Kosher for Passover recipes

Pomegranate Truffles


There is something about pomegranate seeds that are oh, so delicious and create such a taste and texture sensation.  The soft outside and the pop in your mouth juiciness is something so unique and so wonderful.  The bright red color is reminiscent of a red heart and what better ingredient to pair with pomegranate seeds than chocolate?

As we just celebrated Tu Beshvat over the past weekend, we took time to pause and reflect on the vast assortments of fruit that grace our world.  The pomegranate, whose seed bursts are the only edible part of the fruit truly symbolize the dormant and vast potential in each one of us.

This simple recipe is quite a palate sensation.  It combines the decadence of chocolate with the juiciness of pomegranate.  It takes moments to prepare and will simply wow you.

seeds of one pomegranate
6 ounces of good chocolate
sea salt (optional)


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Melt chocolate and with a spoon or spatula, place mounds of chocolate on the parchment paper, reserving a small amount of melted chocolate.  Place a small mound of pomegranate seeds atop each chocolate mound.  Drizzle the rest of the chocolate over the truffles using a fork or a piping bag.

Optionally, garnish each pomegranate truffle with a few sea salt crystals.

These may be prepared a day in advance, but should be stored in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Marigolds

A few weeks ago, I invited our new neighbors over for Shabbos lunch.  I was tired of my tried and true recipes so I decided to combine the ingredients and techniques from a couple of my favorite SimpletoWow recipes.  I really wasn’t sure how it would work out.

Luckily, the end-product was a most pleasant and stunning surprise.    What I ended up with were the most beautiful, most delicious and colorful sweet potato-butternut squash marigolds.

For the piped sweet potato  marigolds, I used the Sweet Potato Cupcake Toppers recipe.  I piped the sweet potato flowers atop slices of butternut squash prepared just as I did in Glazed Butternut Squash with Shallots and Grapes.

It was pretty simple.

It was a wow.

But, best of all, the marigolds really held up well and a few were even left over for Sunday left-overs.   They kept their shape and were devoured by our resident vegetarians.



1 large butternut squash

1-2 tablespoons oil
1-2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
kosher salt

black pepper to taste

3-4 sweet potatoes
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon syrup, honey or sugar
dash of salt and pepper



Cuisinart Stainless 14 cup Food Processor

Wilton Large Piping Tip Set

Heavy Duty 16″ Disposable Piping Bags

Wood and Silicone Spatula



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Scrub butternut squash.  Using a large knife, cut unpeeled butternut squash crosswise into 1/3 inch to 1/2 inch disks.  Remove seeds from rings at bottom of squash.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place butternut squash disks in a single layer on lined baking sheet.


Lightly drizzle oil and honey or sugar over butternut squash.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place small whole sweet potatoes on separate baking sheet or in pyrex baking dish.


Roast uncovered for 40-45 minutes. Butternut squash should be soft and just beginning to caramelize. Sweet potatoes should be soft with gap beginning to form between peel and pulp. If sweet potatoes are not soft enough to peel, cook for 10-15 more minutes.

Allow squash and sweet potatoes to cool. Leave the squash slices intact and carefully peel away the sweet potato skins and discard.

Using the s-blade in the food processor, pulse sweet potato pulp, egg, olive oil, sugar or honey and salt until puree is smooth and creamy.


Fill sweet potato puree into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip or into a zipper bag.  To do this most easily and without making much of a mess, cuff bag over tall jar or glass.  Use a stiff rubber spatula to load puree into piping bag or zipper bag.

If not using a tip, cut corner of bag. Squeeze air out of the top of the bag and twist top of bag shut.  Push puree to tip or cut corner.

Pipe sweet potato puree onto butternut squash slices.  Bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Marigolds should be slightly firm and dry on top when ready.





Please Note:  This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Shallots and Grapes


A gratin is a dish that is baked or broiled in a shallow dish and has a crispy upper crust. Traditionally, a gratin employs cheese and/or breadcrumbs to achieve that crispy crunchy crust.

This recipe is my own pareve and low-carb version of a gratin.

It is roasted and baked in a shallow dish.  Oh, and it has a delicious caramelized upper crust.  Alas, there is no cheese and there are no breadcrumbs.

