Photo: Melinda Strauss

Photo: Melinda Strauss

I’ve decided to avoid breaking the calorie bank as we prepare for Shavuot this weekend. Maybe if I say it out loud and share it with y’all I will stick to my plan.

Since I suspect that some of you may be like-minded eaters as we try to drop those dreaded winter pounds, I’ve reconsidered our tradition of eating dairy kugels and blintzes by re-directing my focus.

No shame in eating pounds of cream cheese and sour cream once in a while but instead, we’ll be eating this lighter salad with local CT cheeses and an easy, no-cook prep (except for hard boiling the eggs).

Photo: Melinda Strauss

Photo: Melinda Strauss

Thank you, Melinda Strauss, of Kitchen Tested, for sharing this recipe.  Be sure to remember this Shaved Zucchini Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing when you run high and dry of ideas for anything zucchini-centric come September.

And if you really think it’s crazy to imagine NOT having kugel or blintzes as we celebrate Shavuot, head on over to Kosher Like Me on facebook where I’ll be sharing some over the top fantastic recipes and links to all sorts of decadence my friends have conjured.


Shaved Zucchini Salad with Feta & Goat Cheese

2 servings

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Feta & Goat Cheese

This super easy shaved zucchini salad is a great solution for lightening up a dairy meal. It's perfect as lower cal alternative to heavier Shavuot recipes like blintzes and kugels and will be great in the heat of summer when it only requires 10 minutes ofcooking as you hard boil the eggs.

This recipe was shared by Melinda Strauss,

This recipe is dairy and gluten-free.


    Shaved Zucchini Salad
  • 2 large zucchini
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp raw sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, thinly sliced
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • Honey-Lemon Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp dried chili flakes


    Shaved Zucchini Salad
  1. Wash the zucchini and slice them thinly with a vegetable peeler.
  2. Place the zucchini slices on two plates then scattered the plates with the sliced cherry tomatoes. I sprinkled on the crumbled feta and goat cheese, the chopped hard-boiled egg, the thinly sliced fresh mint and the raw sliced almonds.
  3. Sprinkle the salad with freshly cracked black pepper.
  4. Honey-Lemon Dressing
  5. Mix together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, honey and chili flakes in a jar and shake the mixture until the dressing thickens, around 30 seconds.
  6. Lightly drizzle the dressing over the shaved zucchini salad and devour!

Photo: Sang An

Photo: Sang An

Classic French Toast doesn’t take much to prepare. And we would never knock it as a great starter recipe for young kids wanting to thrill Moms with breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day.

In fact, it never crossed our minds to stray from the basic challah soaked, cinnamon laced, eggy breakfast fave that we all love. Paired with fresh summer strawberries and local maple syrup, we were always happy (we thought) to use up thick slices of delicious challah that were on the path to becoming stale by Monday.

Until we found a completely out of the box recipe for Savory French Toast with Seared Tomatoes and Za’atar Butter in Modern Jewish Cooking; Recipes and Customs for Today’s Kitchen by Leah Koenig.

Koenig’s latest cookbook is an adventure in Jewish cooking, with a respectful nod to our past and a delightful trajectory into a highly creative future.

While she includes lots of traditional favorites, like Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Pancakes (let’s call them irresistible and essential) and plenty more in ten subsequent chapters, the strength of her collection is in re-thinking old favorites and exploring new flavor profiles and ingredients that were not part of her family’s eastern European tradition.

In the breakfast section alone, she pushes beyond the classics with savory new ideas like Shallot, Leek and Ginger Omelet (wait!! freshly grated caramelized ginger in an omelette?!)  and Roasted Garlic Potato Blintzes (way beyond the bland mashed potato filling you may know and love) served with grainy mustard.

For anyone looking for a treasure of newly conceived ideas, treat your Mom or yourself to this highly creative, thought provoking and easy to follow, newly released cookbook.

Modern Jewish Cooking COV

Recipe and photos are from Modern Jewish Cooking; Recipes and customs for Today’s Kitchen, Chronicle Books, 2015. Photos: Sang An.

Note: This cookbook is not marketed as a kosher cookbook but it IS! YAY!

Savory French Toast with Seared Tomatoes and Za'atar Butter

2-3 Servings

From Leah Koenig, Modern Jewish Cooking; Recipes and Customs for Today's Kitchen, Chronicle Books, 2015:

"Here’s a secret: French toast does not always have to be sweet. (My head exploded a little when I realized that.) This decidedly savory take on French toast is fried in a fragrant compound butter packed with the Middle Eastern flavors of za’atar and lemon zest. And instead of maple syrup, it gets topped with seared tomatoes that melt into a delicious pool on top of the bread. Add a tangy punch to your breakfast by using thickly sliced sourdough, or go the decadent route and use challah. Make a double batch of the za’atar butter and use the extra to top veggies or sweet corn, or dress up pasta and baked fish."

