Beautiful and Modern Passover-At-A-Glance Cheat Sheets To Help Your Guests Relax At Your Seder Table

Last year right before Passover a woman wrote to me asking me if I had a printable version of the Jewish Food Pinterest Pin.

She was hosting her first ever Passover Seder and was hoping to place these Passover-at-a-glance cards to decorate her table. Her idea was to place a card on each guests plate so that they could learn about the Seder by reading.

At the time, I rushed to set up the content to be print friendly and in the end I ran out of time.  This year, I am happy to offer this Passover-at-a-glance printable for our seder tables.  

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These Passover-at-a-glance cards are beautiful and practical. They add a decorative design element to your table and also give your guests a summary of the Passover ritual and the symbolism in the Seder. Of course, some of us remember all these details by heart but most of us do not. I like the idea of giving everyone a Passover-at-a-glance card so they can read silently at the table when they are unsure of something. Even though Passover is supposed to be about asking questions, it can feel embarrassing to ask questions that seem so obvious to everyone else. Placing these Passover-at-a-glance cards on each guests plate feels inclusive and will help them relax as it will orient them to the Passover experience. An added plus is that your guests can take them home with them

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The decorative element on these Passover-at-a-glance cards is a custom illustration of 4 cups of wine. Following that is an overview of the Passover holiday, the meaning behind all the food on the Seder plate followed by the specific order of the Seder ritual.

Easy Reader Version

I showed them to my father in February and asked him his opinion.  He said “How old are the people reading these?” To him the design-y feel of the smaller print is less important than being able to read the text easily.  After talking with him, I made another version (call it easy-reader Passover-at-a-glance) that has bigger font and is two-sided.   

These Passover-at-a-glance cards  are available for immediate download and come in a high quality (300 dpi) PDF file for ease of printing. When you download the file you will receive one A4 sized PDF that contains 4 Passover-at-a-glance cards.  You can print the PDF as many times as you need so that each guest at your seder has one to take home with them.

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These Passover-at-a-glance cards are simple to make.

You need:

  • A4 paper
  • Printer (a home printer works fine for these and going to your local print shop is also a good option)
  • Scissors
  • Laminator (as these Passover Prompt Cards will likely see some wear and tear, laminating it is a good idea. You can do this at your local print shop if you do not own a laminating machine. If you do own a laminating machine, lucky you!)

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To our beautiful Passover Seder tables.

Your turn:  Tell us what you think of these Passover-At-A-Glance Cards!  Feedback welcome.

The Next Best Thing to Renting-A-Rabbi To Join Your Passover Seder (+ Free Beautiful Printable Passover Prompt Cards)

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards

One thing that makes me sad is being at a Passover table where there is not a meaningful discussion. And yet, it is hard to come up with the perfect question sometimes.  

Last year, I published this post with printable discussion prompt cards for the Passover table. These were very popular and I wanted to do this again for Passover 2018  except I want to improve.   

Wouldn’t it be terrific if each of us could include an inspiring Rabbi at our table to support us to have a meaningful Passover conversation? For many of us, including a Rabbi (one that we really like!) on our guest list is not possible so I found another way.

I asked 7 Rabbis to pose a meaningful question for our Passover discussion. You can read the Passover question posed by each Rabbi and see their photo. Below each question is the Rabbi’s respective bio in case you are interested to reach out to them. If you find the discussion prompts inspiring, you can download the Passover discussion prompts cards. You can place these on your Passover table for inspiration or choose the question(s) cards you want to include I’ve added a few blank cards as well, so you can add your own discussion prompts and personalize them for your family and guests.

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Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - Rachel Isaacs

Rabbi Rachel M. Isaacs is the Dorothy “Bibby” Levine Alfond Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College, and the spiritual leader of Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville, Maine. She directs the Center for Small Town Jewish Life at Colby and shares her life with her wife, Mel, and two daughters, Nitzan and Hadas.

