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Elegant Impressions

February 2012


Volume I, Issue II




What’s Inside Entertaining

Fruit & Vegetable Buffet 6 Turquoise & Orange Table 14 DIY Yarn Balls 14 DIY Chargers 15 Black, White, & Emerald Green Table 16 DIY Curled Petal Napkin Rings 17 Fuchsia, Aqua & Silver Table 18 DIY Curly Ribbon Napkin Rings 19 Our Readers Say... 20 Photo Contest 21

Food & Desserts

Mandarin Chicken Salad in Eggroll Wrapper Cups 22 Hazelnut & Honey Crusted Veal Chops 24 Carrot and Snap Pea Bundles 24 Basil Rolls 26 Lemon Bars 28 Molten Chocolate Cakes 33 Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies 34 Cookie Dough Eggrolls 34 Cranberry Cherry Ribbon Cookies 35 Rainbow Cookies 36 Mocha Walnut Truffles 38 Masquerade Cookies 40

Do It Yourself

The Professor’s Perspective 42 Kids’ Corner 43 Mishloach Manot 46 Two Toned Bow 48 Cape 50 Yarn Wig 51 Fringed Streamer Photo Booth 52 Pinwheel Photo Booth 53 Purim Character Puppets 54 Fun with Crayons 56

Editor In Chief Amy Oren Editor Jacob Mograby Contributing Writers Jordan Leibzig Estreya Mograby Margalit Romano Aliza Salem Creative Design Amy Oren Photography Maggie Mograby Ad Sales Barbra Panigel Judith Betesh Published By Elegant Impressions Contact (917) 830-4262 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form without prior written consent from the publisher is prohibited. Elegant Impressions Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements in the magazine. Elegant Impressions is not responsible for typographical errors. Readers should always verify kashrut status independently.



Fruit & Veggie Bar This chic and healthy fruit and vegetable buffet, created by Kristine Shin, is full of ideas of how to display nutritious snacks and desserts in a way that appeals to both children and adults. The table is decorated with brassica cabbage and artichoke arrangements and a clever brussel sprout garland trim. The menu includes lots of colors, flavors and textures. Carrots, celery and bell peppers are cut into sticks, and served with four different kinds of dressing for guests to dip the veggies in. Caprese Salad made of grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese balls, balsamic vinaigrette, and a basil garnish, is adorable and appetizing served in little cups.


Watermelon cut into square cubes, with a small round hole carved on top, is filled with a combination of diced grapes and apples, and dressed with a yogurt dressing. Yogurt Parfaits are served in tall glasses, made with plain yogurt topped with raspberries, blueberries and granola. Other fabulous desserts include Pumpkin Latte Shots with a dollop of non-fat whipped cream, fruit on skewers, and fruit tarts. With Tu B’Shvat coming, the holiday when we celebrate the New Year of the Trees, setting up a stylish and inviting fruit and vegetable bar is the perfect way to renew our (and our kids’) appreciation for fruits and vegetables.



Floral Design & Food Styling Kristine Shin Concept My Bride Story Tags Wiley Valentine Photography Serena Grace


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Create your ow



or let us create it for yo





Tablescapes Purim is a time when we can get creative with our table design, using bold colors, whimsical touches, and over the top decor. We’ve designed some fun Purim tables to give you some inspiration for creating your own fabulous Purim tablescapes. Your family and guests will love the exciting change from the usual dining decor and it will get everyone in the fun, happy holiday spirit.


Turquoise & Orange Create your own plate charger to coordinate with your table! You can buy inexpensive chargers, coat them with Mod Podge, and press a paper napkin or printed tissue paper of your choice onto the Mod Podge. Then coat the paper with another two coats of Mod Podge. Dress up you Purim wine Megillah placecards! Print on colored rectangles, curl the paper around the stem then curl the other edge in direction.

glasses with the names the edge of of the glass, the opposite

The white napkin here was folded, then wrapped with orange ribbon and tied diagonally with turquoise yarn. Orange Gerber Daisies were the perfect bright orange color for this table. The vases are filled with vase marbles that not only look good, but also keep the flowers standing without falling over. Blue submersible LED lights were thrown in to make the marbles glow. The table runner is made of strips of turquoise and orange double ruffled ribbon. As a more affordale alternative you can use streamers to achieve a similar look. Making these yarn balls are a fun craft that kids will love to help out with. Wrap yarn around a balloon and tie in a knot. Then continue to wrap the yarn around the balloon until it has nice coverage. Finish with another knot. Pour a generous amount of white glue in a disposable tin, and roll the balloon around in the glue, coating all of the yarn. Let the balloons dry until the glue is completely stiff. If the yarn feels soft after all of the glue has dried, cover it with more glue. When the yarn has hardened, pop the balloon and carefully remove it from the yarn ball. Hang from the ceiling with string and watch your kids’ eyes light up in amazement! 14


