CRISPY SCALLION & POTATO LATKES TOPPED WITH ASIAN STYLE PULLED DUCK

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

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CHALYMPIC GAMES 2017

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!

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.

EVENT #1

OPENING CEREMONIES + LIVE MEMORY 

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!

EVENT #2

THE MISE EN PLACE RACE

AKA, SOMEONE ELSE IS PREPPIN’ DINNER TONIGHT! 

(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!

EVENT #3

THE ANIMAL WALK & TALK RELAY 

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.

 

 

EVENT #4

COOKIE STACKING HEATS

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. 

 

 

EVENT #5 

BLACKOUT SCAVANGER HUNT

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.

EVENT #6 

THE BLIND TASTE TEST

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…

EVENT #7

THE CANDY SUCK

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.

CLOSING CEREMONY

TALLY UP ALL THE MEDALS ON THE SCOREBOARD. THE PERSON WOITH THE MOST GOLDS, IS THE OVERALL WINNER, THE PERSON WITH THE SECOND MOST IS THE SILVER NEDAL WINNER AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. 

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

UNTIL NEXT YEAR, THE END.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOU TTHE CHALYMPIC GAMES

CLICK HERE FOR THE DIY TORCHES AND SCOREBOARD

 

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TORCHES & SCOREBOARD

                      

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!

THE TORCHES

                     

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 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.)

HOW TO MAKE THEM:

  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!

THE SCOREBOARD

                      

                      

                       

                       

                                          

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 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

HOW TO MAKE TH SCOREBOARD:

  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!

NOW THAT YOUR TORCHES AND SCOREBOARD AS COMPLETE THE CHALYMPICS CAN BEGIN!!!!!!

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

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

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CHALYMPICS 2017

CHALYMPICS 2017 ARE FINALLY UPON US AND I’M HERE TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THEM. 

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. 

WHAT ARE THE CHALYMPICS?

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!

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS IDEA?

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! 

MORE GAMES. 

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!

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE GAMES?

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!)

FOR THE DIY TORCHES AND SCOREBOARD POST CLICK HERE

FOR THE CHALYMPIC GAMES AND RULES CLICK HERE

 

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS by NECHAMA + BAKED OATMEAL MUFFINS + SHAKSHUKA

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. 

NOT WEIGHT LOSS. JUST 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 wonderfillednutrition@gmail.com.  

FOR THE PRINTABLE BAKED OATMEAL MUFFINS RECIPE CLICK HERE

FOR THE PRINTABLE SHAKSHUKA RECIPE CLICK HERE

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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, 

Danielle

Asian Style Soup Bowls
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Ingredients
  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!)
extras
  1. ramen noodles
  2. rice noodles
  3. udon noodles
  4. brown/white rice
FOR THE PROTIENS
  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.
FOR THE VEGGIES
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.
FOR THE ADD-INS
  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 https://peaslovencarrots.com/
For the printable Asian Style Vegan Broth recipe click here 

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

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Cajun Salmon Tacos with Persimmon Salsa

Sometimes recipes happen by accident. And sometimes those are the best ones.  Like this one.

For the second day of rosh Hashanah I planned on serving tacos, and filling them with whatever meats I had leftover from the previous meals. Because, really anything you stuff inside a taco tastes good. Amiright?

Well, what I did not plan for was having extra mini tacos shells leftover. So, shabbos day, in addition to my crab cakes I decided to fill my leftover shells with some of my leftover cajun salmon. Perfect right? Wrong. 

Why is that wrong? Because tacos ALWAYS need a salsa. My first days, meat filled tacos, were just fined with a dollop of garlic mayo and some crunchy shredded cabbage because I was able to reheat the sauce from thew meat and that moistened the whole thing. But shabbos day, I could for sure not heat up a sauce so I needed a salsa. 

And thats when it hit me. I had 3 beautiful, orange, fall-esque persimmons sitting in my fridge. I chopped them up, threw it together with a bunch of other salsa-must ingredients and boom. 

