L’Shana Tova! Here are some new ways to update and put a contemporary spin on traditional High Holiday meals.
- Try a fast, easy chicken soup with an Asian twist! Use a box of chicken soup mix. Add frozen defrosted potstickers, a little cooked leaf spinach (optional), lots of sliced scallions, and a few teaspoons of sesame oil (the secret ingredient) to taste. Yum!
- I always add some old and new family pictures to my floral centerpiece. Use paper clips or double-sided tape and attach the photos to chopsticks or small tree branches and place them in your flowers.
- Use edible place cards for eight or more guests. I pick small apples for each guest. Fill a small non-pleated sandwich bag with melted chocolate or store-bought icing. Using the bag as a “pastry bag,” write each guest’s name on an apple. No one will ask, “Where do you want me to sit?”
- Not cooking but going as a guest? This is the best year for all grapes! They are larger, sweeter, and simply delicious. Look for the raspberry flavored, moon drops or cotton candy ones and bring a big bowl of washed assorted plump ones as your hostess gift!
- To keep tomatoes tasty, NEVER refrigerate a cut or ripe tomato! After slicing a tomato, place the cut side down on a plate and store out of the refrigerator.
- Another hostess gift: Bring a bunch of assorted new plastic containers for leftovers. Tie them with a bow. Not fancy, but much appreciated!
- To garnish chicken soup servings: Use some thick peeled carrot slices or some spiralized ones. Cook them separately in some chicken broth. Drain and place on top of each serving.
- Remember that leftover horseradish can be frozen!
- To make your own “gourmet” whitefish salad, I combine about 8 ounces of store-bought smooth whitefish salad with chunks of fresh whitefish, chopped scallions or chives. Carefully remove all bones, and add a dollop of mayonnaise to cut the salt.
- My “House Brand” of cream cheese is made by combining regular or low-fat cream cheese with pieces of nova lox, chopped scallions and/or fresh chives. Colorful and delish!
Ilene Spector is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and veteran Jewish food journalist.
More In Food
- Making chicken soup in the oven is easy, and it gives the dish a rounded, distinct depth of flavor. read more
- With an assist from Raven #52, Little Italy’s Ciao Bella reinvented itself as Lew Gambino’s with a focus on locally grown food, plant-based menu options and house-crafted pasta. read more
- Chocolate kokosh cake is rich and gooey with seemingly endless layers of chocolate. read more
- This slow-cooked brisket works great for brunch or at a festive dinner. read more