Black, White, & Emerald Green

For a more sophisticated look, black and white is always in style, but dramatize the look with bold color like the emerald green used here. The gorgeous table runner is actually wrapping paper! This is an affordable way to dress up the table. Clear glass plates and wine glasses sit on paper doilies. In a calligraphy style font, print the diners’ names on white paper, and place the names under the plates. These make beautiful and elegant place cards. Square vases are wrapped with the same black fabric that was used as the tablecloth. You can easily glue the fabric to the glass vases with a hot glue gun, and the glue comes right off when you’re done. Make sure not to leave too much fabric over the inside edge of the vase; if the fabric touches the water, it will end up wetting your table. Green beaded garlands drape around the vases and are hot glued in place. Monochromatic white roses are contrasted with curly sticks painted and glittered in emerald green . 16

Making these curled petal napkin rings is very simple. Cut out round pieces of a synthetic fabric in varying sizes. Then run a flame underneath the edges of the fabric and watch the fabric curl. This method can be used to make barrettes as well! Get creative with different colors and fabrics. The flowers were finished with a rhinestone in the center, and a sequin ribbon as the ring.


Fuchsia, Aqua, and Silver

This table is all about bringing color and sparkle together. The fuschia tablecloth, topped with a metallic silver fabric runner, is contrasted glamorously with aqua plate chargers and vases. The spectacular sequin stems that fill the vases were found in Target, but with time and patience you can make them yourself. To get this look, attach large sequins to wires, and bind several wires together to give them stability. Bring color to the drink glasses by tying fuchsia and aqua balloon ribbon or raffia around the glasses.


Kids and adults will love the whimsical and cheerful curly ribbon napkin rings. To make the curly ribbon napkin rings: Cut 24 pieces of balloon ribbon, 12� long. Tie them together in a knot, so that the knot is in the center. Bring all the ribbon ends together, holding them like a bouquet, with your fingers right above the knot. Take another 12� piece of ribbon and tie it around all the strands, right above the knot. Using scissors, curl each strand of ribbon. To make the band, measure how wide you want your napkin ring to be, and cut your ribbon of choice to size. Glue the ends together to make the ring. Using hot glue or needle and

thread, attach the curled bouquet to the seam of the napkin ring.


Our Readers Say.. Here are the poll results! We asked and you answered.

When it comes to Purim costumes & baskets, what’s your approach?

64% all e y it Bu mad dy a e r

When do you start preparing for Purim? s % 35 eek w re o Tw befo


28% At le ast a month b efore

37% before k e e w A


Let the kids eat it all


Throw it out


What do you do with most of the junk food you get on Purim?

Give it away

36% It Do self ur Yo

Tell us what you think, take our polls at

FOR Reservations CALL 718-438-6675 Supervision under Rabbi BaBad - Tartikov Sun - Thurs. 1:00 - 10:00 PM 5123 Eighteenth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11204 Email:

Elegant Impressions


PHOTO CONTEST Win Dinner for Two at value of up to $75 How to enter? Take a picture of this magazine in a fun or creative setting. Email your photo to Entry deadline is 2/19/12 Names of contestants will not be posted. 10 finalist photos will be posted on VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE! Online voting will be open from 2/20/12 through 2/23/12


Mandarin Chicken Salad in Eggroll Wrapper Cups

Cookbook Love

By Susie Fishbein Kosher by Design Entertains


In this dazzling cookbook, Kosher by Design Entertains, Susie Fishbein helps you prepare meals that look like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen, without the fuss.”I want the cook to feel like I’m standing in the kitchen, guiding every step,” says Susie. “Cooking tips, presentation ideas and practical, down-to-earth instructions make all the difference.” Never before has a kosher cookbook become an international bestseller in less than two weeks! Now it’s in its third large printing, and the excited buzz surrounding Kosher By Design continues to build. Thousands of people have tried the recipes, marveled at the stunning table decor and have told their friends “You must buy this one!” This amazing cookbook features: More than 250 luscious recipes, 120 stunning color photographs, holiday menus with complementary wine lists of the newest Kosher wines, tips on food preparation, table decorations, floral arrangements and more, innovative ideas for relaxed, gracious at-home entertaining, triple-tested recipes ensure accuracy, ease of preparation and elegant presentation, special index indicating recipes appropriate for Passover, comprehensive index, easy cross-referencing.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts salt freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar 3 tablespoons roasted or toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 (11- oz.) can mandarin oranges, reserve juice

1 small red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced 1 head romaine lettuce 1 cup thin chow mein noodles black sesame seeds white sesame seeds optional: eggroll wrapper cups, see instructions below

1. Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Place the olive oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear 5-6 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides. Reduce heat if necessary to finish cooking the inside without burning the outside. Remove from skillet and slice on the diagonal. Set aside. 2. In a small bowl whisk the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and 1⁄2 cup reserved mandarin orange juice. Season with salt and pepper. Place the onions into a large bowl. Pour 1⁄2 the dressing over the onions and let the onions sit in the dressing for a few minutes. This will mellow their flavor and soften them just a little. Reserve remaining dressing. 3. Break off the leaves of romaine lettuce. Cut off the stem and stack the leaves. Cut on each side of the center rib and discard the rib. Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces. 4. Add the romaine and mandarin oranges into the bowl of onions and dressing. Add the chow mein noodles. 5. Toss the chicken with the reserved dressing, coating each slice of chicken. Toss the dressed chicken slices with the greens. Garnish with black and white sesame seeds. Yield: 4-6 salad sized servings. 8 eggroll wrapper cup sized servings. Eggroll Wrapper Cups: Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Invert 8 oven-proof ramekins or custard cups on a cookie sheet. Spray the outside of the cups with non-stick cooking spray. Drape an eggroll wrapper over the outside of each cup. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, remove eggroll wrapper from cup. Store in a heavy duty ziplock bag at room temperature for up to two days.


Cookbook Love

Hazelnut &Honey Crusted Veal Chops & Carrot and Snap Pea Bundles


By Susie Fishbein Kosher by Design Entertains

Hazelnut and Honey Crusted Veal Chops 1 1/2 cups shelled hazelnuts 1 clove garlic, sliced 1 shallot, sliced 4 tablespoons buckwheat honey or other dark honey 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish 6 (1 1/2 inch thick) veal chops salt ground white pepper 1. Preheat oven to broil. 2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the nuts, garlic, and shallot until finely minced. Add in the honey and pulse to make a paste. Stir in the chopped chives. Set aside. 3. Season the veal chops on both sides with salt and pepper. 4. Place the veal chops on a baking tray 6 inches from the heat and broil 5 minutes per side. 5. Spread a layer of the honey paste over the top side of each veal chop. Place crust side up on the baking tray. 6. Return the tray, uncovered, to the oven on the rack furthest from the heat. Broil for 10 minutes longer, checking to make sure the honey crust is not burning. 7. Garnish with chopped chives. Yield: 6 servings

Carrot and Snap Pea Bundles This is a beautiful, healthy, two-toned vegetable presentation. Be patient when tying the bundles, they are worth the effort. Keep extra chives on hand in case they snap when tying. 1 tablespoon canola oil 2 tablespoons sugar 1 pound carrots, about 5 large, peeled, and cut into 3- by 1/8-inch matchsticks 4 ounces snap peas, cut into matchsticks 20- 25 fresh chives 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and carrots. SautĂŠ 4-6 minutes, until carrots begin to soften. Add the snap peas. SautĂŠ 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. 2. Place the chives in a pot of hot water, let them soften for 30 seconds. Quickly remove chives to a paper towel. 3. Take a small pile of the carrots and snap peas and place them in the center of 1 chive. Tie the chive in a knot, securing the matchsticks into a bundle. Repeat until all of the vegetables are used. Yield: 15-18 bundles With the release of Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings, we welcome the arrival of the seventh exciting cookbook by kosher cook and author Susie Fishbein. Her wildly successful Kosher by Design series has already sold over 400,000 copies worldwide and has led to hundreds of appearances by Susie from coast-to-coast and Canada. She has been the featured celebrity guest on cruise ships as well as at a week-long culinary adventure in the Galil in Israel. Profiled in the New York Times and on CNN, Susie has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews by the Forward. She has been a guest on dozens of network TV and radio shows. Susie was featured at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Disneyworld, and taught at the Degustibus cooking school in NY. Recently, Susie was an honored guest at the White House in recognition of National Jewish Heritage Month. Susie resides in Livingston, New Jersey with her husband and four children.



Basil Rolls Recipe Estreya Mograby Photography Sofia Saka This recipe yields about 15 rolls, so it’s a quick and easy recipe that can be whipped up anytime. Alternatively, you can use your favorite pizza or challah dough recipe. Make a larger batch when hosting your Purim seuda or filling your mishloach manot baskets.

Dough Recipe: 1 cup warm water 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast 1 tsp sugar 1 tbsp. oil 1 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt 3 - 3½ cups flour

Garlic & Basil Coating: 2 tbsp. olive oil (you may need more) 2 cloves of crushed garlic 2 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425°. Proof the yeast with the sugar in the warm water. Add oil, sugar, flour and salt. Knead and let rise for 15 minutes. Tie the dough into knots, brush with egg, and bake for 10- 12 minutes or until golden. After removing them from the oven, while they are still hot, brush them with the garlic and basil mixture.