This recipe is DAIRY


  • 6 EGGS
  • 3/4 CUP/180 ML MILK


    Make the za’atar butter:
  1. Place the butter in a small bowl and mash with a fork.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, za’atar, and lemon zest and stir until fully combined.
  3. Transfer the za’atar butter to a ramekin or small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  4. Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt in a shallow baking dish.
  6. Working in batches, lay the bread in the egg mixture and let stand, turning once, until soaked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  7. Melt about 1 Tbsp of the za’atar butter until foaming in a large skillet set over medium heat. Fry half of the bread, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer to a small baking sheet and place in the warm oven.
  9. Repeat with 1 Tbsp of the za’atar butter and the remaining bread slices.
  10. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook, turning once, until softened and beginning to fall apart, 2 to 3 minutes total.
  11. Divide the French toast among plates, and top each serving with a couple of tomato slices, an additional pat of za’atar butter, and a sprinkle of salt to serve.
















Carrot Tagliatelle


If you thought you had to stay away from enjoying a big bowl of pasta because you’re trying to maintain a low-carb lifestyle, think again!  The genius chefs at Marcia Selden Catering are sharing their utterly delicious and incredibly healthy (yes healthy!) recipe for carrot tagliatelle with creamy chevre, peas and toasted pine nuts.

You can also add or substitute zucchini in this recipe.

If you don’t own a Japanese spiral slicer, you’ll need one for this recipe.  You’ll be happy you bought it, as there are so many other fantastic recipes you can make with this slicer.  Click here to buy one.

Carrot Tagliatelle with Chevre, Peas and Pine Nuts

4-6 servings

This easy spiralized veggie pasta is creamy with just a small amount of goat cheese. Consider buying LOCAL goat cheese for it's distinctive flavor.

Thank you, Marcia Selden Catering, for this healthy spring dish.

This dish is gluten-free and Dairy.


  • 6 peeled carrots or 4 zucchini
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 C. crumbled goat cheese
  • 6 basil leaves, julienned
  • 1 C. frozen petit peas
  • 1/4 C. toasted pine nuts
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut carrots on the slicer using the tagliatelle (widest) blade.
  2. Blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan on medium heat. Cook garlic for 1 minute until it begins to brown. Drain carrots and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper and add frozen peas.
  4. Continue cooking for 1 minute, add goat cheese, basil and pine nuts and stir until goat cheese is incorporated into the pasta.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.



Photo: Leaf and Ardor

Photo: Leaf and Ardor

Katy Morris

We’re kicking off our warm weather Seasonal Snippets column with lots of minty inspiration and a gluten-free, low fat recipe for Mint Salmon Cucumber Rolls.  With mint‘s uplifting and invigorating scent and all-around culinary versatility, it is a seasonal shoe-in!

While in ancient times, mint leaves were scattered on the floors of synagogues and home foyers as a symbol of hospitality, these days we prefer them on our plates and in our glasses to perk up everything from morning tea to savory dinners and cooling desserts. Here’s what you need to know.

photo: Leaf and Ardor

photo: Leaf and Ardor

 What are some of the benefits of using mint?

Cristina Copersino and Connie Pappas of Leaf & Ardor Co. love it as a soothing, natural digestive (perfect as an after meal tea). In addition, it has energy inducing and stress relieving qualities and is super high in vitamins A and C, trace minerals and antioxidants.


What’s the difference between spearmint and peppermint?


There are actually over 30 kinds of mint but the most popular are peppermint and spearmint. The former usually has purplish stems and smooth leaves while spearmint is milder and easier to cook with. Check out your local farmers’ market to see what kinds are available – you might find grapefruit mint, pineapple mint and much more!


What does a good mint leaf look like?

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven


Similar to other fresh herbs, you want vibrantly green leaves with straight stems; stay away from wilting or yellowing ones or ones with any signs of blemishes.


What are some useful kitchen tips?


Once you pick out the best leaves from your local market, rinse the bunch in cold water to get any dirt or grit out.  Shake off any excess water or use a salad spinner to dry.

To store for later, simply wrap the leaves up in a damp paper towel and place in a ziplock bag. Then, pop ‘em in your fridge (be sure they don’t get squished) and they should be good up to two weeks (note: this method generally works well for most fresh herbs like cilantro as well).


Washed up and ready to go – how should I use?

Minty Salad- Photo: Liz Rueven

Minty Salad- Photo: Liz Rueven


While it makes a beautiful, eye-catching garnish on cold soups, scoops of ice cream or a atop a refreshing afternoon cocktail or smoothie, there are tons of other ways to use fresh mint to get the most out of its flavor – so don’t stop there.


Pairings: According to Connie and Cristina, mint pairs especially well with citrus fruits, melon, mango, ginger, fresh spring veggies like asparagus and green beans, other herbs like cilantro and basil, fresh fish (especially salmon – check out the great recipe below!), chocolate, and of course, green tea with matcha.

Ideas: Mint is super versatile and can be used as a simple add-in or a star player on your plate. Try Moroccan Mint Salmon Cucumber Rolls (recipe below) for a unique approach, but you can also simply toss fresh leaves in a green salad; puree it with other fresh herbs for pesto, spread or dressing; blend it in a fruit smoothie; use it to lighten up a rich sauce or chutney over a more savory meat dinner as well – the possibilities are endless.


