Menu Plan: Week of Oct. 19, 2014

By | October 19, 2014

After working so hard to fill my freezer, it’s bare again. I think this is the emptiest it’s been since I gave birth, actually. No challah, no muffins, no whole wheat toddler bread. No pancakes, no ice cream, no carrot soup or mushroom soup or beet soup or anything soup. No pizza dough, no zucchini kugel, no quiche, no second quiche. It’s frightening.

But without the time or energy or patience to start restocking, this week’s dinner plan is all about short-term goals. You know, the primal goal of having at least one decent meal during the day. Tuesday’s lentils are one of the easiest things I make, and with two pasta dinners on the menu, I’m hoping the other days will be manageable, too. Shavua tov!

Bavarian apple torte

By | October 14, 2014

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My toddler and I have a new habit of looking at cookbooks on Shabbos/yom tov mornings lately. Maybe this was my idea, but it was definitely a good one because my 22-month-old is developing a rather impressive culinary vocabulary. Not only can he identify 95% of the groceries my husband brings home, but he regularly points out his favorite spices: salt, cumin, cinnamon, and “nano” (Italiano, a seasoning blend).

Leafing through cookbooks, even at breakneck speed because somebody can’t wait to find the next photo, reminds me of dishes I haven’t made in ages for no good reason whatsoever. The bavarian apple torte in Gatherings is one of those. I made it back in 2011 when my in-laws came for Succos and was struck by how crazy fantastic it was. I thought about it every now and then after that, but with so many new dishes on my to-try list, I didn’t give it any more attention.

This Succos, though, I decided enough was enough and I got to work on my old bavarian dream dessert. In typical Tali style, this version has less butter and less sugar (cha-ching). I’ve also made a small ingredient switch that takes this torte from delicious to severely delicious. Hint: almond extract. If you don’t have it yet, this is the perfect time.

Chag sameach once more, and see you after Simchat Torah!

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Pumpkin seed pesto {pareve}

By | October 12, 2014

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Good news, pesto lovers. You don’t need nuts to make a great pesto! And you don’t need cheese to make a great pesto, either. So you can get a delicious pareve spread on your challah without spending a ton or running into nut/dairy allergy problems. Don’t you love it already?

If you’re a regular pesto maker, you know how adaptable it is. You can mix and match with lots of different herbs and seeds/nuts and end up with something new and still delicious every time. Of course, not every imaginable combination is going to be a winner, so I saved you some trouble and tested this myself. The verdict is that parsley, basil, and pumpkin seeds should hang out together a lot more often.

For a fun addition to your yom tov menu (because these days, there is always another yom tov menu), pumpkin seed pesto is fast and easy. And bonus: it freezes perfectly. So really, make a double batch.

Succos menu 2014

By | October 6, 2014

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As I was scrubbing my kitchen last Nisan, I told myself that compared to making Pesach while 8 months pregnant, the coming Succos would be just about the easiest thing I’d ever done. Well, six months goes by pretty quickly when you’re looking back. Although I don’t think making yom tov will ever really be easy, it does feels that way by comparison. Cooking without first kashering? Sign me up!

This year’s Succos menu is like my Pesach menus in that it’s all-inclusive. Okay, not 100% because I didn’t plan for breakfast and things like that, but Chol Hamoed meals are part of the plan and that earns me extra points with myself.

Scroll to the bottom if you’re curious to see my cooking schedule, and for more ideas you can have a look at the menus from Succos 2011 and Succos 2012. (If you missed yesterday’s roundup of 74 pareve soups, sides, and salads, it’s waiting for you!)

Tali’s Official Succos Cooking Plan

Before RH (these happened mid-September): butterfingers, tomato and scallion quiche, and two-tone mini potato kugels

Didn’t end up using for RH: Cream of mushroom soup, four round challahs with sweet topping

Oct. 2: one dozen caramelized onions

Oct. 3: pumpkin seed pesto

Oct. 5: roasted bell pepper soup

Oct. 6: bavarian apple torte

Oct. 7: challah, garlic brown-butter breadsticks

Oct. 8: chocolate chip cookies (freeze half), double batch of vanilla bean ice cream (version B), and a quadrouple batch of pizza dough

Oct. 10: double batch of white bean dip, rice with peas (add onions from freezer), and split pea soup

Oct. 12: tuna rice patties, red lentil soup, and par-boil potatoes for next day

Oct. 13: Bake pizzas, finish roasted potatoes, and make israeli salad

Oct. 14: rice to go with dinner, cook lentils and roast sweet potatoes for next day’s salad

Oct. 15: fry haloumi and finish the salad, make pumpkin ginger soup and pasta nicoise

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something — anything — on Amazon through these links, a (very) small portion of your purchase helps support More Quiche, Please. Thank you!