Save the stress with an easy, delicious New Year menu

Marinating matters in making Shannon’s Perfect Roast Chicken. Photo: Shannon Sarna

By Shannon Sarna,

When the Jewish New Year comes around, many people stress for weeks leading up to the holiday and break out their most complicated recipes to impress guests. But when I entertain around the holidays, I prefer to rely on a few go-to dishes that are simple to prepare, pack a delicious punch and still impress my friends and family despite my lack of stressing. 

Forget the chicken soup and start the New Year on a sweet note with this Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. It doesn’t require a million ingredients or lots of time, but people will be asking for the recipe as soon as they taste it. Made with dried peppers, coconut milk and roasted sweet potatoes, this soup is one of my favorites to make, serve and eat. 

A perfect roasted chicken marinated with citrus and herbs is a wonderful counterpoint to a rich brisket on the table. Marinating for at least several hours will ensure a moist chicken everyone will talk about.

And while challah should be served to start the meal, Balsamic Apple Date stuffed challah is so delicious you may want to serve it as the grand finale. 


Rosh Hoshanah has a late start this year, so enjoy those last few weeks of late summer, don’t stress about menu planning and instead make a menu of simple, delicious delights that people will only think consumed your September. 

Shannon Sarna is editor of The Nosher blog on, where these recipes originally appeared.