Category: Holidays

Tu Bishvat {2014}

Last night we hosted our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder for family and friends. Like most of the dinners I host, I went to my trusty Pinterest and searched on my Tu B’Shevat board for recipes and craft ideas.

We started the morning off with a fun craft. Since it’s the holiday of the trees I helped Sarah paint her hands and feet to make this cute craft.

Tu B'Shevat Tree

Then I had Sarah use her fingertips to make “pomegranates” on the tree.

During Sarah’s nap I got busy cooking food for our seder.

I started off the night with a platter of dried fruit and nuts.

nutsTo accompany the food I made, Sangria With A Twist.

Tu B'Shevat SangriaRecipe can be found here.

The salad consisted of Orange, Red Onion and Olive Salad

saladRecipe can be found here.

Dinner was Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives and Lemon and Jeweled Rice with Dried Fruit.

chick n riceChicken recipe can be found here.
Rice recipe can be found here.

Dessert was Maple Walnut Chiffon Cake.

cakeRecipe can be found here.

It was a fabulous night filled with family and friends. Here is a picture of my table.

photo 2For our easy two page seder click here.

SS TuBishvat

Chanukah {2013}

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

A result of a rare coincidence between the Lunar calendar (whose dates reflect both the moon phase and the time of the solar year, and which can have between 353 and 385 days per year) and the Gregorian calendar. Since the calendars are not calculated the same way, Chanukah appears at a different time each year on the Gregorian calendar.1463009_10152076260561948_1808880643_n

The first night of Chanukah was celebrated over dinner with our friends Sarah, Luke and their sweet daughter Lydia.

Before our guests arrived we lit Sarah’s Menorah.

picstitchShortly after we had her open her first gift.

In the past we’ve bought her one gift as her birthday is a short three months later. However this year we decided it would be a fun tradition to buy her 8 small gifts. After her 2nd birthday, she really got the hang of opening gifts. It was cute to see her excitement as she would “ooh and aw” after each gift (it was a two-fer that night).

picstitch(1)After playing for a bit with her new gifts, our guests arrived. We lit the candles and played dreidel. Finally we sat down for another Pinterest Chanukah dinner.

My menu consisted of

Cauliflower, Leek and Potato Soup cauliflower-soup-569x93-569x293Waldorf Salad w/homemade dressingphoto(1)Caprese Latkescaprese-latkeShin Newtonsphoto(5)and homemade Sufganiyot (or jelly doughnuts). photoEverything was really tasty, except for the doughnuts. Using whole wheat flour might seemed like a good idea at the time, but in reality it wasn’t good.

We had so much fun talking that I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I would have liked, including one of my fabulous guests. Thanks for the wine and the great conversations!

photo(2)Thanksgivukkah was held at my sister-in-law’s. Thanks to my mother-in-law for the delicious home cooked meal!

Before dinner Sarah lit the candles with Aunt Rhonda.


Then, Sarah opened some of her gifts.

1385897_10153556009640571_1969323475_nMy K family (missing a few)!


and my gubby, David. 

  960052_10153556030820571_874961513_nWe completed the meal with apple pie, pumpkin pie and these fresh baked sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts)!


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

1472033_10153556009720571_2144079265_n1450959_10153556009170571_1329960093_nBetween the wine and knowing I needed to be up at 5:30 am the next morning to meet up with Liza for a little Black Friday shopping I came home and passed out.


Yom Kippur {2013}

For the past four years my family has been “celebrating” Yom Kippur at the Hyatt hotel.

As an observant Jew we walk to synagogue multiple times a day, fast (yes that includes no liquids or food of any kind) and no use of electricity for 25 hours (Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown). Doing this becomes quite difficult with a toddler, therefore we gather with 300+ observant Jews to “celebrate” together.

Last year was quite the adventure. Luckily, this year was relatively calm.

Other then Sarah rolling off my bed (she doesn’t normally sleep with us) and almost taking a bite of her lunch as she lovingly shared with me, our stay was very anticlimactic.

