CHALYMPIC GAMES 2018

CHALYMPICS ARE BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER!!!

We have 7 amazing games this year. Our 3 standing games and four new, original, from-the-gut-laughter-inducing, family fun and extremely economical games!

Before we jump in, I just want to take a second to welcome and fill in any first time Chalympic participants!

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!

To read the full article explaining the who, what, where and why of it all click here

To read the full article teaching you how to make the torches and scoreboard click here

To watch last years games click here to watch night 1 and then scroll through the remaining  highlights to see how we do it!

Ok, now that everyone is update and were all on the same page about how awesome it is to spend Chanukah bonding and having fun instead of stressing out about what presents to buy, how many to get, which night to give what and whether we need to actually wrap them, we can get this party started!

SO…….

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

EVENT #1

OPENING CEREMONIES + LIVE MEMORY 

What you will need:

The homemade torches (CLICK HERE)

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:

Send the children out of the room.

Arrange the prizes on a large space on the floor, separating identical prizes, in a grid like pattern.

Cover each prize with an aluminum pan. 

Call the children back into the room. 

Now play memory….

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. 

When someone uncovers identical prizes they keep it. 

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.

THE FINAL DINNER WILL BE:

  • Meatballs “subs” on a long challah roll
  • Roasted Garlic aioli to slather on the subs
  • Israeli salad (because, as much I try I can not convince myself that the wheat used to make the flour for bread should be considered a veggie.)

What you will need:

  • 5 plastic cutting boards
  • 5 sets of disposable latex gloves
  • 1 batch challah dough
  • 10 aluminum greased pan (2 for each player)
  • 10 eggs (2 for each player)
  • 5 plastic forks
  • 5 small bowls or cups (for cracking eggs into)
  • (optional: assorted challah toppings)
  • 5 medium sized bowls
  • 5 knives (can be plastic)
  • 5 cucumbers
  • 1&1/4 c cherry tomatoes
  • 5 lemon halves (so 2&1/2 lemons, halved: 1/2 for each player)
  • 5 small dishes of kosher salt
  • 5 small dishes of coarse black pepper
  • 5 small bowls
  • 3 tbsp mayonaisse
  • 10 roasted garlic cloves (2 for each player)
  • 5 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 5 bowls, each  filled with 1/2 lb ground meat
  • 5 small dishes with 1 clove chapped garlic
  • 5 small dishes each filled with 1/4 c parsley leaves
  • 5 small dishes each filled with 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs

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 (unless otherwise directed) 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:

  • Make 2 longer “sub style” challah rolls
    • place rolls in greased pan
    • crack 1 egg into cup, beat with with then egg the top of the roll
  • make Israeli salad 
    • cut up cucumber
    • cut cherry tomatoes into quarters
    • squeeze halved lemon over veggies (be sure not to get any seeds in there!)
    • season with a pinch of salt and pepper
    • mix
  • Make garlic aoili
    • add 2 cloves roasted garlic to a bowl
    • add a pinch of kosher salt, pepper, mustard and any remaining juice from the lemon
    • once combined add mayo and mix
  • Mix and shape meatballs
    • add remaining beaten egg from challah (or crack and beat a new one but only add about 1/2 the egg) to the bowl with meat
    • add in garlic, parsley and panko
    • season with salt and pepper
    • mix meat mixture and shape into golf ball size (or slightly smaller) meatballs
    • place shaped meatballs into the 2nd greased 9×13 pan

Once your entire bowl of meat mixture is complete, throw your hands in the air, wiggle your fingers and scream DONE as loud as you can! Bonus points if you scream loud enough to break some windows!

*PARENTS: Bake rolls till they are golden and cooked through. For meatballs, combine all meatballs onto a greased baking sheet. Place tray in a 375f oven until they are crispy on the outside and the fat has been rendered. Add any grease from the baking sheet to a pot set over medium high heat. Sautee 1 onion for 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and stir for 1 minutes.  Pour 1/2 cup red wine into the pan and use a spoon to scrape up any bits. Add in 3 cups tomato sauce and all the meatballs.Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve meatballs in baguettes, smeared with garlic mayo and some Israeli salad on the side! Eat and enjoy!

EVENT #3

CUP STACKING REPLICA RELAY

Object of the game: To replicate the cup tower as fast as possible.

What you will need:

  • Lots of plastic cups

How to play:

This is a timed event!

Send children out of the room for 5 minutes. 