Instead, shallots and grapes create that crispy and decadent upper crust.  I think that it is a worthy gratin, albeit pareve and vegan.

I suppose that we can call it a gratin in disguise.

Here it is…


2-3 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed with tough ends removed
3-4 shallots, peeled
handful of green or red grapes, whole

3-4 tablespoons oil
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup
kosher salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a casserole dish or deep pie plate with parchment paper.

Spiralize sweet potatoes or shred sweet potatoes in the food processor, using the shredder blade.  Sweet potatoes may be peeled or unpeeled.

Pile the shredded sweet potatoes on the lined baking dish.

Thinly slice shallots using slicer blade of the food processor.  Scatter over the shredded sweet potatoes.

Remove grapes from cluster and clean.  Scatter over the shallots.

Lightly drizzle oil and brown sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup over vegetables.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Roast uncovered for 30-35 minutes.  Lower heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes longer.  The gratin should be soft and just beginning to caramelize.

Glazed Butternut Squash with Shallots and Grapes


Leah recently spent Shabbos at her friend’s house and came back with this amazing recipe.  I simplified the preparation and have prepared this dish over and over again.  It is the perfect combination of smooth butternut squash, shallot rings and grapes that just pop in your mouth.  It is one of those new recipes that you will really enjoy.

Butternut squash is a flavorful winter squash shaped like a bottle.  The seeds are stored in the bottom part of the squash.  Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor with a tan-orange hard skin and fleshy orange pulp.  It is an excellent source of  fiber, Vitamins A, C and E as well as potassium and magnesium.

Many people are intimidated by the shape of this squash and the toughness of the peel.   For this recipe, it is not necessary to peel the butternut squash.  When sliced, the stem portion of the butternut squash yields firm disks and the bottom portion yields rings filled with seeds.  I choose butternut squash with a long stem portion, as the disks that are sliced from the stem do not contain any seeds.

The glaze is applied by just drizzling and sprinkling the glaze ingredients directly over the butternut squash.

The simplicity, texture and sensational flavor of this recipe will wow you!


1 large butternut squash
3-4 shallots, cut into rings
handful of green or red grapes, whole or halved

3-4 tablespoons oil
2-3 tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup
kosher salt

scallions (for garnish)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Scrub butternut squash.  Using a large knife, cut unpeeled butternut squash crosswise into 1/3 inch to 1/2 inch disks.  Remove seeds from rings at bottom of squash.

Peel shallots and slice into rings.  Clean grapes and if they are large, cut into half.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place butternut squash disks in a single layer on lined baking sheet.

Scatter shallots and grapes among butternut squash disks and filling the butternut rings cut from the bottom of the butternut squash with shallots and grapes, too.

Lightly drizzle oil and honey, agave or maple syrup over vegetables.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast uncovered for 45-50 minutes.  Optionally, sprinkle with scallions within the last 10 minutes of roasting.  Butternut squash should be soft and just beginning to caramelize. Shallots and grapes should be browned and soft.



Strawberry and Brownie Mini Trifles



oneFlourless Chocolate Cake or brownie recipe, cut into small cubes

whipped cream

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

strawberries, diced

decorative cookie (optional)



Soak, wash and dry strawberries well.

Using a paring knife, create one strawberry rose for each mini trifle.  For each rose, slice thin petals from close to the top of the strawberry from  to close to bottom of the strawberry. Gently curl each petal toward the outside.   Continue to slice petals all around the perimeter of the strawberry, overlapping slightly and curling them outward.

Dice the rest of the strawberries.

Whip the cream with vanilla sugar.

In clear glass or plastic cup, alternate layers of brownie cubes, strawberries and whipped cream.  Dry to drop the cream into the cup without touching the sides.  Gently shake the cup on the counter to settle the whipped cream.

Garnish the top of each mini trifle with a strawberry rose and/or a decorative cookie.




Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore strawberries require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of strawberries and some disallow the eating of strawberries, altogether. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding the use of strawberries.

Sweet Potato Roses in Salad Box


Who said that salads have to be tossed in a salad bowl?

I love the idea of individual salads and especially individual layered salads. There is something wonderful about being served an individual salad, especially when there is a beautiful and delicious garnish to top it off.

