About Leah

Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.
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Leah's Pantry Pick


Leah's Kosher Pantry
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Desserts - Pareve

Chocolate Mousse Tart (non-gebrokts, gluten-free)
I found this recipe in Susie Fishbein's "Passover by Design". The series of cookbooks is quite lovely; I envy the cast of contributors who make the books so attractive. The photo of the ...
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Quinoa Treats (gluten-free and non-gebrokts)
For my Passover baking demonstration a couple weeks back, I have this idea that I want to make some sort of quinoa cookie. Thinking of my toasted oatmeal cookie recipe, I figure I can wing it and star...
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Marzipan (uncooked method)
Marzipan is especially popular in our Sephardic community. Making some for a recent wedding, I hunt for my pan of tiny majestic shapes. For years, the pan has been moved from right to left in sto...
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Tu B'Shevat Banana Bread
Noticing that I don't have a banana bread recipe in my tea bread collection I figure I'd better get on it. In an ideal world, this would be posted sooner than now. Catering has definitely...
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Mango Macadamia Nut Bread
This recipe is adapted from Sam Choy's "Island Flavors" cookbook. I promise this is the last recipe I'll post inspired from its pages. There are tons of fabulous recipes sandwiched b...
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Marble Loaf Tea Bread
Tea breads are old school; especially when made with old school ingredients. A good marble loaf is my favorite. I feel less guilty eating a cake without frosting. A thin slice with a cup of tea is Sha...
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Fortune Cookies
It's that time of year; time for Chinese food. We have a vegan place in town that is kosher. That said, I'm a meat eater and I love a quick stir-fry - chicken or beef. I still have some of tho...
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Strawberry Mango Sufganiyot
*I'm adding this comment on November 25, 2013 - I decided to shoot a 'how-to' video for this recipe. Apparently, I've simplified things a bit over the years and put the dough together ...
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Pastry Cream - Dairy or Pareve
Creating a dessert buffet a couple of weeks ago, my client requests a pastry cream filled tart topped with fruit. It's a little tricky to make pareve pastry cream but following brisket and chicken...
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Dutch Apple Pie
Yom Kippur ended a few hours ago. Just as there are those who immediately do some token gesture toward building the sukkah, my thoughts turn to apple pie. I love apple pie in the sukkah and alway...
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Parve Pumpkin Pie
I can live without a turkey on Thanksgiving but I can't live without a pumpkin pie. It's another one of those "personal pan" items. I need my own pie for dessert and breakfast the ne...
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Parve Chocolate Pecan Pie
For pecan pie lovers, the good news is that this is so easy to make. I'm not a fan of pecan pie but repeated orders tell me this must taste good. I tried a different technique last night; pre-baki...
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Perfect Pie Dough
I'm guilty of having a very small repertoire of pie doughs I use in my baking, whether sweet or savory....as in one; this one. This is a recipe from "Baking with Julia" that came ou...
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Apple Raspberry Crisp
I love apple crisp and the addition of raspberries is stellar. Tangy raspberries and tart apples with a crispy cinnamon and nutmeg scented topping. It is the perfect dessert for those not up for attem...
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Swedish Apple Pie
Yontif is just out. All of you are breathing a sigh of relief. Looking like a deer caught in headlights, I have 2,000 meals ahead of me in the coming week. A stack of event plans  needs...
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Chocolate Honey Cake
(Note: This is a previous post coming to the forefront for the holidays.)So, let's get one thing straight - I don't have a Jewish mother or grandmother. As a convert, I lack the fond memory of...
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Apple Crown Cake (yes, the one!)
(For those who missed this, I'm bringing it back to the home page for Rosh Hashana ~ also, this photo was just sent by Marc Jacobson who has to make more for Rosh Hashana as they ate this one!)Thi...
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Deluxe Honey Cake
I haven't a clue where this recipe originates. I've been making it for nearly 20 years and in huge quantities since I started catering and baking. I love making this honey cake because when I ...
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Chocolate Coconut Balls
Part of our Swedish offering consists of this surprisingly tasty morsel of chocolate and coconut; pretty much my favorite combination. Hesitant about the uncooked oatmeal, I shrug and toss it into the...
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Cinnamon Walnut Babka
I haven't a clue as to how the filling for this Cinnamon Walnut Babka evolved but it is good. Thanks to Indiegogo contributors and the talents, skills and patience of videographer Gordon Modin, we...
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Rainbow Hamentachen
This is my feeble attempt at wishing everyone a fun and happy Purim. Slammed with catering these past few weeks, my creative Purim urges have been trapped in my brain. Due to my hectic schedule, once ...
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Leah's Famous Chocolate Babka
Chocolate babka rules, rocks and was the most popular item after challah in the bakery. It is also the most requested 'next video' and you can now see it here! Putting up an Ind...
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Crumb Topping
I always sprinkle this crumb topping liberally on my babkas. It is a simple mix of flour, sugar and margarine. It lends texture and crunch to the babka crust. I also use it on my rugelach for the same...
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Cinnamon Rolls
Not too long after my father passed away, I drove to Seward Park for a meeting with one of the Rabbis. I had only been catering for a year or so and was going to help with his son's bar mitzvah pa...