The perfect Fall time Salmon Taco. 

I knew was recipe I had to share so I made it again after the holiday, just so I could “photograph” (quotations b/c I only pretend to be a food photographer), and share the recipe with you all. 

For the taco shells I used wonton wrappers that I fry with my handy dandy taco shaper, that you can buy here from amazon. It actually pretty fast to fry them up and they really make the best taco shells. Plus, after they cool you can store in them in an airtight container for up to a week and the will stay fresh! I know, magic! 

I also halved the cajun salmon recipe because really you don’t need a whole side of salmon to fill 40 tacos. Half a side will do just fine. Which, FYI, also makes this recipe super economical! 

You can also totally skip the taco shells and just serve the salsa right on top of the salmon! 

However you do it, make sure you do! It’s the perfect fish appetizer for Succos. 

And the colors, oh the colors. They are so appropriate for the beautiful fall season. Besides being delicious they’ll also look soooo pretty in your Succah’s.

To assemble the tacos place a few pieces of the salmon inside the taco and top with a teaspoon of persimmon salsa.

For the printable Cajun Salmon recipe click here

For the printable Persimmon Salsa recipe click here

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FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND JERUSALEM

Here it is, my first most basic list of things to do in and right around Jerusalem. I hope to continue adding to this list, but for now just wanted to get this information out to you. Keep checking back for updates!

Also, please note, that although we have done many other activities in Jerusalem these are my favorites so far. I Weill not post anything on this list that we did not absolutely love!

LOL AND POP

https://www.lolandpop.co.il/abouteng

CONTACT INFO:

lolandpop.israel@gmail.com

053-244-4727

053-244-4729

ADRESS:

Rechov Haroe 43, Ramat Gan

HOURS:

By appointment only

Sun-Thurs 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Fri- 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

What is LOL AND POP?

Lop and Pop is custom candy shop owned by two pastry chefs who happen to be recent Ukranian immigrants, Igor and Katerina. 

They run hands on candy making workshops. The workshop begins with boiling the sugar and ends in a delicious variety of different shaped, customizable candies. 

Their candies are made with the best quality natural ingredients and besides being beautiful are also really delicious! 

We went with my three big kids (ages 6-9) and all five had a blast. Even Eli and I couldn’t hold back from playing with the candy. 

The workshop is fun, interactive, informative and obviously yummy!

You do need to book an appointment with them before going. You have an option to drive to Ramat Gan which can take around hour, give or take Israeli traffic, or you they will pack up and come to you! 

They also do workshops for parties, big and small and make custom candies for events, care packages, and parties.

 

JERUSALEM ROPES COURSE

CONTACT INFO:

challengetours@gmail.com

052-893-8921

ADRESS:

Givat ha-Takhmoshet, Jerusalem

(Ammunition Hill)

Hours:

By appointment only

Sun-Friday 

What is the Jerusalem Ropes Course?

The Jerusalem is a series of climbing and swinging activities set up around ammunition hill. There are rope ladders, ropes that pull you up and then swing you down, tight walking ropes and of course zip lining. We brought ten kids with us ages 4-8 and all of us had a great time. It took us about two hours to get through the course and at no point did we feel bored. The kids were happy, and the guide they randomly assigned us to take us through the course was phenomenal with them. He was patient with the children that were slightly nervous and excited and cheerful at every child’s turn.

What eli and I liked best, besides the fact that we spent the money to bring the kids their and it was a success (because we all know what the alternative is), is that it is in Jerusalem, easy to get to, parking was a breeze and we didn’t waste our whole day. It’s the perfect activity for an ere yuntif, or a day where you still want time to get other things done!

 

JERUSALEM HILLS ATV

CONTACT INFO:

050-773-3335

02-990-9171

ADRESS:

Leave from the HOTEL YEHUDA

Rechov Chaim Kulitz

Givat Masu’a

HOURS:

By appointment only

Sunday-Friday

What is Jerusalem Hills Atv?

