Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy New Year!

That's right peeps, tonight marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. While we will celebrate this holy holiday tomorrow with my entire family, tonight my little nuclear group commemorated it on our own.

One of the things that I find so interesting about Judaism is all of its symbolism. One of the things I find so interesting about religion overall, in fact, are the traditions - both family-born and long-standing. In our "halfie" house, we celebrate pretty much every holiday, so as we teach our children and create our own traditions, I really enjoy the ongoing education.

Woah - deep thoughts!

Anywho, some of the symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah include (in a super-over-simplified way): round challah loaves (unending circle of life); apples dipped in honey (renewing for a good and sweet year); honey cake (another way to mark a sweet new year); and many more.

Although we skipped some of the symbolic foods, I did manage to include a couple - namely - a round challah loaf (store-bought) and homemade honey cake. Our main course also included a honey component.

Challah... mmmmm
Honey Chicken with Crumb-Topped Tomatoes
Source: Good Housekeeping Best Chicken Dishes (1999)

  • 4 medium bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed (used boneless breast of chicken)
  • 1/4 c. Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (didn't use fresh)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 slice firm-textured bread, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp parm cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1/3 tsp pepper (skip)
  • Cooking spray
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 13x9 glass baking dish with foil. Place chicken, skinned side up, in dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix mustard, honey, curry powder and lemon juice. Brush mixture over chicken. Bake chicken, uncovered, 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place tomatoes, cut-side up, in 8x8 glass baking dish. In small bowl, stir together bread, parm, parsley, salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumb mixture over tomato halves. Spray each tomato lightly with cooking spray.
  • After chicken has baked 40 minutes, place tomatoes in same oven and bake for 20 minutes longer or until heated through and chicken is golden brown. (Note: I have a double oven, and b/c I used boneless chicken, I only cooked it for about 35 minutes and cooked the tomatoes at the same time in my second oven.)
  • Arrange chicken and tomato halves on plates. Spoon any remaining glaze over chicken.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 325 calories; 45g protein; 23g carbs; 4g total fat (1 g sat); 2g fiber; 109mg choles; 720mg sodium

I served our chicken with Trader Joe's mushroom risotto. Yes frozen. Yes easy. (150 calories/350mg sodium per 1c. serving)

GA would love this tomato

Honey Cake

  • 3.5c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder (I use sodium free)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. strong brewed coffee (Starbucks, duh)
  • 1/2 c. almonds (skip)
  • 1/2 c. raisins (skip)
  • 1.5 c. honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 oz. slivered almonds
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, gradually adding the sugar. Beat until thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. Beat in the oil, honey and coffee. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Chop almonds and mix with raisins, stir into batter.
  • Oil the two pans (what two pans? I used one 13x9) and line the bottom with waxed paper. Oil again. (Huh? Just sprayed it down) Fill each pan with batter to within 1-1/4 inches from the top. Bake for 65-75 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.
  • To make glaze (skipped this whole step): Boil together 1.5 c. honey, lemon juice, zest and water. When glaze reaches a thick consistency, remove from heat and drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with almond slivers.
Yield: 24 servings (!?!?!)
Per serving: 316 calories; 6.1g fat; 35mg choles; 122mg sodium; 65.2g carbs; 4.3g protein
(This assumes all of the items I skipped, btw)


First up, the main event. Chicken turned out really well - very juicy. I liked the tomato, the boys - who each managed to choke down just one teeny bite - did not. In fact, the hubs wrinkled his nose, ala a 5-year-old. Awesome. Luckily, both also liked the chicken. It was also fast and easy to prepare, and the curry added a bit of interest.

Confession: I do not like honey cake. I have never found it to be that flavorful, particularly b/c I'm a chocolate gal at heart. But, in wanting to do something traditional (and also in wanting to make the house smell delish), I went with it. I had the teeniest of pieces and thought it was pretty good. For honey cake.

A solid three forks for both.