In tune with the past at Passover

My Passover story in the Orange County Register is a tribute to my mom. This is my first Passover without her! You'll find recipes for Salmon Gefilte Fish, My New Favorite Brisket and Passover Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot. Click here or go to and then click Food.

Mama Hinda's Pesadicke Nut Cake

Molly O'Neill tallks about my Mama Hinda's Passover Nut Cake on - a wonderful site, by the way, for all the bubbes (and zaydies too!) For the recipe and story click here.

On Passover dessert can be a sweet surprise

St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 16, 2008
by Judith Evans

Tradition writes the menu at many Passover Seders, the service and meal that marks the start of the Jewish holiday that begins at sundown Saturday.

If grandma started the meal with gefilte fish or chicken soup with matzo balls, you probably do, too. Brisket recipes get passed down through the generations like cherished photos or a beloved aunt's locket.

But when it comes time for dessert, this night can be different. It's a place to stretch, to be creative, to try out new recipes.

"You want to do all of the old, some of the new," says Judy Bart Kancigor, author of "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes From the Rabinowitz Family" (Workman).

(Find the recipe for Spago Pistachio Macaroon Sandwiches With Chocolate Ganache when you Read the whole story.)

Passover food brings joy to cooks, food lovers

The Tennessean, April 2, 2008
by Nicole Young

Haroset is a fruit and nut mixture. Brisket is a beef cut. And matzoh is unleavened bread, which is bread that has not risen or does not contain yeast.

All these foods can be found on a Jewish table during Passover, a holiday lasting eight days to represent the exodus of the Hebrew people from slavery in ancient Egypt.

This year, Passover begins April 19 at sundown.

During Passover, Jewish followers are not permitted to eat anything that rises, meaning nothing with yeast. But, the holiday is considered one of two big food holidays for Jewish followers.

"It's a wonderful holiday for children and men," said Patsy Wind, a Gordon Jewish Community Center (GJCC) member and West End resident. "The women have a lot of cooking to do. There's no telling how long we spend cooking. It's easy, but it's just time consuming."

Wind, along with about 35 other GJCC members and Nashville residents, signed up for a Nourish Your Mind class on cooking at the center last week featuring guest speaker Judy Bart Kancigor, author of Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family. Read the whole story

One family's Passover recipes: 'Cooking Jewish' author shares some dishes from her book

New Orleans Times-Picayune
by Judy Walker

Judy Bart Kancigor started "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes From the Rabinowitz Family" (Workman, $19.95) as a family project.

The flourless chocolate cake recipe, bete noire, "came from my cousin's daughter," said Kancigor, a writer for The Orange County Register in California. "She brought it to my kids' house the first time they had Passover." And she had given it the name "Too Good to Call Passover Cake."

Find this flourless chocolate cake recipe as well as Goat Cheese and Pine Nut Mini Cheesecakes with Cranberry Haroset when you Read the whole story

Paassover marks return of delicious traditions

from the New York Daily News March 31, 2008
by Rosemary Black

The very first recipe that Judy Bart Kancigor tested for her new book, "Cooking Jewish" (Workman) was her grandmother's Passover nut cake. When it came out of the oven, the author gave a piece to her mother and asked, "Ma, is this it?" And was astonished to see her mother's eyes widen and brim with tears as memories flooded her mind of Passovers gone by.

(Find recipes for Gramma Sera Fritkin's Russian Brisket, Chicken Soup and Shiitake Mushroom Matzoh Balls when you read the whole story.)

Passover Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

Passover Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

My friend Dede Ginter tested this recipe for me, and her husband Ed’s AK
/(alter kocker)/Poker Club gave these light and crispy cookies sixteen
thumbs up. If a recipe called for chocolate chips, you could always
count on Aunt Estelle to use lots. She should have named these Passover
Downfall. Enough said. Mom says “ditto.”

Parchment paper or vegetable cooking spray, for the baking sheet
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, at room
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Passover vanilla
2 1/2 cups matzoh cake meal
3/4 cup potato starch
4 cups (two 12-ounce bags) semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet, or better yet, line
it with parchment paper.

2.Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed
until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time, scraping the bowl several times. Then beat in the vanilla. Reduce
the speed to low, and add the cake meal and potato starch. Scrape the
bowl, and blend just until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate
chips.(If the dough feels too sticky to handle even with floured hands,
cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is stiff, 30 minutes
to several hours.)

3.Divide the dough into 4 portions. Flour your hands with cake meal, and
form each portion into a log the length of the baking sheet. Space the
logs evenly on the prepared baking sheet, and bake on the center oven
rack until they are golden and the tops are firm to the touch, 30 minutes.

Posted in Submitted by Judy on Sat, 03/30/2013 - 8:55pm.

Stirring the pot of holiday memories


Sally Bower - nee Rabinowitz - has celebrated a lot of Passovers. But the one she remembers most fondly happened 70 years ago in Brooklyn. The Seder was at her boyfriend’s house, and it was the first time she would meet his family. When he opened the door, he had a bouquet for her.

During that evening, he put a ring on Bower’s finger in front of his family - even though the couple had been dating only three months.

Although this story is not in "Melting Pot Memories" by Bower’s niece Judy Bart Kancigor, many other exploits of the Rabinowitz family are. What started as a book written as a family heirloom has become popular across the nation with the book in its fifth printing and more than 3,200 copies sold.

It begins with the story of the Rabinowitz family leaving Slonim, in what is now Belarus, for the United States. It includes a history of the area, the family tree and 600 recipes gathered from 159 family members.

"It’s more of a story than a cookbook," Kancigor says by phone from her home in Fullerton, Calif.

But many of the recipes are from Bower, who was one of the tribe’s better cooks. She learned her way around the kitchen from her mother, who made a mean challah, and her mother-in-law, who had prepared meals for bar mitzvahs and weddings in the old country.

She remembers her mother soaking glasses for three days and burying the silver outside with hot coals for purification. The house was cleaned and any remaining crumbs of chometz - leaven - were searched out with a feather and burned.

Then there were the fish. The live ones kept in the bathtub so they’d be fresh when it was time to make the gefilte fish.

Posted in Submitted by Judy on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 3:47pm.

Passover: Celebrating now, remembering then

My Passover story in the Orange County Register features recipes for Rack of Lamb with Fig Marsala Sauce, Honey-Pecan Crusted Chicken, Zucchini Leek Latkes, and Chocolate Drenched Stuffed Fruit. Chag Sameach!!

Matzo stuffing - could it be tradition?

Lisa Keys writes in the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) that new traditions can start at any time, with a little inspiration from COOKING JEWISH. Read the whole story.

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