I have been dreaming about bring you all the French dip sandwich for sooooo long. The only thing is that I had to find the exact right timing to thrown this most bomb dignity recipe at you. Making your own roast beef, although incredibly easy, just sounds intimidating. Then top that off with making the crazy luxurious and most insanely delicious Au Jus, which also simple but seems complex and I knew I’d lose you. 

I decided I needed to save it for a time when were all willing to put a little more effort into our food. So that meant a holiday. But what holiday is it really acceptable to serve a glorified steak sandwich. 

Only one.


It’s the fun-est of the holiest days of the year. It’s the one holiday where having a huge pot (or crockpot) of roast beef in simmering jus is not only acceptable but perfectly appropriate. 

This dish can stay warm all day and the meat and rice only get more and more flavorful by the minute. Every guest that come to your seudah can right away wash and sit down to a perfectly hot, irresistible and super yum french dip sandwich. 

And that my friends, is how we win PURIM. 

Wishing each and every one of you the most joyous, happy, healthy and love filled Adar ever!




For the printable French Dip Sandwich recipe click here




If you come here to peas love & carrots often, you know that normally the words just flow for me (the spelling not so much…). For some reason though, as I sit down to type up my thoughts on shabbos I feel like I’m struggling to properly put my feelings to words that accurately describe them. 

I’m conflicted between the spiritual side of me that loves to disconnect from our crazy world and take time to reconnect to our Creator and people we love, and the side of me that knows that as a mother of young children, shabbos doesn’t really mean a day of rest. 

I love to cook beautiful and delicious foods that are served on platters befitting the holiness of the day. I love to set the table with my nicest dishes and glasses. I adorn every plate with cloth napkins dressed in my favorite napkin rings. I start out shabbos with a sparkling kitchen, counters that are spotless, and everything in it’s place.

Then comes time to light the candles. It’s truly my favorite time of the week. In that millisecond where the whole world changes from a place that wasn’t something special and then with a simple bracha became a world filled with  holiness I am overcome by my desire to be close to Hashem and his Torah. 

All of that is real for me and inspires me. These days though shabbos also means something else. With a house full of little kids, it means serving food, clearing the table, sweeping, rinsing, resetting the table, heating up more food, serving more food and clearing more plates in addition to getting kids dressed, getting them redressed after they took off their clothing, picking up toys, changing diapers, and finding lost shoes. 

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what excalty it is I love about shabbos. But no matter how hard I work on shabbos, every week come Thursday night and I am counting down the minutes until I get to light my candles. 

This didn’t come easy to me. I went through a phase where I wished that shabbos would come every ten days instead of every seven. So I thought a lot about what I want to get out of my shabbosim and totally reframed the way I think about. 

Instead of thinking about shabbos as a day of connection through rest, I now think about strengthening my relationship with Hashem by strengthening my relationship with my family and people I love. 

That means being totally present and mindful to the time I get to spend with my family on shabbos. This period in my life will only come once and I don’t want to take a minute of it for granted. I listen to their, sometimes long but always sweet, divrei torah with an attentive ear. I play games with them that we all enjoy. I make extra shabbos treats so that everyone can find exactly what they like to munch on while we sit and do puzzles. I set the table with a little extra love and attention to detail so that my family can sit down to a beautiful shabbos seaudah no matter how many seconds it takes for someone to spill their grape juice. 

Come time to make havdalah and every week, no matter how hard I worked all shabbos, I am always sad to see it go. Whether I napped or not, said the extra tehillim that I wanted to or not, finished reading the article that I started at least ten times throughout shabbos or not, I am relaxed and calm. 


Because at each stage, rest means different things to our souls. 

Now, at this stage in my life, resting my soul means giving my family as much of myself as I can. 

Every shabbos that I accomplish building my relationships with the people I love I know that I am now one step closer to my Creator as well. 

And that is why I love shabbos. 



This dish is actually super simple to make but packed with enough flavor to have people thinking it took you days!

It’s loaded with just the right amount of deep flavored spices, and the rich lamb is perfectly balanced out by the acid in the wine and oranges. It’s like a modern, American raised girls version of her Moroccan grandmother Lamb Tagine. 

For the printable Orange and White Wine Braised Lamb Stew click here

This post, is really part of a larger post that was the brilliant brain child of the uber-talnted Sina Mizrahi from the Gatheratable blog. She wrote an extremely beautiful post all about what shabbos means to her and over the course of two weeks posted her favorite shabbos recipes. To finish off the series she came up with the idea of a virtual pot lock. 

What’s a virtual pot luck you ask?

Well, it’s where Sina, myself and a bunch of other extremely talented and creative bloggers get together, divide up the different dishes that make up a shabbos seudah and each of us develop a recipe for that dish. 

We all posted our recipes on the same day, thus “bringing our food to the virtual pot luck”. If you put all our recipes together you will end up with an extremely delicious, creative and absolutely beautiful menu to prepare for shabbos.

What’s a pot luck though without people to share the food with? You’re all invited to join in our meal!!

To make it really easy for you, the links to everyone else’s recipes are below! 

So, click away to get in on the action and come have some fun!

Oh, and of course, SHABBAT SHALOM!

For Between Carpools egg wash tips click here
For Cooking in Heels “How to Hack a Challah” click here
For Spice and Zests Roasted Eggplant click here
For the Katamon Kitchen’s Salatim post click here
For the Sugar Box’s Red Snapper with Charred Patatoes, Tomatoes and Lemons click here
For Sina’s T’Bit: Iraqi Slow Cooked Chicken and Brown Rice click here
For my printable Orange and White Wine Braised Lamb Stew click here
For Kitchen Tested’s Roast Vegetable Platter click here
For Beth Warren’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups click here
For Jamie Gellers Cinnamon Bun recipe click here
For Busy in Brooklyn’s Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites click here






LUNCH. The meal that got away. 

Life is busy. Whether your a mom or not, every single person out there has things to do. Unfortunately, unless a meeting or one of our many “things” happens to take place at or next to a really goos salad bar, or sandwich shop, lunch just does not fall high on the “to-do” list. 