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip serves as VP of Strategy and Programs and Director of Project Zug at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College’s pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi serves on the advisory boards of the Jewish Studio Project and the Shma Journal. She lives in NYC with her husband and three children. The highlight of her year is planning a new and creative family Seder.

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of the Valley Beit Midrash, the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek, the Founder and CEO of The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute and the author of twelve books on Jewish ethics. Newsweek named Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 Rabbis in America and the Forward named him one of the 50 most influential Jews.

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, is the Rabbi Emerita at Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indiana and the Director, Religion, Spirituality and the Arts, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute at Butler University. Rabbi Sasso is the author of several nationally acclaimed children’s books including: God’s Paintbrush, Adam and Eve’s First Sunset , In God’s Name, But God Remembered and Noah’s Wife; The Story of Na’amah,  

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen is the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, Advisor on Interfaith Relations to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and International President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Among his additional honorary positions, he is an Honorary President of the International Jewish vegetarian and Ecological Society. He is the recipient of a Papal knighthood for his contribution to Catholic-Jewish reconciliations and was made a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his interfaith work.

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - Adina Allen

Rabbi Adina Allen, a spiritual leader, writer and educator is Co-Founder & Creative Director of The Jewish Studio Project (JSP). Innovating an entirely new Jewish environment: part beit midrash (house of Jewish learning) part urban art studio, and part spiritual community, JSP is a Bay Area start-up that utilizes the creative arts as a tool for self-discovery, social change and for inspiring a Judaism that is vibrant, connective and hopeful. Adina is a member of the Open Dor cohort, the Upstart Fellowship and is an alum of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She is a proud mama to two amazing young kiddos, Remy and Tovi.

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - Yuval Cherlow

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow is a Modern Orthodox Rabbi and Posek*.  He is a cofounder of TZOHAR, Israel.

Passover Discussion Prompt Cards - Sara Rich

Rabbi Sara Rich is the Executive Director of the Hillel of Buffalo.

These Rabbi’s Passover Prompts are available for immediate download and come in a high quality (300 dpi) PDF file for ease of printing. When you download the file you will receive one PDF that contains 7 Passover Prompt Cards that you can print out for your Passover seder.  

These Passover Prompt Cards are simple to make.

You need:

  • A4 paper (I like to use a heavier cardstock paper)
  • Printer (a home printer works fine for these and going to your local print shop is also a good option)
  • Scissors
  • Laminator (as these Passover Prompt Cards will likely see some wear and tear, laminating it is a good idea. You can do this at your local print shop if you do not own a laminating machine. If you do own a laminating machine, lucky you!)

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Your turn:  Add your meaningful Passover question in the comments below

* Posek is the term in Jewish law for “decisor”—a legal scholar who decides the Halakha in cases of law where previous authorities are inconclusive or in those situations where no halakhic precedent exists.

The Oliver Thomas Tote Giveaway: Perfect to Schlep Matzah, Gym Clothes and Lipstick During Passover

The Oliver Thomas Tote Giveaway Jewish Food Hero Blog

What does a terrific tote bag have to do with Passover? One word.


Every year, I “keep” Passover and abstain from eating chametz (although I decided last year to admit that I eat Kitniyot for my health)

Today, most women I know are hypermobile for work and life all the time, including during Passover.

“Passover food” schlep

During Passover, I need a bag to carry my normal life stuff plus all my “Passover food”. Most women today schlep kosher-for-Passover food for themselves and their family. My Passover food includes quinoa-cranberry-mandarin salad and for dessert a container of Tapioca rum raisin pudding.

That is a photo of me in Tokyo during Passover in 2016 holding my box of Manischewitz tam tam crackers on a pedestrian highway bridge. I carried this box of snack crackers around in my bag for 7 days and it was….well awkward.   

I need a bag for Passover that will make my life a little bit easier.  

The Oliver Thomas Wingwoman Tote

I found the perfect bag for Passover (and the rest of the year too): The Oliver Thomas wingwoman large tote.  

