Passover

 

Shortcut Matbucha Shakshuka Video *Giveaway*

 

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I’m kind of a connoisseur when it comes to Shakshuka.  The fact that I have ordered it in most every restaurant that serves it should certainly qualify me as an expert of some sort, dontchya think?

I have had Spinach and Cream Shakshuka at Café Rimon in Mamilla, an open air mall outside the Old City of Jerusalem.  I have had Leek and Eggplant Shakshuka at Gavna an outdoor cafe overlooking the Judean Hills in the Gush and I have had the traditional tomato and pepper Shakshuka at café chains across the country and at Ikea’s kosher cafeteria in Rishon L’Ziyon.  I have eaten Shakshuka both with and without both  Feta and Bulgarian cheeses, both with runny and firm yolks and both spicy hot and not spicy enough.  I love it.  In truth, I just adore it still, this after 18 months of making it my mission to try every Shakshuka in Israel.


 

A Passover Tablescape

 

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Before I can sit down to plan my seder night menu (or maybe we should leave that one to Jamie), I like to design my tablesetting for the evening well in advance of Pesach, as let’s face it, who has time later. Make it fun and easy so the entire family will enjoy. All you need is some cardstock, scissors, corks for the placecards, a good craft store and dollar store (shekel shop for those of us living in Israel), a computer and a little imagination.


 

Fresh, Fast and Fancy Passover Sides

 

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I had a blast tasting and testing these 7 sweet and savory Seder sides for Passover. All ingredients are easily accessible in both the U.S. and Israel, and all recipes are non-gebrochts. Watch these simple Seder side dishes become staples at your table year-round!

Salad with Pastrami Croutons

Spring Salad with Pastrami Croutons and Balsamic Reduction


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Let My Children Cook! ...

 

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Tamar Ansh, otherwise known as the challah queen (at least that is how I know her cause of her book, Taste of Challah), just came out with the perfect Passover coobook for you and your kids.  Let My Children Cook!, would be a fun book for anyone and can really help get your kids get involved in the kitchen his year.  She covers all the basics, like matzah balls and charoset as well as lots of new serving ideas and recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  She even throws in a few clever crafts.  I spoke with Tamar and learned a bit more about her.

1. What inspired you to write this cookbook for kids?


 

Passover Placemats Craft

 

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Supplies:

  • One sturdy, brightly colored piece of thicker construction paper, size
  • 8 X 11 (A4), per kid
  • One good photo of each kid who is making a placemat
  • Stickers for decorating the edges
  • Magic markers in various colors
  • Stencil for writing the letters of the name, optional

Instructions


 

15 Salad Recipes for Passover

 

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This is how it works isn’t it: as soon as Purim is over we all start planning (stressing over) our menus for Passover.  After indulging in hamantashen and other treats during Purim the last thing I want to do is think about food.  I can make an exception for salads because they are my go-to for passover and are currently a main feature of my post-purim cleanse!

Pesach (Passover) is probably my favorite holiday to cook for; despite all of the restrictions it a great learning experience because it forces you to transform basic ingredients into meals worthy of the holiday.  These 15 salads are kosher for pesach and are a nice way to balance some of the heavier seder meals, or to serve at lunch with leftover fish or meat from the night before.


 

Healthy Recipe Ideas You Will Love –...

 

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It’s become a healthy habit I can’t break — starting a meal with lots of Mediterranean spreads. With a crowd of hungry guests, a table set with an assortment of appetizing spreads and salads, along with the requisite items for dipping keeps the hungry wolves at bay while I’m busy in the kitchen finalizing the rest of the meal.

During Passover, when every meal starts with matzo, you really need something extra to make it special. Cream cheese and butter are nice, but they are dairy, lack nutrients and add extra fat and calories that we definitely don’t need on the holidays. That’s why the Mediterranean diet is so popular with nutritionists and dietitians everywhere. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes are in abundance and the spreads are tasty, low-fat and healthy.


 

Baked Horseradish Gefilte Fish

 

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This month we are highlighting horseradish for our Kosher Connection Link Up to get us all in the mood to start preparing for Passover. I’ve made many recipes with horseradish over the last year so be sure to read my article about the healthy horseradish.  I became a huge fan of how horseradish adds a nice kick to so many dishes and the health benefits is a bonus.

