Mandel Bread for Rosh Hashanah and A little Personal

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts tonight. Mandel Bread is staple dessert on our holiday table. It reminds me of a biscotti-style cookie, and is fantastic for dessert or breakfast served with coffee. My sister, Julie and my sister-in-law Debby, make the most incredible Mandel Bread I have ever tried. This is one of my favorite Mandel Bread recipes from my friend, Andy’s mom, Judy Rotenstreich. I am so thrilled to be serving Mandel Bread this year at my dad’s house with 21 other people after moving less than a week ago.

To get a little personal, I moved last Monday with my 3 kids into my dads house in Birmingham. Since my mom passed away recently, this was the perfect option for him and for me. It has been wonderful this week eating breakfast and dinner with my father as well as taking a work break and making him a morning smoothie. He has been very depressed the past few months (after the death of my mother), and he already seems like a different person. He said two days ago, “The highlight of the day was when Leigh (my daughter) came to tell me goodnight.” I cried.

My friend, Sara, told me the other day, “To find blessings during tough times”, and she is so correct.

-It is a blessing for kids to get the chance to live with their grandparents.

-It is a blessing to help to your parents when they are elderly.

-It is a blessing when your kids say that they slept great.

-It is a blessing to hear my kids laugh during tough times.

-It is a blessing to see your kids relaxed.

-It is a blessing that I still have my father, but that I can feel my mothers presence.

-It is a blessing to have all of your support.

So whether you celebrate the Jewish new year or not, here’s to fresh and new beginnings and a sweet new year!

 

Classic Passover Mandel Bread

Every year my sister, Julie, and sister-in-law, Debby, make the best Mandel Bread for Passover. If you haven’t tried Mandel Bread before, it’s very similar to biscotti. It is a great Passover dessert, afternoon snack or perfect for breakfast served with coffee or tea. I will warn you that it is also super addictive, so once you start, you almost can’t stop eating it. You can make it with or without chocolate chips, but this version with lemon juice and almond extract is wonderful.