Oliver Thomas is on a mission to create joyful and functional and attractive bags for busy women.  

Here are a few things we like about Oliver Thomas bags:

  • Their bags are super lightweight and have a special shoulder snap strap that keeps the bag in place (tell your Mom that the Head of Orthopedic Surgery at Mass. General even validated this bag as healthy for our back and shoulders).
  • Their bags are durable, water resistant, and machine washable.
  • The tote bag has a “My Secret Stash” pouch and additional compartments in every bag to keep us organized and to give us some privacy!  
  • The bag has an internal key clip so we will not lose our keys every other minute.  
  • 100% vegan

To help us live better during Passover, Oliver Thomas is offering one lucky reader a free large Wingwoman Tote. Please note that to enter, you will need a USA shipping address. To enter, visit their site and post a comment below telling us which color tote you’d most like to wear this Passover. A winner will be picked at random on Thursday, March 16th.  

You can see all Oliver Thomas bags and accessories here. (I especially like their fun emotional badges that you can stick on your bag to express yourself.  I am waiting for them to launch this yiddish line of badges!)

Thank you for supporting the purposeful brands that support Jewish Food Hero.

From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Vegan Coconut Raisin Rum Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca is made from cassava (yuca) root vegetable. It is considered kosher for Passover.   

Tapioca is a comeback Passover food. I asked my parents and aunts and uncle and they all agree that they enjoyed tapioca pudding in their youth.  This “old-fashioned” food is perfect for Passover breakfast or dessert because it is comforting and versatile.

Tapioca is a lifelong food that can be enjoyed by everyone – from babyhood to old age. It is a gooey, creamy mouth food that is eaten by the spoonful. The added rum soaked raisins makes the dessert fancy and may reminds me of a favorite ice cream flavor.

Vegan Coconut Raisin Rum Tapioca Pudding

From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Vegan Coconut Raisin Rum Tapioca Pudding
Jewish Food Hero
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  • Medium strainer
  • Medium saucepan
  • Individual bowls for serving
  • ½ cup of small tapioca pearls
  • 3 ½ cups of good mineral water
  • ½ c coconut milk cream
  • ¼ cup of natural cane sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 Tsp dark rum (or brandy)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  1. In a small bowl, combine the raisins and rum
  2. Set aside
  3. Rinse the tapioca pearls in strainer
  4. Place tapioca in medium saucepan and add 3 cup of water
  5. Soak the tapioca for 30 min
  6. Do not drain after soaking
  7. Add the coconut cream, sugar, rum soaked raisins and rum (it may be all soaked into the raisins) and kosher salt
  8. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a gentle boil.
  9. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick (it if becomes too thick add a bit more water)
  10. Stir well
  11. Pour into a bowl and either serve immediately or place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the bowls so that the pudding does not develop a crust
  12. Serve warm or chilled

; Yield: Serves 4-6

If you like this recipe, you’ll love The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant Based Recipes For Your Holiday Meals

Jewish Food Hero Cookbook //

From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Quinoa Cranberry Mandarin Salad

This high protein salad has it all: crunchy celery, sweet oranges and tangy cranberries. Its colorful appearance makes it a lovely addition to the meal. It is inspired by my cousin Jenny’s salad.

It is perfect for Passover and can be enjoyed all year around.

Quinoa cranberry mandarin salad

Quinoa Cranberry Mandarin Salad
Jewish Food Hero
Rate this recipe
Average: 0/5
Category: salad

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium Fine mesh strainer
  • Medium saucepan
  • 6 cups cooked quinoa (2 cups dry quinoa)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 X 10.5-ounce cans of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (or more if you like it)
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup of fresh orange juice (keep extra ¼ cup aside in case you want to add more)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (keep extra 2 tablespoons aside in case you want to add more)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 4 cups baby arugula or baby spinach (or more)

