Tag Archives: catering

HE’BREW: Great Kosher Beer for Your Jewish Wedding

wedding bar kosher beerOne big plus of moving Huppahs.com to New York has been finding out about HE’BREW beer, a line of great-tasting kosher craft beers. If you want to offer your wedding guests something different at the bar and give the beer lovers in the crowd something they’ll appreciate, serve up some Origin Pomegranate Ale, Hop Manna, Messiah Brown Nut Ale, or one of the line’s other amusingly-named but seriously good brews.

I don’t have the beer vocabulary to even bluff at describing the tastes, but one reviewer who presumably does have that vocabulary was reduced to the word “WOW.” In the 2011/2012 World Beer Championships, where HE’BREW’s maker, Shmaltz Brewing, entered fourteen beers, nine of their beers won gold medals and five won silver. It’s good beer.

HE’BREW beers are brewed in upstate New York, but you can find them in more than thirty states (as well as extremely selected locations in Canada, Australia, and Japan). A newer line of Coney Island Craft Lagers is available through a more limited number of outlets. Shmaltz Brewing’s website provides helpful lists of wholesalers, shops and bars that carry its products.

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creekRelated: Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

Generally, an unflavored beer made with only water, barley, yeast, and hops, without any additives, will be kosher even without certification (for this information, I go to Orthodox-Jews.com). But when you want to get at all adventurous with taste and still keep kosher, you have to look for certification. HE’BREW beers are certified by the Orthodox-grade Kosher Supervision of America.

I raise my glass to the folks at Shmaltz Brewing Company for advancing the art of beer for the rest of us to enjoy and impress our guests.

East River Bar Brooklyn New York NYRELATED: Real Life Wedding: Alanna + Joe’s Brooklyn Neighborhood Wedding

Persian Pomegranate Sangria (Kosher Drink Recipe)

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Recipe: Blueberry Sauce (Parve, Vegetarian, Non-Dairy)

This gorgeous, sweet sauce can be made with fresh blueberries in the summer and frozen berries year round.

wedding dessert recipeWe post this sauce to accompany our baked pears for an autumn or winter celebration, but can’t you imagine it with something lemony? Let us know how you use it.

The recipe comes from one of my go-to cookbooks, Marlene Sorosky’s Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays. Not all of the recipes in the book are kosher, but sticking to the kosher recipes, I’ve found them to be not only delicious, but fast and foolproof.

Ingredients for Blueberry Sauce

Maked 5 cups of sauce

  • 1 quart (4 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup water

Instructions for Blueberry Sauce

In a medium saucepan, stir all ingredients together. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly and sugar is dissolved. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Make-Ahead Option

Sauce can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 weeks.

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Recipe: Baked Pears for an Autumn or Early Winter Wedding (Parve or Dairy, Vegetarian)

wedding dessert recipeThese pears work for both elegant and rustic menus. Add homemade berry sauce and serve them as an accompaniment to a slice of light wedding cake or as a side dish for a wedding brunch.

Today my daughters and I packed a brunch and brought it to my parents’ house to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The planned menu included poached pears, but last night, when I should have started the poaching, I hung out with a bunch of brothers and sisters and in-laws instead, talking about, among other things, Bill’s latest ice sculptures. So this morning, my daughters and I prepared the pears by baking them. The prep for baked pears is less fussy and less time-consuming than than for poaching, which makes them an appealing dish not just for easy-going family weekends, but for small self-catered weddings, too.

Serve these baked pear halves with a slice of light wedding cake and homemade berry sauce for a complete wedding dessert, or include them as a side dish for an autumn or early winter wedding brunch. We’ll make the berry sauce recipe our next post.

Menorah Ice Carving Hanukkiah

Menorah Ice Carving Hanukkiah

BTW, here’s a pic of the Hanukkiah ice sculpture Bill carved today during a demonstration at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in Manhattan.

Ingredients for Baked Pears

Serves 24

  • 12 Bosc or Anjou pears
  • Cooking oil spray
  • ½ cup butter, melted (or for a pareve version to serve with a meat meal, use non-dairy margarine)
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions for Baked Pears

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  2. Lightly spray the bottom of two 9″x13″ baking pans with cooking oil.
  3. Cut pears in half, cut out the core, and peel the pears.
  4. How to bake pears

    Make 4 slices in each pear half, stopping about a quarter inch from the narrow end of the pear.

