Menu Of the Week

 

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 – Asian Cabbage Salad

 

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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.

Asian Cabbage Salad with Hearts of Palm


 

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 – Ki Tetze

 

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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.

Classic Salmon


 

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


 

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


 

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


 

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


 

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


 

Shabbat Menu – Water Melon and Water Challah

 

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After the death of Miriam, the Israelites thirst for water.  And the now familiar complaints rise up to a grieving Moses and Aaron.  They hold back their anger and frustration to hear Hashem’s instruction to speak to the rock.  But Moses can hold himself back no longer and strikes the rock with his staff, and the water springs forth.  In honor of Miriam, with an extra helping of patience and forbearance, we feature Watermelon and Water Challah.

Sara Mayberg's Water Challah


 

Shabbat Menu – The Fruits of The Land

 

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In this week’s Parsha, we read about the spies journey to Canaan.  They return with a bounty of grapes, pomegranate and a fig – a sure sign of providence and a land that is blessed with tremendous gifts.  Although a false tale of giant warriors is the headline, it is the symbolic foods that help sustain the hope and prayers of the faithful.  This week’s Shabbat menu celebrates with recipes that showcases the delicious fruits of the land.

Pomegranate Eggplant Relish


 

Shabbat Menu – A Thai Shabbat

 

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The height of ingratitude.  Manna from heaven grew tiresome.  In this week’s parsha, the false memory of an Egyptian bounty of fish, cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, onions and garlic leads the people to beg for meat instead of manna.  Moshe’s reply is priceless and timeless: “If sheep and cattle were slaughtered for them, would it suffice for them? If all the fish of the sea were gathered for them, would it suffice for them?”  Sounds a lot like my dinner table.  Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe I am too tired to fight.  But this week, I given in.  Here is a menu (with the obligatory meat recipe) worth kvetching for…

Beef Spring Rolls with Carrots and Cilantro


 

Shabbat Menu – Angel Wings

 

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One of the most mystical images in the entirety of our Torah comes at the very end of this week’s parsha.  The sight of Moses walking into the Tent of Meeting and hearing the voice of Hashem speaking from the space between the two cherubim above the covering over the Ark. The angelic faces bear witness to the miracle of the divine communing with man.  Our menu this week features Angel Wings Pasta, a heavenly dish that will leave your guests with much to talk about, too.

kosher salmon crab cakes

Salmon Mock Crab Cakes