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Recipes for a Sweet New Year

September 6, 2011 | by Jamie Geller

Rosh Hashanah recipes comprised of the sweetest ingredients. Tradition with a twist.

I love honey. I don’t claim to know exactly what the Sages had in mind when they said that during this season we should avoid tart or bitter foods and slop honey on everything, but my guess is that we’re supposed to look for the sweetness in life and try to make ourselves a little sweeter too. You are what you eat.

In any case, a few weeks before Rosh Hashanah, my head starts to twirl with holiday recipes comprised of the sweetest ingredients – to give my family a yummy new lease on life. Now, you know I love and respect tradition – but when it comes to recipes, I like to put a novel twist on things. Let’s be sweet in new ways!

Butternut Squash Kugel

Thank you, Abby for this delicious, melt-in-your mouth soufflé that really is like dessert right at the meal.

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Ready time: 5 min
  • Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen butternut squash, thawed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Maple Syrup (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, place squash, eggs, flour and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle with a little maple syrup if desired.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until set and edges are slightly golden. Serve warm or cold.


Also try baking this in a 9-inch frozen piecrust.

Cider Glazed Vegetables

This simple apple cider glaze works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable you happen to have on hand for a quick side dish. This recipe uses green beans but it’s great on sliced carrots, parsnips or other winter root vegetables. Also try it with other types of vinegar or different kinds of nuts.

  • Prep time: 5
  • Cook time: 10
  • Ready time: 15 min
  • Servings: 8-10


  • 2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Spread green beans out on a large sheet pan in a single layer. Toss with vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt. Roast 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Pomegranate Brisket

  • Prep time: 5
  • Cook time: 240
  • Ready time: 4 hour, 5 min
  • Servings: 8


  • 1 four- pound 1st cut beef brisket
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Season brisket with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large roasting pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear brisket about 4 minutes per side or until browned. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes over medium low heat until softened. Return brisket to pan and add pomegranate juice, broth, honey, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.

Transfer to preheated oven and roast for 2 hours. Flip brisket over and continue roasting for 1 to 1 ½ more hours or until tender.

Let brisket rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain. Strain liquid and serve on the side as au jus.

Orange Ginger Poached Pears

Poached pears are a great lighter alternative to a rich heavy dessert but still have loads of flavor to satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth. Serve with your favorite non-dairy ice cream and experiment poaching different kinds of fruit.

  • Prep time: 5
  • Cook time: 18
  • Ready time: 23 min
  • Servings: 4


  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 anjou pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • 2 cups vanilla soy ice cream


In a saucepan, combine orange juice, water, sugar, ginger and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add pears. Simmer until just tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pears and set aside.

Bring mixture to a boil and reduce until a little thicker, about 10 minutes. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve.

Serve each pear half with a scoop of ice cream and a few tablespoons of sauce.


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