Lemon Bars Recipe & Photography Bree Hester

Crust 2 cups flour 1 cup confectioners’ sugar pinch of salt 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

Filling 4 eggs 2 cups sugar 4 Tablespoons lemon juice 4 Tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract 1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9Ă—13 pan with cooking spray. In a food processor, put the dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse. Add the butter and pulse until it turns into the size of peas. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Let the crust cool a bit and start on the filling. Put all of the filling ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth. Right before you are ready to pour it over the crust, add the baking powder. Give it one more whirl and you can pour it in. Pour it gently on top of the crust or the crust can break. Bake the lemon bars for another 25 minutes or until the lemon filling is set. Cut into squares and share with a friend. 28

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Molten Chocolate Cakes Recipe & Photography Najwa Kronfel Ingredients: 8 oz. Bittersweet chocolate 8 tbsp butter plus more for ramekins 3 eggs 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon vanilla Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter four 6 ounce ramekins. Place the prepared molds on a baking sheet and set aside. Melt the chocolates and butter in a double boiler. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale, about two minutes, beat in the vanilla. Stir in the egg mixture into the chocolate and then add the flour, mix well. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, the edges should be firm and set but the center will still look a little wet. Serve immediately with vanilla bean ice cream. You can serve them in the ramekins or run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.


Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe & Photography Valerie Catrice 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour 1/2 tsp of salt 1/4 tsp of baking soda 1/2 cup of butter, room temperature 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 egg (beaten) 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract 1 cup of chopped dark chocolate In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and peppermint extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate by hand. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough and roll them into balls. Leave about 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 8-9 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing.

Cookie Dough Eggrolls

Recipe & Photography Nikki Gladd

1/2 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup chocolate chips 1/4 cup sugar 6 eggroll wrappers 1 cup flour Vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon salt Vanilla ice cream Caramel and hot fudge ice cream toppings In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the flour, salt and vanilla. Mix until fully combined, then stir in the chocolate chips. Position the eggroll wrappers on a flat, clean surface. Place a handful of the cookie dough in the center of each wrapper. Roll one corner up over the dough, then fold up the side corners before rolling the rest of the way. Brush the last corner with water to seal it. Heat about a 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet. When hot, flash fry each eggroll, one or two at a time. Using tongs, turn the eggrolls so each side cooks for about 10 seconds. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining rolls. Serve immediately on individual plates with vanilla ice cream topped with caramel and hot fudge sauces.


Cranberry Cherry Ribbons Recipe & Photography Anne Boeckl

Filling: 5 oz. dried sweetened cranberries ½ cup cherry jam or preserves 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Place the cranberries, jam and sugar in a food processor and process until it is coarsely pureed. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally. When the mix just comes to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. Stir in almond extract and cover and refrigerate for 1 hr. and is well chilled. This can be made up to 4 days in advance.

Cookie: 2 cups all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cup sugar

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 1 large egg 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon almond extract

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium, cream sugar and butter until smooth and well blended. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and beat till well blended. Add the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated. Line a 4 ½ by 8 ½ inch bread pan with tin foil, leaving about a 3 inch overhang over the long sides of the pan. On top of the foil, repeat this procedure using 2 long pieces of plastic wrap. Divide the dough into quarters. Gently roll one quarter of the dough into a shape that will roughly fit the bottom of the bread pan. Place the dough into the pan and pat it to spread as evenly as possible. Smooth 1/3 of the filling over the top of the dough. It will be stiff, but an offset spatula works best to push the jam evenly over the dough. Repeat the process in the same way with the remaining dough and jam. Wrap the plastic wrap over the top of the dough and place the pan in the freezer for at least 1 ½ hours or longer. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment or spray your pans with nonstick spray. Remove the dough from the pan using the tin foil ‘handles’. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut the loaf crosswise into thirds. Trim and cut the sides as necessary to make sure the blocks of dough are straight and not flared. Work with one block at a time, keeping the others in the fridge, and cut each third into ¼ inch thick slices. Wipe your knife clean between cuts if necessary. Place each slice on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time, in the upper third of your oven for about 1015 minutes, or until just slightly brown at the edges. Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.


Rainbow Cookies 4 large eggs, separated 1 cup sugar, divided 7 ounces almond paste 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 25 drops red food coloring 25 drops green food coloring 1 (13-ounce) jar raspberry preserves, heated and strained {you can also use apricot} 7 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped