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Yeasted Sweet Dough
This is an extra rich yeast dough perfect for many baked goods; babka, cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, etc. I've been making it forever always with great results. We've made a how-to v...
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Malasadas ~ Portuguese Doughnuts
Chanukah is a time of dreidels and sufganyot, latkes. As a convert, hitching a ride on the turnip cart of culinary traditions feels often times like riding shotgun with the real McKleins. Whatever I c...
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Chinese Sesame Balls ~ Gluten-free
I've only made sesame balls twice in my life. Yesterday and today. I watched a video online, found a recipe in my Maui Extension Cookbook and pulled a recipe from About.com. Yeah, wish me luck jus...
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Bumwelos ~ South African Style
Thinking I'd keep my mother company as she recoups from a chest cold, I load my car with a pantry of ingredients and equipment. I figure I can make Chanukah treats for the website and visit at the...
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Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Streusel Topping
I spend the last of the holidays on the amazing apple crisp diet. Making a couple of pans for my friend Susan for Sukkot, I peel another 5 pounds of apples for myself. The handy apple peeler and corer...
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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
I'm a big fan of all things pumpkin especially pumpkin pie and pumpkin borekas. This tea bread is right up there at the top. I love it for breakfast with a cup of tea. I'm not sure where ...
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Northwest Pear Cake
In a cookbook around here somewhere is a recipe for an Italian Pear Cake. I adapted it to create the Northwest Pear Cake by substituting dried cranberries for currants and almonds for pine n...
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Pumpkin Borekas
I love Sukkot. It is like Thanksgiving a month early....and, for 8 days. For me, that means all things apple and all things pumpkin. Catering a couple of sukkah parties is a opportunity to make pumpki...
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Harvest Zucchini Bread
I have a half dozen tea bread recipes to upload. I like tea breads as they aren't heavily frosted and they are perfect with a cup of tea. I also make them pareve so they go with everything. My fri...
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Fig and Raspberry Tart with Sesame Almond Crust
This is another favorite of mine from "Baking with Julia" by Dorie Greenspan. Called a "raspberry-fig crostata' in the book, a crostata is a tart in Italian. With Amanda Knox's ...
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French Apple Tart
Rosh Hashana and weeks of holidays are fast approaching. I'm crazy busy with catering and want to get more recipes uploaded. Solution at this point: put foods for the holiday onto my catering even...
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Basic Crepe Recipe
Aviva is home this summer and the "What do we have to eat?" question is frequently asked. My automatic response of "Nothing, what do you want?" is usually met with grumbles of &quo...
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Vanilla Cake or Cupcakes with Real Buttercream Frosting
Wow. Hurrying to make food for 3 events last erev Shabbat, I realize that I don't have my vanilla cake recipe. Sha-zam! - my Smart Phone (or, not-so-smart as Aviva says because it is my phone...
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Hungarian Shortbread with Rhubarb Jam Filling
I told Lucy in May that I'd upload this recipe....hmm, it's only a couple of months later. Sorry! This is one of my favorite bar cookies in the world; the entire world. Ruchie, who eats only c...
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Rugelach ~ Chocolate, Cinnamon Walnut or Jam (Parve or Dairy)
We don't have a sign reading "over a billion sold" but we have certainly made many, many rugelach. Thumbing through "The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook" while looking for the falafel...
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Fresh Blueberry and Peach Tart
It's the 4th of July weekend. Here in Seattle, we know the bluest and most clear skies are on July 5th. The city empties as citizens with time and resources make their annual pilgrimage to hush-hu...
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Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
In the spring, just as Passover is approaching, I start looking for rhubarb. One of our more popular desserts that time of year is Apple Rhubarb Crisp. I make it ritually for the Hillel Passover lunch...
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Rice Krispie Treats with Marshmallows and Sprinkles
Lag B'Omer is a picnic day, an upshurin day, a day to be casual and get the kids outside to play. BBQ's, hot dogs, hamburgers ~ nothing too fancy. Desserts are simple, too. Rice Krispie treats...
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
A customer gives me this recipe for a party. I want to go the natural peanut butter route and use one free of the added oils. I have a tough time getting these bars to get firm enough to slice until I...
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Baklava
Layers of fillo separate ground nuts tossed with spices, repeated to a stack of yum and drizzled with a lemony syrup. I should make baklava more often. Always disappearing from buffet tables, I love t...
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Sephardic Biscochos
Biscochos are in my top favorite cookies to make. They are a Sephardic classic, especially in this town. Catherine Scharon is my adopted Sephardic grandmother and she taught me her way of making these...
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Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Flan or Flop?
Designing the Mexican dinner as a 'MEAT' meal, I need a parve dessert. I want to do a flan and happen across this recipe online by Mark Bittman. Look at it ~ such promise for being free of glu...
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Trifle
What's a trifle? Scrumptious dollops of custard and whipped cream layered with sponge cake and fresh strawberries. This is fabulous when real DAIRY is used and works surprisingly well as...
