Kosher for Passover recipes

Scallion Confetti Curls: A Simple Garnish

Garnishes put the wow into a dish.  This one is fast and simple.



Cut green part of scallion into three to four inch sections.  Slice narrow and long ribbons with a sharp paring knife.

scallion granisj-cut small

Separate scallion pieces into thinnest slivers possible using knife or by hand.


Drop the green onion slivers into ice water and submerge completely for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight.






Simple Chocolate Bark with Flowers and Dried Fruit

I love thin and delicious chocolate bark embellished with all my favorites.  It is a simple dessert and also makes a perfect garnish for a simple cake or mousse.  It is the perfect accompaniment to Simply the Best Flourless Chocolate Cake

chocoalte bark cut into sections on cake

As your bark background, you can use your favorite chocolate: white, milk or dark.  The embellishments can be any combination of edible flowers, dried fruit, candied fruit or ginger and/or all types of nuts and seeds.

For this chocolate bark, I used semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. I added raisins, craisins, candied pineapple bits and fresh pansy petals.

chocolate bark with pansies and raisins (more…)

Simple, Creamy and Perfect Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Our favorite dressing is balsamic vinaigrette.  Nine out of ten times when ordering salad at a restaurant, we choose balsamic vinaigrette.  For the past many years, every time I made a balsamic vinegar-dressed salad, I would take out half the contents of my spice cabinet to dress the salad.

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge.  I purchased heavy-duty catering-style squeeze bottles from my local restaurant supply store and filled them with assorted dressings for a large dinner that I was hosting.  The squeeze bottles were very durable and  had wide mouths for easy decanting of the homemade dressings from the food processor.

Whatever dressing were left over from the party, we used for lunches and dinners over the next week.  The bit of dressing that was left over one week later became the basis for my grilled chicken marinade.  The spices were left in the cabinet throughout the week and that balsamic vinaigrette found many uses.  It was a true lesson in organization and efficiency.  I was hooked on preparing my dressings in advance.

Now, I prepare an assortment of dressings and dips before Shabbos.  I store them in these large squeeze bottles for dressing salads, garnishing appetizers and decorating serving platters.  I find that having the vinaigrette available and in easy-to-dispense containers  helps us use just exactly what we need for each salad.  It cuts down on waste and mess.

With all the choices of dressings and dips, our favorite is still balsamic vinaigrette.   It is simple and really adds that wow to most every salad.


1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
3 cloves of garlic or one teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup oil 
squeeze of mustard (optional)


A Simple One Pot Meal: Low-Carb Cauliflower Couscous with Chicken

cauliflower couscous-in wavy serving bowl


I am still on a low-carb high-protein diet and I am feeling great.  I am always on the lookout for low-carb options that mimic the texture of carb-heavy foods that I once craved.  Cauliflower is an excellent ingredient to mimic the texture of rice, potato and/or couscous.

I have developed a recipe for cauliflower couscous with chicken  and vegetables.  It is simple.  It is low-carb  and nutritious.  Best of all, it only requires one pan.



Simple Celery and Mushroom Crockpot Soup

My kids have been getting tired of all the pureed soups that I have been preparing over the past few months.   I have decided to surprise them with a vegetable soup that is not pureed, so that they can enjoy all the different textures of the vegetables.

mushroom celery soup

Here is the simple, delicious and low carb recipe, suitable for Passover:



Crockpot Orange Root Vegetable Soup

orange soup before cooking in crockpot

This is one of the simplest soups to prepare and it is a favorite soup classic at my dinner table.   It is easily adaptable to any combination of orange vegetables, but the key is the seasoning.  It has a unique flavor, thanks to the combination of sweet and savory ingredients.



4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1-2 whole onions, scrubbed
1 pound of carrots, peeled
1 whole butternut or acorn squash (optional)

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
1 teaspoon powdered or freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
dash of cinnamon



Scrub and rinse unpeeled sweet potatoes and squash.  Place whole sweet potatoes, onion, peeled carrots and halved squash cut-side down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F.

Remove carrots after 20 minutes.  Bake sweet potatoes, onion and squash for an additional 40 minutes or until soft.  Once cool, remove peels of onion, sweet potatoes and squash. Carefully remove squash seeds.  Discard seeds or clean and toast for use as a soup garnish.