Recipe & Photography Sarah Schiear

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and line bottom with wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 ends, then butter paper. Beat whites in mixer fitted with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed until whites hold stiff, slightly glossy peaks. Transfer to another bowl. Switch to paddle attachment, then beat together almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add butter and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until just combined. Fold half of egg white mixture into almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Divide batter among 3 bowls. Stir red food coloring into one and green food coloring into another, leaving the third batch plain. Set white batter aside. Chill green batter, covered. Pour red batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with offset spatula (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Bake red layer 7 to 9 minutes, until just set. (It is important to undercook. They’ll look like they’re not done, but a tester does come out clean.) Using paper overhang, transfer layer to a rack to cool. Wipe pan of any red residue, but don’t wipe away the excess butter, and line again with parchment or wax paper and butter paper. Bake white layer in prepared pan until just set. As white layer bakes, bring green batter to room temperature. Transfer white layer to a rack. Prepare pan as above, then bake green layer in same manner as before. Transfer to a rack to cool. When all layers are cool, invert green onto a parchment or wax-paper-lined large baking sheet. Discard paper from layer and spread with half of preserves. Invert white on top of green layer, discarding paper. Spread with remaining preserves. Invert red layer on top of white layer and discard wax or parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a baking pan or sheet. Chill at least 8 hours. Remove weight and plastic wrap. Bring layers to room temperature. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Keep chocolate over water. Or, you can melt 3.5 ounces of chocolate at a time, to ensure both layers of chocolate are exactly even.) Quickly spread half of chocolate in a thin layer on top of cake. Chill, uncovered, until chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and place another baking sheet on top, then invert cake onto sheet and remove paper. Quickly spread with remaining chocolate. Either freeze for several hours, or allow cookies to come to room temperature before cutting. Either will help with cutting through the chocolate without it cracking. Place a sharp chef’s knife under running hot water and then dry it. First, trim the edges. Cut lengthwise into 4 or 5 strips, depending on how big you want them. Cut strips crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide cookies, continuing to heat and dry the knife as necessary. Makes between 5 and 6 dozen cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, for up to 2 weeks, or freeze. You can double the recipe and use 12- x 17-inch jelly roll/baking sheets instead, which should roughly double the recipe for the same amount of work.


Mocha Walnut Truffles By Aliza Salem Cookies Couture Purim is coming, my favorite holiday. When Purim comes rolling around, my mind goes crazy thinking of different homemade recipes that I could make for my mishloach manot. Last year I came up with this recipe, it was a real winner, I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients 8 oz. bittersweet/semisweet chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream 1 Tbsp of fresh brewed coffee 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Supplies you will need Chocolate cup molds Chocolate mask molds White melting chocolate Dark melting chocolate

Truffles To make the truffles, place the heavy cream in a heat proof bowl and place in the microwave for about a minute until it’s bubbling. Take the chocolate and add to the boiling cream and mix well until fully incorporated. Once all the chocolate has been incorporated, add the coffee and walnuts and mix . Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour until it hardens. Once the chocolate nut mixture has hardened, take a teaspoon measure or melon baller to scoop 38

out the truffles. To reduce sticking, sprinkle coca powder on your hands and roll dough Into round ball shapes. Place the truffle balls on parchment lined baking sheet and keep in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Chocolate cups To make the cups, add chocolate to heat proof bowl and melt in the microwave for about a minute or so, until chocolate has fully melted. Take a teaspoon full of chocolate and pour into the chocolate cup molds. Swirl the chocolate around in each mold until the chocolate covers all sides of the cup. Then turn over the mold and let the excess chocolate spill out into the heat proof bowl. Place the molds in refrigerator to harden. White chocolate masks Melt white chocolate in separate heat proof bowl and melt in microwave for a minute or so until completely melted. Take a teaspoon full of white chocolate and pour into the mask molds. Continue until all the molds are filled. Place molds in refrigerator to harden. To assemble Take the truffles and chocolate cup molds out of the refrigerator. Place one truffle ball in each chocolate cup mold and flatten using your fingers. Once each cup has been filled, take your reserved melted dark chocolate and pour enough chocolate to cover the whole truffle until the top of each mold. Place finish filled cups in refrigerator to harden. To unmold, invert the molds onto a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat process until all molds have been filled. Do the same with the white chocolate masks molds and when ready to assemble dip the white chocolate mask in a bit of melted white chocolate and place on top of the chocolate cups. Repeat the process with all the cups.

The Cookie Cutter Company Discount

Masquerade Cookies Delicious Sugar Cookies 3 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 cup sugar 2 sticks butter or margarine, cold 1 egg 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cookie Cutter from The Cookie Cutter Company

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping 40

down the bowl, especially the bottom. The dough will be crumbly, knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl. Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar 6 tablespoons warm water food coloring gel Makes: About 3 cups of icing. Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a mixer). Mix in small amounts of food coloring until you reach the color you desire. Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.

Using a Wilton tip 2 or 3, outline the edges of the mask cookie. If you have trouble squeezing the icing out of the piping bag, or if the icing breaks apart as you ice the cookie, you need to thin it out with just a drop or two of water.

Thin the royal icing, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency. It should be like a thick syrup. Using a squeeze bottle, or icing bag with small hole tip, flood the cookie with the icing.With a toothpick, carefully nudge the icing into all the spaces.

While the icing is still wet, decorate the mask cookies with sugar pearls. Let icing harden overnight.