    Optional: Make four slices in each pear half, stopping about ¼” from the small end. This will enable you to fan out the slices on the plate when you serve it. Or leave the halves unsliced for a more rustic presentation.
  5. Place the pears flat side down in the baking pans.
  6. Mix the melted butter, honey and spices. Drizzle the mixture over the pears.
  7. Cover the pans and bake for 40 minutes or until the pears are tender.

The pears can be stored overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

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Recipe: Apricot Rolls for a Middle Eastern Wedding Menu (Vegan, Parve)

These traditional sweets add a Middle Eastern touch to a dessert buffet, hors d’oeuvres reception or, as Gil Marks, points out, a Middle Eastern wedding shower. The recipe comes from Mark’s treasure of a cookbook, The World of Jewish Entertaining.

Ingredients for Middle Eastern Apricot Rolls

Makes about 7 dozen rolls

  • 1 pound (3¼ cups) dried apricots, washed and drained
  • ½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped blanched almonds or unsalted pistachios

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or grinder, grind or puree the apricots with the ½ cup sugar.
  2. Sprinkle a large piece of wax paper with additional sugar and spread half of the apricot mixture on top of a ¼-inch-thick rectangle.
  3. Arrange the nuts along one side of the rectangle, then roll up from the nut side. Repeat with the remaining apricot mixture.
  4. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 2 days, then cut into slices.

Alternatively, mix the nuts into the apricots, roll into ½-inch balls (about 50 balls), and press an additional piece of nut on top of each ball.

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Recipe: Traditional Spiced Almond Hors d’Oeuvre (Pareve)

In Hebrew, the numerical value of the word for nuts, egoz, is 17, the same as the value of the word tov, good. Which means that the two things are related to each other. Hence the prevalence of nuts, particularly almonds, in traditional Jewish wedding celebrations.

Spiced almonds also fit into very modern celebrations as a tasty hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail hour or hors d’oeuvre reception. They can be made a week before serving, which makes them self-catered-wedding-friendly.

This version comes from Gil Marks’ cookbook, The World of Jewish Entertaining: Menus and Recipes for the Sabbath, Holidays, and Other Family Celebrations. It’s a great go-to cookbook for celebrations large and small. Marks also includes in his book a more savory version with rosemary and cayenne pepper.

Gil Marks World of Jewish EntertainingOne of the great things about a cookbook collection is remembering how each book came to be on your kitchen bookshelf. I received this book as a gift after teaching for a few terms at the New North London Synagogue. I miss London! And as Shavuout approaches, I really miss the cheesecake at Paradise Bakery on Golders Green Road. Best cheesecake in the world, you used to be only a short walk from home. Sigh. Let’s see… does Mr. Marks include a cheesecake in his cookbook? He has two! I’m feeling better already.

Ingredients for Spiced Almonds
Makes 4 cups

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 4 cups (20 ounces) almonds
  • Optional: Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Combine the oil, honey, and spices. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead Option

Store the almonds in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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Recipe: Pea Guacamole (Parve Vegetarian)

pea guacamole dip recipe

Photo: Fiona Haynes via Allrecipes.com

This pea guacamole accompanies the sixth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

This dip accompanies the haddock fish cakes in the royal wedding canape reception menu. You can also serve it with crudites. The recipe comes from the Rancho La Puerta spa in Baja, Mexico.

Ingredients for Pea Guacamole

  • 1 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into ¼ -inch dice
  • ½ red or sweet onion, cut into ⅛-inch dice
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions for Pea Guacamole

  1. In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, process the peas until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher. Add the juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Add the peas and mix well.
  3. If the guacamole won’t be served immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent browning.

More new wedding planning posts…

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Recipe: Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole (Parve, Vegetarian)

This is the sixth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Will and Kate’s canape reception included smoked haddock fishcakes with pea guacamole. Haddock fishcake we do in traditional Jewish cuisine. The pea guacamole we will, like the Brits, borrow from Mexico.

The fish cake comes from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook, which has a lot of classic Jewish and classic American recipes for entertaining a crowd. The original recipe calls for 2 ½ diameter patties, but I’ve reduced the size to 2″ to produce patties that are more canape-size. That increases the yield to 75.

See the next blog post for the pea guacamole.

Ingredients for Fried Fish Patties

Makes 75 two-inch patties.

