Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kosher Wines for the Holidays and Weddings

Hanukkah 2009 begins sundown December 11th through the 19th.

A typical Hanukkah menu: potato pancakes (Latkes), fried, of course, in lots of oil, sweet cream cheese rugelach, strawberry-jam-filled doughnuts (sufganiyot) covered in powdered sugar, fried apple fritters, cheese-filled doughnuts fried in oil and dipped in honey, cheese blintzes, etc.
Don't forget a treat for the kids (& adults)... Custom Hanukkah wrapped candy bars.
For the adults.... pairing a good KOSHER wine is just as important for your Holiday table.

Below is a great list of Kosher wines. To make your Hannukkah gathering special, use Personalized Wine Bottle labels. They will add a special touch to the Holidays.
GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Yarden El Rom 2003 $40
A crisp, minerally style, delivering luscious flavors of raspberry, blueberry and red plum. The lively finish features touches of mint and dark chocolate. Powerful. Kosher. Drink now through 2012. 1,027 cases made.

GALIL MOUNTAIN Yiron Galilee 2004 $22
This suave red offers lush flavors of red cherry, plum, raspberry and spice, with a very bright finish filled with currant and mineral. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Kosher. 6,000 cases made.

GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Odem 2006 $18
Fresh and full-bodied, showing apple, fig and pear flavors, with lots of tropical fruit and spice notes on the bright finish. Kosher. Drink now. 1,960 cases made.

BARKAN Shiraz Judean Hills Reserve 2005 $24
This dense red shows dark plum and mocha flavors, with plenty of smoky notes. Dark chocolate fills the firm finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2011. 800 cases imported.

ELLA VALLEY VINEYARDS RR Vineyard's Choice Judean Hills 2004 $27
A dense red, with an herbal aroma and unctuous dark plum flavors that finish with plenty of mocha and espresso notes. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Kosher. Drink now through 2011. 16,036 cases made.

ELLA VALLEY VINEYARDS Syrah Judean Hills 2006 $32
A juicy Syrah, with spicy notes accenting the red plum, berry and raspberry flavors that are fresh and lively. The finish is peppery. Kosher. Drink now. 9,012 cases made.

RECANATI Merlot Galilee Reserve 2004 $23
A crisp red, with red plum, currant and chocolate flavors that carry through to the fresh, mineral-filled finish. Kosher. Drink now. 2,000 cases made.

CARMEL Shiraz Galilee Kayoumi 2003 $37
A structured red, with roasted plum flavors and mineral notes. Quite smoky on the rich finish. Kosher. Drink now. 600 cases imported.

RECANATI Chardonnay Galilee 2006 $16
Supple, with concentrated ripe pear, apple and rich, spicy flavors. Finishes with touches of butterscotch and pineapple. Kosher. Drink now. 3,000 cases made.

GALIL MOUNTAIN Rosé Galilee 2007 $15
A fresh rosé, with berry and cherry flavors and a crunchy, spice-filled finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. Kosher. Drink now. 3,300 cases made.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Getting Organized for the Holidays 1 week before Christmas

The LAST week before Christmas
WHEW..... this is the last week before Christmas. You will be finished with everything that can be done before the big day. Leaving you the week OF Christmas to relax and enjoy family & friends!

Toward the end of this week... shop for the perishable ingredients for your Holiday meal.

Some items MAY have to wait until 2 or 3 days before but milk, eggs, most fresh produce, herbs, cream, etc. will last just fine in the fridge (just check expiration dates) . Also remember to pick up groceries for Christmas breakfast & any special meal you may have on Christmas Eve.

This is also the LAST week to go over your lists & make sure everyone & everything is taken care of. Gifts should all be wrapped & under the tree ... House is clean and organized ... all baked goods done, decorations up... I think That's everything! This week, touch up cleaning & VOILA.... You are ready for Christmas day a WHOLE WEEK EARLY!!! Now just plan on picking up family guests at the airport & you can enjoy this time of year!
Go get your Hair cut ... get a facial ... get your nails done ... spend a little time on YOU! You deserve it!

Hope you enjoyed this series & will use these tips. No more FRANTIC holiday season!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting Organized for the Holidays week 7 "Decorating"

Second week in December ... Organizing for the Holidays
Decorating Week. This can be done the second week of December OR the week after Thanksgiving.

Have a Tree decorating party or just have a great family night. String the popcorn & cranberries, turn on the Christmas music, light the fireplace & get the whole family "in the Christmas mood"

See these great Holiday Decorating tips: Budget Decorating
set out the Holiday candles

If this is the second week of December... Wrap all your gifts (because you should be DONE with shopping) & get the ones you need SHIPPED OUT in the mail by this week!

Pick up any last minute non-perishables for your Holiday dinner & have them all ready.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting Organized for the Holidays week 6 "Holiday Baking & more"

FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER: Organizing for the Holidays

Wow.... this should be about the first week of December! Christmas is coming fast!
By now, you should have everything listed. Decorations, Menus, gifts.

Your cards should be ready to send this week. So FIRST... Pop them in the mail.
Then if you want to add
Custom Candy bars for your guests or party... get those ordered. Custom Candle Centerpiece should be ordered this week too.

Now... this week will be the Baking & cooking week.

For Holiday Baking recipes: Go to Taste Of Home . These are the BEST recipes!!!

Bake all your cookies, Ziploc them & put in the freezer. Also look at your dinner menu & see if you have anything you can cook this week & freeze. Pies, desserts or side dishes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Getting Organized for the Holidays week 5 "Holiday Dinner Planning"

Week 5 of Organizing for the Holidays by

About 1 week before Thanksgiving... Turkeys & all the fixings go on heavy duty sales. Then Ham, Baking ingredients & other holiday food items start in the weeks after.

