Saturday, December 7, 2019

Smart Safety: Holiday Decoration Safety Tips

Tips originally published here

Decorating Safety Tips

  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. Water your Christmas tree daily.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire-resistant.”
  • Use only electrical decorations and lights that have been approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration before use. Cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
  • Keep all decorations 3 feet away from heat sources, including space heaters and fireplaces.
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Avoid using candles when possible. Consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
  • Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together, and consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
  • Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with an amperage rating of extension cords.
  • Follow the use and care instructions that accompany electrical decorations, and always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
  • Keep young children away from holiday lights, electrical decorations, and extension cords to prevent electrical shock and burn injuries.
  • Avoid plugging too many holiday lights and decorations into a single outlet. Overloaded outlets can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
Keep these post-holiday tips in mind as you wrap up the holiday season:

Post-Holiday Safety Tips

  • With time, Christmas trees continue to dry out making them increasingly flammable. Trees decorated with holiday lights have an increased risk because they’re in direct contact with an electrical source. Check with your local community to find a recycling program through which to dispose of your tree early in the new year.
  • Always unplug decorations by using the gripping area. Pulling on the cord could damage the wire and present a shock or fire hazard.
  • As you take down holiday lights, inspect the wiring and discard any that have cracked, frayed, or appear to have damaged wire insulation.
  • Make sure to label or store indoor decorations separate from those intended for outdoor use.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry area that is not accessible by children or pets.
ESFI’s website www.holidaysafety.org offers a variety of holiday safety resources and information to make safety a priority this holiday season. 

ABOUT ESFI

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.

World Wisdom: Green Habits for the Holidays

The holidays are a bustling time of family and food, shopping and gifts. With so many parties and get-togethers, and so much gift wrapping and discarding packaging, some families have started asking what they can do to add eco-friendly habits to their holiday celebrations.

  • Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
  • If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
  • About 35% of Americans have an unused Christmas present collecting dust in their closets.

We’ve put together a list of some fun ideas to add earth-conscious and green habits to the holidays:
  • Consider Recycled Gift Wrap. Use newspaper or tissue paper from packages and purchases to wrap gifts. If you have extra tote bags hanging around (and who doesn’t??), tie the bags up with ribbon to make them festive.
  • Shop Local. In addition to gift shopping locally, add locally sourced and organic foods to your holiday meals.
  • Reduce Energy Use. Decorate your home and tree with LED-lights, which are more energy-efficient.
  • Encourage Eco-Friendly Habits Through Story. Newly released Greta and The Giants is a sweet story about taking care of the earth and creatures around us. Inspired by the efforts of teenage activist Greta Thunberg, the book includes a section at the back featuring ideas for how kids and families can incorporate green habits into their lives and days. The story is endearingly approachable for the littlest ears and simply encourages thinking about how one’s actions impact others (like the animals who live in the forest). 

As a publisher of books, we are doing our own part to reduce the carbon footprint for Greta and the Giants, which is being printed locally in the US on 100% recycled paper. Additionally, we are partnering with 350.org, an organization Greta Thunberg supports, to get the word out, and we will be donating 3% of the cover price of each copy sold.

Free Screening: Jumanji - The Next Level (12/9 7p Showplace Icon West End)

MONDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 7:00PM
SHOWPLACE ICON (WEST END)
1625 West End Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

TO DOWNLOAD A FAMILY-FOUR PACK OF PASSES CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST)

Enriching Education: Voices of Reform - Educational Research to Inform and Reform

Why is it so hard to send my kid to a good preschool? That’s the question asked — and answered — by Hani Morgan, EdD, professor of education at the University of Southern Mississippi in her article in the latest issue of Voices of Reform: Educational Research to Inform and Reform journal

The journal provides educators with tools and research information for helping them become better teachers. It is published by the Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform (NBHIER) at Stetson University. Its mission is to find new ways to educate children by developing local incubation projects to test innovative ideas that impact K-12 classrooms with specific attention on closing the opportunity gap for children in marginalized settings.

The publication’s second issue features six articles and a book review about education policy and reform from scholars and practitioners inside and outside of the education field throughout the United States.

“The current issue features a good mix of authors who are not all educators and looking from a lens outside of education, which enhances the credibility of educators and educational research,” said journal editor Lou Sabina, PhD, assistant professor of education at Stetson. “The journal features articles about some extremely important education reform issues that are geared towards policymakers, and in theory, policymakers are the main influencers.”