Its an off road ATV/Jeeping adventure in and around the hills of Jerusalem. It is very local, across form the mall, and actually a hidden treasure of an activity. We took everyone with us, plus a few extras (ages 1&1/2 – 30 something??), and ALL of us had a blast. The scenery was breathtaking and so enlightening. It is one thing to know that Jerusalem is built on a series of hill but to actually drive through them and see them laid out before us was just spectacular. 

What do I wish I had known before going?

DO NOT WEAR A SHEITEL. Actually, do not wear anything that you don’t want to wash. Lets just say that my dark brown sheitel looked like the color of, well, dirt, blonde dirt. And our clothes resembled potato sack like garments that people may have worn in biblical times. 

Dont get me wrong, all this dirtiness was a HUGE bonus for every child involved, I may had worn a tichel and sneakers had I been warned!

In fact, it was so beautiful and so fun that is actually an activity we plan to do again!

 

JERUSALEM SNAPPELING (RAPPELLING)

http://www.challengetours.org

CONTACT INFO: 

052-893-8921

ADRESS: 

Meeting point: The bridge in between the Herzel Museum and the Mount Zion Hotel

Jerusalem

HOURS:

By reservation only

Sun-Fri

What is snappeling?

Actually, I’m not exactly sure what the difference between snappeling and rappelling is, but I don’t really think it matters. All you need to know is that you are attached to two, very sturdy ropes via a secure harness and you lay your body back side down over what feels like the tallest mountain in the world (fear not, it is in fact not even close to that), and proceed to walk down the mountain all why looking up at the beautiful blue skies that envelope the old city. Did I slightly romanticize what it feels like to hurl yourself over a mountain? Yes I did. 

Why, you ask?

Because in reality that first moment of getting over the mountain is incredibly terrifying. However, Once you take that first step and you feel the security of the rope, all the fear melts away and you can focus on how cool you are because youre currently rappelling off the hills of Jerusalem. 

I took 5 kids with me, ages 6-9 and not only did they all love it, but they each did it a second time. Had I let, they would have stayed there forever. Or at least until dinnertime. 

The guide that brings you is incredibly sweet and patient and we all felt very safe in his hands. For kids that are too afraid or two young, you can actually go down in pairs. It is not a typical activity, but I promise it is one all of you will remember for a long time!

 

ERETZ BEREISHIT

http://www.genesisland.co.il/en/contact

CONTACT:

02-997-4477

ADRESS:

Genesis Land

Yishuv Ayalon

HOURS:

BY appointment only

What is Eretz Bereishit?

Its a step back in time to the days of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov. The adventure starts with changing into the “appropriate” attire and mounting a camel for a ride down the curvy hill. Aside from your cell phone, which you probably need for pictures, from that point on, there is very little else to remind you of what era we are actually living in. From sitting on mats in tents, to writing on parchment to baking pitas with out conventional equipment it is a fun and informative activity for children and adults. 

Because Eretz Bereishit is anyway a two minute drive from Nahal Prat we always end our day at the Nahal. See the next activity for info.

 

NAHAL PRAT, WATER HIKE

CONTACT:

NONE

ADRESS:

Two minutes past the right turn into Peretz berieshit. 

Park anywhere on the mountain. You will see cars parked on the side as well. 

HOURS:

NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY!

What its Nahal Prat?

Nahal Prat is one of our favorite “hikes” in Israel. When I first told my kids that I was putting together this post, they couldn’t decide on whether everyone needs to know about this, or if we should keep this hidden gem a secret so that it never gets overcrowded! Lucky for you, we decided to share!

Aside from the 1 minute walk down a very steep hill to begin the water trail, the entire walk is flat. 

Whaaaaaaaaaat? 

I know, flat land in Israel is a parents dream. There is a few mile stream with small waterfalls sprinkled on the edges every once in a while through the beautiful valleys surrounding Jerusalem. 