Fun Fact: According to Greek mythology, mint was not only considered sweet tasting, it had medicinal power to clear the voice and cure hiccups. There’s even a little romantic intrigue afforded to this fragrant plant: Legend has it that  “Minthe,” once an intoxicating nymph, was Pluto’s lover. That angered Pluto’s wife, Persephone, who in a fit of rage turned Minthe into a lowly plant, to be trod upon. Pluto, unable to undo the spell, was able to soften it by giving Minthe a sweet scent, which would perfume the air when her leaves were stepped on.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

For all you gardeners out there, think about planting some mint along your walkways where you can brush up against it (a natural cologne!) or step on its leaves to release its soothing fragrance into the air as Pluto hoped. On warm summer nights, these aromas are especially beguiling!

Also be sure to try their Minty Matcha Cocktail (or “Mocktail) Recipe here, which “incorporates matcha (green tea powder), fresh mint, honey, lemon, lime juice and either vodka or sparkling water for a refreshing and delicious spring/summer beverage,” says Connie and Cristina.

photo: Leaf and Ardor

photo: Leaf and Ardor

Think sultry Southern evenings, sipping Mint Juleps on a porch built for warm weather indulgences, and you’ll want to make mint a summer staple in your kitchen! Cheers!

Thank you once again to Connie and Cristina of Leaf & Ardor Co. for this creative recipe.

Photo: Leaf and Ardor

Photo: Leaf and Ardor


Moroccan Mint Salmon Cucumber Rolls

“This recipe uses salmon bites poached in Leaf & Ardor Moroccan Mint Green Tea. The salmon pieces are combined with julienned mango, shiitake, scallions, and cilantro, and rolled with slices of cucumber to create mini hand rolls. To complement the rolls, we’ve created a dipping sauce made with concentrated Moroccan Mint Green Tea, lime juice, and avocado. “

Recipe courtesy of Leaf and Ardor.

This recipe is pareve (dairy free) and gluten-free


    Poaching Liquid:
  • ½ cup Leaf & Ardor Tea Co. loose leaf Moroccan Mint Green Tea (note: USA-grown, organic peppermint and spearmint in all their mint blends)
  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 1 peeled, coarsely chopped shallot
  • ½ cup cilantro stems (and clean roots if available)
  • 1/3 cup peeled, coarsely chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ lb salmon (skin removed)
  • Salmon Cucumber Roll:
  • Approximately 16 pieces of poached salmon
  • 16 or more cucumber slices (about 3 - 4 inches long), thinly sliced with a mandolin
  • 3 scallions, thinly julienned into 1 ½ inch-long pieces
  • 1 mango, julienned into sixteen 1 ½ inch-long pieces
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, cut into thin strips
  • 16 cilantro leaf clusters
  • Avocado Dipping Sauce:
  • ½ cup ripe, mashed/pureed avocado
  • ½ cup Leaf & Ardor steeped Moroccan Mint Green Tea
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste


  1. Steep ½ cup Leaf & Ardor Moroccan Mint Green Tea for 10 minutes in 2 cups of below-boiling water (175?). Set aside until Step 4, when the tea is added to the poaching liquid.
  2. Cut fresh salmon into rectangular pieces, approximately 1½” x ½”.
  3. To a large saucepan add 6 cups water and a large tea infuser containing the shallots, cilantro, and ginger. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn heat to low allowing the mixture to cool.
  4. Add 1 ½ cups of Moroccan Mint Green Tea, salt, and soy or tamari sauce. (Set aside remaining tea to use in dipping sauce).
  5. Add salmon and poach on low heat for 2 – 4 minutes.
  6. Salmon Cucumber Roll:
  7. Roast the shiitake slices with a drizzle of olive oil at 375? for 10 minutes or until crisp. Add salt to taste and allow to cool.
  8. Onto one end of a thin cucumber slice, add all ingredients: salmon, mango, scallions, cilantro leaves, and roasted shiitake mushrooms.
  9. Roll and secure with a toothpick.
  10. Avocado Dipping Sauce:
  11. To the pureed avocado, whisk in the lime juice and tea.
  12. Serve with a fresh mint garnish.


photo: courtesy of ISH

photo: courtesy of ISH

Katy Morris

Didn’t get your horseradish fix over Passover this year? Neither did we!

So we’re spicing up Spring with two products that have stories rooted in familial tradition. And we dug up more reasons to love this stuff in addition to using it as a recipe changer. Trust us, this versatile condiment goes way beyond gefilte fish.

Quit horsing around with standard hot sauce – horseradish boasts tons of health benefits that other condiments simply can’t compete with. Did you know it is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and has more vitamin C than oranges?

Spring hayfever getting to you yet? The roots’ mustard oil, which is responsible for the tear-inducing pungency, can help clear your sinuses. In fact, try grating up raw roots at home and it’ll be so pungent that you’d better wear a mask! Lucky for you, you won’t have to.

