Category Archives: Rosh Hashanah

What to do with leftover “new fruit” after Rosh Hashanah


Prickly Pear Margarita

I don’t know what happens to your “new fruit” after Rosh Hashanah, but in my household, said fruit lies on the counter for a week or so, begins to rot, and someone finally throws it out. Our new fruit selection is usually something unique that we never eat during the year and won’t eat again after taking the ceremonial taste to fulfill our new year’s ritual.

This year, we ended up with the prickly pear. It’s a fruit that has graced our new year’s table many times in the past, so I expected the 4 leftover prickly pears to eventually go the way of the trash can. But on Friday afternoon, I decided to search for recipes that called for prickly pear and … a new Shabbat happy hour tradition was born … the prickly pear margarita.

I won’t claim that getting the juice out of said prickly pears was easy, but it is possible although a bit time consuming. I used the Cactus Fruit Cocktails recipe by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee via the epicurious web site. Thank you Cecilia for this delicious treat!

Cactus Fruit Cocktails

  • 4 prickly pears, peeled (Peeling the fruit was surprisingly easy. Slice through the fruit lengthwise and peel back the thick outer peel with your fingers, leaving the juicy, seed-filled fruit.
  • Ice
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces triple sec
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Coarse-grained salt for rimming (optional)
  • Lime slices for garnish (optional)

Place the prickly pears in a blender and pulse until liquefied. Strain the juice into a small bowl (you should have about 1 cup of juice). I used a very fine, mesh strainer. It took a while (and some pressing with a big spoon) to get all of the juice, but the seeds stayed behind in the strainer.

Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice, add the prickly pear juice, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar and shake vigorously.

Pour into glasses filled with ice, rimmed with salt or sugar, if you like. Garnish with lime slices.

What creative ways have you utilized your “new fruit” after Rosh Hashanah?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Drinking!


Parve Squash Pie – a Holiday Staple at our Table


In my recent cooking screw-up confessions post, I mentioned the parve squash pie that I make for almost every holiday meal. Several of my family members LOVE this pie and one in particular likes it so much that I even bought her the Susie Fishbein Kosher by Design Entertains cookbook as a wedding present. The official name of the pie is Graham Cracker Crusted Squash Pie and it’s on page 226 of the Entertains cookbook.

I had to play around with the receipe a bit because I cannot find frozen pureed buternut squash that is Kosher in Dallas. When I called the local Kosher Certification organization to ask what to do, the Rabbi simply said, “why don’t you make the pureed squash yourself?” Hmm, why didn’t I think of that? So I Googled Pureed Butternut Squash and found several recipes. One would think I’d print out the recipe so I’d have it each time but that never happens, so I’m always doing another search every time I need squash. Here’s a similar recipe to the one I use to make Roasted Butternut Squash found on by Robin Miller.


  • 2 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded.
  • 4 teaspoons butter (I usually skip the butter step but you could use margarine or my new favorite, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks).
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar (I also skip this step because the pie already has a lot of brown sugar in it).
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up. (I add about an inch or water to the baking sheet so the squash is cooking in the water). Place 1 teaspoon butter in the middle of each squash. Sprinkle brown sugar over each squash. (as noted, I skip these 2 steps). Season with salt and black pepper. Roast 25 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender. Reserve 2 halves for future meal.

Once I’m finished baking, I scoop out the seeds and discard, I then scoop out the rest of the flesh. I use 12 ounces for the Squash Pie and freeze the rest in 8 to 12 ounce quantities to use for future pies or even to put a bit in my daughter’s Mac and Cheese. It’s the exact same color as the mac and cheese so she has no idea that she’s getting a bit of healthy vegetable mixed in with her cheesy dinner.

Next, here’s the details for the Squash Pie:

Graham Cracker Crusted Squash Pie

Squash Pie Ingredients:

If you have the Kosher by Design cookbook, it calls for making your own pie crust with graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine. I skip this step and use a pre-made 9″ Graham Cracker pie crust purchased at WalMart or my local grocery store. It saves me a step, plus if I use an 8″ crust instead, I can usually get two pies out of the deal.

