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Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Passover

nissan_simaneihaseder_magidI am taking a break from my regular Passover (Pesach) preparations to think of my kids. One of my favorite new traditions is involving the kids by helping them get excited about doing the mitzvos for that holiday. I already had a reader/friend ask where my next holiday checklist for the kids was! So here is this holiday’s mitzvah checklist for your children.

Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Passover

I like to print these out in color for my kids and post them on the door of their room. They love adding stickers for each mitzvah they complete and then we go for a family reward after the holiday. Thanks again to Chinuch.org for the great clip art!

If you are still in the middle of your holiday preparations and need some tips, here are my past related posts on Passover (Pesach):

For other related posts, check out:

Have a wonderful and meaningful Passover!

 
 

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Lessons learned from Pesach 2012

note

Every year I reflect on what went well and what didn’t go well with before, during, and after Pesach. I, of course, make notes for next year on my prep file, as I mentioned in my post “Putting away Pesach” and “Pesach is coming!” Here are my notes for this year that I thought I would share with you. Maybe they will make you think about something you would do differently next year!

We need to save (or get) some empty boxes for moving non-Pesach stuff down to basement.

We always use some plastic milk crates to take down the pantry stuff, but the utensils, mitts, paper towel holder, and all the other stuff on the counters, needs somewhere to go, too! We ended up using lots of reusable Whole Foods bags, but they didn’t stack so well and the laundry room looked a mess!

Be sure to read all of the alerts and shopping guides before you go shopping for your groceries!

I had four kids in tow and was looking for the kosher for Passover Dannon Yogurt. After searching for the marked labels to no avail and making several calls, I had to pay $1.19 a container for several small KLP yogurts! I could have gotten them for much cheaper at our local deli if it wasn’t Friday Erev Pesach! Next time I won’t just print the alerts and read them as needed. I will read them all before shopping! You definitely can’t assume that the rules will be the same from year to year. Products change and unfortunately you have to read the alerts and guides carefully to find those changes!

Read recipes carefully before putting them on the menu.

We have put a cauliflower popcorn recipe on our menu two years in a row. However, when it comes to making it, it never happens because it takes too much work! It looked great, but was not in our “time budget.” Maybe someday when our kids are grown we can undertake a recipe that takes more time!

When you buy things during the year, add them to your “Pesach Prep” box so you will be sure to tovul it before the next Pesach.

We had a cheese board and knife we received as a gift several years back. We had never used it and decided to make it Pesadik. However, it was forgotten in the bottom of the parve tub and we never got to tovul or use it this year! My husband decided yesterday to put it in our Pesach Prep tub, so it will be one of the first things we see next year when we are starting to get ready for Pesach.

Did you make notes for yourself for next year? Please share in the Comments section.

 

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Check the Passover clearance sales today!

Machine matzo produced from shmura wheat in IsraelI know we all want to put Passover/Pesach behind us and eat some real treats, but you can save a bundle today if you shop right! Check out the sales at your local grocery stores and delis on their Pesach leftovers. Some ideas for products that keep well from year to year (unopened unless otherwise stated):

Dry goods:

∞ matzah
∞ potato starch, matzah meal, matzah cake meal, matzah farfel – Use up your leftovers during the year and store the unopened for next year.
∞ matzah ball mixes – Use up your leftovers during the year and store the unopened for next year.
∞ cake, cookie, and muffin mixes – At a low price these can be a good quick dish to make in a pinch.
∞ cereal - We bought a few this year that were clearanced out from last year and they tasted fine.
∞ cooking wines
∞ cooking spray – Use up your leftovers during the year and store the unopened for next year.
∞ vinegar – We have stored opened leftovers successfully from year to year. My husband does not like cooking with Pesach vinegar, but he likes it for cleaning or for making homemade vegetable wash. See my post “Homemade vegetable wash: Worth it?”
∞ spices – We have used our leftovers for several years.
∞ soup mixes
∞ salad dressing mixes
∞ vegetable oil
∞ canned goods and condiments
∞ salad dressing
∞ wine

Perishables:

∞ margarine – Freeze to use next year.
∞ yogurt - You should not store this until next year, but if it is less than $.37 each, which is Aldi’s price per yogurt, then buy it to use now.