Here is one sensational salad appetizer that I created using the simplest of ingredients to create a wow.




sweet potato, onion or zucchini, scrubbed
kosher salt
romaine lettuce leaves
chopped peppers or your favorite chopped vegetables
Simple and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette or your favorite dressing in a squeeze bottle


mandoline or wide peeler
clear square plastic bowls



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Thinly slice unpeeled sweet potato using wide peeler or mandoline.

Place thin sweet potato, zucchini or onion slices on parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of oil and kosher salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes, just until vegetables are soft with the edges just starting to turn brown.

While roasting the vegetables, soak and rinse romaine lettuce and chopped peppers.

Stand 1-2 sprigs of smallest inner leaves of hearts of romaine at edge of square plastic bowl. Place chopped peppers at the bottom and squeeze scant amount of dressing on top of peppers.

Remove the vegetable slices from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  Roll each slice up to form a rose, using the crispy end to form the middle of the rose bud and wind the softer end around to form a rose.


Garnish each salad with vegetable roses and tuck  two or three loops of chives between the vegetable roses and the romaine  sprigs.




Please Note:  This post contains affiliate links from Amazon,
which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

Sliced Carrots with Garlic and Shallots


Did you ever have one of those marathon days?  This recipe was inspired by that type of day.

I had the whole day planned out perfectly.  I had to drop something off for signature on the way home from the office and there should be plenty of time to pick up some fish and vegetables.  It was Scotty’s last dinner at the house before he headed back to California to resume dental school.  He had been visiting for nearly a week while interviewing for dental residencies throughout the tri-state area.

I wanted dinner to be perfect and perfection takes time.  Only, holiday traffic intervened with perfection.

When there’s no time for perfection, simplicity takes over.  And, simplicity inspired this recipe.

I didn’t even have the time to peel the carrots, so I used a bag of peeled baby carrots, instead of the rainbow carrots that I envisioned.

I had no time to mince the garlic and dice the shallots, so I thinly sliced them both in the food processor right after the carrots.

I just spread the vegetables and sprinkled and drizzled the seasonings and marinade ingredients.

It may not have been perfect, but it certainly was delicious.

And, I think I would do it this way all over again even if I had the time for perfection!


1-2 pounds of peeled carrots or 1 bag of baby carrots
2-3 shallots, peeled
1 head garlic, separated into peeled cloves

3-4 tablespoons oil
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar or agave syrup
kosher salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a casserole dish or baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using the slicer blade of the food processor, slice peeled carrots and then shallots and garlic gloves.

Toss gently right in the food processor bowl.

Spread sliced carrots, shallots and garlic in parchment-lined casserole or baking sheet.

Lightly drizzle oil and brown sugar or agave syrup over vegetables.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast uncovered for 40-45 minutes.


Lazy Weeknight Pulled Beef

I really am lazy about cooking during the week.  Just ask my family.

I have learned to take just about every shortcut to the dinner table and love to prepare weeknight dinners that require very few ingredients, very little time and a minimum of effort.

To justify my weekday laziness, I make sure that weeknight dinners are not fussy or complicated.  I still try to use fresh ingredients, but I really downgrade the effort.

I have a repertoire of tried and true simple and delicious weeknight dinner recipes.  All require very little prep time.  Some cook or roast quickly.  Others cook all day.

This one is prepared in the morning, just before I start my day.  It is made in the crockpot and once the ingredients are placed, it requires virtually no attention.  It cooks all day, so that it greets you at the end of the day with the wonderful aroma and taste of slow cooked pulled beef.

The pulled beef is best pulled or shredded an hour or two before eating and then returned to the sauce in the crockpot.  It can also be pulled or shredded and eaten right before serving, but will yield a slightly drier product.  It is up to your schedule and taste.

It can be served on a roll or over a bed of pasta or rice.  I like it best served alongside a shredded or spiralized salad.  Here I have served it with a side of rutabaga and edamame salad.


This recipe has the elements of a lazy dinner, but the taste of a most delicious and decadent weeknight dinner.