1 (12-ounce) box pureed butternut squash, defrosted (Or make your own Butternut Roasted Squash above if you can’t find Kosher frozen squash)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup soy milk (parve)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons chilled margainre, cut into small chunks (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, instead of margarine)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine squash, eggs, soy milk, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Beat at a medium speed until all combined.
  3. Pour into the pre-made pie crust (or your own crust if you’ve made one)
  4. Bake for 35 minutes.
  5. Prepare the topping. In a small bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle in the chunks of margarine (or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks) and use your fingers to knead the mixture together to make coarse crumbs. This step is vey messy and it will take you a long time to wash all of the doughy mixture off your hands but it’s worth the effort. This topping is what makes the pie delicious.
  6. Sprinkle the topping over the squash pie and return to over. Cook uncovered for another 25 minutes

I’ll warn you that the pie does not look pretty and new-comers will be afraid to give it a try. I usually convince them to test a small bite by cutting about 1/4 off the end of a piece. They ALWAYS go back for the full piece and then some. Give it a try and let me know what you think?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking

Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks


I won’t say that I feel good about it but in the past, I’ve been known to use a lot of margarine in my food, especially when I needed dishes to be parve. But right before Rosh Hashanah, there was a parve margarine shortage in Dallas. Sticks of parve margarine could not be found anywhere and believe me when I tell you that I spent a great deal of time in all of the local stores looking for said margarine. During these trips, several neighbors told me I shouldn’t be using margarine anyway because it’s not healthy but I didn’t care. I needed my margarine!

Just as I was about to be forced to rethink my menu for the holidays, my friend Marilyn told me about Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. Her Mother-in-Law had discoverd this awesome parve find and shared her discovery with Marilyn, who then found the product at our local Wholefoods. She had successfully used in as a margarine replacement in several of her recipes so I went to Wholefoods and stocked up for fear the word would get out and there’d be a Earth Balance buttery sticks shortage as well.

The sticks look bigger than a regular margarine or butter stick but they are the exact same size. I used them in everything from my Pineapple Challah Kugel to my Squash Pie to my Lemon bars. All recipes turned out great with the exception of the crust of the Lemon Bars. It was a bit mushy but not enough to make me regret the substitute.

Now I haven’t done any comparisons between the buttery sticks and margarine although I did find an interesting debate taking place on the FitSugar web site: Margarine War: Earth Balance vs. Smart Balance. I have not tried Smart Balance and I’m a bit confused as to whether their butter spreads are parve or not. It looks like maybe the “light” ones are parve but the others are dairy? Please leave me a comment if you know.

However, back to my original point, I haven’t compared the Earth Balance against margarine but I’m thinking anything that has no Trans Fat is better than something that does. I at least feel better about cooking with it : )

Have you tried the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks? If so, what did you think? Do you use a parve butter substitute that you like better?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

I’m Serving Parve Baked Alaska Cake Tonight for Rosh Hashanah


Kosher Parve Baked Alaska Cake – Yummy!

Years ago, I attended a Pampered Chef party and came home with their Fall/Winter 2004 Season’s Best Recipe Collection booklet. The cover features a picture of a beautiful Baked Alaska Cake that I swore I was going to make someday. Well that day was today! I decided that making 10 other dishes for Rosh Hashanah wasn’t enough, and I added this lovely cake … and my challenge of making it parve … to my list. As you can see, my version of the Baked Alaska Cake didn’t turn out to look quite as lovely as the one featured in the booklet, but the flavor didn’t suffer a bit. Read on for the recipe I found posted online thanks to Heidi Hunt on

Baked Alaska Cake by Pampered Chef


1 package devil’s food cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake) (I used the Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Parve cake mix.)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels — divided (I used Liebers Real Chocolate Chips parve.)
1 package cream cheese — (8 ounces) softened (Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese is a Kosher’s girl’s best friend. It’s parve and yummy.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 container frozen whipped topping — (16 ounces) thawed, divided (I used Kineret Whipped Topping parve.)


