Entertaining: Seasonal Fruits

Spring is in the air and the assortment of fresh fruit at the Union Square Market is becoming more and more plentiful. Shiny New Jersey tomatoes & strawberries, endless varieties of apples, and the beginning of juicy peaches whet the appetite and inspire creative seasonal recipes. 

Two weeks ago I took an entertainment themed cooking class with Sindi Kaplan at the Central Synagogue. Sindi prepared a wonderful meal using key seasonal ingredients which brought out the sweetness of Spring and the ease of using readily available ingredients. The sweetness of the meal was reflected in all of the dishes she’d made from the fresh fruits used in the lite tropical sangria to currants in the brown basmati rice. The flavors in each dish flowed from start to finish, which is sometimes difficult to achieve when a meal has multiple components. 

I enjoyed Sindi’s seasonal recipes so much that I decided to put my own spin on what was already a delicious and easily preparable meal for a crowd. As I always say, be creative and use what you have! The more you cook, the more knowledgeable you’ll be on substituting ingredients. In this case, I used mango and apple instead of peaches since I had those ingredients fresh on hand. Apples are great fruits to cook with as their flavors deepen and greatly enhance a chicken dish like the Ginger Chicken with Seasonal Fruits Sindi created. 

Ginger Chicken with Mango &

Spring fruits like strawberries and even oranges are great to add to salads, as peaches cook well with chicken and pork. Figs are another wonderful and versatile fruit which I haven’t seen in the stores yet, but am looking forward to using in some other spring inspired dishes. 


Please feel to use the recipes below to evoke the inner chef in you this Spring. 

Whole Wheat Cous Cous with Apple, Raisins & Green Onions

Ginger Chicken with Mango, Apples, & Red Onions

Orange Salad with Red Leaf Lettuce, Goat Cheese, Red Onion, & Candied Nuts


Thanksgiving Sides: Mac & Cheese, Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows, & Brussels Sprouts oh my!

Thanksgiving sides turn an ordinary Turkey dinner into a fabulous feast. And winter favorites like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cranberries seem to be the most celebrated of the season. The vibrant colors of these seasonal delights paired with their rich textures and flavors contributes that warm holiday feeling Thanksgiving reminds us of.

Like the curious cook I am, I’ve been scouring the web for new Thanksgiving sides recipes on Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, the Food Network among others. Some of the more memorable Thanksgiving sides I’ve come across are:

Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta with Fried Sage

Bacon, Apple, & Fennel Stuffing

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Pistachios

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter

Cranberry-Apple Relish

For my Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner we served a few Thanksgiving sides that you will have the privilege of seeing first hand. All of the recipes will be uploaded tomorrow and next week so please check back for additional details and pictures.

Corinne's Mac & CheeseCorinne’s Mac & Cheese

Jana's Brussels SproutsJana’s Brussels Sprouts

Elissa's Sweet Potatoes with MarshmallowsElissa’s Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

Sarah’s Stir Fried Broccoli with Almonds