So... In your notebook... Write down your menu & ingredients you will need to purchase.
*** also write down any baked good & ingredients you will need for "baking week".
See some holiday recipes & tips here

This week.... get your New Christmas Stockings ordered for your decorations.

Then Starting the week before Thanksgiving, watch the sales & start buying the non perishable & frozen items.

Keep an eye out at the Dollar store (if you have one) & start picking up napkins, holiday ware and decorations. These items sell fast at the Dollar stores & are not replenished.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting Organized for the Holidays week 4 "Party Planning"

Part 4 of our Organizing for the Holidays ...
Holiday Party Planning

Are you planning a Holiday Party this year? Well this week you will NEED that notebook!

* determine the type of party (formal, casual, cocktail, etc.)
* decide if you want drinks, finger foods, buffet, full meal, or other
* decide how many guests you would like to invite
* set a date, time, and place for your party
* determine a date by when guests must RSVP
* make a shopping list -- including small items like napkins and candles
* make lists of tasks that can be done in advance and those for party day.

* decorations, including flowers, plants, custom holiday candles and favors
* food and beverages
* other services (caterer, etc.)
* invitations and postage
* entertainment (music, DJ, etc.)
* tables, chairs, and other equipment rentals
* other miscellaneous expenses

This week start calling around for prices & pick up any non perishable items that are on sale.... keep all of this in your notebook because a few weeks before the party:

* put together your guest list and gather addresses and phone numbers
* get invitations
* purchase decorations, paper goods, and other supplies
* contract for any services (caterer, entertainment, etc.)
* plan your menu and purchase non-perishable foods and drinks
* contact any friends or family you want to help with the party
* address and mail your invitations
* pick out the music
* contract for any equipment rental (chairs, tables, etc.)

THEN a week BEFORE your Party: Everything should be purchased including perishables, house decorated, Holiday outfit picked out & cleaned and any last minute purchases. Also check with any contracted services that you have hired.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Get Organized for the Holidays week 3 "Cards & Gifts"

Part 3 of Organizing for the Holidays... Week #3

Now is a good time to start planning your budget for Holiday Gifts and getting Christmas cards ready to send.

Having this done early will REALLY keep you calm later on.

First... get your notebook ready & list all the people you will need to buy gifts for & another list for Card recipients.

Next to the "gift names".... add in a dollar amount to spend on each person. Then when you see things on sale NOW.... "buy as you go" & cross them off on the list when that person is finished. BUT STAY IN BUDGET! & Please use cash... Christmas gifts will end up costing a fortune in the end if you use credit cards & only make payments. Grandma's $10 gift will end up costing $20.

Save that Christmas bonus for all the things you need at the last minute.

NOW Christmas cards.... I am already seeing Holiday Cards in the stores. I buy the packs from the dollar store. If you get them now... write a personal note in each one, add any photos, address & stamp them THIS week. Save them to send out closer to Christmas.

Join us tomorrow for the 4th week of "Organizing for the Holidays"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Get Organized for the Holidays Week 2 "Deep Clean"

Part 2 of our "Get Organized for the Holidays" by

Now that you have everything De-cluttered ( see yesterday's post)... it's time to do the deep cleaning.

So ... WEEK 2: Deep clean.

Corners, cobwebs & under the furniture.
AGAIN.... choose 1 room per day during this week.

Take out the vacuum & using the extended hand tool... start around the ceilings & down corners of the walls. Then go around the corners & edges of the floors. Remember the window sills & stairway step corners too.

Then using the extension tubes with the "fuzzy" attachment.... hit the top of doorways, picture frames & the top of curtain rods. Then pull the cushions on the furniture & give them a good vacuuming.

Move out all the furniture, sweep out any items that rolled under there & vacuum. Then the rest of the floor can get a good vacuuming.

If you have hardwood, tiles or linolium... mop or scrub with hot soapy water or hardwood cleaner. If you use a cleaner that has oils in it for hardwood floors... a little trick: to shine it up, put on clean socks on you & the kids & get them to "shine with their feet". (we have races lol )

As for the Kitchen... this should also be the week that you clean out the refrigerator & clean the cabinets (at least the outsides) Remember to get the oven cleaned too. Self cleaning ovens can be set during 1 of the nights during this week.

Also this week is a good time to "do windows in each of the rooms".

If you have Guests staying in a guest room.... make up the beds & hang fresheners in the closets & CLOSE the door so the kids don't go in & mess it all up again.

Come back tomorrow for "week 3".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Get Organized for the holidays! week 1 "Declutter"

Getting Ready & Organized for the Holiday Season

Only about 15 weeks before Christmas! And its going faster than you think! Starting now... get the house ready, party plans done, gift & card lists ready to send. Start thinking about your Holiday menus & watch the paper for sales.

So for the next few days..... we will be listing a "1 week project" & as you go through each week, everything will be ready when "the big day" comes. Come Back each afternoon & see the next week's tips.

"week 1 project".... Organize everything & declutter the house.

Get yourself a calendar or special notebook & write each week's projects. Assign duties to the rest of the family.

Start slow, small and steady
Schedule 1 room each day & use the 4 box system

The 4 Box method forces a decision, item by item. Get three boxes and a large trash can. Label the boxes, "Put Away", "Give Away/Sell" and "Storage." Items to be thrown away belong in the trash can.

Take the four boxes to the declutter area. One at a time, pick up each piece of clutter. Ask yourself, "Do I want to put this away in another place, donate it (or sell it at a yard sale), store it, or throw it away?" You may not let go of it until you have made a decision.

Each day, take the boxes to the next room & repeat. As the boxes become full, put them away. Storage or garage. If you have several boxes of "donate" items, dump them in a large bag & call your local Thrift store & scedule a pickup. OR if you have time... take them to the thrift store so that you are not tempted to take things out.