It is simple…and it truly infuses the lazy with wow.




small boneless roast to fit your crockpot (I use a london broil or small brisket)
2-3 onions and/or shallots, peeled and cut into wedges
4-5 cloves garlic (optional)
3-4 stalks celery, cut into 1-2 inch sections (optional)
1/2 cup water or broth
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2-3 tablespoons brandy (optional)

your favorite seasoning or rub (optional)


Cut onions, shallots, celery and garlic and place on bottom of crockpot.  Place roast on top of vegetables.  If roast is larger than crockpot, just cut to fit and place in two layers, one on top of the other.  Dilute barbecue sauce with water or both.  Pour diluted barbecue sauce and brandy over roast.


Set crockpot to high or auto (see notes below) and cook for 6-8 hours.


About an hour before serving, remove beef from crockpot.  Place two forks in the center of the roasts, tines against tines and pull toward edges of roast.  Keep pulling until the roast is shredded.  Return roast to crockpot, ladle some sauce over the shredded beef and set to low or auto until ready to serve.



Know your crockpot and which settings to use.  I cook this recipe on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for 6-8 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the beef has been pulled and the pulled beef has been returned to the sauce.  Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start this recipe at high. Check on the recipe after 4 hours.  If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook for longer, checking every hour.

Simple Baked Sweet Potato Cubes


When I was a young girl, my Aba (father) would tell me that sweet potatoes were nature’s candy. He would also tell me that sweet potatoes are best when cooked right in their skin. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could compare a root vegetable to candy and why anyone would be interested in preparing sweet potatoes in their ruddy skin.

Now, I finally get it.  Aba is right.  Sweet potatoes are nature’s candy.  And, there are real health benefits to preparing sweet potatoes, especially without peeling them frst.

Sweet potatoes are high in Beta Carotene and contain significant levels of potassium, iron, vitamin B-6 as well as vitamins E and C.   They are a good source of fiber when eaten unpeeled.   They are delicious and nutritious.

This is a very simple and delicious recipe, perfect for a weeknight side dish.


3-4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
garlic powder
1 teaspoon oil


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F

Cube sweet potatoes.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt, garlic and cinnamon.  Bake uncovered in center of oven for 60 to 90 minutes.  Sweet potato cubes should be firm and a bit chewy on the outside and soft on the inside.



Simple Rutabaga and Celery Saute


For me, one of the most exciting things about this blog is the introduction of new ingredients to myself and my readers.

It is really about extending one’s comfort zone and affording new ingredients a chance to shine.

For some, it is about exploring new ingredients.  For others, it is about using old-hat ingredients in new and creative ways.  When I meet one of my blog followers, I am often told that through, they have tried something new that has now become one of their favorites.  That makes my heart swell.

For one of my readers in Chicago, Simply the best salad…ever! has helped her discover so many new tomato varieties. She had always been a one-variety round red tomato consumer. Through the blog, her eyes were opened up to a rainbow of tomato shapes, colors and flavors.

Another one of my readers had never thought to use raw beets in the past.  His experience with beets had only been limited to cooked beets.  Balsamic Beet Slaw: Easy, Fresh and Delicious introduced him to raw beets as a delicious salad ingredient.

Then, there are the ingredients that people love to hate.

Rutabagas falls into that category so easily.

This fall, I have been seeing waxed turnips in the produce market.  Waxed turnips are also called rutabagas or swedes and have a very unique flavor and texture.   They are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C and manganese, and are a great source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.


The taste of a rutabaga is difficult to describe.  It has a sweet earthy bitterness that I find to be delicious and most interesting.  Technically, rutabaga is a cross between cabbage and turnip.  Rutabagas are usually waxed, hence they are also known as waxed turnips. Using a sharp paring knife, it is important to remove the peel of the rutabaga along with the wax coating before using it as an ingredient.

Rutabaga is one of our family’s new favorite ingredients.  I hope that you will learn to love it, too.

This quick saute is one of our simplest and most favorite rutabaga preparations.


