob Berry Squeezers by Nature’s Child Nickelodeon, I gladly accepted. Continue reading
Who knew? Social Media really helped me “kick-tush” this year in my Passover preparations. From Twitter Parties with @koshereye and shmooz sessions on Blog Talk Radio with Jamie Geller author and mom, Koshereye, and Elizabeth Kurtz from gourmetpassovercooking.com, I can go into Passover this year without being a sleep deprived and a muscle aching mommy.
If you want to know what I learned from my kosher foodie friends in the blogosphere this year, listen in and see the “chi-lights”, you’ll want to tune in before every major Jewish holiday!
Happy Passover and may all of your recipes come out right! I just hope that matzo is easier to clean out of my keyboard than chometz!
When I was young and Passover was in the air, a bottle of Manischewitz Wine was always part of my families Seder. Fast forward 30 years and Manischewitz has added food products that Jews and non-Jews can appreciate, like Manischewitz All Natural Ready to Serve Broth. This broth contains real kosher chicken and beef. What it does not contain is MSG! There is also a low sodium broth available. This product was used in the recipes (it was required) at
The other finalist were all so interesting and different. Who knew a can of soup could bring so many different people together? Manischewitz!
Rachelle Lapidus from Lawrence, NY with her Creamy Tarragon Chicken is a stay at home mother of six who loves to cook and bake for her family and friends and volunteers at St. John’s Hospital every Saturday.
Harold Cohen from Hollywood, FL with his Ethiopian Chicken Stew is a
retired reconstructive plastic surgeon and a Vietnam war veteran who loves to travel and compete at national cooking competitions all over the country. I had the chance to ask him a few questions, here is what he had to say about being a finalist. What a mensch!
Julie DeMatteo from Clementon, NJ with her Hungarian Chicken Spaetzl is a retired high school English & French teacher and mother of two; she has been entering cooking contests for over 20 years.
Jamie Brown-Miller from Napa, CA with her Rosemary Duck Cassoulet gets her inspiration from head judge Jacques Pepin. She loves wine tasting and is a dog lover who regularly makes donations to the local Humane Society. She even invented a beer for dogs with the help of her company!
This was a really fun day and I loved hanging out with some of my favorite kosher and non-kosher foodie friends from twitter @susqhb, @NiceJewishGirl, @c2cmom, @kosher.com, @kosherDIY, @elierosenfeld, @JewishTweets, @JenniferPerillo,
My friends over at koshereye.com are hosting a twitter party tonight and Chef Jeff Nathan will be their guest co-host. You can catch the stream tonight, Monday, March 15th from 8:00 – 9:30 PM, EST. To follow the Tweets and participate, use the tag #Passoverpty. Koshereye will be “chatting” about Passover tips, recipes, ingredients, menus, Abigael’s restaurant and Passover friendly recipes from Jeff’s books.
If you can’t make it to the #Passoverpty tonight, you can still catch some excellent Passover tips. Check out Jewish Shmooz Network on Blog Talk Radio.
Kitchen gloves on your hands, no problem. You can listen while you clean, cook, or take a break.
When I was invited to attend Nutella’s Tasting Event in New York City at Citibabes, I knew that two very important needs would be met. I would be able to learn more about a kosher (dairy) chocolate product and my son would be able to join me.
This exclusive event was held at Citibabes, an indoor playground in NYC. This place is clean and populated by children smiling, laughing and playing. The babysitters were also very caring and responsible. I was able to leave my son in a safe clean play area while I walked down the hall to participate in a breakfast and presentation about Nutella. Your probably wondering what is there to “present” about a chocolate spread? Hold it right there! Nutella is not a chocolate spread but a hazelnut spread that contains hazelnuts, skim milk, sugar and a hint of cocoa. This product is gluten-free, contains no artificial colors and no artificial preservatives. It’s no wonder that this product is winning the breakfast battle every morning in homes across America. Yes, there is a breakfast battle in our home and I think I have just found the peace maker.
We all want to make sure our kids are eating enough, especially those that are able to feed themselves. During the Nutella Tasting Event, we were able to hear some great breakfast ideas from nutrition expert, Connie Liakos Evers, MS, RD. She also is the author of “How to Teach Nutrition to Kids”. She opened up the floor for questions about Nutella and told us how to incorporate Nutella at the breakfast table:
Nutella is made in a factory that is completely peanut and Gluten-free
Nutella is a hazelnut spread and NOT a chocolate spread.