Create a tower, or series of towers using plastic cups. 

Bring out children and give them each 3 minutes to replicate the tower you’ve built.

The child that does it the fastest, or gets farthest along in the given time is the winner. 

*BONUS CHALLANGE: Finger numbing cup stacking.

Place a bowl of water and ice on the table. Have contestant stick their hand inside for 10 seconds. Then immediately begin the stacking clock count down!

Event # 4

POPCORN RUN

Object of the game: To fill a bowl with popcorn using only the small containers attached to your feet. 

What you will need:

  • 2 pint sized clear circle containers
  • scissor or knife (to make two small holes)
  • 2 shoelaces
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 very large (think carry on luggage size), deep plastic storage bin
  • LOTS OF POPCORN

HOW TO PLAY:

Make two small holes in the center of each pint sized container

Run a shoelace through both holes. (one shoe lace per container)

Attach a container to the top of each foot using the shoelace to tie it around.

Fill the large storage container with popcorn and place at one end of a long hallway or room. 

Place the bowl on the other end. 

Contestants must use their feet to scoop up popcorn from storage container. 

They must then walk across the room, spilling as little popcorn as possible, and dump the containers into the bowl. 

This process is to be repeated until the bowl is full. 

The contestant to fill the bowl the fastest is the winner!

*Bonus: If contestants can then clean up spilled popcorn in 15 seconds they will receive a prize in the form of a kiss.

EVENT #5

SKI PONG BALL

Object of the game: To get as many points as possible in the two minutes allotted by getting the ping pong ball across the table and into the cups using only a straw to direct the ball. 

What you will need:

  • about 15- 25 plastic cups (this will depend on the size of the table and how difficult you want the game to be) (The more cups you put out the easier it is!)
  • scotch tape
  • painters tape…..click here to buy
  • 3 ping pong bowls…..click here to buy
  • Regular plastic straws
  • Post it’s (for creating back boards and assigning point values)

How to play:

Use scotch tape to tape cups to the edge of the table. (see photo for reference)

Cups that are hanging down will be assigned a higher point value then cups that are sideways. 

Leaving spaces between cups makes the game harder, so any cups that are farther from other cups should also be assigned more points. 

Use painters tape to divide your table into 3 zones. 

The zone closest to the cups, and therefore easiest will be given the lowest point value and the zone farthest will be give the highest. 

Each player will be given two minutes to use their straw to blow the pingpong ball into a cup. 

They can choose which zone to start from. 

They must blow the ball into a cup. 

The value of points they receive for a ball landing in a cup is the total of the zone they started from plus the cup it landed in!

They can keep playing and racking up points for the entire two minutes. 

A referee must keep track of points during each players turn. 

The contestant with the highest score at the end of the 2 minutes is the winner.

        

EVENT #6

SIMONIZED DANCE REVOLUTION

Object of the game: To mimic the dance moves in order, remembering each one as a new one is added. 

What you will need:

  • music
  • a list of 20 dance moves (I will provide a basic list, however Im extremely impulsive and will most likely change things in the heat of the moment. The important thing is to remember the moves so you can make sure the contestants repeat them properly)

How to play:

Turn on the music. 

Call one child into the room at a time.

Start by showing them move one. 

Let them repeat it. 

Then show then moves 1 and 2

Let them repeat it. 

Then show moves 1, 2 and 3

Let them repeat it.

Continue this process adding one move at a time. 

The child that gets furthest along in the dance routine without skipping a move is the winner. 

Dance routine:

  1. jump 1 time
  2. clap 2 times
  3. tap your right foot in from of you
  4. tap your left foot in from of you
  5. clap your hands in the air 2 time
  6. wiggle your body down to the floor
  7. jump up 2 times
  8. spin around
  9. climb up four imaginary stairs
  10. open and close your legs in a jumpimg manner 2 times
  11. clap 4 times
  12. dance like a mokney
  13. spin around
  14. touch your toes
  15. wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care
  16. kick in from of you with your right foot
  17. kick behind you with your left foot
  18. do 3 jumping jacks
  19. wiggle your body down
  20. jump back up and give one final clap

Feel free to completely ignore this routine and make it up as you go along! Just be sure YOU remember the order for each player!

EVENT #7 

THE BLIND TASTE TEST + CLOSING CEREMONY

Object of the game: To identify as many foods as possible by simply tasting them while blindfolded.

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…

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.

