Sweeter Than (Local) Honey

Rosh Hashanah, the New Year! ChezHelvetica celebrated 5783 (commemorating the creation of the world) with traditions symbolic to this occasion and new recipe adventures. For a sweet new year we first dipped Fuji Apple slices into luscious Honey from the Bay Area Bee Co., sweetening further with large “fancy” Medjool Dates and wonderful Poppy Seed Challah from the Noe Valley Bakery. Our main course featured Chicken Matzo Ball Stew (thanks to inspiration from The New York Times) and Roasted Broccoli & Hummus. The outstanding stew took three step-by-step days to create with my talented Sous Chef — cutting Onion, Celery, Turnip, simmering Rosie Organic Chicken and making matzo balls. Streit’s Matzo Meal combined with Eggs, Ginger (freshly harvested from our garden), Nutmeg, Parsley and Schmaltz skimmed from the Chicken soup. Carrots and Peas then brightened the stew, with fresh Dill and Parsley adding the final aromatic touches. Charred Broccoli florets drizzled with Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Paprika and a mix of spices (to replicate Za’atar seasoning) crowned Sabra Hummus delivering simply sensational taste. Willamette Valley Argyle Pinot Noir and Reed’s Ginger Beer paired well with this holiday meal. And what a delight to be surrounded by Wedgwood “Patrician” China from my Grandmother, Georg Jensen “Cactus” Sterling Silver flatware, and tassel placemats from my Mother, and beautiful Israeli linen napkins from my Sister Abby. Besides the Challah, my dear friend Joan also brought delicious Honey Cake, Rugelach, and Macaroons with Straus Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for the crescendo of our heart-touching gathering. A Happy, Healthy, Sweet New Year to All!



ChezHelvetica celebrated Rosh Hashanah with joy and excitement for the New Year, surrounded by treasured gifts and love from family and friends. Hand-painted Jewish Star candlesticks from sister Abby and Rosenthal China with Georg Jensen Cactus Sterling Silver from my parents adorned the table. With a nod to traditional holiday foods, this evening’s menu circled the globe presenting delicious gourmet dishes. Our first course included Noe Valley Bakery Challah and Fuji and Honeycrisp Apples with O Organics Honey along House of Bagels Lox nested in Basil leaves with Campari Tomatoes and Trader Joe’s Greek Medley Olives, served with luscious HOB Cream Cheese. Incredible Matzo Ball Soup made by my dear friend Joan was a kaleidoscope of orange, yellow and purple Carrots, Rutabaga and Ginger. Our main course featured a triptych of Middle Eastern entrées: Cinnamon-scented TJ’s Israeli Couscous (made with Pine Nuts, Shallots and Raisins), Honey Dijon Garlic Chicken Breasts and Eggplant with Tomatoes, topped by Pomegranate Seeds. Jewish legend professes Pomegranates are symbols of righteousness with the seeds holding luck and wisdom. Viñas Chilenas Rosario Estate Reserva Merlot added even more happiness to the occasion. The wonderful desserts for this sweet holiday were Rugelach and Fruit Tarts. L’Shanah Tova! A good year to all!


Palm Sunday Passover Brunch

Biblical tales converged at ChezHelvetica this Sunday as palm fronds cradled the Seder Plate (holding its symbols of Passover) and gilded envelope of Matzot. The incredible story of Exodus unfolded, yet this gathering broke with tradition as it was a day early and the menu featured brunch rather than dinner. Lemons with glitter glue initials showed guests (with Cava-sparkling Mimosas in hand) where to sit. Paula Shoyer’s The New Passover Menu provided delicious, innovative lunchtime recipes – from Fruit and Nut Granola (which replaced the usual Charoset), Frittata with Broccoli and Leeks, to Crumb Cake Muffins. The luscious Granola contained roasted Pecans, Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts and Coconut Flakes mixed with Raisins, Cranberries and Dates – all crowned with Fage Greek Yogurt and farmers-market Berries. Smoked Salmon (from Bryan’s Market) with Tomatoes, Red Onion and Dill accompanied the savory Frittata. The Muffins had a scrumptious Streusel topping with a soft cakey interior containing potato starch, making them Kosher for Passover. Velvety Rancho Sisquoc Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County filled our cups, as well as Elijah’s. While my niece searched for the Afikomen, we devoured heavenly Noe Valley Bakery Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Meringue Cookies along with San Francisco Bay French Roast Coffee. May this commemoration of the release of our ancestors from bondage be heard throughout the world today!