Elegant and Easy Salmon en Papillote

IMG_2969

I’m not interested in fooling our dinner guests into thinking I’ve slaved for days to cook for them. But I am interested in easy techniques that yield delicious results and even a little drama on the plate.

I should have learned this easy technique for cooking fish eons ago. The truth is that I  didn’t learn it until I took a cooking class in my hometown in CT a few weeks back   The theme was Deceptively Easy Recipes for Entertaining.
Continue reading

Hamantaschen High and Low (For You and the Kiddos)

adults and kids chillin' together

Lots of laughter, wild costumes, and of course, the re-telling of the Purim victory tale, are all part of the Purim celebration. The hamantaschen, triangular cookies filled with jam, are always a key component.

And while I’ve seen these favorite cookies in bakeries at other times of the year, nothing signals Purim more delightfully than the tradition of baking these sweet treats in your own kitchen. Continue reading

Solving the Frying Issue: As Easy As Latke Gratin

celery root potato latke gratin (1)

contributed by Melissa Roberts

In case you haven’t heard, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day this year. It’s a big deal because the holidays last converged in the 1880′s and it won’t happen again for thousands of years.  Reason to celebrate Thanksgivukkah, for sure!

For some, the idea of frying latkes while preparing a Thanksgiving feast isn’t an intimidating thought. For most of us mortals, however, the thought of standing and frying at the stove isn’t a welcome notion. (And for mortals like myself, frying but once a year is enough!) There is a solution to the frying “issue.” Continue reading

Roasted Butternut-Sage Waffles

DSC01526

contributed by Melissa Roberts

Squash and sage are quintessential flavors of fall, particularly a northeastern autumn. Here they are featured in a waffle that, drenched with maple syrup, fits in easily on the breakfast table. Continue reading

Corn Souffle Bids Farewell to Summer

Corn Souffle

Written and photographed by Melissa Roberts

September is a month with an identity crisis. What can we depend on weather wise? Each day is a new surprise. A crisp snap of autumn one moment, the next, temps climb into the 90s. And when a holiday comes around (Sukkot, so soon?), how do we plan accordingly? Luckily, mid September continues to bring late summer’s harvest of tomatoes, corn, and fresh herbs. Continue reading

Keeping it Chill (ed) for this Holiday

DSC01148

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year,  is coming SUPER early this year. So early, that it would be wise to keep a good part of your menu cool since the weather will likely be steamy hot. I’m focused on chilled sides, even if I my family insists on my  traditional, braised  brisket as the main.

Continue reading

There’s a New Salt in Town, Right on Time

 

photo courtesy of Emily Freed

photo courtesy of Emily Freed

Just as apples and pears appear at farmers’ markets, my favorite line of of culinary salts has added a new addition to the collection. THE perfect Vanilla Bean Baker’s Salt launches Today. And Farmer Freed has plenty of suggestions about how to enjoy this slightly sweet, aromatic treasure. Continue reading

Baking “Torah Tuiles”

Here’s the thing about giving a real pro a challenge. When you toss it to the right gal, she’ll take you up on it and even surpass your expectations.

I was wracking this little ol’ brain o’ mine trying to come up with some more edible wonders related to these Autumn holidays. I asked Melissa if she could drum up an idea for something scroll shaped to eat on Simchat Torah.

Scroll shaped treats? No problem!

Continue reading

Celebrating Autumn’s Bounty

It’s time to exhale deeply as we approach the joyful holiday of Sukkot. We are in the homestretch of the fall holiday series and the tenor has shifted to lighthearted celebration.

Sukkot  punctuates the final harvest of the agricultural season with eight days and nights of celebration and shared meals with family and friends.

Continue reading

Caramelized Onion and Poppy Seed Kugel

Quick! Name three quintessentially Jewish foods.  Don’t think too much about it.

I bet that kugel is on your short list.

Even the most health conscious cooks will likely whip up a luscious, highly caloric noodle pudding at some point in the next month as Jews everywhere, celebrate four holidays over five short weeks.  This rapid-fire succession of holidays requires lots of planning and some easy recipes that are guaranteed to please a crowd.

Kugel is a versatile and variable concept. Depending on the region your family hails from, or the place you currently live, your kugel may be creamy and cheese laden, savory with  fresh herbs and veggies, or stacked with potato and onion layers simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Add thinly sliced firm apples or slightly under ripe pears from the orchard?

Why not? Continue reading