  • 4 lbs. haddock fillet
  • 4 lbs. cod fillet
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 level Tablespoons salt
  • 1 level teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 level Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ sunflower or other flavorless oil
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) medium matzah meal

Instructions for Fried Fish Patty Canapes

  1. Wash and salt the fish and leave to drain.
  2. Cut the onion in 1-inch chunks and put in the food processor, together with the eggs, seasoning and oil, then process until reduced to a smooth puree. Puree the ingredients in batches is you need to. All the seasonings can be put into the same batch.
  3. Pour puree into a large bowl and stir in the matzah meal. Leave to swell.
  4. Cut the fish into 1-inch chunks. Put into the food processor, to fill the processor up to halfway. Process the fish in batches if you need to. Process for 5 seconds, until the fish is finely chopped, then add to the egg and onion puree. Blend with a large fork. Once all the fish is processed, mix everything together in the bowl with your hands. The mixture should be firm enough to shape in patties. If it’s very soft, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of matzah meal. If it’s too thick, rinse out the food processor bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and stir that in. Leave for at least a half hour or overnight under refrigeration.
  5. To shape, dip the hands into cold water and form the mixture into patties that are 2″ in diameter and 3/4″ thick.
  6. Fry in oil that almost covers the patties, or deep fry for speed.
  7. The patties can be served warm or cold. The cooked patties keep three days in the refrigerator. To re-crisp, heat in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Make Ahead Options

  1. Cooked patties can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days using the instructions in the recipe.
  2. You can freeze the raw patties up to 3 months. Start the freezing by laying them out in a pan, in layers separated by foil. After they are firm, transfer them to freezer bags. Defrost the patties in single layers on a board, overnight in the refrigerator or 1 to 3 hours at room temperature.

    To serve with the fishcakes: Pea guacamole.

    The next canape: Roast Duck and Fruit Chutney on Fruited Nut Bread

    More recent wedding planning posts…

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Recipe: Mini Orange Almond Cakes, Dessert Hors D’Oeuvre (Parve, Non-Dairy)

This is the fifth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Two of my favorite words from the Royal Wedding are “fascinators”, those contraptions a lot of the ladies wore on their heads instead of hats, and “financiers”, the classic French almond sponge cakes. The Queen served them during her canape reception following the wedding ceremony.

Financiers (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr) may have been good enough for the royal wedding, but they have butter in them, so they are out of our kosher-fied menu of meat and parve canapes. As it happens, classic Jewish cuisine includes a parve almond sponge cake. The base combines ground almonds and a mixture of eggs and sugar. There are no grain-based flours and no chemical leavening agents, so this cake is a centuries-old star of the kosher baker and homemaker’s Passover repertoire. There are many variations. This version incorporates orange zest and orange juice. It is the traditional Sephardic orange-almond cake called Torta de las Reyes, “cake of kings”, which makes them a grand choice for your royal wedding.

parve dessert hors d'ouevresThe recipe comes from The World Of Jewish Desserts, by Gil Marks. His classic recipe calls for baking the cake in a 9″ springform pan, but to make canape-sized bites I used small bundt cake shaped molds.

Because classic financiers are garnished with berries, I placed a raspberry in the center of each tiny torta. The berries’ flavor complements the orange in the cake, and they make a festive touch.

The number of hors d’oeurves you get from this recipe will depend on the size of the molds you choose. The mini bundt cake molds used to make the canape cakes shown in the photo take a half tablespoon of batter, and the the batter yielded 110 hors d’oeuvres.

Ingredients for Torta de las Reyes

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) ground almonds (find them at your kosher grocer’s or the kosher aisle of your grocery store)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cups bread crumbs or matza meal
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon orange blossom water, or 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the molds with a thin layer of vegetable oi.
  2. Combine the ground almonds and ¼ cup sugar and mix well. Add the crumbs, zest, and salt.
  3. Beat the eggs and remaining 1¼ cups sugar until thick and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the nut mixture and orange blossom water.
  4. Pour into prepared molds. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 to 12 minutes. If you are going to serve the cakes within a day of baking the cakes, you can place a berry on top of each cake about halfway through the cooking time.
  5. Place on a rack and let cool.

Make Ahead Options

If you leave off the berry during cooking, you can freeze the the cakes for up to 2 months. Add the berries up to a few hours before serving, using a small dot of decorator’s icing to stick the berry on the cake.

