Articles by Bracha Shor

Sukkos!


soup

The air is getting crisper, and Sukkos is in the air – a time to share lots of warm and comforting foods outdoors with family and friends while memories are being made. May you all enjoy your friends and family and have a year filled with brachos and simchas.

Split Pea with Brisket

I love this soup. The first time I ever came across meat in a split pea soup, I was in heaven. The combination of meat chunks and soft split peas makes a party in my mouth that continues down to my stomach and leaves me feeling satisfied and warm. If anyone knows where this dish originated, I’m interested. Let me know. 


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Apples and Honey (and More!) for Rosh Hashana


honey

May you and your families have a good and sweet new year! 

With the approach of Rosh Hashana, fall is upon us, and the time for warm and cozy dishes has arrived. On my current “health kick,” I have been trying to make better choices – isn’t that what Rosh Hashana is all about? – which, in terms of eating, means limiting high fat foods and sugar. Argh. As my sister would say, “better choices” is really code for not binging on Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Seriously, Rosh Hashana is the perfect time to take stock of your life and make small but meaningful resolutions. Some of mine are to eat more healthfully and to spend quality time with my family. Somehow, it all ends up (as do most things in my life) in fun and delicious recipes. Cooking not only results in great food to be enjoyed and shared but also enhances family togetherness, especially if you can get the little ones on your team. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big proponent of kids in the kitchen. A bunch of studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that, when children participate in making the meal, they are much more likely to eat it.


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Shavuos Recipes


cheese cake

Shavuos is coming! I know, because we’ve been counting the omer day by day – each day meaningful, each day a chance to accomplish good. This counting of the omer reminds me that, every day, I am supposed to improve my character traits. Every day I can accomplish mitzvos and help people, even if it is only sharing a smile, and make someone else’s burden just a little bit less.

One of my favorite things to share is food, and the holidays always bring many opportunities! Shavuos! It is very easy to share cheesecake, it turns out. Cheesecake is an extremely versatile “cake,” but it’s really not a cake; it should be considered a custard. In fact, if you place a water bath in your oven (a pan filled with about an inch of water under the rack where the cheesecake is), this will make the temperature in your oven more even (and humid) and help the cheesecake cook more evenly.


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Purim Recipes


skewers

Purim is coming! (Of course, that means Pesach is also coming, but I’m not going to think about that yet.) Filled with friends, family, and food, Purim is one of my favorite holidays. One thing I love is to see so many people I don’t normally get to see. Dropping off shalach manos and sharing a seuda, it is a time filled with achdus: brotherhood and unity.

Here is an easy menu for the Purim seuda. Serve the dips with challa for a pre-appetizer course. Then serve the soup and egg roll together (you can dip the egg roll into the Thai Coconut Corn Soup!). The brisket can be made ahead and frozen, and the zaatar oil dip keeps for three weeks in the fridge. 

 


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Crepes on Fire!


crepes on fire

Ooh la la! Crepes are delicious and French and can be very fun for the Purim seuda. They are also super-easy, healthy, can be made gluten free, and can filled with just about any filling you would be willing to eat. They can be savory or sweet and used as an appetizer, entree, or dessert. They can also be gussied up “Fancy Nancy” or a pedestrian street food.

Recently, I went to the TA tea and demonstrated how to make crepes suzette – or their much more exciting title, crepes on fire.  Where did crepes suzette come from? Crepes had already existed in France before 1896. The addition of the flambe and alcohol was the crucial new step that distinguished crepes suzette from plain crepes with filling.

Who made the discovery? It’s a mystery! Henri Charpentier (a young teenager at the time) claimed he created the dish by accident – accidentally setting fire to the alcohol in the dish in front of the then-Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) and that the king requested the dish to be named for his friend. Auguste Escoffier (of melba toast and culinary school fame) also claimed to have invented the dessert. Whoever created it (and I wish I knew definitively), the end result of orange butter, sugar, and crepes is truly delicious. The fire caramelizes the sugar and blends the flavors so amazingly that it elevates them to the next level.


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Winter!


soup

Winter is a time for heart-warming, cozy food. Here are a few great wintertime recipes that your family is sure to enjoy.

A good friend of mine, Julie A., has taken on making something special for the third meal each Shabbos. I bought a three-quart Crock-Pot just for that purpose. I like to make hot dishes that will be delicious for the third meal (after cooking in a Crock-Pot for almost 24 hours). One of the perfect dishes I found is French onion soup, though if you want to enjoy it with cheese, you’ll have to make it during the week (or serve dairy for lunch!).

 


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