Blueberry or Peach Muffins

blueberry-muffins

Blueberry or Peach Muffins
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 muffins

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup matza meal
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries or 4 fresh or 6 canned peach halves, diced
  • Topping
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a blender until fluffy. Add everything else except the blueberries. Mix until smooth.
  3. Add half of the blueberries and mix by hand. The batter will be a bit purple-is.
  4. Line a muffin tin with cupcake holders. Pour ¼ cup batter into each one; they should be filled close to the top.
  5. Place the remaining blueberries on top of each muffin, pushing them down a bit so they are pressed into the batter.
  6. Mix the topping ingredients with a spoon and sprinkle over the muffins.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are puffed up and cooked through.

 




Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette and Toasted Pine Nuts

grilled-zucchini-salad

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette and Toasted Pine Nuts
 
Use a grill pan or roast the zucchini for this recipe.
Recipe type: Salads
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Passover mustard
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or other nut of choice

Instructions
  1. Heat a grill pan to high heat or preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the zucchini on both sides with canola oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill for just about 1 minute per side (until slightly charred and wilted), then remove them to a platter (alternatively, roast in the oven in a low-sided pan for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked through).
  2. Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, to taste, and salt and pepper, to taste, and parsley in a small bowl. Slowly, whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the zucchini and let it marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature. Top with pine nuts and parsley.

 




Passover Wines, What to Drink for the Seder and More!

Wine is so important on Passover.  But it’s not simple selecting wine during this time because they serve different purposes.  First we need to select the right wine for the seder, something easy to drink, flavorful, yet not too high in alcohol or too sweet so that drinking the four cups is not as physically difficult as actually leaving mitzrayim.  Then, Yom Tov wines, or wines that we should enjoy and savor at the Yom Tov table but are not too painful on the pocketbook.  We call these value wines, great taste for a reasonable price. Wines that enhance a meal and bring joy and flavor to the special dishes we have prepared.  And finally, there are gift wines, or wines we bring to others when we share a meal, a thank you or just a way to cherish a time together. These are splurge opportunities or times to taste something we have always wanted to purchase.

For all our wine consultation, we love to ask our friends at Royal Wine.  They certainly have the pulse on the wine world and give the best advice!

2014-passover-wines

For the seder, Royal recommends, French wines because they are always lower in alcohol content due to the colder climate and lack of extreme exposure to sunlight (typically 1-3% lower than most other countries) where the grapes are grown.  French wines have between 11-12.5% alcohol compared to a more common 14%. A semi-dry low alcohol red wine like a Herzog Chateneuf Rouge (red) is perfect for the seder. When a wine has a low-alcohol content like a moscatto it is typically very sweet because the sugar was not converted into alcohol.  Many people like this at a seder.  We recommend a semi-sweet wine (it has higher alcohol content than the sweet wines but is more full flavored), like the Or Haganuz Har Meron.  We went through a lot of this wine for Purim too.

For a Yom Tov wine and something that has great value, we recommend the new Merlot Argamon from Barkan.  At, $9.99-11.99, it’s a great buy.  We also like the new Edom M series (M for mevushal) from Psagot.  I personally just bought 6 bottles for about $16 each.  Their wines have a smooth and luscious quality and pair well with most chicken and meat dishes, which makes it a great Yom Tov option.

For a gift wine, try The Herzog Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Basin Vineyard. From Basin Vineyard Napa Valley. I tried this (and posted about it) at the KFWE 2014, and it was one of my favorite wines of the evening.  The grapes come from a Northern region of the area called the Basin and the results are terrific, full flavored, rich and warm feeling.  See more details on this wine here.  It is just out and available so ask your vine seller for some today because it will sell fast, as it has received some well-deserved great press.

Let me know what you are drinking or what you liked. Many thanks to Royal Wines for their great suggestions to help with the enjoyment of the Four Cups and more!

Wine Chart