Latkes with Farmer Cheese

Latkes with Farmer Cheese

Latkes with Farmer Cheese, Two Ways

Sweet with Pomegranate Arils
and
Savory with Fresh Herbs

Happy Hanukkah!

A jug of olive oil, which held enough oil to last for one day, burned for eight when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated. So we eat foods fried in olive oil to commemorate that ancient miracle. As far as symbolic foods go, potatoes fried in oil are pretty much everyone’s favorite.

This year I’m serving my latkes two ways, sweet and savory, both topped with farmer cheese. My favorite, Lifeway Farmer Cheese, is a cultured soft cheese made from an old world recipe with a distinctive tangy flavor, and it’s packed with probiotics to boot. You might say farmer cheese and latkes are a match made in heaven…

Latkes with Farmer Cheese

Latkes with Farmer Cheese

Latkes Two Ways

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New Korean Salad: Chrysanthemum Greens, Chestnut, Persimmon

korean salad, persimmon salad
Fresh Chrysanthemum Greens, Roasted Chestnut
Semi-Dried Hachiya Persimmon, Fresh Fuyu Persimmon Wedges
Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette
Pomegranate Arils, Toasted Pine Nuts, Roasted Laver

Inspiration from two separate dining experiences sparked the idea for creation of this delightful salad. First, an outstanding meal at Jun Won in LA, a gem of a restaurant that features regional Korean cooking from the province of Chungcheongnam-do. I was captivated by their salad of chrysanthemum greens (sukgat) with chestnut jelly. A week later we attended an event highlighting the “Tastes of the Korean Forest” including sanchae (wild vegetables grown in the mountains), oak mushroom, chestnut, and persimmon.

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roasted japanese eggplant with pomegranate, pistachio, garlicky cream sauce

japanese eggplant pomegranate pistachio
roasted japanese eggplant with fresh thyme
garlicky yogurt cream sauce
pomegranate & pistachio

I wasn’t shopping for another cookbook. I was actually at Anthropologie shopping for some kind of platform or stools on which to display some my overflowing unruly cookbook collection. But there on the shelf along with some darling Morrocan tea glasses and heavenly spiced candles was PLENTY, Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. On the cover, a bejeweled eggplant dish…I was smitten.

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A Very Pretty Quinoa

pretty quinoa

Quinoa with Fresh Mango & Pomegranate Arils
Red Onion, Jalapeño, Basil, Cilantro, Lime

We tried a new dish for Passover this year. Quinoa. Anyone who’s cooked Passover dinner knows the challenge of serving the crowd (33 in ours) immediately after the Seder which lasts about 1 1/2 hours. How to get the food to the table, timely and hot? This year we were short one chef (we sure missed you Allison) so we simplified our menu to make prep and service easier.

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mini curried squash soup, unique garnishes

a 3 oz. portion of spicy curried butternut squash soup with creme fraiche
garnished with toasted coconut, chopped cashews, dried pomegranate arils

As I tinker with my table setting ideas for our holiday parties
here’s what’s been playing on the stereo:

This year’s Christmas Compilation is a mix of classic and contemporary.

Play List
Dean Martin – A Marshmallow World
Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton – Baby It’s Cold Outside
Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas
The Christmas Party Singers – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Jimmy Buffett – Mele Kalikimaka
Barbra Steisand – Jingle Bells?
The Carpenters – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Andy Williams – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
Frank Sinatra – White Christmas
U2 – Christmas, Baby Please Come Home
Louis Armstrong – Winter Wonderland
The Carpenters – Merry Christmas Darling
Elvis Presley – Here Comes Santa Claus
Stevie Nicks – Silent Night
The Carpenters – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Johnny Mathis with the Percy Faith Orchestra – Sleigh Ride
Jimmy Buffett – Christmas in the Caribbean
Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas

What are you listening to as you bake cookies, trim your tree, and plan your holiday menus?

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