The next canape: Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole

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Recipe: Gateau Opera Dessert Canape (Parve)

This is the third hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Gateau opera

Photo: cookingathighaltitude.blogspot.com

Traditional gateau opera (opera cake) is made with butter and cream, which is a kosher clash with the meat hors d’oeuvres in our overall menu. So I developed this parve version with some creative substitutions. The biggest substitution is taking out the coffee-flavored buttercream and the ganache and instead using a parve chocolate mousse flavored with coffee and coffee-flavored liqueur. The mousse comes from Evelyn Rose’s The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook. Traditionalists might say that this version isn’t really gateau opera. They might be right, but as someone who attends weddings, I’m not going to feel bad about upping the chocolate quotient in a reception menu.

Ingredients for Parve Gateau Opera Canapes

Makes approx. 70 1″-square canapes

Almond Sponge Cake

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray for pan
  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 large eggs, plus 6 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons margarine, melted

Coffee Syrup

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Chocolate Mousse

  • 8 oz. parve semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 4 teaspoons coffee dissolved in 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 3 Tablespoons Tia Maria of other coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 Tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 tablespoons margarine
  • 7 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened, preferably 70 to 71% cacao), coarsely chopped

Instructions for Parve Gateau Opera Canapes

Make Almond Sponge Cake

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Line with parchment; spray again.
  2. Sift together almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a mixer bowl. Add whole eggs; beat on medium until light, about 3 minutes. Mix in flour until just incorporated. Transfer batter to a separate bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg whites on medium-high in a clean mixer bowl. Gradually add granulated sugar, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Fold meringue, then butter, into batter with a rubber spatula just until combined. Divide between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely, then remove from pans and peel off parchment. Store, tightly wrapped, up to overnight.

Make Coffee Syrup

  1. Bring sugar and the water to a boil in a small pan over medium heat, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Stir in espresso powder.
  3. Let cool. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Make Chocolate Mousse

  1. If you haven’t already separated the eggs, do that now.
  2. Break up the chocolate and stand in a basin over hot (not boiling) water. Heat gently until melted, then remove from heat (Alternatively, melt uncovered for 1½ on 100 percent power in the microwave).
  3. Immediately drop in the egg yolks and beat vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Stir in the coffee and liqueur. Allow to go quite cold.
  5. Beat the whites until they just hold soft peaks, then beat in the caster sugar.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl containing the egg whites and blend together. Chill.

Make Chocolate Glaze

  1. Melt margarine and all but 2 tablespoons chopped chocolate in a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
  2. Remove top of double boiler and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate until smooth, then cool glaze until room temperature but still liquid.

Assemble the Cake

  1. To assemble, cut cakes exactly in half crosswise into two equal pieces, ending up with four (set one half aside for another use). Place one cake layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a cake board. Gently brush 1/3 of coffee syrup over cake; spread. Using an offset spatula, Spread 1 cup mousse over top. Place another layer on top, brush on 1/3 of the syrup, and spread 1 cup of mousse over top. Add third layer, brush on remaining syrup, and smoothly spread 1 cup mousse over top. Cake can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days.
  2. At least 2 hours before serving, pour glaze over cake; gently spread to completely cover top (don’t worry about sides). Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  3. Trim edges, and cut cake into 1-inch squares using a warm serrated knife (dip in hot water after each cut, and quickly wipe dry, to make sure slices are very clean).

Make Ahead Options

  • Make mousse up to 4 days ahead.
  • Make coffee syrup up to 3 days ahead.

The next canape: Poached Asparagus with Lemon Sauce

parve dessert hors d'ouevresTRY THESE, TOO:

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Recipe: Quail Eggs with Celery Salt Canape (Parve/Vegetarian)

This is the second hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

quail eggs and celery salt

Source: tradenote.net, a European quail egg supplier

Quail is kosher, and so are quail eggs. In fact, the Torah tells us that when the Israelites wandering in the desert cried out to God for meat, God sent them quail to eat.

Quail eggs with celery salt are often served as part of an English breakfast. They also make a filling, earthy canape. For breakfast they are usually served in the shell or with the shell half peeled off, but when serving them as reception finger food remove the shells entirely before you serve them.

Ingredients for Quail Eggs with Celery Salt

Makes 60 eggs.

  • 5 dozen quail eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons celery seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons kosher salt (sea salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Garnish: Enough leafy herbs to generously line the serving basket or platter.

Instructions for Quail Eggs with Celery Salt

  1. Boil half of the eggs at a time. Bring a large pot of water to boil over moderately high heat. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Rinse immediately under cold water.
  2. Peel and dry the eggs.
  3. Grind or crush the celery seeds, salt, and pepper together. Keep the celery salt covered and dry until ready to use.
  4. For an attractive presentation on the buffet, put the peeled eggs in a basket or on a plate generously lined with leafy herbs. Put the celery salt in a bowl alongside the eggs.

