Any person who has visited Israel knows that a stroll through the shuk (Israeli market) is a multi-sense experience: the bright colors, the sweet and spicy smells, the mix of loud voices and of course the endless flavors. This magical experience is heightened before Jewish and Israeli festivities, and especially around the High Holidays. The apples and honey, the red pomegranates, round challah bread and many other traditional foods can be found in every corner.
I don’t remember not eating parsnips. My paternal grandmother, who was exceedingly ahead of her time in caring about our health through food, made parsnips a part of her cooking lexicon, alongside a never-ending greenmarket of other vegetables. That’s not too surprising because, although she was born and raised in the U.S., her family’s heritage was Byelorussian Jewish. But even in her 1970s-enlightened-Jack LaLanne-style kitchen, parsnips, poor parsnips, were most often relegated to soups and simple steamed side dishes, along with carrots and other root vegetables.
My husband and I just bought our first house – such an exciting milestone – and so for the first time, we are also building our first Sukkah for Sukkot. And just to be clear, my husband is in charge of building the Sukkah and I am in charge of filling it with delicious food. When I started to plan our holiday menu I wanted to make something that is easy to carry outside, can be made in one pot and not too much work, as we continue to get settled in our new home.
Who can resist a crumb cake? The only thing better than the dense cake on the bottom is the thick layer of cinnamon crumbs on top. It’s full of spices, pumpkin, but no sour cream so it’s non-dairy and just a touch less caloric than traditional coffee crumb cake.
Break-fast is all about indulging. Everybody is starving and has spent all day contemplating what they are going to “break their fast on” (or is that just me?) Make it worth their while – give them foods that will make them lick their lips and dip into like this charred eggplant dip with maple drizzle – it is smoky but sweet- perfect to serve along with crudite or warmed bread. I love making the caramelized onion, dill and smoked salmon frittata because its the ultimate Jewish all-in one dish. All that’s missing is the bagel, which no doubt, you will serve alongside. As a child, I always grew up eating my mom’s delicious avocado and hearts of palm salad. Its just one of those dishes that tastes like home to me, which is why I always have it on my break-fast table. But, the piece de resistance is without a doubt the Sticky Date Bread Pudding. Warm toasty challah, doused in gooey, sticky caramel sauce that’s been sweetened with golden dates…it’s perfection.
As you prepare for Rosh Hashanah, you have likely been focused on your menu and all the traditional foods to eat such as tzimmes, kugel, challah, apples and honey and brisket. But the wine you serve with those beloved foods is just as important. I have put together 10 wines – 5 kosher, and 5 not – that will pair perfectly with your holiday menus. And especially your holiday brisket.
We know you are out there: those of you who hate to cook and bake. Or those of you who might be celebrating the New Year by yourself in a bit more low key manner. Or maybe you college students subsisting on microwave mac n cheese bowls.
I never try new dishes when I am serving guests. But last year I found myself at the market just days before Rosh Hashanah and spotted the most beautiful leeks. While leeks are not an ingredient that I cook with often, they were calling out to me and I knew I needed to use them for our holiday meal, even despite my fear that the dish might be a huge flop. The recipe was a big hit with all fifteen of my guests and so I wanted to share this simple, symbolic and delicious side dish.
It’s almost Rosh Hashanah and so by my clock, time for another sweet challah recipe for the New Year. And one of the easiest ways to make a sweet, crowd-pleasing challah is to add chocolate chips of course.
Holidays are all about the brisket and chicken soup, right? Well, the Jewish holidays can also be about healthful salads, cabbage strudel, luscious soups packed with veggies and even pomegranate topped cheesecake and sour cream apple coffee cake.