I’ve been fasting since I was 12 years old (the traditional age a girl starts to fast), so most of my tips I’ve learned from trial and error. Here are some my fasting tips.

It all starts with this bottle of Gatorade.

gatoradeTo stay hydrated during the fast, we sip on a bottle of Gatorade throughout the day. During dinner we drink another bottle of Gatorade. My favorite flavor is Fierce Melon (yes, it needs to be fierce. Regular melon wont do.)

Drink sports drinks like Gatorade or PowerAde are beneficial as they replace electrolytes in addition to water.

Eat fruit rich in water (watermelon, grapes, etc)

Limit caffeine a week before the fast.

Your last meal (recipe below) should be carb loaded.

Finish your meal off with some dessert. That way when you fast you will have yummy thoughts of your last bite.

Brush your teeth before the fast to minimize the bad breath/stale mouth fast side effects.

Gmar chatima tova (translation: May you be inscribed in the Book of life for good)!

– – –

Honey Lemon Chicken

2 tsp chicken consommé or 2 bouillon cubes

4 tbsp honey

4 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

4 tsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1.5 cup uncooked rice

4 carrots, thinly sliced

¼ tsp black pepper

Boneless chicken breast

  1. Dissolve consommé/cube in 1 ½ cups hot water.
  2. Mix in honey, soy sauce and lemon juice.
  3. Heat oil in pan and sauté onion for 1 minute.
  4. Add rice, carrots, pepper and honey mixture to the pan.
  5. Arrange chicken in single layer over top. Bring to boil.
  6. Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Rosh Hashana {2013}

Last week my family celebrated the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashana!

Even Elmo celebrates the big event!


I normally host (see last years debacle here) dinner, but this year we spent it with friends. Thank you for the scrumptious food Sigel’s!

Leading up to RH, Sarah and I made traditional honey cakes.

SLK baking

We made two different recipes this year. One was completely from scratch and one was semi-homemade. Both tasted really good and sweet!

photo 4The semi-homemade honey apple was adapted from the Duncan Hines website.

1 pkg Duncan Hines® Yellow cake

3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups applesauce
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped chopped apples
Sliced apples for the top

photo 2(1)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F. Grease and flour Bundt pan.
  2. Combine cake mix, eggs, applesauce, melted butter and cinnamon in large bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in diced apples. Pour into pan.
  4. Place sliced apples on top.
  5. Bake at 375 °F for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan 25 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate. Cool completely.

Best Apple Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tsp vanilla sugar

6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 6 to 8 apples)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 Tbs sugar

Confectioners’ sugar, optional

  1. Combine the first three ingredients; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Combine oil and orange juice and add alternately with dry ingredients to egg mixture. Beat until smooth; add vanilla and beat well.
  3. Pour half of the batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Arrange half the apples over the batter. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle half over the apples. Top with remaining batter, apples and cinnamon/sugar.
  4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 1 hour before removing from pan. Cool, apple side up, on a wire rack. Sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Happy New Year from my family to yours!

RH Fam

4th of July {2013}

“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.” – Carrie Jones

Thank you to all of those protecting our freedom!!

For the past four years we’ve spent the 4th of July with our friends in their home in Malibu. However, earlier this year our friends sold their home.

So we knew ahead of time that we would need to make new plans.

My friend Torrie mentioned that her city gets a head start on the holiday with its Annual 3rd of July Fireworks Extravaganza at the park.

Upon RSVPing, I searched Pinterest for fun 4th of July food ideas to bring to our picnic at the park.

First I made a simple fruit salad that included strawberries, watermelon and blueberries.

photo 1(Original pin can be found here.)

Then I made some festive bark.

photo 2(Original pin can be found here.)

I placed Oreo’s and pretzels on a baking sheet, poured melted white chocolate and sprinkled red and blue sprinkles. Placed it in he freezer for a bit and then broke it into pieces.

