Patriotic Shabbos

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My havdalah candle finally melted down so I bought a red, white, and blue one at Moisha’s for 99 cents.  I think it’s so cute!  The red part reminds me of Twizzlers.

The other Shabbat find was a 72-count box of Shabbat candles for $2.99.  The best part is that they lasted for 3 hours.  So it was a great bargain.

Now if only Kedem grape juice was on sale…..

Summer Shabbat Menu

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Anyone that reads my blog can figure out that I’m not the typical Ashkenazi chick. When it comes to cooking, I definitely fall in the fusion culinary school. Why? My mother was from the Deep South and my father was a Sephardic Jew from the Caribbean. So I was exposed to tons of different cuisines that I found use similar ingredients. Toss in my love for Mediterranean and Asian cuisine and you can see my very interesting pantry.

So for my first food post, I’ll do a modified version of a traditional Ashkenazi Shabbat dinner. Still heavier than every day, but no hot soup or cholent in the summer. For me this is important since I don’t have an air conditioner 🙂
Check out the menu after the jump!

Tips for Summer Shabbat cooking

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The temperature is rising and my food is cooling down. One would think that summertime Shabbat meals require less prep but that is not true. However, I learned that EVERY Shabbat meal requires prep.

During the summer, I use fresh produce to my advantage. Salads and simple fruit desserts start emerging.  I hate cooking in the summer so I tend to pare down my recipes accordingly. Here are some of my tips:

  1. Cook at night/early morning. Why slave over a hot stove in the heat?
  2. Bake once. Make a double batch/freeze. I do this especially with kugels, desserts, and meat dishes.
  3. Use the stovetop. Oven put out tons of heat.
  4. Try one pot meals.
  5. Go to the backyard and use the grill. I live in an apartment so this doesn’t apply to me.
  6. Cook foods that taste good at room temperature.
  7. Salad, salad, salad. It’s cool, refreshing, and easy to prepare.
  8. Fruit!  I love melon , grapes, and strawberries during the summer.  I even freeze grapes and use them as ice cubes!
  9. Turn off the lights. During the summertime, I turn on my fluorescent lights because they are cooler than incandescent lighting.
  10. Don’t make chicken soup and/or cholent. I can see some people passing out at the thought of no cholent, lol. Alternately, you can make cholent in a crockpot (less heat output.) Some people make a lighter version of cholent so it won’t be as heavy. It depends on your creativity and comfort level.

What are your tips for summertime cooking?