Friday, August 19, 2011

8-19-2011 Family Shabbat

My grandparents are in town visiting from Shreveport, Louisiana this weekend, and so we are having a shabbat dinner with the whole family. Having them over is always a special occasion.

My 93 year old grandfather, Papa, loves sharing his amazing life stories. My grandfather's grandfather, Grandpa Willard, immigrated in the 1870s from Eastern Europe to Louisiana, where he made a succesful plantation and farm store. As a boy, my grandfather would help work on the farm. He recounts how his grandparents were orthodox Jews, and how it gives him joy to come to our shabbat dinners and see us follow the same traditions.

 Papa also fought in World War 2, and his war stories are endless. When he returned from the war at 17, he went to work for Louisiana Paper company for 35 cents an hour, 50 years later he retired as Chairman of the board and an owner.

I also must mention my 86 year old grandmother, Nonnie.  You have never seen someone with a memory like hers. She was the first woman in Texas to be the president of a synagogue. She decided late in life that since she had never had a bat mitzvah, that she must. So, when she was 73, she had her bat mitzvah.

There is going to be a lot of people tonight, my policy for this is to keep it simple. Here is what we are having:

1. Challah
2. Caesar Salad
3. Brushetta, recipe below
4. Tomato Gefilte Fish with assorted spicy sauces
5. Meat Roast
6. Baked Potatoes, everyone makes their own with soy sour cream, parve margarine, and green onions
7. Green Beans
8. The Best Carrot Cake Ever, recipe below

Here are recipes and pics:


This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

1 small loaf French bread, sliced into 1 inch slices
olive oil
4 large roma tomatoes, chopped
2-3 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. olive oil
1/4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the French bread slices with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet.

Place the bread in the oven until toasted, about 10 minutes, keep an eye.

In a large bowl mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper,and salt. Let rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Spoon over toasted slices of French bread.


The Best Carrot Cake Ever (Parve)

The name says it all.

3/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. soy milk mixed with 2 t. lemon juice
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. white sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2 C. shredded carrots
1 C.sweetened flaked coconut
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 C. raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray.

In a large bowl mix together the oil, soy milk mixed with lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix until well combined. Add the shredded carrots, coconut, pineapple, and raisins. Stir to mix together well.

Pour the cake batter into the pan and place into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Frost the top with White Icing.

White Icing

4 oz. (1/2 container) Tofutti Cream Cheese
4 T. margarine
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 C. powdered sugar

Using a hand mixer whip the cream cheese and margarine together. Add the extracts, and mix. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake.


The doorbell is going to ring any minute, and I have about 100 things left to do. AHHHHHH!

Have a great shabbat and great weekend.

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