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Pesach Hebrew Coloring Page – Mah Nishtanah?

March 24th, 2019

How is this night different from all other nights? Practice the Four Questions with ShirLaLa Pesach, track 11.
(You can sing along with Shira HERE!) 

So many questions… What other questions come up for you this Passover?

Click here for a Four Questions coloring page

Click here for a Four Questions coloring page

Pesach Recipes – Make Your Own Matzah

March 24th, 2019

Make Your Own Matzah – Its much tastier and more fun!
Instructions based on my Dad’s. More info on his blog, Good-To-Be-A-Jew

"MAKE Matza???" You ask. Yes! It’s probably one of the easiest things you’ll ever bake in your kitchen. The experience and the unique taste of home-made matzah is enough to make a family ritual out of it every year. My father is a master bread maker. So for him, the story of the Israelites speedily making unleavened bread and carrying it out of Egypt is especially interesting. He started baking matzah twenty years ago and today has perfected the process. Its most fun to do it in a group of about 8-10 people. This is an activity for ALL ages.

1 part cold water
3 parts flour (approximately)

Now here’s the fun part: The entire process from when the water touches the flour to putting the matzah in the oven must be done in 18 minutes! Personally, putting in the added effort to make kosher matzot is what makes this such a fun activity. A few extra steps adds all the meaning.

Step 1: The Supplies
plenty of butcher paper and tape*
squares of sand paper*
rolling pins
hole puncher – anything from a plastic fork to a "dough docker" used for pizza preparation
1 large mixing bowl
2 measuring cups (I use styrofoam cups)
something to get the matzah in and out of the hot oven (I use a "pizza peel," a large flat wooden or metal plate with handle used for taking bread out of a brick oven
hot hot hot hot oven, as high as it goes
a timer

*You’ll want to do a few 18 minutes sessions of matzah making, so between each round (a) sand your rolling pin clean of old dough and (b) remove a layer of the butcher paper from your counters.

Prepare your kitchen and supplies.

Cover your kitchen counters or table with butcher paper and tape it down on the sides and corners. Put several layers of paper down to make it easier to change between sessions.
All bowls, measuring cups, rolling pins, hole punchers, peels, tiles are reserved for Pesach preperation. (You can use disposable stuff.)

Step 2: The Dough
Preheat the oven as high as it will go. My dad lines the oven shelves with tiles, plain red or brown bricks such as are sold for floors. This makes for some amazing matzah, but he’s hard core.

Place the flour in your bowl. Everyone should be at the ready with rolling pins in hands.
All together, recite "L’shem matzah shel mitzvah" in reference to the matzah we are commanded to eat at this time of year.
Set the timer for 18 minutes and add the water! GO!

One person (or many little hands at first) should knead the dough into a firm ball. If it seems too dry, sprinkle in a little more water at a time. Do the same with the flour if it seems too wet. Practice makes perfect.
Distribute smaller balls of dough (a little larger than a walnut) amongst the matzah makers. Roll and roll and roll out that dough until it as thin as you can get it. And then, roll it some more. Sprinkle plenty of flour onto the surface and the rolling pins to avoid sticking.
When you are sure it is as thin as you can get it, (we want our matzah to be crunchy instead of chewy, right?) punch tiny holes all over the matzah.

Step 3: Bake the Matzah
Carefully place the matzah on the floured peel and get it into that hot oven! Bake for just a few minutes, until it is browned but not burnt. It will get crispier once its taken out of the oven. Place finished matzah in a pile on more butcher paper so that it is kosher and ready for Pesach eating.
You have the remaining 18 minutes to finish using all of the dough you made and anything left over gets thrown out.
Once it’s cooled, wrap your matzah in fresh butcher paper and tape shut.
Your home-made matzah is going to blow that boxed store bought matzah out of the water. So be sure to use it during your seder and remember that its very fresh so eat it up quickly! During Pesach if your matzah feels a little stale, a few minutes in a hot oven will re-crispify it.


Pesach Recipes – Sephardic Charoset

March 24th, 2019

Barbara Kline’s Charoset, Sephardic Style:

1 lb pitted chopped dates or date paste
Sweet Kosher for Pesach wine
Ground cinnamon
Chopped walnuts

Cover dates with water in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat until the dates break down into a smooth mass. The results should be like a thick jam. Mix in enough wine to loosen the consistency slightly. Put through a Foley Mill to take out any lumps. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Cover with a layer of finely chopped walnuts.

*If you do not want to use wine, just leave the liquid out.  Cook the dates in a little bit of water.  Do not substitute grape juice, it’s NOT delicious!

