Flavor Your Shabbos!


Amazing to think it’s been a week since we were eating matzah and celebrating Pesach!

Here we are, flour covered countertops, mounds of neatly braided challah and a new energy of creativity in the kitchen!

I must say, I absolutely love my new cookbook called “Jerusalem” that I received as a gift from my dear friend Michelle Lerman, (in honor of my birthday which was Erev Pesach! Ya, I know….one hectic birthday!)

I couldn’t wait to jump right in and try out some new recipes!

Here is a delicious dip that I’ll be serving tonight. Complex flavors and oh so good!

Pair this with challah and you’ll be good to go!

Wishing you all a good shabbos!

Candle Lighting tonight is at 7:30pm



Date syrup, which we use here to add intensity, is a popular natural sweetener with wonderful richness and treacly depth. Use it for salad and vegetable dressings, to sweeten stews or just drizzle over porridge in the morning. It is available from health food shops and Middle Eastern grocers but can be substituted with golden syrup, maple syrup or even treacle. This dip seems to be fantastically popular with anyone who tries it. There is something about the magical combination of tahini and pumpkin or squash that we always tend to come back to (see also roasted butternut squash, page 36). Serve as a starter with bread or as part of a mezze selection.

Serves 6-8

(p 69, Jerusalem Cookbook by Ottolenghi)

1 very large butternut squash (about 1.2kg), peeled and cut into chunks (970g in total once peeled)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
70g light tahini paste
120g Greek yoghurt
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp mixed black and white sesame seeds (or just white, if you don’t have black)
1 1/2 tsp date syrup
2 tbsp chopped coriander (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Spread squash out in a medium roasting pan. Pour over the olive oil and sprinkle on the cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix together well, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and roast in the oven for 70 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Transfer squash to a food processor, along with the tahini, yogurt, and garlic. Roughly pulse so that everything is combined into a coarse paste, without the spread becoming smooth. Stir in cilantro.
  4. Spread the butternut onto a plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle the date syrup/molasses on top. Serve with bread.

Keep Calm. And Clean On.


A simple delicious dessert for Pesach (and year round). Core apples and place in a pot, (my favorite is my oval Le Creuset that steams these apples perfectly!) add about 2 inches of water, sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar if you’d like, and even a tsp of vanilla. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 20 minutes until apples are steamed! Delicious with ice cream or whip cream during the year!


One week from today is Erev Pesach.

I know. There’s so much to do. The list in endless as we make sure we are all set and ready.

Clean the house, scrub the kitchen, buy the Matzah, wine and macaroons (what’s Pesach without macaroons!)

Shine the silver, put away the bread.

It’s a journey.

But what should we internalize while we clean? Can getting rid of leavened substances actually have an affect on our soul?

So. Here’s the deal.

Everything in our physical world can be elevated to spirituality. It’s a matter of what we do with the physical.

You see. Chometz is ‘bread’, it’s puffy, it is dough that has expanded and risen. It is ego.

Matzah, is flat. It is a humble. It is modest. It is all we aspire to, deep within our soul.

Once a year, we get an opportunity to ‘clean house’, to sweep, scour and scrub the ego from within, preparing ourselves to ingest ‘the bread of faith’,  humility and modesty.

As I clean, I try keep this in mind. I think of all the dusty, chometz covered, sticky ‘ego’ within.  And believe it or not. It feels so good to ‘clean’.

So try it. Clean from within. Embrace and internalize.

A spiritual interior re-design.

I think you’ll like the new look.

I know, I do.

Good Shabbos!  (Candle Lighting is at 7:04pm)

Shabbos. Centered.


It’s almost Shabbos and we look around at the hustle and bustle of our preparations.
Kids are mixing up some yummy delicacies in the kitchen, music is playing, table is set and the feeling of Shabbos is in the air.

Now, how does the ‘feeling’ of Shabbos come to be? What really creates this energy in the room, this team of players working towards a goal of peace and serenity…what really infuses the air with the Erev Shabbos power?

Giving ourselves the moment to tap into how G-d created the world and how at every moment He is infusing life into each and every being and substance, lends to a humbling experience.

Bringing these experiences into our own life and into tangible expressions of being Jewish and creating a Jewish home, is the spark that warms us and those around us.

It transforms the energy in our home to the ‘feeling’ that Shabbos is coming, this is a special time, a holy time.

So try it. Set your table with a white tablecloth, place your candles in the middle. Keep Judaism centered. Centered in your life.

Indulge in the spirit of Shabbos.

Join us by lighting the Shabbos candles tonight at 7:03pm and bring added light into our world.

Wishing you and yours peace, serenity and a beautiful  Shabbos!


Wi-fi. For the Soul.

We started cleaning for Pesach and got a bit carried away!

Here it is! A new look, fresh, updated and created just for you.

A chometz free zone. No crumbs, no ‘cookies’.

Just everything you’d like to keep in ‘sync’ with.

It’s Jewish. It’s meaningful. It’s happening.

At Chabad of Mill Valley.

This site is part web and part blog! A fantastic opportunity to either follow weekly posts or check in, as you wish.

Fab recipes. Daily dose of inspiration. Thoughts. Tidbits. All things Jewish. A virtual ‘cuppa’ tea to keep you warm.

Kind of like Wi-fi for the Soul.

Looking forward to connecting with you.

Rabbi Hillel and Chana and Family