Last weekend, we hosted a naming ceremony for our little peanut at our home. Traditionally, Jewish events like this require a spread of bagels, cream cheese, lox, tuna, and various other cheese, fish, and veggie sides for the bagels. Sometimes there are also knishes, or noodle kugel, but the basics are the same and catered from the local bagel shop or deli. I was all ready to serve this menu to my guests, but somehow it didn’t feel right. First, when you really take a look, it’s not a well balanced menu – where are the veggies? And who decided it’s a good idea to serve a potato or pasta dish as a side to enormous bagels – can anyone say carb overload? Also, as a person who loves to cook (and writes a blog about how important cooking is!), buying all pre-made food for such an important event seemed wrong. And my final reservation was that while I love bagels, I actually don’t really like most of the traditional accompaniments. Yes, I’m admitting on the internet that I’m a Jew who doesn’t like cream cheese, lox, tuna, whitefish salad, etc. Not that I need to like every food I serve to guests, but I just thought I could do better!
So after gaining assurance from my mom, hubby, and friends that I wasn’t completely insane for making food for my 35 guests while taking care of a toddler and 3 month old, I came up with a menu. My mom insisted that if I was inviting guests to a Jewish event on a Saturday at noon, they were going to expect bagels, and I certainly didn’t want to disappoint! So I decided to get bagels with some of the fixings, but make a few extra dishes to round out the meal. The theme was small, individual portions so that guests could easily take a little of everything without having an obscene amount of food on their plates. With that in mind, after much deliberation and recipe searching, the final menu is below. Some of my old standby recipes made a comeback, along with a handful of new ones that turned out to get rave reviews! In the end, I’m so glad I was able to put my personal touch on the food served on this very special day in my baby girl’s life, and was rewarded with enough compliments on the food to make all of my work worthwhile :).
- Mini Bagels, served with cream cheese, lox, and butter along with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion
- Mini Spinach and Cheddar Frittatas*
- Lentil Salad with Grapes
- Asparagus and Zucchini Ribbon Salad*
- Basket of mini-muffins: Whole Wheat Apple Muffins, Bran Muffins, and Chocolate Muffins*
- One Bowl Brownies
- Assorted Ruggalach
- Mini Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery
- Pumpkin Cake (without the frosting)
- Fruit Platter
*New recipes – links will be added as I post these!