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The Professor’s Perspective... By: Professor Jordan Leibniz (no, of course that’s not my real name) Dear Professor, Our son has not been accepted into the high school of our choice because his grades were not good enough, but we really want him there. Should we utilize our every connection to put pressure on the school to accept him? - Parents of a Great Kid Dear Parents, If it’s just his poor grades keeping him out, and you feel he is capable of handling the academic level of the school despite that, then by all means push. If you know that he is maturing academically and his work will improve, or if the bad grades were an anomaly that will not be repeated, then you would be doing your son a disservice by letting him go to a less academic school. But now let’s take the school’s point of view. Rarely does a school make its decision based on a number alone - if your son is truly a good fit for their school having him will enhance their image and they might overlook his GPA. Maybe you can use your connections to find out more details about why they rejected your son. Be prepared for surprises. I know many parents who think their son is on a certain academic/religious/ social level but the school feels otherwise. Parents like to feel that they know their children better than anyone, but sometimes it isn’t true, especially when it comes to teenagers. Try asking your son if he thinks there is any reason he can think of other than his grades. It’s not easy to get teenage boys to open up, but if you approach it in a loving non-judgmental way you might learn something you didn’t know about him. Lastly, be prepared to deal with this new information about your son - and to change your school choice to better suit who he actually is. Dear Professor, I’ve been feeling very stressed out from taking care of my young children and I desperately need a


vacation without them or I’m going to sink into depression. They beg me not to go on vacation and leave them by family, the very thought sends them into a panic. Help! -Losing It Dear Losing It, I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with taking a vacation without your kids, when all the stars align. Every mother deserves “me time”, and the time away can be good for your kids too as long as they are in a healthy environment. Whether they stay with family or with friends (those are some really nice friends!) it can be a fun adventure for them, just like any new experience can be. But in your situation, there are two things amiss - 1) you say that you are on the brink of depression from dealing with your kids and 2) your kids are panicked at the thought of staying with their family. Let me talk about those things. I don’t think a mom should ever let herself reach a serious breaking point from caring for their kids. If you are in that kind of a situation then a vacation is not going to solve the problem. You need something to change in the regular day-to-day. Maybe your parenting techniques need a tune-up and you can network with other moms or read some parenting books. Or maybe your parenting techniques are fine but you need another person around to share the workload. Can you get a part-time nanny or mother’s helper? Your sanity is top priority, because you are no good to your kids if you can’t function. So stay healthy- mentally. To take care of the second issue, find out why your kids are panicked - are they too young to understand that you will come back, or are they afraid to stay with these relatives? If they don’t like the people you want them to stay with you should probably find someone else, or you will regret leaving them there. If they are afraid you won’t come back there are lots of things you can do - promise to bring home souvenirs to give them something to look forward to, offer to call everyday, make a “calendar” and tell them to rip off one page every night before bed until the last one is gone and you’re home, etc.

Dear Professor, I enjoy being a housewife, but I really would like to start my own small business, either at home or in a store, but my husband says I should stick to taking care of the house. He says that if I feel the need to work, I should do the bookkeeping for his business. How can I make him see how important this is to me? -Stay at Home Mom Dear Stay at Home Mom, Have an honest conversation with your husband. Why does he insist that you only take care of the house or work in his business? Is he worried that your venture will fail and he can’t afford the loss? Is he worried that the house will go to seed if you start to work? Or is he just trying to keep you where he can keep tabs on you, and limit your outside interactions? Try to address any concerns he has and see if his attitude changes. For instance, maybe he’s just worried about the money and you can reassure him that you will pull out completely if your loses reach a specific level. Or if he’s worried about having a clean house, assure him you will continue to take care of everything you have done up until now, either by yourself at night or by hiring help. If he can’t provide rational explanations for his disagreement then the problem might be with him or with your relationship. If you don’t want to be in a controlling relationship then find a good marriage counselor.

Do you agree, disagree, or have something to say? Add to the discussion by emailing the professor. When you need a sharp new perspective on a pressing problem, ask the professor! You can email your questions & comments to

Kids’ Corner Card Trick Lay out playing cards face down in this order: 6 5 4 3 2 A J 10 9 8 7 (A is Ace and J is Joker). Have someone move the cards one at a time from the right side all the way to the left side, while your back is turned. Let’s say they moved three cards, the position of the cards would now be : 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 A J 10 Then wave your hand over the cards and silently count 7 cards over from left to right. Turn the 7th card over. It’s the three- the number of cards they moved!!! It doesn’t matter how many cards they move over, this will always work. Always count 7 cards from the left and the 7th card will say the number of cards they moved. If they decide not to move any at all the card will be a Joker and this tells you they didn’t move any at all. Write with Invisible Ink Making invisible ink is a lot of fun, you can pretend you are a secret agent as you keep all your secret codes and messages hidden from others. All you need is some basic household objects and the hidden power of lemon juice. Squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl and add a few drops of water. Mix the water and lemon juice with a spoon. Dip a Q-tip into the mixture and write a message onto a white paper. Wait for the juice to dry so it becomes completely invisible. When you are ready to read your secret message or show it to someone else, heat the paper by holding it close to a light bulb.