* Happy shopping! Post the great deals you find today in the Comments section!

 

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Putting away Pesach

Modern kitchen

I don’t know about you, but we were too tired to turn the kitchen back over last night. Our boys could not get to sleep after all the excitement of Yom Tov and that left little time to get anything done when everyone was asleep.

So if you still have to turn your kitchen over today, here is my checklist for saying goodbye to Pesach. Below is also the link for my complete Pesach Prep Checklist, which includes the items from this post as well as the forms mentioned. Pesach Prep list

Converting the kitchen:

∞ Wash all the Pesach dishes and pots and pans, etc.

∞ Take all the Passover supplies back downstairs. (Put them back in their boxes and bins.) This includes the kids’ seder supplies’ box and kids’ Pesach toys’ box.

∞ Uncover the counters. If you use a reusable covering, be sure to clean it and take this down with your Pesach supplies.

∞ Pack up any unopened leftover non-perishable Pesach food. Be sure to note what is left on your inventory form. Also make notes of any groceries that you didn’t use as much as you purchased.

∞ Move the opened leftover non-perishable Passover food out of the pantry or whatever cabinet you were storing it in (to make room for your regular items). Be sure to wipe the cabinet or pantry out.

The rest of the house:

∞ Catch up on your laundry.

∞ Bring up the non-Pesach stuff to put your kitchen and dining room back together.

Make notes for next year:

∞ Make notes on your menu from this year of what you liked, didn’t like, etc.

∞ I also like to add the names and locations of recipes we liked to our Menu Ideas list so we will remember them for next year.

∞ Make notes on your Pesach Prep Checklist of any things you would like to change for next year.

    • This might mean cleaning or preparations that need to be done sooner or differently.
    • Also make note of any new household items you purchased this year (add this to your inventory) or any items you want to get next year (add this to your wish list).

∞ Reprint your new Pesach Prep Checklist and file in your Pesach prep binder.

∞ Make a plan for the coming week to eat up any Pesach leftovers.

Related articles:

- 52 Week Challenge Week 16: After Passover review and SBB update (www.organizedjewishhome.com)
- Cookie-ing up some matzo (rantingchef.com) – great recipe to use up your leftover matzah

 

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More kosher recipe sites

Charoset made with kosher wine, apples, pears,...

I have a few more websites to add to my list of recommendations for finding kosher recipes:

Aish.com - I love to go to this site for all things Jewish. They have great articles on parenting, holidays, the Parsha, relationships, politics, and so much more. Plus, they have great recipes! I have mentioned this website before in my post “Review: Aish.com.”

The Kosher Blogger – This blogger lives in Israel and offers a lot of great recipes that she has made successfully many times and are well-received.

Jewish-Life-Organized – This writer, organizer, and home manager has a section for dinner solutions and has many great articles, tips, and advice. This is another one of my favorite websites. Check out my review of her site at “Review: Jewish-Life-Organized.com.”

Happy reading and cooking!

 

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Where do you find kosher recipes online?

Recipes

Have you made your menu for the entire week of Pesach/Passover yet? I seem to be getting a lot of views on my blog from people who are still looking for recipes. Culling through all the websites that come up when you type in “kosher recipes” or “Passover recipes” in a search engine can be overwhelming. So, I thought it might be helpful to provide a roundup of great websites that have specifically kosher recipes. Please let me know of any other good ones you have used, so I can add them here as well!

Kosher on a Budget - This blog is my favorite blog! The author’s main focus is on ways to save money, budgeting, great deals, coupons, and more. However, she also provides great posts on holiday planning and recipes.

Joy of Kosher - This is one of my new favorite magazines. We have tried a few recipes already this holiday and really liked them. The website includes videos and numerous recipes, many of which cannot be found in the printed magazine.

CookKosher - This is a relatively new kosher website that has many great search features.

Pomegranates and Honey - This is written by a local St. Louis chef. I have heard great things about her and her cooking.

Organized Jewish Home - This blogger writes about staying on top of your home and family, homeschooling, holidays, and recipes. She has great tips and ideas!