Nutella on whole grain bread has less sugar than a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Nutella can help those fussy eaters get excited about breakfast
Nutella is great for breakfast accompanied by a protein source, a fat and a fruit/veggie
When you invite a mom blogger to an event, you need to think about “her children” and what they will be doing while at your event. Another huge plus, transportation was provided. Even though we were stuck in traffic on the way to the event (note to driver, please check traffic report) we made it home from Manhattan to Flushing in under 15 minutes.
Join me today, I have a great show all about Passover. I will be discussing what food items to purchase so your kitchen will be well stocked. We will also be sharing some of our favorite Passover recipes as well as some from Pam Reiss Passover – Kosher Collection cook book author. During the second half of our show, we will be speaking to Michael Altman, founder of Tumbador Chocolate,you can find the online at http://www.tumbadorchocolate.com, located in Brooklyn NY). Tumbador Chocolate is hand-made, kosher (dairy & parve), kosher for Passover items). Michael will also share with us how Tumbador Chocolate was started,and what they have kosher for Passover. If you would like to call-in to the show and ask us a question, you can call (347) 327-9892 or you can send us a tweet on twitter to @koshereye and/or @primetimeparent.
If you’re thinking I just ran in the Manischewitz Schmura Matzo Run, you are all wrong. First of all, the only thing I’m running after these days is my two-year old son.
When I was invited to a very exclusive viewing of the Manischewitz Schmura Matzo Run at the company’s new state-of-the-art matzo baking facility, I booked a babysitter immediately. I’ve been blogging about my kosher food experiences for over a year now and this is like going to the Golden Globes for me. Just being in the presence of Senior Members of the Orthodox Union, dignitaries in the kosher world, congregational rabbis and lay leadership, was very exciting for me. I actually had the opportunity to interview President & C.E.O. of The Manischewitz Company, David Yale. Mr. Yale gave a very nice explanation of the Manischewitz Schmura Matzo Run it is the most sacred of kosher traditions.
I’m sure you all wondering what else is so special about the word Schmura? The word, Schmura, means “watched” because this ceremonial matzo receives special supervision from the time the wheat is harvested to the production at the plant, ensuring that no water is introduced into the process before it’s time. I was amazed by the processes and steps taken to ensure that this process was indeed “kosher”. It was really incredible to see the world’s largest matzo oven which could produce enough matzo in a year to circle the globe twice. That’s Latz-O-Matzo!
Before the Schmura Matzo run was even started, a special blessing was recited in recognition of this momentous event. Manischewitz recently celebrated 120 years, which in Jewish law represents the number that honors old age, and now they are embarking on the next 120 years.
Passover starts on Tuesday, March 30th and ends Tuesday, April 6th. Stores have already started stocking their shelves with some of these new products from The Manischewitz Company. I must say that my personal favorite is the Manischewitz Decadent Dark Chocolate Almond Bark, which is Pareve and delicious. If you’re local supermarket does not have these products in stock, have them contact The Manischewitz Company online, www.manischewitz.com. Now, here are some of those new Passover ready products.
Manischewitz Kosher Salt
Manischewitz new Kosher Salt will no doubt become a staple in home kitchens,
delivering consistent flavor and perfect for all culinary needs. With its
coarse texture, it easily adheres to food and is great for encrusting,
brining or using as a rub on brisket, chicken and steak.
Size-16 oz, SRP-$2.49
Manischewitz Clover Honey Squeeze Bear
The perfect addition to the Manischewitz Honey line, the new Clover Honey
Squeeze bear is all-natural and delicious. Size-12 oz, SRP-$4.89
Magic Max Cotton Candy
Soft and Fluffy, Magic Max Pink Cotton Candy is a nice treat to please the
kids. This sweet treat is sure to be a hit among kids of all ages. Size-1
Season Canned Tuna
Back by popular demand, 100% Premium Quality Solid White Albacore Tuna is
available in both water and olive oil. Size-5 oz, SRP-$3.49
New Mishpacha Products for the Holiday
Mishpacha is introducing a new line of macaroons, available in three
flavors: Coconut, Chocolate and Chocolate Chip. Also, for the holiday the
brand is introducing Grab n’ go all-natural apple sauces, lemon juice, and
delicious pineapple products that are sure to make your holiday season a
little bit tastier. Macaroons: Size-10 oz, SRP-$4.99; Apple Sauce: Size-6
pack-4 oz cups, SRP-$4.29; Lemon Juice: Size-32 oz, SRP-$3.89; Pineapple
Juice: Size- 20 oz, SRP-$2.29.