Rosh Hashana Cooking: Where are you holding?

Anyone else up late cooking?

I’m working my way down my list of things to prepare for today (and finishing up a few stragglers from yesterday). So far today, I’ve finished making:

  • Carrot soup – to serve at lunch on Thursday, plus another batch that I’ve frozen for Sukkot (yay, freezer cooking!)
  • Carrot “muffins” — It’s just a cakey kugel that I pour into cupcake liners and bake as muffins. I made 2 dozen, so I’ll serve half on Thursday for dinner, and I froze the other half for later in the month.

  • Carrot spice cake – Sensing a theme? I’m all about the simanim, I tell you! I still need to make the orange frosting, but that may have to wait until tomorrow.

  • Vegetable kugel – Light on the eggs, heavy on the vegetables, I hope this one tastes as good as it looks. I totally made it up on the fly.
  • Apple pies (2) and apple crisp (1) –  (see above) Same apple mixture, one was poured into ready-made pie crusts and topped with streusel and the other got topped with crispy stuff! I followed Life as Mom’s apple pie recipe, although she makes her own crust (over-achiever!).

Still to do tonight (yes, I’m a night owl):

  • Pumpkin strudel – I’m toying with the idea of baking this in a 9×13 pan rather than rolling individual ones. Faster that way, and I’m starting to lose steam.

Tomorrow, I will just need to cook the brisket, make the chicken soup, roast the potatoes, bake the apple challahs (I just took them out of the freezer to rise… please let them rise), set the table and make the spinach salad. Easy peasy!

Can I confide in you a totally unfrugal thing I did? I bought all those disposable tins you see in the pictures at Costco today. As I was doing it, I felt a bit foolish about the $13 I was blowing on two different sizes of tins. But as queen of rationalization, I’ve decided it’s okay because (a) it saves me time in clean up, (b) I can freeze food right in them, and (c) I do wash them out to be recycled.

What little splurges do you allow yourself during the holidays? And how are your cooking plans and other chores coming along?


  1. Considering how much cooking you have to do, I think the disposable tins were well worth the money. If you’re feeling really guilty you could always wash them and reuse. I was feeling really down about the holidays this year, we still haven’t found a community we feel comfortable with in the Denver area and I was ready to just blow off the whole thing. Reading your blog gave me the push I needed to get my act together. My challah dough is in the bread machine, I invited my brother and his family for dinner tomorrow night and tonight I’m going to make some sides, a special dessert and our splurge is a precooked rotissere chicken from Whole Foods (obviously we don’t keep kosher.) Thanks so much for your blog, I really enjoy reading it. It’s nice to know we’re not the only Jewish people trying to follow Dave Ramesy. Shana Tova, Danielle

    • Shana Tova to you, too, Danielle! Telling me that I helped give you that push is such an incredible honor. Thank you!!! I hope you enjoy your meal with your brother and his family. xo

  2. Shanah Tovah Mara! Your food looks delicious and I hope your challahs rise- mine are out on my counter defrosting right now. But since often the frozen ones don’t rise to my satisfaction, I also made a batch of “no knead” challah dough (from the King Arthur website) that can sit in the fridge for up to 4 days- hopefully one or the other will be successful. Love to your family and best wishes for the new year, Skai

    • Skai! Thank you so much. Shana Tova to you and your family! I can’t wait to hear a review of the no knead challah. Mine are baked, but I am a bit worried about density. Oh well, I did my best. x and o

      • Follow up- my frozen ones didn’t do too well either- they stayed small and dense, though they tasted good and were even better as toast the next day. The no-knead recipe came out very well (though a bit different than regular challah consistency- it was more like a quickbread), but it still needs a bunch of time out on the counter before baking, with the forming step sometime after it warms up, so its not going to be any sort of solution for my full time working lifestyle. The only way to go seems to be baking them ahead of time and freezing them immediately- which will only work if there’s enough room in the freezer. Oh well. Still a lot cheaper and yummier than buying at the bakery.

        • Sorry yours were dense, too. I agree with your conclusion: Cook all the way and then freeze. I’m a smidge worried they still won’t be as good, tho, b/c we do that with Frankie’s Shabbat challot (leftover ones) and while good, they aren’t *as* good as the fresh ones. Tzom Kal! (And thanks for reading!!!)

  3. I bought tins for freezing RH food, too. Don’t normally have them on hand but figured it was the only way to prepare for a three-day eating fest. And shopping in Meah Shearim means they’re really nothing close to a splurge. 🙂

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