Fall / Jewish Holiday Dinner Party Menu

new-seasons-forest-feast_002.jpg

The Jewish high holidays begin this weekend and go on throughout the month of September. People often celebrate the Jewish new year (this Sunday), Rosh Hashana, with festive fall dinners 2 nights in a row. It's traditional to have apples slices dipped in honey as an appetizer or dessert (to sweeten the new year) and to enjoy fall produce such as pomegranates and figs. And we always serve a round challah which symbolizes the cycle of the year. We have been invited to a dinner on Sunday and are hosting one on Monday. In case you are planning a menu like I am, here are a few ideas. But this menu also works well for any fall gathering!

MENU:

Pomegranate Campari & Sodas

Endive Bar Appetizer Platter

Apple Matchstick Salad

Squash Lasagna

Roasted Zaatar Carrots *or* Crispy Old Bay Brussels

Honey Cake

dots-stripe.jpg

COCKTAIL: Pomegranate Campari & Soda

A pomegranate Aperol Spritz could also be fun and festive. For that, mix equal parts Prosecco and Aperol over ice, add a splash of club soda and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

APPETIZER: Endive Bar

Serve a platter with yellow and/or purple endive leaves for people to fill themselves. I set out small bowls of fig jam, crumbled blue or feta cheese, ricotta or cream cheese, caramelized onions (easy to make ahead), pomegranate seeds, sautéed butternut squash cutes, sunflower seeds or pine nuts and fresh thyme or cilantro leaves.

SALAD: Apple Matchstick Salad

MAIN COURSE: Squash Lasagna

VEGETABLE SIDES: Roasted Zaatar Carrots or Crispy Old Bay Brussels Sprouts

DESSERT: Honey Cake (a Rosh Hashana tradition!)

Happy New Year (Shana tovah!)...and happy fall cooking!

Memorial Day Party Menu

I'm so looking forward to the 3-day weekend we have coming up! The weather is supposed to be nice so we're hoping to entertain on the deck. In case you are too, click on over to this menu I put together for Instyle Magazine. It includes a Cucumber Spritzer Cocoktail, Spicy Feta Lettuce Wraps, Asparagus Pastry Straws and the easiest Chocolate Ricotta Mousse. Happy Hosting!!

tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo6_1280.jpg

Mother's Day Brunch

In case you're hosting a brunch for Mother's Day next weekend, and stressing over what to serve, I've got you covered! If you have my Forest Feast Gatherings book, you can serve the entire Brunch menu on page 95 (done, and done!). The star of that menu is an easy, make-ahead frittata loaf...recipe below.

Zucchini Frittata Loaf + Ruby Mimosa Punch from the Brunch menu in Forest Feast Gatherings.

Zucchini Frittata Loaf + Ruby Mimosa Punch from the Brunch menu in Forest Feast Gatherings.

Serve it with grapefruit mimosas, a green salad, a fruit salad and some pastries, and call it a (Mother's) day! For more ideas, see this menu from the archives.

PS: Looking for a fun foodie gift? How about these placemats?!

Cheers to Mom!

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Butternut Hummus & Deviled Eggs

I spend most of Thanksgiving day cooking, and love to have some tasty appetizers on hand to keep everyone going (but not too full) before the big feast. Here are a couple fun ideas that are easy to prep ahead.

My local paper, The Palo Alto Weekly, did a really lovely article and video all about Thanksgiving Appetizers adapted from my new cookbook. We shot a 15-minute recipe video on the deck where I made some fun recipes like this Butternut Hummus (below) and an adaptation on my deviled eggs, turning them into Butternut Hummus Deviled Eggs with Pomegranate Seeds. Read the article by Anna Medina and get the recipes HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving!

* * *

The video above is by The Palo Alto Weekly, shot by Veronica Weber. Host: Anna Medina. The video accompanies the article published 11/17/16.

Clementine Cocktails & Book Launch Parties!

The past 2 weeks we have been celebrating with book launch parties on both coasts for The Forest Feast Gatherings! A week before the book came out, I hosted a preview party at the cabin for a small group. Then Jonathan, Ezra and I went to NYC last week for launch events at Paper Source in Manhattan and PowerHouse Arena in Brooklyn. Just this past weekend, the gift shop Emily Joubert Home & Garden (above) in Woodside, CA (where I live) hosted a big party for which I made appetizers for 100 (!), cocktails were provided by Women & Whiskies, and we sold out of books completely! Thank you so much to the friends, family and readers that came out on both coasts to support me, I am so grateful!

Jonathan interviewed me at the event at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Ezra "helped" me sign books.

Jonathan interviewed me at the event at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Ezra "helped" me sign books.

At Paper Source in Manhattan we did a watercolor crafting DIY from the book and I made lots of treats (like Strawberry Caprese Bites from the book) to nosh on at the signing.

At Paper Source in Manhattan we did a watercolor crafting DIY from the book and I made lots of treats (like Strawberry Caprese Bites from the book) to nosh on at the signing.

A few more pics from the event in Woodside at Emily Joubert, the prettiest home and garden shop near where I live. If you're in the area, is so worth a visit!

Women & Whiskies was kind enough to provide whiskey for the cocktails, like this Clementine Cocktail from the book. To serve such a big crowd, I turned it into a punch, and we made pitchers of it. People loved it!

Stay tuned for more book events around the SF Bay Area throughout the fall (there will be several! I'll post them on the cookbook tab above). 

Cheers to many more gatherings!

* * *

Photos of the Woodside event above are by Brian Silverstein and Martha Bixby.