Who knew you could actually bake in the Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl? I’m loving it!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease (I used parve margarine) and flour Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl (I was surprised to find that i actually own this dish. I probably purchased it at that same party where I got the recipe booklet. I had no idea I could bake in it. Totally awesome). Prepare cake mix according to package directions; pour into batter bowl. Bake 1 hour, 10 minutes to 1 hour, 15 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to stackable cooling rack; cool 15 minutes. Run large spreader around outside of cake and gently turn out onto cooling rack, large end down. Cool 3 hours. (I don’t own the stackable cooling rack so I just let the cake cool in the batter bowl for 15 minutes and then turned it upside down on a cutting board. The cake slid out easily.)

Using serrated bread knife, trim large end of cake to level. Place cake, large end down, onto Simple Additions Medium Square. To slice cake into four equal layers, slice cake horizontally in half. Slice each half into two equal layers.

Chop 1/4 cup of the chocolate morsels using food chopper; set aside. Place remaining chocolate morsels in small Micro-Cooker; microwave, uncovered, on high 20-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring after each 20-second interval. In clean Classic Batter Bowl, whisk cream cheese (Yeah for Tofutti parve Better than Cream Cheese. It’s one of my new best friends : ) until smooth using stainless steel whisk. Add powdered sugar; whisk until smooth. Stir in melted chocolate; mix well. Fold 2 cups of the whipped topping and chopped chocolate into cream cheese mixture using classic scraper. Using small spreader, spread bottom layer of cake with about half of the filling, forming a 3/4-inch layer. Repeat with remaining layers and filling, ending with the top layer of cake.

Spread any remaining filling over outside of cake to create a smooth surface. Frost cake with remaining whipped topping.

My cake layers were not standing up very well, In fact, they were leaning and sliding to the right so I ended up inserting a wooden stick like you’d use for shish kabobs into the center to hold everything together. I cut off the pointed part and added a strawberry for decoration.

To form decorative peaks, press spreader into topping and pull away. Repeat over entire surface of cake. For easier slicing, refrigerate cake at least 30 minutes.

To easily cut cake into servings, cut cake into eight wedges from top to bottom using utility knife. Carefully insert Slice ’n Serve horizontally into each wedge, dividing into two equal portions.

As I said, my cake did not turn out to look anything like the one pictured in the Pampered Chef booklet but it still tastes delicious and no one will believe it’s parve!

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Happy Rosh Hashanah!

Tri-Color Gefilte Fish Loaf Recipe is a colorful & fun dish for Rosh Hashanah


Layers 1, 2 & 3 of the 3-color gelfite fish load (Left to Right)

I had such good intentions to start my Rosh Hashanah shopping and cooking early but it just did not happen. I did manage to bake my Challah this past Sunday but didn’t get started on the food until last night. I started with this beautiful Three-Color Gefilte Fish Loaf recipe that I found online last year at, along with a Horseradish Sauce from The gelfite recipe is attributed to Norene’s Healthy Kitchen by Norene Gilletz. I don’t have this cookbook but after making this recipe for last year’s Rosh Hashanah meal, I’m thinking it might be a good a good investment. There was not a bite of this loaf left after the meal last year and folks who normally won’t touch gefilte fish raved about how delicious it was. Here are the instructions from the GourMania site:

Looks complicated—cooks easily! This layered loaf looks elegant and tastes terrific. You won’t have to fish for compliments when you serve this to your guests. They’ll fall for it—hook, line, and sinker!

Fish Mixture:

2 loaves frozen gefilte fish loaf, thawed (22 oz/623 g each) 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp garlic powder (There was a big shortage of gefilte fish in Dallas this past week and I had to drive to 4 different stores before I finally found 3 loaves left at one store. I was doing a happy dance in the aisle!)

First Layer:

1/3 of the Fish Mixture
1/2 cup seeded and diced red pepper
2 green onions, diced
2 Tbsp minced fresh dillweed (I used dried dill an instead of fresh and it still turned out great).

