Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Matzah Matzah Everywhere! Recipes for Passover

Passover is my favorite holiday and it always has been. As a kid I'm not sure I knew how lucky I was to be part of my particular Jewish community in Upstate New York.  Some years my parent's hosted Seders, and some years we sat in the dining rooms, kitchens or living rooms of friends. But no matter where we celebrated or how many new faces were at the table that year, it always felt like family. It's only in recent years that I've begun to realize how truly unique and special these experiences were.

As much as I love those memories from my childhood, my Nice Jewish Boy of a husband and I wanted to claim the holiday as our own, and start our own traditions. For the last several years we've hosted Seder in our home in Brooklyn. Each year I buy a new Haggadah on, and I spend weeks putting together a collaborative, thought provoking Seder. Our friends gather around our table, some Jewish, some not, and we work our way through; sharing, laughing, toasting and learning. Most years, we hardly even notice that it's nearly 9:30 by the time we're finally eating dinner.

But this year, the cards were simply not in our favor. First, we discovered that my NJB had agreed to attend a bachelor party in Montreal during the first two nights of Passover (heathens!)  After much waxing and waning about whether or not we could have a Seder on a night that was neither the first nor second night of the holiday, we picked a totally arbitrary date only to realize once the invitations were out, that it was Easter. We picked a third date, but for whatever reason, many of our friends were simply unable to join. And finally, when I ordered the New American Haggadah (edited by Jonathon Safran Foer!) it was delivered weeks behind schedule AND to my parents house upstate instead of to me. So for the first time in four years, we found ourselves Planless for Passover.

In the end, I journeyed to Boston and joined my family-in-laws for a wonderful, whimsical Seder. I had a really super time. But one of the things I love about hosting Seder, is the required creativity the menu demands. So I decided that rather than forgoing this favorite tradition of mine all together, I would simply create a week's worth of Passover recipes.

Sunday night, when I'd returned from Boston we made breakfast for dinner, Pesach style! You know what that means.... MATZAH BREI! (Fear not, fabulous Jews who raised me... I do NOT actually use a recipe to make this, but I thought I'd link to one for all the amazing Goyim in my life). I add a bit of milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon to this basic recipe, and then top with maple syrup. (duh.) (Oh, you use jelly? You're wrong.)

Kosher friends, please avert your eyes for Monday Night's dinner. Fair warning.

Monday night I made a Pesto Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes, Sweet Potato & Ricotta Gnocchi and Roasted Asparagus. The kosher-for-Passover gnocchi was DARN GOOD and shockingly easy. And can you believe I made a chicken? I had to touch it and everything. Needless to say, I couldn't actually bring myself to EAT the local, free range, organic, $12 chicken...

Tuesday night I made us Matzah Ball Soup, because it's not Passover until you're lying immobile on the couch moaning because you've consumed too many cement balls..I mean.. Matzah Balls.

Tonight I'm making Mushroom & Onion Kugel, and a Smoked Salmon Fritatta. If they're good I'll post my altered recipes tomorrow.

All of these new recipes have made for a creative and delicious holiday, but  no matter how good the food is,  it always tastes a little better with friends and family.

Chag Pesach <3


  1. I love seders! I want to come next year, so I'm inviting myself. ;)

    1. You're officially added to the list for all future Seders!