Passover

 

EVOO is Kosher for Passover and All Year Round

 

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There is something really great that we can use for Passover. It is delicious, all natural and minimally processed. All Extra Virgin Olive Oil is kosher all year round and that includes Passover!! The savvy Passover shopper is buying great olive oil this year.

Olive oil is produced by grinding or crushing and extracting the oil. A green olive produces bitter oil and an overripe olive produces rancid oil. For great extra virgin olive oil it is essential to have olives that are perfectly ripened.


 

Passover Prep – Clean The Kitchen

 

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OK, now, it is still three weeks till Pesach and there is still a lot of chametz cooking to be done between now and then, so cleaning your kitchen NOW for Pesach is not going to happen. However, if you give it a good going over now – in a methodical manner – then when you are doing your final pre-Passover-Get-Rid-Of-Chametz-Scrub, it will go faster and easier.

Instead of waiting till the day before to self-clean the oven of a year’s worth of grime, set the self timer to go tonight, or while you are at work tomorrow. By the time you wake up / come home from work, the oven will have cooled down and you can get to work wiping it down. Don’t have a self cleaning oven? Easy Off is your friend. Do the same with the stovetop – clean it well now. Submerge the grates or the drip pans in hot soapy water and use the cleaning products that are right for your stove. If you get off the majority of the yucky stuff now, cleaning* and changing over the kitchen will be a breeze.


 

The Best Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

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I used to be terrified of baking for Passover, it’s tough! A dessert that is “good enough for Passover” is just not good enough for me. I pride myself on serving up delicious desserts at all times, no exceptions, no excuses and baking without flour makes baking very difficult. I used to just take off from baking over Passover, but last year I decided to take the challenge on. I am currently on a mission to develop at least one delicious dessert every Passover. I am excited to share my recipe for chocolate chip cookies with you!

As I was browsing the Passover baking aisle in the grocery store I came across vanilla pudding mix. I have a recipe for regular chocolate chip cookies that calls for a package of vanilla pudding mix. It makes the cookies soft and chewy. I went home with the pudding mix and put this recipe together. I substituted matzah cake meal for the flour and mixed up a batch of dough. The cookie dough looked perfect, just like regular cookie dough, so I put the cookies in the oven and crossed my fingers. They came out of the oven looking great! Looks can be deceiving though, how did they taste? Delicious! If I hadn’t baked these with my own two hands, I would not have believed they are Kosher for Passover!


 

In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Aviva Kanoff

 

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Aviva Kanoff is an artiste extraordinaire. She paints, teaches a mixed media art class, and dabbles in photography. Her creative approach to life led her to artistic experimentation with food, and after years of creating her own recipes and working as a personal chef, she wrote The No-Potato Passover, an expression of her intuitive understanding of flavors, aromas, and colors.

What inspired you to write a Passover cookbook without potatoes?


 

A Perfectly Persian Pesach

 

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“Mommy, when are we going to whip each other again?” Those are the lovely words of a child being raised in a Persian Jewish household! Now, before you go on and call family services on me, I urge to keep on reading!

The first thing my kids get excited about after their Purim-sugar-overdose is Pesach. Not necessarily because of the matzah with chocolate spread they get for breakfast every single morning (due to the fact that Pesach cereal tastes exactly the same as the carton in which it comes) but because of our annual beating! Hard to imagine, I know, but it is truly something to watch. You see, Persians have many interesting customs for Pesach, but nothing comes close to the pandemonium during the song of Dayenu. Please, sit back and imagine kids and grownups fighting for the biggest scallions on the table and then proceeding to beat each other up. If you think this is a polite beating you are quite mistaken, even grandmas on wheelchairs get involved. Even little babies get a few whips. Puzzled? Disturbed? Both? Well, that is exactly how I felt during my fist Persian Seder! Welcome to the club!


 

Passover Prep – Organize the Pantry

 

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Growing up we didn’t have a pantry (or a larder as it was called in London), but here in NY it seems almost everyone has some kind of food storage closet. Some are walk in closets, some are just a couple of kitchen cabinets earmarked for food storage. Every time I go on a cooking marathon I tell myself I need to organize the pantry so that I know what I have in stock.

Whether you sell your chametz or finish it up before Passover, now is the time to take inventory. See what you need to finish up – and plan your menus accordingly. If you still have most of a 10lb bag of flour – get baking! If you have a bountiful array of beans, make a chili, or a bean soup, or any bean dish.