So what happens?

You skip it. 


Because. LIFE!

and then what happens?

At around 3/4:00 your stomach starts screaming “feed me women or I’ll eat myself”.

Now, that would be awful. So what do you do? 

You immediately start shoving anything edible (on a bad day it doesn’t even have to be edible. Just in close proximity to your hand) into your mouth. 

By the time dinner comes along you’ve now eaten enough calories to replace the lunch you missed and just to be safe, you even ate enough calories to replace dinner. 

So you shower and use go to bed.  However, now is the tine you need to sit down with your children/husband/friend or whoever is around to a proper meal. The only problem is, your not hungry and now sitting through dinner time is just inconvenient because you could be sleeping. 

Well, that needs to change. I set out on a mission to eat lunch.


This is not the first time I’ve attempted this. But much like counting the Omer, I never get past day 1. (just kidding, I made it to day 7 last year. Also, it’s Eli’s fault.) This time though, I am determined to make lunch happen.

As I write this I am two days in and know that if I could make it to Friday then maybe I have a chance of actually keeping this up. I just need to build momentum! 

So far I’ve learned a few lunch rules…

  1. I need to make lunches I actually want to eat. (No tempeh for me)
  2. They need to be very, very, wait did I say very, easy and quick to assemble. 
  3. The components need to be mostly prepared in advance. (Salad dressings, roasted veggies…)
  4. I can not commit to putting the lunch together the night before. I need to eat what I’m in the mood for and I can guarantee that whatever I think I want the night before will be the exact opposite of what I want to eat the next day.

In order to meet all these criteria, I realized that the key is having a well stocked fridge. My plan is to buy a few key ingredients every Friday, this way Sunday morning I can wake up, spend 30 minutes in the kitchen making some staple foods that we’ll call “building blocks” and have whatever I need all week long to throw together yummy and satisfying lunches. 

So heres how we’re going to do this. 

I’m going to give lists of BUILDING BLOCK ideas and recipes this way you can choose food that YOU like to eat. 

Then underneath, I’m going to include TONS of lunch ideas, some with recipes and some not b/c they’re self explanatory.

I will keep adding to this post as I go, so if you get bored of your lunches, or need some inspiration, just keep checking back! 

Also, if you have any awesome lunch ideas, send ’em my way!!!!




Roasted Garlic and Herb

Meme’s Supersized Lemon Vinaigrette 


Caesar Dressing

Creamy Sesame Dressing

Carrot Ginger Dressing

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Lightened Up Green Goddess Dressing

Spicy Peanut Sesame Dressing


Vegan Protiens:
  • Quinoa (think patties, to go in salads, use in place of sushi rice)
  • Nuts 
  • Tofu 

Try Spice crusted tofu cakes (kitchen-tested)

  • Techina
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Almond Butter
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Edamame
  • Miso paste
Vegetarian Proteins:
  • Eggs
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Seabass
  • Kani (fake crab)
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
Fleishig Protiens:
  • Grilled skirt steak 
  • Grilled chicken
  • Ground turkey (think burgers, chili, taco meat…)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cold cuts
  • Cubed Turkey Breast
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat sour cream


  • Roast you’re veggies in advance: pepper, onions, zucchini, eggplant, chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, peas, snap peas, string beans, carrots, corn
  • Zoodle your zucchini
  • Sautee onions
  • Wash lettuce for quick salads
  • Roast Spaghetti Squash


  • Farro
  • Barley
  • Wheat Berries
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rice noodles
  • Brown rice
  • bulgur




Whole wheat wraps

Sliced sourdough bread

Sourdough Rolls


Pick a few ideas every week and use the building blocks to figure out what ingredients you need to buy on the house and can prepare in advance to make your actual lunch assembly quick and easy!

Lunches you can assemble the night before and take on the go:
  • String bean Shakshuka (kitchen-tested)
  • Hash brown eggs  (@just_food_by_t) (recipe on her Instagram feed!)
  • Spaghetti squash pizza
  • Mexican quinoa bake
  • panini wrap with avocado chickpeas and cheese
  • Veggie burger panini wrap
  • egg white and veggie sandwich/wrap
  • shakshuka 
  • quinoa burger with melted cheese
  • rice cakes with turkey
  • breaded cauliflower (the pre breaded, frozen ones), baked with sauce and cheese
  • feta cheese omelette
  • quesadillas 
  • burritos
  • smoothie with protein powder or ground nuts
  • pizza on a whole wheat wrap



We started with breakfast. Shakshuka and baked oatmeal muffins. 

Now its time to move on to the hardest part of the day. Well, for me at least. This little things called “snacks” that nutritionist like to get us to eat, so that our bodies never go into “hunger” mode. 

It’s always a challenge. As busy 21st century women, we are constantly on the go. Grabbing a snack that doesn’t come in the for of a chocolate bar or a bag of chips can be a huuuuuge challenge. So, in addition to Nechama’s wise words and guidance I gave you two super yum and easy recipes. 

The Granola stuffed pears totally hit that sweet craving thing that happens around 3 in the afternoon. Or late at night. Or in the morning. The pears are soft and sticky, the granola is crunchy and satisfying. Most importantly they are delicious! I had to actually hide the last one from my kids to save it for the next day!

Sometimes though, its not the sweetness were craving. It’s the savory, salty, crunchy bites that we’re looking for. So, heres my ode to that. The kohlrabi fry. They fill all your starchy needs and can be seasoned any way you like. They are a blank canvas that can be altered to suit whatever mood you’re in. 

SO, take a break today, read what Nechama has to say, then do yourself a favor and make these! 



Now it’s time to turn things over to Nechama…..