My friends and our tots.

group 1 1063416_10200865869482955_1461294339_nMy Family! fam

Sarah and I with our drinks :)

photo 3

The night was really fun! Thanks for organizing Torrie!picstitch

We didn’t get home until 10:30 pm, which is way past Sarah’s bed time, but she seemed to handle the evening really well.

However, at 1 am Sarah woke up screaming. After a while of calming her down and even trying to sleep with her in our bed, I knew the next day would be a slow morning.

We spent the majority of our 4th of July in the pool! Later in the evening we had a BBQ at home. Hubby’s sister, Rhonda, joined us for the afternoon activities.



While hubby and Sarah where in the pool in the morning (and again after nap), I was busy in the kitchen prepping some more Pinterest recipes.

To start the festivities, I made a batch of Sangria. This drink was extra pool side.

photo(Red wine, sprite and some sliced fruit)


For dessert I made Watermelon Flavored Cake.

picstitch(2)(Original pin can be found here.)

For more 4th of July recipes visit my Pinterest page.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July! Here is to new traditions!

Father’s Day {2013}

Another sick holiday. Another weekend indoors.

Last weekend was Father’s Day and this time I was the one that was sick.

From a sore throat to feeling dizzy every time I stood up, I was super sick!

We had fun plans with our Brunch Crew, but instead we stayed indoors all weekend.

The morning started off really choppy. I really wanted to get up and make this wonderful Father’s Day breakfast I had pinned, but I hadn’t even had a chance to go food shopping since I stared feeling ill Thursday evening.

Most of the day was spent indoors while hubby and Sarah played.

I  did manage to sit with Sarah as she colored in the cards I found on Pinterest (I found some really great things too).


After nap hubby took Sarah out for a little while to the pool, so I could rest.

Later that evening we had a simple picnic dinner. I did however mange to make some easy Pinterest ideas I had pinned.

picstitchThe most important thing was that we were together as a family. Happy Father’s Day friends!

I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my mom and dad. So Happy Father’s Day aba (dad in Hebrew)! Love you and miss you!!


Mother’s Day {2013}

I have been blessed with the title of being a mama and yesterday I got to celebrate my third Mother’s Day!

Three year comparison!
Three year comparison!

I had a very nice day! Hubby made us breakfast in the morning. Then Sarah and I attended a birthday party. While Sarah was napping I enjoyed a quiet trip to Target (by myself!!) and bumped into Liza! (Hi Liza!) Later that evening we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Hummus Bar & Grill.

Sarah made me Mother’s Day projects at both Mommy & Me and School!


I would not be able to celebrate Mother’s Day if it wasn’t for my mom! After all, she gave me life and taught me all that I know. So thank you ema for being my mommy! I hope to show my daughter the love you have shown me.

My ema is currently on vacation in Europe,  so when I received a Mother’s Day card from her I was pleasantly surprised. She’s really not into cards, but every so often she sends me one that touches my heart. I’d like to share what this card said.

“You’ve always been a wonderful daughter,

someone who has brought us so much joy.

So it’s hardly surprising

that you’ve turned out to be such a great mom.

You’re patient and gentle,

and the loving qualities

you show as a mom

are the same ones that made you

such a special daughter.

And we hope you know

that we couldn’t be

prouder of you .”

Mommy, I miss you! Living on opposite coasts is very hard for me. Reading this card brought tears to my eyes as I constantly wish we could once again live close to one another. I love you and miss you! Thank you for the card. Thank you for being you and most of all thank you for being my mommy!

As my virtual Mother’s Day gift, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of my favorite pictures of us.

Germaine's HS Graduation
Germaine’s HS Graduation


My Wedding
My Wedding
Your 50th Birthday Party
Your 50th Birthday Party


My 30th Birthday Party
My 30th Birthday Party
Morris' Henna
Morris’ Henna


Sarah's 2nd Birthday Party
Sarah’s 2nd Birthday Party
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