Categorized | Pesach

Passover Resources

Posted on 25 July 2010

Your C.H.A.G. Passover Resources Guide courtesy of the Yom Tov Planning Center

Cuisine

In my Pesach Perfectly Organized Ebook, I talk a lot about meal planning, pesach recipes, substitutions for Pesach, and other cuisine tips. I highly recommend it!

The following recipes are based on what I made for one Seder this past year. If you know my cooking philosophy, then you know I like to have several recipes that I know by heart, with a few ingredients, that are easy and tasty.

For most of these I don’t have exact measurements, that is because I do it by heart and don’t follow the recipe exactly. I’ll still give you guidelines for how much to put in.

I really like to keep things simple. Especially on Passover. And, I work hard to motivate myself to get all of the cooking done in record time. I put on my sneakers, and listen to all my favorite music– shlomo carlebach, moshav band, matisyahu, neshama carlebach, and a little rascal flatts 🙂 I know that mp3s seem to be the most preferred way of acquiring music and you can get these downloads on mp3 here at this link.

Enjoy my Passover recipes!

Seder Night #1

Appetizer-Strawberry, Avocado, and grapefruit Salad

It’s funny, I thought I would just make the salad with strawberry and avocado, but until I put the grapefruit in, the strawberries didn’t taste like much. The sourness of the grapefruit really brought out the natural sweetness of the strawberries.

Add honey, a little salt, slivered almonds if you like, and serve in dessert cups.

Fish-Gefilte Fish Muffins

I made 10 loaves of gefilte fish and turned them into muffins! This is the best snack throughout the whole Passover because they are fun to eat as snacks. I took 10 frozen loaves of gefilte fish, defrosted them, and then mashed them up into a big bowl, added sliced onions, dill, celery, pepper and that’s it! Pour into muffin tins and you are good to go!

Chicken Soup

Had to have chicken soup. I add a lot of vegetables- celery root, onions, beets, chicken bones, parsnips, turnips (the best!), squash, and sweet potatoes. Believe it or not, if you add a drop of vinegar, the marrow from the chicken bones leaches out and the soup becomes a very healthy soup.

Meat-Brisket

We had a brisket that I marinated overnight, with a little oil, lemon, honey, minced garlic, wine, onions, potatos, and carrots. I think the secret really is rubbing the garlic onto the brisket and letting it marinate for as long as possible.

Chicken-Pineapple Chicken

I poured crushed pineapple all over the chicken with a little balsamic vinegar glaze, big chunks of onions, salt, and other spices like paprika. I make this during the year also with soy sauce. So fast and we made 4 pans of this passover recipe to have throughout the holiday.

Side Dish-Tzimmes

I don’t really like tzimmes but I toned down the sweetness of it by adding vegetables also. Onions, squash, whatever I had! I made it to use up all of the canned vegetables I had left for Pesach.

Grain-Quinoa

Never heard of it? Quinoa is kind of like puffed rice, I can’t really explain it, but it is the ONLY grain kosher for Pesach. And theonly brand that is acceptable on Pesach is this one (I think that is because they ONLY make Quinoa): Quinoa, Whole Grain, Organic, 12 oz.

Dessert-Sorbet

We had sorbet for dessert! I bought 3 flavors, had the scoops with tea and the chocolate that one of our guests brought.

That’s it! Did you expect more elaborate passover recipes? Sorry, but I like to cook fast and by heart. They don’t call me the Speed Organizing for nothing!

Halacha

We often feel frazzled about projects and even cannot get started on them because the truth is, you cannot “do” a project. Just like you cannot “make Shabbos”. You can manage your tasks around a project like Shabbos or Pesach, but they are going to come whether or not you are ready for them!

First know that you cannot control time.

What you can do is CLARIFY what tasks you can do around this project.

For example: do you need to empty your coat pockets? Or vacuum under your beds? Identifying very clear tasks with regards to the project is an absolute critical step to being productive.

So here is the productivity system summed up that we are using to guide pesach (notice I am saying “guide” Pesach not “make” Pesach:

Collect

Clarify

Organize

1. Collect all of the thoughts running through your head about Pesach. Physically also collect all of the paperwork you have about Pesach, your menus, your recipes, halachas, questions for the Rabbi etc.

