Tag: jewish new year

Rosh Hashanah Simanim Roundup

If you’ve never been to Florida, you probably haven’t heard of Winn Dixie. Although if you have, you probably love the store as much as I do. Since my in-laws live down in the sunny State, I’m lucky enough to visit on occasion and try out the amazing array of kosher restaurants and supermarkets there. What I love so much about Winn Dixie is that it is both a general supermarket AND a kosher one. Which means, if you need a kosher ingredient 30 minutes before Shabbat, they’ll still be open, and they’ll definitely have what you’re looking for. Not only does Winn Dixie have over 1000 branded kosher products, they also boast a kosher deli and bakery.

Because I’m such a big fan of the store, I was so excited to promote their #FreshNewYear campaign with a Rosh Hashanah Simanim Roundup. What are simanim? They’re symbolic foods that are eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our hopes for a sweet New Year. The symbolic foods include leeks, pomegranate, gourds (includes squashes like acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha, spaghetti and pumpkin), dates, black eyed peas (some use green beans), apples & honey, beets, carrots and fish head (some use ram’s head). These specific foods are eaten because their hebrew names are related to other Hebrew words that convey our wishes for the coming year. Jews of Sephardic decent actually host a seder where these foods are eaten and a blessing is made over each symbolic food. For a detailed list of the blessings and simanim, click here.

So without further ado, lets get started!

LEEKS:

fried leek rings with homemade ketchup
Greek-style leeks with prunes and cinnamon
steamed cod with leeks
leek fritters
olive oil braised leeks with thyme
cream of leek soup
cauliflower leek puree
veal scaloppine with leeks

POMEGRANATE:

how to deseed a pomegranate
carrots with pomegranate molasses glaze
salmon with pomegranate molasses glaze
pomegranate coleslaw
pomegranate brisket tacos
roasted lamb with pomegranate and wine
pomegranate glazed london broil 
pomegranate sorbet
mini promegranate pavlovas
mini pomegranate bundt cakes

GOURDS:

Syrian candied gourd
honey roasted squash
soy braised kabocha squash
quinoa stuffed acorn squash
roasted acorn squash and pomegranate farro salad
sausage and apple stuffed butternut squash
butternut squash chili fries
roasted butternut squash and apple soup
spaghetti squash with spinach, leeks and mushrooms
sweet spaghetti squash
pumpkin whoopie pies
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin pot pie
delicata squash muffins
delicata squash salad with spicy maple dressing

DATES:

how to make your own silan (date honey)
date honey cake
Rosh Hashanah roast
silan roasted chicken with squash and dates
couscous with dried dates
bacon wrapped dates (use kosher bacon)
medjool date pecan pie
gingerbread date truffles
chewy date granola bars
sticky date pudding

BLACK EYED PEAS OR GREEN BEANS:

black eyed pea hummus
black eyed pea salsa
black eyed peas salad
black eyed pea cakes
black eyed pea fritters
Egyptian black eyed peas
Brazilian rice with black eyed peas
black eyed peas with meatballs
black eyed peas and green beans
crunchy garlic shriveled green beans
honey ginger green beans
sauteed green beans with mushrooms and cipollini onions
grilled green beans with harissa
pickled green beans

APPLE & HONEY:

holiday salad with apple and honey vinaigrette (watch me make a variation here!)
apple and honey BBQ sauce
apple honey drumsticks
apple and honey challah
honey roasted za’atar chicken with fruit
chicken and apples in honey mustard sauce
apple and honey baklava
apple rose pie bites
honey cake with caramelized apples
apple and honey bread pudding
apple and honey tart
apple and honey muffins
apple and honey trifle

BEETS:

roasted beet and orange salad
beet pomegranate salad
roasted beet salsa
angel hair pasta salad with golden beets
beet soup with beet green pesto
rainbow Anna potatoes with beets
beet pickled deviled eggs
beet latkes
beet rugelach
moist chocolate beet cake
red velvet cupcakes

CARROTS:

carrot salad with honey lemon dressing
Moroccan carrot salad
creamy carrot and leek soup
roasted carrots with tahini harissa sauce
whiskey glazed carrots
tzimmes roast
carrot risotto
rice with carrots and raisins
carrot muffins
carrot cake sandwich cookies
carrot cake pudding
carrot truffles

FISH OR RAM’S HEAD:

fish head curry
fish head soup
Vietnamese fish head soup
gefilte stuffed salmon head (scroll to the bottom)
baked lambs head with potatoes

For more Rosh Hashanah recipes, check out the Winn Dixie holiday ebook below! It’s packed with lots of Jamie Geller’s amazing holiday recipes that you’ll want to make again and again!

NOTE: All photos (besides the ones with the BIB watermark) are from 123RF Photo.

This post is sponsored by Winn Dixie

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Angel Hair Pasta Salad


I’ve really got to start cooking from cookbooks again. It’s literally been years since I’ve made something from a cookbook. And it’s not because I don’t have any – trust me. I’ve got more cookbooks than I have room for in my small Brooklyn home. They’re all just sitting there on the shelf, like figurines on display, looking pretty!

I usually only take my cookbooks out on Shabbos, when I browse through them like an old photo album. I drool over the good recipes, sigh over the bad ones, and then return them to the bookshelf. Once in a while I promise myself to try a recipe, but I usually forget or don’t get around to it.

