Dinner Parties: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (whew...I was busy!)

Dinner Parties: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (whew...I was busy!)

One of my very favorite things to do is have a dinner party. It’s actually why I went to culinary arts school – I think few things bring people together like food……and wine(!) – and I wanted to feel comfortable in the kitchen so I could throw a party sans stress. I held my first dinner parties while living in Buenos Aires, where I went to cooking school: an ex-pat Thanksgiving feast; a breakfast for dinner homage to Flying Biscuit, one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta; and an African food spread based on a school research project.

Most recently, I was busy with the Jewish High Holidays. For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, I had an intimate dinner with just the hubby and a close out-of-town friend.

During Rosh Hashanah, we dip apples into honey to signify a sweet new year. I used this theme as inspiration for my table setting.

Rosh Hashanah Table Spread

I made matzah ball soup with the chicken stock from scratch, and a traditional tsimmos. Many thanks to the Shiksa in the Kitchen for her delicious tsimmos recipe!


For Yom Kippur, I had roughly a dozen friends and family over.  We fast the whole day, so I (with help from the hubby) made whatever I could the night before. Nothing worse than cooking while hangry.

I don’t normally make dessert – I much prefer cooking to baking – but I was inspired by an off the chart dinner a friend recently made for us which included apple pie. The recipe was from the Cooks Illustrated cookbook, which I consider the cooking bible, so I figured I’d go for it. Making pie from scratch, for those who may not cook a lot, is a real pain in the tush labor of love. It turned out great and definitely felt like an accomplishment, but having done it, I think I’m going to stick to purchasing my desserts and focusing on the main meal. Besides, it was hands down one of the most fattening things I’ve ever made, and we ended up tossing the leftovers (all that hard work!) to make sure we didn’t gorge ourselves on leftovers.

Homemade Apple Pie

Because of the larger group, we served buffet style. Here you can see our dinner spread.

Yom Kippur Buffet

Of course, that didn’t mean we didn’t spruce up the place with some beautiful fall flowers (one of my favorite decorations).

$6.99 from Trader Joe’s….love me some TJs!

What did you do for the high holidays?




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