Watermelon Soup

IMG_4168The recipe for this very refreshing cold soup was devised many years ago after Larry and I had watermelon soup as the first course of a summer dinner at Cafe Bernardo in  midtown Sacramento. The chef told me that she had sweetened the soup with a sugar syrup prepared ahead of time. Honey proved to be a simpler, quicker way to a similar soup.  We have this soup just about every week when watermelon is available and we never tire of its taste or gorgeous color! Continue reading

Quinoa Pilaf

After a trip to France and England that lasted over seven weeks and a time-consuming commitment to present a program on vegetarian recipes at our local Jewish library, I am finally back in our kitchen and at the computer with the purpose of sharing good food ideas with you on the Internet!

IMG_1029Quinoa was not among my favorite foods when it started to appear frequently in food publications. But I finally took the plunge and decided that quinoa and I should become better acquainted. Now it’s become a must in the pantry and I keep a supply of cooked quinoa in our freezer for quick salads and side dishes and to add protein to main course dishes and soups.

Today’s recipe is from SIMPLY RECIPES, the blog of my friend Elise Bauer. It is a very versatile and flexible dish so you can let your imagination and the preferences of your family and guests lead you in different directions. Continue reading

Decadent Passover Brownie Cupcakes

Important criteria in choosing a dessert for a Passover seder (the festive ritual meal served on the first two nights of the holiday) are ease of serving to a sizable number of guests, little or no last-minute preparation, and of course delicious flavor without being too heavy after a big and lengthy meal. For families who observe all the Jewish dietary laws, the dessert must not contain dairy ingredients unless the meal is a vegetarian one. These cupcakes meet all the criteria!   Continue reading

I’m a Guest–Just in Time for Passover!

Chocolate PB Bars Elise photo II

Photo by Elise Bauer

I am delighted to tell you that I am a guest contributor on Simply Recipes, the blog of my  good friend and neighbor, Elise Bauer.  We spent a few delicious hours in her spacious, cheerful kitchen concocting a new version of a favorite snack (and eating way too many of the elements and their combined results).

On Elise’s blog I offer Passover options for the featured recipe, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, which include natural peanut butter. Peanuts have been approved for  Passover use by the Conservative branch of Judaism (the parent organization of my synagogue) for a number of years. As with so many questions of observance or abstinence, it is always best to consult your rabbi (or maybe the website of your particular denomination of Judaism) to determine what is officially kosher for Passover in your kitchen. As is often the case, an Internet search will reveal as many answers as there are questions about this issue!

While we haven’t tried them with another nut butter, this might be an option for people with allergies or religious objections to the peanut component. Please let us know if you have success with this alternative.

Whatever version you may try, I am sure you will enjoy these delectable treats.