Make-ahead Option

Boil the eggs a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator. Peel before serving.

The next canape: Parve Gateau Opera Dessert Canape

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Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creek

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

Every once in a while I get really excited about bringing you a new find.
This is one of them: Catoctin Creek distilled spirits from Catoctin Creek distillery.

The distillery, located in Virginia, is only two years old. All their whiskys, brandies, and other distilled spirits are certified kosher, certified organic, and — based on all the awards they’ve won — certified delicious.

I’m all for choosing one or two wedding details that will surprise and delight your guests, and I’m all for serving one amazing featured drink in lieu of springing for a full bar. A featured cocktail using a Catoctin Creek spirit fits the bill. The Catoctin Coctail recipe and description below are from Catoctin Creek’s website, catoctincreekdistilling.com.

Show off the cool looking bottles at the bar so everyone knows they’re getting something new.

Catoctin Cocktail

Catoctin Cocktail

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

This is a variant on the classic “Canadian Cocktail” but is so much better when made with a 100% rye whisky. Mmmmm….. delicious, eh!
.
2 oz Catoctin Creek Organic Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 dash bitters (Peychauds is a good one)
.
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, combine all the ingredients. Shake well, strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

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On Project Wedding: How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake

DIY make a homemade wedding cake

Source: ProjectWedding.com; Make a Homemade Wedding Cake!

A must share for backyard wedding mavens: Project Wedding has just posted instructions for assembling a wedding cake, decorated with herbs and greenery. Sweet.
.
If you need to bake a non-dairy, (parve) wedding cake or whip up some non-dairy frosting, see these recipes at Backyard Huppah:

Go to cake instructions at Project Wedding…

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Vintage Wedding Punch Recipe (Non-Alcoholic)

After I posted yesterday’s champagne punch recipe, I received several requests for a punch without alcohol. That’s a great idea. This refreshing citrus-y punch recipe is from The Kosher Gourmet Cookbook, by Mildred Miller and Bascha Snyder, now out of print. Like the champagne punch, this wedding punch is a wonderful white-glove vintage touch for your wedding reception, even without the white gloves.

The original recipe calls for floating scoops of vanilla ice-cream in the punch bowl, but I removed the ice-cream to keep the punch parve. Also, the thought of guests ladling bits of ice-cream into glasses along with the liquid punch brings to mind a picture of punch splashing onto your guests’ clothing, which might distract them from how wonderful you look. Of course, if the ice-cream floats work for your wedding, go for it!

If you put out a punch with alcohol as well as one without, label them with place cards or other appropriate notes.

Ingredients for Wedding Punch (No Alcohol)

  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 quarts lemonade
  • 3 orangeade
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 2 quarts raspberry or cherry soda

Instructions for Wedding Punch (No Alcohol)

Combine the first four ingredients and mix well. When ready to serve, add the soda.

Make Ahead Option

You can mix the first four ingredients together the day before the wedding. Refrigerate the mixture. When you’re ready to serve, put the juice mixture into the punch bowl and add the soda.

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Vintage Champagne Wedding Punch Recipe

Champagne punch makes a great alternative to an open bar. It was once a popular party beverage among the white glove set. Set out a punch bowl at your cocktail reception to give your party a personal, vintage touch. White gloves optional.

You can also set out a punch bowl of no-alcohol vintage wedding punch alongside the champagne punch.

complete jewish cookbookThis recipe comes from The Complete American-Jewish Cookbook, by Anne London, a copy of which was given to me by my late mother-in-law.

The book’s 652 pages tell you how to prepare just about every item of food on the planet. It was within arm’s reach practically the whole time I lived in Tunisia. Every Tuesday and Thursday I could buy whatever fruits and vegetables were available in the market, all gloriously in season and picked that morning, and I knew that when I got home this book would tell me how to prepare them. Between the fresh-picked produce and the meat from Braham’s kosher butcher shop, we ate well that year.

That calls for a toast:

Recipe: Champagne Punch

Serves 25

Ingredients for Champagne Punch

  • 4 ounces brandy
  • 4 ounces maraschino
  • 4 ounces curacao
  • ½ pound fine grain sugar
  • 2 quarts champagne
  • 1 quart sparkling mineral water

Instructions for Champagne Punch

Stir the sugar with the brandy, maraschino, and curacao to dissolve sugar. Pour over a block of ice in a punch bowl. Add and gently stir in champagne and mineral water just before serving.

