A Very Pretty Quinoa

pretty quinoa

Quinoa with Fresh Mango & Pomegranate Arils
Red Onion, Jalapeño, Basil, Cilantro, Lime

We tried a new dish for Passover this year. Quinoa. Anyone who’s cooked Passover dinner knows the challenge of serving the crowd (33 in ours) immediately after the Seder which lasts about 1 1/2 hours. How to get the food to the table, timely and hot? This year we were short one chef (we sure missed you Allison) so we simplified our menu to make prep and service easier.

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Passover Seder Table 2012 and Our Beloved Frog Collection

passover seder table

Passover Seder Table 2012 and Our Beloved Frog Collection

My dear sister-in-law Kristy and I gleefully agonize over the color scheme for the Passover Table every year. When our guests arrive just before sundown, they are always surprised and delighted by Kristy’s table.

And of course, by then, I’ve photographed the table from every angle for Taste With The Eyes. In addition to the striking turquoise & yellow color scheme of 2012, some of the color combinations from our past Seders include:

  • Gold & Raspberry
  • Gold & White
  • Eggplant & Sky Blue
  • Lavender & White
  • Tangerine & Hot Pink

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Passover Potluck: Saffron Matzoh Balls

saffron matzo ball passover soup, passover chicken soup, saffron matzah balls

Saffron Matzoh Ball Soup for Passover

Passover Potluck? Count me in Tori! It is my absolute pleasure and such an honor to be invited to contribute a Guest Post for my favorite Jewish holiday, Pesach, on my favorite Jewish cooking blog, The Shiksa in the Kitchen. I’ll bring the Matzoh Ball Soup. See you at Sundown!

Choosing a Passover dish to share with The Shiksa was easy. After rolling over a thousand matzoh balls between my palms over the last decade, it is this fluffy beloved dumpling of Passover that I must share at the Potluck.

But mine is not an ordinary matzoh ball, this one is infused with saffron. Lots of saffron. So beyond their beautiful rich color, these matzoh balls taste exotic, mysterious. Perfect for the retelling of our ancient story…

saffron matzo ball, chicken soup saffron matzah balls, matzoh cracker soup

Links
My Saffron Matzoh Ball recipe is now posted at The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck here,
plus a peek at Our Beautiful Passover Seder Table too.

Try The Shiksa’s fabulous made-from-scratch “Sinker” Matzo Balls and “Floater” Matzo Balls,
now you’ll know the difference!

My recipe for the best Chicken Soup here,
how to get a crystal clear soup, chicken meat with flavor, elegant carrots, and more.

Wishing You a Holiday Full of Love, and Bright with Tradition!
Lori Lynn

Eco-Friendly Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

Come Celebrate

Spring

Mother Earth

You

Join Us for the Annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon

This year’s event will be entirely eco-friendly.
Come see the many creative ways to reuse trash.

“Because waste is a terrible thing to waste.”

This year for Teacher & Staff Appreciation Day, our wonderful parents chose an eco-friendly theme, transforming the auditorium into a charming recycled oasis. On this day the parents go all-out to express their gratitude for the faculty and staff. While some parents graciously serve the food and set the tables at the luncheon, other parents are in the classrooms with the children so teachers may have an extended lunch period to relax and enjoy the fabulous meal. We are so fortunate to work at an outstanding school with such a dedicated parent population.

Recycled cereal boxes were painted and made into enchanting wall art. Magazine covers were cut into butterflies that flittered above the tables. Cat food cans and light bulbs were refitted with wire and hung as mini vases for flowers. Centerpieces were made out of twigs and recycled beer & wine bottles, decorated with labels made from old calendars. They re-purposed buttons and corks, newspapers, soup cans, and paper bags.

Personalized wishes for teachers from students were hung on a “wish tree.” Lunch was served on natural areca leaf plates. Several moms made homemade cupcakes and apple pies for dessert. After the delightful lunch, we were given seeds to grow our own butterfly garden which came in a darling flower pot with cookies and pencils and the message, “thank you for helping us grow.”

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Pâté & Blackberry Canapés

pork pate blackberry canapes
Pork Pâté, Fresh Blackberries, Blackberry Jam, Fleur De Sel
Toasted Pain Rustique Brushed with Olive Oil

The idea for this jaunty little appetizer came from a sublime dish my brother ordered at Bradley Ogden in Caesar’s Palace. It was a seared foie gras with fresh strawberry, strawberry jam, spice cake, and licorice gastrique. The snappy combination of liver and fresh berries with matching jam was simultaneously chic and rustic. The first incarnation appeared on my Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre table. Truffle Mousse Pâté with Fresh Raspberry, Raspberry Jam & Fleur de Sel was such a hit it keeps reappearing at my parties in a slightly altered form. Most recently, with pork and blackberries.

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Why deep-fry a turkey?

how to deep fry turkey, deep- fried turkey
I can state unequivocally that we will NOT be deep frying a turkey at my house next Thanksgiving. I’d be a nervous wreck – two busy nephews, a dog, and a huge vat of hot oil do not mix. But it sure was fun to watch my friends Sally and Al deep fry the bird at their home this past Super Bowl Sunday (recipe here). No little kids, no pets in sight.

In about 45 minutes this 12 lb. hen was faultlessly cooked – with crispy bronzed skin and succulent flavorful meat. A thing of beauty. It didn’t hurt that it was a banner day for cooking outdoors either. Sunny and 70° here in Southern California. So, why deep-fry a turkey? If the conditions are right, the weather and all the (many) safety issues are considered, it would be difficult to get any closer to poultry perfection.

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