Second Layer:

1/3 of the Fish Mixture
1 pkg (10 oz/300 g) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil or parsley (I used Dill again here)

Third Layer: 

1/3 of the Fish Mixture
1 medium sweet potato, cooked and mashed (or 1 cup cooked mashed carrots)
1 Tbsp minced fresh dillweed or parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9- × 5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. (I used three – 8″ x 4″ Hefty EZ Foil Loaf Pans purchased at Wal-Mart. The loaves will pop right out after cooking for easy slicing)

2. Fish Mixture: In a large bowl, combine the gefilte fish mixture, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well. Divide the mixture in thirds and place in three separate bowls.

3. First Layer: Combine the fish mixture, red pepper, green onions, and dillweed; mix well. Divide in half and spread evenly in each prepared pan to make a first layer.

4. Second Layer: Combine the fish mixture, spinach, and basil; mix well. Divide in half and spread evenly in each pan to make a second layer.

5. Third Layer: Combine the fish mixture, sweet potato, and dillweed; mix well. Divide in half and spread evenly in each pan to make a third layer.

6. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. When done, the top layer should be firm to the touch and the edges should pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Yield: 2 loaves, 16 to 20 servings. (I made 3 slighly smaller loaves so I’d have one for each email I’m hosting).

Horseradish Sauce Recipe


2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream (I use ToFutti sour supreme Kosher Parve)

In a small bowl whisk together horseradish, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, ground red pepper and sour cream.

Sweet Coconut Chicken Strips for Rosh Hashanah


Welcome to the first ever Jewish Holiday Blog Party, hosted by Jessie of Taste and Miriam of Overtime Cook, and sponsored by Kitchen Aid! As you may know, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is coming up, and Jewish bloggers from all over the world are celebrating with all kinds of twists on traditional Rosh Hashanah foods.

To kick off the celebration, Levana Kirschenbaum is giving away a copy of her fabulous new book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment on this post. Limit one entry per reader per blog so click over to the other participating blogs below for your chance at additional entries! Giveaway ends 5 am eastern time on September 11th, 2012.

Prize is sponsored by Levana and available to readers from all blogs participating in the Rosh Hashanah Blog Party. Prize can only be shipped within the US.

When I was thinking of a dish to prepare and write about for the blogger party, my first thought was the Pineapple Challah Kugel recipe that is a staple at our High Holiday’s table. The recipe is in Susie Fishbein’s Kosher By Design Entertains cookbook on page 228.

But while the recipe says “it’s pretty,” mine never turns out all that pretty. In fact, it’s somewhat unattractive. But once people take that first bite, they are hooked. I’ve even given this cookbook as a gift to a bride because her husband loved this dish so much. So, if you are looking for a sweet, filling side dish … or it can even be served as a dessert … the Pineapple Challah Kugle can’t be beat.

But I thought I’d try something new this year so I spent several hours looking through my stacks of cookbooks and decided upon a new recipe to try … and no one in my household was disappointed. My inlaws even happened to stop by the night of the test, which was also my birthday, so we made a little dinner party out of it. Everyone was in love with this yummy dish that reminds me of a Pina Colada.

The Coconut Chicken strips with Two Dipping Sauces (apricot and mango) recipe is in the same Kosher By Design Entertains cookbook on page 34 and it is out-of-this-world. I was thrilled to find the recipe online at Jamie Geller’s Joy of Kosher web site as well.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for one of the dishes I will definitely be serving at my Rosh Hashanah table. And I’ll warn you that it’s way too filling to simply be an appetizer, unless the meal that follows is very light, but it’s a fun way to welcome in a sweet New Year:


  • Chicken Strips
  • 6  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4  cup flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2  eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2  cup panko or corn flake crumbs (I did not have either panko or corn flakes so I crushed up Kellogg’s Rice Krispies in a zip-lock bag instead. It was a yummy substitute)
  • 1  cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  •   honey

Mango Sauce

  • 1  fresh mango
  • 1/4  cup soy milk (I used 365 Organic SoyMilk)
  • 2  tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2  teaspoons honey mustard
  • 3  tablespoons chopped hazelnuts (I didn’t have hazelnuts and couldn’t find them at the store so I left-out this ingredient)

Apricot Sauce

  • 6  ounces apricot preserves
  • 2  teaspoons yellow mustard (not Dijon)
  • 2  tablespoons teriyaki sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

2. Remove the tenders from the chicken. Cut each breast into long 1⁄2-inch thin strips, trimming the ends to make rectangle shapes. Trim the tenders as well. Season the strips with salt and pepper.

