Apple cake

Carrot ring

Nothing brings community together quite like food. With the probability of family and friends being apart this High Holiday season, I wanted to create something that would bring us together in the spirit of the holidays.

Community Eats is a downloadable collection of about 50 recipes from local Jewish community members that is filled with family favorites from soups and appetizers to main entrees and desserts.

Collecting these recipes was not only fun, but every response I received made me feel a bit more connected to our community, and I hope you will feel that connection too. I am honored to share a sneak peek of recipes from Linda Zell, Tina Sheinbein and me. I hope that you can use this collection to help fill your tables with delicious food and warmth during these unprecedented times.

Linda Zell’s Apple Cake

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Linda Zell, Jewish Tuition Organization’s executive director, spent part of her childhood in Israel, and relocated with her family to the United States in 1976. After moving to Arizona in 1997, this proud wife, mother and grandmother continued to serve the Jewish community, including supporting the Jewish Day School movement and enabling children to attend without regard to financial need.

The apple cake she provided has been a favorite in her home for many years, and she said it can be easily doubled.

“It tends to get too moist if you freeze it for long,” Zell said. “I don’t freeze it for more than a week or two. It can be served at room temp or warm ... but it is especially delicious warm with vanilla ice cream.”

Ingredients:

6-8 apples

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

3/4 cup vegetable oil cinnamon

Grease a Pyrex dish (8-by-8 or larger). Peel and slice apples, and layer them in the greased dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix together the flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla and oil. Pour the mixture over apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350° F for 45-60 minutes (depending on size of container).

Tina Sheinbein’s Carrot Ring

Tina Sheinbein recently retired as Jewish Free Loan’s executive director after 15 years. She has worked within the Jewish community as an executive professional and before that as a volunteer for over 40 years. She and her husband Irwin are the parents of four children and seven grandchildren.

The following recipe was given to her years ago from Arlene Glazer when she was looking for a carrot recipe instead of the traditional carrot tzimmes.

“I use a Bundt pan to bake it in and put peas around the edges and in the hole of the Bundt mold,” Sheinbein said. “Although I serve it as a vegetable with the peas, you could just serve it alone as dessert. It is great reheated over a few days and it can be made ahead of time, frozen and then defrosted and warmed up before serving. Plus it is very easy to make.”

Ingredients:

3 cups grated carrots

2 cups Crisco

1 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

4 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Juice of one medium lemon

Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare 10-inch tube pan (with removable bottom) with cooking spray or Crisco. Mix everything together in one big bowl and put it in a greased and floured Bundt mold. Bake for about an hour.

Jennifer Starrett’s Pomegranate Chicken

I’m an Arizona native, and together with my husband, Eldad, and our two small children, I enjoy spending time cooking and creating new recipes as well as tweaking old family favorites.

The following recipe was originally created as part of a Jewish young adult event almost 10 years ago. Throughout the years, Eldad and I have tweaked it to make it easy to cook and a real crowd pleaser. We make this dish often — not only for Rosh Hashanah. We usually serve it with couscous, which is a perfect complement to soak up all of the delicious sauce.

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds chicken pieces

1 cup of pomegranate juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

1 teaspoon chicken consommé, dissolved in one additional cup of juice or water

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup walnuts

Salt and pepper to taste

Toast walnuts and let cool. Run through food processor until roughly ground.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining oil into pan along with onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in pomegranate juice and chicken consommé with liquid, stir and cover until slightly reduced.

Stir in cinnamon and walnuts and let sauce thicken.

Add back in the chicken and lower heat, and cook until sauce is thickened and chicken is fully cooked. JN

Jennifer Starrett is an events and marketing consultant. Community Eats, her collection of 50 recipes from Phoenix locals, will be available to download free on Sept. 7, 2020, at jewphx.com.

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