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.

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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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