You know those stories that inspire you to do what you do? Well I heard my story when I was visiting my friend’s grandmother years ago and it just stuck. “ I was at a meeting in a school with a bunch of parents and a behavioral therapist,” she said us as we sat down for lunch. “Well one of the mother’s got up and said, ‘my five year old child comes home from school with a tantrum. He throws his bag down, refuses to listen to me when I tell him to put it away, slams doors, pays no attention to anything I say and in general is really moody, I am at my wits end’. The therapist began talking about discipline strategies and ADHD tendencies. You know me, never one to hold my tongue so I raised my hand and asked if I can say something. ‘Your child just got home from a long day in school,’ I said. ‘He hasn’t eaten anything substantial in a long time plus he was probably running around all afternoon. His blood sugar is very low. What he needs is some good food and a hug.’ Guess what? Everyone looked around and started clapping!”

Don’t get me wrong, this is no indicator that some children really need help and eating right will not be the only answer, sometimes it is the simple things that help us all perform better throughout the day.

Let alone children, most of us adults get angry faster when we are hungry. There is even a word for it: Hangry. Ideally it is the best to create an eating plan in which you fill up on balanced, filling meals for breakfast, lunch and supper so that you keep your blood sugars stable so you don’t need the snacks. But let’s face it: sometimes it is hard to incorporate enough protein, carb, fat and fiber into every meal and sometimes even if you do, you still need a little something to keep you going in the afternoon. Sometimes you are just craving something sweet. We got you covered for all of these situations.

What are great snack ideas? The first thing you should be turning to when you feel like you need a little extra something is a vegetable. Imagine a pill that boasts having cancer-fighting properties, feeling “full” and satisfied properties, with all the vitamins and minerals to help every part of your body work the best way possible. Imagining that pill? Cut up some vegetables and imagine the pill no longer, it is right there in front of you! Vegetables are literally packed with vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting properties. Plus they are full of fiber so they can keep you full throughout the day making you less likely to reach for junk. There are many ways to get veggies in your diet. I grew up coming home from school to a platter of cut up veggies on the table and there was never any left over at the end of the day. I find that kids are actually happy to eat the vegetables if it is so easy and accessible for them. I remember my best friend in third grade confessed to me that she was coming over everyday after school because she loved munching on my mother’s veggies drizzled with olive oil and salt. Oh well, and I had thought it was my vivacious personality…

You can cut up a few cucumbers, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and celery and place it on the table right before the kids come in. You can switch up the dipping options, some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, hummus and tahini are good ideas. Did you know that per gram, tahini actually has 3 times the amount of calcium than milk! That’s an easy way to strong bones. Veggies are also an easy thing to send kids to school with. 

Another great idea is Danielle’s amazing Kohlrabi Fries. Your kids will think they are eating fries, they are that good! And oh, while they eat their fries they will also be nicely packing into their little bodies, vitamin C, K, A and B complex vitamins. They will also be packing in copper, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. Pass the fries please.

Sometimes you need a snack because you are feeling tired and need extra energy. Hello Mamas, I get you. You can actually give yourself a little boost by the food you eat. I suggest protein and fats for times like this. My favorite snack at the moment is roasted chickpeas. It’s a great source of protein and some carb and it is so easy to make. Either make your own chickpeas (soak dried chickpeas over night and then boil for two hours) or take chickpeas from a can. Dry the chickpeas and lay them on a cookie sheet, toss with olive oil and whichever spices you like and roast on high for 20 minutes until they are golden and crunchy. They are sooo good! Sometimes I dip them into leftover salad dressing. Another great snack is nuts. They may be little but they are packed with so much energy and good for you vitamins and fats. Just make sure they are the raw and not coated in extra sugar and oil. You can make your own trail mix by simply throwing together a few different kinds of nuts and seeds in a small bag and you can take it with you wherever you go. Another good idea for an energy boost is frozen bananas with natural peanut butter. Cut a banana in half, smear with peanut butter and freeze. Ice cream I tell you.

Then there is always that snack you need when you are just craving something sweet, and that’s ok. Instead of reaching for the ice cream, make Danielle’s delicious and super easy baked pear. Pears are a really great source of fiber which among many things, really helps your gut keep healthy. You get your sweetness along with vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber, anti aging properties, anti inflammatory properties, and lots of antioxidants. Another easy sweet snack I love is 70% dark chocolate. It’s a great source of magnesium, iron, copper and fiber among many other things. It is not about ignoring your craving until you crash and eat the first food in sight, it is about choosing to fill yourself with healthy delicious foods that fill your body and brain with so much goodness. 

Like in all things with healthy eating, after learning about the importance of it, the main thing that will help you and your family eat healthy is creating a healthy environment. That means stocking up on the wonderfilled foods and limiting the not so wonderful type. Now it doesn’t mean you cant have anything unhealthy in your pantry or freezer, but the more you see Ben and Jerries’ every time you open your freezer, the harder it will be to resist it so it is a good idea to limit those kinds of things in your house. Buy lots of colorful vegetables and make sure to use them often. It may be hard because they are so perishable but remember if food goes bad it’s a good thing! That means bacteria are able to digest it properly, which means the bacteria in your stomach is able to digest it properly. When something can stay in your pantry for months without going bad, you should start worrying about what is in it. In the same vein, while protein is a great form of a snack, a processed protein bar is not. With time it will become a habit and easy to stock up on healthy food and even easier to eat it.

Happy eating, Happy living! 

Nechama Birnbaum is a Certified Nutritionist of Wonderfilled Nutrition who is passionate about helping people achieve a healthy, balanced, wonderful life! She offers one on one counseling and healthy home makeovers. You can contact her through phone 0586147795 or through email at  



When the awesome people from Pelleh Poultry sent me a beautiful box of their insanely perfect duck and duck products, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them. 
I mentally stashed some away for some crazy shabbos meals, some products, like the duck fat, I earmarked for our annual Chanukah French fry fest, and these beautiful duck breast I tucked away just for this. 

So often, duck can seem intimidating. And for good reason. Peking duck, which in my opinion is the best actual thing to come out of China, EVER, is craaaaazy difficult to make. Even easier methods of cooking like, a good duck confit, because it is so outside of the box from the way we normally cook, can feel overwhelming. But, alas, there are other easier cooking methods. They require no more effort than you would put into any other protein, but because you are using duck, which by nature is sooooooo much more flavorful and juicy, it is just infinitely more delicious. 