Make Ahead Option

Mix the first four ingredients together before guests arrive, and have the champagne and mineral water on hand near the punch bowl to add when you’re ready to serve.
You might also be interested in: No-Alcohol Vintage Wedding Punch
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Super Easy Instructions for Assembling Your Hazelnut Wedding Cake

These instructions complete your homemade hazelnut wedding cake, which was begun in earlier posts. You’ve made your hazelnut cake and your whipped non-dairy frosting. Now let’s put it all together:

Ingredients and Materials

  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 4 plastic straws

Instructions for Assembling Hazelnut Wedding Cake

  1. Place bottom piece of 10-inch cake layer on serving dish. Slip 3 x 5″ pieces of waxed paper 1 inch under cake layer. This makes the paper easily removable when you are through frosting the cake and keeps the plate clean.
  2. Spread a ½-inch layer of filling on top of bottom piece. Place top piece over it and frost entire layer.
  3. Scatter 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts on the waxed paper segments. Lift paper gently and toss nuts onto cake. Repeat until all the nuts are used and remove paper. Put this layer to the side.
  4. Use the same method to frost the 6-inch layer on a separate plate. Frost the edges of the cardboard, too, and use the remainder of the ground nuts.
  5. Refrigerate the layers until a few hours before you plan to serve it.
  6. When you are ready to complete cake, cut 4 pieces of straws the height of the 10-inch cake layer. Place the straws into the cake in a circle, each about 2 inches away from the center.
  7. Place the 6-inch cake layer on top of the 10-inch layer.

Make Ahead Options

The cake layers can be frozen for 2 weeks. Move them to the refrigerator 24 hours before you need them. When you freeze the cakes, put them in the freezer uncovered for an hour to set the frosting, then cover them very well.

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Delectable Non-Dairy Frosting Recipe for Homemade Wedding Cake (Parve)

This frosting and filling recipe goes with the hazelnut wedding cake recipe we started in yesterday’s post.

When we last left the kitchen, we had prepared two 10-inch cakes and had divided each cake into two layers. Now for the frosting…

Ingredients for Whipped Cake Filling and Frosting (Parve)

These ingredients make enough frosting and filling for two 10-inch cakes, so you will have a generous amount of frosting for your 10- and 6-inch tiers.

  • 3 cups non-dairy whipped cream substitute
  • 2 Tbl sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions for Whipped Cake Filling and Frosting

I’ve broken down the ingredients into two batches to keep the volume of whipping cream easy to handle in a home kitchen.
For each batch:

  1. In a large bowl, whip 1½ cup non-dairy whipped cream substitute until it begins to thicken.
  2. Add 1 Tbl sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Continue to whip until it forms peaks.

Next post: Assembling the cake.
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Wedding Cake Recipe: Hazelnut Cake for 50 People (Parve)

This cake recipe comes from a cookbook published more than 25 years ago called “The Kosher Gourmet Cookbook”, by Mildred Miller and Bascha Snyder. I love that the book’s recipes and styling come right out of the era when a woman’s baking ensemble included a calico apron and pearl necklace. There are chapters titled “Luncheons”, “Teas”, and “Cocktail Parties” along with “Saturday Afternoon Kiddush”.

My copy has passed through many hands. One of my brothers bought it for me from a library book sale when I was studying for my conversion to Judaism. I’m glad my brother rescued it from the book sale and I can bring this recipe to you today.

The original recipe is for one 10″ round cake. I’m recommending that you make two of these cakes and cut one down to 6″ diameter. That will give you a traditional two-tiered wedding cake that serves 50 people (Wedding Cake Size and Servings Chart). Constructing the cake involves cutting one of the 10″ cakes down to 6″, resulting in some unused cake, but I’m going to trust that you can put the trimmed pieces to good use.

You will need a 6-inch diameter circle of currogated cardboard. Buy one from a craft or party store or make one of clean cardboard and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Tomorrow I’ll post the frosting recipe and instructions for assembling the cake.

Ingredients for Hazelnut Cake (Parve)

Serves 50. There are enough ingredients to make two 10-inch cakes.

  • 14 eggs
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. flour

Instructions for Hazelnut Cake

These instructions make one cake. You will need to make 2 cakes total.