  1. In a medium saucepan:
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer a few times
  3. Cook 2 cups of quinoa, according to the directions on the package
  4. Set aside to cool
  5. In a large mixing bowl:
  6. Place quinoa, red cabbage, celery, red onion, and cranberries
  7. Stir to combine
  8. Add mandarin oranges and stir into salad lightly so they retain their shape and color (no mushing)
  9. In a small bowl:
  10. Combine orange juice, lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste
  11. Add more lemon and/or orange juice as desired… or…add to a glass of water and drink it!
  12. Adjust seasoning to taste
  13. Serve over a bed of arugula or baby spinach if desired

; Yield: Serves 8

Use These Modern and Beautiful Place Cards To Decorate To Your Passover Seder Table

These Passover place cards are beautiful and practical. They add a decorative design element to your table and also allow you to intentionally place guests at your Passover table. According to Martha Stewart, the correct place for these place cards is “On a folded napkin, which rests on the dinner plate at each place setting, or on the table just above the dinner plate.” (I learn something everyday. Thank you Martha!)

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The decorative element on these Passover name cards is a custom illustration of 4 cups of wine. During the Passover seder we drink 4 cups of wine or grape juice to symbolize the redemption of the Israelites from slavery.    

Passover Place Cards

These Passover name cards are available for immediate download and come in a high quality (300 dpi) PDF file for ease of printing. When you download the file you will receive one PDF that contains 8 Passover name cards. You can either print out the file and write your guests name by hand or you can use your computer and type your guests name in your favorite font and then print.

Here is an example of the name cards with the name Yaël.

Passover Place Cards

Here is an example of the name card with the name David.

Passover Place Cards

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This Passover name cards are simple to make.

You need:

  • A4 paper
  • Printer (a home printer works fine for these and going to your local print shop is also a good option)
  • scissors

You can complete these Passover name cards and/or also enlist your family to help you write or type the name of your guests.

To our beautiful Passover Seder tables.

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Your turn:  Tell us what you think of these Passover name cards!  Feedback welcome.

What’s In Your Pantry, Amy Zitelman Hersch?

Amy Zitelman Hersch

What’s in Your Pantry? is a recurring feature where I ask women to tell us more about their food and eating habits by opening up their kitchen pantries to us. This week I’m featuring Amy Zitelman Hersch. She is the youngest of three food loving entrepreneurial sisters (they all are co-founders of Soom Foods). Dog-Mom to Taz, a sensitive black lab mutt. Wife of Darren, the most reasonable man in the world.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Philadelphia, PA with my husband, Darren and our dog, TAZ. TAZ stands for Teddy Afro Zitelman – he’s named after the Ethiopian pop-star, Teddy Afro. I grew up in Rockville, Maryland – the youngest girl (of all girls) to Cindy and Rick Zitelman. We call our dad Rabbi Rick because he is learned and insightful and wonderful. Our Mom is our entrepreneurial inspiration. Our Dad was able to start his own business in the mid-80s because our mother’s was doing so well.

I attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School from first through 12th grade where I learned the balance of work hard-play hard, and made some of my closest friends. I received my B.A. in Communication with a focus on interpersonal communication from University of Delaware, where I had the fortune of learning what it really takes to have healthful relationships and finally put a positive spin on my grandmother’s qualm that I have an answer for everything.
I played basketball competitively through high school and for fun through college. I don’t play anymore but I’d be down for a game of HORSE. Now, I get my exercise through walking TAZ and doing yoga. I love yoga for the physical and mental strength it helps me work towards.

Darren and I met in a Jewish Bowling League (the Chutz Bowl) at North Bowl in Philadelphia. We bowl every Wednesday. I read every night before bed – sometimes one page, sometimes several chapters. I’m currently reading The Rent Collector. I’ll read for hours a day when I’m on vacation. In the evenings, Darren and I are currently indulge in How to Get Away with Murder (we’re about to start the third season on Netflix.)