The process here of scoring, mixing a bunch of ingredients, pouring it over your duck, then cooking and pulling, could not be simpler. Maaaaaaaaybe you could say the final step of thickening and reducing the glaze is a bit more tedious. But. It. Is. Worth. It. 

When you finally top your latke with the warm and moist pulled duck and the slowly drizzle the ooey-gooey citrus scented, Asain style glaze over the top, holy moly, you will understand. 

For the Potato Latke + Latke Tips recipe click here

For the Tangerine Scented, Asian Pulled Duck recipe click here




Onto the final and most vital piece of all this:

The events and their rules:

These are the 7 events my children will be competing in this year. If some of these games are not suitable for your children, you can watch our videos from last year for smoother ideas. You can also come up with your own games that are more appropriate for your family! 

*Note: All games are based on 5 contestants. Adjust accordingly.



What you will need:

  • The homemade torches
  • 12 sets of identical prizes. (2 key chains, 2 silly patty’s…)
  • 24 aluminum 9×13 pans (or any size, you just want yto make sure that the prices fit fully underneath them)

For the opening ceremony, play Olympic music, and have the contestants line up in age order. Light the oldest ones torch and then he lights the persons next to him. Continue until all torches are lit and then take a cermonious walk around the living room. 

(Blow out torches and save for closing ceremony)

How to play:

  1. Send the children out of the room.
  2. Arrange the prizes on a large space on the floor, separating identical prizes, in a grid like pattern.
  3. Cover each prize with an aluminum pan. 
  4. Call the children back into the room. 
  5. Now play memory….
  6. Give each a child a chance to uncover two prizes. If the prizes are not the same, replace the pan over the prize and it is the next Childs turn. 
  7. When someone uncovers identical prizes they keep it. 
  8. Play until all prizes have been accounted for. 

We like to end this game with a prize swap. No one can keep two prizes and they must trade. Sometimes they need our help to facilitate this but usually it goes smoothly since they are all equally small, 1 shekel prizes!




(yes, this game is proudly borrowed from top chef)

Every year this event looks different. This is this years version.

What you will need:

  • 5 plastic cutting boards
  • 1 batch challah dough (divided)
  • 5 aluminum 9×13 pans, greased
  • 5 eggs, each one in a small bowl
  • 5 forks
  • 10 pickles (divided)
  • 5 plastic knifes
  • 5 plastic bowls
  • 2&1/2 cups pf parsley (with stems)
  • 10 small plastic plates
  • 2&1/2 lbs. chopped meat (put 1/2 lb. of meat into 5 separate mixing bowls
  • 5 tsp. salt (divided) 
  • 2&1/2 tsp pepper (divided)
  • (any other spices you use to flavor your hamburgers, just 5 small portions of each)
  • 5 large plastic plates

How to play:

  • Cover your dining room table with plastic.
  • Set up five separate working stations.
  • Place a cutting board in the center of each one and one of each ingredient around the cutting board. 
  • Place the ingredients in order of the relay clockwise starting from the bottom left corner of the cutting board. 
  • To play the game each player has to complete each of the 4 parts of the race before moving onto the next part. 
  • The player that completes all 4 challenges first wins. 

This years challenges:

  1. make 2 challah rolls, place them in the given pan, crack & beat the egg, and coat the top of the roll
  2. cut up pickles and place in a bowl (if your kids like something else on their burgers, swap it with the pickles)
  3. separate the parsley leaves from the stems and cut up the leaves
  4. Add parsley, salt and pepper to chopped meat and form 3 hamburger patties. Once the patties are formed and the pan the race is complete!



This is a timed challenge. Each child takes their turn while an adult times them. The child with the best time, wins. 

What you will need:

  • 4 animal masks (lion, penguin, crab, frog)
  • 4 pieces of string
  • painters tape in 4 different colors

How to play:

  • Use 1 color of the painters tape to create a maze in the floor of your living room. Each color tape should be about 12 feet of maze. 
  • Continue with the next color, until you have 4 different color paths. 
  • It doesn’t matter where’re they start or end. 
  • All that matters is that a mask is placed at the begging of each pathway. 
  • The child must put on the mask and walk like the animal that the mask represent. 
  •  At the same time they must sing “dreidel, dreidel dreidel, I made you out of clay…” in a voice that represents that animal. 
  • If they fall down from the animal walk or because they were laughing to hard, they must go back to the beginning of that pathway. 
  • The player to complete the relay the fastest wins. 

To printout the animal masks from me, click here. 

If for some reason, printing the masks doesn’t work for you, you can google “children’s animal masks” and print out what you want from there.





This is a game of balance.

What you will need:

  • painters tape, 1 color
  • 30 oreos

How to play:

  • Lay a long piece of painters tape across the floor. This is the start line. 
  • Lay another piece 6-8 feet away. This is the finish line.
  • Each child, you can do this one at a timer simultaneously, places 1 oreo on his/her head. He must walk to the finish line. 
  • At the finish line he/she must place another roe onto of the first and walk back to the start line where they will receive another oreo. 
  • The player to walk back and forth with the most oreo’s piled on their heads is the winner. 





What you will need:

  • Go through the provided printout sheet and make sure you have enough of every category in your home. 
  • Print out the scavenger hunt list
  • 5 pencils
  • 5 shopping bags
  • 5 flashlights

How to play:

  • Give each player a scavenger hunt list, a pencil a bag and a flashlight. 
  • Turn on the flashlights and shut off all flash lights in your house. (Dads everywhere are going to love this. If only we could live in the dark all the time, we would never forget to shut off the lights, right dad?)
  • Set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes 
  • Press start and let each kid go off and try to find as many things on the list as they can.

The person who found the most items is the winner!

Click here to print out the Chalympic Scavanger hunt list.



