just ONE afikomen

If you’re Jewish, you know that Passover began Friday evening. ¬†If you’re not, well now you know. ūüėČ ¬†We started the holiday with a lovely seder at my grandparents’ house. ¬†They’ve hosted every year for as long as I can remember and probably years before that, as well.

mama papa passover 2016

The evening was filled with warm bodies, full hearts, good food, and lots and lots of laughter. ¬†It’s always so nice¬†to be surrounded by those you love.

yaya pops jacob aud april16

Yes, William’s curly locks are just as amazing in person as they are in photos.

passover2016 steph mom mama

The strongest women in my family.

linking up with katie and erin

Lots of little ones present, but missing many more!

mama papa passover2016

Part of Passover’s tradition includes finding the afikomen. ¬†The afikomen is part of a piece of matzoh broken off, wrapped up, and hidden to be found by the children. ¬†But if you know children, then you know it’s totally not fair if just ONE child finds the afikomen. ¬†So to prevent meltdowns, every year every child wins. ¬†Yep. ¬†This year there were eight afikomens hidden. ¬†My cousin Michael did a great job explaining the rules before letting the children loose to explore. ¬†He made it clear that they were allowed to find just ONE afikomen, and no matter how good of finders they are, they must exit the room immediately after finding their own. ¬†Then he made them stay back while the babies got a head start.

Take a glimpse into our evening with this short video my sister made (including the rules and finding of the afikomen!):

Stephanie takes the best pictures and puts together awesome videos. ¬†We’re always grateful for her capturing our memories!

Here is William and I last Passover (just look at that face!!!).  And this Passover:

passover2016

He is a growing boy, that’s for sure!

How was your weekend?

Matzo for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

It’s Passover, so you know what that means, right? Matzo for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. ¬†I’m sure my fellow Jews understand this. ¬†During Passover, it’s matzo matzo matzo (unleavened bread). ¬†By the end of Passover, nobody wants to eat matzo again. ¬†Well, at least for another year! ¬†I’ve been eating all the classics of matzo for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. ¬†For my friends who are part of the “tribe” or for anyone wanting to know how to make a meal of matzo, here are the classics:

breakfast:¬†matzo ‘n eggs

matzo n eggs

This is a recycled photo because the weekend was the only time I had to actually make matzo ‘n eggs. ¬†A couple of years ago I wrote a Matzo ‘n Eggs post, so check it out if you want the details. ¬†Basically, it’s like the french toast of Passover. ¬†Matzos cooked in eggs and dipped in either syrup or sour cream and jelly (I always do plain Greek yogurt with homemade chia “jam.”)

lunch: matzo peanut butter and jelly

matzo pbj

I add cinnamon for a little extra something. ¬†And I eat two whole sandwiches (four pieces of matzo) because that’s how much it takes to fill me up.

dinner: matzo pizza

matzo pizza

You could get creative with this, but I went with plain sauce and cheese matzo pizza. ¬†It’s fast, easy, and tastes good. ¬†Well, good for matzo pizza during Passover.

To make these meal slightly healthier, I do always buy unsalted whole wheat matzo.  Each piece contains 4 grams of protein and fiber as opposed to just one or two.

And if you haven’t seen this¬†26 Delicious Ways To Serve Matzah This¬†Passover, you must check it out! ¬†Machos = Matzah + Nachos, Drunk Passover Grilled Cheese, and¬†Matzah Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream Cake sound the best to me, and way more exciting than what I’ve been eating!

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

As you can see, getting in a sufficient amount of vegetables seems to be more difficult with all this matzo. ¬†So when matzo ‘n eggs don’t happen (every weekday morning), I go with a green smoothie loaded with spinach and A-Game!

green smoothie

In the mix: a banana, two huge handfuls of fresh spinach, a scoop of A-Game, plain yogurt, NuNaturals stevia, peanut flour, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, hemp hearts, and vanilla almond milk.

Jews: What do you eat during Passover? Non-Jews: What is traditional Easter food for you?

Longest Run Yet

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  Whether you were celebrating Passover, Easter, both, or neither, I hope you were surrounded with sunshine, family, and love.  We certainly were.

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Silly sleepy smirk from the little one.

My parents hosted a wonderful Passover seder. The table was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the house was filled with love and laughter – just as it should be!

William especially loved my grandma Mama’s homemade gefilte fish.

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We are definitely spoiled by my mom and grandma’s cooking. ¬†It literally doesn’t compare to anyone else’s. ¬†We’ve happily enjoyed leftovers for two days straight now.

Here are a couple snapshots from the evening:

passover

And you know we¬†had¬†to take a picture of Audrey holding her baby William…

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…no matter how big he’s getting!

Linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday and Erin for Weekend Snapshots.

So now that we have the holiday highlights of the weekend covered, let’s talk running. ¬†This weekend I ran twice. ¬†Yes, twice! ¬†Two consecutive days!

On Saturday, I went out for a quick jog. And I actually do mean quick!

three miles

3 under 30, baby! That’s a milestone for me! ¬†It was close, but the last mile was primarily downhill, and after the first mile and a half being mostly uphill, I embraced it!

Then on Sunday I really didn’t want to go for a run. ¬†I know, I know. ¬†I’ve talked so much about how glad I am to be running again, but I just didn’t feel like it. ¬†I went back and forth in my mind, and ultimately decided that I would feel better once I got going and would definitely be happy when I finished. ¬†For extra motivation, I drove myself to a nearby park and off I went!

