New cookbook answers the question: Why do we cook for family and friends?

Delicious pumpkin souffle - perfect for a pre-winter snack!

A home cooked meal says I love you and I want you to be healthy.  A home cooked meal is also something to be cherished and remembered forever, so says Chef Elizabeth Kurtz, creator of Gourmet Kosher Cooking, the premier website for kosher recipes, wine and more. The holidays are a time when we celebrate love and friendship with those close to us with food and this fall Elizabeth shares her passion for delicious home cooked meals in her new cookbook, CELEBRATE: Food, Family, Shabbos. Packed with 200 sensational recipes and magnificent photos, CELEBRATE has something for everyone for any holiday, occasion and Shabbat.  Proceeds from sale of the book benefit Emunah’s Children’s homes in Israel, making CELEBRATE the perfect holiday gift.

“My entire relationship with food, reading and writing recipes, cooking and eating, is all about love,” says Elizabeth.  “My happiest times as a girl were often spent in the kitchen with my mother.  There were no expectations of excellence or achievement like in school…just love.  We would pick a favorite recipe or maybe try something new and then on went the apron and off we went into a magical place of creativity, happiness and love.  This is what motivated me to create CELEBRATE – to inspire people to taste new dishes, to broaden one’s palate, and mostly to enjoy the moments they spend in the kitchen preparing for meals.”

CELEBRATE is filled with recipes based on what Elizabeth’s readers love: recipes that are easy for everyday and special for any holiday or Shabbos dinner.  “One of the joys of the Sabbath is that it comes 52 weeks a year – the fun is making it delicious every time, she says.” The book includes traditional sections like soups, salads, poultry, meat and dessert, but also special sections like Challah, Kiddush, Shalosh Seudos and the pantry, all with recipes perfect for those occasions.  CELEBRATE also includes Passover conversions for over 120 recipes and make-ahead tips, prep-ahead instructions and freezing options for everything.

Elizabeth’s passion is to share fantastic recipes with her readers so they can make fresh, fabulous, and easy meals that will be delicious, wow guests and be treasured for years to come.

Try this recipe from CELEBRATE: Food Family Shabbos,  By Elizabeth Kurtz, Emunah of America/distributed by Feldheim. Published October 2015; Hardcover/$34.95 USD.


This is a wonderful pudding-like soufflé for a winter night.  The cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are a natural pairing with pumpkin and the warm spices adding depth to every bite of soufflé.  Prepare in an attractive oven-safe dish, as you will be serving it directly from the baking dish.  It should have tall sides as well so that the edges are cake-like, while the center remains a loose, warm pudding consistency.  An 8 X 8-inch dish or standard loaf pan both work well.  Serve warm for the most oohs and aahs.

Serves 8 to 10


6 eggs or 1 ¼ cup egg beaters

1 cup sugar

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease an oven-to-table loaf pan or 8 X 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together.  Add pumpkin and mix until combined.  In a separate small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Add to pumpkin mixture and stir until moistened.  Pour into loaf pan and bake for approximately 22 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center remains loose and pudding-like.  Serve warm.

Passover: substitute ½ cup potato starch plus ½ matzo cake meal for 1 cup flour.  Prepare as instructed.

Make Ahead:  Can be prepared 2 days ahead of time.  Store, covered in the refrigerator or freeze up to 3 months.  Defrost in the refrigerator.  Rewarm, covered in a warming drawer or 300 degree oven.

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