What you will need:

blindfold, or scarf

a cookie sheet (to contain any spills)

20 different foods that can fit into small bowls or cups

20 small bowls or cups

a kitchen towel

How to play:

  • Send the kids out of the kitchen.
  • Place the cups on the cookie sheet and fill each one with as different edible product. (can be food, drink, snack, condiment, spice…)
  • Place a kitchen towel over the filled bowls so that no one can see whats underneath. 
  • Call each child one at a time into the kitchen. 
  • Cover their eyes with the blind and remove the kitchen towel. 
  • Help them guide their hand into each bowl one at a time. 
  • They must taste each item and identify it. 
  • Only first answers are accepted to remind them to take their time.
  • The child that guesses the most right is the winner.

Examples of tasters: Ketchup, Mayo, Honey, Croutons, Salt, Chopped hard boiled egg, Chocolate chips, Captain crunch, Cut up string cheese, Butter, Cucumbers, Red sufganiya jelly, Lemon wedges, Pickles, Plain yogurt, Franks hot sauce, Soda, Peanut butter, Craisins, Pesto, Salad dressing…



What you will need:

  • 10 plastic plates
  • 5 straws
  • 100 adashim or skittles (m&m like candy)

How to play:

Set up 5 stations

At each station place two plates side by side and a straw. 

Place 20 adashim or skittles on one plate at each station. 

When you say go, each child must use their straw to suck up one of the candies and move it to the other plate. 

The first child to get all the candies from one plate to the next is the winner.



Repeat the torch lighting ceremony only this time the overall winner goes first!








This post is dedicated to Steps 1 & 2 of the CHALYMPICS.

Its really more of a DIY arts & crafts post than anything else, but it helps get everyone into the spirit. 

*NOTE: Theses instructions are based on 5 children playing the games. Adjust accordingly!




  • Lots of crayons (Think 1, 24 pack per child)
  • 5 glass bottles (you can either recycle beer bottles or buy glass bottles in the shekel/dollar store)
  • 15 long candle lighting candles (this prevents the use of matches or lighters)
  • 5 candles to use as the actual “torch” (Think olden day 1-2 inch thick candleabra candles. You want them to sit nicely on the very top of the bottle neck.)


  1. Cover the surface where the children will be working in two layers of tinfoil. (Aside from making a clean up a breeze, it will protect your table from hot candle and crayon wax drippings!)
  2. Remove all the paper off the crayon before you start. (Paper is flamable. You don’t even want the snaps on the table while the children are working. so take a few minutes, have everyone unwrap their crayons, throw them in the garbage and then they an begin and you can have some piece of mind!)
  3. Give each child one bottle, one long candle and their crayons. (Hold back the actual “torch” candle)
  4. Light the long candle, and hold it in one hand. With the other hand, grab a crayon and bring both the crayon and the candle about 4-6 inches over the bottle. Allow the flame from the candle to heat the tip of the crayon. As the crayon melts it will drip down onto the bottle. 
  5. Once the crayon or the candle gets to small to use safely, replace with a new one. 
  6. Repeat the crayon melting process until the bottle is covered to your likeness!
  7. To attach the “torch” candle, simply place the bottom of the candle over a flame for 15 seconds to very slightly warm the wax. Place on the top of the opened, decorated bottle and hold it in place for 30 seconds. 

Your torches are ready!








  • 1 large silver/gray oak tag 
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 black permanent marker
  • 1 gold marker
  • 1 pair of scissors 
  • 1 glue stick
  • 1 stapler
  • regular scotch tape
  • 1 regular paper in a verity of colors. (if you have 5 children, you need 5 different colors)
  • 1 large foam sparkly gold sheet
  • 1 large foam sparkly silver sheet
  • 1 large foam sparkly bronze sheet
  • ( I also bought pink and purple sparkly foam sheets for my little girls who I anticipate will not appreciate a gold, silver or bronze “medal”)
  • 1 roll of double sided foam tape
  • 2 brown paper (for the bottom of the torch)
  • 2 pieces red tissue paper
  • 2 pieces orange tissue paper
  • 2 pieces yellow tissue paper


  1. Measure your oaktag so that you have 8, 2&1/4 inch wide boxes and 1, 1&1/2 inch boxes. (All together this comes out to 19&1/2 inches wide) The narrow 1&1/2 inch row should be placed in the 5th column this year, because shabbos is the fourth night of Chanukah. (The first row is for names)
  2. Measure the length. The top row should be 3 inches long and each additional row should be 2 inches long. (The total measurement here will vary depending on how many people are competing.)
  3. Use a ruler and permanent marker to create the grid.
  4. Leave the top left box blank and the go horizontally across and number 1-8
  5. Cut out a 2&1/2 by 2 inch piece of colored paper for each child. 
  6. Write their name on it and glue them in the first vertical row of the grid, leaving the top left corner empty. 
  7. In the narrow row, make an x in each box to show that their are no games that night.
  8. Cut 1 inch pieces of foam tape, leaving the paper on one side, and stick them in the center if each square. (Every night, remove the paper and stick on the medal that the child received)
  9. From each foam sheet, cut out 12, 2 by 1&3/4 inch squares and place them in a ziplock bag. (It’s good have to extras incase of ties)
  10. To make the big torch, roll one corner of the paper in toward the center. (this will create the cone) Staple the cone to hold its shape.
  11. Place the red tissue paper on the table, lay the orange over it and the yellow on top if both in an off centered way so that the corners don’t match up. 
  12. Place your index finger in the center of the sheets, and using the other hand grab them from underneath the red sheet sheet and lift all the corners up. 
  13. Insert it into the cone and adhere it in place with come scotch tape. (for a more realistic “fire” look, slightly circle the paper.
  14. To make the small cone cut all the papers in half and repeat the process. 
  15. Stick the small torch into the empty top left corner of your scoreboard and the big torch anywhere on your wall!


Click here to learn more about what the CHALYMPICS are about.

Click here to for a list of the games and their rules.