My goal was to run five miles since the longest I’ve run recently is four. ¬†There are a couple of parts where you can decide to take the shorter or the longer route. ¬†I was feeling so good that I chose the longer route… twice! ¬†I actually felt like I got my groove back with running. ¬†It was so nice out and I was feeding off the energy of all the other people out. ¬†Not only did I run five miles…. I ran six!

six miles

And I was happy with my time! ¬†Just over ten-minute miles! ¬†I think, I¬†think, I’m finally getting my running legs back! ¬†I’m definitely making progress and I’m feeling better most runs. ¬†My confidence is improving as is my mileage and my speed.

THAT is a wonderful thing!

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What did you do this weekend?

Matzo ‘n Eggs

Ever since Passover began (2 nights ago), breakfast has looked the same over here: matzo¬†‘n eggs.¬† Matzo¬†‘n eggs is a traditional dish prepared during Passover due to Jews not eating leavened bread, and, instead, consuming [a lot of] matzo.

Jewish lesson for the day: Matzo or Matzah?

  • Both words mean the same thing, itz just a different spelling.¬† Matzo¬†is the Ashkenaz (of France, Germany, and Eastern Europe descent) transliteration while Matzah is the Sephardic (of Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle Eastern descent) pronunciation.¬† (source)

Being that my ancestors are from Russia and Poland, I am an Ashkenazi Jew.¬† Some Jews call matzo¬†‘n eggs “Matzo¬†Brei” (translation: fried matzo), but my family always called it matzo¬†‘n eggs.¬† Also, matzo ‘n eggs doesn’t have to be eaten just during Passover.¬† It was always a treat when my mom or dad made it anytime in the year and we often requested it.¬† So now, Jewish or not, Passover or not, you will learn how to make this yummy dish!

Ingredients:

  • 7 matzos
  • 3 eggs
  • splash of milk
  • dash of pepper

Directions:

1. Run matzo under water to soften.

2.  Beat 3 eggs in medium-sized bowl.  Add splash of milk and dash of pepper.

3.  Break matzos and coat in egg mixture.  Let sit for a couple of minutes.

4.  Pour into sprayed pan and cook on medium heat until eggs are thoroughly cooked.  (Break them up and mix every so often as if you were preparing scrambled eggs.)

5.¬† Find your favorite toppings and serve!¬† My family always consumed matzo ‘n eggs with sour cream and jelly while Jonny’s family used syrup.¬† Now, I like mixing plain greek yogurt¬†and strawberry chia seed jam.¬† Syrup is not bad either though. ūüôā

There ya have it!  You learned some more about Jewish history, traditions, Passover, and a new recipe!

PS: Week 11 Day 6‘s workout involves 1 hour of cardio – your choice.¬† At some point today, that will be accomplished.¬† Once my matzo ‘n eggs digest!

What is a traditional meal you eat during the Spring?¬† (Passover, Easter, or other)¬† And to those celebrating: Happy Easter! ūüôā

Passover Begins

Passover began last night at sundown.¬† My grandmother, Mama, has forever hosted the Passover dinner to kick off the holiday.¬† She prepares everything from scratch, sets a beautiful table, and cooks an elaborate and delicious meal.¬† Last night was no different, though my grandfather, Papa, admitted to helping her make the gefilte fish for the first time in 60 years. ūüôā¬† Our party included about 25 people, 7 of which are great-grandchildren to my grandparents.¬† (We were missing 3 of the great-grandchildren.)

What is Passover?¬† Passover is an “eight-day festival that commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.” (souce)¬† There are many traditions that go along with Passover, along with conducting a seder on the first (and sometimes second) nights, and avoiding leavened grain – Chametz –¬†for the duration of Passover.¬† We do this to remember the unleavened bread the Israelites ate when they left Egypt in a hurry.¬† No grain, eh?

What can Jews eat during Passover?  Cara wrote a lovely post explaining what we can and cannot eat during the holiday and I highly encourage you to check it out.  (Click here to read.)  She has also created numerous Passover-friendly recipes!

Most importantly, Passover (and Easter and any other holiday) is about spending time with family, friends, and loved ones.  We are blessed to be a part of such a close family who actually enjoys hanging out together.  And my sister and I still like to participate in our own photoshoots when we get together.

Yes, the second one was actually a, “Look at the camera and pretend to laugh!” shot.¬† Nerds.¬† This was my new dress I bought in Arizona.¬† I love the yellow and Stephanie was apparently feeling the yellow, as well.¬† While we matched our outfits for years and years growing up, these outfits were not, indeed, planned. ūüôā

This morning I woke up bright and early (of course), so I decided to hit up some bikram¬†yoga.¬† I have been wanting to take a bikram class, but it is such a time commitment that it usually doesn’t work out during the week.¬† It felt good to take the time to stretch, breathe, and focus on myself for the 90 minute class.¬† I definitely struggled during the last part, but I made it through and was a sweaty mess by the end.

Before

After

Yikes! Red, drenched mess is right!¬† It felt good and was a nice change of pace from the workouts I have been doing.¬† The rest of the day will be spent hydrating, hanging out, and preparing a side dish for our Passover dinner on Jonny’s side this evening.

Happy Passover!