We found two unique artisanal products with big flavors, including a few that were totally unexpected.  And we love them both so much that we couldn’t chose which one to profile.


Photo: courtesy of ISH

Photo: courtesy of ISH

ISH Premium Horseradish


ISH sources their horseradish roots from California and Illinois- areas with soil chockfull of potassium (ideal for growing). With unique flavor add-ins, their product goes “beyond horseradish”; it makes the perfect garnish (they suggest the beet-flavored horseradish with fresh cucumber yogurt dip) or a full-bodied game-changer for mains (try their citrus version atop grilled fish). And it’s all made in the Hudson Valley!

The company’s roots are just as likable as the product itself. Carolyn Sherman Gutierrez’ father casually played around with recipes over 30 years ago to make the freshest, most delicious Passover horseradish for family and friends. They went wild over the taste and before he knew it, he was whipping up hundreds of jars for hungry fans. Today, Carolyn’s taken over, launching a booming business selling four distinctive flavors nationwide in stores and online.


photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Liz got her hands on each of the flavors for some afternoon taste testing with Carolyn in NYC last week. She reported being thoroughly wow’ed by the imaginative flavors and Carolyn’s willingness to shlep a generous tasting set-up in a cooler bag across Central Park. NICE!

Beet: Their original and most popular flavor had the expected horseradish kick with distinctive flavor of earthy beets. This was the mildest and most traditional of the four flavors. We alternated bites of rich, creamy brie  layered with thin slices of cucumber for a gluten-free treat. Serve this hot fuchsia puree atop slices of roasted chicken or whipped into deviled eggs for a little extra heat.

photo: courtesy of ISH

photo: courtesy of ISH

Citrus: Made with freshly squeezed oranges & lemons with the zest of both used to heighten the bright sunny notes, the citrus flavor makes an exciting accompaniment to grilled fish or stir-fry veggies. This flavor was the hottest of the four but with citrus notes at the front, Carolyn told Liz that kids love this one the best when they taste test at Smorgasburg, the Brooklyn Flea outdoor food paradise (plenty of veg options, yes!). Liz has plans to add this citrusy heat to her guacamole ASAP.

Scroll down for ISH’s recipe for Smoked Salmon Mousse-ISH- the perfect summer spread for crackers, chips, and any and all raw veggies. Chill the vino and you’ll be all set.

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Garlic: This flavor surprised Liz as the most subtle. The horseradish flavor is up front with mild, delicious garlic notes at the finish. Dab this onto baked potatoes or mix with sour cream or mayo and dip fries into a ramekin full. Liz  plans on testing it out in a marinade for grilled chicken as she’s getting ready for BBQ season. Stir this flavor or citrus into a tall glass of Bloody Mary and you’ll know summer has arrived with a wink and a twist.

Ginger: The Asian cooking connection was irresistible. This flavor makes a great addition to your marinade for any protein heading to the wok or grill. Or slather it on straight up. Carolyn adds this boldly ginger flavored horseradish to her morning smoothies.


Have a taste for yourself and tell us what you think. Check them out at their various market and tasting events or just purchase the products in stores or online today  – you will not be disappointed!

ISH is made with all kosher ingredients but does not have a kosher cert.


Holy Schmitt’s

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

One taste of their horseradish can elicit a reaction sounding similar to their name – in a good way. Holy Schmitt’s homegrown horseradish is made from fresh roots grown right on their fourth-generation farm on Long Island’s East End.

Co-owner Matt Schmitt stays true to his great-grandfather’s secret family recipe and washes, peels, grates and mixes the root all by hand (again, sparing us the masks!). The result: a fresh, hot sensory punch that comes in seven unique flavors.

Liz bought them all at the Union Square Market, NYC, and enlisted the whole family to taste with her.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Barbeque: The BBQ horseradish was nice and smoky and would make a great addition to anything you throw on the grill. But you’ve gotta like smokey flavors. Not our favorite.

Beet: This flavor offers the same jolt of spice balanced with pleasant sweetness from the beets. It’s bold flavor would take a simple goat cheese salad or classic latkes to a new level. Grab this one when you want traditional flavor.

Mustard: Perfect to swap in for an invigorating sandwich spread.  Add it to mayo or use it straight up (it even has a mustard-like consistency) on turkey or meatloaf sandwiches, or toss it into egg or chicken salad for mustardy heat. Flecks of mustard seed were visible. One of Liz’ kids packed the open jar and shlepped it back to the city with her. This was one of the two group favorites.

Hot pepper: Curiously, this was not as spicy as we anticipated. Flecks of jalepeno pepper added an interesting juxtaposition to the horseradish. Add it to plain salsa or alongside scrambled eggs. Paint a stripe of this one along your tortilla, add chicken or cheese, thinly sliced onions and chopped tomatoes and you’ll be set.

Photo: Liz Rueven-Holy Schmitt! It's loaded with jalapeno!

Photo: Liz Rueven-Holy Schmitt! It’s loaded with jalapeno!

