Claire's Cakery and Bake Shop

The food blog of a baker and new business owner.

This week: not shaping up at all like expected.

Seder last night went really, really fantastically. I didn’t have any trouble getting all the food together (could have *easily* made more in the time I had left myself) and I got a lot of compliments on it from everyone.

I meant to take pictures, but we were all too busy eating. ;)

I tried making coconut macaroons for the second time - different recipe for the first time - but I don’t have the knack yet, last time, they took like 4 times longer to bake than they should have. This time, the sweetened condensed milk, like, leaked out and formed little baked puddles of delicious around my coconut. It all tasted fantastic (so. much. sugar.) but it looked really funny.

It’s fortunate there is no Jew hell, cause if there were, I’d probably be going there. My matzo ball recipe called for rendered chicken fat. I tried to buy some, but the supermarket didn’t carry it. The alternative the recipe suggested was veg oil, but I was like…but why would I do that? Like, veg oil is so boring! When the time finally came to make the matzo balls, I had a flash of “brilliance” - we had bacon fat in the fridge! Not quite enough, but enough that I only had to use a little vegetable oil.

So, yeah. Passover Seder, matzo balls, secret ingredient: bacon. Became a running joke for the rest of the night.

They were damned good matzo balls. <3

Classic Polish Brisket

My great-grandmother used to make this recipe for family Passover, and it’s been a family staple ever since. I’ve only ever had it made by my mother, though (great grandma and grandma both died before I was born). I have no idea how typical or common it is - for all I know my family was super weird, or this recipe is incredibly standard. It’s certainly simple enough! When I asked my mom for the recipe, she just recited it to me over the phone, since no one has ever actually written it down. Until now!


  • 1 3 lb. to 4 lb. beef brisket, preferably with some fat on the outside
  • 3 to 4 sweet onions, roughly chopped
  • a whole lot of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • beef stock


  1. Place brisket in a roaster pan, deep enough to completely cover the brisket in water. 
  2. Completely cover the brisket with onions.
  3. Very generously sprinkle every visible surface with paprika
  4. Submerge the meat in water, season the beef stock lightly. (my mother gave me the recipe using water, but I think beef stock will be yummier). Tightly cover the pan in aluminum foil.
  5. Roast at 300 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly. Cut off the fat, cut the brisket into strips. Put the strips back in the water, submerge again, roast until well done (another hour or two). Uncover a bit before it’s done if you like some of the pieces to be a bit burned/dry. I personally like them that way. :)

Serve as soon as you won’t burn your mouth off.

kosherthoughts said: GIMMMEEEE. I miss Passover food :( we don’t even do anything for it anymore. Ugh

Then do it yourself! That’s pretty much what happened to me, I didn’t have Passover for almost a decade - kinda depressing, really, too many of the people we used to have every year had died of old age, and as a result, mom didn’t want to host, and there was no one else to do it. That’s why I started hosting. :) Anyway, just cause you’re not doing the meal doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! I’m using the family brisket recipe, it came straight from the old country, I’ll type it up at some point, super easy. For the other recipes, I’ve turned to the internet. You can make whichever of it ya want any time you want it, why wait for Passover? :) (don’t yet know if they’re any good, and I’m planning some minor modifications to pretty much all of them…)

Coconut Macaroons


Matzo Ball Soup

Apple Matzo Kugel

Good any time of year! :)

This is my second year doing Passover. Last year, there were supposed to be five people at my Seder, one of whom was a vegetarian, so I planned a vegetarian meal to accommodate them…then they got sick and they couldn’t come so I had only three people. Small meal was small. This year, I’m up to (er…me, wife, mom, MIL, GMIL, SIL, and at least one friend. Also possibility of BIL, but he doesn’t exist so I doubt it - I’ve never met in him in a year and a half…)…yeah, seven or eight people. That requires a bit more planning. Oh, and I have to drive to NYC, get my mom, and drive back, either today or tomorrow, and still get all the cooking done, and I work tonight.

Anyway! Here’s the menu:

Seder service (lamb shank, horse radish, hard boiled eggs, parsley, salt water, charoset, wine, matzo)

Starters: matzo ball soup, green salad (my MIL is bringing the salad, I’m making the soup and matzo balls)

Meal: brisket, sweet matzo kugel, asparagus or broccoli (I’m making all of the above…)

Dessert: jelly fruit slices, jelly rings, and coconut macaroons (I’m only making the last…I’d have bought Manischewitz, cause it’s my childhood in a can, but the grocery store was out of coconut ones).