The OU - This is the largest Kashrus organization in the United States. Their website include hundreds of kosher recipes of all types.

Gourmet Kosher Cooking - This site is written by another blogger. Great recipes with a gourmet touch!

Leah Cooks Kosher - This chef shares her expertise and kosher recipes.

Chabad.org Kosher Recipes & Cooking - More great recipes from this worldwide education organization.

 

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Spring fun with your family

Spring Flowers

For most kids who go to Jewish schools, Pesach also means Spring Break. With the Yom Tov days falling mostly during the weekend, it also means many weekdays to keep your kids busy. Here are some ideas of what to do:

* For those people who live in St. Louis, like me, I have included the links for the applicable St. Louis resources.

Places to look for ideas:

∞ Your local newspaper website (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Local attractions coupon website. (I am not sure if other towns have this, but Family Attractions Card provides great coupons for attractions in St. Louis.)

∞ Kids’ websites for your town. Do a Google search for your town name and “kids”. (We have a great one called Kids in St. Louis, which has a wealth of information on museums, outdoor, indoor play centers, other kid friendly attractions, and party venues.)

∞ Your local tourism website. They will often list upcoming events, favorite attractions and sporting events. (For St. Louis visit Explore St. Louis.)

∞ Sign up for a local deal site like Amazon Local. They often offer deals for local museums and attractions as well as other local services and stores. Others that sometimes have local deals include:

* See my post Are “deal-a-day” sites a good deal?

∞ Your local kids’ magazine – These are often given out free at libraries and doctor’s office. Google your town name and “kids magazine” to see if your town has one. (St. Louis Kids Magazine)

∞ Parks and Recreation for your county. The parks often host many special events such as art fairs, music events, and more. (St. Louis County Parks and Recreation)

Specific ideas of what to do:

∞ Zoos (St. Louis Zoo)

∞ Museums – See the following links for national directories:

Factory tours – Check out this website for information on tours near you: USA Factory Tours

∞ Library – See if they have any special events going on and when they will start their summer book club.

∞ Art classes at a local art store or art center (COCA or Artmart)

∞ Symphony – events in the park

∞ Family Theater (COCA)

∞ Bowling – Sign up for email coupons from your local bowling alleys. See my post on Get rewarded for shopping – updated!

∞ Indoor Playgrounds (See Kids in St. Louis for a directory.)

∞ Parks – Take a hike or bike ride, play on the playground, have a picnic, or visit the historical sites at any of your local parks. (See above for link to St. Louis County.)

Sporting Events – See my post on Sports freebies for kids.

∞ Movies – Do a search for your city and $1 movie days. These are often offered in the summer. You can also sign up for AMC Stubs, a reward program of AMC Theaters.

Other related articles:

If I left out any ideas you love to do with your family, please email me or add them to the comments section!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Family ideas, Other savings tips

 

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Shop those Easter sales today!

Easter Eggs Plastic Colors

Even though it is Passover (Pesach), there are advantages to shopping at the post-Easter sales today! Here are some ideas for things to buy:

Baskets and filler – If you find some that don’t look too Eastery, you might buy several to use next Purim for shaloch manos containers.

Plastic eggs – If you are a teacher or a homeschooler, you can use these plastic eggs for teaching dinosaurs (they are fun for hiding around the room or for burying in the sand table with little plastic dinosaurs inside) or as containers for fun prizes at school or camps.

Stickers – Great for reward charts or art projects for parents and teachers.

Bunny ears – My kids love these for pretend play. They might also come in handy for a costume sometime.

Girls’ dresses – There are tons of great spring dresses out now. Even the non-tznius (non-modest) ones can be paired with a long-sleeved or 3/4-length shell. Take advantage of the sales!

Spring cookie cutters – Look for fun spring shapes in pastel colors. Great for your next homemade cookie-making session!

For those of you who are not Jewish or who do not keep Passover:

Baking items – They might have colored sprinkles or bunnies on them, but who cares! Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc. still taste the same and why not enjoy the discount.

Candy – Stock up on your favorite Easter candy at big discounts.

Happy shopping!

