Passover by Design Review - Susie Fishbein’s Newest Book

Passover by Design

I thought “Passover by Design” was beautiful when I first looked at it and I liked the three dimensional effect of its cover.  Turning the pages, I enjoyed each picture and observed that there was an amazing range in the recipes presented.  And a very helpful feature for me, someone who needs gluten-free recipes, was the notation of “non-gebrokts”, referring to the recipes that don’t include matzo and matzo meal.

Author, Susie Fishbein

Susie Fishbein has outdone herself in this, her fifth book.  It was so well received that the first print run of 20,000 copies of “Passover by Design” sold out the first day. I was so intrigued with this book, I just had to share it with friends. They commented that it is beautifully packaged, contains international and health conscious recipes, and has some unique and clever suggestions for creating meaningful interactions at the Seder.  Many of the recipes are perfect for entertaining at any time.  It is a book everyone can love.  Lovely enough to be a coffee table book, it is also a practical guide to cooking and entertaining.

Think inside the box

An acquaintance that collects cookbooks seemed awed by “Passover by Design”. She noted that the pictures by John Uher were outstanding and draw the reader in.  The layout was clear and easy to follow. It is helpful that the recipes had few enough ingredients and directions were simple enough to give almost anyone the “I can do that” feeling.  She was impressed with the way this book retains the sense of tradition and still offers up to date and fresh approaches.  One thing missing, in her view, was the nutritional content.

Warm Mushroom-Potato Salad

Of course, I had to try some of the recipes and chose: Caramelized Parsnip-Carrot Soup, Warm Mushroom-Potato Salad and Roasted-Garlic Asparagus.  Ingredients were not difficult to find and didn’t require any specialty shops.  The instructions began with some special notes that felt very personal about how to shop, how to present the dish and/or why this was special to the author.  The real “put-it-together” instructions followed and were easy to follow. The soup suggested the use of an “immersion blender".  I was delighted that I had one because it was a gift from my sister that I rarely use.  It did a great job!

Carmelized Parsnip-Carrot Soup

The resulting dishes were all delicious, very flavorful but not heavy.  My husband liked the asparagus the best but I liked the soup.  I’m still deciding which foods to select for our Seder table.

Roasted-Garlic Asparagus

Susie Fishbein has been called “the kosher diva” and “a kosher cooking revolutionary”. She did not go to cooking school but did earn an M.S. degree in education from Brooklyn College with a specialty in Science Education.  Although she is primarily self-taught, she has worked with professional chefs who have helped hone her cooking skills and refine her recipes.  She says, “My books are written for the person who desires above-average food and wants to excel at entertaining with ease,” and “My recipes reflect a fusion of cultures, such as Italian, French, Middle Eastern and Asian, and provide something for everyone”.  Previous books are: “Kosher by Design”; “Kosher by Design Entertains”; “Kosher by Design Short on Time” “Kosher by Design-Kids in the Kitchen”.

Almost everyone I showed this book to said, it would be a great gift-I’ll have to get one for my Passover hostess, someone getting married and so on.  I am thinking of getting a copy for each of my adult children.   It is on the top 100 books on and Barnes and This is a book that anyone can enjoy at any time but especially at Passover.

Learn more and order books at their website

Special note:  I was puzzled to see baking powder as one of the ingredients for crumb cake.  I contacted Mark Sanders who is Susie Fishbein's Public Relations agent and he patiently explained that at least two kosher companies produce Kosher for Passover Baking Powder.

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