tahini caramel apples

...and my rosh hashanah menu!

wednesday (eggfamily is coming over!)

apples from our tree // our trees are bursting, the apples are snappy and tart, oh and i make pies now… (more on this later)

marzipan honey // when i passed through new york last week on the way to stephanie and ben’s wedding i stopped at breads for car snacks and they were selling marzipan honey!!! i didn’t dare buy it because can you imagine the expletives that would come out of your mouth if a jar of honey spilled in your suitcase? so i plan to simply put honey from eggbro's bees and marzipan in my cuisinart and blend it up. 

potato challah!! // ohmygosh so many of you have made this already and every time you post a photo of it i scream and smile. your braids all look fantastic!! this is why i know 5778 is going to be great. 

matbucha // this will be my first time making it but i figured it’d be a nice accompaniment to the challah and a great way to use up the tomatoes from our garden! 

brisket // it’s been a while since i just did a classic, red wine braised, oniony and carroty brisket that makes the house smell exactly like rosh hashanah, so that is what i shall do. (hi yankee candle, can you make a brisket and challah scented candle??) i’ve blocked off like five hours of my day today to track down a brisket though because finding a brisket in this town is as hard as getting through the newest season of bojack. it can be done but it’s definitely not easy. 

something with zucchini // i have not figured this out yet but i need to bc we are now in possession of three zucchini that are twice the size of sven cat!!!! and sven cat is a very large northern cat!! i am leaning toward this zucchini kugel topped with walnuts and capers and tons of herbs, a la marian zucchini.

apple pie, with the marzipan crumble from alanna’s book // i know, i know, who is this pie maker cat lady that i have suddenly become??? we are going to talk about this soon, it’s gonna be fine. but there's this recipe i’m working on that has hawaij in it and omg it’s so good. ok bye.

thursday (low-key, eggboy and me, and probably what women want on hbo)

shakshuka challah! // i’m going to reserve some of the challah dough from wednesday, make lil rounds, spoon some shakshuka sauce and eggs into them, and then cover them with herbs and feta.

matzo ball soup // i’ll probably go the very classic route with this too, or i may use my fave roasted vegetable stock with it so i can use more of our garden vegetables. 


tahini caramel apples!!!

i love a caramel apple. i love unwrapping all of the little pieces of caramel*, eating things on sticks, and brushing my teeth for an extra long portion of time. and picking apples from our tree makes me so happy, it’s like living on rock candy mountain. we are no strangers to tahini going with caramel (see: hawaij carrot cake), so it felt right that tahini caramel should go on apples. 

*this is an outdated hobby, as they don't even sell the individually wrapped caramel squares at my grocery anymore, it's all the unwrapped little balls

i went through a few variations of homemade caramel for these apples, which tasted fine, but getting the consistency just right took so much time and energy that i kind of started dreading making them. it wasn’t, like, fun dough-kneading energy, it was sweating-over-a-hot-pot-of-caramel-for-way-too-long-wondering-if-i’m-going-to-burn-it energy. so i dug out this brick of caramel that’s been sitting in the back of my pantry for two years, melted it down, mixed in tahini, and it worked like a charm and came together in like five minutes! it also tasted great, better than the homemade caramel even, since it wasn’t seasoned with stress and sweat. so conclusion: we're going with easy peasy store-bought caramel here. the tahini does a great job of cutting the sweetness from the caramel and kind of bridges the gap from tart to sweet. and the tiny bit of cinnamon adds a nice autumnal warmth!

you know what else is so good?? pouring any leftover tahini caramel onto a sheet of waxed paper and covering it with chopped pretzels. let it harden and cut it into squares. wrap in cute candy wrappers and eat as desired.

shana tova, friends!!!! 


tahini caramel apples

makes 6-8 apples


6-8 tart apples
1 ounce (28g) toasted sesame seeds
11 ounces (312g) caramels
2 tb water
1/4 t cinnamon
1/3 c (75g) tahini


Wash and dry the apples. Insert sticks into the top, place them on a waxed paper lined baking sheet, and refrigerate them for at least 20 minutes. Place the sesame seeds on a plate and set aside. In a small or medium saucepan, combine the caramels, water, and cinnamon, and heat on medium heat, stirring with a heat-safe rubber spatula, until the caramel is melted. Stir in the tahini until smooth and reduce heat to low. Dip the cold apples in the caramel, letting any excess drip off, dip them in the sesame seeds, and then place on the waxed paper (or on parchment cupcake liners). Firm up in the fridge for about 20 minutes and enjoy! These should keep in the fridge, covered, for up to a couple of weeks. 


pictured: pot / spurtle / small plate / big plate

tahdig shakshuka

With the way that people talk about making tahdig, you’d think that they were talking about reading Ulysses or something. Not that I would really know for sure since I am about 100% positive that I will die without having read Ulysses but I’ve felt the size of it and I’ve heard Eggboy talk about it and at this moment in time that is the best comparison I can think of because both require time and patience, and 30% of the time, you fail. 