Pizza Potatoes

One of the simplest and most satisfying Erev Pesach (Pesach eve)  and Chol Hamoed (middle days of Passover) meals for the kids has been pizza potatoes.  It is gluten-free and it is not one of those menu items that we prepare often during the year when we have pasta and pizza available to us.  But it is a simple and filling dairy dish, perfect for Pesach (Passover).  The kids look forward to Pesach pizza potatoes throughout the year.



whole potatoes
your favorite pizza sauce
shredded cheese



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bake potatoes in oven for 40-60 minutes. Slice potato in half lengthwise and spread sauce and cheese on each half.

pizza potatoes uncooked

Bake for 15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and bubbly.


pizza potatoes


Try using different types of potatoes and even sweet potatoes.

Add your favorite pizza toppings like peppers, onions, mushrooms, scallions, chives, fresh mozzarella and basil.



Simple Greek Salad

One of our mainstays for Chol Hamoed Pesach is Greek Salad. I usually serve the olives on the side, since I have olive-lovers and olive-haters among my crew. It really is a main dish salad, very nutritious and filling.  Best of all, it is simple to make.


greek salad

1-2 small cucumbers, scrubbed and sliced
1 colored pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes and/or 1 large tomato, halved or diced
1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pitted olives (optional)

1-2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1-2 cloves minced garlic or garlic pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1/4 cup cider or wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Whisk or shake the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Add the feta and olives and toss lightly.

Simple and Wow! Lady Finger Strawberry Shortcake

Pesach (Passover) is a springtime holiday that falls out in the Hebrew month of Nissan.  Our Jewish lunar calendar has a leap month designed to make sure that Pesach always falls out in the spring. This year was a Jewish leap year and therefore Pesach falls out in late April, a full month later on the solar calendar than last year.

Pesach desserts, therefore, should be reminiscent of spring and use seasonal ingredients. Strawberries is one of those wonderfully fresh and springtime dessert favorites.

One of the simplest Pesach recipes are ones that can be assembled right on Yom Tov and served in a variety of different ways. This one is just that type of dessert. Simple.  Fresh. Oh, and Beautiful.

strawberry shortcake ingredients



one package of lady fingers
whipped cream
fresh strawberries (see kosher notes)


Whip up a container of whipped cream and refrigerate. Clean and slice fresh strawberries. Layer lady fingers, whipped cream and strawberries in a large bowl or a glass trifle bowl. Top with strawberries and lady finger crumbs. Enjoy!


strawberry shortcake for passover


You can substitute berries and fruit of your choice. Try blueberries, peaches and mango.

Layer a single lady finger with whipped cream and strawberries for an individual strawberry shortcake. Serve on a plate or in a martini glass.

Drizzle a bit of strawberry, chocolate or raspberry sauce on top.


strawberry shortcake for passover 3


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.

Atkins Baked Meatballs with Cauliflower

For Pesach (Passover) this year, I am trying to tailor my original recipes to meet the criteria of my low-carb diet.  For the holidays, I usually prepare baked meatballs.  I find that they are simple to prepare, delicious and kid-friendly.

I love the baked method because it allows me to remove all the fat that drips off during the baking process and to season the meatballs later any way I choose.  After baking, I simply freeze the meatballs in small batches in  plastic zipper bags.  Before each meal, I just place them in a tightly-covered baking pan coated with my favorite sauce.  I reheat them at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes and they are perfect.

To accommodate our low-carb diet, I simply replaced my crumb filler with cauliflower couscous.  It is simple.  It is delicious.

baked meatballs


Simple and Succulent Make-Ahead Brick Roast

We travel to Israel for Pesach (Passover) and I bring my already-prepared meats with us.   I kasher (make ready for Passover) my kitchen and ovens for one day and prepare all of my meats, slice them and then deep-freeze them in advance of my trip.  It allows me to enjoy the Yom Tov (holiday) time spent in Israel without all of the heavy cooking required for our large seder and Yom Tov meals there.

My favorite make-in-advance cut of meat is Brick Roast, also sometimes called French Roast.  It is a meaty, well-marbleized, tender and delicious cut of meat.  I find that it is easy to prepare because it is shaped like a brick: rectangular and evenly thick from end to end.

brick roast sliced

I made five brick roasts for my upcoming Pesach trip.  The roasts were simple to prepare and they came out delicious.  Best of all, once they are sliced, they freeze beautifully.

