Being in the kitchen is actually soothing to me. The kitchen is where my creativity comes to life and I get to enjoy sharing good food with my family. I am not a classically trained chef, but during my many years of home culinary experience and entertaining guests, I have become adept at making delicious fare that brings much joy and satisfaction to my family and friends. You don’t need a big kitchen, expensive gadgets or hard-to-find ingredients to create a warm, loving and hearty meal. Living in a small Jerusalem apartment can have its challenges, but I find when the kitchen is organized and I plan my meals, it results in many opportunities to form those warm moments that bring a home together.I hope you’ll join me in my little cozy kitchen to create those yummy memories!With Passover around the corner, here are some recipes you can use on the holiday that are easy to make and surprisingly tasty.Passover BagelsYields about 14 bagels. I remember as a kid waking up on Erev Passover to the smell of my mother’s Passover bagels, running out of my room to grab the first one, hot out of the oven. No matter how many my mother would bake we would always need more! The recipe was given to her by my paternal grandmother and continues to be a family Passover favorite. These bagels are delicious on their own but also great with butter, cream cheese or any of your favorite Passover spreads. It’s a simple recipe that’s quick to put together in the morning while having my coffee; they also make an easy-to-assemble work lunch should you need to go in over Hol Hamoed. Added bonus: They freeze great in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.½ cup oil2 cups water2 cups matzah meal3 Tbsp. sugar½ tsp. salt5 eggs, one at a time, mixing well Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.In a medium-sized pot on the stove, bring the oil and water to a boil. Add the matzah meal, sugar, and salt, mix well, cover the pot and let stand for 10 minutes. (This is usually the time I sit and enjoy my morning coffee.) Add the eggs to the matzah mixture one at a time, mixing well after each one. Grease a large baking pan with oil. Wet your hands with a drop of water or oil. Taking small handfuls of batter, roll into two-inch balls.Place them in the pan one to two inches apart. Make a small hole in the center of each with your finger.Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Potato-Flake ChickenYields six to eight pieces.Shake-and-bake chicken is one of the most beloved chicken recipes by so many because it is absolutely delectable! But to be honest, it’s my favorite because it’s so simple and quick to make. This is a bit of a twist as I use instant potato flakes as the crumbs. It has become our go-to chicken on Passover and you can spice it up however you wish.6-8 pieces of bone-in chicken 1½ to 2 cups of instant potato flakes1 tsp. salt½ tsp. black pepper1 Tbsp. garlic crystals1 Tbsp. onion flakes2 Tbsp. olive oil Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.In a large bowl, add the potato flakes and spices and mix well.Wet each piece of chicken with water and then dip it into the potato flake mixture, covering the entire piece.Place the chicken pieces into a large baking dish (try not to overcrowd the pan).Drizzle the olive oil on top of the chicken.Place in the oven uncovered and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Use a fork to test that the juices run clear and the chicken is soft. It may need another 15-20 minutes.Variation: For boneless and skinless chicken breast, this needs to cook only about 45 minutes.
“Taste Like Chametz” Chocolate Chip CookiesYields three dozen cookies.About 10 years ago during Passover I was craving really good chocolate chip cookies. I had tried a few recipes and they were okay, but I wanted something more cookie-like. I decided to experiment and take my regular recipe and convert it for Passover. When I brought them to the table, my husband and his students were amazed that these were not chametz cookies! In fact, one of his students who had eaten my usual recipe a few weeks prior to Passover turned to my husband and said, “I guess the rebbetzin always puts matzah meal in her cookies? They taste the same and are soooo good!” Make sure you put these in a container labeled “kosher for Passover” as proof when you serve them!1 cup white sugar1 cup brown sugar1 cup oil2 large eggs (3, if medium)2 teaspoon vanilla extractMix the above then add:1½ cups matzah cake meal 1¼ cups potato starch1 tsp. baking soda½ tsp. salt1½ cups chocolate chipsIn a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula – no need for a mixer!Add in the matzah cake meal (this is finer, more flour-like than matzah meal), one cup of potato starch, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Mix till smooth. If it seems runny slowly add in the remaining ¼ cup of potato starch.Let the batter sit for about 10 to 15 minutesPreheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line a large cookie sheet or baking tray with baking paper.Form the cookies into about one-inch balls, and place on cookie sheet about two inches apart.Bake for 12 minutes.
Zucchini-Carrot KugelUse a 9-inch square pan.If it’s a Shabbat or Yom Tov meal, there’s always a kugel involved! My mother shared this recipe with me recently and it became a new favorite. During the year I use spelt flour, but it works great for Passover with potato starch. Although there are a few steps involved, I find it goes quick and the taste is superb. Also, just because something needs to sit for 30 minutes doesn’t mean you need to stand there and watch it; go put your feet up and grab a hot drink. You deserve it! 3 zucchinis 2 carrots1 onion 1½ cups potato starch ¾ cup oil4 eggs2 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. salt¼ tsp. black pepper¼ tsp. garlic powder Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.Using a hand grater, shred the zucchini onto a clean towel, spread it out, and let sit for about 30 minutes. Peel and shred carrots and onion into a large bowl.Roll up the zucchini in the towel, then twist and squeeze out the excess water over the sink. Try to remove as much of the water as possible. Add the zucchini to the carrots and onion, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.Pour the batter into a greased or lined baking dish, about 9” x 9” (23 cm. X 23 cm.).Bake for 45 minutes till golden brown and crispy. Serve warm. The writer is a kitchen coach, inspiring confidence and creativity in the kitchen. She runs online kitchen workshops, does private events for organizations and is available for one-on-one coaching to bring the best out of your kitchen: www.inthekitchenwithhenny.com