  1. Preheat oven to 275°.
  2. Separate 6 of the eggs, putting the yolks into a large bowl. Add one whole egg. Beat for 10 minutes until thick and light yellow.
  3. Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar, 1 cup ground hazelnuts, and 1/3 cup bread crumbs.
  4. In another bowl, beat 6 egg whites until foamy.
  5. Add ¼ cup sugar, 1 Tbl. at a time.
  6. Continue to beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  7. With a spatula mix gently one-fourth of the whites into the hazelnut mixture.
  8. Sprinkle 1 tsp. flour over mixture and gently fold in the rest of the whites.
  9. Grease and flour a 10-inch spring-form pan. Pour batter into pan.
  10. Bake at 275° in the middle of the oven 35-40 minutes, until it shrinks away from the sides of the pan. Immediately remove the rim of the spring-form and let the cake cool on a rack.
  11. Slice through the cake horizontally into two equal layers.

Use the cardboard circle as a template to cut one of the cakes down to 6″ diameter.

Next Steps

  1. Make the frosting
  2. Assembling the cake

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Recipe: Herbed Mixed Vegetables for a Crowd (Parve)

British Royal Family Wedding

"As soon as the service is over, I'll race you to the buffet."

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This is the final dish in our Buckingham Palace reception menu. The traditional English dinner is meat and two veg. We put the two veg’s into one simple-to-prepare side dish. (And if you ask for this dish at Buckingham Palace, be sure to pronounce the “h” in the word herbed.)

The recipe is based on the herbed green beans in Jeanne Jones Entertains: Cook It Light Menus for Every Occasion. I don’t think the book is in publication anymore, but it’s been a good friend to me.

Recipe: Herbed Green Beans and Carrots (Parve)

Serves 50

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh green beans
  • 2 lbs. fresh carrots, cut into long thin pieces
  • 6 Tbls canola or corn oil
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 heaping Tbls dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped chives

Instructions

  1. In batches, steam the vegetables for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold running water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Using two large skillets, heat 3 Tbls of oil in each skillet. Add half the herbs and salt to each skillet. Add half the vegetables to each skillet. Heat just to serving temperature.

Make Ahead Option

Steam the vegetables the day before. After they’ve cooled under the running water and drained. refrigerate them in sealed bags. Reheat them with the herbs the next day.
See the full Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Wedding Recipe: Garlic-Herb Crusted Beef Roast for a Crowd (Meat)

Royal Beefeaters

Royal Beefeaters.

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

Garlic-Herb Crusted Beef Roast

Satisfy the meat eaters: Garlic-herb crusted beef roast

Here is a dish to satisfy the meat eaters at your wedding feast. This oven-baked roast is simple to prepare and cook, and the rub of garlic and herbs showcases the taste of the beef. The dish can be served hot or cold, so it can be made conveniently the day before the wedding.

During four years in England, I don’t think I ever came across an English buffet that did not have a carvery station — someone standing behind a butcher block cutting slices meat for each guest. It’s a nice touch to a buffet service. If you have professional catering help, arranging for a carvery station will be simple. If you are catering your own casual wedding, ask a friend to do the honors.

Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat reaches the correct internal temperature. If you don’t have one, buy one; it’s worth the investment.

Recipe: Garlic-Herb Crusted Beef Roast

Serves 50

Ingredients

  • 6-8 boneless beef round rump roast or beef bottom round roast (3 to 4 lbs. each), 9 to 10 lbs. total.
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Rub:

  • 3 Tbls garlic-pepper seasoning
  • 3 Tbls dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 3 Tbls dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 Tbls dried parsley leaves, crushed

Instructions

Given the large number of roasts, if you are using a conventional oven you will need to cook the roasts in two shifts.

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Combine rub ingredients in a bowl. Divide it into 2 small bowls, and set one bowl aside to be used with the second set of roasts.
  2. Press the rub evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast.
  3. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 325°F oven 1-1/2 to 2 hours for medium rare doneness.
  4. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare.)
  5. Roast the remaining roasts the same way.
  6. To serve, carve roast into thin slices; season with salt and black pepper, as desired.

Make Ahead Option

The beef can be cooked the day before the wedding. Let it rest for the required 15 to 20 minutes after it comes out of the oven before refrigerating it.

TRY THIS: Recipe: Chocolate Mousse for 50 People (Parve/Non-Dairy)

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Vegan/Vegetarian Wedding Recipe: Spanikopita (Parve) – Serves 8

Prince Philip Buckingham Palace Reception

"I say, have you tried the spanikopita?"

