autumn

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Pumpkin Pot Pie

Monday, November 25th, 2013

I was lying in bed one night thinking about how I could take advantage of the adorable little pumpkins that are so bountiful this season (yes, these are the sort of things food bloggers think about when they go to bed at night). I knew I could make my own pumpkin puree, or carve out a spooky design (although I don’t celebrate Halloween), but I wanted MORE. Something fresh, and exciting, and oh yes – warm (have you seen the weather forecast lately?!).

I thought about real comfort food – you know, something I’d want to eat around a fireplace (if I had one) on a cold November night. And it came down to – you guessed it! – chicken pot pie. At first I thought about reinventing the chicken pot pie and making a vegetarian version with pumpkin and autumn spices. That got me thinking about all the winter pumpkins soups that are cleverly served inside the pumpkin – when I realized – I could have my pumpkin and chicken pot pie and eat it too!

This recipe combines the flavor of fresh-roasted pumpkin with creamy parsnips, carrots and mushrooms. It’s seasoned with fresh thyme and sage and topped off with flaky puff pastry for the perfect fall comfort food!

And would you look at the festive autumn design on these beauties? These pretty pumpkin packages (say that three times in a row!) are as good to look at as they are to eat. They’d make the perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving meal!

Related Recipes:

veal shepherd’s pie with celery root mashed potatoes
leftover turkey pot pie
chicken pot pie Passover croquettes

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

With pumpkin season in full swing, my foodie feeds are overflowing with sweet pumpkin recipes. And I can’t get enough. I bookmark one recipe after another, promising myself to try every one. But truth be told, I’ve been too busy developing pumpkin recipes of my own. I’ve got pumpkin ricotta pancakes with cranberry maple syrup in the works. And then there’s a mouthwatering pumpkin pot pie that’s coming up.

All my pumpkin playing left me with some extra canned pumpkin that I refused to throw away, so I decided to whip it up into a delicious pumpkin pie smoothie. It came out even better than expected – with the taste of a milkshake, but the calories of a healthy smoothie. For all the pumpkin lovers out there – it doesn’t get better, quicker, or easier than this!

 

Other BIB pumpkin recipes:

pumpkin whoopie pies 
pumpkin cake
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin banana bread
baked pumpkin oatmeal

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Whiskey Cider

Monday, September 16th, 2013

I’m really not much of a drinker. At all. I can appreciate a nice glass of red wine, but cocktails? I haven’t the faintest clue where to start. The first real cocktail I ever drank was a whiskey sour when I was dating my husband. It was sour all right. And strong. I didn’t hate it all that much and the buzz I got was kinda fun, but drinking is not really my thing.

When the Kosher Connection team decided on the theme “Spread the Joy” for the September link-up, the first thing that came to mind was inviting someone into my Sukkah to make a l’chaim (more on that later). Since whiskey sours are about the only drink I know how to make, I thought about how I could turn it into a sweeter version that celebrates the coming of fall. I decided to sub the sour element with a spiced apple cider syrup – reducing the cider with lots of  autumnesque spices. To get the real holiday buzz, I used equal amounts of whiskey and cider syrup, but if you want to go easy, you can serve the cider nice and warm (you don’t have to reduce it) and add just a splash of whiskey. Either way, you’ve got a delicious buzz-worthy cocktail to share!

First things first – what is a sukkah? A sukkah is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot. If you’ve passed by a Jewish neighborhood, you may have seen them topped with branches and decorated with Judaic themes.

I grew up in Brooklyn, in a modest apartment on Eastern Parkway, just a stone’s throw away from the famous 770 synagogue, the central hub of the Chabad movement. Back in the day, The Grand Rebbe of Lubavitch would draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe, all hoping to be granted a meeting or blessing from him. Living so close to where the Rebbe & his congregants gathered, our Sukkah was a regular stop for family, friends, neighbors and even strangers on their way to the synagogue. As more and more people poured in to our small little hut, it seemed to stretch itself out to accomodate more than it’s physical space. L’chaim’s were poured in abundance as beautiful melodies poured fourth from it’s plastic walls.

My mom would pass her Yom Tov delicacies through the kitchen window, homemade meals of chopped liver, stuffed cabbage, sweet and sour tongue, yerushalmi kugel and other traditional foods which she made from scratch. The smells and tastes of the Chag come back to me each year, as the weather begins to herald the coming of fall, and the leaves begin to show their first signs of browning.

Sukkot is truly a joyous time. And not just because the mess gets left outside, and our homes are filled with delicious food and loving family. But because the emotionally taxing Days of Awe are behind us, and we are certain that we’ve all been inscribed for a happy and healthy year. It’s just the time to take out your shot glasses and spread the joy by inviting others into your humble hut to make a l’chaim.

As for me, I’ll be raising my glass to wonderful memories of a time when people from all walks of life, gathered in our family Sukkah to toast the New Year and all the good things it had in store. May the blessings abound, and may we all merit to raise our glasses to happy occasions!

Related Posts:

3 layer chocolate cake martini
mulled wine
sangria
mustache straws
how to decorate cocktail glasses with colored sugar

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably already drooled over these gorgeous gingerbread cupcakes. I made them during the fast of Tisha B’av, so I wasn’t about to photograph them, but I did talk about them, a LOT. The next day, I had just 3 cupcakes left, so I decided to do what any foodie/blogger would – share! It was hard not to gobble down the last of them before getting a good shot, they’re just THAT good.

Besides being incredibly moist, these gingerbread cupcakes are chock-full of warm autumn spices. I didn’t think my kids would go for the flavors of ginger and nutmeg, but I was SO wrong – they could not get enough. Not only that, my little cream-cheese-haters were licking the frosting off their fingers! I think I’m going to start whipping up sweet cream cheese concoctions and call them “frosting sandwiches.” It will make lunch a whole lot easier for me!

1 year ago: chicken lollipops 
2 years ago: cherry yogurt popsicles 

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