I have sooooooo much to tell you all! There are so many new and exciting games for this year!

But, first let’s take a step back and answer all your CHALYMPIC questions. 


The CHALYMPICS is an 8 day long, 7 event series we partake in every year of Chanukah. Well, actually this only our second year, but it’s definitely something we plan to grow old with!

Every night, after we light the menorah, instead of opening presents, we set up a game, using inexpensive materials that are easily purchased or that are already lying around the house, and all the kids compete. 

Like the real Olympics, we start off with a torch lighting ceremony, the winners stand on appropriate leveled chairs and receive their award at the end of each night, and of course we end the games with another torch lighting ceremony. 

Through out the 8 days, we keep track of the winners on a giant score card and at the end of the CHALYMPICS there is a final champion who wins the ultimate prize…BRAGGING RIGHTS!


Every year Eli and I go out a few weeks before Chanukah to discuss the upcoming gift situation. Do we buy a gift for every child for every night? Do we buy one big group kid? Do we give each child a big gift and then a few small prizes? We ask ourselves the same questions every year and we always end with the same one…

How do we make this holiday about more than just the gifts?

Just to back track a few years, a friend told us about this game she plays with her kids every year on Chanukah. It’s a life size memory game (more about that in the games portion of this post!). 

In an attempt to make the holiday about more then presents we adopted this game into our first night of Chanukah routine and it was a huge success. Our kids had a blast, we loved watching them and, bonus, the whole game cost us 24 shekel! 

Little did we know when we started this 4 years ago that this game would become the highlight of our children entire Chanukah. It’s literally all they spoke about in the previous months. 

So, last year when we went out to figure out their gifts, we looked at each other and realized the answer to all our questions was right there in from of us! 


The kids certainly could not remember what gifts they got the year before, but they remembered every detail of our live memory game. And not because of those silly shekel prizes they earned! Because, we did it as a family and we had fun!

So we came up with a game for every night. Then, true to our natures, mine abeing a super competitive game lover and Eli’s being an organized sports obsessed male, we created the CHALYMPICS!


Eli, being the more cool head, way less impulsive and more calculated half of our marriage, pointed out that the games had to have completely impartial winners. 

Meaning, we, as the parents, could not have any say in choosing who came in first, second or third place. The winner had to be determined by the objective rules of the event. Whether it’s a time event (who did …. the fastest), or a quantity based event (who collected…..the most), we would merely be there to cheer them on. 

This prevented any child from feeling like they weren’t “chosen” to win. It also made losing very easy to explain. Instead of saying, well I like her cupcake better, all we had to say was “Oh man, I really though you had it. It’s ok. Today he\she was faster but don’t worry, theres always tomorrow/ next year.”

Another key factor we look at when coming up with games is are they fun? I know it sounds crazy. All games are fun. Really though, some are funner than others and what we’ve found is that the sillier the games are the more fun they are for everyone. 

We choose games that are more physically involved because as it is kids today spend way too much time sitting behind desks and we try to choose games that are gender neutral. 

Every parent knows their children best though, and even though its easy to just to play the exact same games we play it might be fun to do a few minutes of googling or Pinterest to find games that are more suitable to your kids! 

Here’s a few tips if you down to come up wth your own games:

-Choosing games that have winners that you do NOT have to select is key in making sure your children don’t feel bad if they do not win. (We don’t believe in “Everyone’s” a winner because it’s just not real life and also, like I said, I’m super competitive.)

-Try to arrange the order of the games to fit your lifestyle. (I choose a game that needs almost no advance preparation for Saturday night this way we are not rushed.) 

-Keep the games interesting by alternating between nights with games where everyone competes at the same time vs games where only one player competes at a time

-Don’t choose games that will stress you out. For example, if you don’t like fingerprints on your walls (ahem, Dad) don’t choose a game where they have to lean or touch the wall. 

– Most importantly, make sure that you are enjoying yourself. The more fun you are having the more fun your kids will have. Guaranteed!

Of course, if you do come up with other games let us know! We’re always on the look out for new ones!!!

Now, on to the technical portion of this post. 

How do we make this all happen?

There are four easy steps to bringing the CHALYMPICS to life and making them awesome.

  1. Make a score board
  2. Help your kids create their own “torches” (or just buy a few extra havdalah-like candles!)
  3. Come up with 7 games (Like HASHEM, the Chalympics rest on shabbos) and make sure you have everything you need in your house.
  4. Download Olympic music on your phone. (opening ceremony, medal ceremony, national anthem and closing ceremony) 

Since there is so much to tell you about the first three steps (google for step 4, or iTunes) Im going to make each one of those steps it’s own blog posts!

I really, really hope you all enjoy this years and can’t wait to see you what you all come up with!

In case you need a little visual inspiration, heres a few videos of what the CHALYMPICS looked like last year!

(To see all of last years videos, click on the YouTube logo in the bottom right hand corner of the video. It will bring you to the CHALYMPICS 2016 playlist on my YouTube channel!)






Hey everyone!

Were doing something new, a little different but very exciting here today!

Instead of my usual post that comes with a description or background of the recipe todays recipe is being accompanied by the expert advice of Nechama Birnbaum.

Whenever I set out to do a shavua bari (healthy week) or chodesh bari (healthy month), I’m usually just looking to restore my family back to being in a balance healthy place. Which is why these weeks, or in this case month, usually follow holidays.

They are times where we go from meal to meal, and the kids go from snack to treat with hopefully a piece of chicken  (most likely fried) stuffed in their mouths to make me feel better. By the time the holiday (or holidays) is over I know we all need a serious dose of nutrients. The trouble I face for so long though, was how on earth do I get my kids to give up on junk and candy and trade it in for cucumbers and tomatoes?

I devised plan. Just like my “Kitchen Destinations” give me chance to explore different cuisines with the kids by exploiting their natural curiosity about the world, so to would I create a web dedicated to health. 


