Thursday, April 4, 2013

Passover Musings

Passover 2013 is in the books, and it was a huge success. As you may have gathered, I really love this holiday, and thankfully this year was no exception. It was lovely having my family here for the seders. It's hard to believe this is our last year with just the five of us. Next year Baby Levin will have to brush up on her rendition of the Four Questions :)

Second seder with the family and the Kings

Some people have the misconception that Passover requires sacrifice when it comes to food. On the contrary, I eat way better/worse-for-me than I do any other time of year. There's just so much to eat! I had all my usual favorites, plus I tried some new recipes. Here's what worked and what didn't:

Old Favorites:
  • Dad's Brisket: Easily one of my all-time favorite foods. He did an outstanding job this year making the meat melt-in-your-mouth tender. LOVE!
  • Noodle Kugel: This is my mom's only signature dish. It was different this year because we couldn't get wide egg noodles like I normally use (we had to use shells), but I think it turned out pretty well. Dan said it was his favorite food this year.
  • Chicken Soup: Again, one of my dad's classics. It was absolutely perfect. Dan made more matzah balls during the week and those were amazing. So soft and flavorful. I could eat this every day.
  • Matzah Pizza: So simple; so tasty. We broke Passover with real pizza, and I have to say I actually prefer the matzah pizza! Ha!
  • Matzah Brei: Served with a drizzle of honey, this makes the perfect breakfast.
  • Chocolate Mousse: Even though I'm pregnant and am not supposed to eat raw eggs, I can't resist a couple of spoonfuls of this. It might be one of my favorite desserts ever.
New Recipes:
  • Martha Stewart's Tzimmes: The flavors of this were delicious, but the cook times were so far off it's ridiculous. She recommended cooking for 30 minutes. I cooked it for almost 3 hours! It's not pretty to look at, but it sure is tasty.
  • Leek and Pea Quiche: I loved this so much I plan on making it during the rest of the year too. I added in mushrooms and shallots since I was short on leeks. Good decision.
  • Passover Gnocchi: I wouldn't call this a failure, but I wouldn't call it a success either. I think it could have been really good if I had the right equipment, but I don't have a potato masher for passover so my potatoes were lumpy. They tasted OK, and it was fun eating gnocchi on Passover, so maybe I'll buy a cheap masher and try again next year.

Mmm...I'm getting hungry just thinking about all this food. Is it too early to start the countdown for next year?

P.S. Let me know if you want any of these recipes. I'm happy to share!


  1. Passover was so much FUN! Thanks again for the invite. And your family is awesome, by the way. :) If you don't mind, can I get the recipes for your dad's chicken soup, your mom's kugel, and the chocolate mousse?

    1. I've asked my dad to e-mail me his soup recipe. In the meantime, here are the other two. Enjoy!

      Mom's Noodle Kugel: (serves 8-12)
      8 oz extra wide egg noodles
      1/2 stick margarine or butter
      4 eggs
      1/2 c sugar
      1/2 c golden raisins
      small can crushed pineapple
      1/2 jar apple sauce
      tsp cinnamon
      cinnamon sugar for topping

      Cook noodles according to package directions. Add to remaining ingredients and mix well. Place in 9x13 oven-proof dish. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Serve hot or cold.

      Non-Dairy Chocolate Mousse:(serves 4-6)
      1/3 lb bittersweet chocolate
      1 1/2 c non-dairy heavy whipping cream
      2 tbsp sugar
      3 egg yolks

      Melt chocolate in microwave: place in glass bowl and heat on high for one minute--stir, then heat again for 45 seconds. Repeat for 30 then 15 seconds, if necessary, until chocolate is melted.

      Place 1/6 c cream and sugar in a glass bowl and melt in microwave until sugar is dissolved (about 1 minute).

      Whisk melted chocolate and cream/sugar mixture together until smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and whisk until very smooth.

      Place the remaining cream in a mixer and beat with whisk attachment until cream is whipped. Stop mixing when top of whipped cream looks like ribbons.

      Add 1/3 of cream to chocolate mix and stir until blended. Pour chocolate into rest of cream and turn mixer on low--mix until blended. Cover and chill overnight in the fridge, or freeze for a thicker mousse.

    2. Thanks Calli! Can't wait to try these myself.

  2. Anytime someone asks for a recipe of mine.....I faint. Passover was wonderful sharing delicious food with my family and good people like the KIngs.
    Mom....(G-Mom to be)

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