L’Shana Tova! It’s Rosh Hashanah

I’ve talked about Rosh Hashana in this space before, but that was just talk. Tuesday we walked the walk. We went to services, taschlich and had a Rosh Hashana feast of matzo ball soup, kugel, honey cake and challah.

A quick background on Rosh Hashana: It’s the Jewish New Year marking the year since the Torah says God created the world. We’re celebrating 5769 years! The tradition says you have 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to reflect on the year that has past and the year ahead. It’s also a time to ask for forgiveness from people you may have hurt, or I like to reach out to friends and family and thank them for their friendship, love and kindness.

Many people use birthdays or the December holidays or the regular New Year as a time of introspection. For me, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is that time of going through each month and finding the highlights.

This year was a big one…in a great way. I got my first job, I graduated college in 3.5 years, I got engaged (!!!), started this blog, moved into my first apartment and started the playing the mandolin.

As for the year ahead: Wedding!! Besides that, let’s just get past the election first.

The food of Rosh Hashana, which is why we’re all here anyway, represents the sweet new year to come. You’ll often find apples and honey, kugel, fruit salad, honey or apple cake. You’ll also see a round challah on the table as opposed to the usual braided one, noting the cycle of the year and the circle of life.

There are many symbols, songs and prayers within Rosh Hashana that could be discussed, but let’s get to the video and recipes!


    Honey Cake

recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey
1/2 chopped pecans
confectioners sugar for garnish


4 eggs
3/4 cup raisins
3 apples, granny smith or other tart apple, chopped
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup plain honey granola or frosted flakes
16 oz. bag egg noodles

    Matzo Ball Soup

serves 5-8 people
2 packets matzo ball mix
1/2 box whole granulation kasha
2 48 oz. organic chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrot, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 package chicken breasts, chopped


    Honey cake

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour bundt pan (can also use loaf pan)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
2. Make a well in the center. Add oil, honey, sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey
3. Using an electric mixer, stir together
4. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with pecans
5. Bake until cake tests done. About 45-50 minutes.


Preheat oven to 325
1. Cook egg noodles and drain. Pour into 9×13 glass baking dish
2. Combine all other ingredients (except granola or frosted flakes) in medium sized bowl and stir
3. Add mixture to noodles and stir well.
4. Put granola or frosted flakes in blender until crushed — but not too smooth
5. Sprinkle on top of kugle and bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown on top. If the granola/frosted flakes are still dry, pour 1 T. melted butter over dry areas.

    Matzo Ball Soup

1. Chop veggies and put in separate medium sized, bowl, set aside
2. Make matzo balls according to box directions
3. In large soup pot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and sautee chicken
4. Add veggies and cook until soft.
5. Add chicken broth and kasha. Turn to medium-low heat. Then simmer for 20 minutes or so before adding matzo balls
6. Add matzo balls, cook for another 10-15 minutes. Keep on low until ready to serve!

And voila! You now have a fabulous Rosh Hashana meal!


Post-baking thoughts: So in the video, while I’m making the matzo ball soup and finishing the kugel, I am clearly rushed for time. I had 10 minutes before people came and I still wanted to shower. So I apologize for no reactions on this video — but take my word, the response was very positive.

In 10 days we’ll be back with another holiday installment of Break the Fast Feast! See you then!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. julia freifeld says:

    love this video…all the recipes look fantastic!! you planned a wonderful & delicious evening for you, james & friends!!

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