Monday, April 25, 2011

Celebrations: Passover, Birthday & Easter

What a family weekend! Saturday we celebrated Passover & my birthday at my mothers.  Due to the marathon, we pushed everything off.  My family is Jewish and my husband is Protestant but we still share all holidays together. Although no one in my family is very religious, I do feel spiritually religious and connected to my faith.
We had a mini-sedar before chowing down on amazing food.  Left to Right- Spinach salad, roasted asparagus, Charoset (Apples and Cinnamon), Brisket, Spinach Matzoh Pie and Baked Potato. 
Everything my mom made was absolutely delicious.  I think my mom and I have very similar tastes!
Intrigued about by the Spinach Matzoh Pie?  So was I!  I originally planned to make this for Cara's Blogger Sedar but I was too sick to go.  So I made it Saturday and let me just tell you- I think I will make this again even when its not Passover!!!
It was a mix between a lasagna and spanakopita.  I loved every bit of this recipe!  Check it out!

Spinach and Matzoh Pie
Adapted from Gourmet
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (16-ounce) 2% container cottage cheese
1.5 cups low fat milk
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 1/2 cups), divided
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
6 matzos (about 6 inches square)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Cook onion in oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, try to get out as much liquid as possible in the spinach. Add spinach to onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper. Purée cottage cheese in a blender with milk, eggs, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper until smooth. Reserve 2 cups in a bowl and stir remainder into spinach with 1 cup feta. Stack matzos in a deep dish and pour reserved cottage-cheese mixture over them. Let stand 15 minutes to soften. Arrange 2 soaked matzos side by side 13- by 9- by 2-inch (3-quart shallow) baking dish. Pour in half of spinach filling. Cover with 2 more matzos, then pour in remaining filling. Put remaining 2 matzos on top and pour any remaining cottage-cheese mixture over them. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup feta and mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden and set, 30 to 35 minutes.

After dinner, we celebrated my birthday which was on Wednesday.  I've had cookie cakes for as long as I can remember.  I can't imagine celebrating my birthday without one!  PS- I know it makes no sense that we ate cookie cake during Passover dinner- but what can I say- we aren't very religious!!

Happy Birthday to me! Making a wish!
It was a wonderful Saturday!

Sunday we headed to Dave's family for Easter.  Dave's mom made Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Biscuits and Cheesy Potatoes. I love yummy ham : )
But the best part of Easter- getting my Easter basket!  Being Jewish, I never got one growing up so I love that Dave shares his with me!
How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you get a specific cake for your birthday?


  1. Still sorry you couldn't make it - especially now reading about that dish! Happy Birthday, Happy Pesach, and Happy Easter to you! Side note, I asked for an Easter basket this year because my hubs failed on getting me chocolates for V-day. Instead we picked up a box of Godiva last weekend in Wrentham, but we're saving it till after the holiday! And, I may or may not have picked up a few bags of candy on sale today ;)

  2. Happy birthday, Lizzy! All of the food looks wonderful! My mom still does Easter baskets for us. I love it too.

  3. I'm an April baby too, so it was always fingers crossed to see if I could get a real cake, or end up with a flourless chocolate torte (which is not a bad thing, mind you.) My husband grew up Catholic, so I have also adapted to the Easter basket. In fact, the springtime dish towels my mother-in-law once gave me in a basket now serve as my Passover dish towels. :-)

  4. Glad you get to experience the joys of an Easter basket now! That was one of my favorite traditions when I was a kid (well, actually up until a few years ago)!

  5. The cake is cute! I like red velvet on my birthday. Happy Birthday!

  6. So much to celebrate! Happy Birthday-Passover-Easter to you! I hope it was a great family-filled weekend.

    I love cookie cake! I used to pick out a cookie cake from Mrs. Field's for my birthday when I was little. I also love the Carvel ice cream cake, but those melt pretty quickly at pool parties in July, so cookie cake was always a winner!

  7. I love that you've always had the same cake!! I do that too - I've had a dirt cake on my birthday ever since I turned 6 and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

    Glad you had a wonderful Passover/Birthday/Easter!! Hope your legs are feeling rested!

  8. I didn't know it was your birthday - happy birthday, Lizzy! Looks like you had a great weekend of celebrating with your fam. If I'm visiting family for my birthday, I love just getting a big, delicious cake. Since I'm a twin, it's always shared with my sister, but that's ok. :) Hope you are recovering well!

  9. Happy birthday girl! I think it's totally rational to make birthday exceptions during passover. I mean, can you imagine going every year without a real flour cake? That would be kind of sad....

    Sounds like you had a super delicious weekend!

  10. Why did you wait until the last day of Passover to post that DELICIOUS looking recipe?! I guess I can try it even when Passover is over. Hehe. Love the different food traditions at both celebrations! xoxo

  11. We are the same person! My birthday was last Sunday, and we did Passover with my family and Easter with Neil's family! I need to bookmark this recipe for next year, it looks so good.

  12. hahaha I love the cookie cake during passover :) I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!

  13. YAYYY. SO happy you had an awesome holiday/bday filled few days. I always used to get this wonderful homemade chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting. I've already instructed Seth that this year I expect BOXES full of the best cupcakes in DC for my bday (which is MCM weekend so you guys can celebrate it too!)

  14. I posted a recipe for chocolate covered matzoh on my blog. Yum. I'm like you - I'm Jewish but not religious and my husband was raised Baptist but is also not religious. Oh, and my birthday is the day after yours! (Although I think I'm older)

  15. So glad you had a nice weekend with your family, and all the Passover and birthday food looks awesome! Happy belated birthday, once again :) My mom always makes me her italian food and carrot cake on my birthday. I have to have it every year!

  16. Happy belated birthday, Lizzy! My dad is Jewish and my mom is Christian, so i always grew up with both holidays. I think it's a great way to go!

  17. I'm Catholic, and we always went to church growing up. Although not so much anymore ;) I've also never gave anything up for lent..oh well. We always have Easter at my mom's house! I love good ham too!
    Mmm I haven;t had a cookie cake in forever!! SO good! Hope you had a great birthday!!

  18. Happy birthday! I used to have cookie cakes for my birthdays too! Soft chocolate chip cookie + frosting = awesome birthday treat. And now I'm craving Mrs. Field's, thanks a lot. I made a similar spinach pie for Passover, but didn't use any matzah!

  19. A very Happy very belated birthday. all this passover and easter food looks amazing!

  20. Happy Birthday!!! Looks like a great holiday meal. I love spinach everything

  21. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (sorry this a bit late!)

  22. Looks like a fun weekend. My family is a mix of religions too (although not religious) so we celebrate everything. It's fun :)
    Happy belated bday!! So funny you have a cookie cake tradition.