3. Place the flour into a shallow dish. Add some salt and pepper to the flour. Add the garlic powder and cayenne. Toss to combine. Place the beaten egg into a second shallow dish. Mix the panko or corn flake (or Rice Krispies) crumbs and coconut in a third dish.

4. Lightly coat the chicken strips with flour, shaking off excess. Dip each strip into the egg, shaking off excess. Roll into coconut mixture, pressing the coconut into the chicken to evenly coat.

5. Place the coated strips on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with honey. Bake 20 minutes, turning the strips halfway through.

I added an extra step here. At the end of the oven time, my chicken strips still looked a bit “tan” so I broiled them on high for about 2-3 minutes. It browned the coconut nicely and my Father-in-law thought I had fried them.

6. Meanwhile prepare the sauces. Place the mango into a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Purée. Add the soy milk, wine, and mustard. Pulse 2-3 times. Set aside.

7. Combine apricot preserves, yellow mustard, and teriyaki sauce. Stir to combine.

8. To serve place 3-4 chicken strips on each plate with two small bowls, one with the mango sauce and the other with the apricot sauce. (I actually placed each chicken strip on a wooden skewer to make it easier to eat but everyone ended up taking them off the skewers anyway so while it’s pretty, it’s probably not very practical.)

Just a few “tester” notes, the folks at my dinner party, LOVED the apricot sauce but were not so thrilled with the Mango sauce. It wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t as sweet as the apricot sauce.

I also made 1/2 of the batch “plain” without the coconut since my hubbie doesn’t like coconut. Even the plain batch was awesome so keep that in mind if you have folks attending your Rosh Hashana party who are not fans of the pina colada flavor.

This is the first of hopefully many exciting Holiday Blog Parties, so if you would like to join in the fun, please email

Stop by and check out some of these amazing Rosh Hashanah themed recipes on the following blogs:

Challah and Bread:

Marlene of The Jewish Hostess made Apple Challah
Amanda of The Challah Blog made Pomegranate Challah
Shelly of The Kosher Home made Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!

Sides, Salads and Starters: 

Sarah of Food, Words, Photos made Tzimmes (Rosh Hashanah Carrots)
Tali of More Quiche, Please made Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Roberta and Lois of Kosher Eye made Simanim Salad
Chanie of Busy In Brooklyn made Pomegranate Coleslaw
Rivki of Life in the Married Lane made Super Salad
Hannah of Cooking Manager made Beets Marinated with Ginger and Garlic
Sina of The Kosher Spoon made Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous
Hindy of Confident Cook-Hesitant Baker made Warm Roasted Beets with Farro
Sarah of Kosher Street made Sweet Potato Apple Tzimmes

Main Dishes:

Jessie of Taste made Smoked Salmon
Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Chicken with Dates
Michele of Kosher Treif Cooking made Coconut Chicken Strips with two dipping sauces
Melinda of Kitchen Tested made Key Lime Glazed Duck
Stephanie and Jessica of The Kosher Foodies made Chicken Braised in Pomegranate
Liz of The Lemon Bowl made Beef Brisket
Estee of Anyone Interested? made Easy Breazy 5 Minute Brisket

Desserts and Drinks:

Miriam of Overtime Cook made Mini Apples and Honey Tarts
Laura of Pragmatic Attic made Fresh Ginger Honey Cake
Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Honey Caramel Apple Galette
Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat made an Apple and Honey Cocktail
Nick of The Baking Process made Apple and Date Honey Squares
Lisa of The Monday Morning Cooking Club made Honey Chiffon Cake and Traditional Honey Cake
Leah of Cook Kosher made Pomegranate Ice Cream
Nossi of The Kosher Gastronome made Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel