Create reasons to celebrate. Always... even if its -20 outside, or you are stuck indoors due to the blizzard of the year. Today is Tu B'shevat, the birthday of the trees. This holiday is about celebrating the season of the earliest-blooming trees beginning a new fruit-bearing cycle in Israel.
We mark the day by driving-up to the nearest forest and hugging lots of trees, just kidding... Essentially, this holiday is about getting together with family and eating symbolic fruits: figs, grapes, dates, pomegranites, and olives. It's also a festive opportunity to get creative with your dry-fruit cooking or baking. From date squares, fruit cakes, compotes to even Harosset Handpies, a personal creation.
Last Friday, I totally lucked-out when I crossed fresh figs at IGA. I knew the perfect recipe, BusyinBrookly.com's Halva & Ricotta Stuffed Figs. Halva is a flaky and dense tahini-based delicacy, not as common here in North America.