Articles include:

“Why is it Hard to Send my Kid to a Good Preschool? The Shocking Truth about Early Education in America” by Hani Morgan, EdD, professor of education at the University of Southern Mississippi. Morgan explains how the preschool years are crucial for a child’s future success because the brain grows at a rapid rate during that time period and early childhood education is imperative and an essential investment.

Using First-Year Seminar Courses to Improve Performance Funding Outcomes — A Case Study of the State of Florida” by Masha Krsmanovic, PhD, post-doctoral scholar at the University of Central Florida College of Community Innovation and Education’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. The author explores the importance of colleges and universities having first-year seminars, courses designed to assist first-year students with transitioning into their new academic environment and paving the way toward a timely graduation with the help of performance funding in Florida and nationally.

“Reinventing the Mission: The Vital Role of Academic Support in the Higher Education Accountability Era” by Joseph Huston, MA, director of the Academic Success Center at Seminole State College, discusses how incoming students are under-prepared for college, which creates a barrier for delivering effective undergraduate instruction.

“Future of the Professoriate” by Rick Ferris, PhD, MBA program director at the University of Charleston, and Robert J. Sweeney, PhD, professor of business at Wright State University. The paper examines the employment of professoriate at colleges and universities of the past and present as well as provides a vision for the future.

“Right-sizing Oklahoma School Districts: Examining District Size, Enrollment and Superintendent Compensation in Oklahoma School Districts” by James Machell, PhD, professor of professional studies, and Cheryl Evans, EdD, associate professor of professional studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. This article encourages elected state leaders and citizens to consider cost savings that could provide additional funding directed to classrooms.

“Teaching Asian-American Literature and American Multiculturalism in Singapore” by Hyo Kyung Woo, PhD, lecturer of Asian-American literature at Boston University. The paper discusses the difficulties and challenges of teaching Asian-American literature and American multiculturalism in Singapore.

Book review: “Ginicola, Smith and Fillmore: Affirmative Counseling with LGBTQI+ People” by Brigid Noonan, PhD, dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Nazareth College. The review of Affirmative Counseling with LGBTQI+” inspires clinicians and educators to engage and support the LGBTQI+ populations.

The Voices of Reform: Educational Research to Inform and Reform journal is accepting submissions for its third issue, which will be publishing next fall. The journal is seeking scholarly, practitioner-oriented and scholarly-practitioner articles between 3,500-7,500 words. The journal is also seeking exceptional student education research articles.

About Stetson University
Founded in 1883, Stetson University is the oldest private university in Central Florida. Stetson focuses on intense learning experiences in a supportive community that allows students to develop their voice in a connected, inclusive environment. Stetson University ranks No. 5 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of Best Regional Universities (South), and has been recognized as one of The Princeton Review’s 385 Best Colleges, 2020 edition. Stay connected with Stetson on social media.


Mealtime Magic: Roasted Vegetable Soup and Wontons in Garlic Sauce from More Real Life Kosher Cooking


Recipe(s) and photo(s) reprinted with permission from
More Real Life Kosher Cooking by Miriam Pascal
Mesorah Publications/November 2019
Photos by Miriam Pascal
Wontons in Garlic Sauce
This recipe began with my obsession with wontons and garlic sauce from a particular Chinese restaurant that’s nowhere near my home. Naturally, I had to recreate it myself. Since then, these wontons have become the stuff of Pascal family legend. It’s my family’s all-time favorite Yom Tov appetizer. The only downside? It’s pretty much guaranteed to upstage basically any other dish you serve at the same meal!
Meat      Yield 10-12 servings

WONTONS1½ pounds ground beef
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon
toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, preferably a mix of
black and white
4 scallions, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 50 wonton wrappers, approximately

GARLIC SAUCE
1 (18-ounce) jar
hoisin sauce cup soy sauce cup rice vinegar
cup honey
2 teaspoons sriracha
1 teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup water
12 cloves garlic, minced
sliced scallions, optional, for garnish
additional sesame seeds, optional, for garnish
1    Prepare the wontons: Combine beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions, and garlic in a large bowl; stir gently until just combined.
2    Place about 2 teaspoons meat mixture onto the center of a wonton wrapper. Brush a small amount of water along the edges before pressing them together to help keep them sealed; bring the edges together to form a wonton. Set aside; repeat with remaining meat and wonton wrappers.
3    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop a few wontons into the boiling water; cook for about 6 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon; place on parchment paper, not touching each other. Set wontons aside.
4    Meanwhile, prepare the garlic sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat; simmer mixture for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
5    Just before serving, toss cooked wontons in sauce; warm through. If desired, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
Plan Ahead: Wontons can be frozen, without sauce, either before cooking (boil just before serving; if boiling frozen, add 1 minute to cooking time) or after cooking. Sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge. Combine wontons and reheated sauce just before serving.


