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biscotti1-cafe-liz

Chocolate Passover biscotti

These biscotti have a tendency to vanish. Biscotti are twice-baked cookies, once into a loaf, and the second time after being sliced, and until crunchy. Something about the denseness means they don’t lose much — if anything — from being made with matzo meal instead of flour, and thus kosher …

passover-cafe-liz

Passover 2010 on Cafe Liz

Passover is rapidly approaching. The stores have already stopped stocking my favorite cookies and chocolates (no baker’s chocolate for Passover? really guys?) You, like us, are preparing for the week of unleavened bread, whether that means planning a seder, or just coming up with things to eat for the week. …

birds-nests-cafe-liz

Purim special: Hamentaschen-shaped bird’s nest baklava

Purim is approaching, and while I haven’t decided on a costume, I did decide to dress up my hamentaschen in Middle Eastern outfits. Hamentaschen are traditional Ashkenazi Jewish cookies notable for their three-pointed form, which according to tradition resembles the three-cornered hat of Haman, the holiday’s antagonist. (In Hebrew, for …

potatoes-in-bonfire

Lag Ba’omer: Food you can stick in the bonfire

Tonight is Lag Ba’omer, the bonfire holiday, and the air will soon be thick with the smell of smoke. One of the possible interpretations for the holiday is that it marks the Bar Kochba rebellion in 132 C.E., which failed and led to the Romans destroying the Jewish settlement in …

matzo-ball-soup

Matzo balls with vegetable soup and Middle Eastern spices

Sorry Maneschevitz, but I see no reason to make matzo balls from a mix — they’re pretty simple to make from scratch. I also think that the whole search for the perfect matzo ball recipe is a bit overrated. Matzo (matzah) balls are basically matzo meal mixed with egg, and …

mina-spinach-pie1

Mina (Passover spinach pie)

This is another family recipe that simply means Passover to me. My mother learned this recipe from her Turkish grandmother and aunts growing up in Brooklyn. Apparently the word mina means pie in Judeo-Spanish (commonly known as Ladino), and the proper name for this recipe is actually mina de espinaka …

bimuelos-in-bowl-2008

Bimuelos (sweet Passover dumplings)

My mother learned to make bimuelos from her maternal grandmother, who brought the recipe with her from Istanbul, along with her special bimuelo pan. I don’t know anyone else who makes bimuelos for Passover, beyond my immediate family. And it’s a pity. They’re quite good. The word bimuelo merely means …

charoset

My mom’s charoset

This is charoset like my mother makes it. It’s not so pretty, but then again, she says it’s supposed to look like the mortar that was used to build the pyramids (although some would argue that there was no mortar involved, only well-cut stones). Historical accuracy aside, this charoset is …

seder-plate-with-matzo

Cafe Liz goes kosher for Passover

Cafe Liz is going kosher for Passover: I’ve cleaned the kitchen and thrown out last year’s matzo. Oh, and I’ve also gone through all my recipes, and pulled out the ones that suit the holiday, based on both Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions. Kosher for Passover recipes by Sephardi standards Kosher …

mochi-hamentaschen-fruit-fillings-cafe-liz

Purim special: Mochi hamentaschen

When we were in Japan, one of the things we ate on a daily basis was mochi -- the squishy, sticky, gooey sweetened rice snack, generally filled with azuki beans. That was one of the things that we missed, since you can't get it anywhere in Israel, so lo and …