When we cook, we keep it simple because, to be honest, we love to eat out. Our go-to meal consists of chicken or salmon (sometimes a sweet turkey burger) with couscous, a baked sweet potato, and something green (brussel sprouts, green beans, or zucchini).

My favorite food is pizza and I prefer everything on bread. My sisters and I started Soom Foods almost five years ago – I took my degree and have applied it to talking about tahini. All day. Every day. For five years. Believe it or not, I still eat tahini at least once a day.

Amy Zitelman Hersch

How do you typically feel, emotionally, when you open your kitchen pantry?

Calm. I can only imagine how much anxiety someone feels when they have little to nothing in their pantry. I’m really very lucky.

What’s your process for organizing your food pantry?

Spices go together, grains go together. Really, nothing special. We keep our entire “pantry” in the shelves above the dish rack. It’s small – we don’t keep a lot in our house.

What’s inside your pantry right now?

Most of what I love is brought to me from Israel:
Honey. Klil is a small “off-the-grid” kibbutz in the North. A woman there makes the best honey.
Naot Smadar dates. I like to keep my dates in the fridge, they’re more refreshing.
Silan date syrup
Soom tahini and chocolate sweet tahini spread. I mean, obviously. But the chocolate is so so so good.
Life cereal and Golden Grahams – I will always love cereal.

Amy Zitelman Hersch - Soom Foods

What’s inside your healthiest item you keep in stock?

Flax seeds, from an old Soom Foods photoshoot. I never eat them : |

What about your guilty pleasure that you always have on hand?

We don’t keep many (if any) sweets in the house. But Darren’s favorite ice cream is Chocolate Haagen Dazs.

Amy Zitelman Hersch - Soom Foods

What are your go-to cookbooks?

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking: The James Beard Award–winning chef and co-owner of Philadelphia’s Zahav restaurant reinterprets the glorious cuisine of Israel for American home kitchen,
The Short Stack Cookbook(s): The ethos behind Short Stack Editions is simple: Pair honest, common ingredients with trusted voices in the culinary world for inspired recipes home cooks can actually use.

Amy Zitelman Hersch - Cookbooks

Compared to your mother, how is your pantry the same or different than what you grew up with?

It’s so much smaller! I think that will change when we have kids…

If you could change anything about how your pantry is now, what would it be?

I would organize my pantry! Organizing to make room to store dried beans, legumes, and pasta.


Your turn: Like Amy, I also love to bring home food from my travels. When you travel, which foods do you tend to bring home with you?

Jewish Food Hero’s 18 Vegan + Kosher Pantry Essentials For Your Body, Mind and Spirit

Keeping healthy food stocked in our pantry supports us to cook better. I like to use Jeff Novick’s five healthy diet guidelines when I am purchasing food staples. I enjoy having simple systems that can guide my decision making. The more I recall these guidelines when I shop, the easier it is for me to purchase food staples that support my health and the the health of my family.

1) Plant-Centered – Center your plate and your diet predominately with plant foods (fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, roots/tubers, intact whole grains, and legumes such as beans, peas and lentils).

2) Minimally Processed – Enjoy foods as close to “as grown in nature” with minimal processing that does not detract from the nutritional value and/or add any harmful components.

3) Calorie Dilute – Follow the principles of calorie density, choosing foods that are calorie adequate, satiating, and nutrient sufficient.

4) Low S-O-S – Avoid/minimize the use of added salts/sodium, oils/fats, and sugars/sweeteners.

5) Variety – Consume a variety of foods in each of the recommended food groups

Keeping those principles in mind, here are some healthy vegan and kosher items for your spring pantry:

Spices and Seasonings

Simply Organic Spice Set

This wonderful 24-pack of spices is the perfect addition to your pantry. Great if you’re moving, starting fresh or well overdue for replacing old spices. These spices are organic, certified Kosher, and gluten free!

Coconut Secret Organic Raw Coconut Aminos

This is a soy free seasoning sauce that you can use instead of soy sauce. It might even taste better than soy sauce. It is slightly sweeter (even though there is no added sugar) and can be used as a seasoning when sauteing vegetables, added to salad dressings and eaten with vegan sushi.