Roasted Vegetable Soup
What started out as a fridge full of produce that had to be used up has morphed into one of my all-time favorite soups. Roasting the vegetables brings out their flavors, resulting in a healthy soup that’s packed with flavor and so filling! Feel free to customize your soup based on whichever veggies you happen to have on hand.
Pareve     Yield 6-8 servings
ROASTED VEGETABLES 
2 large zucchini, diced
3 medium yellow squash, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
1 pound frozen cauliflower florets, defrosted
¼ cup oil
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
SOUP
4 cups vegetable broth
about 6 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon kosher salt 
1. Prepare the roasted vegetables: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place vegetables, oil, salt, and pepper into a bowl. Toss to combine. Divide between prepared baking sheets. Roast for 50-60 minutes, until vegetables are starting to brown.
3. Prepare the soup: Place roasted vegetables, along with any juices, into a large soup pot. Add soup ingredients; bring to a boil.

4. Simmer for about 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend soup well, for about 3 minutes, until fully smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Plan Ahead: This soup can be prepared ahead and frozen in an airtight container.
 
Most of us love to cook simple but delicious meals.  Social media personality and chef, Miriam Pascal knows this well.   Hundreds of thousands of her fans regularly enjoy her creative, tasty, and just-plain-fun recipes, which she shares on her popular blog and in her bestselling cookbooks.  
In 2017 Miriam’s best-selling cookbook Real Life Kosher Cooking, sold out its first printing in only 10 days. As a result, Miriam has released her much anticipated follow up cookbook, MORE REAL LIFE KOSHER COOKING, just in time for Hanukkah.  Miriam shows home cooks how to create memorable dishes with approachable recipes, using simple, common sense preparation. Just great ideas, fantastic results - and lots and lots of love.

MORE REAL LIFE KOSHER COOKING contains over 150 doable recipes complete with beautiful photographs.  Each recipe is made with accessible, easy-to-find ingredients and instructions, and have "Plan Ahead"” and/or freezer tips.  Miriam also includes a Pesach Guide in order to adjust your favorite recipes for use during Passover.
Recipes range from Breakfast and Breads, Appetizers and Snacks, Salads and Spreads, to Soups and Stews, Meat and Poultry, Dairy and Meatless Mains, Desserts and Drinks, Sauces and Staples, and Baked Goods and Pastries. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Miriam Pascal is the founder of OvertimeCook.com, one of the world’s leading destinations for kosher recipes, with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. A self-taught cook and baker, Miriam shares her passion for recipes, food, and photography on her website, as well as in her popular food column in Mishpacha Magazine’s Family Table. Her first book, the dessert cookbook Something Sweet, enhanced her reputation as the go-to source for easy-to-prepare, delicious kosher recipes. Her second cookbook, Real Life Kosher Cooking has become a kitchen staple. Miriam has garnered a large and loyal following of home cooks who appreciate her expertise and experience in creating simple, family-friendly recipes that fit the lifestyles of busy people who want to serve nutritious and delicious meals. Miriam’s work has been featured by numerous national magazines and other media.

Healthy Habits: Five Pro Tips for Protecting Your Immune System at the Office This Flu Season

By Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories

The workplace can represent different things for different people: a means to provide for the family, an opportunity to be part of a team and work toward a common goal, a way to give back to the community and the list goes on. But one common thread between office buildings, geographical areas, teams and industries is that we’re all looking to find ways to avoid getting sick at work during flu season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season starts to pick up steam in October and peaks between December and February. While the timing and duration of flu season varies from one year to the next and even from strain to strain, occurrences sometimes linger all the way until May. Think about that. This means flu season has the potential to last for more than half of the year!
Employees miss about 17 million workdays each year due to the flu. The 2017-2018 season included the highest rate of flu activity since 2009, resulting in an estimated 48.8 million people getting sick with influenza, 22.7 million people going to a health care provider, 959,000 hospitalizations and 79,400 deaths. These staggering numbers might make you want to crawl into a cave and hibernate, but unfortunately that isn’t always conducive to maintaining a career.
As adults who spend most of their waking hours working in an office during the week, there is a high probability of exposure to the flu via coworkers. And in order to know how to prevent contracting the flu, we must first understand how influenza is spread. The Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) warns that early on in infection, even before symptoms become evident, a contagious person can begin shedding the virus and infecting the people around them. It has been found that influenza viruses can survive for:
·       Up to an hour in the air in enclosed environments
·       More than eight hours on hard surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic
·       Up to five minutes on hands after transfer from other surfaces
 With this in mind, here are some tips for preventing flu infection this and every season:

