Shabbat

 

Shabbat Menu – Chicken and Fig Kabobs

 

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This week’s parsha begins with the ritual of the bikkurim – the offering of the first fruits brought by the Children of Israel to the Kohen in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  Echoing the now familiar verses from the Hagaddah, the individual bringing the offering recounts a brief recitation of the history of the Jewish people, from the time an Aramean sought to destroy “my father” to our sojourn in Egypt and our miraculous emergence from slavery to a land flowing with milk and honey.  The offering of the first fruits is thus a connection to a long distant history, complete with its trials and tribulations, and ultimately redemption in our homeland.  As we approach the New Year, with its promise of sweetness, we highlight some of our favorite first fruits of the fall season with our delicious Shabbat menu.

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Live Long and Prosper

 

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It’s the little things that matter. In this week’s parsha, we encounter a bird’s nest. If the mother is sitting upon the baby bird or its eggs, we cannot take the mother with the young. We are taught to send away the mother bird first, and only then take the young or the eggs. The reward for this act of compassion is a long life. For this week’s Shabbat menu, we take the eggs.  Live long and prosper.

Deviled Eggs


 

Shabbat Menu – Raise a Glass to Good Taste

 

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This week’s parsha includes a remarkable exemption from combat for those who either just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or are afraid.  We can easily understand why to exempt a coward.  And as any new bride can appreciate, the first year without seeing your husband would be a grave injustice.  For the other categories, the Rabbis explain that it would be unfair to deny one who has exerted the extraordinary effort to build a home or plant a vineyard, the chance to enjoy the fruits of his labors.  I think these exemptions also reflect the values of creating a sustainable community and sanctifying your labor with the fruit of the vine.   Wine is a partnership between those who work the land and Hashem who creates the daily miracle of sun, water and air that makes great wine possible.  This week we highlight a Shabbat menu that includes wine in each course – raise a glass to good taste.

Orange Trout Salad with Spiced Walnuts


 

Shabbat Menu – Berry Cobbler Crisp

 

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For Jewish foodies, the highlight of this week’s parsha is the recap of the laws of kosher and the commandment to donate a tenth of all produce to the tribe of Levi and another tenth to be either eaten in Jerusalem or exchanged for money to be taken to Jerusalem to spend on fruits and vegetables.  This evokes a spectacular image of the Holy City as a robust marketplace bursting with fresh produce.  For this week’s Shabbat menu, we highlight some of our favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables worthy of a pilgrimage to your local green market.

Beet Carpaccio

Beet Carpaccio


 

Shabbat Menu – Kids In The Kitchen

 

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This week’s parsha continues the retelling of our history, and Moshe reminds the people to recount the miracles and the teachings to their children and their children’s children.  Every family shares their personal history with stories, pictures, and jokes.  We also share our history with our food.  The moments I spend in the kitchen with my kids is my way of teaching them what I know and love and what I learned standing in the kitchen with my parents and what they learned at the feet of my grandparents.  This week’s Shabbat menu includes recipes that are perfect for preparing with children at your side.  Mixing, kneading, pouring and stirring are a great way to create lasting memories together.  Here are some tips on age appropriate kitchen duties and here is a menu to get the whole family involved.

Salmon Cakes with Tropical Salsa


 

The Best Challah Bread Recipes

 

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It’s challah time! Some like it cakey, some like it doughy, some like it savory, some like it sweet.  Jamie and Hadassah stick to their tried and true, each with a traditional recipe that will put most bakeries to shame.  However, I just can’t do it.  I want my challah to be an adventure.  I love to experiment with complex flavors, varying textures, exotic mix-ins. Sometimes I make a dud, apologizing profusely to my guests while passing around packaged pita bread.  But most of the time, I am able to pull together a slice of heaven, leaving only a few scattered crumbs on the table.  Here are some delicious recipes from all of us at Joy of Kosher. Let us know what you think…

Jamie’s Challah


 

Shabbat Menu – Family History

 

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In this week’s parsha, Moses gathers together the Children of Israel and recounts our history from Egypt to Sinai to their dramatic approach to the Promised Land.  We are a people bound by our history, the parts that we will always remember and that which we would rather forget.  Our Jewish experience is filled with moments that connect us to the past.  This week’s Shabbat menu highlights  a part of my family history, with a cookie recipe from my Savta that I have used as a base for anything from hamantaschen to rugelach to just decorating with the kids and Jamie’s Beef Porridge (a little warm for this time of year, but can be a one pot meal), hailed as a Geller classic.  B’tayavon!

