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.


 

Happy Pesach!!!

 

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Chag kasher v’sameach – Have a happy and kosher holiday!

Pesach is the mother of all “Kitchen Yuntifs,” but stay cool and stress-nisht –we’ve got you covered with recipes, our Perfect Passover Primer, your Passover kitchen essentials, a Seder checklist and so much more! Follow our lead, and this year every dish you serve will be truly delicious, not just “pretty good for Pesach stuff.”


 

Why We Eat Whole Wheat Matzo for Passover

 

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On all other nights I eat whole wheat bread, but on Pesach I eat whole wheat matzo.  Here’s my story…

My family switched to whole wheat bread a long time ago. I don’t really remember white bread in our house. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a nice baguette or focaccia when I am at a café or restaurant, but for everyday sandwiches I always choose whole wheat. Why should Passover be any different?


 

Passover Rescue Plan

 

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I was really starting to fret as I was planning my menus a mere 4 weeks before the Seders, when I realized that I have a secret weapon for the holiday. My favorite ingredient Extra Virgin Olive Oil is kosher for Passover. I may have to give up my pastas, rices and spices, but I still have my extra virgin olive oil.

All extra virgin olive oils are kosher for Passover and year round, even with out kosher supervision. How awesome is that? We may give up our breads and cakes for eight days, but we will emerge from the holiday having feasted on foods made with delicious and healthy extra virgin olive oil. You cannot say that about Kosher for Passover oil which tends to be harsh and bitter and not healthy like extra virgin olive oil. How much cooking time and how many ingredients do you need to cover up the taste of bad oil?