IMG_0057At a luncheon today a student told me that one of the most valuable skills she had learned from me was how to chop an onion. This made me very happy and inspired me to write a short post on this subject.

Onions (and other member of their family like shallots and garlic) can be quickly, easily and safely prepared for their various roles in recipes–if you know the right way to approach the job. Continue reading

Honey Almond Crunch Cake with Apple Compote

Sliced cakeThis is an adaptation of a recipe by pastry chef Gale Gand in her book BUTTER SUGAR FLOUR EGGS. Like me, she did not like the traditional dark, heavy honey cake served for Jewish celebrations so she created this lighter version with a topping reminiscent of taiglach, another old-fashioned dessert. An excellent dessert for the High Holiday season (the beginning of the Jewish year 5774), this is best prepared at least a day ahead to allow the flavors to mellow. I recommend using a good supermarket honey with somewhat strong flavor; a delicate one will not add the traditional honey taste when baked into the cake. Be sure to verify that your pan holds at least 6 cups; the batter will overflow in a smaller pan. Continue reading