Cranberry: Visible flecks of ruby red cranberry bits were at the root of this one being the sweetest of the bunch. Surprise your Thanksgiving guests with this unexpected condiment or pair it with a creamy cheese and chilled cuke slices on the beach this summer.

Original: They’ve got the classic, pungent pure horseradish down. Blend it into hummus or pair with almost any protein you’re serving for Shabbat dinner.

Cocktail Sauce horseradish : We loved this one and oooh’ed over it’s orange cocktail sauce hue. Throw it into Bloody Mary’s or top any fish- any way- with this one. This was our other favorite.

Photo: Liz Rueven- Cocktail Sauce Horseradish

Photo: Liz Rueven- Cocktail Sauce Horseradish

Don’t just take our word for it – head over to their farm yourself for some free sampling or purchase directly via their website.  You can also pick some up at the Union Square Farmers’ Markets – stay connected with them via social media to check out when!

We can’t wait to try their new seasonal flavors including strawberry this summer and apple and/or pumpkin for the fall. And be sure to check out their pickles and pickled beets to add some tangy crunch in your springtime recipes.

Holy Schmitt is certified kosher- K

So tell us- Do you eat horseradish all year or just on Passover?  Which of these flavors are you most likely to try out in your own kitchen?


photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Smoked Salmon Mousse-ISH

approximately 3 cups

This recipe comes from Carolyn Sherman Gutierrez, creator and owner of ISH Horseradishes.

Here's what she had to say about this spread, " Smoked salmon with ISH is delicious on its own. But if you want to dress it up or create a different type of appetizer, you'll wow them with this."

Best to make this 10-12 hours before serving, if possible.

This recipe is dairy.


  • 8 oz. smoked salmon- cut into pieces (not necessary to cut too small)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (brick)
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 Tb. ginger or citrus ISH horseradish
  • 2 1/2 Tb. minced scallion
  • 4 Tb. fresh dill (rough chopped)
  • fresh lemon juice (3/4 of a lemon or more, to taste)


  1. Place smoked salmon in food processor and chop until it appears minced.
  2. Add cream cheese and process further.
  3. When thoroughly blended, add mascarpone and process again.
  4. Add ISH horseradish, scallion and dill and blend until combined.
  5. Add fresh lemon juice and blend until smooth.


Serve this spread at room temperature with crackers, sliced French bread, thick cut potato chips or on sliced cukes.









This Friday night will be all the sweeter when we bake and serve challah again after a two week hiatus. Was anyone else yearning for sweet, yeasty, pull apart challah instead of flat, crumbly, dry matzah?

For regular challah bakers, it will be a delicious reunion with an ancient tradition and one your family and friends are lucky to share in. For future challah bakers, here is an opportunity to learn all about this highly symbolic act that results in the most primary and recognizable component on every Shabbat and festive table, world-wide.

When Dahlia Abraham-Klein’s brilliant manual, Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months; Building the Sacred through Challah, landed on my desk I realized that in my three plus years of looking for inspiration to share here, I have only posted one other challah recipe.

Considering the 50 weeks a year that we serve challah, that doesn’t seem quite right.

So I dug into Abraham-Klein’s beautifully written, deeply researched exploration of challah and found myself transported by this spiritual guide book.

Dahlia kneading

Dahlia kneading

The author leads us through month by month celebrations via a group she formed for women’s Torah study and challah baking. Through challah baking “Spiritual Kneaders” explore themes of the month. In her group, the women chat, knead, meditate and study as they connect ingredients with a higher meaning.

While Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months can be used simply as a challah cookbook with 18 recipes ranging from Basic Challah with Fresh Yeast,  Round Pull-Apart Challah with Silan and Olive Oil (below) to Wheat Stalk Challah with Parmesan Topping,  it would be a wasted opportunity to NOT allow this brilliant author to take you along on a much deeper journey.

Wheat Stalk with Parmesan for the month of Sivan

Wheat Stalk with Parmesan for the month of Sivan

Abraham- Klein implores the reader to slow down, knead with intention, access the connection between spirituality and weekly baking. She explained it this way to me, “I want people to see and learn the sacredness of the process. It’s about accessing the intention of the month, slowing down and bringing that intention into the challah. Nothing is rushed, but savored.”

In addition to learning through Torah text, Abraham-Klein teaches all practical aspects of challah baking including kneading, braiding, shaping and separating dough for blessings.

three strands round

three strands round

Additional basic recipes for low gluten Spelt Challah, Whole Wheat Challah, and Gluten-Free Oat Challah are valuable additions.

With the new month of IYAR beginning this Sunday, April 19, we chose to share this highly symbolic recipe for Pull-Apart Challah with Silan and Olive Oil. 

Here’s what Dahlia Abraham- Klein had to say about her recipe:

This month’s challah comprised of twelve balls (yud-bet) represents the twelve tribes of Israel who left Egypt. The heavenly bread that sustained Israel during the desert was manna, and it made it’s first appearance in the month of Iyar. The Torah describes the manna as tasting like wafers with honey, and like oil cake. To commemorate the taste of manna, this month’s challahs uses olive oil and date honey (silan).

