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Miri  Rotkovitz

Kosher Food

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Passover Pancakes -- or Crepes!

Thursday April 17, 2014

passover pancakesI was halfway through making Passover Pancakes for breakfast this morning when I realized I didn't buy baking powder for Pesach this year. It was too late to turn back, so I proceeded with the recipe, and and am happy to report that it still works.

Now, if you can track it down, using kosher for Passover baking powder will result in fluffier pancakes. But without it, these are still yummy. And as a bonus, I discovered that sans leavening agent, the batter pours thin enough to make a pretty respectable Pesach crepe recipe.

Passover Grocery Shopping Tips

Thursday April 10, 2014

Pesach GroceriesMaybe you're all business, and a Passover grocery list is all you need. Or maybe you're wondering about the difference between cake meal and matzo meal, or trying to find out whether there's a kosher for Passover coconut oil. (There is.)

In that case, you may find this Passover Grocery Shopping Guide helpful. Think of it as an annotated shopping cheat sheet, with recipe ideas and links, definitions, and tips to help demystify shopping for the holiday.

Image © Miri Rotkovitz

Passover Shopping, Made Simple(r)

Thursday April 10, 2014

PesachShoppingList.JPGPassover begins in just 5 days, which means that if you haven't started stockpiling Pesach groceries already, this is the time to start! Personally, since I use a ton of fresh produce during Passover, I necessarily do a lot of last minute shopping.  But I try to get as much shelf-stable stuff as possible now, so I can put it away and not have to think about it at the last minute.

I find that I usually have to hit several different markets to find all that I need, which increases the likelihood of forgetting something.  So this year, I've drawn up an extensive chart-style shopping list, and I'm sharing it here with you. There's room to write in items, quantities, and add notes, so you can customize the list to your needs. (You can get the list in printer-friendly format if you click the small printer icon on the upper right-hand corner of the page, underneath the search box.)

The only thing I didn't include was a section for kitniyot foods, for those who eat them. If you'd find this helpful, please email me at kosherfood@aboutguide.com, and I'll revise the list!

Image © Miri Rotkovitz

No-Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, and Cookies!

Monday March 31, 2014

VegetarianMatzoBallSoup.JPGYears ago, a couple of days before the Seder, our family friends informed my mom that their young boys -- I think the oldest was maybe 5 at the time -- had suddenly announced that they were vegetarians. They had just seen Chicken Run, and were very adamant about never wanting to eat a chicken ever again.

My sister and I were leaning vegetarian anyway, so I offered to try my hand at a vegetarian matzo ball soup. I've been tweaking the recipe for years, and I've finally hit on a No-Chicken Matzo Ball Soup that I want to make ALL THE TIME. I even tinkered with our family matzo ball recipe, so the soup could have its own special Dill Matzo Balls.

Of course, a girl can't live on soup alone. I look forward to these Passover Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies all year. (True story: I once made them out of empty pantry desperation for a summer cookout. They disappeared very quickly, and I had a bunch of non-Jewish friends begging me for information about Passover cake meal and where to obtain it in mid-summer so they could bake their own.)

Last year, after decades of satisfaction with that one perfect Pesach cookie recipe, I decided it couldn't hurt to have another cookie  recipe up my sleeve. Now these Apricot Chocolate Chunk Farfel Cookies get a place of honor on the cookie platter, too.

Image © Miri Rotkovitz

Cheesy Vegetable Quiche with Potato Pancake Crust

Friday March 28, 2014

Quiche-1-1-.jpgWhen it comes to Passover cooking, my personal inclination is stick to whole foods -- even if it means more work -- rather than buy Pesach products made with a lot additives or preservatives. But I understand how helpful some find convenience products, especially during a long holiday that requires a ton of from-scratch cooking. So if you'll enjoy the holiday more knowing you've got a package of potato pancake mix stashed in the pantry, by all means, add it to your shopping list.

Osem recently contacted me to see if I'd weigh in on some of their Passover products, and the line's newly redesigned packaging. I'll have more to say in the next couple of weeks, as I use some of the items for recipe development. But for now, here's a recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Quiche with Potato Pancake Crust. The recipe comes from Alison Gutwaks, the culinary school grad and kosher chef behind the popular Alibabka blog. She partnered with Osem this year to create a series of recipes for the holiday; you can access them on Osem USA's Facebook page, where you'll also find Passover sweepstakes and other promos.

