For Simcha Food, Less Is Suddenly More

Small entrée plates, mini desserts are new trends;
dairy weddings on the rise, too.

Editorial Assistant

When it comes to the food at kosher weddings, bar mitzvahs and catered events these days, small is, well, big. Small portions, that is.

“The biggest trend we’re seeing is small plates,” said Ellen Vaknine, vice president of sales at Esprit Events, a glatt-kosher caterer based in Manhattan. “Three small, entrée-type food items on a plate as the main dish,” so that guests can enjoy several different dishes at one time, Vaknine adds.

Guests at Justine Fisher and Rob Alloway’s wedding enjoyed a dairy dinner, which enabled them to have rich, decadent desserts.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Extend Thanksgiving with a fall-flavored treat.

Editorial Assistant
Story Includes Video: 

You might still be full from yesterday’s feast. But if there’s any room left in your stomach, and any pumpkin puree waiting around in the fridge, bake up these cupcakes and you won’t be disappointed. 

Pumpkin puree in a can is a pretty ubiquitous product, but I figured it would be way more fun to make it from scratch, so I lugged home a 5 pound pumpkin, sliced it up and roasted, scooped out and pureed the flesh. I can’t say I endorse making your own pumpkin puree as a time-saving method, but it was certainly an experience.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Butternut Squash Soup

Editorial Assistant

Last week I shared a recipe for stuffed acorn squash, and this week I’m back with another way to enjoy one of fall’s greatest contributions to the dinner table – squash – with butternut squash soup.

When I was a kid, I was pretty much convinced that there was only one soup in existence: chicken soup. Thankfully today I’ve broadened my horizons a little, and developed a strong appreciation for sitting down to a steaming bowl of soup after a cold day. Especially one as easy and flavorful as this.

Photo by Amy Spiro

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Protein, carbs and veggies all in one cohesive dish.

Editorial Assistant

I like the idea of a one-recipe dinner. Protein, carbs and veggies all in one cohesive dish.

The cute little acorn squash that are everywhere in the markets these days work as perfect “bowls” in this recipe, to fill with whatever your heart desires.

Squash are prolific this time of year, and there are dozens of varieties – butternut, spaghetti, delicata, buttercup, hubbard – even pumpkin is in the squash family. The acorn is sweet, but not as sweet as the butternut, and is usually a great size for feeding two people.

Stuffed Acorn Squash. Photo credit: Amy Spiro

Pretzel-Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

Editorial Assistant

When I told one of my co-workers that I was starting a recipe column, she had two words for me.

“Main courses.”

“What?” I asked.

“Main courses,” she said, that’s what people need, more main course ideas!”

Well, I’m more than happy to oblige with this recipe for pretzel-crusted honey mustard chicken.

Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue

Editorial Assistant

Summer is undoubtedly the best season for fruit desserts. Crumbles, cobblers, pies, buckles, made with the best peaches, strawberries and raspberries of the crop. But fall is still a great baking season, with apples, pears, squash and pumpkins overflowing in every market.

Beating the Leafy Green Blues: Confetti Corn Salad

Editorial Assistant

For some people, salad is a dirty word. Images of limp, overdressed greens have put many people off the idea entirely. But when I make a salad, I like to banish the lettuce (or spinach, arugula, bok choy) entirely, and let the mix-ins shine, like in this confetti corn salad. By getting rid of the leafy greens, the salad also stores much better and can be enjoyed over several days. You can make it Thursday night or Friday and it will sit perfectly in the fridge until Shabbos.

Confetti Corn Salad. Photo Credit: Amy Spiro

The Nosh Pit: Chunky Mushroom Barley Soup

It was a frigid February, and I figured a hearty bowl of soup would be perfect for my small gathering

Editorial Assistant

The first time I ever made this soup was in a tiny Manhattan apartment for an improvised Super Bowl party - the kind where you mute the game and avidly watch the commercials.

It was a frigid February, and I figured a hearty bowl of soup would be perfect for my small gathering.

But as I hunted around my closet-sized kitchen, I realized I had no saucepan even close to big enough for this recipe. I was disheartened, until I spied my crockpot in a closet. Suddenly, all was well again with the world.

Chunky Mushroom Barley Soup. Photo Credit: Amy Spiro

From The Nosh Pit

A zucchini galette with carmelized onions evokes summer.

Editorial Intern

As the weather is beginning to cool I'm desperately trying to hold on to the last vestiges of summer. I know that before long I'll be stepping in slush puddles at the curb, wearing four pairs of socks and pulling my gloves on and off every time I get an e-mail.

So in an effort to delay that as long as possible, I'm still cooking with summer ingredients, like in this Zucchini Galette. Galette is a fancy (and French) word for a free-form tart, and you can make them savory or sweet - filled with apples, berries - even chocolate - or tomatoes, cheese and squash.

Zucchini Galette with Caramelized Onions. Photo Credit: Amy Spiro

Moving out to the Sukkah – A Reflection on Ethical Consumption

Special to the Jewish Week

Each fall after the High Holidays have passed, the Jewish people move from comfortable homes into impermanent huts in backyards, driveways and on balconies for the festival of Sukkot. By eating and living in these fragile shelters, we train ourselves to temporarily subordinate our gashmiut (materialism) to the value of ruchaniut (spirituality).

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
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