Recently, my Shabbos guest was looking though my cookbook collection and she asked me what my favorite recipes were from some of my cookbooks. It made me realize that cookbooks are not just for browsing – some of them have really good recipes that I should actually be cooking. She told me some of her favorites dishes from the cookbooks we had in common (like Smitten Kitchen, Jerusalem, Plenty, The Kosher Palette, Kosher by Design and others) and I promised myself I would give them a try.

It really hit home this week because for the first time in a while, I was stumped. I had planned on an apple and honey dessert for the blog, but sadly, it flopped (yes, that happens to me!) and I couldn’t think of anything else that I wanted to post. Until, I was speaking to my friend and she mentioned a recipe for angel hair pasta that she was making for dinner. She said it had mushrooms and leeks – and when I heard leeks, I was all over it. My mind started racing, thinking about all the ways I could turn it into a Simanim salad – filled with lots symbolic foods that we eat on Rosh Hashanah.

I went straight for some of my favorite Rosh Hashanah foods – beets and pomegranates – keeping things mess-free with golden beets. The pomegranates add great crunch, and the honey rounds it all out with a hint of sweetness.

So thanks to Dina (and whoever came up with the original recipe), for getting my creative juices flowing again.I can’t wait to dust off my cookbooks and open my eyes (and palate) to a new range of recipes! Shall we call it a New Year’s Resolution?

What are some of your favorite cookbook recipes? Share them in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

Israeli couscous salad with roasted beets, carrots and parsnips
holiday salad with apple and honey vinagrette

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Farm Fresh Apple & Honey Gift

I may be one of the only nerds out there who still uses a Cuttlebug. Call me old-fashioned but there’s something really nice about the art of a homemade gift. Sure you can buy a beautiful glass honey dish at the gift shop, or a delicious honey cake at the bakery, but it doesn’t compare to a basket of hand-picked apples or a thoughtful package that you wrapped yourself.

With summer coming to an end, there’s no better time to hand-pick some apples. The dropping temperatures and falling leaves just beg for some warm apple pie, and there’s shortage of apple recipes you can make, especially around the holidays. With Rosh Hashanah just around the bend, you’ll need plenty to dip into sweet sticky honey, and more to caramelize for my delicious honey cake.

If you’ve never been to a U-Pick farm (Kelder’s is one of my favorites) , it’s a must for the family! There’s nothing quite like teaching your children where their food comes from, and having them pick it with their own two hands. The beauty of nature and it’s bounty is a precious gift!

The end of summer is the perfect time for apple picking, with a variety of apples ripe for choosing. I love to showcase a variety of apples at my Rosh Hashanah meal, passing them around the table with an assortment of honey. It takes apple-dipped-in-honey to a whole ‘nother level, especially when you’ve picked the apples yourselves.

Of course you can also showcase your apples in an apple & honey salad, in an apple and honey tart, in sweet apple turnovers , or even on apple napkins!

Best of all, you can give some of those hand-picked apples away in a thoughtful gift to teachers, neighbors or friends. If you don’t have a cuttlebug machine (why would you?), you can just make the little card by hand – no muss, no fuss!

If you’re not much of a crafter, and you want to go the easy-way-out, just tie a big red ribbon on a bag of apples, stick in a honey bear and you’re all set for a sweet New Year.

P.S. I’m called dibs on my kid’s classes this year – so if you’re kid is in the same class, go buy some honey cake! :)

Related Posts:

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Tzimmes Roast

Somebody pinch me, I can’t believe Rosh Hashanah is around the corner! I mean, where did the summer go? It’s hard to believe my kids have already started school and we’re about to embark on a new journey for the year 5775.

If it weren’t for the smell in the air, I would be keeping my kid’s bathing suits around. Instead, I’m packing them up with their bright summery wardrobes, and filling their closets with warm winter sweaters. What is it about that smell – that special something in the air that tells me that the Hebrew month of Tishrei is just around the bend. Can you smell it too?

It’s that slight fall breeze and the freshness of falling leaves that runs through my veins, bringing up memories of bygone Tishrei’s. Weeks filled with the hustle and bustle of Yom Tov prep that culminate in the awe-inspiring day of Yom Kippur and end with the joyous celebrations of Succot. So many feelings of regret, sadness, gratitude, hope, inspiration all wrapped up in the September breeze…it’s intoxicating.

The power of scent is truly extraordinary. It can evoke the deepest memories and trigger rememberences from childhood and beyond. The smell of tzimmes simmering on the stove brings me back to the Jewish New Year’s of my youth; honey dripping from my chin, counting the pomegranate seeds at the table.

There’s nothing like tzimmes to evoke memories of Rosh Hashanah, so I decided to do a little twist on the classic recipe.  Cooking the sweet carrot hash alongside a roast is a great way to make the best of your Yom Tov meat without having to cook your tzimmes separately. You can serve it all up on a platter and wow your guests with traditional Rosh Hashanah food, redefined.

Here’s to the start of many sweet things – from our food, to our lives. May we all be blessed to create the sweetest of memories this year!

Related Recipes:

Rosh Hashanah Roast
honey roasted za’atar chicken with dried fruit
couscous with honey roasted carrots, parsnips and beets

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Whiskey Cider

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!

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