Here is the recipe: (more…)

Low-Carb Cauliflower Onion Soup

Don and I are still on a high-protein, low carb diet. We are finding that soup is very nourishing and satisfying, helping us to curb carb-cravings. For these reasons, I try to start a soup in the crockpot just about every morning. I eat the soup as my afternoon snack and Don usually enjoys it when he comes home as an early dinner meal.  Today’s soup is a take-off on potato leek soup.  I have created a cauliflower-onion soup,  so similar in color, texture and flavor to potato-leek, but truly low in carbs. (more…)

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sauce and Cheese

Davida and her friend, Chava, made dinner for themselves this week.  They looked around the kitchen and found a spaghetti squash sitting on the counter.  They roasted it, scraped it, filled it with sauce and cheese and then rebaked it just until the cheese melted.

It was a simple and delicious meal, gluten free and kosher for Passover.  I think it will be one of my new favorites, too.  Thanks, Davida and Chava!

spaghetti squash in shell (more…)

Nutty Warm Mushroom Salad

Who says that salads have to be cold?  This one is delicious and warm.  The interplay between the fresh greens, warm mushrooms and nutty topping is heavenly.  To add a bit more pizzazz, the warm mushrooms are combined with lightly marinated red onions.

In our family, we have plenty of carnivores and some herbivores.   Although our resident vegetarians are content to eat cold salads, warm salads really hit the spot.  This warm and nutty mushroom salad has an earthy and meaty flavor, despite its vegetarian status.

warm mushroom salad


Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Basil Pesto


I love pesto served with chicken, fish or pasta.  This recipe is simple and beautifully fresh and green.  It can be prepared quickly and can really wake up grilled chicken, fish or boiled pasta.

It is important to make sure that the basil is dry before preparing the pesto, so that the pesto remain bright green.

It is simple.  It is delicious.  It really adds the wow to simple dishes.

 pesto sauce in purple container


Bubby’s Gedemfte Chicken: Stewed Chicken for the Pesach Seder

Every year for the Pesach (Passover) seder, my mother-in-law a’H would prepare her famous Gedemfte Chicken. We all could barely pronounce its name, but we would all so look forward to this delicacy. There was nothing fussy about it. It was simple, it was delicious and it was falling-off-the-bone succulent.

During the  year, the kids would ask me to make it for them and I would refuse, saying that it was Bubby’s Pesach secret. The truth is…that it is a very simple recipe, so similar to the roasted chicken that I prepare almost every Friday night. The only true difference is that it is prepared in a crockpot and stewed until the chicken is so soft.

I wanted it to remain Bubby’s famous dish.  Even though my mother-in-law a’H is no longer with us, it has remained and will forever remain as Bubby’s Gedemfte Chicken recipe, prepared exclusively for our seder.


gedemste chicken (more…)

Simply the Best Flourless Chocolate Cake

This cake is so simple and decadent.  It requires no separating eggs and is delicious.  The original recipe was given to me by my dear friend, Rose Feldman a’H, who made this cake for our first Thanksgiving dinner as a married couple, circa 1987. She made it with a glaze and decorated it with chocolate-dipped nuts.

Rose’s flourless chocolate cake was a shop-stopper on that autumn day in Pittsburgh. The crackly texture of the the flourless cake crust along with the decadence of its not-too-sweet interior is exceptional.  It has become a important part of my Pesach dessert repertoire and is so good that I often prepare it during the year, as well.

I rarely make the chocolate glaze topping with the dipped nuts. Instead, I serve the cake with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or my own simple decorations. As an ode to spring, I have photographed this cake with fresh springtime pansies.


flourless chcoalte cake with pansies on whole cake

Pansies are edible and can even be crystallized (stay tuned to the blog for instructions).

flourless chocolate cake with pansies

To update this flourless chocolate cake, I often replace the margarine with coconut oil.  To add a contemporary wow to the chocolate decadence of this cake, I sometimes sprinkle a bit of sea salt and/or a touch of cayenne pepper right atop the cake. The combination of spicy, savory and sweet is sensational.

flourless chcoclake cake side by side with salt and cayenne

I have reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe. To trick the palate, I usually dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar. The powdered sugar hits the palate first, making the cake taste sweeter than it actually is.

Since this cake is decadent, a small cake can serve many guests. The cake can be cut into very tiny slices, dusted with confectioners sugar and embellished with whipped cream, some chocolate nuts or edible flowers.