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This entree is for your vegan/vegetarian guests. The Buckingham Palace reception menu calls for spinach-filled crepes, but crepes require milk, which wouldn’t fit into our kosher meat menu. We turn, then, to spanikopita, spinach pie, which uses parve phyllo dough. The tofu, walnuts, and nutritional yeast in the filling provide hunger-satisfying protein. Since The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, was born The Prince of Greece and Denmark, I’m sure he’d appreciate the dish’s Greek roots.

The recipe comes from Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock. The author is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a Jewish vegan tsunami. I picked up my copy of the cookbook several years ago in order to get protein into my meat-averse daughters. (One of my daughters was only five years old when she first yelled, “I’m a vegetarian and you don’t understand me!”)

The instructions are a bit fiddly, so if you’re catering your own wedding, making servings for all of your guests is going to take a lot of time — time that’s especially precious in the hours leading up to your wedding. Instead, prepare one of these pies, which provides 8 servings, and reserve the servings to the side for your vegan/vegetarian guests. (If all of your guests are vegetarian, then enlist extra hands to prepare enough servings for everyone.)

Prince Charles in synagogue

"Do you think they'll let me hold one of the huppah poles?"

Recipe: Spanikopita – Spinach Pie (Parve)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ¼ plus 2 Tbls. olive oil, plus extra oil for brushing the phyllo
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed very well, long stems removed
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 2 lbs. firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Dash of ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup finely ground walnuts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Several dashes fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 box frozen phyllo dough, thawed overnight

Instructions for Making the Spinach Filling

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, warm 2 Tbls olive oil over medium heat for a minute, then add the scallions, spinach, scallions, garlic, and dill. Add the spinach in small batches if pot it too full.
  2. Satuè until completely wilted and soft and a good amount of liquid has sweated out of the greens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the drained tofu (use your hands for more control) to a smooth but slightly grainy consistency.
  4. Take the cooled spinach mixture by small handfuls and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid.
  5. Add the squeezed spinach to the tofu. Add the lemon juice, oregano, nutmeg, ground walnuts, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and the nutritional yeast. Mix well with your hands, season with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture; it should be pleasantly salty and tangy.

Instructions for Making the Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Oil a 9”x12- to 13” baking dish.
  3. Prepare eight sheets of dough with olive oil in the following manner: Lay one sheet of dough in the pan, brush it generously with olive oil. Lay the second sheet on top and brush it generously with olive oil. Continue until you have eight layers of dough. If the sheets of dough go up the sides of the pan, that’s OK.

    Helpful Hint: Phyllo dough dries out very quickly. Keep the layers you’re not working with covered with a damp cloth or piece of plastic wrap. The first time you work with the dough it can seem like you don’t have enough hands to work and keep the layers covered, but once you get into a pattern it’s quite easy.

  4. Gently spread the spinach mixture on top of the dough.
  5. Prepare another eight layers of phyllo (or add a few more layers if you have leftover dough), put on top of spinach layer, and tuck into the sides of the pan any overhanging dough.
  6. Lightly score the top layer of dough into 8 rectangles of equal size (this will prevent the dough from crumbling too much when slicing after it’s baked.)
  7. Brush with lots of olive oil.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown, being careful not to let the phyllo burn.

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Recipe: Baked Chicken Breast with Mushrooms (Meat) – Serves 50

Prince Charles and Camilla at Royal Wedding

"One does hope they serve the baked chicken breast with mushrooms." "Quite."


This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

In this dish, chicken breasts are baked with a sauce of sautèed mushrooms and rosemary. This preparation is easier and less time consuming than the stuffed chicken breasts in the original menu.

Recipe: Baked Chicken Breast with Mushrooms

Serves 50

Ingredients

  • 25 whole boneless chicken breasts with skin (about 1 pound), halved
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 cups (48 fl. oz.) chicken broth
  • 1½ cup good quality red wine (kosher)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • Garnish: Sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)

Instructions for Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms

  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika.
  3. In a large sauce pan heat 3 Tbsp oil to moderately high heat. Brown chicken breasts, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to shallow baking dish. (Use enough baking dishes for all the chicken to sit in one layer.)
  4. When all the chicken has been browned, lower saucepan heat to medium. Sautè mushrooms and garlic for 8 minutes. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of the liquid that remains.
  5. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and stir. Add chicken broth, stirring to pick up any browned particles that remain in sauce pan.
  6. Add red wine and rosemary. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until sauce is smooth. Pour over chicken.
  7. Cover pans tightly with foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Make Ahead Option

Can be made in advance up until all the ingredients are in the baking pan. Refrigerate overnight, until ready to bake.

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