Additional notes: Silan is an ancient condiment that may be used in place of honey or maple syrup in some recipes although the flavor is distinctive and different from those sweeteners.  I use this Israeli brand in a squeezable bottle (kosher and just dates- the way it’s supposed to be). Or you can go for the challenge and make it yourself with this easy recipe from blogger pal, Tori Avey.

This volume would make an inspiring addition to anyone’s cookbook collection. I can imagine it as a great engagement or wedding gift along with a handmade challah board.

Watch for our GIVE-AWAY on Thursday. You can win this volume right here!

All photos are courtesy of Dahlia Abraham-Klein, Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months; Building the Sacred through Challah.

3 strands braided

3 strands braided

Pull Apart Challah with Olive Oil & Silan

8 medium challot

This recipe was shared by Dahlia Abraham-Klein via "Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months; Building the Sacred through Challah" 2015.

The ingredients have special meaning during the Hebrew month of Iyar when the Jewish exodus from Egypt began.

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy).


  • 4 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups (1.1 liters) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) container of date honey (silan)
  • 5 pounds (2.25 kg) organic white flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 cup (230 ml) olive oil
  • Topping
  • 2 cage-free organic eggs, beaten
  • Barley flakes
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Poppy seeds (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the warm water. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to start activating. Yeast activation should take about 10 minutes; it will be bubbling and foamy.
  2. Set 1 cup (125 g) of flour aside. Sift the remaining flour, silan honey and salt into the bowl.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture and oil onto the flour. Combine all the ingredients, using a spatula. When it begins to form a dough, it is time to knead. At this point, you can remove the dough from the bowl and knead on the kitchen counter if it’s easier for you, or directly in the bowl.
  4. To knead the dough: grab the side of the dough furthest away from you and fold it toward yourself. Fold the dough in half and use your body weight to push the dough into itself. If you find that the dough is sticking too much to the surface and preventing you from kneading properly, dust the dough with flour. Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees). Grab the other side and fold it in half. Again, with a lot of weight behind it, push the newly folded half into itself. Repeat this process for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, silky, elastic and the dough does not stick to the surface.
  5. After the dough is thoroughly prepared, lay it on the countertop while you grease the bowl with a fine layer of oil. Next, turn the dough in the oil several times so that the dough is greased lightly on all sides.
  6. Cover the bowl with a large plastic garbage bag or kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
  7. Make the blessing on hafrashat challah.
  8. Knead the dough again for a few more minutes. Use the remaining flour for the surface area and hands to prevent sticking.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and then further divide each part into 12 separate balls by rolling each one in the palms of your hands to the size of a golf ball.
  10. Place a larger ball in the center of the foil cake pan and the remaining balls around the center. The balls do not need to touch, as they will grow together as they rise.
  11. Cover the loaves again and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume from its original size. If you cannot bake the challahs immediately, then this is the time to wrap the shaped dough in plastic wrap to prevent drying. You can store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. On the day of baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand on the kitchen counter until it comes to room temperature, about one hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Prepare your egg wash and decorate the top of the challah with barley flakes or other optional toppings.
  13. Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until loaves turn golden brown and shiny. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  14. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Wait at least one hour before serving.


If you are freezing the challah, wrap in waxed paper and foil. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.




photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

This matzah lasagna goes beyond the ordinary matzah/cheese/ jarred tomato sauce Passover mish mash.  You’ll love the way the creamy bechamel sauce keeps the lasagna moist and adds depth and nuance while keeping it kid- friendly.

It is a few extra steps but well worth it.

I throw in a few bunches of raw, organic spinach to ensure the lasagna is loaded with vitamins. The greens virtually disappear and nobody will notice.

Of course, you can leave it out entirely if you have picky eaters who shy away from all things green.

Cheesy Spinach Matzah Lasagna

Melted Cheese on Matzah is a natural. Adding a few more layers of flavor makes this Passover Lasagna really special.

I first published this recipe in our e-book, "4 Bloggers Dish: Passover", with co-authors Amy Kritzer, Whitney Fisch and Sarah Lasry.

This recipe is dairy and gebrokts.


    Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • Lasagna:
  • 4 sheets plain matzah
  • ½ cup lowfat milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup Parmesan or other hard cheese (or 3-4 Tb. extra shredded mozzarella)
  • 4 cups raw, organic spinach, washed and spun dry
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 Tb. butter
  • 1 Tb. potato starch
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • ground nutmeg to taste (1/2-1 tsp.)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  2. Butter 8x8 baking dish and put aside.
  3. Make the tomato sauce
  4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan.
  5. Add onions and simmer until soft, approximately 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  6. Add canned tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer actively, uncovered for about one hour. You want the sauce to thicken and reduce.
  7. Construct the lasagna:
  8. Set up 2 shallow bowls. Place ½ cup milk in one and beaten egg in the other.
  9. Dip one sheet of matzah into milk, then egg. Place moistened matzah sheet in buttered pan and gently top with 4 Tb. tomato sauce. If matzah breaks, don’t fret. Just piece it back together in the pan as best you can.
  10. Place 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella on top of sauce.
  11. Repeat twice more, in same order and finish with 4th matzah on top.
  12. Set aside.
  13. Béchamel sauce:
  14. Heat butter in a heavy saucepan and whisk in potato starch. Work quickly over medium heat until roux is slightly browned, giving it time to cook the starch.
  15. Whisk in milk, and continue whisking until all lumps have dissolved and mixture has thickened.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and cream together until smooth. Pour into pot with roux.
  18. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and taste.
  19. Pour bechamel sauce over the top layer of lasagna, sprinkle with grated parmesan or additional mozzarella.
  20. Bake, uncovered at 425F, 20 minutes, or until golden.
  21. Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting.


Tips: Jarred tomato sauce may be used instead of simmering your own.

Prep Ahead: Lasagna may be made in advance and reheated at 325F for about 15 minutes or until warmed through.

Take To Go: Squares may be packed in silver foil or to-go containers and enjoyed on day trips or for school lunch. Eating this at room temp is also delicious.



Originally Posted in “Matzah Lasagna all Grown Up (or Not)
photo: Whitney Fisch

photo: Whitney Fisch

Yearning for something pasta-like with a savory kick just about now? Of course, you are! We’re mid-way through Passover! 

And while vegan may not be your thang, these “meatballs” may just change your mind.

Whitney Fisch, blogger at JewHungry dreamt up this Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Quinoa Meatballs for a gluten-free, meat-free spaghetti like treat. Be sure to visit her blog to see what else she’s whipping up.

Note: In her header notes for this recipe, Whit refers to cashew cream as an alternative or addition to tomato sauce. For that recipe click here and scroll ALL the way down through her drool worthy round-up of decadent mac n’ cheese recipes. It’s there, promise!

This recipe was created for our collaborative e-book, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover; Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors, 2014.

Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Meatballs

4 servings

My family has adopted this recipe during the non-Passover days as we continue to lessen the amount of pasta we consume. Plus, this is another one of those sneaky recipes where I trick my toddler into eating vegetables. I like to add the cashew cream sauce that I make to the marinara sauce sometimes just to spice things up. Or, if you’re not a tomato fan, you can add the cashew pesto sauce to the spaghetti squash and omit the marinara altogether. Finally, I like to add honey to my recipe because I prefer a sweeter sauce, but feel free to omit it per your taste preference. Whitney Fisch

This recipe is kosher for Passover, pareve (dairy-free), vegan and gluten-free


    for Spaghetti Squash and Sauce:
  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half and roasted
  • 2 lbs. of Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 5 tbsp of oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • for Quinoa Meatballs:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper


    for Roasting Spaghetti Squash:
  1. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Be careful, go slow, and cautiously slice the squash in half.
  2. Scoop out and discard the seeds.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Place squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily. If the squash seems to be drying out while baking, brush with an additional tablespoon oil.
  6. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Scrape the flesh from the squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.
  8. for Quinoa Meatballs:
  9. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the bag
  10. Once quinoa is cooked, let cool for 10 minutes or until room temperature
  11. Combine cooked quinoa, tomato paste, egg, almond flour and spices into a mixing bowl and stir until equally mixed.
  12. Using wet hands, form quinoa mixture into 1 inch balls.
  13. Arrange meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with oil, and bake about 15 to 20 minutes.
  14. for Marinara Sauce:
  15. Using a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and sauté until onions are translucent.
  16. Next, add the tomatoes to the pan and sauté for another 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to break down.
  17. Add the spices and tomato paste to the skill and stir to combine.
  18. Reduce heat to low, cover and let sauce simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  19. With roughly 5 minutes left to simmer, taste the sauce and adjust the spices according to your preference.
  20. Add the honey
  21. Once the sauce has broken down, turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce together until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.


Do- ahead:

Meatballs can be frozen for up to a week. Again, rewarm in a 350 degree oven. Sauce may be kept in an air-tight container for up to a week.



Originally Posted in “Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Meatballs
photo: Amy Krtizer

photo: Amy Krtizer

We don’t think it’s possible or even imaginable to make it through Passover without a few kugels on the holiday table.

And why not?

 They serve a crowd and can be assembled in advance. They can lean sweet and creamy or savory and sassy.  And they’re a perfect vehicle for tossing in extra vitamin packed veggies and fresh flavors with snipped herbs of most any kind.

Thanks, Amy Kritzer, blogger at What Jew Wanna Eat, for sharing this recipe with our readers. We’re thoroughly charmed by these little darlings.

Here’s Amy’s perspective on their adorable size: “Why are mini things so much better? Cupcakes are better than cake; sliders beat out big burgers. And these individual kugels dominate normal, big kugels. Plus, there is some zucchini sneaked in there for a healthy kick.”