When you do succeed though you’re rewarded, of course. Not necessarily with fireworks and instagrammability, but with satisfaction and maybe some street cred?? They’re beasts. One would take me 10 years to finish, another, it turns out, you can do in an evening so long as you focus and have the right tools.

Tahdig is a Persian dish that consists of the crispy layer of rice that forms at the bottom of the pot. It’s often flavored with saffron and can also be made with vegetables or bread. It is so good and I can’t believe it took me until 2017 to make it for the first time. I think I first heard about it from Naz at the Saveur awards back in 2014. I remember her talking about how much patience you need to make it and how exciting it is when it works. I love her post about Tahdig, where she compares it to a coy lover. Ok maybe that’s better than Ulysses. A while back in New York, a few friends attempted it for our Shabbat potluck but I remember them not being so satisfied with how it turned out. It’s just so hard to tell when the crispiness forms and then once you flip it out, I don’t think you can crisp it up anymore. In Berlin, Sophie and Xenia turned out like 12 perfect Tahdigs in a row, it was super human and they all looked like gorgeous yellow cakes destined to sop up short rib juices. Shortly thereafter I had a miniature tahdig at Zahav with their legendary braised lamb, and then finally it was time to make it at home. 

It was not a total failure but, you’ve seen my little stove coils, they can only heat so much and tahdig requires a very even heating element. So I tried it out in my mini cocottes and it worked for a few but then got fussy when I tried to make 30 of them for a dinner party. It was actually really traumatizing and I didn’t make tahdig for a long time after that. I kind of came to the conclusion that my go-to cast iron pots weren’t necessarily the right option for tahdig and started creeping around the internet for alternatives. Anytime tahdig would come up on my IG feed, I’d kind of stalk the account to see if they posted the pot they made it in…

And then a few months ago Alana started raving about her GreenPans and how nonsticky and easy to clean they were (I think she has become my new kitchenware curator btw), so when GreenPan got in touch to work on this post I figured I’d better at least try a Tahdig in one before making any decisions, so I did and guess what! I nailed it the first time. And the second, third, etc., etc. The coating on the pans is not only so nonsticky that the tahdig practically slides out of the pan and into my mouth, but it also heats so evenly that I can use their 12” pan on my 8” coil and still get an evenly yellow saffrony ghee-y crust. And it doesn’t contain the crusty nonstick stuff that peels off and kills u. I am hella sold. (the pan i'm using is part of their 10th anniversary set and it's on sale rn!) I know Alana likes making eggs in them and now that it’s fall I’d like to try making caramel for my apples in them but for now I’m just really glad to have filled the void in my life that was a perfect Tahdig pan.

Let’s talk about why this Tahdig is different from all other Tahdigs: In a shakshuka-inspired move, it’s got poached eggs all up in it. “Just because it has poached eggs doesn’t make it a shakshuka” wrote Jeff after I IG-ed it. It spurred a long argument that is still not over. He thinks it is more similar to Maqluba and that shakshuka requires a sauce. My argument was that even though most shakshukas have tomato sauce, shakshuka isn't required to have tomatoes or even a sauce (see: green shakshuka). darya said it might be similar to mirza ghasemi! which i've never had but sounds delicious. What do you think? I love shakshuka and I also love this dish and definitely feel like shakshuka doesn’t really need to have tomato sauce… but… tomato tomahto? 

This dish is crispy rice, eggs, and a party full of toppings. I basically just pulled a bunch of pretty things from my garden and threw them on top. I would def recommend topping this with at least pickled onions, fresh lemon juice, herbs, and tomatoes if you have them. Feta was also great! But you can really go wild and use whatever toppings you have on hand. This recipe makes a big batch and is perfect for a brunch party. And seriously with an even nonstick pan like this one, you can go confidently in the direction of tahdig, even on your first try.

tahdig shakshuka

makes 6 servings


540g basmati rice

kosher salt

1/8 tsp saffron

3 tb ghee

6 eggs

for topping: black pepper, crushed red pepper, fresh basil and mint, pickled onions, lemon wedges, feta, chopped scallions, chopped tomatoes, other herbs/cheeses/sauces as desired


In a large bowl, cover the rice with enough water so that it comes up a couple inches above the rice and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and then rinse it well. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Boil the rice until it’s soft on the outside but still has a bite on the inside, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. 