Mishloach Manot Here are some easy and very affordable ways that you and your kids can share food and treats with your friends and family on Purim.

Do It Yourself

There are endless ways to use inexpensive materials to package and embellish your mishloach manot. Printing out pretty Purim labels and stapling a cello bag full of treats is a really cute way to share Purim spirit. Print tags using colors that coordinate with your treats to really give it a polished look. Printing tags on photo paper make the colors really pop, and the shine gives it a professional, candy store finish.

These pretty frozen food containers are perfect for sending delicious homemade desserts. These containers are from Glue a round label to the lid, and embellish with a coordinating ribbon.

Rolling and taping cardstock to form a tube shape (or using a cardboard tube) will give you the perfect shape to create these fun candy shaped packages. Simply wrap the tube with patterned tissue paper, tie the ends with curling ribbon!

Use pretty shaped jars and top with a fun printed tissue paper. Cut the tissue paper in circles and tie at the rim. White paper bags are perfect for filling with homemade treat or even candy. Simply run the paper bag through your printer to print your message directly on it! Fold down the top, punch 2 holes, and secure with a coordinating ribbon.

Download & Print these free Purim tags at

Decorating a plastic drink cup with Deco markers is a fun way to package candy!

For a fun shape, fill plastic, disposable piping bags with goodies! Staple it shut with a printed Purim gift tag. Please Note: In our images we only used one type of candy, but Mishloach Manot need to have 2 types of foods according to Halacha. 47

Two- Toned Bow Tutorial Estreya Mograby

Do It Yourself

Photography Sofia Saka

Cut 11 1/2 “ strips of 2 different colors of 1 1/2� wide grosgrain ribbon. Bring both ends of the ribbon to the middles, forming a figure 8. Hold in place with a clip.

Sew down the middle of each bow. Place the two bows on top of each other on an angle, and sew them together. Wrap or tie a ribbon around center of bow. Using hot glue, attach a clip or barrette to the back.

For ribbons, clips, embellishments and supplies, call Estreya at 917-838-5109. 48


No-Sew Cape

Do It Yourself

There are so many costumes that could use a great cape: superheroes, magicians, royalty, villains, just about anyone who wants that extra flair! This tutorial is super easy because it doesn’t require any sewing at all, and it only takes a few minutes to complete from start to finish. It doesn’t take much fabric to make this cape. The fabric only needs to be as long as it is wide. For example, if your fabric is 50” wide, you only need it to be at least 50” long.

Some variations you can apply to this cape:

Instructions: Fold over the fabric in half. Measure the width of the fabric. The length of the cape will be approximately half this measurement. From the center of the fold of the fabric measure upwards, and diagonally, marking off each position. You should be measuring half the width of your fabric. For example, if your fabric is 50” wide, then from the center of the fold, measure 25” in every direction, marking each spot. You should have a semicircle marked off. Now you can cut out this semicircle, so that when it’s all cut out, you will have a circle of fabric, measuring 50” in diameter. Fold the fabric into a semicircle again. Find the center of the fold again. Now cut a semicircle out of the fold, 2” from each side of the center. This will leave you with a hole in middle of your fabric. Now cut a slit through the fabric, from the inner hole all the way to the end of the fabric. You have a cape! Using a hot glue gun, attach a ribbon to the edge of neck hole, leaving the ends long so that you can tie the cape. Glue trimmings to the edges of the cape to finish.

•cut vertical slits at the sides, in the elbow area to fit the arms through •use a button instead of a ribbon tied in a bow at the neck •use two different fabrics, one for the inside and one for the outside and glue them together for a contrasting lining color •add a second, shorter layer for a double caped look For safety reasons, we suggest not making the cape too long, and definitely not touching the floor.


Yarn Wig The perfect costume needs the perfect wig! With this easy tutorial, you can make a wig of just the right color and length. Add bangs, braids, or just a smile!

Tutorial & Photography Katie Shelton You’ll need: Yarn in the color of your choosing (we used red) cut to desired length (mine was 40 inches), felt strips (10 x 2 inches), scissors, embroidery floss or thread, 2 hair combs per wig.

Gathering your yarn together, find the center. Using your felt strip as backing, begin sewing small sections with a backstitch. The area you are stitching together will end up being your center part.

Continue sewing on small sections until you reach the end of your felt strip. Once it is completed, flip it over. Starting at the same spot you began sewing on the yarn, stitch a comb onto the “front” of your wig. After you’ve gotten the comb on, trim the ends of your wig and try it on!

Optional bangs: Taking a shorter length of yarn, find the front/center of your wig and stitch that on in one chunk. Just like real hair, you will need to trim them to the desired length.