Thanksgiving Quinoa Salad

Thanksgiving celebrates the bounty of the harvest.  Giving thanks is central to Judaism and offering thanks for agricultural success (Bekurim: First Fruits from Hollister) is an important Jewish theme.  Traditionally, foods like cranberry, almonds and corn are included in the American Thanksgiving celebration.  This salad celebrates the breadth of so many delicious salad ingredients, some old, some new and some recreated.  The addition of pumpkin pie spice to the toasting of the seeds and nuts adds a familiar Thanksgiving taste and aroma to this salad. (more…)

Baked Cranberry Salami Slinky

Baked salami is a real treat in our house.  It is one of those simple recipes that I prepare to serve in the afternoon before a festive meal.  It is a treat for Erev Shabbos (Friday afternoon)  and Erev Yom Tov (afternoon before a Jewish holiday).

I reasoned: why not dress the recipe up for Thanksgiving and serve it Erev Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving eve), too? (more…)

Roasted Rainbow Skewers

Rainbow vegetables are a side dish staple in our home.  I prepare several trays of roasted vegetables just about every Friday.  I leave some trays of roasted vegetables on the counter for an Erev Shabbos (Friday afternoon) treat and save the rest for the Shabbos meal.  Most of the roasted vegetables are enjoyed before Shabbos even begins.

I usually choose vegetables that are in season and easy to clean.  My favorites are peppers, zucchini, beets and sweet potato.  My recipe for Simple Rainbow Roasted Vegetables is simple and yields beautiful and deliciously caramelized vegetables.  My kids have grown up with this “vegetable candy” as part of their Erev Shabbos (Shabbos eve) experience.

Recently, I have been preparing cabbage in different ways.  I saute cabbage (Colorful Confetti Cabbage), prepare it in kugels (Simple Cabbage Kugel and Kale and Cabbage Kugel: a Pareve Souffle) and use it in a myriad of salad combinations (Colorful Red Cabbage Quinoa Salad, no oil necessary and Asian Red Cabbage Salad…Simple and Wow).

Cabbage has many health benefits.  It is low in calories and carbs and high in fiber and vitamins. Cabbage is low in saturated fat and boasts high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K.  Best of all, it is inexpensive and available year-round.

For this recipe, I skewer wedges of red and green cabbage as well as zucchini. Once skewered, I drizzle olive oil and sprinkle garlic and kosher salt before roasting.  The skewers are simple and just delicious!



rainbow skewers ingredients.jpg


1/2 head red cabbage, cleaned and cut into small wedges
1/2 head green cabbage, cleaned and cut into small wedges
2 zucchini, scrubbed and sliced

heavy skewers


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Granulated or fresh minced garlic
Kosher Salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or greased foil.

Skewer cabbage wedges and zucchini.  Spread skewers in a single layer on baking sheet(s).  Drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and garlic.


Roast for 40-45 minutes, checking that vegetables are soft and browned before removing from oven.



Lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar in addition to olive oil and kosher salt for a zesty alternative.

Simply Reliable One Pan Roast Chicken Dinner

Everyone has their go-to favorite roast chicken recipe.  It is that hearty meal that is simple, reliable and oh, so comforting.  This recipe is practically one of our favorite and certainly one of our most undemanding Shabbos guests.  Despite its simple preparation, it yields a delicious chicken dish with spicy flavored potato wedges on the side.


In our house, this is the roast chicken recipe that I prepare most every Erev Shabbos (Sabbath eve).  I prepare it in a  large oblong Pyrex baking dish using whole chicken or bone-in chicken parts.  It makes the house smell inviting and warm and lets everyone know that Shabbos is on its way.  I have prepared this chicken simply and reliably for nearly the past thirty years.  It is one of the few things in our home that needs no extra attention on Friday.

It is so reliable that I prepare it in the morning and place it in the oven on a two-hour automatic timer.  It is so forgiving that it does not require a preheated oven, but can be cooked in a preheated oven if it is following another recipe.  No matter what my Friday brings: heavy work, surprises or extra cleaning, it is ready and delicious just two hours later with no special attention.

Now, if only the rest of my Erev Shabbos was that simple and forgiving…



Simple Baked Gefilte Fish Terrine

Gefilte fish is a traditional Jewish food served on Shabbos and the Jewish holidays. It is a loaf created with various types of ground fish and is usually boiled and served cold with sliced carrot and horseradish. There are a number of gefilte fish companies that prepare a frozen gefilte fish loaf ready for cooking.