Short grain rice

One of my favorites for an easy addition to any meal or great to eat on its own in a hurry with a blend of seasonings. This is an heirloom short grain brown rice made from 100% whole grain. No GMOs, gluten free, and vegan!

Pancake Mix

Sweet breakfasts can be wonderful but most of our convenience store pancake mixes have a lot of additives we don’t need. This pancake mix is an organic recipe with minimal ingredients.

Israeli Couscous

I may be a little biased but everyone should have couscous in their pantry. Perfect on its own, with seasonings or add fruits and nuts to make a wonderful side dish with your meals. This couscous is certified Kosher parve.

Tri-color quinoa

Another staple grain to keep handy in your pantry. I enjoy this tri-color for adding a little color and variety.

Old fashioned rolled oats

Bob’s Red Mill Oats are a classic. Once discovered, it’s difficult to go back to other oats again. The flavor from the kiln-toasted process makes them significantly more flavorful than other rolled oats I’ve tried.


Organic vegetable broth

Keep 1-5 of these in your pantry at all times. Vegan vegetable broth is one of the simplest replacements in soups, sauces, and other instances where a recipe may call for an animal based broth.

Coconut Milk

Another base ingredient to always keep on hand if you enjoy curries, baking or inventing fruit smoothies. There’s so many uses for coconut milk, I don’t like to ever be short in case I need it for something I’m making in the week.


Red lentils (then you can make this soup every Thursday night)

Along with Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats, these red lentils are wonderful. Lentils are rich in fiber, minerals, and protein. Red lentils are fast cooking and very easy for most people to digest.

Organic chickpeas

One of my favorites to add to cold salads, on top of a grain dish, or from which to make an oil free hummus. Chickpeas have a great texture and are also high in fiber. You can enjoy these right out of the can, no prep involved.

Chocolate, Nuts and Seeds

Cocoa Powder (for smoothies and baking)

Bake healthy and without all the added sugars! I love having natural hot chocolate and cold refreshing chocolate “milk” and feel so much better about my sweet treat when I make it myself.  

Vegan and kosher chocolate chips

If you keep Vegan or are interested to try some of your favorite home recipes with Vegan chips instead, try these! Made in a dedicated nut free facility, if you have loved ones with nut allergies. They taste yummy in this vegan nutty chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Ground Flax Seed

This flax seed is fresh, finely ground and has a nutty taste. This organic flax seed is perfect to add 1 tsp to your a bowl of oatmeal, to a smoothie, in baking or on top of vegan yogurt.

Almond butter

Great for breakfast on toast, mixing into hummus instead of tahini for a little change of taste or working into baking for a subtle and aromatic flavor. This almond butter is also dairy and soy free for those looking for alternatives.

Lastly, although they are not food, to enjoy cooking it is helpful to have good tools.

Here are some basic tools for our kitchens.

Kitchen Tools

Vegetable Peeler

Such a simple tool that makes meal prep easier and safer for your fingers! This is a great three-pack of peelers that I found while I was living in Switzerland.

A good knife

Sometimes these age old adages can be tough for us to accept or we want to deny them. Do not let investing in a good knife be one of them. This really does make all the difference in enjoying putting meals together.

Instant Pot

Great for so many reasons. Easy meal prep, works great for those with busy lives, simple use, and the recipes available are endless. The perfect kitchen assistant.

Your turn:  What healthy vegan and kosher staple should be added to this list?  Tell us in the comments below.

What’s In Your Pantry, Melanie Weiss?

What’s in Your Pantry? is a recurring feature where I ask women to tell us more about their food and eating habits by opening up their kitchen pantries to us. This week I’m featuring Melanie Weiss. Melanie is the Director of Education at Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville, Maine, and the Co-Director of Summer Programming for the Center for Small Town Jewish Life. She also presented a Ted Talk on Finding Yiddish.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in New York, and have also lived in Israel. I’m married to the awesome Rabbi Rachel Isaacs. We have 2 daughters under 3. We lead very food-centric lives!