Edible Ginger Candy Spoons

I love ginger in all shapes and forms. I use ginger as a spice in many dishes. I love ginger ale, candied ginger and pickled sushi ginger.  Whenever we eat sushi, I become the lucky recipient of everyone’s pickled sushi ginger and I love it.

I especially love ginger with my tea.  For a recent dinner party, I prepared ginger spoons to serve with dessert and  tea. They were simple to prepare, delicious  and just gorgeous.



Ginger drops (or any type of hard candy)
Silicone Baking Spoon Mold
Hammer or heavy mallet


Purchase a molded silicone spoon design baking mold  suitable for 300 degrees F heat.  I prefer one that has a thick stem for each molded spoon, since the weakest point of the molded spoon will be the piece right underneath the cup of the spoon, The thicker the spoon base and stem is, the less likely it will be to crack when unmolding.

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Unwrap candies and place in a thick zipper bag. Use a small hammer or mallet to crush the candies into small pieces.


Thickly heap the small pieces of ginger into the molds, placing the thickest amount of crushed candy right where the stem meets the base of the cup of the spoon. Make sure that the candy is layered in thick and brush the area between the spoons back into the spoon molds.

Bake at 300 for 10 minutes. Shut the oven and leave in the oven for 10-20 minutes more. Allow to cool completely before unmolding.





Use any type of hard candy in place of the ginger drops.  Use lemon drops, butterscotch candies, peppermints or your favorite hard candy.

Use your favorite baking silicone mold to fashion candy into different shapes.  This simple technique yield extraordinary candy garnishes for desserts.


These spoons are gorgeous when placed on a dessert buffet with assorted teas and coffee. They are spectacular served with hot apple cider, too.

If you have loose shards of crushed candy left over before or after baking these spoons, sprinkle them on top of  frosted cupcakes for a delicious surprise.

Simple Low-Carb Broccoli Crust Pizza: Perfect for Passover

brocolli pizza crust-in ovenCauliflower rice has become the rage as an ingredient in faux fried rice and as a low-carb pizza crust alternative.  As an experiment, I tried similar adaptations of broccoli and have found it to work beautifully.

My family is always looking for something delicious and nutritious to eat on Erev Pesach (the eve and day before Passover begins).  Since we cannot eat bread and it is customary not to eat Matzo until the seder, it is a challenge to find satisfying foods that will keep everyone full until the seder begins later in the evening  evening.

I have created this delicious low-carb broccoli pizza recipe, suitable for Pesach.  It is a simple pizza to prepare and pretty much fool-proof, as long as you keep the crust as dry as possible.  It is important to squeeze out any liquid before baking and to layer the cheese on before any sauce to keep the crust as dry as possible.  Feel free to experiment with different toppings.

It is simple.  It is delicious.  It will create a wow for your family this Erev Pesach.


A Simple, Delicious and Beautiful Flourless Fruit Tart

When I entertain, I love to serve a fruity dessert. Few can resist a dessert topped with fresh fruit. Berries are in season and this Pesach (Passover) fruit tart can be made with your favorite assortment of berries and fruit.

I made mine using a combination of frozen blueberries, strawberries and cranberries.  I topped mine with a mango rose.  This tart is simple to prepare and is a show-stopper.

It is simple, delicious and gorgeous.

mango rose tart complete (more…)

Five Simple Ways to Rediscover the Wow in Pesach

I love Pesach (Passover).  I love the purity and the newness.  I love the springtime freshness and the themes of freedom and family.  I don’t mind the cleaning and the rotation of special dishes and ingredients.

The secret is that I do a bare minimum of the cleaning and really try to put the emphasis on the true themes of this holiday.  It takes some organization, but there is a true sense of mastery and majesty that comes with Pesach that takes my breath away.

Here are five simple ways to retain the magical wow of Pesach:

(1) Keep the cleaning simple

Focus on ridding your house of chametz (leavened products) only and do not be tempted to do a thorough spring cleaning.  It is not necessary to wash curtains, organize closets and steam-clean your carpets.  If you must, save the spring cleaning until after Pesach.

(2) Stay organized

Start as early as possible segregating the chametz (leavened products) so that you can use up what you have before Pesach.   If possible, shop, prepare menus and recipes and cook in advance so that you are not overwhelmed.  Although I love to prepare fresh meals, for Pesach, I prepare all my baked goods, meats and side dishes in advance and freeze them.   This cuts down on the magnitude of the cooking in the days before Pesach.