 

Salad of Bitter Greens and 4 Dressings

 

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When it came my turn to take over the family Seders I prepared the same dishes that my mother had always prepared, and her mother, my grandma, before her. But I’ve always been a tinkerer in the kitchen and like to tweak recipes and invent new ones and even serve them for holidays. An entirely new dinner would be unthinkable of course, but one or two dishes – side dish or salad or dessert – well, why not? If my family likes it we have it again sometime. If not, there’s plenty of other food to eat.

One year I decided to create a new, exciting and complex-tasting version of Haroset. We tasted a tidbit during the reading, as commanded, and everyone loved it so much they wanted more with their dinner. Unfortunately I had only made enough for the symbolic portions. But every Passover since then I make gobs of my spicy date-and-apricot Haroset to have with the dinner, like a relish or chutney.


 

4 Salad and Starter Ideas for Passover

 

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Jamie is keepin us cool in the Passover issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine.  She shares a Balsamic Carrot and Cucumber Ribbon Salad (on the cover), an Avocado Egg Salad, Pink Rimmed Gefilte Fish, and Grapefruit Brulee.  For those recipes you must order your copy of our magazine today.  Here are four more light ideas for your Passover Meals.

1. This Green Onion Tabbouleh is made with Quinoa and is hearty enough to be a meal on its own.


 

Passover Seder Makot Matching Game

 

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The plagues with which the Egyptians were punished because they would not allow the Jews to leave Egypt are called the makot.  This fun matching game will help children remember the names of the plagues as well as what happened to the Egyptians during that time.  This game is quick and easy to make as well as to play. Laminating the cards will make them more durable; this can be done at a local copy shop.

Makot Matching Game


 

Passover Prep – Clean Out the Car!

 

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Some people leave cleaning the car till the last minute. However, I prefer to have this done way ahead of time, so that I can do my Passover shopping without worrying that there is any chametz left in my trunk that will *somehow* wend its way into my chametz-free groceries that I just spent the second mortgage on!

Now you could do it the easy way and just take the car to the local car wash and have them vacuum it inside and wash and wax it. Or, if you want to make sure that it is done properly you can do it yourself. (Or supervise the children doing it.)


 

Jamie’s Greatest Passover Hits

 

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I can’t believe it.

Really I am in total denial.  Although I did tell my 2 year old — who doesn’t listen much anyway — not to run around the house with a slice of bread in his hand.


 

Passover Prep – Let’s Get Started!

 

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Purim is over, so now we are allowed to mention the other P word – Passover, Pesach, whatever you call it, is less than four weeks away. No need to panic though – take it slow and steady. We will bring you advice and tips and tricks to get you through this preparation period.

When I start my cleaning – and let’s be honest, most of us use Pesach Cleaning as an excuse for spring cleaning too – I start with the closets….. I have the kids go through their closets and drawers (us parents do the same) for clothes they no longer wear, things they no longer use. We make piles – clothing still in good shape to be passed to the younger child, clothing still in good shape to be given away, clothing in bad shape to be cut into rags and used for cleaning.


 

5 Out of The Box Ways To Use Potatoes

 

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In the Pesach issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller, Chavi Sperber shares a recipe for Gnocchi and for Shlishkes that can be eaten on Passover.  These are such inventive ways to use potatoes, I can’t wait to try the gnocchi.  She also inspired me to scour our site for more inventive ways to use potatoes this year.  Here are some new ideas I hope you will enjoy.

Sweet Potatoes with Raisins and Poblano Chile Rajas


 

Pesach Recipes that Were Winners

 

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I usually tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and this time I did not disappoint. I stayed true to my promise and 99% of what I made for the 8-day kitchen yuntif known as Passover were not actually Pesach recipes. Of course they were K for P, but they didn’t require any major Passoverish ingredient tweaks. These recipes were developed with Pesach in mind and they were featured in the Pesach issue of my new magazine, Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller. But you can bet they’ll be staples in my year round repertoire ‘cuz they were super easy and got the most oohs and ahhs. Ok, real gourmet chefs don’t keep a tally of how many people flipped over this or that dish, but I really need to know. The winners on my menu get to come back and try for eternal stardom. This year, they are… drum roll, please…

Salmon Croquettes with Tropical Fruit Salsa
You can make this even easier by skipping the fresh salmon and using good quality canned salmon.


 

Our Perfect Pesach Primer

 

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Pesach is just around the corner – no matter how far in advance (or how last minute) we start the planning and preparation, we are always ready on time. Whether it’s a steady jog or a sprint to the finish line – we all get there.  If making seder for the first time or even the tenth time, there is still so much to cross off the to-do list – but we are here to help.

Below are links to our pesach posts, designed to make this holiday so much easier on you – wouldn’t it be nice to ease into Pesach without panic? Bookmark this page for next year and the year after – and free yourself from Pesach stress.