Photo © Alison Gutwaks

ISO Charoset Recipes

Monday March 24, 2014

Charoset

My grandmother's family recipe for charoset is a mainstay at our Passover Seders. We'd never think of replacing it, but for many years, I've tried to make a point of preparing a second recipe to serve alongside it, so we can get a taste of the Seder traditions of other Jews from around the world.

I'd love to compile a list of international charoset recipes, so if you've got a favorite family recipe or charoset-related story to share with readers, please send it along to kosherfood@about.com!

Image © Flickr User Liz Feldman

Buy a Passover e-Cookbook, Do a Purim Mitzvah

Sunday March 16, 2014

4 Bloggers Dish Passover

Passover is less than a month away, and if you're hungering for innovative recipes, there's a new Amazon Kindle e-cookbook worth adding to your collection. 4 Bloggers Dish Passover is the brainchild of Whitney Fisch, Amy Kritzer, Sarah Lasry, and Liz Reuven, the talented bloggers behind Jewhungry, Kosher Like Me, The Patchke Princess, and What Jew Wanna Eat, respectively.

Featuring over 50 recipes -- like Beet Latkes with Cucumber Jalapeño Relish, Blueberry Walnut Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Meatballs, and Mini Chocolate Chip Berry Pies -- plus lush color photos, the e-cookbook is priced at $7.99 $4.99. But today, it's just $1.99, with half of the profits going to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger. So you can give a little extra to Matanot L'Evyonim (gifts to the poor), while treating yourself to a new cookbook. That's what I call a great deal.

Image Credit: © Amy Kritzer, whatjewwannaeat.com

Happy Pi(e) Day!

Friday March 14, 2014

Strawberry Frangipane PieYes, Purim starts tomorrow night, and you're probably up to your eyeballs in hamantaschen dough. Triangles will get their due tomorrow, but today, it's Pi Day, that magical day when math and science lovers celebrate ancient mathematicians' discovery that the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is 3.14159...(and so on....). And today is 3/14. So there you go. (Foodies like to celebrate, too, because it's a marvelous excuse to eat pie.)

Anyway, there's lots of discussion about the value of Pi in the Talmud, which is as good a reason as any to take a break from Shabbat and Purim preparations and lunch on a (round) pizza pie or quiche. Or to cap off Shabbat dinner with a Sugar Pumpkin Pie with Olive Oil Crust.

"Really lady?" you may be thinking,  "I've got no time to bake a pie today." Well,  you could always make a few thumbprint-style "cookies" with scraps of hamantaschen dough. Or, if you bake your own challah, why not fashion a round loaf? Of course, you could always just sample a few of your regular hamantaschen,  call them hand pies, and call it a Happy Pi(e) Day, too.

Mishloach Manot Inspiration

Thursday March 13, 2014

Kid's Mishloach ManotPurim is just a few days away, so if you haven't put together your Mishloach Manot yet, now's the time to do it! Need inspiration? These 11 themed Purim gifts each include a specially curated selection of snacks and treats that are sure to thrill recipients of all tastes. You'll find options for all budgets, recipe suggestions, and a few practical tips. Have ideas of your own? Share them in my Forum!

Kosher Foodie Box

Wednesday March 12, 2014

Subscription boxes -- whether filled with kids activities, beauty products, or food -- have been gaining popularity over the last few years. The concept works like this: subscribers sign up for a one time or recurring subscription, then receive a box filled with goodies every month or two. The specific contents are usually a surprise, though the companies often reveal hints or a theme. Boxes are typically priced in the $15 to $30 range, and include a range of generously sized samples, and the occasional full-size product. It's a relatively low-commitment way to try new products, and it's fun to open a mystery box to find out what's inside.

Well, I've been wondering whether some clever soul would ever launch a kosher subscription box. Today, I got my answer. KosherFoodieBox is gearing up to send its first surprise box -- and in honor of the launch, they're sending free boxes to the first 300 folks to sign up on their website. (I have no idea if they've met that quota yet...) Boxes filled with kosher certified treats will go out 6 times a year; each subscriber's first box is $7.49, and subsequent boxes are $14.95, including shipping. All products will hold cRc certification, or else a hechsher approved by that agency.

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