A Dozen Roses Stretched to Fill the Shabbos Table

Don brings home roses every Friday in honor of Shabbos.  The roses are always of wonderful quality and it  a surprise to discover what color roses will adorn our Shabbos table.  Most Fridays, we enjoy all twelve roses in one traditional arrangement.

This week, Don brought home peach color roses, one of my favorites.  Our home is decorated in earth tones and peach works well in our dining room.  The roses were large and robust and I decided to stretch the twelve roses into four different arrangements.

I lined up different vases and spread out the roses.

One arrangement took five roses.

roses in a row

One took a single rose.

rose in single bud vase

One arrangement took two roses and that left four roses.

roses in a pair

The last arrangement was a collection of glass bottles set up in a grid-like formation (Upcycled Glass Jar Floral Arrangement: Simply Stunning).  I placed the last four roses into these vases, adorning them with the ferns that accompanied the dozen roses.

roses in glass bottles


Here is how they all look together:

roses-four different ways


roses-a dozen in different ways

roses-3 different ways

Good Shabbos!

A Summer Version of Simply the Best Chicken Soup

Many of my friends stop making chicken soup for their Friday night Shabbos (the Jewish sabbath) meal when the weather gets too hot.  Not me.

My children would tell me that it doesn’t feel like Shabbos without the chicken soup.  So, chicken soup graces our Shabbos table, rain or shine, winter or summer.  Somehow, our Shabbos table is so much like the chicken soup itself.

summer chicken soup.jpg


Simply the best cholent…with low-carb ingredients

Tzippy Respler

Don and I are still on a low-carb diet.  During the week, we try to eliminate carbs almost completely.  On Shabbos, we allow ourselves to enjoy a small amount of challah at each meal, but still try to adhere to the low-carb protocol as much as possible.  Cholent is a challenge, because it is generally prepared using high-carb ingredients like potatoes and barley.  Over the past few months, I have experimented with lots of different ingredients, until I finally have an option that tastes great and is mostly low-carb.

To satisfy the rest of the family, I often put in lentils, barley and some potatoes, but Don and I only choose the vegetables that conform to our diet.  When I do that, I try to leave most of the low-carb vegetables whole or in large chunks, so that Don and I can easily find them.

low-carb cholent

I like to cook a well-marbled roast right in the cholent.  The fat content is important, so that the meat stays moist and does not dry out during the long cooking process. I take the roast out right before serving and place it on a separate plate.  I use two forks to shred the beef, putting them facing each other at the center of the roast and pulling toward the edges.  I  serve the meat on a separate platter from the cholent.


1 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into large slices
1 turnip or kohlrabi, cut into cubes
2 cups whole mushrooms
3 stalks of celery, scrubbed and cut into large slices
2-3 garlic garlic cloves, whole or minced
2 Potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into large pieces (optional)
1-2 cups of cauliflower, riced in food processor (see kosher notes)
1 cup beans, soaked overnight or canned and drained (may omit for gluten-free)
2 small whole onions, peeled
1/2 cup barley (optional)
1/2 cup lentils (optional)

1 generous squirt ketchup  (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

kishke, wrapped in parchment paper
small brisket, deckel or brick roast


Place vegetables in crockpot Friday morning.  Add rest of ingredients and combine gently.

 Fill crockpot with water until ingredients are completely covered plus 1 inch more of water.  Make sure to leave at least one inch of space between top of water level and top of pot.

Place small brisket on top of cholent, submerging only slightly in cholent liquid.
low-carb cholent with meat
Cover crockpot and turn crockpot on high until right before Shabbos begins (Friday at sundown).  Then, lower crockpot to your favorite Shabbos setting (see notes).  My crockpot stays on high, perhaps yours will need to be on auto or medium setting.
Enjoy this delicious cholent Shabbos morning for lunch.   I remove the meat from the top of the cholent,  placing it on a separate platter.  I take two karge forks and place them with the tines facing each other at the center of the roast.  I pull the meat toward the edges, creaing a shredded beef dish.  I them serve the rest of the cholent in a serving bowl, taking acre to keep the low-carb vegetables whole and esy to find.


To create a gluten-free version, replace the barley with brown sushi rice

Add onion powder, zatar, garlic powder, or your favorite spice for a zestier alternative


Kosher laws disallow the eating of  any whole insects and therefore cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, grinding.  Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of cauliflower.  This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using cauliflower.


Davida’s Easy and Delicious Calzones for a Melave Malka Feast

Melave Malka (Saturday night meal) is the name given to the meal that we eat at the Shabbos has departed.  The literal meaning of the words Melave Malka is “accompaniment of the queen”, referring to our escorting of the Shabbos Queen out of our homes after the spiritually uplifting Shabbos.  The Shabbos is often metaphorically described as a Queen and the purpose of the Melave Malka meal is to figuratively escort the Shabbos away with singing and eating,  much as one would escort a royal guest who is about to leave.

According to Kaballah,  the luz bone at the base of the skull is nourished by the Melave Malkah meal.  The Neshoma Ye’sara (additional soul)  that accompanies a person through the Shabbos does not leave until after the Melave Malka has been enjoyed.  

Aaron used to be our resident Saturday night cook and we always looked forward to his delicious dairy Melave Malka dishes.  He had quite a repertoire of Melave Malka selections like pasta, pizza and all types of popcorn.  Now that Aaron is studying in yeshiva in Israel, Davida has cheerfully taken over this role.  She has become an excellent Saturday night cook and has brought  Melave Malka to a whole new level.

This Motzei Shabbos (Saturday Night), Davida and her friend, Chava, made the most delicious cheese calzones.  She prepared the ingredients and before we knew it, we had delicious warm calzones to enjoy for  our Melave Malka.   I asked her to share the recipe and now I am happy to share it with all of you.

calzones (more…)