A lot of the walk is shaded by overgrown bushes that create an arch of some sort shielding you from the sun. 

We have seen deer up on the mountains on top of us and thew smell of fresh lavender growing all around the stream perfumes the air in the most satisfying way. 

Since it only takes 35 minutes to drive their this is one of our favorite activities. It’s close by, gets us moving, involves getting wet (which is a huge bonus for us), and is really beautiful. 

 

THE SHUK, MAHANE YEHUDA

ADRESS: 

The center of Jerusalem, between Rechov Yaffo and Rechov Aggripas

HOURS:

Daytime shopping roaming and eating 9:00am – 6/7:00pm

Nighttime eating, bar hopping 9/10:00pm -……

What is the shuk?

The shuk is the central outdoor market place in Jerusalem. It is comprised of two main streets, with alleyways that snake all through out it. Over the years the shuk has grown to also include the surrounding streets and neighborhood. 

Over the last 5 years the shuk has had a renaissance of sorts. The technical infrastructure was and still is undergoing a complete overhaul by the Jerusalem Municipality. This means, more electricity, better plumbing and drainage and most importantly room for restaurant growth. 

The number of street food vendors that have opened around the shuk is not measurable simply because there are new places opening daily. 

Aside from having the selling produce, the freshest fish and the yummiest delicacies the shuk has become a local and tourist designation. 

Its a place to go whether you have a shopping list or not. You can wonder endlessly up and down through the aisles, taking in all the smells, colors and sounds or you can treat yourself to a tasting tour. Just keep your eyes peeled as your walking and every few steps you go you’ll find something to taste. 

From day to night the shuk goes through a complete transformation. It starts out as a housewife, kid friendly, friend lunching area to a giant millennial after party. All the vendors are closed, aside from restaurant proprietors and bars. The beer scene is booming which means hundreds of different beers to choose from and taste. Even if you are not a drinker it is fun to just walk around. 

Whether you go day or night, you should definitely go. It is my absolute most favorite place in the whole city!

 

MORE ACTIVITIES/IDEAS THAT ARE SELF EXPLANATORY AND DO NOT NEED APPOINTMENTS:

 

THE BIBLICAL ZOO

http://www.jerusalemzoo.org/home-english

ADRESS:

Derech Aharon Shulov 1, Jerusalem

HOURS:

Sun-Thurs 9:00am – 6:00 pm

Fri 9:00am – 4:30pm

 

THE FIRST TRAIN STATION

http://firststation.co.il/en/

ADRESS:

Rechov David Remez 4, Jerusalem

HOURS:

Because of the variety and constant change in attractions (restaurants, concerts, festivals, fairs, children activities) there it is best to look upon specific hours on their website.

 

THE ISRAEL MUSEUM

http://www.imj.org.il/en

ADRESS:

Derech Rupin 11, Jerusalem

HOURS: 

Sun-Mon & Wed-Thurs – 10:00am – 5:00pm

Tues- 4:00pm – 9:00pm

Friday- 10:00am – 5:00pm

 

THE CHILDRENS SCIENCE MUSEUM

https://www.mada.org.il/en/node/417

ADRESS:

Sderot HaMuze’onim 3, Jerusalem

HOURS:

Mon-Thurs 10:00am – 6:00pm

Fri-10:00am – 2:00pm

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MOROCCAN FISH BALLS

     

These are so nostalgic for me. My mother only really made them on holidays and it was always something to look forward to. 

Starting off the meal with the flavorful, herby fish and hot delicious tomato sauce that you scoop up with the fresh homemade challah always meant the start of something good. 

A beautiful meal filled with family and friends. 

I love to serve this on Succos when the air just begins to have the slightest in chill in it and the hot, comforting fish just warms you up inside and out. 

This fish is really best made fresh, the day you are planning to serve it, but I promise it’s worth it!

For the printable Moroccan Fish Balls recipe click here

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