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Cocoa Brownies (Kosher for Passover)
I prefer my brownies on the slightly underbaked side. These are simple to make, rich in flavor, and have a great texture. Whip up a few foil pans of brownies (aren't we all baking in foil pans?) a...
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Carrot Cake - (Kosher for Passover)
This is the most moist and amazing carrot cake. I've turned this place upside down looking for the cookbook which I took this from way back in the beginning of baking for the community. I'...
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Apple Rhubarb Crisp (Kosher for Passover)
This is my favorite Passover dessert. I ate an entire 8" round pan of this for breakfast and lunch yesterday and today. Forget the plate. I just stuck a fork into it and told my crew 'don'...
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Flourless Chocolate Cake
This is a must make for Passover. Similar to the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake in appearance, this cake is much lighter. Many flourless chocolate cake recipes are similar so what makes one better t...
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Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free or Not)
What does 'or not' mean? I have many requests to share gluten-free recipes. This means I have to develop some recipes. Fine with me as I love to learn new stuff. My basic philosophy is&nb...
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Leah's Soon-to-be-Famous Cocoa Coconut Macaroons
I never made cocoa coconut macaroons until today. Using the basic coconut macaroon recipe, I simply added some Dutch process cocoa. Depending on how dark and rich you like the macaroons, 1 - 2 tablesp...
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Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons
This is easy; use the recipe for Leah's Famous Coconut Macaroons. Let the mixture cool. Toss in a handful of chocolate chips (I use the mini) and bake as usual. Simple. Done.  Yum.Please refe...
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Nanaimo Bars - Kosher for Passover
This is the kosher for Passover version of this popular Northwest cookie. While making the original version, I realize that the custard powder for the filling is kosher for Passover. I wonder with wha...
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Nanaimo Bars (Dairy or Pareve)
Supposedly, this bar cookie originates from Nanaimo Island located somewhere off Vancouver Island here in the Northwest. If so, it must be because a creative cook had cabin fever as none of the ingred...
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Dobos Torte (original 7-layer cake) (Dairy or Pareve)
This is the original version of the 7- layer cake. Thin layers of sponge cake, thin layer of chocolate buttercream, repeated 6 times and topped with a caramel layer. This photo shows a dripping layer ...
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Pareve Chocolate Mousse (Kosher for Passover)
Years ago, before I started catering, some friends and I decide to do a series of fundraiser dinners for Chabad. Utilizing the cooking skills of women in the community, we develop menus based on ...
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Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake (Kosher for Passover)
The Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake is to Passover what the Apple Crown Cake is to Rosh Hashana. We make it yearly for individual seder packages and by the 1/2 sheet pan for the Hillel lunches. It is...
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Chocolate Ganache (Pareve, Dairy or Kosher for Passover)
I make this rich chocolate ganache in bulk and refrigerate it for future use. Depending on the temperature of the ganache, it can be used in many forms. For a bright shiny glaze, I nuke it for a ...
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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Dairy or Pareve)
I reserve this frosting for very special occasions, for cakes like the Dacquoise or Dobos Torte, as it is a bit time consuming to make. Maybe it is easier making a small batch rather th...
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Best Ever and Easy Hamentachen
We rolled out (no pun intended) the first of the hamentachen this week at a Kiddush lunch at Herzl. Three hundred and fifty pieces disappeared quickly ~ poppy seed, apricot, raspberry, strawberry, and...
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Gluten-free Hamentachen
I did not need to find out how wonderful these are....absolutely did not need to know. If I take one more bite I'm going to have to say it again. I made these hamentachen pareve but they taste lik...
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Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Apple pie is very simple to make; especially when using the pie crust recipe from Baking with Julia. Growing up, pie was always challenging...will the crust turn out? Will it be too dry and crack, or&...
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Hamentachen Filling - Chocolate
Purest decry my chocolate hamentachen filling. I say, "Ha! ~ it outsells poppyseed by 2:1!" It's true. Hamentachen cookie dough surrounds a brownie; what could be better? Somehow we'...
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Hamentachen Filling - Apricot
In the past, we've purchased our apricot filling in large 40 pound buckets. It isn't always easy to find pareve. Last year, there was a huge snow storm in the East and the trucks weren't g...
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Hamentachen Filling - Prune
Prune Lekvar is available in bulk quantities by special order at the bakery supply, in 50 pound buckets. Hmm, sort of a lot since it isn't the best selling hamentachen filling. But, it is really e...
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Hamentachen Filling - Poppy Seed
I received an email today asking if I have a recipe for poppy seed filling. I'm thinking two things; 1) someone noticed I didn't put up a recipe for poppy seed filling and 2) I have a can open...
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Lemon Curd Tart with Fruit
This is an updated post. It's come to light that people love and remember my lemon curd tarts. I make them both full sized and in individual smaller shapes. My original post a few years ago was ma...
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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
This is the deepest, darkest Devil's Food Chocolate Cake you'll ever eat. From The McCall's Cookbook circa 1963, it is so impressive I've never had reason to search for&...
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Tu B'shevat Dried Fruit Treats
This is a little assortment of sweets that require no cooking. I had a bit of marzipan leftover after making the Marzipan Pear Cake so I thought I'd use it up. I softened the dried figs by soaking...
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