Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sukkah Inspiration: Part Two

I'll be spending Sukkot with friends, enjoying lots of yummy meals (and hoping for no rain!)...but I wanted to share even more inspiration for beautiful sukkah decor...
Chag Shamach!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Breaking the Fast: Around the World

For us, breaking the Yom Kippur fast is always the same...lox is the star of the meal, eaten on a bagel with cream cheese. On the side might be whitefish salad and cheese blintzes. I learned that Ashkenazim usually break the fast with something salty because fish restores salt lost by the body while fasting. But how do Jews living abroad break the fast? I did a little research and found out...
1. Lox on a bagel (if you're gluten-free try Trader Joe's gluten free bagels--fantastic!) Egg and cheese dishes — dairy products in general, are popular among the Ashkenazim for the first foods after Yom Kippur.    2. Pan dulce, a sweet yeast bread in loaf form or rolls, is served by some Sephardim before and after the fast.  3. Some Moroccan Jews break the fast with fijuelas, a deep-fried pastry soaked in sweet syrup.  4. Central European Jews ate cheese kuchen, a coffee cake, for the meal following Yom Kippur.   5. Zimbabwe Jews break the fast with juice and traditional rolls with oil called rusks, oil biscuits and cheese. Later they dine on a meal of cold chicken, fried fish, chicken soup and other sweets.   6. The Yemeni Jews start with a little-known dairy soup or savory porridge, made with buttermilk or sour cream, thickened with flour and garnished with schug, a spicy, chimichurri-like condiment made of hot peppers, coriander and garlic.   7. The Jews of India have a semolina-filled turnover called singara or kushli.   8. Herring was the cheapest fish in Eastern Europe, where the custom originated.   9. Italians typically break the fast with il bolio, an Italian sweet yeast bread. They then enjoy a meal with soup and pasta, chicken, fish, stewed fennel, cold noodles with sauce, sweet cakes and fruit.

I hope you have an easy fast...what will you be breaking it with?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sukkah Inspiration

Hope you had a great Rosh Hashanah!  Now it's on to the next holiday—Yom Kippur which begins Tuesday evening. And, a week after Yom Kippur comes Sukkot—probably my favorite Jewish holiday. 

The sukkahs below were created
quite a few years ago for my first book; Jewish Holiday Style but are just as inspirational today for designing a sukkah.
We shelped this sukkah over to the Connecticut shoreline and shot it on a private beachfront overlooking the Long Island Sound. Don't have beachfront property? No problem—you can create a beach-y sukkah by using white nylon for the walls, pots of grasses and lots of blues on your table setting.
Hurricane glasses protect candles from the wind and blue glassware adds to the beach theme.

Or, maybe you're more of a urbanite...
This industrial, corrugated sukkah decked out with tiny white lights and Park Avenue-like topiaries will transport you to the city even if your sukkah is in a suburban back-yard.

What will inspire your sukkah this year? 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

An Easy Rosh Hashanah Centerpiece

Here's how to celebrate the season and put together a centerpiece perfect for Rosh Hashanah in just minutes!
I love cutting open the pomegranate and seeing the beautiful seeds. The pomegranate can be used as the first fruit we are required to eat on Rosh Hashanah. It is also said that it contains 613 seeds just as there are 613 mitzvot. And, when we eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah we wish that our good deeds in the new year will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate.
1. I like the elevation of a footed cake platter but you can also use a bowl or basket.
2. Local apples are in season now in Connecticut!
3. Pomegranates
4. Hydrangea are cut from my yard but they are easy to find in the floral department of most supermarkets.
Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Infused Honey

Three years ago, I wrote a blog post about having a honey tasting at your Rosh Hashanah dinner featuring many varieties of honey. Well, here's a new idea from Chef Melissa Mayo; she infuses plain old supermarket honey with all kinds of herbs and spices for unique flavors. So smart!
Melissa is a South African chef based in Los Angeles (love their accents!)—here she shows us step by step how it's done for a unique honey tasting.

Will you be trying infused honey this year?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Flourless Honey Cake

Having guests for the holiday that are gluten-free? You'll definitely want to make this awesome honey cake that uses almond flour instead of regular flour.  It's not only flour-less and gluten-free but it's also Paleo so it's good for you, too :)
It's light and delicious and I like to drizzle even more honey on top before serving.
As promised...the lucky winner of the Savannah Bee Sourwood Honey Gold Reserve is...
Sari Ziv Sheinfeld!  Please send me an e-mail (right hand column) with your address so it will arrive in time for the holiday. Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Apple Box Favors

These adorable paper Apple Boxes are perfect for the Rosh Hashanah dinner table—and the best part? They double as place cards and favors.  
I found the Printable Apple Boxes on Oh Happy Day. They designed them for a back-to-school party but aren't they are perfect for Rosh Hashanah?
What to fill them with? Here's my first choice: Honey candy.
 Head over to Oh Happy Day to download the free template and directions.
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