Of course, I have experimented with different ways of preparing gefilte fish. This is one of he simplest. It is delicious and beautiful, too.

It will take a traditional gefilte fish and transform it into a wow appetizer.

2 loaves of gefilte fish, partially defrosted
fresh or frozen spinach, soaked, rinsed, and dried
cooked carrot slices
cooking spray

loaf pan
parchment paper
silicone or rubber spatula

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Partially defrost 2 loaves of gefilte fish. I defrost the fish overnight in my refrigerator.

Line loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving enough on sides to fold over gefilte fish loaf.

Remove first loaf of gefilte fish from wrapping and press into parchment-lined loaf pan using spatula to spread the gefilte fish evenly and smoothly.

Place dry spinach leaves or a very thin layer of dry chopped spinach on top of gefilte fish.

Place a single layer of thinly sliced carrots on top of spinach.


Remove second loaf of gefilte fish from wrapping and layer right over the carrot layer, pressing to make sure that the second layer of gefilte fish closes any gaps created by the spinach and/or carrots. Spread evenly and smooth top.

Spray top of gefilte fish with oil spray and fold parchment paper over the top of the gefilte fish terrine, making sure that the fish is well covered. Cover top of parchment paper with foil if the fish is not completely covered by parchment.

Bake for 90 minutes. Allow to reach room temperature before refrigerating terrine in the loaf pan .

To serve, wait until the terrine is completely cold. Carefully, remove terrine from the loaf pan. Unfold parchment paper top and sides, leaving parchment on the bottom. Cut the terrine in slices and serve cold.


Low and Slow Oven Brisket: No Braising Necessary


This week, I prepared the most delicious brisket.

I purchased a 3 pound top of the rib brisket that was extremely lean.  I did not have time to marinate or braise the meat and because of its lean composition, I was nervous that it would be tough.

I developed this simple and perfect low temperature recipe that cooked while I was out of the house.  When I returned, I was delighted to find the most delicious and succulent piece of meat. I refrigerated the meat for several hours before cutting, so that the meat would cut without shredding.


3-4 pound brisket, top of the rib

1/3 cup olive oil, mayonnaise or Simple and Perfect Spicy Mayo

1/2 cup very thinly diced onions or french fried onions

2/3 cup wine


Pierce the brisket with a fork all over on both sides.   Place in roasting pan and pour wine over brisket, turning over so that wine penetrates both sides.  Place fattier side of the brisket up so that fat keeps the meat tender during cooking.  Coat the top of the brisket with oil, mayo or spicy mayo, spreading evenly with small spatula or basting brush.

Place onions atop coating, pressing into brisket.  Cover tightly with foil.

Let brisket come to room temperature or place in oven on delayed cook mode.

Set oven to cook for 4 hours on 275 degrees F.  Let roast stay in oven until the oven cools down, at least one hour.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Refrigerate before slicing.

Arugula Salad Wrapped and Upright

We recently attended a wedding and I was entranced by the appetizer.  It was an upright mesclun salad wrapped in a long slice of cucumber.  The dressing was poured into the tightly packed upright salad and the appetizer bowl where the salad was placed was garnished with gorgeous fruit.

upright wrapped salad with fruit

When the cucumber peel was uncurled, the salad opened up and it was coated with the dressing and was garnished by the fruit.

I loved the presentation, the flavors of the salad and the whole idea of serving a salad wrapped and upright.

Of course, I was determined to create my own version of this type of salad.  I decided to try it first with arugula, one of my favorites.  It was not even much of a challenge.  I nailed it on the first try.

Here it is:


Arugula, soaked and rinsed (see kosher notes)
Lemon Vinagrette
Long Seedless cucumbers
fruit or tomato garnish


Carefully peel long slices of seedless cucumber with a peeler or mandolin.


Soak and rinse arugula, shaking out all excess moisture and/or wrapping in paper towels to dry.  Wrap cucumber slice around bundle of arugula, securing with a toothpick or small skewer, if necessary.

