Matzo Ball Soup

Chicken Soup


  • 1 soup chicken (4-5 lbs) cut in to quarters
  • 31/2 quarts of water 2 onions (cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 2-3 carrots 3 stalks of celery
  •  1 tablespoon dry dill (0r 2 sprigs of fresh dill)
  • 3-4 sprigs of parsley Clean chicken. Rinse in water and salt.

Combine with 3 quarts of water and onions in large stock pot. Bring to a boil,cook over medium/low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour more. Let stand, refrigerate overnight.

Next day: Skim off and discard chicken fat. Heat over low heat until lukewarm. Remove chicken and set aside. Remove remaining ingredients (keeping all broth in the pot) and discard. Stain remaining soup into a smaller pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to heat on medium heat and serve.

Matzo Balls

  • 5 tablespoons (level) of either chicken fat or vegetable oil
  • 5 extra large eggs, beaten

Combine with 5 tablespoons of seltzer water and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup matzo meal (unsalted and do not get matzo ball mix)
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

 Mix dry ingredients into egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight (best – if pressed for time, refrigerate for as long as you can) In a large pot add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Make the matzo balls and drop in the boiling water. Cook at full boil for 30-45 minutes. Add to your soup and serve. This is an elegant and lovely soup. I have made this and added noodles and chicken and sliced carrots. The carrots and noodles will cook quickly and the broth is wonderful. The chicken you have already cooked.

A Passover feast and a humbled baker

Aviv Organic Mazos whole wheat
I bought it because of the box

Passover was lovely.  We celebrated at the home of dear friends who kindly share this special holiday with us.  Our family celebrates the holiday traditions of each religion of  (parental) upbringing (Jewish and Catholic) and hope that we are also sharing the lessons and values of each. 

So, last night, first, a lovely, lively and simple seder kept the children and adults engaged as we all took turns reading from the Haggadah.  Then there was the food, oh, the food!  Perfectly delicious homemade matzoh ball soup and delectable brisket were the order of the day (I will print the recipes later from our hosts – Thank you, Grandma M!). 

Then there was the cake…oh, the cake, idiot-proof?  Hmm..well, it was fine when it came out of the oven but due to (both equipment and operator) error, there were a few issues.  First, the springform pan did let in some water (even though I did take the precaution of wrapping the pan in foil) which may have been less if I had the presence of mind to remove it from the water bath immediately.  My guess is that as it cooled, more water entered the pan, resulting in a really unattractive edge of liquid-y chocolate. Then cake started to slide off the pan in a really scary, rubbery way.  

Panic.  Breathe. Repeat.  

I cut off the edges and cut the cake into salvageable (brownie-like) sections.  Luckily I had whipped cream, ice cream, berries and Chocolate Carmel Matzos ready to go.  The cake tasted good but was clearly a mess.  So much for idiot-proof -oh, and we renamed the cake “Passover Princess Cake”  because a certain impressionable youngster learned the word idiot and it seemed like a good idea.  I have made this cake on at least two occasions without incident and I will definitely make it again.  It does keep beautifully and is usually lovely.  Serve with your choice:  whipped cream, ice cream, berries or, best, all of the above. 

Many thanks to our kind and lovely hosts for the wonderful company, amazing food and sweet Passover Seder.

Rain, Passover and a good day for a Chocolate Idiot Cake

I made this last year for friends and it was such a hit I am making it again (and for the same friends). It is called Idiot cake because ostensibly only an idiot could ruin it, sort of like Baking for Dummies. Not a dummy but always glad for a fool-proof recipe. I found it on smitten kitchen who linked to David Lebovitz. Wonderful recipe.

Chocolate Idiot Cake*
One 9-inch (23 cm) cake

 * from

Adapted from Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed Press)
This cake is extremely rich, and tastes like the most delicious, silkiest, most supremely-chocolate ganache you’ve ever had. As mentioned, it’s equally good a few days later, and only an idiot could possibly mess it up. You don’t need to use ScharffenBerger chocolate for this cake, but use a good one—you’ll appreciate it when you taste your first melt-in-your-mouth bite.

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).

10 ounces (290 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 ounces (200 g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar

1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn’t 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. (I used the microwave)
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  You’ll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean. It does feel like you made a pudding – a little shakier than you think it will be)
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake at room temperature, with creme anglaise, ice cream, or whipped cream.

* No wrestling the cake out – works well.
Storage: This Chocolate Idiot Cake can be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Roasted cod, cauliflower and yams or maybe this is turning into a food blog

Couldn't resist adding...


A friend ( let me borrow some great cookbooks a few weeks ago.  While I have enjoyed reading them,  I hadn’t yet tried any recipes.  Finally, I decided to try something from a wonderful book called Roasting: A Simple Art, (Barbara Kafka).  It has gorgeous photos and meals that feel just right for these cold, rainy, almost spring, days.  I made cod which I still cannot believe is $11.99 per pound.  I asked the nice guy at the fish counter at, where else, Whole Foods why it was so expensive.   He said cod is now overfished and it was $13.99/pound yesterday.  A more suspicious mind might wonder why the fish was discounted, but he had already assured me that the cod was delivered today.  So, on to the lovely cookbook – page 271 – Simple single cod fillet  because I am not yet ready to roast a whole fish (I may never be ready).  

Simple single cod fillet  

Serves 4 as a main course  

1 3/4 to 2 pound cod fillet (1 3/4 inches at the thickest point)  If not everyone likes fish, then you make Bell and Evan’s chicken patties for them from the freezer case (Whole Foods again) and get 1 to 1 1/4 lbs of the cod, or really, any thick fish would do). 

1 tablespoon olive oil  

Place rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees (the recipe calls for 500 degrees but I am changing it because I am also making vegetables). 

Place fillet in a baking pan. Rub fillet and pan with oil. Roast, skin side up for about 12-15 minutes for a pound  (or about 10 minutes per inch – see above). There are great sauces listed to go with the fish but I am lazy and instead I added some sea salt and Herbes de Provence.  

Since I made this with roasted vegetables (sweet potatoes and cauliflower) I started those earlier. The sweet potatoes (roasted whole) at 400 degrees for 1 hour and cauliflower takes about 20-25 minutes,  So start the potatoes and add the cauliflower after about 35 minutes of cooking time.   I don’t do anything to the potatoes (other than put them on a pan or foil so they don’t mess up my oven if they split) and for the cauliflower, just drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put the fish in the oven after 45 minutes.   The veggies are tried and true – the fish was new for me.  

Served with a nice green salad and some cornbread from Whole Foods (told you I was lazy).  Enjoy!

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