Use a voice recorder or dictophone and go around the house muttering everything needing to get done. Or write it all down in a journal.

2. Clarify what needs to get done for Pesach. (I’ve already done that for you in Pesach Perfectly Organized. Everything down to emptying your purses is in there.

3. Organize-decide when you will do all of the tasks you’ve clarified. This is also done already for you in I tell you exactly how many days, weeks, months before Pesach you need to accomplish each task. Pesach Perfectly Organized is most specific.

Sound easy enough? The truth is, you already know how to be productive. You got the kids to school, right? You made Shabbos last week, right? You collected your thoughts about the project, identified clear tasks that needed to get done, and then did them!

Aesthetics

Your guests will be amazed at your Gorgeous Seder table when you follow these three tips.

I love this topic- it’s so light and fun. Some may wonder- “How in the world will I have time to focus on decorating my table? I have enough to do with managing Pesach?” If you are a Pesach Perfectly Organized Reader you will most certainly have time for this! You’ll look forward to it and even plan ahead for it 🙂 Enjoy.

Setting a Gorgeous Seder

1. Choose a color scheme for Pesach and stick to it. Don’t worry, you will not get bored.

Work around an inspiration piece, perhaps your china that you love or the afikoman case that is just spectacular.

Since Pesach is only 1x a year, when you pull out your dishes and Pesachware, you’ll feel sentimental about your color scheme, and it will always feel new to you. I wouldn’t tell you to stick to the same colors every Shabbos for this very reason.

Or, if you really don’t want to work around one color scheme, choose china plates that can go with anything. White plates, glass plates, you can dress them up with any color. However, if you are going to switch looks from year to year, it will be harder for you to remember what exactly you have.

Here’s what you can do to get the most out of your Pesach tableware.

2. Keep a list of the pieces you have and what color scheme they fall under. You can do this with your Shabbos dishes as well or for any entertaining opportunity.

In my own palm pilot, I have a list that looks like this for my Sabbath table settings.

4 color combination

Brown, White, Green, Silver

-silver bowl from sue

-brown meat dishes

-chrome pedestal bowl

-white china teapot

-silver coaster

-brown everyday meat mugs

-green salad bowl

3 color combination

Blue, Gold/Amber, and Red

Blue Shabbat China

Amber color glasses

Blue Kiddush cups

Amber Chargers

Amber Water Pitcher

Red cake stand

Here’s a blank chart for you to create for your Passover Seder Table setting.

Seder Table Color Combinations

_________ + _________+ __________

Pieces that fit into the collection:

That way, when you are shopping during the year, you’ll know what you have and what you need, without buying pieces that don’t “go”.

3. Choose varying heights for your gorgeous seder table.

Your table setting could be perfect. If your table does not have a focal point or something tall, something is missing. You know when you’ve walked into a room and you just keep looking and looking around. Your eye can’t stop! That’s because there is no place for your eye to rest. You have to have a focal point at the first area that people see when they walk into your dining room. Something taller, not too large and overpowering. Perhaps your candlesticks, or a bouquet of flowers.

That will be your finishing touch to your gorgeous seder table.

Guidance

Want to know what other people are doing for Pesach? Find out here.

I share a lot more Pesach information the closer it gets to Pesach so get your hands on Pesach Perfectly Organized to see it all condensed AND subscribe to the Free Jewish Holiday Reminder Service so I can send you MORE tips and specific suggestions for making Pesach when the time gets closer.

My own Pesach Tip!!!-I don’t make a cent off of this recommendation. There is a product that removes the cold hard grease from any surface. I just cleaned my refrigerator and the gunk underneath is with a few sprays! It is really really important that you get this product if you want to clean easily.

The only downside is that it is not a natural product so you’ll want to wear gloves and not inhale. I think it is from Israel. This company also makes the Magic Sponge and the two products when used together are pretty powerful degreasers.

(***Note-Studies have come out showing how dangerous this product is, I think more so than other cleaning chemicals. Please store it in a very high location, ideally with a lock, so your kids cannot get into it. Again, it is more dangerous than most household chemicals. In my own home, I only use natural cleaning products and the ONLY exception is this product 1x a year for Pesach refrigerator cleaning, never a self-cleaning oven)

Here’s how I empty out my Pantry and make the switch!

