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Welcome to Seasoned Moments! This is a very exciting (ad)venture and the thought of building a greater community through food is beyond exciting!!! Please join our culinary journey that will combine seasonal ingredients, camaraderie and creativity.

Feel free to share thoughts on food, recipes, etc. We hope our family continues to grow.

Letter to my ten year old daughter

Michal Levison

Happy tenth birthday, my wonderful first born! You made me a mom – your mom – ten years ago. I can’t believe I have been a parent for a decade!

In these years, you have grown from a tiny helpless baby to a mature, kind and talented girl. Your empathy, love, kindness and caring are a marvel to me each and every day. Your drive and determination, hard work and resilience propel you to achieve new goals (large or small) constantly and I am so proud to be your mother. I know that the incredible combination of personality traits that live within you will help you soar and conquer any challenge set before you.

I just want to remind you of a few important things as you head into the next decade of your life. I hope you will remember them as you journey through life and that they serve to support and empower you through good times and bad.

First, please please please – always know that I love you. There is not a thing in the world you could do to make me not love you. I may get upset with you once in a while (especially when your alter-ego comes out), but I will always be here to guide you, love you, comfort you, listen, hug or just be with you. I will always be your Ima (mom).

You are worthy. You deserve love and happiness, achievements and accolades, the good life and joy. Always know your worth and don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough.

With that in mind, remember to always stay true to yourself. Trust your gut and instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable or something feels wrong, you don’t have to go through with it. Be yourself no matter what. Don’t change just to try to please anyone. If they can’t accept you for your beautiful self, then they are not worth your time and energy.

Make sure to surround yourself with people who are positive, who support you and make you feel like the best possible version of yourself. Haters and competitors are just a waste of time. Find your tribe and love them hard.

Finally, never ever lose your sense of wonder. Don’t become jaded by a cynical world. There is magic out there and all you have to do is find it. It exists even in the most mundane things. It’s up to you to discover it.

Keep being you. I love you to depths I can’t describe. The world is your oyster and you should eat it up!

Fourless Crepes

Michal Levison

'Tis the season for me to test out all sorts of flourless desserts. For Passover, I like to try baking new and interesting confections that don't require flour. This is great both for my family during the holiday, but also for my friends and family who suffer from Celiac disease or have a sensitivity to gluten.

Since I'm not hosting this holiday for the first time in fifteen years, I have a bit of free time to experiment. I was asked to bring dessert to my cousin's house, so I tried to come up with something new that would get me excited.

A crepe cake! That's what I want to make! But, I've never made flourless crepes.

I have a variety of non-wheat flours in the house, so into the kitchen I marched. I decided to test three "flours" - potato starch, coconut flour and quinoa flour. I wanted to see how they would turn out, the difference in textures and flavors.

From the outset, the batters looked completely different from one another:

 From left: potato starch, coconut flour and quinoa flour crepe batters

From left: potato starch, coconut flour and quinoa flour crepe batters

Next came the pan test - would they hold up?

The quinoa flour crepes fell apart and smelled kinda gross. Fail!

quinoa flour crepes

The coconot flour crepes tasted amazing and made the whole kitchen smell like heaven, but they completely fell apart in the pan. They were also much thicker, closer to a pancake. I couldn't even flip them without breaking them apart:

coconut flour crepes

The potato starch crepes were perfect. They held together beautifully even though they were super duper thin (as a crepe should be!). Plus, they taste delicious. You would never guess that these are flourless crepes! 

To test the recipe out fully, and before committing to a crepe cake, I slathered one with a ricotta and rose water mixture, drizzled a bit of honey on top and then topped it all with berries. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert every. single. day.

So, for anyone looking to make something a bit out of the ordinary, here is a gluten free, Passover-friendly crepe recipe:

Flourless Crepes

Yields (12) 9" or (20) 6" crepes

Ingredients
6 eggs
2 2/3 cups water
12 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sunflower or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (leave out the vanilla if you want to use these for a savory dish)

Directions
In a medium bowl, beat all the ingredients until well blended. The potato starch tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl, so make sure to stir the mixture often (especially before you ladle some out into your pan).

Lightly oil a heavy skillet (I like to use a cast iron crepe pan mor skillet) and place over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, swirling around to coat the bottom evenly. Cook until the sides are slightly browned and come away from the pan. Flip the crepe and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Remove from the pan and fold into quarters on a plate. Continue until you have used up all the batter.