Do It Yourself

Purim Photo Booth!

With everyone all dressed up in their costumes, you know you’ll need to take hundreds of pictures. When the little friends come over with mishloach manot... when the grown ups are ready to let loose and have fun... when the class gets together for a Purim party... Having a fun backdrop and a few photo props makes all those pictures really spectacular, and gives those posing something to work with, to help them get into the moment. To make the fringed streamer backdrop, cut a long strip of a streamer. Fold the streamer several times, then cut fringes on both side of the streamer. When you unfold the streamer it will be fringed all along. Cover the wall with the streamers, hang a banner, and snap away!


To create this pinwheel backdrop, you’ll need lots of paper. We recommend using a couple of scrapbook paper packs- the size of the paper is perfect, and it’s a great way to get coordinating colors and patterns. To make large pinwheels, cut two 12” x 12” sheets of paper in half so that you have four strips paper. Fold each strip like an accordion, tape the strips together to form a complete circle. Flip the accordion to the center to form the pinwheel shape. In the back of the pinwheel use strong adhesive to keep the center secure. For the small pinwheels, cut a sheet of 12” x 12” into four strips of paper, then adhere two strips together to form the pinwheel. The easiest way to get this backdrop onto your wall is by hot gluing them onto bulletin board paper, or oak tag papers glued together. Use thumbtacks to secure the backdrop to the wall.

Download these free photo props and Happy Purim banner at and print them out for your own photo booth! 53

Do It Yourself

Purim Puppets Dress Up Wooden Spoons By: Margalit Romano Swirly Curls Art Your kids aren’t the only ones who have creative license to play dress up on Purim. Let them have fun dressing up wooden spoons this holiday as Purim story puppets! Not only is this project fun, but it gives kids a reason to reenact the dramatic story of Purim over and over again! What You Need: 3 Wooden Spoons Felt sheets in a few different colors Markers Yarn

Glue Scissors Optional: silver rickrack ribbon Optional: glitter glue pens

Instructions: 1. Draw faces on the wooden spoons using markers. 2. Cut yarn to desired length for hair and glue to the top of the spoon 3. Using marker, draw clothing shapes onto felt sheets; cut clothing pieces out. For help with this step visit for free printable templates. 4. Glue clothing pieces onto the wooden spoon. 5. Add glitter glue, or other embellishments to puppets’ clothing. 6. Use your creativity and have fun! Queen Esther’s Crown: For a simple and pretty crown- glue 2 pieces of silver rickrack ribbon over the yarn. 54


Do It Yourself

Fun With Crayons!

Tutorial & Photography Peel the wrappers off your crayons. Using a sharpener, shave down the crayons, Jillian Dubien saving the crayon shavings. Turn your iron on medium-low. Cover your ironing board with several sheets of newspaper, don’t forget this step or you’ll end up with a big mess! Fold a large sheet of wax paper in half. Sprinkle the crayon shavings on one half of the inside of the wax paper, fold wax paper closed. Lay this on your ironing board and place several sheets of newspaper on top, so that you have newspaper both on top and beneath the wax paper/ crayon sheet. Run your iron over the wax paper/crayon sheet until all the crayon has melted. Once all the crayon has melted, remove your wax paper/crayon sheet and allow to dry - a couple minutes will do. Using scissors, cut hearts out of your wax paper/crayon sheet. Punch a hole in the top of your heart, run a piece of yarn or string through it and hang them in your windows. Tutorial & Photography Jamie Walker You can mold crayons into fun shapes using a candy mold! Separate crayons by color. Using a knife, slice the paper wrapping with a vertical cut, and peel off the wrapper. Place each color in a disposable, microwave safe container, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check periodically on the first batch, to make sure the crayons are melting properly. When the crayons are melted, carefully pour the crayon wax into the mold of your choice and let it cool. Note: Candy molds will not be food safe after pouring the hot crayon wax into them.


Tutorial & Photography Megan Duerkson

Take a box of 64 crayons and remove the blacks and browns. You can use another small box and double up on the colors you like. Hot glue them to the top of your canvas or poster. Turn your blow dryer to hot on high and blow the hot air on the crayons. Not long after you set the hair dryer by the crayons they get shiny and the wax starts to melt!

Tutorial & Photography Ashley Rodriquez Recycle old crayons into spectacular new crayons! Divide crayons into color cominations, remove the paper wrappers, and chop up the crayons into little pieces. Place the crayon bits into the cups of a muffin pan, and place in the oven warmed to 150°. Periodically check on the progress, it should take about 45 minutes until the crayon bits have sufficiently melted. Don’t be alarmed if they look like one uniform color. Once you reverse them you will see all the beautiful colors that you worked so hard to coordinate. Carefully remove the crayons from the oven and set it to cool.


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Elegant Impressions February 2012  

The Purim issue is full of tablescape ideas, recipes, costume tutorials and more!

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