(3) Don’t lose your focus

With all that there is to do, make sure that the focus is on freedom, family and tradition. Make sure that everyone is well-rested and prepared before the seder.  Enlist the help of your family and design your seder in a way that is meaningful to all your family members. Try to prepare foods and traditions that will create everlasting memories and keep the food choices and preparations to a minimum.  Encourage each of your family members and guests to share ideas and inspirations at your seder.

(4) Don’t forget to take care of yourself

Try to get enough sleep and relaxation before the holiday begins.  Make sure to eat well, especially  on Erev Pesach (the day of the Passover seder).  Even with the best organization, the magnitude of Pesach preparation is huge, so reward yourself.  Buy yourself something new for the holiday or pamper yourself.  Buy a new tablecloth, a new outfit, a new haggadah or schedule a massage or facial.

(5) Do something to create that eternal wow

Try to take the emphasis off the material preparation and refocus it on the spiritual preparation for the holiday of Pesach.  Take some time to read the Haggadah before the seder, perhaps with a new commentary.   Try to find family outdoor time over Chol Hamoed (intermediary days of Passover) and find time for family discussion about the themes of Pesach before, during and after the seder.

Think about creating a seder table theme.   In the past, our daughter, Leah, has decorated our seder table with elements of the ten plagues and the splitting of the sea.  It gets our family and guests engaged.

Pesach commemorates freedom from our enslavement in Egypt and the beginning of the Jewish people coming together as a nation.  The seder is designed to engage our children and pass our rich heritage and traditions down to others.  Let us remain true to these goals and release ourselves from the enslavement all too often associated with this beautiful holiday.

With best wishes for successful and joyous Pesach preparations….



A Rare Treat: Simply Perfect Seared Ahi Tuna

ahi tuna on plate

Leah recently prepared dinner for us.  It was simple, luxurious and beautiful…and one of my favorite dishes.  She created perfectly seared  Ahi tuna, rare and delicious.

Ahi tuna preparation must start with a fresh piece of sushi-grade fish and must be seared carefully until just rare.  If done right, it takes almost no time and is delectable.   If it is cooked for even a bit too long, it becomes tough and unpleasant.

Leah nailed it and here is her recipe…



Sushi grade Ahi tuna (about one inch thick)

1/2 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil

cracked peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Kosher salt


Pat tuna dry and sprinkle all four sides with salt and  coating of cracked peppercorns or coarse black pepper.In a saute pan or frying pan, heat the oil or butter over medium-high heat until the pan is hot.  Add the tuna and sear for one to two minutes on each long side. Turn tuna to sear the short sides for just a moment. Remove tuna from pan and let rest for a few minutes.  Carefully slice against the grain. Enjoy!



Serve with lemon or lime and a bright green vegetable like steamed broccoli or  bok choy.

Alternatively, deglaze pan by quickly sauteing scallions, mushroom or bok choy immediately after removing the tuna.  The vegetables will absorb the delicious flavor of the ahi tuna and will make the perfect accompaniment.

Serve with spicy mayo sauce.  Stay tuned to this blog for an easy and delicious recipe.

ahi tuna on plate


Recipe, plating  and photo credits to Leah Respler

Simple Cabbage Kugel

Most Pesach (Passover) recipes are heavy on the potatoes and eggs.  I have been trying to discover new ingredients that fit within my low-carb diet that can be used for Pesach (Passover).   Cabbage is one of those simple, inexpensive and delicious ingredients that was right under my nose all the time.

This cabbage kugel recipe was simple to make and delicious.

cabbage kugel (more…)

Blackened Atkins Low-Carb Tilapia Fillets

I wanted to develop a delicious low-carb tilapia recipe for our Friday night appetizer as an alternative to the salmon fillets that we have been eating on our new diet.  Don will only eat tilapia if is fried and with our new low-carb high-protein diet, there are so few choices for fry coatings.  This recipe is simple, delicious, juicy and so quick to prepare.  It is best served with a wedge of lemon.

I  coated the tilapia in a spice rub created from all my favorite spices and fried each piece. It smelled so delicious that even my non-dieters came to the kitchen to try a piece as it came out of the pan. Nobody missed the bread crumbs and everyone could not believe that the coating was carb-free.  Best of all, it will be a terrific Pesach (Passover) recipe, too. (more…)