Less hand shaking, more fist bumping – Although a good firm handshake is a professional courtesy in the workplace, fist bumps are trending. The perk: keeping germs off of your palms! If you must shake a hand, wash your hands after. It is not recommended or realistic to go running to the bathroom after every interaction, but subtly making your way to a lavatory or break-room sink is a good idea whenever possible. Which brings us to the next suggestion…

Get your hands on an antibacterial hand sanitizer – Keep antibacterial hand sanitizers at your desk and use them whenever you touch communal office equipment, shake a hand or somebody hands you something. Washing your hands is always best, but hand sanitizer is a good backup to kill bacteria and viruses.

Keep good space between yourself and others – Unless you have a large bubble you can wear to work, try to keep out of the airways of others. Don’t talk too close with others or stand within “shooting range” of an unexpected sneeze or cough.

Boost your immune system – It is important to keep your immune system as strong and healthy as possible, especially when we are more vulnerable to disease and virus in shared spaces like the office. Plenty of sleep, proper nutrition, drinking lots of water, regular exercise and minimizing stress are all necessary for keeping your immune system at its best.

Be your own advocate for proper healthcare and optimal nutrition for YOU – Beyond maintaining a generally healthy diet, it is imperative that we eat right for our individual systems. Because everybody responds to different foods in a unique way, this too can affect our immune systems. If we are exposed to something that our body might be sensitive to, it can weaken our immune system or trigger a negative autoimmune response. So if you are aware of foods that don’t settle well with you, try to avoid them during the flu-laden, vulnerable time of the year. If you suspect you may have sensitivities to foods or have what you believe to be autoimmune response to them, consider speaking with your health care professional about food reactivity testing like the Cyrex Laboratories Array 10 blood panel.

There are several respiratory viruses that can circulate around the office during flu season that can cause symptoms and illness similar to those seen with flu infection, such as rhinovirus (one cause of the “common cold”) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Therefore, exercising precaution and following these guidelines for avoiding the flu at the office this season will give you your best opportunity for a sniffle-free season.


Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories. Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine, and environmentally-induced chronic disease.

Marketing Reporting- Top 5 Templates for Digital Marketers



Everyone has to make marketing reports at some point in their professional lives. Making reports isn’t glamorous, but it is a very necessary part of business management. For small businesses, a solid reporting system can make or break strategy implementation. There is no doubt that businesses need to create reports on a regular basis—for every level of management, and across departments. Your report needs to have an attractive layout and strong design choices, so your employees, managers, customers, or stakeholders will engage with it.

But how do you create a marketing report that people will actually read?

You have the option of hiring a graphic designer or investing in software that will create beautiful reports for you. But, if you want to save money and time, you should be looking at using a marketing report generator that offers you templates. Templates are highly customizable, extremely attractive, and flexible to use. A marketing report template will allow you to visualize KPIs, create process charts, and incorporate graphics. All of which make for exciting and engaging reports that will effectively share your information. Additionally, templates can be easily reused for a number of different needs.

We share five report templates below that you can use to create excellent marketing reports for your company.
Project Status Template
Content marketing focuses on campaigns and projects that have varying durations, with multiple deliverables. They also involve a number of people—not just the marketing team, but external parties, as well. To keep track of what has been accomplished in a campaign, what roadblocks have started appearing, and what remains to be completed, a project status report template is an ideal choice for your marketing report.

In the below example of a project status report, you can include an overview of the campaign you are working on and the elements that have been accomplished.


















The simple icons explain clearly what aspects of the project have been possible to execute. On the second page, you can include more details of the project, including planned dates for completing each task, along with the actual completion dates. This system allows the report maker to accurately flag any problems with reaching deadlines. You can also highlight upcoming tasks that remain incomplete and outline next steps.

With a project status report, you can easily summarize your tasks, and the progress made in achieving them. The template can be updated on a regular basis—weekly, monthly, quarterly—depending on your project’s needs. This report gives you a quick and easy-to-absorb snapshot of a campaign that leaves nothing to the imagination. 

