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    Passover by Design by Susie Fishbein - a Cookbook for Modern Seders

    Those of you who keep kosher likely know Susie Fishbein's series of kosher cookbooks, the first being Kosher by Design. This February, Susie is coming out with another book: Passover by Design. Even those of you who don't keep kosher may want to add this book to your library for its modern seder settings and unique recipes. Recipes include Thai quinoa (a berry that has the taste and texture of a grain) and giant zebra fudge cookies (zebra stripes are so in right now). And check out this table setting which includes individual seder boxes complete with all the necessities for seder participants. No more reaching across the table for the matza or maror -- you've got your own stash in front of you. The box even has a sake flask and tea towel for the ritual handwashing.

    Passover by Design is scheduled for release on February 28th. You can reserve your copy at for 20% off the cover price and we'll ship it to you as soon as it arrives.

    You can see more of a preview of the book here.

    Thanks for the clever and modern ideas Susie!

    Israeli Designer: Orna Lalo

    I tripped across Orna Lalo on the net and was immediately struck by her work. Much of it is too fanciful for my taste but some of her slightly more subdued, new-natural pieces could dress up a table beautifully. Her bio says her training was in textiles. She seems to create "fabric" out of man-made materials making fashion for her candlesticks. As you can see, these pieces are ready for a night out on the town.

    See more of Lalo at her website

    Soprano in the Holy Hand

    Did you think Soprano's star Jamie-Lynn Sigler was Italian? So did we! It turns out she's a nice Jewish girl from Long Island. Who nu? Jamie-Lynn just took her first trip to the Holy Land via Birthright Israel. You can see her interview with Israeli television here:

    Bird Watching at Atlanta Gift Show

    Birds are a great motif for Jewish stuff -- well, specifically the dove-type bird. The symbol of the dove comes from the story of Noah in Genesis, from The Torah... or you may call it the "Old Testament." After the rain (and 40 day slumber party with two of every beast) Noah sent a dove out to find land. When the dove came back with an olive branch, Noah knew land was near. Since then the dove with the olive branch has become a common Judaic motif and a universal symbol of peace.

    Birds were a very popular motif last spring and they are still everywhere at the trade shows.

    I found the most beautiful bird ceramic bird tiles at the Atlanta Gift Show made in the UK. The small tiles are 4 1/2 square tiles and retail for $56 and are hand made by a craftsman in the UK.

    Ibride is a French design of modern-vintage trays and furniture whose motifs range from woodland creatures to portraits of famous people as children. They are heavy on the whimsy and do boarder on kitsch but they are truly unusual and wow -- take a look at the furniture on the Ibride website. They design a tray with a bird motif called skylark:And the third set of birds I've had my eye on since the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) last August: melamine plates from Working Class Studios -- designed by SCAD students (Savannah College of Art and Design) from my home state and now home town (they have an Atlanta campus too). These I bought (the entire melamine plate collection) and are coming to for you to buy soon because they are my favorite melamine line. Set of four will be $25.