Crush the saffron using a mortar and pestle and then dissolve it in 3 tablespoons boiling water. 

Heat a 12” lidded nonstick Greenpan over medium high heat and add the ghee and the saffron water and swirl it around so it coats the pan evenly. Add the rice and pack it down firmly with the back of a spatula, making a pyramid shape in the center. Use the handle of a spatula to poke a few holes in the rice, stopping right before you get to the very bottom of the rice. Carefully cover the skillet with a clean dish towel and then the lid, folding the corners of the towel up around the lid so they don’t touch the stove (if you’re working with a gas range, you may want to fold the towel up around the lid before putting it on the skillet to be extra careful that your towel doesn’t get in the flame). Cook on medium high for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to medium low. Carefully uncover the pot, keeping the cover level so that any moisture collected under the towel doesn’t spill out and burn you or fall back into the rice. Using a spoon or spatula, create 6 egg-sized divots about an inch apart and crack in your eggies. Cover (you don’t need the towel for this step) and cook until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny. Top with black pepper, crushed red pepper, fresh basil and mint, pickled onions, a few squeezes of lemon juice, feta, chopped scallions, chopped tomatoes, and/or other herbs/cheeses/sauces as desired, and serve immediately. Enjoy! 

Thank you GreenPan for these pans and for sponsoring this post and for making the perfect Tahdig pan! the lidded one pictured is part of their limited edition 10th anniversary 5-piece set ($59.99) which includes a smaller 10” pan, a bamboo spatula, and a recipe book, and all greenpans are 20% off from 9/15-9/24. greenpans have a ceramic nonstick coating, thermolon, that is made from a sand derivative. it is high heat resistant and won’t ever peel off or emit harmful fumes. 

All photos are by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen! 

potato challah

Around this time two years ago I began begging Eggboy for a pet pig for my birthday. I’ve always loved pigs (it goes hand in hand with my marzipan obsession since when I was little I collected marzipan pigs) and after living on a farm for a few years, it seemed like the time was right to get one. 

Ok, but we’re going to name him Potato, said Eggboy.

That’s a cute name!! But why?

So that when we eat him we can just say we’re eating Potato and confuse all of our friends.


That kind of ended that.

And that’s all I have to say about potatoes at the moment other than that there are real actual potatoes in this challah dough, not pigs. And there are potatoes of an unknown variety growing in our garden! And idk why it took me this long to put mashed potatoes in challah. I loved potato sandwich bread and potato bagels from Einstein growing up because, well you know me, I've always been one for soft doughy bread over a crusty baguette. So this year for Rosh Hashanah when I was having my routine challah brainstorm, my mind went to the humble potato.

If you thought that a perfectly baked loaf of doughy eggy challah could not get any better, well just add a cup of mashed potatoes to your dough and watch it get even softer. And richer! It’s a subtle difference, you can’t really taste potato *flavor*, but eating it is a similar sensation to hugging a friend who you haven’t seen in a while and feeling a stronger, more robust embrace, the kind of arms that make you step back, do a once over, and ask, you been workin out?  

Potato challah is regular challah that has been going to the gym all summer. 

So, you know, the recipe here is not very different from the challah that you were going to make next week. Just do all of us two favors: add mashed potato to the dough, and when proofing the yeast, use the water that you used to boil the potato instead of regular plain jane water. Works like a charm! Sounds like we’re all going to have fabulous New Years. 

Ok so to shape it, you can either just make one huge long snake and coil it up into a round swirly shape, as I’ve done in past years. Or you can make four strands and make a circular braid. It looks a lot more complicated than it really is. I have all of the faith in the world that you can do it. Here is a slower version of the braiding video that I posted on IG the other day. Plz forgive the background banter between chantell, brett, and me. Or just don't turn the sound on haha. My non-existent video editing skills are exactly non-existent: 

potato challah

makes 2 loaves


8 oz peeled potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp + 2 tb sugar
4 c (504g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/3 c (66g) flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable
2 tb (42g) honey

egg wash + topping:

1 beaten egg
poppy seeds, sesame seeds, other seeds, optional


Place the chopped potato in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until a fork pokes easily into the potato, begin checking for doneness at about 10 minutes. Drain the potato, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Let the potato cool, mash it, and set it aside. Once the cooking water has cooled to be warm (about 105º-110ºf), add the yeast and the 1 teaspoon of sugar. Give it a little swirl and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy on top. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and honey. When the yeast mixture is foamy, add it to the dry mixture, followed by the egg mixture and mashed potatoes. Stir to form a shaggy dough and then either knead it on a clean surface or in the stand mixer, adding flour if it gets too sticky to handle. Knead until the dough is smooth and just slightly sticky, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 375ºf and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, divide it into two equal parts, and shape according to the notes and video above. Transfer the loaves to the baking sheets. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes. Brush the loaves with a light coating of egg wash and sprinkle with seeds, if using. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and have an internal temp of about 190ºf. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes. 

