CRANBERRY HALVA BIG-CRUMB COFFEE CAKE

One of my best friends growing up was allergic to strawberries. Like my-throat-will-close-up, inject-me-with-epinephrin-now allergic. Her mom made me learn how to inject an Epipen since the two of us went to camp together and, well, you never know.

Thankfully, I’d never had to use that skill. But last Tuesday, I almost did.

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BUTTER-ROASTED PEAR + HALLOUMI SALAD

You never believe it till you hit it, but being in your twenties is like free falling without a parachute. For whatever reason, when you’re a kid and a teen and even in college, you imagine you’ll have everything sorted out once you’re in your twenties. I blame TV for this, mostly. Twenty-something sitcoms are notoriously inaccurate. But they do get one thing right - something you completely neglect to appreciate until you’re chin-deep, flailing about the most confusing decade of your life thus far.

You find comfort in the oddest places.

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PUMPKIN LEEK SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

My partner and I run on completely opposite schedules. I wake up at around 7:00 each morning to get ready for work and ease into my day, while he stays burritoed for a few more hours. By the time I get home from work, anywhere from 7:15 to 9:00 or later, he’s already well on his way to a gig. Once he’s home, I’m the burritoed one.

Now that we live together we see each other a bit more than we used to, but not by much. What to do? Stuff a week’s worth of dates into one Sunday. Normal!

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CRISPY KALE, BRUSSELS SPROUTS + POTATO HASH

Shopping at Trader Joe’s is a dangerous game. You could be perusing the frozen foods section, looking for some fruit to improve your smoothie game when suddenly it catches your eye - the chocolate covered something that you’ve been trying to avoid but your willpower is simply not strong enough.

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ROASTED BUTTERNUT, FETA + POMEGRANATE KALE SALAD

When I lived in Jerusalem (OH MY GOD YOU LIVED IN JERUSALEM YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT IT), I was invited to a friend’s for Shabbat lunch and was tasked with making a side dish. I decided to explore my horizons and make something I’d never made before, and for some reason settled on mashed butternut squash with feta and pomegranate seeds.

Which like, sounded delicious.

But boy was it a mess.

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BUTTERY CELERIAC POTATO MASH

Thanksgiving at my house is a bit of a scene. Depending on whether the Michigan-Ohio State football game is in Ann Arbor or Columbus, we usually have between 20 and 35 people at what I can only accurately call a Thanksgiving feast. Even though my mom complains about hosting, I know she secretly loves it. Family from both sides come into town along with a few old friends and college pals - what's not to love? It's certainly a joyous occasion filled to the brim with laughter and lots of carbs.

Ah, carbs. If Thanksgiving was a Jewish holiday, I'm pretty certain it would be a mitzvah to eat carbs. Between the stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and rolls, you've got all the starch you need to hibernate for the rest of the winter. My mom loves to complain about the carbs. In fact, she chooses her carbs wisely (and dutifully reports back to me) usually opting for stuffing over mashed potatoes. I'm more of a little bit of everything kind of girl, myself, but I will admit that in recent years the mashed potatoes have been so lackluster that it's been hard to make the case for multiple carbs.

Enter this celeriac mash.

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ROASTED SUNCHOKE SOUP WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS

Hello, sweater weather! It is about damn time that the city cooled down - don't get me wrong, I love my tank dresses and jelly sandals, but I am giving a hearty goodbye to 150 degree subway platforms and that terrible first drip of sweat down the back. You know what I'm talking about - why is that first drip so horrific?

Anyway, I usually eat soup all year round because it is DELICIOUS, but eating soup in the summer is a very different experience from eating it in the fall. In the summer, I eat soup with a fan in front of my face, enjoying my food but questioning my life choices. In the fall though, eating soup is an easy, delicious comfort in the face of cooling weather and darkening skies. Alyssa and I are very big fans of soup, and are constantly looking for new recipes.

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ROASTED SWEET POTATO + COCONUT SOUP WITH COCONUT BACON

There are so many things I loved about living in Israel, but something that always irked me was the lack of seasons. Except for a few days of snow during my time in Jerusalem, the weather was hot, kind of hot, extremely hot, or cool-ish. No blizzards, no super strong windy days. Lots of humidity. And definitely no changing leaves. That's what I missed the most about home, I think, besides my family (duh - hi guys!) - I'm from Michigan, land of beautiful fall foliage and autocratic automobile executives.

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APPLE BRANDY SPIKED CIDER

After a certain point, living in New York becomes almost natural. I  say almost because mysterious subway stenches will never be considered natural, but after a bit of adjustment, the big city mellows enough to make any transplant feel at home. Or at least, said transplant finds the mellow among the chaos. 

I've been here for over three years now, and while I've never considered myself a New Yorker, I feel I have the city down pretty well. I know how to outsmart the closing doors, maneuver reckless bikers and eat delectably while on a budget. Despite this, I still find myself surprised by the small things this city quietly offers. Like the tiny corner farmers market just outside Morningside Park. Rina and I went with the intention of meeting Susie's Senior Dogs (more on that, later, we promise), and left with a bottle of the most understated alcohol I've ever encountered: apple brandy. 

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