The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Desperation Side Dish for Passover

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on April 22, 2014

Food fatigue is setting in. In a moment of desperation (a Jewish Hail Mary pass if you will) on the sixth night of Passover I made this Martha Stewart cauliflower dish that I remembered the kids liking.

ZOMG was it ever a hit! Everyone loved it. My one self-critique is it was maybe a teeny bit too salty. It’s hard to adjust the seasonings when the cauliflower is raw since I really, really do not like raw cauliflower. So maybe salt it less than you think and add more to taste once it’s cooked.

Cauliflower cooked this way does NOT have any cooking odor. It really doesn’t even taste like cauliflower anymore, actually. Many (most?) of us would say that’s a good thing.

I had half a head of cauliflower left over from making a vegetable soup and this was the perfect thing to make.


Preheat oven to 450. Line baking sheet with foil. Cut cauliflower into small pieces. Pieces should be roughly the same size so they cook evenly. Drizzle with 1-2 T olive oil. Sprinkle with 1-2 tsp kosher salt, several grinds of black pepper, and a dash of paprika. Mix to coat evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, removing sheet halfway to stir/shake cauliflower.


Eva’s Centropa Ancestry Project

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on April 21, 2014

Eva’s b’nai mitzvah class at Temple Adat Shalom’s Mosad Shalom religious school is pioneering a new type of project using Centropa.

The kids choose a relative from their own family and also choose a person whose stories and photos and recorded on the Centropa site. Then they find some theme that speaks to them, whether it’s similarities, differences, or some overarching theme such as “love of family,” “loss,” etc. to connect the two stories in a multimedia presentation.

Eva chose her namesake, my great grandma Eva (whose married name was Eva Grossman just like our Eva.) Here is her finished project, a Prezi. Click on the arrows at the bottom of the screen to advance each slide. Make sure to turn up your sound to hear her narration. Prezi works best with Google Chrome or Internet Explorer and does NOT work well with Mozilla Firefox.

Eva’s Prezi

Flashback to 2003 Passover Dessert

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 14, 2014

The final recipe I shared in the Press-Enterprise “Cook and Tell” column article is a Passover dessert.  This would also make a great gluten-free dessert for anytime, by the way.

In the article I said:

“During the eight days of Passover, Jews do not eat bread, leavened products and numerous other grains and legumes.  These restrictions make desserts particularly hard, but this recipe for poached peaches is delicious and easy.”



  • 2 c dry Italian red wine
  • 2/3 c honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 large firm peaches
  • boiling water
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Place the wine, honey, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil, lower heat, and continue cooking until the liquid thickens.  Remove from heat.  Take out cinnamon stick and stir in vanilla.  Allow to cool completely.

Place peaches in a large bowl.  Pour boiling water over them.  After 3 to 5 minutes (less time if peaches are very ripe) pour off the hot water.  Plunge the peaches into ice water to stop them from cooking.  Peel, pit and halve.  Place in a shallow glass dish.  Pour cooled sauce over the prepared peach halves.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To serve:  Place peach halves in glass bowls.  Spoon some of the sauce over each half.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds, if desired.  Serves 10.

Passover Treat: Matzo Brei!

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 12, 2014

Matzo Brei is another recipe I shared in the Press-Enterprise article back in 2003.  Here’s what I wrote:

“Matzo is unleavened bread eaten during the eight days of the Passover festival.  It is available year-round in boxes in the kosher food aisle.  Special kosher for Passover matzo is sold in the weeks leading up to each year’s holiday which begins at sundown on April 16 (this year-2003.)

Matzo Brei may be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.  It is delicious plain but also may be served with applesauce and/or maple syrup.

MATZO BREI (serves 2 or 3)


  • 3 matzos, crumbled
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • salt to taste
  • 1 T butter or margarine for frying

Combine the crumbled matzos and boiling water in a mixing bowl and let stand for 10 minutes or longer until softened.  Pour in the beaten eggs and salt; stir until the matzos are evenly coated.  Season to taste with salt.

Heat just enough butter or margarine to coat the bottom of a 9″ or 10″ nonstick skillet.  When it is hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle, pour in the matzo mixture.  Turn to moderate heat and cover.  Cook until bottom is golden brown and top is fairly set.  Loosen with a spatula, then slide out onto a flat plate.

Invert the skillet over the plate, then flip over so that the uncooked side is now on the bottom of the skillet.  Cook, uncovered, until the underside is golden brown.  Cut in half to serve two or into three wedges to serve three.

Juliet’s Press-Enterprise Cookie Dough Hamantaschen Recipe

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 10, 2014

Makes 60.


  • 4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 c cold butter
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T grated orange rind
  • 2 T orange juice
  • Apricot filling (recipe follows)
  • egg glaze:  1 egg mixed with 1/4 tsp salt

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and powdered sugar in a large bowl or food processor bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Add egg and egg yolk, orange rind, and orange juice; knead to form a dough.  Refrigerate for an hour or more.  Dough may be made ahead and frozen at this stage.

Roll out dough to very thin thickness of 1/16″.  Cut into 4″ rounds.  Drop teaspoonfuls of apricot filling in the  center of each circle.  Brush edges of rounds with egg glaze.  Lift edges of dough and pinch to form a 3-cornered pastry, leaving center open to prevent leaking.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.

Apricot Filling Recipe

  • 2 c dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Place apricots in a small saucepan and just cover with water.  Cook over low heat 20-30 minutes or until apricots are soft.  Remove from heat and drain off the water.  Add sugar and lemon juice.  Return to heat and cook gently for 10 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, then process in a food processor or work through a coarse sieve.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepared poppy seed or prune paste may be substituted for the apricot filling.  The paste is sold in small jars in the kosher foods aisle in markets.