 

*Note: You can alsoutely adjust, mix and match games from different years to suit your families. In fact you are ENCOURAGED to customize them to get the most fun out of it! Click here to see last years games for more inspo!
 

 

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10 CHICKEN MARINADES + HOW TO STOCK YOUR FREEZER LIKE A BOSS

              

                                 

               

                                 

Theres nothing like fresh food. 

There’s also nothing like a day where you ran a million errands, got a flat tire that took an hour to fix, received a phone call that you left your credit card in one fo the stores you went into on your million errand run so you have to go back to said store and sit in the random 2:00 pm traffic again, to finally get home and remember that the little people who co-inhabit your home will somehow need to be fed. 

These are precisely the times having premarinated chicken in your freezer saves the day. 

Is it really so hard to throw some sauce on chicken and stick it in the oven?

No. It’s not. 

But, when you have so many other thing goings on, whether its a full work schedule, a busy week of holiday preparations or just a regular Wednesday (why are Wednesdays always so crazy?), it’s nice to know you can have a yummy home made meal with out getting a single dish dirty!

That’s right. You prep all these chicken when they’re fresh, freeze them in the marinade and then all you have to do is cook em up! It could not be simpler. 

Well, I guess you actually could cook them first then freeze them, but really, I don’t recommend that. There something about cooked frozen chicken that just isn’t right. Maybe it’s the texture, Maybe its in the reheating process, whatever it is, it’s just not ideal. Sticking something in the oven , when everything is already chopped, mixed and cleaned is so easy that  why not cook it fresh. Also, then its fresh. And hot out of the oven chicken, is always a crowd pleaser. 

So, I’ve put together 10 different recipes for you, together in one place, just to maker your life easier. I figure with ten recipes theres definitely a few out there for each of you. This way you could take 1 hour (yup, you can marinade all ten of these in less than hour)on a Sunday and be set for the next month!

A note about freezing:

I like to freeze these in ziplock bags. I squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags and somehow I think this helps the marinade really penetrate the chicken and and a whole extra burst of flavor. I also like to lay the ziplock bags flat into a 9×13 pan in the freeze sxo that during the freezer process if theres any drips I can just throw out the pan. Once all the chicken is frozen I remove the pan and stand my ziplock up vertically. This way I can always see what I have, its easy to take out and takes up way less space in the freezer to save room for things that are really important. Like ice cream. 

Also, please not that you can change up the cuts of chicken I use to reflect cuts that your family likes. 

Hope this helps you all this holiday season and all your long!

Happy freezer stocking!

✌🏻💜&🥕,

Danielle

  1. For the printable Apricot Soy Chicken marinade recipe click here
  2. For the printable Sticky Buffalo Bbq Chicken marinade recipe click here
  3. For the printable Moroccan-ish Olive Chicken marinade recipe click here
  4. For the printable Caesar Chicken marinade recipe click here
  5. For the printable Scallion Lime Chicken Cutlet marinade recipe click here
  6. For the printable Harissa Lemon Olive Chicken  marinade recipe click here
  7. For the printable Fig and Balsamic Chicken marinaderecipe click here
  8. For the printable Lemon Herb Chicken marinade recipe click here
  9. For the printable Pomegranate Teriyaki Chicken marinade recipe click here
  10. For the printable Chili Garlic Chicken marinade recipe click here

 

 

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VERY SAVORY DRY RUB BRISKET

I love a good piece of meat. Lately I’ve been especially liking my meat to have as much meaty flavor, texture and scent as possible. That means no more over sweetened pulled beef, sweet ribs or sweet anything for that matter. I want a piece of uber savory meat that I can sink my teeth into. 

That is what this brisket is all about. It’s a dry rub with no sugar, that is balanced out by the addition of wine to add a layered of sweetness that is perfectly balanced with the natural acidities that wine posses. 

Since these holidays are crazy, I’ve been trying to cut out as many cooking steps as humanly possible. So, for this brisket (or deckle), I skipped the searing and just started it off in the oven uncovered to help create a nice crust. 

It’s easy to make, uses simple ingredients and tastes extremely savory and satisfying!

For the printable Very Savory Dry Rub Brisket recipe click here

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5 EASY MARINADES, 1 HOUR – stock your freezer with 5 premartinated proteins in no time! PART 2

                            

 

Part 2 of stocking your freezer does not just come with 2 simple meat recipes. It comes with an added bonus of an extremely time appropriate salad for you to serve the brick roast with. 

