The Passover Seder Feast Tradition

This traditional Jewish holiday is commenced with the Passover Seder. Seder is Hebrew for order. The Passover Seder is a ritual feast often celebrated by members of the same community or family. Slavery and freedom are the themes of the Seder. Jewish people all over the world pause to commemorate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. In performing all their rituals, special blessings, and unique Passover songs, Seder participants use the ancient text of the Haggadah.

According to the Haggadah, six symbolic foods are placed on the special Passover Seder plate:

  • Maror and chazeret — Bitter herbs, representing the bitterness of the slavery. Horseradish and/or romaine lettuce is often used for this requirement.
  • Charoset — A sugary mixture composed of chopped nuts, grated apples, cinnamon, and sweet red wine representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt Karpas — Most often parsley, celery, or boiled potato dipped into salt water to symbolize the tears and sweat of the Hebrew slaves.
  • Z’roa — A roasted lamb or goat shank bone, chicken wing, or chicken neck. While not eaten or handled during Seder, this item symbolizes the Pesach sacrifice. This sacrifice originally consisted of a lamb that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Beitzah — A hard-boiled egg representing the festival sacrifice that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem. The egg serves as a reminder of the mourning that followed after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Three whole matzot — Also known as the “poor man’s bread,” Matza is an unleavened bread used to substitute traditional breads. The bread symbolizes the importance of being humble and never forgetting life in servitude.
  • Four cups of wine are also consumed during the Passover Seder. The cups of wine are swallowed while remembering the four promises God made to the Jewish people. The beverage is partaken in a leisurely position to celebrate the freedom of no longer being a slave.


The celebration of Passover doesn’t end with the Seder, traditionally Jewish people spend eight days reflecting on and celebrating the importance of freedom.

To find out more about Passover and the Passover Seder click on:

How to Pick Fresh Fish

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Don Gibson has been fishing since his late teens.  He has fished in the Florida Keyes, the Florida Gulf and Florida Atlanta. Needless to say he knows a thing or two about how to pick fresh fish.

Don Gibson has been fishing since his late teens.  He has fished in the Florida Keyes, the Florida Gulf and Florida Atlantic. Needless to say he knows a thing or two about how to pick fresh fish.  Here are some tips:

  • If the heads are on the fish, look at the eyes to see if they are cloudy or clear.  Clearer eyes suggest a fresher fish.
  • Check the flexibility of the fish.  Is it more stiff or flexible?  The flexibility is a good thing.
  • A soft and soggy fish is not good.  Firm and bouncey is what you want.
  • It has to be somewhat fishy but no overbearing smell.  Sometimes the fish smell is an indication of freshness.

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Easy Passover Lunches

During the week of Passover, as Jews mark their ancestors’ exodus from slavery to freedom, the holiday’s added dietary restrictions might seem like shackles of a different sort — especially at lunchtime on a busy workday.

From Weight Watchers- But by turning your focus to fresh vegetables and lean protein, eight flour-free, corn-free, rice-free, bean-free days can become an opportunity to eat more healthfully. Here are some ideas for easy-to-prepare, portable and tasty lunches to help you fress without fuss. Print out this list and stick it on the fridge and you won’t have any excuse to eat matzo sandwiches all week! (CLICK TO SEE RECIPES)

Interracial Adoptions

My friend and her husband, who are white, recently adopted their first child, who is black. They were selected through an agency by a black birth mother who felt they would make good parents to a child she could not keep. My friend had not been seeking out a black child. She had tried for years to conceive on her own, and they had also gone through several failed adoption efforts. She pursued becoming a mother as any parent would — with a trance-like dedication to providing her child with love and a sense of security. My mom felt the same way when she adopted me.

Today I read that the ‘Law & Order: SUV’ actress Mariska Hargitay has adopted a black daughter. “We talked a lot about mixed-race adoptions, and we are very excited that we are now a multi-racial family. We’re just so happy she’s here,” she told ‘People’ magazine. Awesome. READ MORE

Wine Riot Tour 2011: The Wino Memoirs

Ahhhh! Sunshine and great weather….the perfect time for wine aficionados to check out the local Wine Tasting Scene here in L.A. I recently had the opportunity to visit the first “Wine Riot Tour”, March 25-26th., held at Santa Monica Place on the third level. This might have been their first Riot Tour in the U.S., but there were enough wines to please even the fussiest pallet. Wines were featured from all over the world including South Africa, Portugal, France, and Germany just to name a few, with California amply represented.