I printed out tons of information on the body, food digestion, nutrients, metabolisms, and basically anything related to what we as humans can do to keep the bodies Hashem gave us as healthy as possible. Together we sat and looked at charts, youtube videos and illustrations. Once their interest was peaked and they understood the importance of health, I introduced “shavua bari”. 

It was a success.

I did not aim to cut anything out of their lives. They are children and thank g-d they are all heathy. All I wanted them to do was eat a balanced meal for as many of the 3 meals a day as possible, and maybe trade in a snack for a cucumber every once in a while. 

Well, as usual, kids just rock! When they get excited about something there is no stopping them. They ate their fruit and veggies happily know that they were fueling their bodies, and even began tasting new kinds of foods I never thought I’d see them eat!

This year, we challenged ourselves more than ever. Instead of a one week time period, we gave ourselves a month. So far, we are knee deep into week 3 and their have only been two “unhealthy” meals. One was when we went out to dinner with my mother and the other was a birthday dinner for Batya!

It has been challenging at times, because healthy food is just harder. You have to be sure to have constant stock of very perishable items in your house at all times (unlike potato chips which never seem to expire), and there’s much more prep work. But, its worth it!

A week into our month long journey, I got an email from Nechama introducing herself. She is a nutritionist with an unbelievable outlook into healthy eating. Her philosophy is not focused on weight loss but rather on living well, and feeding your body the food it needs to be strong and healthy. When she suggested writing a blog post I jumped on the opportunity to share her wisdom with all of you. 

We decided that her post needed to be a accompanied by a recipe because really, whats nutrition information with out something delicious to whet your appetite? What better way to start this series than with breakfast. And what better breakfast than an something that can be totally customized to your families likes and dislikes, be made in bulk, frozen and be on hand for our busy mornings? Just incase you do have time though (hahaha, even the thought of extra time makes me laugh) I’ve also included a recipe for my shakshuka. 

IMVHO, it is the best shashuka out there. I use only fresh ingredients to create the “sauce” which besides keeping it healthy and clean also keeps it very light. You can eat a good hearty breakfast and continue your day with out feeling tired and sluggish. 

So, here it is. 

Nechama’s article with my recipes. 

Wishing everyone an amazing and healthy day!


I was so excited to see that Danielle is doing a healthy month on her blog and Instagram. Partially because I can count on Danielle to make sure everything I put on my table comes out delicious, but even more so because as a nutritionist I know first hand how life changing healthy eating is. Danielle created the most delicious baked oatmeal muffin recipe and shakshuka recipe, which gives us the easiest way to have a healthy breakfast. Healthy breakfast means healthy living means happy living, so thank you Danielle. Not exaggerating over here. Countless of studies have been done to prove that kids perform better in school when they eat a good breakfast. They get higher grades, they are in better moods, and they have better memories, attention spans and are more alert. Not to mention they have a lower BMI and eat less junk throughout the day. And you Super Moms; you cannot fly if you are low on fuel. Sometimes it is the simple things that make the most important and beautiful but challenging job of being a mom more manageable. A healthy breakfast is just that.

What exactly should a healthy breakfast consist of? How can you make it fast, easy and manageable?

We create breakfast out of four simple components. Carbs, Protein, Fat and Fruit.  It may sound scary like, no way in the world are you ready to make a whole elaborate breakfast right after you stumble out of bed in the morning. But, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Lets break it down. 

Carbs – carbs should be whole and unprocessed as possible. Processed carbs strip away almost all nutrients and fiber. They make your blood sugar spike up and right back down so you are hungry soon after eating. Whole carbs however, have lots of essential nutrients and fiber which slows the absorption of the sugar, leaving you feeling stable and fuller for longer. 

Brown rice, quinoa, old fashion oats, steel cut oats, wheat berries and starchy vegetables are great examples of whole carbs. Whole grain flours like whole wheat and spelt are great too but not as often as they are more processed. 

Protein – Protein is so important to have in the morning because it reduces a hunger hormone called ghrelin. When you don’t have protein for breakfast your hunger hormone keeps steadily rising and you are bound to eat more by lunch and supper. 

Yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, milk, nuts and even legumes like chickpeas/hummus are great sources of protein for breakfast. 

Fat – Healthy fats are so good for you and they keep you fuller longer. A little olive oil, a few avocado slices, some nuts/nut butter or tahini are great examples of healthy fats to incorporate in your breakfast.

Fruit – According to the Rambam, fruit is fantastic to have in the morning. 

Fruit is high in sugar but wrapped in fiber so the sugar doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Plus fruit is literally loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and everything good for you. God’s candy is simply perfect. 

Berries are a great breakfast choice as they are high in antioxidants but lower in sugar, but really any fruit works! 

Now let’s get all this goodness into your and your kids mouths without stress. Picture a bowl of yogurt topped with healthy granola, sliced apple and crumbled nuts, not too complicated right? You got your protein, carb, fat and fruit right there in one bowl that will literally change your kids day – and your own! You can even put it in a to-go cup and they can take it with them to school. 

Another idea is a granola bar, which can be eaten on the go with an easy protein and a fruit. Grab one of those with a yogurt or some cottage cheese or even hard boiled eggs from the fridge and you have the most amazing balanced breakfast that will keep you full until lunch. 

For those of you who are like me and like something savory in the morning: here is an idea I love. Make a quick omelet and a classic Israeli salad (tomatoes acting as fruit) and drizzle some tahini on top. For your carb, grab one of Danielle’s baked oatmeal muffins or a slice of whole grain bread. I have a client who is super adventurous and mixes a half a cup of brown rice with her Israeli salad in the morning and has two hard-boiled eggs on the side. Avocado toast topped with eggs is also a great idea. 

For winter mornings I suggest hot delicious oatmeal with cut up fruit, and a dollop of natural nut butter (like almond butter or sugar-free peanut butter sold almost everywhere). Drizzle a little maple syrup or coconut sugar on top and your kids will devour it. Plus it is everything in one easy bowl!

