passover seder

overall, everything went well. along with things mentioned in the previous post, I made truffles a la sasha (and this recipe)- vanilla and coffee. half the people raved about the coffee, and the other half raved about the vanilla. I used ghiradelli's 60% baking bar, which was a good call, although I might try the vanilla with something a little less dark next time to try to bring out more of the vanilla flavor.
I also made this lemon cheesecake from gourmet.com. I added some mushed raspberries to it and then topped it with the raspberries as well. I didn't use a springform pan; just a regular cake pan, and it was fine (no flour to make it stick). the recipe tells you to place in a baking dish, but nothing about a water bath, so I thought they had accidentally omitted that part and I did it anyway. it didn't set, so after I discovered that, I stuck it back in on its own for another 20 minutes. I also spoke to theresa about it at the bakery and checked cookingforengineers.com, and the recipe tells you to flip it out waaaayyy too early. I should have let it thoroughly cool, then stuck it in the fridge and not taken it out for a good 5-6 hours. I have high hopes that the recipe would turn out immediately if you don't use the water. I also think it'd be really good in mini muffin tins (what dessert isn't made better in convenient bite-size?) placing the crust only on the very bottom and topping with one raspberry before they cool so that the raspberries will stay in place.
unforunately, ryan didn't get pictures of the food, so I'll have to make it all again I suppose. =)



passover is coming up, and we're hosting the first seder again. when I was in college, I used to go to my brother in law's aunt's house, where she had made her own haggadah with their favorite readings and relevant pictures from their family, etc. I thought it was really special, and last year had considered doing it myself, but had short notice and didn't expect it to become a yearly thing. now, I am doing it, despite the short notice. I realize that I really enjoy the seder service much more than I ever realized and that I look for specific parts of it every year. as I flip through the haggadah we used all my life, I can hear bob leventhal's voice in all the parts labelled "leader".

after much deliberation, I have decided to serve lamb with sonoma mustard sauce (from the girl and the fig's cookbook) alongside my uncle's infamous potatoes and fresh roasted asparagus (originally I wanted to make baked greenbeans and onions with garlic slivers drizzled with balsamic, but I thought it'd interfere when I settled on the mustard sauce). I haven't decided on dessert... I'd like to make the lemon-lime tart, but I am afraid of the substitutions needed in the crust. and naturally there will be LOTS of chicken soup with homemade matzahballs (my mom will make those; I usually use a mix because I can't be bothered, though the soup will be all mine). I looked at a couple of gefilte fish recipes, but chose not to go to the effort; if anyone wants some, they can make it themselves.
the cooking seems a little daunting (including the not aforementioned charoset and eggs), especially considering I am working the day of, but I plan to get stuff together next sunday and be well organized. I had thought about taking the day off, but unfortunately one of the other cake decorators is in the middle of a family crisis, so I haven't bothered asking.