Gefilte Fish, Made with Love

Gefilte Fish, Made with LoveGeri’s Gefilte Fish

Gefilte Fish made with love…for Passover, for our beloved family, for our cherished friends. While the gefilte fish doesn’t appeal to everyone at the Seder (to put it mildly) it does have a time-honored place on the Passover menu.

How To Make Gefilte Fish

It could have something to do with nostalgia and the memory of my Nana’s gefilte fish from Passovers long ago…but I love those fishy balls poached with carrots and onion now served with chrain, matzohs, and a delicious beet salad with citrus and walnuts. Especially when they’re made by Geri!

Several guests at our Seder adore the perennially controversial appetizer, while others politely refrain, due to its “ahem, fishiness” – but we all have to appreciate that it is made in respect for age-old customs and tradition, and ultimately made with love.

This year, I asked my dear Cousin Geri, who has been making our gefilte fish for decades, if she would share her recipe. It simply rocks. What took me so long to ask?

Gefilte Fish for Passover

Geri’s Gefilte Fish Recipe

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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)

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THE BRISKET KID: 10-year-old makes world’s most tender brisket!

the brisket kid

THE BRISKET KID

This kid has helped cook the Passover brisket since he was 4-years-old. Now with six years of experience under his belt, he has delivered 15 lbs. of the most tender, delectable brisket by himself! And I couldn’t be more proud of my nephew, bravo Stone!

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The Passover Table is Covered with Frogs!

passover table setting

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 newcomers too, to celebrate our freedoms.

passover table setting

The vibrancy and beauty of the Table reflect our gratitude to God for taking us from slavery to freedom, from sadness to happiness, from pain to joy, from darkness to light. Fresh flower arrangements that mirror this year’s bright ORCHID & LIME color scheme make the table especially spring-like and festive as we celebrate the bounty, joy, and beauty of the season.

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Ethereal Matzoh Balls

matzoh balls recipe, matzo balls

This past Monday, family and friends were together in the kitchen, rolling scores of matzoh balls in preparation for the several-course meal at nightfall — the start of the eight day celebration of Passover. At our Passover dinner, chicken soup with matzoh balls is one of the favorite courses. These cherished “dumplings” are made from ground matzoh, eggs, and oil.

My brother leads the Passover Seder. Among many of the Seder rituals, out of innocence the youngest child able asks ‘The Four Questions.’ The first Question his eight-year-old son, Jett, poses, “Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights we eat leavened bread or matzoh but tonight we eat only matzoh. Why?”

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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

Why is this night different from all other nights?

passover meal

Why is this night different from all other nights?

The eight-day Passover holiday concludes today at nightfall.

The story we tell at Passover isn’t a fairy tale that happened “once upon a time.” It is a true story. Each year at Passover we retell the story of our ancestors and go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy, from darkness to light.

On this holiday God commands us to light candles. May each of us help kindle the flames of hope and freedom in our lives and the lives of others. As we light the candles we thank God who has given us life, kept us in life, and enabled us to reach this season of joy.

Blessed are You, Eternal God, Creator of the universe, who makes our lives holy with Your commandments, and commands us to kindle these holiday lights.

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Our Beautiful Passover Seder Table, and Frogs!

passover, passover table, seder table, seder, table setting

Our Beautiful Passover Seder Table, and Frogs!

Extending warm wishes for a wonderful Passover from our family to yours…

This post is the second in a series highlighting our Passover customs and traditions.

passover table

Kristy & Stone

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 for taking us from slavery to freedom, from sadness to happiness, from pain to joy, from darkness to light. Fresh flower arrangements make the table especially spring-like and festive.

Newcomers to the Seder ask, “What can I bring?” We say bring a frog…and we have built up quite a collection over these past ten years!

Why a Frog?

God told Moses, “Behold, I hear the cry of the children of Israel. I have surely remembered you and seen what is done to you. And now I will put forth my hand and smite Egypt with signs and with wonders. Go tell Pharaoh, Let My people go!”

Continue reading “Our Beautiful Passover Seder Table, and Frogs!”