Shabbat

 

Shabbat Menu With A Sweet Beginning

 

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In parsha Vayechi, Jacob’s days draw to a close, he gathers Joseph and his children, Ephraim and Manasseh, for a blessing that we include every Friday night for our sons.  Jacob reverses the traditional order and raises the younger son before the older, once again upsetting the traditional birthright.   Despite weary eyes, Jacob’s vision sees beyond the natural order of things.  We all know dessert typically follows a meal and you will never over hear a parent say: “eat your dessert and then you can have dinner” – except on this Shabbat.  This week we start our Shabbos meal off with a Chocolate Chip Challah Bread that will bring the sweet taste of the end of the meal to the beginning.  Like Jacob, we like to turn things around sometimes, too.

Butternut Squash Soup


 

Shabbat Menu with Blondies

 

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In Parsha Vayigash Joseph reveals himself to his brothers in one of the most emotional scenes in our entire Torah and sets into motion a series of fateful steps that will determine the destiny of the Jewish people.  The famine has brought the land of Egypt to its knees. Joseph asks his brothers to bring the entire family to the land of Goshen to sustain them during the remaining years of famine.  With wagons filled with the best grains, produce and food from Egypt and an inspiring revelation from Hashem, Jacob loads a lifetime of memories into the waiting wagons and descends to Egypt.  This week our Shabbat menu is designed to travel lightly.  Whether you are Shabbat guests, or visiting friends or family during the time of year when many of us are off of school or work, we share some favorites that can be wrapped, packed, stacked and reheated to perfection.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Chanukah

 

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In Parsha Miketz Pharaoh’s impossible dream falls to Joseph to interpret and Joseph tells of seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of hunger.  He is rescued from jail and ascends to the highest reaches of power in Egypt.  Joseph’s wise counsel and careful planning lead Egypt through a terrible famine.  While the weight of hunger is heavy throughout the surrounding lands, Egypt is full.  On this Shabbat, coinciding with Hanukkah, we are going to fill you up with the a great latke recipe that is sure to get everyone to eat their veggies.  I guarantee no one will go hungry this week!

Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette


 

Shabbat Menu – Vayeshev

 

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Sheaves of wheat in the field.  And eleven sheaves bow down to a single one.  Oh, Joseph! What are we going to do with you?  It must be some very impressive wholewheat. Now, I don’t expect anyone to have to bow down to get the recipe for a perfect whole wheat bread. But try this Artichoke Wheat Berry Salad at your Shabbat table and they just might beg for it.

Curried Squash Soup with Frizzled Leeks


 

Shabbat Menu – Angel Food Trifle

 

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This is the reckoning. Esau is approaching with his entourage. To protect against an attack, Jacob divides his camp and stays on the other side of the Jabbok.

Jacob has accumulated great wealth and numbers.  But tonight he is all alone.  Jacob wrestles with an angel till dawn.  And although the match ends in a stalemate, Jacob emerges with a blessing, a new identity and a new destiny.  So tonight we dine with Jacob on the side of the angels.  This Strawberry Angel Food Trifle is a soulful dish, in the light of day or dark of night.


 

Shabbat Menu – Jacob’s Ladder Lamb...

 

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When we first encounter Jacob at the beginning of this parsha, he is a fugitive. Jacob is fleeing the wrath of Esau following the theft of his brother’s birthright and seeks comfort and peace in Haran. When he leaves the land of his fathers, Jacob is a wealthy man, changed by time and circumstances to become the father of a great nation.

What is his secret? It starts with faith and it ends with lamb. Inspired by the vision of the ladder and angels, Jacob sees a future of great hope and promise. He meets Laban and learns the ways of the shepherd. It is his success that merits the marriage to Leah and Rachel. When Laban continues his pattern of doublecross and doublespeak, Jacob doubles down, too. Jacob bargains for his share of the flock and his household and livestock multiply exceedingly. It seems fitting to celebrate this Shabbat with lamb. I love the simplicity of the presentation and how the layered skewers evoke the steps of Jacob’s ladder to heaven.


 

Shabbat Menu – Red Lentil Stew

 

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Each year when we arrive at this parsha, I try to make the perfect pottage.  This year, I think I found it.  Jacob must have been a great cook, creating a lentil dish so aromatic that Esau would cast off his birthright like a raincoat.  Here is my best try.  Feast your senses on this remarkable red lentil soup, that will take the chill off a cold fall night and fire up your Shabbos table with a simmering serrano pepper.

Red Lentil Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Pineapple Upside Cake

 

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The courtship of Rebecca is remarkable to watch unfold.  In this week’s parsha, Abraham makes his servant swear to find a bride from among his kinsmen and Eliezer meets a most appropriate match with the beautiful and kind daughter of Abraham’s brother, Nahor.   Eliezer consecrates the auspicious meeting by giving rings and bracelets to Rebecca.  And after the marriage proposal is accepted by Rebecca’s family, an engagement party is enjoyed by all.  The Torah notes the silver and gold bestowed on Rebecca and the delicious fruits given to Rebecca’s brother and mother.  So to celebrate this happy occasion, we take inspiration from Eliezer with a dessert featuring Bacardi Silver Rum and golden pineapple for a most delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps


 

Shabbat Menu – Bedouin Tent Style

 

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Abraham and Sarah were a model of hospitality and kindness.  In the sweltering heat of the desert, their tent was a place of shade and sustenance. The memory of my overnight in a Bedouin tent will stay with me forever. The stars so close you can reach out and touch them… and the food.  Sweet tea, freshly made pita, tender meat kabobs and delicate seasoned rice. Almost makes you want to eat on the floor this week. Wherever you choose to enjoy this Bedouin-inspired feast, you will be dining like the angels.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Kreplach and Surprises

 

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Lech Lecha, tracing the journey of Abraham from his birthplace to his homeland, is about the hidden and revealed.  From hiding the identity of his wife, Sara, from his neighbors, to the unfulfilled promise of a nation, much is given to Abraham, yet the reason for his chosenness remains a mystery.  This week we celebrate Shabbat with kreplach, a traditional Jewish Shabbat food that appropriately conceals its true essence.  Kreplach is a reminder that sometimes food, like the world around us, needs to be opened up to be experienced.  (There is a surprise kreplach for dessert too.)

Chicken Soup with Kreplach


 

Shabbat Menu – A Rainbow Menu

 

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In a world consumed by violence and depravity, Hashem starts over and selects Noah as his agent for renewal. By remaking the world with a promise to never again destroy his creation, Hashem seals his covenant with a rainbow, an everlasting tribute to a promise kept. This week, we show our true colors with a rainbow-inspired Shabbat menu.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Quick and Easy Shabbat Dinner

 

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Whenever I get tired at the end of a long week, I take a moment to think about all that Hashem did in six days and I don’t feel quite so tired anymore.  But by the end of three (that’s right, three) 3-day Yom Tovim (including Shabbos), I bet Jewish cooks everywhere are ready to take it a little easier in the kitchen this week.  In Parsha Bereishit, we read about the creation of the world and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.  While the forbidden fruit remains a mystery, I did find an easy to prepare Shabbat menu that showcases a cornucopia of savory herbs and seasonal vegetables surrounding a tasty roast chicken that will satisfy family and friends and takes less than an hour out of the last day of yom tov to prepare.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Sukkot

 

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This week the parsha is special for Sukkot, but we just need one more menu idea to get us through these three yom tovim.  By Shabbat dinner most won’t even be hungry anymore, so keep it light and simple.

California Rolls


 

Shabbat Menu – Salad With A Honey Lime...

 

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In this parsha, Moses sings a final song before ascending Mount Nebo.  He earlier reminds the Children of Israel of the days of old, when Hashem guided the people through the wilderness, “allowing them to ride upon the high places of the earth, that they would eat the produce of the field. He let them suck honey from a rock, and oil from the mighty part of the crag.”  In this Shabbat Menu to follow Rosh Hashanah, we savor both the sweetness of the honey and the earthiness of the oil with our Honey Lime Vinaigrette adorning the produce of our field in this spectacular salad.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – From Heart To Mouth

 

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This week’s double portion includes a most beautiful conceptualization of our Torah.  Moses teaches that “the laws which I command you this day, it is not beyond you nor is it remote from you.  It is not in heaven… It is not across the sea… Rather, it is very close to you, in your mouth, in your heart, that you may do it.”  We have the potential to reach for what seems impossible and bring heaven down to earth.  I love the connection of the heart to the mouth – whether it is a kiss from someone you love or a special dish that will make someone you care about smile.  It’s why I love to cook.  And it’s why I am so excited to share this heavenly hearts of palm recipe along with our Shabbat menu.

hearts-of-palm-fritters-joyofkosher