Frosted Candied Grapes

Grapes are featured prominently at the annual Pesach (Passover) seder (festive meal, lit: order).  After all, we drink four cups of wine or grape juice and the seder ceremony begins with the kiddush (santification) over the first cup of wine (or grape juice).  Wine is featured in the charoset (fruit and nut dip symbolizing mortar) for the maror (bitter herbs).

The seder is a mixture of tradition and whimsy.  It is the only night on the Jewish calendar when we sing Hallel (songs of praise) and tell the story of Egypt at length.  It is an evening in which we engage the children and pass these Jewish traditions from generation to generation.  In fact, so much of the elements of the seder are intended to pique the interest of our children.

Which brings me to candied grapes.  We are taught that parents are to give their children special foods and gifts in order to engage them at the seder.  So, why not combine the elements of tradition and whimsy in creating these adorable and delicious candied grapes?

One note of caution, though.  The round shape of the grapes  can create a choking hazard for small children.  These grapes should not be given to young children, unless they are quartered.

These grapes can make a delicious snack or the perfect garnish for desserts.

candied grapesINGREDIENTS

1 box jello


Rinse individual grapes thoroughly in a colander. Spread jello powder in a pie plate or large plate.  Coat grapes with powder.    Place on waxed or parchment paper to dry.
Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow gelatin to set.


The round shape of the grapes  can present a choking hazard for small children.  These grapes should not be given to young children, unless they are quartered.

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…)

Low-Carb Snacks: Simply Made with Love

Now that Don and I are on this low-carb, high-protein diet, we have encountered some challenges.  We realize that having snacks prepared and measured out in advance is key. Knowing that the snack is ready to eat at responsible intervals  helps curb cravings and satiate our appetites.

We had hoped to find some ready-made protein bars that meet the diet protocol and are certified kosher.  Alas,  we have not been successful in finding kosher protein bars that have low enough carbs and are readily available in our area.

Don and I struck a deal.  I will prepare most of the meals if he prepares the snacks in advance, either daily or weekly.  I purchased some ingredients and he did a terrific job, filling the fruit bins of our refrigerator with these pre-measured snack choices.  Now, each day, we can easily enjoy the snacks that he prepared at regular intervals and we are nailing this diet!

Here are some of our favorite low-carb snacks, prepared and measured out by Don:


Radishes: scrubbed and cut into wedges

Medium Size Pickle: skewered onto a stick

Small ripe avocado, bagged with a lemon wedge and plastic knife (to share)

avocado with lemon.jpg

Macadamia Nuts: 8-10 nuts per snack

macadamia nuts

Celery Sticks: scrubbed and sliced into sticks

celery sticks

Sugar Snap Peas: rinsed

Baby Peppers: rinsed whole or with tops and seeds removed

snow peas

Zucchini sticks: scrubbed and sliced into sticks

Cucumber sticks: scrubbed and sliced into sticks