Competitor Analysis Template
Whether you are a startup or a business that is expanding into new territory, a competitor analysis report is necessary for making your mark in your industry. However, competitor analysis can be a complicated process, which is why marketers need a convenient tool like a report template.

The competitor analysis template below includes an overview of your competitor’s products and services, the objectives you are aiming for, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), as well as important statistics about your competitor that will inform your marketing strategy.
 
This clean competitor analysis template is easy to read, packs in a large amount of information, and uses a combination of icons and data flow diagrams to convey your message to readers.

Case Studies TemplateCase studies are an intrinsic part of most business models. Particularly for the marketing department, case studies are an excellent way of analyzing past campaigns and projects. Case studies need to tell a story, with an overview of your company or project, as well as the team members who played an important part in the campaign. There also needs to be a summary of the findings and a conclusion.A case study report needs to encompass a great deal, while putting an emphasis on the key takeaways from an event or campaign.

A template, like the below example, will help you make it more engaging.


The front page has enough space to create a narrative for this fictional social media case study report. The second page outlines the approach and the conclusion, including important statistics. A case study report template succinctly provides an overview of your campaign or project, and shares your findings in a coherent manner.

Market Research Template
Market research is an important part of marketing. You need to know what is happening in the current environment, not just so that you remain on trend, but also for you to improve your strategies, and to grow your rankings. It is also imperative for understanding what your consumer base needs and why, so you are assured of customer loyalty. Once you have collated all your research information, through surveys and by studying focus groups, you will need to put the information together in a comprehensive report with clear next steps and guidelines.  A market research report template, like the below example, will help you do that.

The above market research report from a fictional smartwatch company looks at current industry trends, analyzes competitors, looks at what is driving the market, outlines user personas, and concludes with the company’s next steps.

With a combination of colors, icons, images, and graphs, the market research report template successfully shares a great deal of information in simple yet attractive terms.  No more will you need to worry about the top boss or manager deciding to undertake a new project on a whim—this concise report will share just the facts and keep your marketing strategy on track. 

Annual Report TemplateOne of the most important kinds of reports that all companies need, across all departments, is the annual report. More than any other kind of report, the annual report needs to pack in a significant amount of information. It is essentially your one-stop-shop for everything to do with your company over the past year.Additionally, the annual report is a document that is often shared with external stakeholders, which means it needs to include more than just a cursory amount of information about your company.

The annual report design needs to give readers a summary of the company’s activities, mission statement, growth, status of the company capital, stock details, successes, and learnings. That is a lot but all of it has to be included and it needs to look inviting to your readers. You can put the information together beforehand and use a visually appealing annual report template, like the below example, to do the job of keeping your readers engaged.

The annual report above has clearly demarcated sections that can easily be absorbed at a glance. The modern design is not only readable, but attractive enough for people to want to keep a copy in their home. Additionally, the multiple graphs condense the year’s data into bite-sized pieces of information that can be easily shared.

A strong annual report template not only makes it easier to input the data and information you have gleaned over the past year, but also ensures that your readers will gather what you are trying to say.
Conclusion

Using a template to create your reports will make it easier to produce reports on a consistent basis. There are a few things to keep in mind while using templates, however. You should always incorporate your branding first, such as your logo, fonts, and color palette. Keep the information precise and clear, instead of crowding the template you have. And always focus on the functionality of a template, rather than how attractive it is. Use icons, colors, visuals, and text to support your information, not hide it.

With those points in mind, and a host of templates to choose from, you will be making marketing reports easily from now on.

All report templates provided by Venngage.

Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita is interested in a variety of topics related to digital marketing, visual content, and online engagement, which she enjoys researching and writing about.