I’m worried it won’t be enough food. I’m not used to this stuff. Plus side: the friend I KNOW is coming has a casein allergy…he’ll be able to eat nearly all of this, which is nice. :)

This week, only one night of work (Monday) and no dog sitting…there will be SO MUCH BAKING…just as soon as I survive Passover cooking.






im poor ill try it

ooohhh i have to try this

This looks fun. ^_^ but don’t bother with that colby jack nonsense, you need mozzarella. Can’t buy nice expensive mozzarella? Don’t fret, string cheese is made from mozzarella. Just buy some string cheese. :D

And obviously you can change up the fillings however you want.

I bet you could slather a little marinara/pizza/pasta sauce into the dough before you do the rest, too. :3

I can’t tell if the dough is actual pizza dough, or pie dough. But both should be available pre-made at stores.

And for the top seasonings, some salt obviously, maybe some pepper, maybe some red pepper flakes if you’re feeling gutsy, and then dried oregano or “Italian Herbs” which you can usually get premixed at the grocery store pretty easily.

And don’t forget to slather the tops with a little milk and/or beaten egg to make the seasonings stick and make the color gorgeous.

Just last night I found a tub of D’s homemade 000-flour pizza dough tucked away at the back of the freezer. It freezes well, but this has been there for too long to make a “proper pizza” (How long? Since the Middle Pleistocene, I suspect. We have a very big freezer.) But this looks like something to try, so try we will!

Cry Bake it! and let slip the noms of more!

@petermorwood You were really feeling cheerful after you finished That Thing last night, weren’t you, Mr. Husband. :)

(Source: wamwanfood, via handsofham)

Really, really, really stressed about money today. Going through my available options for dealing with the situation. None are good.

Hiding in a corner and crying. That’ll fix it, right? It’s my current leading choice.



I did in fact have a baking day earlier this week. However, there ended up being a theme - I had no fresh milk in the house, only milk two weeks expired. I hate waste, so I tried an experiment - could that milk safely be used if I converted it to buttermilk by adding some lemon? The answer was yes. None of this food has caused any harm (phew!) and all of it tastes as it should. And I didn’t have to waste the milk! Yay, science!

Note: do not try this at home. ;)

Thanks for sharing, wondering how this would work for making buttermilk pancakes, biscuits, etc., which I love, but hardly ever keep buttermilk on hand. 

Well, for that, you don’t have to wait til the milk has soured, you can always make buttermilk from regular milk. Just take whole milk, add an acid (most sources suggest vinegar or lemon juice; I generally use lemon juice, because whenever I use vinegar there seems to be an vinegary after taste), and let it sit for five or ten minutes. It’s 1 tablespoon of acid to 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of whole milk. Or, I usually just pour just under what I need in milk and fill the rest with squirts of lemon juice. :)

I never buy buttermilk… :)

I did in fact have a baking day earlier this week. However, there ended up being a theme - I had no fresh milk in the house, only milk two weeks expired. I hate waste, so I tried an experiment - could that milk safely be used if I converted it to buttermilk by adding some lemon? The answer was yes. None of this food has caused any harm (phew!) and all of it tastes as it should. And I didn’t have to waste the milk! Yay, science!

Note: do not try this at home. ;)

This was supposed to be a sour cream lemon pound cake, but I only had lime in the house, so it became a sour cream lime pound cake, much to my wife’s delight - she loves lime. :)

Buttermilk Raisin-Bran Muffins. Based on the ingredients, I expected these to be, well, kinda gross. I generally have a low opinion of bran muffins. But this one is darn tasty.

Graham Cracker Brown Bread. I’m kinda on the fence about this one…I guess it’s okay? 

Southern Biscuits. I was so busy worrying about overworking the dough that I didn&#8217;t work it enough, and these didn&#8217;t turn out very good. I think I might have also overbaked them. Sigh. Biscuits are an art, not a science, and I need a LOT more practice. Which I will do, cause a good biscuit is one of life&#8217;s greatest pleasures&#8230;
Buttermilk, Wheat and Rye Bread. This is sooo yummy. :)
Buttermilk Wheat Germ Bread.
&#8230;I&#8217;m not really sure why I shaped it like a butt&#8230;