Pesach Recipes – Chocolate Caramel Brickle

March 24th, 2019

Pesach Brickle (thanks to Delores Gross who calls it a Pitzel Brickel, with slight variations by Barbara Kline)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1 C butter
1 C brown sugar
Almonds – whole or chopped coarsely
2 packages Kosher l’Pesach semi-sweet chocolate and 2 packages milk chocolate chips

Grease a cookie pan with butter. Cover the pan with a layer of broken matzah pieces. Don’t leave any spaces. Sprinkle the matzah liberally with the nuts. Toast in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes being careful that the matzah doesn’t burn. Boil together the butter and the sugar for 5 minutes, creating the toffee mixture. Remove the matzah and nuts from the oven and pour the toffee over it. Let cool to room temperature. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate and spread over the mixture in the cookie sheet. Melt the milk chocolate and swirl through the dark chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. Break into pieces and enjoy.

Pesach Recipes – Middle Eastern Lamb Kubeh

March 24th, 2019

Barbara Kline’s Kubeh

Ground lamb
Finely chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic
1 egg
1 recipe of matzah ball mixture adding chopped parsley and ginger

All of the seasonings are to-taste. We make it quite spicy. Make matzah ball dough and refrigerate for at least one hour. Mix together the lamb and the following eight ingredients. Form a ball with the matzah meal dough and making an indentation at one end, stuff the dough with the meat mixture until the dough just coats the meat. Deep fry until the dough is lightly browned. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Pesach Recipes – Spinach and Edam Cheese Souffle

March 24th, 2019

Pesach Souffle (thanks to Edna Cohen)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

6 eggs, separated
1 lb spinach
1/2 lb edam cheese, sliced
1 lb cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or to taste)

Butter the inside of a soufflé dish and cover the bottom with a double layer of matzah.

Plunge spinach into boiling water and remove almost immediately, squeezing some of the water out. Place spinach on top of the matzah, sprinkly nutmeg over the spinach and cover with the sliced Edam cheese.

Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, set aside. Beat the egg yolks with the cottage cheese and fold in the egg whites. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until the egg whites on top are browned and not too jiggly. Serve immediately.

Pesach Hebrew Coloring Page – B’dikat Chametz (Searching for Chametz)

March 24th, 2019

Can you find the last crumbs of chametz in your home?

Click here for a Passover Coloring Page

Click here for a Passover Coloring Page

Pesach Recipe – Seven Layer Chocoalte Matzah Cake

March 24th, 2019

*This is an amazing cake.   One year, when I was a child, I practically poisoned myself with chocolate matzah cake I ate so much of it.  ENJOY!

Seven Layer Matzah  Cake

1/2 lb semi sweet chocolate
1 tblsp unsalted butter
1/2 lb or 1 jar raspberry jam without seeds (can also use marmalade)
2 eggs
2 tblsp brandy
3/4 C white wine (can use dry Vermouth as well)
7 matzot

(the jam and chocolate should be checked to make sure it is kosher l’Pesach)

Melt chocolate, butter and jam together over hot water in double boiler

Add eggs and beat with wire whisk until mixture is smooth and consistency of sour cream

Add brandy and remove from heat.

Continue beating until mixture again thickens to consistency of sour cream

Pour wine into a 9" square dish

Dip matzah (one at a time) in wine just to moisten

Plase moistened matzah on a cake plate and coat with chocolate mixture using a knife or spatula

Top with another moistened matzah and coat with chocolate. Continue
until all seven matzot are stacked and covered with the mixture

Cover sides with remaining mixture and cover top with ground nuts – or make a design using sliced almonds.

Refrigerate until 1/2 hour before serving. The chocolate will harden a
bit and you can take all the drippings and smear with up on the sides
of the cake so that none will be wasted.

Slice in thin wedges and serve.


March 24th, 2019

Cha-METZ literally means “leavened.” Preparing for Pesach includes removing all of the chametz from your home. The laws of Torah tell us that we’re not to eat, own, or benefit from chametz during the festival holiday of Pesach. In Ashkenazic households, chametz includes grains as well as legumes. There’s a tradition of selling your chametz to a non-Jewish neighbor for a token amount and then buying it back after the holiday.

And I say it’s all about your spiritual Chametz. Let’s look at it as the “puffed up” non-essentials in your life.  To me, this is about an anual Spring Cleaning ritual. De-cluttering and making space for the new.

We say, “On all other nights, we eat both chametz and matzah, on this night we eat matzah.” All year long, we have both essentials and non-essentials in our life.  On this night, we honor what is fundamental and vital.  Matzah, made of the basic nourishing elements of wheat and water is a symbol of the heart and soul of what is really important in life. 

Matza vs ChametzMy chavurah class, all 7 year-olds, made this list of the “matza” in their lives verses the “chametz.”   What would go on your list?


March 24th, 2019

A-fi-KO-men is actually a Greek word for "dessert." During the Seder, we take one of the three matzot on the Seder plate and crack it in half. This is the "Ya-chatz" step in the 14 parts of the Seder. (Which makes for a very fun karate chop, "YA-chatz!!") The larger half of the matzah is carefully placed in a special Afikomen bag. At some point the Afikomen is stolen and hidden. Sometimes parents do this, sometimes the children. It must be found though, because you cannot finish the Seder without dessert, right? Usually there’s some fun negotiating or straight out bribing to get it back. But it’s worth it.