Let cool until it is jusssst cool enough that it won’t burn your mouth, then smother it with butter and hope that there will be some left for dinner that night. Hehe. 

oh here are some more challah recipes!! 


funfetti amerikaner + molly on the range is out in german!!!!

Heute ist ein fantastischer Tag! Die Deutsche ausgabe von Molly on the Range, “Molly’s Kitchen” wurde heute geboren! Ich bin sehr glüklich! Kauf es hier!

Ok, that’s just about all I got. The other German that remains in my brain is reserved for ordering schnitzel and deciphering what bass drum sticks I’m supposed to use in German music. At one point I definitely could have told you how my day was, what I enjoy doing in my free time, and if I enjoy spaghetti or pizza more, and that point was 10 years ago. But! That doesn’t make me any less excited that Molly on the Range is out in German this week!!!! I would try to say in German that I’m really excited but I seem to remember that if you translate it literally, you actually end up saying that you’re aroused. Or something. Is this true? I don’t want to get into a naughty Ich bin ein Berliner situation. 

If you’ve read the spätzle section in Molly on the Range, you know that my love for German things runs deep. It began with a textbook teenage obsession with Mahler symphonies and a desire to understand all of the schwammschlägelns and langsamers in his music, and led to enrolling in four years of high school German class. It was so fun! I went by the name Ursula. And one schnitzel led to another, and one trip to Berlin with pops led to another with Blue Lake, and even after the excitement of the lower drinking age faded, I kept wanting to go back. I love the accents and the appreciation for opera and that the people I've met there have been so genuine and warm. 

Side note: I’m totally in possession of 10 pounds of haribo gummy bears right now. 

(it is so wild to see Lisel's illos auf Deutsch!!!) 

The first time I traveled to Germany, I got to miss a few days of eighth grade and hang out back stage at the Berlin Philharmonie during my dad’s rehearsals. I remember thinking it was so cool that they sold open faced sandwiches in the lobby and got as many butter and salami ones as I could eat in between movements of Bruckner. The other cool discoveries of this trip were: bienenstich (honey cake), pflaumenkuchen (plum cake-- make this right now before plums go out of season), and Amerikaners. Amerikaners are really similar to black and white cookies in that they’re essentially little flat cakes. They’re very soft, often flavored with a bit of lemon, and rather than having both chocolate and vanilla icing on them, most of the ones I had at bakeries around Berlin just had vanilla. I found a few that had just chocolate and, if my memory serves me correctly, I think I also had some pink ones. I basically lived on Amerikaners, salami sandwiches, and Haribo gummy things during that trip. 

Then the weirdest thing happened this last time that I went to Berlin, back in March, I could not find a single Amerikaner!!! I wouldn’t shut up about them the whole way there and then I dragged Eggboy into every bakery that we passed to try and find one but they were nowhere to be seen and Eggboy thought I was making the whole thing up. WTF!!! So I came home and made a bunch. And funfetti'ed them to celebrate the release of German Molly on the Range (which is actually called Molly's Kitchen since I guess "Range" doesn't really translate into both a farm and a stove...)!! So these are for you, dear German friends!! They are the child of two of my favorite childhood sweets, Amerikaners and Funfetti cake and I am pleased as pflaume to share them with you!!! 

Ooh and stay tuned for a couple more German-American recipe mashups :) 

Here is the link to order Molly’s Kitchen! And if you live in Germany and are like was ist clear imitation vanilla?! here!

funfetti amerikaners

makes 18


2 c (254g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter, softened

1 c (200g) sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla (or vanilla extract)

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 c (113g) whole milk yogurt

1/3 c (64g) rainbow sprinkles, plus more for decorating


for the glaze:

2 c (240g) powdered sugar

2 1/2-3 tb whole milk

1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla (or vanilla extract)

pinch of kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the yogurt and dry ingredients in 2 or 3 alternating additions and mix until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles by hand. Scoop out 2” blobs of the batter onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the bottoms are just beginning to brown, begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons milk, vanilla extract, and salt. If it’s too thick to spread, add additional milk a few drops at a time until it's spreadable. Spread the glaze onto the flat side of the Amerikaners and sprinkle with sprinkles. Enjoy!