Twitter: @Venngage

Mealtime Magic: 8 Chanukah Recipes from Kosher.com

The Jewish people have been celebrating Chanukah, or the Festival of Lights, for centuries. All around the world, families light the menorah, play dreidel, and eat diet-busting fried foods to commemorate a great miracle that happened in 130 BCE.
Why fried foods? The story in brief: The brave Maccabees defeated their oppressors, who wanted them to worship only Greek gods. It was time to purify and rededicate the Temple. There they found only one small jar of oil, enough to keep the eternal light aflame for just one day. But miraculously, that light continued to burn for eight days!
Oil symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Thus, fried foods like donuts and latkes are traditional fare throughout the eight days of Chanukah. But that doesn’t mean these goodies have to be ho-hum, say the food and lifestyle experts at Kosher.com.
With a few basics on hand – like Manischewitz mixes, Bartenura Olive Oil and Tuscanini jams and sauces – and some creative recipes from Kosher.com, you can rock every Chanukah meal with a different treat! Read on for de-LIGHT-ful main dishes such as Pulled Brisket Taco Latkes from Chef Esty Wolbe, and modern twists on traditional desserts such as Savory or Sweet Donuts (top them with crushed cookies or goat cheese and balsamic glaze), and Berry Cheese Latkes from Chef Naomi Nachman.
Serve them with a Chanukah-inspired Golden Wine Spritzer. Utilize Manischewitz cooking hacks such as potato pancake mix and donut mix to get gourmet results while reducing your prep time in the kitchen.
More Chanukah Recipes from Kosher.com:
Gluten-Free Chanukah

Chanukah Recipes for the Kids:


Chanukah Party Snacks


Savory Chanukah

Kosher.com is your free, searchable online community for kosher food, lifestyle, and conversation. Let hundreds of chefs, food writers, wine experts, and other professionals inspire you with thousands of recipes, videos, articles, and more.

Book Nook: Will's Adventure to the Candy Mountain

Gifted educator and author Dr. Gerry Haller presents a delicious and wholesome fantasy story that will touch the hearts of readers of all ages this holiday season in her new children’s picture book “Will’s Adventure to the Candy Mountain.” More than just a sweet experience, the entertaining story also instills the importance of being a good and kind person, as well as the benefits that can be gained with it.

The story follows a young boy named Will whose dream finally comes to reality as he embarks on a magical journey to Candy Ville and travels through the Candy Mountain. Readers will be asking for seconds (of reading the book again that is) after they finish this charming story and will be reminded that good things come to those who are respectful and considerate. To learn more please visit, www.willsadventuretothecandymountain.com

Author interview:
    1. Why did you write this book?
I told this story every Saturday night to my Grandson’s Will and Quinn. It started little and grew. Will was so excited about the story that he felt I should write the story in a book. He strongly felt that it was unfair for just the two of them should hear it. He felt all children should hear it. What could be better than going to the Candy Mountain, so one day I sat down and started writing it. So here we are having an adventure to the Candy Mountain. 
    1. What makes this book kid-friendly?
Every child loves the thought of going to an adventure on the Candy Mountain. It turns out to be such a beautiful place. In order to get there, you must be well behaved. The best child. In the story the boys are so well behaved with such good manners. It is such fun to hear how mannerly they are with all the characters in the story. There are mysteries they must solve and the children love the mysteries and so do the adults. 
    1. How can parents use books to start conversations about kindness?
By raising questions as they go through the pages of the book. There are so many good books you can read that you can bring up about the importance of kindness and good manners. Dr. Seuss’s book “The Sneetches.” He wrote many stories about the importance of what happens when you are not kind. There was always a moral to his stories.  When you read a story, you should always bring up questions. That’s how you teach reading and understanding.
    1. What's your favorite thing about being an author?
Seeing the excitement on everyone’s face. I really did not expect to see the excitement on people’s face. I would see it on small children to twelve-year old’s, parents to grandparents, teenagers who would want to read the book to a little brother or sister, or  friend’s would stop in to buy a book. Even my Doctor when I gave him a copy of the book. It was endless. It was such a thrill. It put such a big smile on my face.

About the author
Author Dr. Gerry Haller is an accomplished educator having received many awards in the teaching, curriculum and administrative fields. Some of these awards include being recognized for The Golden Apple, The Carnegie Foundation for her teaching in the Inner City of Chicago and receiving the Phi Delta Kappa Award for being outstanding Principal of the Year. She received her Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University and is a proud mother and grandmother currently residing in Medinah, Illinois.

Sweepstakes: CertaPet

Do you love your pet? Splurge on Spot this winter -- Courtesy of CertaPet! It's the 12 Days of Winter Challenge at CertaPet, and they want to spread the holiday cheer to you. Enter in the contest to win up to $300 in an Amazon gift card! 
How to enter:

1. Follow CertaPet's Instagram account and like all Winter Challenge posts.
2. Upload a daily pic of you and your furry friend doing our 12-day challenge with the hashtag #12daysofcertapet and tag us @CertaPet!
3. 3 winners will be randomly chosen.

The more times you submit your pictures, the higher the chance!
 
For official contest rules, click here. For additional information about CertaPet or to discuss partnerships, click here.