How do you typically feel, emotionally, when you open your kitchen pantry?

Ready to get to work!

What’s your process for organizing your food pantry?

I try to put the most breakable things where the shortest people (under the age of three) cannot get them. We have two kitchens, so I have one kosher dairy kitchen and one kosher meat kitchen. That makes the sorting much simpler!

What’s inside your pantry right now?

Macedonian tahini with cocoa (the brand I love is Taxini Me Cacao).

Hibiscus Rose kombucha from the Urban Farm Fermentory.

Kabob spice mix from the spice shop in Kibbutz Hulata, Israel.

Fresh rhubarb from the Portland, ME, farmers’ market.

Goat Cheese Paneer from Kennebec Cheesery.

What’s inside your healthiest item you keep in stock?

Living in Maine, we are never without local kale!

What about your guilty pleasure that you always have on hand?

Girl Scout cookies in the freezer!

What are your go-to cookbooks?

Not a huge cookbook fan, but Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food is a holy text for me. I “read” anything Ottolenghi for the food-porn pictures.

Compared to your mother, how is your pantry the same or different than what you grew up with?

My pantry is more similar than different — lots of organic, lots of fresh produce, lots of whole grains. That said, we have a much stronger emphasis on local foods and seasonal foods, and probably a more eclectic spice rack, too.

If you could change anything about how your pantry is now, what would it be?

If someone wanted to give me a kitchen 2-3 times the size, I would not say no.

Your turn:  Melanie gave a list of local Maine products in her pantry.  Which one would you try first?

Shabbat Shalom 23 February 2018

Pre-Shabbat Prospects

Who says we can’t make Vegan Sloppy Joes for Shabbat dinner? We can call them “Vegan Sloppy Shlomos” for a good laugh at the Shabbat table.

A massage sounds blissful to me or even a real hug before Shabbat. It turns out that we all need more non-sexual intimate touch in our lives. If you work out but do not have the budget for massage, practice self care for your muscles with a foam roller.

I know Hanukkah is long behind us but we can still serve these vegan chocolate coins for dessert any day of the year.

Mental Nourishment:

One benefit of me writing this bi-monthly Shabbat Shalom posts is that it makes it so I read about the Parashat. I read a summary (I usually read this one to get the general lay of the land) and then watch the Bimbam video commentary.

This week’s Parashat Tetzaveh seems to be a precursor to male Vogue in that it is caught up with what male Priests must wear.  

Of everything that I read, this quote stood out to me from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks commentary “Do Clothes Make the Man”:

“Civilization always runs the risk of substituting “seems” for “is.” Those who dress like kings may have the heart of slaves, fearful, resentful and vindictive. Those who wear the robes of holy people may (like the sons of Samuel) be corrupt. That is why Jewish sensibility is, on the whole, sceptical of official uniforms. G-d sees, and teaches us to see, the inward person, what Hamlet called, “that within which passeth show.”

Speaking of clothing, today, many people think of modesty as only being about how women dress. Do you ever wonder what else modesty refers to in a Jewish sense?

Vegan mock chopped liver is evergreen and even your grandmother would have enjoyed this recipe!

Good news for us, yogi teas are kosher.  This is a perfect tea to drink before bed. If you’ve been having a difficult time falling asleep, there are countless free guided meditations in this wonderful app. Or you could try a natural eye mask for some added comfort. 

Shabbat Shalom, here’s to your restful Shabbat!

Your turn:  Knowing that clothes do not make the woman, what do you choose to wear for Shabbat?

*This “Shabbat Shalom” series is about sharing inspiring and supportive ideas with you before Shabbat.  Please note that it is not a recommendation to “do” these activities during Shabbat.  Rather it is in the spirit of giving you nourishing resources before Shabbat that they may intentionally bring into your life at the right moment.