Stand bundle of arugula up on appetizer plate or shallow bowl so that arugula leaves are standing up.  Squirt dressing into center of arugula bundle, directing the tip of the squirt bottle into the arugula bundle so that dressing is contained within bundle and does not disperse or color the arugula.  Garnish with slices or fruit or vegetables.



Substitute arugula with other greens like mesclun, kale, romaine lettuce or shredded cabbage.


Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore most greens require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of leafy vegetables. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using greens such as arugula.



arugula salad in cucumber


Simple 4-Ingredient Homemade New Pickles

New pickles are my favorite.  They still have the crispness of a raw kirby with just a hint of pickling.  Kirby cucumbers are in season.  They are plentiful, inexpensive and make wonderful pickles with just four simple ingredients and 1-2 days of refrigeration.

homemade pickles


4-6 medium Kirby cucumbers
2 cups unchlorinated or bottled water
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
3-4 cloves Fresh garlic

your favorite herbs (optional)


Fill a mason jar with unchlorinated or bottled water.

Dissolve salt in the unchlorinated or bottled water.

Tightly pack whole or half kirby cucumbers into a glass jar and add garlic cloves.

Fill the jar with the salt water, making sure the cucumbers are completely covered. Cover the jar and refrigerate for 1-2 days or more.


Add your favorite flavors to customize your new pickles.  Try slices of jalapeno, peppercorns, hot pepper flakes or your favorite herbs and seasoning.

Simple Kiwi Flower Garnish

kiwi garnish with single golden kiwi 2

A simple, yet beautiful garnish adds elegance and whimsy.  This one is so simple and only takes 30 seconds to prepare.  It uses the whole kiwi with no waste and needs only a small paring knife as a kitchen tool.

It would make a gorgeous centerpiece for a fruit platter, fruit pie or as a kiwi garnish accompaniment to a plated dessert.  With green and golden kiwis available right now, this garnish can be easily prepared in either color.  Just take care to use kiwis that are firm .

This kiwi garnish resembles a water lily lotus flower.  It would look gorgeous on an edible leaf like a lemon leaf with just a few chocolate truffles as an accompaniment. (more…)

Colorful Farm to Table Confetti Salad

shredded salad



This week, we visited a wonderful U-pick farm in Fishkill, New York.

It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and the fields were lush and overflowing with produce.  Don and I really enjoyed picking vegetables directly from the fields and the produce was extraordinary.  We picked all types of summer squash, yellow tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers.

tomato in gardens

We arrived home just in time for dinner and I threw together a quick salad from the produce that we had collected.  I soaked and rinsed the tomatoes and then scrubbed and rinsed everything else before shredding the vegetables in the food processor.  I added some shredded fresh beets and herbs that I already had in the refrigerator.

The salad was perfect.  It was delightfully colorful.  It was fresh from the farm delicious.

Here is the recipe:



cherry or grape tomatoes, whole or halved
3 zucchini or summer squash, scrubbed
3 small cucumbers, scrubbed
2 peppers, scrubbed with centers removed
2 small beets, peeled (optional)
parsley, chives or cilantro (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste
a splash of balsamic vinegar
a light drizzle of olive oil (optional)



Soak, scrub and rinse vegetables.

Place tomatoes in salad bowl.  Add all vegetables to food processor fitted with shredding blade. Shred vegetables and add to salad.  Sprinkle, splash and drizzle seasoning right over vegetables.



Cauliflower Personal Pizza: Simple and Low-Carb

Davida has been my lunch-time cook and she made this delicious cauliflower pizza for me today for lunch.  She used cauliflower couscous to create the crust and then just layered sauce and cheese atop the crust.

cauliflower personal white pizza.jpg

It was relatively simple to prepare and delicious to eat.  Thanks, Davida!



1/2 head of cauliflower, grated to couscous consistency (see kosher notes)
1 egg
1/2 cup grated or shredded cheese
1 clove garlic, minced or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce (optional)




Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pulse the cauliflower in food processor or blender until grated to the consistency of couscous.

Microwave cauliflower on high for 4 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine microwaved cauliflower couscous, egg, cheese, and seasonings.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray generously with oil spray. Using a rubber spatula, spread the cauliflower mixture to personal size..

Bake until the cauliflower crust is golden and darker at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, drizzle with optional sauce and then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes more.

