I don’t practice Judaism, but I do make a mean Seder meal. The tradition started a few years ago for us, when one of my Jewish friends felt a little displaced that her mother and sister’s family were leaving her to spend the holidays at Disneyland. Well, not being one to miss out on a dinner party opportunity, I took over as host, and it’s become one of our things ever since.

While our menu isn’t traditional Jewish food, it sure is fabulous. This year we had strawberry romaine salad with Bermuda onions (my GO TO salad – the sour/sweet combination is fantastic) paired with an easy to make slow roasted brisket – for easy instructions, see my recipes below. I served these on top of a mix of Portmeirion China (purchased in the 90’s from Northampton, England), with gold plated flatware, vintage Baccarat water goblets, and Waterford wine glasses (all from my mom’s extensive collection).  

Strawberry Romaine Salad (serves 6)


  • 1 head romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach - chopped, washed and dried
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 Bermuda onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, spinach, strawberries and sliced onion.
  2. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, milk and poppy seeds. Shake well and pour the dressing over salad. Toss until evenly coated.

Best Ever Brisket (serves 16)


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Combine the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, sugar, and seasoning salt in a medium bowl, and blend thoroughly. Apply rub to surface of brisket.
  3. Cook brisket, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven and add beef broth to roasting pan.
  5. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), cover roasting pan tightly with foil, and cook 3 more hours. Let brisket rest 30 minutes before slicing.



Food photos courtesy of My Organized Chaos and Hilah Cooking.