For more ideas on what to buy at this time of year, check out my post “April is the time to buy…”

 

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What’s for breakfast?

blintzes_SusanicaTamPhoto-9618

Pesach cereal can cost a fortune and doesn’t often contain much cereal in the box. With four boys in our house, we can go through a box or two a day! So I am determined this year to provide my family with cheaper and better choices for breakfast.

Here is what I came up with:

∞ Yogurt, fruit, and a bit of farfel or cereal

∞ Passover muffins (There are a multitude of recipes for these in most Passover cookbooks, so I have not linked one here.)

∞ Blintzes (frozen or homemade if I get the energy and time)

The Unbelievable Blintz (Manischewitz)

∞ Passover breakfast pancakes

This is something we have never made before. I found a few recipes online that we can all try! I could not find a potato starch recipe online that didn’t have other non-Pesach ingredients. Let me know if you have one you like.

Recipe #1 with matzo meal

Recipe #2 with matzo cake meal

∞ Apple Crisp

This recipe came from an old Vegetarian Journal cookbook. I used to make it every year when I cooked for Passover at Hillel at UNC-Chapel Hill. It has become a favorite in our house. It is normally served for dessert, but last year my boys asked for it for breakfast. I think it will now become a breakfast favorite instead!

Apple Crisp

If you have other ideas for breakfast foods (besides eggs!), please add them in the Comments section!

 

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There has to be more to eat before Pesach than potatoes!

Different potato varieties. – The potato is th...

Sorry for not posting in a few days, one of my triplets has been in the hospital since Tuesday afternoon with asthma problems. Thank goodness for my laptop and WiFi at the hospital, so I can get a little work done. Now if only I could get my Pesach prep done! We are so far behind this year! So much for my great plan!

This time of year when we are kashering the kitchen for Pesach, but can’t eat matzah products yet, it can be hard to figure out what to eat. Many of our weekly recipes we cannot eat because they contain soy or beans! I always try to keep notes from year to year of what works best, so we aren’t scrambling to feed everyone. Here are some ideas I have gathered to get through this “not Pesach yet, but already turned over” time.

1) If you can afford it, take advantage of any pre-Pesach dinners in your community. These might be take-out or sit-down at a school or shul.

2) Make a non-chometz meal, but pair it with bread and eat outside. That is always fun and helps avoid more crumbs in the house!

3) Use paper goods for all meals that way if you are eating something non-Pesadik (or kitnios), you don’t mess up your Pesach dishes (if you have any).

4) Various ideas for non-chometz meals that won’t mess up your Pesadik kitchen:

Some main dish ideas:

- eggs: scrambled, omelets, veggie frittata, or egg salad (However, we eat a lot eggs during Pesach, so you may not want this option.)
- blintzes
- salmon (Make either fresh or canned. Ideas: salmon hash, salmon patties, or fish tacos.)
- tuna salad
- mushroom soup
- hummus (Pair it with pita, veggies, cheese, and a side veggie and you have a great cold meal.)
- hamburgers or meatloaf
- chicken or turkey
- hot dogs
- cold cuts
- chopped liver
- chicken soup

Starch ideas:

- cook up some rice ahead of time and store in the refrigerator, reheat in the microwave
- potatoes or sweet potatoes (baked or boiled)
- potato chips

Vegetables:

This is an easier thing to come up with. The things, of course, to avoid are: corn, beans, green beans, and peas. You can either cook one of these vegetables by itself for a simple side or make a more complicated recipe combining a few of these.

- carrots
- eggplant
- zucchini, squash
- broccoli or cauliflower
- salad or slaw
- cucumbers
- peppers
- mushrooms and onions (great topping for hamburgers)
- olives or pickles
- tomatoes

5) Be sure to buy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies or Rice Chex), a corn-based cereal, or a potato starch cereal for your kids to eat before Pesach starts. Keep the mess contained in your dining room, which you will probably clean one last time before searching for chometz. This makes it much easier to finish up your Pesach preparations and not have more chometz crumbs to worry about. This tip has helped us so much!

6) If your kids are finishing up any chometz snacks, make sure they eat outside, because these crumbs get everywhere!

Please share any meal ideas you have for this in-between time!

 

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