* I think about Pesach all year round. Otherwise it becomes impossible. No food is allowed upstairs or downstairs EVER! If chametz is all over the house, pesach becomes much harder.

* After Purim I start cleaning the dining room. Empty out the buffet, wash everything. I put a sign on it and only return things that are clean.

* I work my way up the cabinets in the kitchen, consolidating everything on the top shelves. That way, by the time my grandkids can help me bring stuff upstairs, I have empty space for Pesach dishes. My bottom cabinets end up Pesachdik.

* My kitchen is Pesachdik 2 Shabbosim before Pesach. I use a bunson burner if I want to cook anything with Chametz.

* If you want to Spring clean, fine. We all do. But have it done before Purim. Or wait until Pesach is over.

* I kasher my silver and use it all year-round.

* I save my cabinet liners year to year, cut them to size, and write on the back which shelf it corresponds to.

* I don’t bake after Purim and I start minimizing the chametz in my pantry. The chametz mamash goes in a box in the hallway. I keep cans in my pantry and just tape it up over Pesach.

* I pull one all-nighter and by the morning of bedikas chametz my house is completely ready for Pesach.

* There are 4 weeks between Purim and Pesach, I spend the 1st week on bedrooms, (after which no one brings food upstairs), the 2nd week on the downstairs, and the 3rd week for the kitchen. Having defined goals keeps me focused.

* I spend one whole day planning my Pesach meals. I choose foods that I know will serve many people. I tear apart my recipes and make sure EVERYTHING is on the list. It takes a whole day. After that, I spend one whole day going shopping.

* I have two freezers. During the year, I keep one chametz free.

* BUY A SELF-CLEANING OVEN!

* It’s all about attitude! I feel that my home is a miniature Bais Hamikdash and I am like the Kohen Gadol. I keep this in mind all year long but when it comes to Pesach, the feeling is even stronger. For me, cleaning for Pesach is a spiritual cleansing.

* I start around Chanukah time…no food is allowed anywhere besides kitchen and dining room.

* I work in 20 minute intervals, one task per day. So if I have the time, I just pull out a drawer and clean it.

* I don’t clean one room at a time. That’s too hard. I break it down into tiny tasks to complete daily.

* After Purim I start on the kitchen. I clean out my pantry, take out real chametz and put it in boxes. I leave the boxes in the corner of my dining room. It never goes back in the closet. Slowly I work on the kitchen, one shelf and one cabinet at a time. Once a cabinet is done, I am very careful about putting my dishes back in there. Before I put the dishes away, I make sure they aren’t put on a chametz counter.

* Cleaning the oven takes one whole day. So does the fridge and the stove! If you think a task takes 2 hours, give it 4! You can’t do it all in a day.

* I try to have everything Pesachdik 4 days before. We will have our kitchen Pesachdik before Shabbos HaGadol this year. That means our Shabbos food will be Pesachdik. We will eat in the dining room on plastic. After shabbos, the tablecloth is literally thrown out the door. The Dining room is my last room to turn over.

* Making Pesach is a Family project. It is not only the mother’s job. I divide up chores according to what each person does best. Kids are responsible for doing their own rooms. Make it fun!

* Around Purim time, I make lists of everything that needs to done in each room. I clean one room each Sunday.

* My home is usually changed over Sunday night. Shabbos we eat in the kitchen. Motzai Shabbos I do the oven, stove, and sink. Sunday, I reline the pantry, put chametz downstairs and put out the Pesach food. Sunday night the Pesach dishes are brought upstairs. This is the one night a year that we go out to dinner.

* I reserve one day for cooking fleshigs and one for cooking milchigs. My kids do the baking.

* I spend Erev Yom Tov preparing the Seder plate.

* My shopping is done 2-3 weeks before pesach. I store the Pesach food in my second fridge. For someone without one, leave the food in boxes and buy the perishables later. I buy kosher for pesach brands all year round. I always ask myself-DO I REALLY NEED THIS, IT’S ONLY 8 DAYS!!!!!!??!!!!!!!!!

* I keep an active Pesach folder all year round with recipes, inventories, & lists.

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