When I think about horseradish for Passover I immediately thought about gefilte fish. To be honest, I don’t even usually put horseradish on top my gefilte fish, but the idea of putting it inside seemed too good to not try.


 

Vegan No Bake Brownies With Variations

 

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Sometimes I really miss baking.  Don’t get me wrong – working as a chocolatier is soul-satisfying, with fine chocolate’s unmistakable taste and aroma and the other fine ingredients I use, I’m in heaven.  On those days when I’m immersed in administrative business tasks and I’m away from the chocolate, I yearn to be back making it.  I love this beautiful food and how happy it makes everyone, including me.

But there is something very special about pastry too, with its varied components coming together in exciting ways when a dessert is assembled and its flavors and textures combined.  When I did pastry full time, I loved coming up with new creations for my clients – whether it was the restaurant needing something special for Mother’s Day or a client with a dietary restriction needing a creative solution.  I miss working regularly with those clients (though many have remained devoted fans of my chocolates too).  And while I still bake for my family, of course it isn’t the same.


 

Passover Dinner Tonight Recipes

 

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In my mind, Pesach cooking becomes a game of “find the flavor in the veggies.” My favorite method of enhancing the flavor in dishes is to sauté onions at a very low temperature for a long time, even hours. Try sautéing a big pot of onions and freezing small containers of them. It will eliminate the first step of almost all of my recipes.

carrot-and-ginger-soup

Carrot Orange and Ginger Soup


 

Chef Jeff’s Thoughts on Cooking for Passover

 

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Passover is an inspiring celebration of Jewish history, tradition and family memories.  Attached to the spirituality of Pesach however, is the frantic pace of preparation that is often pushed to the extreme.  Our motors start running the day after Purim when we’re able to start cleaning for Passover; when we spend enormous amounts of money on specialty foods to take the place of much craved chometz; and when we turn our homes upside down while getting the kitchen ready.

This zealous preparation has become a tradition all its own.  In spite of the fervent planning, preparing and celebrating though, the anxiety and stress do not have to accompany the more conventional traditions of this Festival of Freedom.  Instead, you can incorporate some serenity….


 

Kosher Wine for Passover – Start The Night Off...

 

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I’d like to make a pre-Passover confession and get it out of the way right now.  Somewhere between the third and fourth cup of wine, I switch to grape juice.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love wine, but the stress of seder night, a roomful of guests, a sinkful of dishes and a hallway full of kids is not how I like to enjoy the fruit of the vine.  I also don’t like to drink wine leaning in any direction at all.

But I do take time to carefully select the right bottle to kick off the seder so I hope my first glass of kosher wine for Passover will be the best wine of the night.  It’s the wine we use to celebrate our Kiddush and a milestone to the hard work and blessings that brought our family together around the seder table yet again.


 

6 Tips To Having The Best Seder Ever

 

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Ah, the Passover seder. A family time! So much anticipation… such a big event… so rich with tradition… so…boring?

It sure can be. With a long meal that takes forever to actually start, a virtual prayer book that you have to get through, and potentially adults and children of all ages who need to be engaged, entertained, and, let’s face it, fed, it’s no wonder the seder can sometimes seem to be more of a burden than a pleasure. But it doesn’t have to be; in fact it shouldn’t. It just takes a bit of thought and planning.


 

4 Pesach Desserts Better Than a Bakery

 

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Have a Sweet Week this Passover with amazing desserts brought to us from the folks at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, the kosher cooking school in Brooklyn, NY.  CKCA’s pastry chefs got in the kitchen to create these non-gebrokts Passover desserts special for Joy of Kosher readers. During the final tasting, CKCA director Jesse Blonder exclaimed, ‘These are the best Pesach desserts I’ve ever had—hands down.”

passover dessert - chocolate nut cake

Passover Chocolate Nut Spice Cake


 

DIY Passover Crafts

 

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The Passover count down has officially begun. In the coming weeks we will all be busy cleaning our homes and planning our menus. For many that’s the easy part, but I have a confession to make, it’s not so easy for me.  I honestly have no clue how to clean. In my family we all stick to what we are good at, and I suppose for me, that’s crafting.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a great cook and I love to experiment in the kitchen, but I think I’ll pass on the sponge and broom for now.

What I love about this tablescape that you are about to see, is that anyone can really create it! These DIY Passover crafts are so incredibly simple; incorporating everyday items that you find in your home with inexpensive products that can be purchased at your local craft store.