Spinach & Walnut Salad


 

Perfect Potato Salad Recipes

 

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Idaho about you, but my kids love potatoes.  Baked, fried (especially fried), mashed they are easy to please.  But for spring time picnics and summer time barbecues there is nothing like a perfect potato salad. Here are a few different recipes for you to try.

Almond Caper Potato Salad


 

Shabbat Menu – Slow Cooking

 

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In Parsha Massei, the boundaries of the Holy Land are established and the Children of Israel stand on the edge of the Jordan River.  The years of wandering are nearing an end and the land beckons.  The waiting is the hardest part.  A highlight of our Shabbat menu is the recipe for Asian BBQ Beef Ribs — it does not require a lot of work, just time.  I promise the wait is worth it.

California Asparagus Spring Rolls with Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce


 

Six Super Slaws

 

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If you are bored by the same old slaw, it’s time to start using your head (of cabbage).  Take stalk of your refrigerator (with broccoli) and root for your favorite vegetable (carrots, parsnips, kohlrabi, and celery root). Here are six super slaws that will satisfy your most selective eater.

Country Coleslaw


 

Shabbat Menu – Israeli Style

 

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Reuven, Gad and ultimately half of Menasseh petition for land east of the Jordan River — prime grazing land — as their inheritance.  You can understand the harsh reaction of Moses, but they bravely agree to fight with their brethren to conquer the Promised Land, and Moses relents.  There must be something remarkable about this pastureland to lead the tribes to forsake the Holy Land.  I will not speculate, but if you’ve never tried grass-fed or pastured meat you don’t know what you’re missing.  This week, with a nod to the other half of the Jordan, we’ve got a recipe that your family will love using pasture raised meat.

Beef Cigars


 

Eight Eggceptional Egg Salad Recipes

 

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Everyone’s got an opinion on egg salad.  My favorite is egg white and spinach, rich in protein, low in cholesterol and fat and looks great on the plate.  If you are looking for some new inspiration, check out these eight eggceptional takes on egg salad.  What’s your favorite?

Classic Egg Salad


 

Shabbat Menu – One Dish and Seven Layers

 

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This week’s Torah portion is an exercise in math.  First, we add up all adult males between 20 and 60, as part of the census.  Then, we describe the division of the land of Israel amongst the tribes. Next, we contemplate a Jewish nation without Moses — a most painful subtraction — and the ascension of Joshua.  Finally, the parsha ends with instructions on the multiplication of sacrifices offered on Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh and other festive days.  This week’s Shabbat menu involves recipes with 1 dish, 3 onions, 5 spices and 7 layers of chocolate.  Now, that’s my kind of math!

Five Spice Turkey Eggrolls


 

Tuna Tune Up – Ten Tantalizing Tuna Recipes

 

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Tired of the same old tuna?  Give your tuna a tune up with these ten recipes that will turn your third meal (Shalashutes) into something your family will have to “sea” to believe.

Tuscan Style White Bean and Tuna Salad


 

Shabbat Menu – Vegetarian Special

 

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I wonder how many people would become a vegetarian if their dinner talked back.  The story of Balaam and his talking donkey is a remarkable tale of what happens when we simply open our eyes.  Our curses can become blessings. We become aware of something divine standing right in front of us.  Does vision require something more than seeing?  This week we experiment with a menu that is animal free, but will open your eyes to a wide world of flavor.

Carrot, Quinoa & Spinach Soup

Carrot, Quiona & Spinach Soup