Simchat Torah

 

A Simchat Torah Mexican Menu

 

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On Simchas Torah and Shemini Atzeres, it’s time to push your culinary daring to the limits. Consider the fact that we’ve just come through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, not to mention a Shabbos or two. Everyone at your table is thinking, “If I see one more potato kugel…” So have fun with the menu and try my simple recipes for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos (a mild chili pepper) and Mexican Brisket, a fab twist on traditional recipes.


 

5 Menus for Shemini Atzeres, Simchas Torah, &...

 

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Ok, I admit it, I am guilty of calling every holiday “my favorite holdiay”.  Another confession, I don’t feel all that guilty– I really love everything about the holidays (minus the limits on showering, but let’s not discuss that).  Sukkos is this incredibly festive, yet humbling holiday.   Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah fall right at the end of Sukkos, after Hoshana Rabbah, and are literally, truly, just straight up days of rejoicing.  In gashmius, materialistic, terms: bring on the food!  These 5 menus will leave you full, feeling festive (you may also need a nap) and will motivate you to dance all night (and work off all those calories…sort of kidding!) by Simchas Torah.

 


 

10 All-Time Favorite, Healthy, and Fancy Kugel...

 

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Kugel seems like a minhag, a tradition, for many families, although it’s not actually compulsory for the holiday celebration!  This is because kugels are such a treat 1) to eat  and 2) to make in advance and freeze.  If you haven’t yet experimented with making some of kugels below, now is a great time to experiment before the height of holiday cooking season is underway.  Below are just a few of the many  kugel recipes on the site (we have almost 100!); for more great ideas check out all of the great new recipes in the latest issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine.  What’s your favorite kugel recipe to serve at the holidays? Please share below!

 


 

Holiday Prep Tip #2 – Consider Encore...

 

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When planning your menu, consider your company and time between each holiday meal and don’t shy away from serving the same thing more than once over the course of the month.  Serve the same soup the first night of RH and the first night of Sukkot or the same brisket Shabbos of the 3-day Rosh Hashanah Yom Tov and Shabbos Chol Hamoed (Sukkos).  Point is, don’t make 3 soups, 5 briskets, or even 8 desserts.  Cook in bulk by doubling/tripling/quadrupling recipes that freeze well.

Freeze in portions the size of your crowd and pull from the freezer in advance of the meal.  This way you are not starting from scratch before each holiday.  Alternate your menu based on company (so you don’t repeat food with repeat guests – although that wouldn’t be the worst thing) and proximity of meals.


 

5 Healthy High Holiday Main Courses

 

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I refuse to admit that the summer is quickly coming to a close, but instead I’m focusing on the upcoming simcha of the month of Tishrei to distract me from my end of summer blues.  While in Israel my waistline benefitted from the hills of Tzfat and the generally low-cal mediterranean diet.  I hope to continue this healthy trend back here in the states, and I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one looking for healthy, satisfying and holiday-worthy main courses.  See just five of our many holiday recipes below, and check out more ideas here and here.

 


 

The Heart of The Cocktail

 

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It isn’t just for ad execs on Madison Avenue, cocktails have always been a part of popular culture.  Until now, I had only ever tried the basics, Martini (not my thing, Bond can keep it), Gin and Tonic, Screwdrivers, Margaritas and Mojitos.  Once I started to really enjoy wine I didn’t even consider cocktails except on vacation to a tropical destination.  Over the years, friends and Shabbat guests would enjoy single malt scotch and bourbon, but straight liquor was never that appealing to me. Maybe I owe a debt of gratitude to Don Draper, but we are living during a renaissance of the cocktail culture and my rocks glass will never be the same.

My most recent concoction was a mint and lime Julep


 

Shemini Atzeret Menu

 

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In our family, whenever there is something that needs doing and it hasn’t yet been done, my husband Ed says “what are you waiting for, Shemini Atzeret?” It was meaningless to our children when they were young but they understood what he meant. There is a finality to things, an ending, when what we need to accomplish, we must accomplish.

On Shemini Atzeret the year has ended, the annual cycle of Torah readings has come to its end. I like to think of this joyful “ending” as akin to school commencement, which of course means “a beginning.”


 

Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah Recipes

 

 

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Sukkot and Simchat Torah in South Africa falls at a beautiful time of the year. A time when, blossoms appear on trees, days get longer and warmer and whales can be seen in the waters off our coastline.

Sukkah competitions are held by many shuls and the various themes created are quite exciting.  A few years back, we placed ‘Free Gilad Shalit’ posters, flags, and yellow ribbons on the walls of our sukkah which served as a stark reminder of our commitment to his release. You can imagine our absolute joy when he was released a year later almost to the day!


 

Start Planning With Our Holiday Menu Ideas

 

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In this issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller we share three Holiday menu ideas, Italian, Moroccan and Traditional.  Here online we have all kinds of menus for you to start your planning and more to come.


 

Simchat Torah Menu

 

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Our Simchat Torah menu celebrates finger foods and grab on the go appetizers perfect for a late night bite or a late afternoon snack.

Tangy Salsa


 

A Simchat Torah Carnival Menu From Susie Fishbein

 

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Let’s party like it’s 5772!  After all, it’s Simchat Torah, time to have some fun.  I’ve got an idea that will put the summer in your Simchas… a carnival theme menu! With Susie Fishbein’s delicious recipes, you may have to invite the whole neighborhood over for this ferris wheel of flavor.  Come one, come all!  Take a ride on the tunnel of food love and test your strength with a spectacular Simchat Torah menu.

Hot Pretzel Challah
Coconut Chicken
Korean Beef Kimche Skewers
Cauliflower Popcorn
Lemon Pepper Fried Chicken
Hush Puppy Chicken
Breaded Mushrooms
Spicy Carrot sticks
Funnel Cakes
Frozen Banana Pops


 

The Easiest Post-Hakafot Bash Ever

 

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We did it last year, and we’re doing it again this year—hosting the last meal of Simchat Torah for half a dozen couples, along with their holiday guests, and their kids, and their kids’ guests, and their guests’ kids—at our house. As my Bubby would say, “keneyin hora” (loosely translated—”I never saw so many people packed into one house—they should live and be well.”), we’re talking about a BIG crowd. It all happens after Hakafot—when the kids are high on Torah songs and the adults are exhausted and hungry.

I wouldn’t mind if it becomes an annual tradition, though, because I try to keep this party as easy and informal as possible. Last year, we went with an Israeli-style buffet—falafel balls with mini-meatballs, chicken fingers, fries, and the prerequisite salad bar of Israeli cabbage salad, Israeli tomato & cuke salad, hummus, tahini, pickles, olives, and who knows what else.