shabbat

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This Persimmon Pear Cake is a nice twist on the traditional pumpkin bread. It’s denser than cake, which is why you don’t need icing. Peel, cube and cook persimmons and pears in a small pot on the stove (add a bit of butter and water to get it simmering).  Mash it up until you get about 1 cup of puree (depending on the size of the fruits, you may need another persimmon or pear). Combine this fruit mixture with all the other ingredients and bake in a round spring form pan. A light drizzle of honey, plus nuts if you like… and serve it warm!

Photos and Illustrations © Erin Gleeson

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Foragers, alert! Mushrooms are everywhere right now. I was in Santa Cruz recently and met a forager who showed me all the edible mushrooms he’d found on his walk and gave me tips on how to spot them. Often they are just little bumps under leaves…who knew!? Most of the ones he pointed our were types of Russula mushrooms. For this Mushroom Quinoa Risotto recipe I used Oyster mushrooms.

As always, forage with an expert and use an identification book. Be sure to check with an expert before eating anything. Happy hunting!

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In honor of this last day of Hanukkah, I made Sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Believe it or not, this is a Hanukkah tradition, right along with latkes.  This was the first time I’d made them so I used Martha Stewart’s recipe and they came out great!

Challah

Whenever I am working from home on Fridays (which is pretty much weekly) I make Challah for Shabbat dinner.  I have tried and adjusted many recipes, and this is the version I like best. Most recipes make 2 loaves (because it’s traditional to have 2 loaves for Shabbat) but I created a recipe that makes one loaf, which is usually plenty. To mix it up, you can add raisins, craisins, nuts, fruit, chocolate chips, etc. I learned to do the 6-piece braid on youtube via this link (I think about 100 of those views are mine). You can sprinkle sesame seeds, poppy seeds, crushed nuts, sea salt…whatever you like on top. Whatever you don’t finish makes for great french toast the next morning. Shabbat Shalom!

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