Allow to cool for several minutes before slicing or eating.



Replace cauliflower with broccoli for another flavor alternative.

Add toppings on top of cheese.  Suggested toppings include strips of peppers, diced onions or scallions, chives or basil.



Kosher laws disallow the eating of  any whole insects and therefore  cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing.   Kashrut authorities differ on the proper checking of  cauliflower and some disallow its use altogether.  This blog was not designed to be your  kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using and preparing cauliflower.


Simple Tips to the Perfect Kosher Skirt Steak

On Sunday, we hosted a barbecue for our immediate family. We grilled all the regulars: hot dogs, burgers and ribs. The star of the show, though, were the skirt steaks.

Skirt steaks are meaty, flavorful, tender, inexpensive and simple to prepare.  They are long and thin, versatile and take practically no time on the grill.  Because of their shape, they cook quickly and create a beautiful crust.  skirt steak-grilled perfectly

Here are five simple tips for preparing the perfect  kosher skirt steak: (more…)

Crockpot Drunken Mushroom Soup

drunken mushroom soup ready to eat

I love the heartiness and depth of a wine-based mushroom soup.  Mushrooms and wine are a combination made in heaven, with the wine adding depth to the earthiness of this soup. Made in a crockpot, this drunken mushroom soup is a cinch to prepare and is simply divine.

drunken mushroom soup-preparation


2-3 packages whole or sliced mushrooms
1 small onion or shallot, cut into chunks
1-2 zucchini, cup into 1 inch chunks
4 cups water or  vegetable broth
1 cup wine
1 tablespoon salt
4 cloves garlic or 1 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
dash ginger (optional)


Fill crockpot with mushrooms, onion and/or shallot, zucchini, wine and seasonings. Fill crockpot 3/4 to top with water and/or stock.  Cook on high for at least 5 hours. For a smooth texture, blend with a stick blender before serving.  Garnish with fresh herbs.

drunken musroom soup-under glass liddrunken mushroom soup ready to eat


Know your crockpot and which settings to use.  I cook my soup
on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for about 6 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the soup has been completed.  Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start your soup at high.  Check on the soup after 4 hours.  If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook the soup for longer, checking every hour.
For a creamy dairy variation, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to soup ingredients.
Use your favorite mushrooms.  For this  soup, I used a combination of baby bella and white mushrooms.  You can add them to the crockpot whole or sliced.Use your favorite wine.  For my soup, I used the rest of a bottle of  Merlot that was left over from Shabbos.  You can use white, red or any combination of wine.

Cuisinart Stick Blender

Stainless Steel 6 Quart Manual Crockpot

Simple Chocolate Bark with Flowers and Dried Fruit

Chocolate bark has become one of my favorite simple and beautiful dessert embellishments.  This week, I created a sweet and delicious bark that was sweet, bright and beautiful with some surprisingly savory ingredients, as well.  I melted a combination of white and milk chocolate and added fresh pansies from my flowerpots, mint and rosemary from my garden and an assortment of salted nuts and craisins.  I served this bark as the perfect accompaniment to small squares of Simply the Best Flourless Chocolate Cake.  I plan to also served this as a wow garnish for simple pieces of cheese cake for Shavuos.

chocolate bark with nut mint and pansies up close with logo


Perfect Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

My childhood friend, Pam, hosted and enjoyed many guests for her son’s Aufruf  (literally meaning calling up”) Shabbos.  It was an exciting Shabbos for Pam, her husband Ron and her family, as her son, Ariel, is getting married this week.

It is customary for a Jewish groom to be called up to recite a brocha (blessing) on the Torah in synagogue on the Shabbos before his wedding.  Pam’s guests joined the family and Ariel in synagogue Shabbos morning for a beautiful davening and kiddush.

I prepared a delicious fillet of salmon that Pam served for Seuda Shlishis (third meal on Shabbos afternoon).  It is one of those stunningly colorful main dishes that can be prepared in one pan and served so easily as a showstopper buffet option. It was so simple to prepare and oh, so beautiful and delicious.

This dish can be served cold, warm or room temperature and can also be prepared in individual portions.

salmon with roasted vegetables on platter