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Lisa Yelsey

Lisa Yelsey, Author Photo
Full image
Lisa Yelsey, Author Photo, 2016.

Lisa Yelsey is a writer and baker in New York. After learning how to make food for Shabbat dinners at Swarthmore College Hillel, she began writing up recipes for the school paper. Since graduating in 2013, she has also written for The Toast. Lisa’s passions include hiking, skiing, and downloading but never listening to podcasts. She is a vegetarian but can still tell you where to buy the best gefilte fish.

Blog posts

King Solomon's Table, Book Cover

Joan Nathan on Food, Travel, and Tradition

At the Jewish Women’s Archive we believe that good food and good stories will always bring us together. When both the food and the stories are provided by a culinary Jewish superstar like Joan Nathan, forming these kinds of connections is easy. From tarts to tagines, from lox to latkes, Joan’s recipes have brought families together for decades.

Topics: Food Writing
Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup Final

Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup

Happy (almost) Pesach!

I have been a vegetarian for about seven years now, and one of the only foods I regret giving up is good matzoh ball soup. My mom has made it for holidays my whole life, and I miss it. Nothing’s better than eating matzoh ball soup, loaded with chicken and vegetables, and sitting with your family during the holidays.

Topics: Recipes, Passover
Charoset Meringue Cookies

Charoset-Inspired Meringue Cookies

Hi, everyone!! Passover is fast approaching, and if you are anything like me, you are dreading Passover Madness (that’s when you’ve been keeping kosher for Passover totally fine for four or five days and suddenly you’re furious at everyone and everything in your life).

Topics: Passover
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Challah Roles, Plated photo

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Challah Rolls

Recently, instead of lying on the floor feeling impending doom, I’ve been trying to do positive things, one of which is baking challah. Here’s a recipe that has cheered me up, and I hope will cheer you, too––or at least give you something to do while you watch the horrible/amazing new CW drama Riverdale and wonder when Betty and Veronica will get together.

Topics: Recipes
Main Image: Sufganiyot Powdered Donuts

Sufganiyot (Jelly-Filled Donuts)

Many American Jews are surprised to discover that donuts—specifically, jelly donuts—are a traditional Hanukkah food. Eating donuts at Hanukkah dates back several centuries in Europe, and is associated with the holiday for the same reason latkes are—foods fried in oil are symbolic of the Hanukkah miracle of a small amount of oil lasting for eight days.

Topics: Recipes
Main Plating: Sweet and Savory Pull-Apart Challah

Sweet and Savory Challah Rolls

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you are able to enjoy the holiday, but if Thanksgiving is a stressful holiday for you, I hope you are at least able to enjoy some good food. In pursuit of that goal––I present Sweet and Savory Challah Pull-Apart Rolls!

These are so good! They’re great to share with your family, whether you want a sweet or a savory bread roll; and they’re fun, delicious, and a perfectly decadent companion to your Thanksgiving feast, or really any large meal event.

Topics: Recipes
Thanksgiving-themed Knish Plating

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Knishes

Hi, everyone! Incredibly, along with everything else happening in the world right now, it’s almost Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, honestly, and after what has undoubtedly been an extremely difficult year, I can think of nothing better than being around family and/or loved ones.  

Pumpkin Spice Rugelach, Plated

Pumpkin Spice Rugelach

Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah, a meaningful Yom Kippur, and an easy fast. And next in the annual fall marathon of Jewish holidays, I hope you have a great Sukkot. In honor of this holiday, filled with stuffed foods and fall vegetables, I’ve put together a recipe for pumpkin spice rugelach.

Pomegranate Glazed Vegetables, Final Plating Photo

Pomegranate Glazed Roasted Vegetables

It is now the time of year when 90% of my conversations with my mother are about what we’re making for Rosh Hashanah dinner. So far I am scheduled to make the challah, rugelach, vegetarian matzoh ball soup, roasted vegetables, and at least one other dessert. Am I ready? Not even a little bit. I’ve opted for a recipe involving a pomegranate glaze and carrots because of their traditional cultural elements and the way their flavors balance each other out. This has a 100% success rate and is delicious, filling, healthy, and holiday-appropriate!

Final Plating Photo

Apple Pound Cake with Honey Whipped Cream

As my first assignment at JWA, I am tackling the legendary but polarizing Rosh Hashanah dessert: Honey Cake.  An informal poll of every Jewish person I spoke to over the course of a week told me that no one likes it. The strongest emotion I’ve felt about honey cake has been a luke-warm “well, sure.” However, for my inaugural blog post, I was determined to create a recipe that incorporated some of the flavors and ingredients of honey cake.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lisa Yelsey ." (Viewed on June 26, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/author/lisa-yelsey>.

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