The principal here is simple, you don’t need a ton of cash to drink awesome wines, and that a small amount of knowledge can go a long way, which is just one of the many ideas behind Second Glass President, Founder Tyler Baillet & CEO, Co-Founder Morgan First, the company that brings you and sponsors Wine Riot. Wine Riot has consecutively sold out for the last two years in Boston. Both Baillet and First have deemed their U.S. tour their Launch Event for Los Angeles. The company not only helps people discover their favorite wines, but remember the ones they like forever. READ MORE

Written by Syd Levy

Find out Dates for Upcoming Event Cities

Gourmet Men of Distinction: “Men Who Cook”

Bigger. Bolder. Better
For the twentieth year, Men from the Baltimore Metropolitan Area will gather to showcase their signature dishes!  This is the event you do not want to miss!

Become a chef:There is no registration fee for becoming a chef.  Simply prepare enough of your favorite dish(es) for 100 people to sample.  Click here to download registration form.

Purchase a Ticket:  Tickets are on sale now!  Space is limited so be sure to get your tickets early.

Advertise in the Journal: Over 1,000 people attend this event each year and receive a copy of the souvenir journal.

Picky Eating Risks Autistic Kids

Submitted by Denise Reynolds RD on 2010-04-19

Two new studies out this year have focused on the nutritional adequacy of diet in children with autism, particularly those who are selective about what they eat. Many children are picky eaters as they go through the more independent stages of toddlerhood and school-age years, but the trait is more common in children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).

Autistic children have limitations or difficulties in several key areas of development, including language, communication, social interaction, and rigid or repetitive behavior. “Selective eating”, the clinical term for a picky eater, can be a component of the desire to have a more structured environment. While most children outgrow their tendency to be picky about what they eat, children with ASD often carry the trait into adulthood.

Click here for more information about eating habits of autistic children

Easter Gathering For Kids & Menu


Easter egg hunting is one of the most popular games played at kid’s parties. This year we are going to shake things up a bit. This article will feature a new game for kids, culture shocking recipes and a great fruit punch recipe that will knock your kid’s socks off.  The Easter Cupcake walk is a great way to start off your kid’s event. This game will get the kids moving and ready to eat the great finger food choices that you prepared for them.

Easter Cup Cake Walk Supplies.

  • A cupcake for each child.
  • Numbers taped on the floor
  • Easter basket to hold number cards.

When the music starts the children begin to walk around the room stepping on each of the numbers as they go.  When the music stops the children should step on the number closest to them. A number is pulled from the Easter basket and the child standing on that number gets to choose a cupcake and return to their chair.  That number is then removed from the floor and the baskets continue until every child has a cupcake.  This game is courtesy of

The finger foods for this event are  going to be fun and crazy, sure to send your kids taste buds into a frenzy.


Article by Event Specialist Artraya Daniels

History of Tiramisu & Recipe

Tiramisu (Italian: tiramisù; Venetian: tiramesù [tirameˈsu]; literally “pick me up”) is a popular Italian cake. It is made of biscuits (usually savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, and flavored with liquor and cocoa.

There is some debate regarding tiramisu’s origin. It may have originated as a variation of another layered dessert, the Zuppa Inglese.

In 1998, Fernando and Tina Raris claimed that the dessert is a recent invention. They pointed out that while the recipes and histories of other layered desserts are very similar, the first documented mention of tiramisu in a published work appears in an article from 1971 by Giuseppe Di Clemente. It is mentioned in Giovanni Capnist’s 1983 cookbook I Dolci Del Veneto,whi le Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary gives 1982 as the first mention of the dessert.

Several sources (from Vin Veneto, dated 1981, to the Italian Academy of Giuseppe Maffioli and several cuisine websites) claim that tiramisu was invented in Treviso at Le Beccherie restaurant by the god-daughter and apprentice of confectioner Roberto Linguanotto, Francesca Valori, whose maiden name was Tiramisu. It is believed that Linguanotto named the dish in honour of Francesca’s culinary skill.