Why did I that? Because you all rock!

The truth is that I felt like when you buy a brick roast and have it butterflied you walk away with 2 pieces of meat. I wanted you to be able to serviette meat once on its own, because it’s that good and then once again in a different, dressed up, still exciting way. 

These holidays are all about food and having repetitive meals is a huge no-no for me. Of course there are always a few staple like chicken soup, schnitzel and potato kugel, but everything else has got to be original or I’m basically just forcing myself to eat!

So here you go. Today’s recipes are:

  • Easy Korean Ribs
  • Butterflied Brick Roast
  • Steak Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette + Chimmichurri

If you followed the this post and the last post you should now have 6 perfectly marinaded cuts of meat that just need to be simply thrown into an oven or on a grill! All you have left to do is, well, everything else. But at least the meat is off your head! 

For the printable Easy Korean Ribs click here

For the printable Butterflied Brick Roast click here

For the printable Steak Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette + Chimmichurri  click here

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5 EASY MARINADES, 1 HOUR – stock your freezer with 5 premartinated proteins in no time! PART 1

 

“Stocking your freezer is easy to do. Stocking your freezer the RIGHT WAY, is an art form.” -Me

Ok, so thats not a deeply profound quote that I suspect anyone will ever repeat, but I don’t think it’s a super important and helpful tip for the upcoming holiday season!

It’s super imoprtant to know what to freeze and what not to freezer. Especially when it come to protein. Don’t freeze a cooked steak. It will not be delicious. No matter how you freeze it, or how you defrost it. Do not freeze a cooked standing rib roast. I know there are some who do, but I’m against it. A giant hunk of meat, not covered in sauce, will take for ever to defrost and by the time it does the meat will have a weird freezer-y (yup, its a word) taste!

Here’s what you should freeze:

  • Raw proteins that are pre-marinaded. 

Why? Because in this situation the freezing will actually enhance the quality of the meat. The marinade will penetrate the protein in a much more flavor inducing way and all you have to do when you want to eat is defrost and follow the cooking instructions!

  • Proteins that are braised. 

Why? Something about the liquids it cooks in keeps the meats very soft and very tender even after defrosting and reheating. There sone key rule to braising though. The protein must NOT be removed from the cooking liquids until it has completely cooled. That means no touching. At all! The eat will completely dry out. During the cooling process the meat will reabsorb a lot of those cooking juices and if you take it out it won’t have any juicy goodness to soak up.

  • Cakes and cookies!

Why? No idea but they freeze and defrost beautifully. I actually find that some cakes taste better after they’ve defrosted from the freezer. My only rule with freezing baked goods is that they must be left whole. No cutting a cake in half. Sorry! Wrap the baked goods in a few layers of saran wrap and then foil to keep them safely away from any possible freezer burn. 

For part 1 of these5 easy marinades I’m giving you 3 recipes. 

   

Miso + Apricot Roasted Turkey Breast 

Garlic + Rosemary Lamb Shoulder

and

Duck Fat Roasted Breast Of Veal

All of these can be marinaded in minutes and cooked up fresh,  simply and easily!

HAPPY FREEZING EVERYONE!

For the Miso + Apricot Roasted Turkey Breast recipe, click here

For the Garlic + Rosemary Lamb Shoulder recipe, click here

For the Duck Fat Roasted Breast Of Veal recipe, click here

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SAVORY STOVETOP BRISKET

Seder food can be a challenge. It’s not easy to work hard to make food that you know will end ups mostly being served as leftovers. By the time it comes time to eat the meal, everyone is so stuffed up on matzah that after they gulp down their chicken soup everyones appetites have seriously decreased. 

So, I like to make food that reheats well, since thats where most oil the food is headed. Brisket is the perfect candidate for that. It’s naturally fatty which protects the meat from drying out.

This version is something I developed for the seder since it is cooked totally in a pot. Nothing roasted at all! For me, this is all I want at the seder. Something deeply savory to balance out all the wine!

It’s super simple to make and reallllly delicious! Plus, the leftovers are amazing! Just reheat covered and serve again over fresh creamy mashed potatoes! 

Happy cooking everyone!

For the printable Savory Stovetop Brisket click here

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FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES

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.

PURIM. 

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!

✌🏻💜&🥕,

Danielle

              

For the printable French Dip Sandwich recipe click here

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