Preheat oven to 350 degrees

ready in about an hour and 5 minutes; serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • shredded Swiss cheese
  • cooked ham in 1 piece
  • baby red potatoes
  • chicken breast tenders
  • garlic clove
ready in about 35 minutes; serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • bacon
  • skinless
  • dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • dried medium noodles
  • finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Supposedly, this originated with Katherine Hepburn. It’s good cold or hot.

ready in about 45 minutes; serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • curry powder
  • chicken broth
  • butter
  • finely chopped shallots
  • salt
  • Croutons
  • Chives

This recipe comes from Augusta Stein, my stepson’s grandmother. She was known for her baking, especially this honey cake. The recipe is classic in its use of coffee, citrus zest, and nuts. I have made one change, substituting apple sauce for oil, which makes the cake less sticky. This cake keeps at room temperature for several weeks, so you can always have a homemade treat on hand.
Fast Fact: Buckwheat honey comes from the same plant as the grain also called kasha. It has a unique, robust flavor that is also less sweet than other kinds of honey. Natural food stores like Wild Oats Market are likely to have it.
Quick Tip: If you like, use lemon in place of orange zest, and blanched almonds rather than walnuts.

serves 2
You might need to buy:
  • golden raisins
  • Scotch whiskey or orange juice
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • large eggs
  • sugar
  • buckwheat or wildflower honey
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • orange juice
  • black coffee
  • grated zest from the orange
  • chopped walnuts

Kugel (KUH-ghel), a savory baked pudding, is another dish traditional among Jews from Eastern Europe. There are many kinds of kugel, including potato, sweet potato, carrot or noodle. Some are so sweet I would serve them only for dessert. This one includes white and sweet potatoes, carrots, and raisins for a touch of natural sweetness.
Fast Fact: Botanically speaking, most of the tubers we call yams are actually sweet potatoes.
Quick Tip: Soaking the raisins in some extra orange juice brings out their sweetness

serves 8
You might need to buy:
  • orange-fleshed sweet potatoes or yams
  • medium carrot
  • golden raisins
  • large eggs
  • orange juice
  • ground cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • melted butter
  • dry bread crumbs or matzo meal

Similar to a Moroccan tagine, this stew is great dish to make ahead and reheat. Using breasts with the rib keeps the meat more moist. I find that wildflower honey has the most neutral flavor, while mesquite honey adds a nice smoky note. If using saffron feels intimidating, use 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric instead.
Fast Fact: Cinnamon and ginger add more than flavor. They also have proven health-enhancing benefits.
Quick Tip: To peel the tomatoes, I use a vegetable peeler with a serrated blade. This eliminates dropping them into boiling water until skin splits.

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • saffron threads
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • wildflower or mesquite honey
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • salt

Using soda as the liquid makes matzoh balls fluffier and lighter. Chicken fat will enhance their flavor and give a more golden color.

serves 8
You might need to buy:
  • Ground pepper
  • vegetable oil or chicken fat
  • large eggs
  • matzoh meal

My grandmother taught me to make chicken soup using “spare parts” like backs, necks and feet because they give more flavor than a whole bird. Using them is also more economical since all the flavor from the chicken goes into the soup, leaving meat that is bland and soft. The vegetables enrich the soup’s flavor but leave it flexible enough to use as broth in other recipes.
Fast Fact: Boiling chicken soup makes it cloudy, so for nice clear broth, take care not to let it boil
Quick Tip: Freeze some soup in ice cube trays, then store the cubes in a plastic bag to use when making sauces or cooking vegetables to enhance their flavor

serves 2
You might need to buy:
  • cold water
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • black peppercorns

Most granola is hardly health food, using grains coated with sweeteners and oil and baked twice. Raw Granola contains no added fat or sweetening and I skip using the oven. Instead, pan-toasting its oats and nuts enhances their flavor at lower heat and more quickly. Served with fruit and yogurt, the result tastes like nutty muesli. Rolled oats labeled “old-fashioned” are thicker and crisper than the regular kind. They give this granola good crunch.
Fast Fact: Besides omega-3s, flax seed is rich in lignans that help prevent cancer.
Quick Tip: To keep dried fruits from sticking to the knife, coat the blade lightly with cooking spray before chopping them.

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • Granola
  • slivered almonds
  • old-fashioned rolled oats
  • raw sunflower seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground allspice
  • chopped dates
  • chopped Turkish apricots
  • dried blueberries
  • Parfait
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • quartered strawberries
  • vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • ground flax seed

Creamy ricotta, rustic whole-grain bread, the sweetness of fruit and warmth of cinnamon make this speedy breakfast a sensual feast. To best enjoy the flavor and the health benefits of the orange zest in marmalade and anthocyanins in cherry preserves, look for chunky, organic fruit spreads. As a friend’s five-year-old says, “This tastes too good to be healthy.”
Note: Toast the almonds on a baking sheet at 325 degrees F. for 6 minutes, stirring them once. Make 1/2 cup and store unused nuts in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Fast Fact: Natural cocoa powder has a stronger flavor than Dutch-processed.
Quick Tip: Slicing the bread on the diagonal makes picture-perfect bruschetta and provides a maximum of chewy crust.

serves 2
You might need to buy:
  • 3/4-inch slices Italian whole-wheat bread
  • organic marmalade or cherry preserves
  • part-skim milk ricotta cheese
  • cinnamon
  • natural cocoa powder