I you'd like to make the crepe cake, here's the rest of the recipe...

 

flourlesscrepecake

Flourless Crepe Cake

Ingredients
20 crepes

Pastry Cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon coconut flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1 cup milk (or milk alternative)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon hot water

Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy cream (or a can of refrigerated coconut cream)
1 tablespoon sugar

Directions
To prepare the pastry cream: beat the egg, coconut flour, sugar, and tapioca starch in a small bowl until smooth.

In a saucepan over low heat, bring the milk almost to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Return the egg/milk mixture to the saucepan and cook, while constantly stirring, for about five minutes, until thickened and just comes to a boil.

Remove cream from heat. Add the vanilla and hot water; stir until dissolved into the mixture. Set aside to cool until firm. Refrigerate cream until thick (best overnight).

Make the whipped cream by beating the heavy cream (or coconut cream) and sugar on high in a mixer until peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into the pastry cream.

To assemble: place one crepe on a large cake plate. With an offset spatula, completely cover the crepe with a thin layer of pastry cream. Cover with a dry crepe and repeat until you have used up the 20 crepes. If you have some pastry cream left, cover the top of the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for at least two hours. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

 

Not Your Bubbe's Gefilte Fish

Michal Levison

Let’s say this right off the bat: I love gefilte fish. Smothered in spicy horseradish, this appetizer that has been made by generations of grandmothers in my family makes me feel connected to my past. I have hosted Passover in my home for over a decade and always relied on my aunt to prepare this dish. First, I was afraid (I was petrified) of making this sacred app. Second, my aunt makes really really delicious gefilte.

Ironically, this year (when I’m not hosting Pesach in my home) I decided to give it a whirl. What’s the worst that could happen?

Well, there were many obstacles to overcome. I didn’t plan ahead, so getting carp or whitefish or pike was out of the question. Well, since I’ve never made this anyway, why go the traditional route?!? I got cod. I’m fairly certain red snapper, haddock, or any of those nice white fishies would work just as well. The cod was inexpensive, which is why I chose it.

I looked at a few gefilte recipes to get a sense of proportion, then forged ahead with what I hoped would be a new take on this age-old dish.

I couldn’t have dreamed of a lighter, fluffier and more flavorful fish. I don’t even know if it’s proper to call this gefilte! It’s tinged green from all the herbs I put in and holds up flavor-wise without the addition of horseradish. I must say, horseradish is the single greatest condiment ever created, so it’s a welcome addition to my gefilte fish.

Also, this was easy to make. I’m not sure why I had a grueling process stuck in my head (probably why I never wanted to attempt this before). If you own a food processor, you can make this in a jiffy.

Note: since I was making chicken soup for the holiday anyway, I used that stock for simmering my fish. If you want to make a fish stock, I have included the recipe down below. I just got lazy…

gefiltefish

NOT YOUR BUBBE’S GEFILTE FISH

Ingredients
10-12 cups fish stock (you can also just use water)
1 carrot
1 medium onion
1 celery stalk
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup dill
1/4 cup parsley
1 tablespoon scallions
1 chili pepper (optional)
2 lbs cod
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 tablespoons matza meal

Directions
Fill a large wide pot with stock (about 2-3″ high). Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium low. Let it continue to cook while you prepare the fish.

Place the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, dill, parsley, scallions and chili pepper (if using) into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add the fish, salt and pepper and pulse until the fish is well ground but not liquefied or pasty.

Transfer the fish mixture into a large bowl. Add the egg, oil and matza meal into the bowl and mix until combined.

Wet your hands with water before making each gefilte patty. Round the mixture with your hand and form into an oval shape. Form all the patties and place them on a platter. Add the patties to the simmering stock and cook for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Using a slotted spoon, gently lift them out of the pot and let them cool on a plate. If you are serving immediately, plate them with a slice of carrot and a sprig of dill and/or parsley on top.

If you are making the fish ahead of time, place them in a baking dish, cover them with the poaching liquid and refrigerate over night. To freeze, place patties on a cookie sheet covered with parchment. Freeze them in a single layer (for an hour or two) then place them all in a freezer bag. Freeze the poaching liquid separately. To reheat, bring poaching liquid to a boil then simmer the patties for a minute on each side.

FISH STOCK

Place heads, bones and skin of 2 fish in a large, wide pot. Add 4 quarts of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 sliced onion and 3 carrots and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes (prepare the fish mixture in the meantime).