When it was time to chose a cover image for “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover” we all agreed to use this gorgeous photo from Amy. You may remember it from all of our shameless PR but you may not have tried this recipe yet. DO!

Are you serving kugel at your Passover Seder or during the holiday week? Tell us what your family favorites are!



Individual Potato and Zucchini Kugels

12 servings

Amy Kritzer first published this recipe in our e-book, "4 Bloggers Dish: Passover". We loved it so much that we graced our book cover with the image.

This recipe is Passover ready. It is non-dairy (pareve) and gebrokts


  • 2 medium potatoes, washed well
  • 2 medium zucchini, washed well
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Grease one muffin tin or line it with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. Grate the peeled potatoes, unpeeled zucchini, garlic, and onions by hand or with a food processor. Squeeze out any liquid with cheesecloth or paper towels.
  4. In a bowl, mix together oil, eggs, matzo meal, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  5. Add the potato mixture to the egg mixture and combine.
  6. Scoop into greased muffin tins and cook 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Freezer Instructions: Once kugels have cooled, wrap tightly and freeze for up to 2 months.

Prep Ahead Guide: Can be made 3 days in advance.

Originally Posted in “Kugelettes Are More Fun
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

I’ve been feeling all warm and fuzzy as we wind our way towards Passover this year.

It was only a year ago that I met three like-minded bloggers and we had the crazy idea of pooling our very different viewpoints and co-authoring a Passover cookbook together. We bonded over countless hours of recipe brainstorming, strategizing, and late night laughter, ditzy from too many hours of Google Chat.

In just four intensely focused months, we created the e-book, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors.

The beauty of it is, that we are now true friends, despite the fact that we have never all been in the same room.  If any of us were to need something, food related or not, I believe we would be right there for each other. Talk about the beauty of technology!

I finally met Whitney Fisch in L. A. this fall, and we fell into breathless conversation over kosher Mexican tacos as if we were old pals.  Sarah Lasry and I are lucky enough to live on the same coast and try to make the time to meet in the city. I recently introduced her to my community in CT where she taught an awesome class in hamantaschen making for Purim. Amy Kritzer is coming up from Austin to check out the NYC scene this week and to celebrate with family. We have an early morning breakfast date to eat too much chocolate laced babke and shoot pics of early spring veggies at the Union Sq. Greenmarket.

I encourage you to check out their blogs (click on their names, above). I know you’ll love them as much as I do.

In the spirit of our one year anniversary I’ll be posting some of our favorite recipes from our e-book. Of course, we would love for you to click on over to AMAZON and buy it here. Shameless plug,  I know.

Wishing you all an inspired week of preparation and happy cooking.

Dilly Leek Croquettes for Passover

16 croquettes, 2 inches each

Leeks are often used as a symbol of Spring on the Passover Seder plate. Their bright green color and gradation of tone from white to wintery dark green, reminds us of our transition to a new season and rebirth as the earth awakens.

If you use leeks on your Seder plate, buy extra so that you will have them handy for this easy side dish. If you don’t, pick them up when stocking your vegetable bin so you can enjoy the mellow onion flavor of these delicious croquettes (a latke by another name, I know).

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy) and gebrokts


  • 4 medium leeks, dark green tops (1-2 inches) removed and discarded. Clean very well under running water to remove the trapped dirt. Rough chop.
  • 2 medium-large Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered.
  • 3 eggs (1 set aside)
  • ¼ cup matzah meal
  • 2 Tb. fresh dill, washed, dried and chopped (must be fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil for frying


  1. Place chopped leeks and potatoes in large pot of water. Fill water to 1 inch over the vegetables. Simmer 35-40 minutes or until fork pierces through potatoes.
  2. Drain vegetables in mesh strainer. When cool enough, use hands to press as much water as possible out of the veggies. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place cooked leeks and potatoes in a large mixing bowl and use an egg masher to smash the veggies.
  4. Beat 2 eggs and add to the mixture. Add matzah meal , salt and pepper and fresh dill.
  5. Heat ¼ inch of oil in large, non-stick pan until hot but not smoking.
  6. Beat last egg. Arrange bowl of mixture and egg near frying pan.
  7. Form 2 inch patties with your hands and flatten slightly. Carefully dip into egg and allow excess to drip back into the egg bowl.
  8. Gently place the patties in frying pan and cook until lightly browned. Flip and cook second side.
  9. Remove from pan and place croquettes on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot.


Tip: These tasty croquettes may be served with a squeeze of lemon alongside any chicken, fish or meat dish. For a dairy meal, consider serving them topped with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Prep Ahead Guide: They may be made 1-2 days in advance and re-heated on a foil lined tray in a 350 degree oven.

Freezer Instructions: Flash freeze these tasty croquettes by placing them in a single layer on a foil lined tray on an even surface in the freezer. After 2 hours, place them in a Ziploc bag and seal well. Flash freezing prevents them from sticking to each other, allowing you to remove a few at a time. Re-heat in 350 degree oven on a foil lined tray.


Originally Posted in “Dilly Leek Croquettes for Passover