Have menu planning quandaries for this Yom Tov? Want your questions answered? Join us tonight as Renee, Leah, Esti, and Victoria answers your questions right here on Between Carpools.

Tomorrow night Renee Muller, Leah Schapira, Victoria Dwek, and Esti Waldman will be on deck, ready to assist you with any Yom Tov menu planning questions you may have. We know that it’s hard to think of that perfect menu that will please everyone and still keep the cook from getting overwhelmed. You’ll have all of our heads together to assist you in coordinating the perfect dishes for your Yom Tov meals.

Simply post questions in the comments below starting from now and we’ll start responding on motzei Shabbos.

Please make sure your questions are specific! It’s pretty hard to answer a question like, ‘What should my Yom Tov menu be?’ and we’d like to be able to recommend things that work for your family.


Want to learn more about menu planning? See these posts:

4 Real Life Menus from Leah, Renee, Esti, and Victoria

How to Be Madly Organized This Yom Tov Season

Exclusive Download! Renee’s Personal Yom Tov Menu

Your Shabbos Menu Organizer– Free Download!


See you at 8 p.m.!



  1. Wow! thank you for this opportunity.
    I need an easy dessert idea without peanut butter.
    my kids love the razzle ice cream pie but – allergies!
    anything i can make thats similar, maybe with lotus butter?

  2. I am having 18 guests on succos. I normally plate my appetizers but don’t want to plate 18 of them! What do you recommend as an appetizer for so many people?

    • So much fun! One way to make it simpler is to prepare an appetizer that’s easy to plate quickly – maybe a salad with sliced steak or fish on top. Like this you can toss the salad in a large bowl, fill the plates and then quickly add the protein on top. Just make sure not to have too many individual components or garnishes.
      Another option would be to make passing trays. Prepare 2-3 individual finger food type appetizers and pass the trays around for all to help themselves.

    • You can find some vegetable side dishes here:
      Also, I like serving this cauliflower as a side dish – easy to prepare ahead and warms well in a low-temp oven, uncovered, on yomtov:

      As for juggling – it’s hard. Nobody will deny that. But it’s a good kind of hard work and I try to keep that in mind. For Succos, more than for Rosh Hashana, I try to prepare new and exciting recipes. I’ll try new things mixed in with a few basics, just in case. Like that it doesn’t feel like shabbos over and over again. And leftovers can be repurposed when they’re so close together. I don’t make gefilte fish for yomtov – but it’s nice to have some left over from Shabbos to serve my one child who prefers it over any other fish. Or use that leftover challah to make stuffing or a “challah kugel” aka bread pudding. And make sure to get all those Shabbos and Yomtov naps so you have the energy to keep on going!

    • I don’t serve courses. There’s appetizers and salads on the table before the meal starts, and I bring the hot food out right after hamotzi. Then, I sit with my company until they leave, except to clear a little bit to serve dessert. Often, the host is busy cleaning up when everyone else is schmoozing. I sit and enjoy the company of everyone. Yes, I’ll have to clean up after they leave, but what’s the point of guests if we’re not spending time with them?

    • 1) The dill sauce in this recipe is the best “easy” shortcut. https://betweencarpools.com/perfect-easy-yet-elegant-fish-appetizer/

      2) Another easy recipe one from BCP: https://betweencarpools.com/this-isnt-just-another-salmon-appetizer/

      3) While fish is always best fresh, you can always make the sauce in advance.
      For salmon –
      – Techineh Sauce (Techineh, olive oil, lemon, spices). Serve w/ Israeli salad.
      – Pomegranate sauce (pom juice reduced with a little sugar)
      – Honey-Sesame Sauce (1/4 water, 1/4 honey, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, juice of 1 lemon, fresh garlic. Bring to a boil, add 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water and cook until thickened).
      -For sea bass or any white fish: combine 1 Tbsp each. Fresh Garlic, Fresh Parsley (cubes ok), Fresh Basil (cubes ok), Bread Crumbs, Olive Oil, Dried Oregano.

  3. I would love ideas for hot appetizer not soups. Also side dishes that are not kugel that can made in advance. Thanks ladies for all you do!!!!!

    • Yocheved, I think appetizers and sides are the hardest part of all these yomtov meals. We do have some ideas here on the site like this shredded beef gnocchi – which can be made in advance:
      A meat and/or potato knish can also make an inviting appetizer on a chilly day in the sukkah.
      For make ahead side dishes, this orzo dish works well:
      (You can substitute pastrami for the beef fry if you’d like.)
      A simple basmati rice mixed with lots of sauteed onions, leeks, garlic and spices was a big hit in my house over Rosh Hashana. Perfect for soaking up the gravy of a good roast. I already made and froze a batch for Succos!
      (tip: freeze this kind of side dish in a ziploc bag. Fill the bag and then squeeze out as much air as possible. Lay it flat to freeze. When it’s frozen solid, you can store it standing upright to save space.)

      • Can you share more about sorting the flat-frozen ziplock bags upright? I already freeze items like this, but have a new fridge with a pull out freezer, and don’t know how to stack/keep upright the flat bags! (Or organize this type of freezer at all)

  4. Thanks so much in advance! I’m hosting kids and adults that want easy and “junky” food-I really want to eat well and not be surrounded with their foods and pick at leftovers-any good ideas for how you manage juggling eating right but not putting guests on a diet?!

    • Why can’t keep the menu balanced with both the things they want along with other healthy and exciting dishes. Make the dishes you know they want, but when you add your salad, don’t just make them an afterthought. Make them exciting and pre-prep the ingredients. Include a grain or protein in the salad so it becomes a filling dish in its own right. NO reason you can’t have indulgent and healthy dishes on the same table.

  5. Any tips on how not to feel burnt/stressed out from so much cooking? This is my first yom tov hostingmore than a few ppl and its a new experience. I cook in advance to make it more managable, and I take breaks, but it’s sometimes feels like a never ending list of food that has to be made! How do I stay positive abt spending so much time in the kitchen? All advice appreciated ! 🙂

  6. I made some things in advance. Now I’m worried abt reheating them properly.
    Flanken Egg rolls, mini meat pizzas? What r the best ways to reheat these kind of things

  7. Not sure if this is too late to ask…..
    I really don’t like freezer things besides maybe soup and cakes……
    Can I take a veal pocket and stuff it with mashed potatoes then freeze it and cook it fresh the day of?

  8. Thanks for the meat ideas! Figured it out already. Making Tongue, rib steak – Leah Schapira’s Recipe (making it for a few years already!) Rennee’s Fall of the bone flanken, sticky ribs and Chuck eye Roast! Thank You!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.