Depending on which direction you and your kids want to go with the protein, carb, fat and fruit breakfasts, the most important thing is to make it accessible and delicious. With a little prep time in the beginning of the week, healthy breakfasts can take three minutes to put together. It is worth the effort to help you and your kids thrive! 

First thing first is shopping. Get your fruits and veggies fresh in the beginning of the week and wash them before you put them away so they are even easier to grab and eat immediately. Take your kids to the store so they can choose their favorite fruits and thereby be more likely to eat them. Then stock up on the healthy proteins. Choose the yogurts with the lowest amount of added sugar. If ‘sugar’ is in the first three ingredients it is not the yogurt for you. Sweeten it with a dash of honey or maple syrup if your kids won’t eat it plain. Buy eggs (organic really makes a difference!), boil and store them in the fridge for up to one week. Make a huge batch of granola and of course the amazing oat bars and store it in your freezer for an easy grab and go. Whatever your breakfast plan is, take some time to prep for it and mornings will be that much easier. 

Happy eating, Happy living! 

Nechama Birnbaum is a Certified Nutritionist of Wonderfilled Nutrition who is passionate on helping people achieve a healthy, balanced, wonderful life! You can contact her through phone 0586147795 or through email at  




Asian Style Soup Bowls

I love everything about these soups. It’s basically the perfect comfort food.

The broth is rich and layered with flavor, the veggies are cooked but still maintain the slightest crunch, and bonus, it is soooooo healthy. I could eat a giant oversize bowl, be completely stuffed and have zero guilt. And the colors. Oh, those crazy beautiful colors just pull me right in. I am 100% guilty of liking my food more when it is beautiful. This plays right into that!

The absolutely best part about these soups though, is how versatile and customizable they are. You can make them completely vegan, you can use a chicken or beef broth, you can add in any protein or no protein, and use whatever vegetables you have lying around! The possibilities are literally endless. I have made this soup so many times and have never made it the same twice. 



Plus, because of how I cook everything that goes into it, one pot can feed everyone the soup of the dreams. All the vegetables get briefly blanched directly in the soup, then removed and set aside. This was you create a “soup bar” of sorts where everyone can add whatever veggies, proteins or any other add ons you can think of. There’s no picking little pieces of whatever a child may not like. And that my friends makes this soup absolutely perfect!

I found my noodle basket in Thailand but they sell them on amazon for a reasonable price. It is worth the purchase!

I am going to add links here to all the broth varieties but will post everything you can do with the soup right here.

Hope you all have as much fun making and eating these soups as we do!

Peas and Love, 


Asian Style Soup Bowls
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  1. 1 batch of any Asian Style Broth
  2. Mix and match proteins and vegetables that YOU like!
Protein Options
  1. 3 boneless chicken breasts
  2. 2 bone-in chicken bottoms and 2 chicken breasts, with skin
  3. 1/2 lb. thinly sliced filet
  4. 1 lb. ground lean ground beef
  5. 1 package firm tofu
  6. poached or fried eggs (as many as you want)
Vegetable Options
  1. (amounts will vary depending on how many different vegetables you use and how much you want of them. These amounts are just suggestions)
  2. 1 cup shredded carrots
  3. 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  4. 4 baby boy chops, halved
  5. 2 large zucchinis, julienned or zoodled
  6. 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  7. 2-3 thai chiles, thinly sliced (blanching these in the soup will not really make the soup spicy. Only adding them to your bowl directly and eating them will increase the heat level.)
  8. 1 cup mungbean sprouts
  9. 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  10. 2 cups broccoli florets
  11. 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes (don't cook just add to the bowl for a cold crunch!)
  1. ramen noodles
  2. rice noodles
  3. udon noodles
  4. brown/white rice
  1. Boneless Chicken Cutlets: season with salt and pepper and cook on a grill pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Slice thinly on an angle and add to your bowl of soup.
  2. Bone-in Chicken: Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle salt and and pepper. Bake in a 350f (180c) oven for 1h30m until chicken is cooked through. Discard skin and bones and shred chicken. Add to your soup bowls.
  3. Filet: If the filet is very very thinly sliced you can put it right into your soup bowl. The heat from the boiling broth will cook it perfectly when you pour it over the meat. Add to your soup bowls
  4. Ground Beef: Preheat the pot you are going to heat up or make your broth in. Add 1 tbsp canola oil, beef, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 tsp soy sauce. Cook, stirring often to break up big pieces until beef is cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside. Use that pot to make the broth. It will add another delicious layer of flavor.
  5. Firm tofu: Pat tofu dry and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Make a marinade of 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tbsp. honey, 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 tsp chili flakes. Marinate for at least 1 hour and then sautéed slices on both side in a pan or grill pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add to your soup bowls.
  6. Poached or Fried Eggs: cook how you like and add to your soup bowl.
Use a strainer or asian noodle basket (the link to buy one is in my post) and fill with each vegetable to cook one at time
For example
  1. Add the shredded carrots to the strainer or basket.
  2. Slowly lower the basket into the boiling broth.
  3. Gently swirl the basket and hold it their until the veggies are cooked to your liking.
  4. Lift basket out of the soup allowing the liquid to strain back into the pot.
  5. Pour the blanched carrots into its own bowl.
  6. Now refill basket with next veggie and repeat the process.
  7. Continue to do this until all your veggies are cooked through.
  8. *The vegetables will soften a drop as they sit so take that into account when cooking them.
  1. Ricen Noodles, Udon Noodles & Rice: Cook separately as you normally would in water. Strain and set aside. Add to your soup bowls.
  2. (I like to cook these in water bc they absorb to much liquid and I don't like to waste a drop of that insanely flavorful broth)
  3. Ramen: Put all the ramen in a bowl or pot.
  4. Add a few ladles of the broth to the pot.
  5. Just enough to cover the ramen.
  6. Allow it sit for 3-4 minutes and then strain and return broth to the pot.
  7. Serve ramen in soup bowls!
Peas, Love & Carrots
For the printable Asian Style Vegan Broth recipe click here 

For the printable Asian Style Chicken or Beef Broth recipe click here