Beet Salad and Fresh Horseradish

Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel, and Walnuts

Passover and Vicki’s Beet Salad & Fresh Horseradish

Passover 2018 ends at sundown tonight. As I have for the past 17 years, I traveled to Chicago to celebrate the holiday and cook Passover dinner for my family and friends.

The Seder tells the story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy. The 3000 year-old story never changes, and our menu doesn’t change very much either.

Over the years I have been sharing our Passover recipes, this year I am so excited to share my cousin Vicki’s fabulous Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel and Walnuts and her super-popular fiery Fresh Horseradish!

Passover Table

2018 Tables – White Linen with Rainbow Flowers

What does change? The decor. Every year we have a wildly different color scheme. Some of the color combinations from our past Seders include:

And the tables are covered with frogs! Read all about our whimsical Passover Frog Collection here.

The Passover Seder Table is not simply a place to tell the story of the Exodus and to eat dinner. The Table is symbolic in and of itself. It is a place where memories are made and traditions are taught.

It is where we gather with family and friends, and perhaps strangers too, to celebrate our freedoms.

The care with which my sister-in-law Kristy sets her Table reflects the solemnness and seriousness of this holiday. The vibrancy and beauty of the Table reflect our gratitude to God.

Continue reading “Beet Salad and Fresh Horseradish”

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel

Rice Noodles, Eggs, Ricotta, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, Cinnamon, Sugar
Golden Raisins, Cherries, Cranberries, Blueberries, Apricots

Perhaps you were one of the 85,000 people or the 3,500 vendors attending Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center last weekend? Maybe you had the opportunity to try gluten-free, organic, plant-based protein pastas by Explore Cuisine?

It was my honor and pleasure for the fourth year in a row to cook gluten-free pasta dishes to sample the crowds for my friends at Explore Cuisine. Among the most unique and quite popular was my gluten-free noodle kugel. Can I go out on a limb and gather that none of the other 3,500 vendors served a kugel?

Kugel is a beloved sweet Jewish dairy casserole that originated in Europe hundreds of years ago;  traditionally made with egg noodles, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and raisins. It is baked and dusted with cinnamon.

Explore Cuisine Brown Rice Fusilli is a kosher-certified,  gluten-free, whole grain pasta made in Italy of just two ingredients; organic brown rice and organic pea protein.

Kugel and rice noodles were a match made in heaven for those with gluten intolerance…those who are fans of original lokshen kugel and those who had never ever heard of kugel, all enjoyed this luscious gluten-free version.

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel Recipe

Continue reading “Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel”

Our Best Passover Menu and Tips For Serving

Our Best Passover Menu

Our Best Passover Menu and Tips For Serving

We’ll be hosting our 16th Annual Passover Seder and dinner on April 10th at sundown. I’ve been flying back to Chicago for the past 16 years to cook Passover dinner for family and friends at the lovely home of my brother and sister-in-law.  When they married in 2001, the honor of hosting the First Night of Passover for our family was passed to them from our cousins.

OUR BEST PASSOVER MENU
Welcome

Kosher Wines

Olives & Nuts

Starter Course

Kristy’s Haroset

Geri’s Gefilte Fish

Vicki’s Beet Salad, Fresh Horseradish, Matzohs

Davida’s Chopped Liver with Pistachios

Hard Boiled Eggs

Soup Course

Homemade Chicken Soup

Herbed Matzoh Balls

Main Course

Super-Tender Traditional Beef Brisket with Red Wine Tomato Sauce

Chicken Adobo with Scallion, Cilantro, Sesame Seeds

Horseradish Potato Cakes with Chives

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Balsamic Glaze

Dessert

Karen’s Chocolate Matzoh Crisp

Flourless Apple Almond Cake

Chocolate Souffle Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Pistachio Ganache Tart

Macarons

Fresh Fruit Skewers

(Click on Menu Links For Recipes)

Continue reading “Our Best Passover Menu and Tips For Serving”

Savory Matzo Brei with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

Savory Matzo Brei with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

Savory Matzo Brei
Asparagus, Smoked Salmon, Onion, Fennel
Sour 
Cream and Fresh Dill

We eat matzo (unleavened bread) on Passover to remind us of our ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt. Leaving in such a haste, they could not wait for bread to rise. Additionally, matzo is the “bread of affliction” – the food of slavery, it reminds us to be humble and to appreciate our freedoms.

Jett is 10 years old. The morning after our Seder for the first night of Passover, he had Matzo Brei for breakfast. Matzo, butter, eggs with a pinch of salt…and sugar! My cute nephew proclaimed it to be “awesome.” I simply sautéed the water-softened matzo in butter, then added eggs and scrambled it together. I served him the sugar on the side, so he could sprinkle his Matzo Brei with just the right amount. Turns out he likes it pretty sweet, no surprise.

This had me thinking about an adult version of Matzo Brei, a savory rendition celebrating springtime. No vegetable screams spring more than asparagus, and paired with smoked salmon, onion, fennel, dill, and sour cream – the adult version turned out “awesome” as well!

How to make Sweet Matzo Brei

Matzo Brei Recipe

Continue reading “Savory Matzo Brei with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon”