Make-A-Meal Monday: Holiday Treats for Easter and Passover

The Last Supper

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Right now, we are in the middle of two important week-long religious celebrations…for Christians, there is  Easter which is next Sunday, but the entire week has significance as yesterday was Palm Sunday and Thursday is Maundy Thursday and Friday is Good Friday.  For those of the Jewish faith, there is Passover, which starts tonight with the first Seder and continues for an entire week.  For more detailed information about either of these holidays, you can go to

I thought it would be fun to see if I could find a recipe from my book for parents of preschoolers that would be appropriate for each of these important celebrations.  When you invite your child to help with food preparation, you help build their self-esteem.  It is also a wonderful way to teach young children about holidays and traditions that are important for your family.


Here is a really simple recipe that is similar to Noodle Kugel, a delicious treat enjoyed by many during Passover week.

You will need: 4 cups cooked wide noodles, 2 eggs, ¼ cup honey, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 cup grated apple, ½ cup  raisins, 1 Tb margarine or butter, a large bowl and a 2-quart greased casserole dish.

1.     In a large bowl, combine eggs, honey and cinnamon and beat well.

2.     Stir in apples, raisins, noodles and butter.

3.     Pour into a greased casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

4.     Be careful when you pull away the aluminum foil…there may be a lot of steam!

5.     Makes 4 lunch-size servings or many more side dish, snack or dessert servings.



This simple recipe forgoes yeast and uses muffin tins…so easy and delicious; you’ll want to enjoy it all during the year, not just at Easter.

You will need: For the buns: ½ cup orange juice, ¾ cup seedless golden raisins, 2 cups flour, 1 Tb baking powder, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ cup milk, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, zest of 1 orange, 3 mixing bowls and a 12-cup greased muffin tin.  For the icing: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tb orange juice.

1.     Combine orange juice and raisins in a micro-wave safe bowl and micro-wave on high for 1 minute.

2.     In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.

3.     In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk, oil, eggs, vanilla and orange zest.

4.     Add the milk mixture and the raisin mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened.

5.     Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean and dry.

6.     Remove the muffin tin from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before placing the muffins on a rack to cool completely.

7.     When the muffins are completely cool, prepare the icing (in a small bowl, mix confectioner’s sugar and 1 Tb orange juice until smooth) and drizzle on top of each muffin to form a cross.

Please stop by tomorrow…and don’t forget that THE HOPPY EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP starts here on Wednesday…and at over 200 other blogs.  You will be able to enter to win a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking and then hop over to the other blogs to enter their giveaways.

How to Eat Healthy This Holiday Season

This is a diagram depicting the rise of overwe...

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We’re coming into that dangerous season of overeating, oversnacking and going overboard when it comes to what we put in our mouths.  As parents, not only should we oversee what our children are eating…we should also try to be good role models.  I actually LOVE junk food…and work really hard to keep most of it out of the house because I know that if it is easily available, it will be eaten by me.   There are a few suggestions I have that work for me…I hope they work for you also.

  • Plan your weekly menus ahead of time…when we get busy as most of us are, failing to plan in this area is almost guaranteed to equal planning to fail.  Fast-food, take-out or frozen TV dinners may have their place on occasion…but if you put aside 30 minutes a week to plan some basic well-balanced meals, your family will be eating more healthfully most of the time.  This also allows you to maximize on weekly specials at your local stores.  And, it gives you more time for other things…like time to read a book or take a bubble bath.
  • Choose one morning or one afternoon or one evening a week to turn on your oven and use it to prepare casseroles, a roast chicken, baked potatoes, healthy cookies/cakes/muffins.  If you are able to put aside several hours on one day for this task, the rest of the week will be a breeze.  Refrigerate or freeze what you have prepared and you will have healthy, ready-made meals for most of the week.
  • Include your family in the planning and preparing…picky or fussy eaters often eat what they help prepare.  Children LOVE helping in the kitchen…it builds their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Think about portions…I truly believe that the large, super-sized meals that many of us eat, at home and in restaurants, are one of the largest contributing factors of childhood obesity.  Just because the cereal bowl can hold 2 or 3 cups of cereal doesn’t mean we should fill it to the top…if you read the portion size on the box of cereal, you’ll see it says 1/2 to 1 cup, depending on the type of cereal.  Dinner plates are really large…maybe you can use smaller plates when serving.
  • Remember to keep hydrated…I know that when I get busy, I forget to drink enough water…and then I think I am hungry and eat a couple of cookies, at 100 calories each, when what my body really wants is a glass of water.  With NO calories!  Also, try to nix the soda…full of empty calories and not much else except a college education for your dentist’s children.
  • Plan to have healthy snacks ready for hungry children and yourself between meals like carrot sticks and humus or apple slices and almond butter.  Again, if we don’t plan ahead, we will probably grab the first thing we see…and that might be cookies or chips.
  • If it works with your schedule, try eating 6 smaller meals, instead of the traditional 3.  When we are REALLY hungry, we tend to eat more than we should because we eat quickly and our internal hunger regulator doesn’t have time to kick in to tell us we are full.  And, on the subject of full, try to stop eating BEFORE you feel full…if you feel full, you’ve had too much.  This always happens to me when I go to an all-you-can-eat buffet…and I am never a happy camper afterwards.
  • Make sure you do allow yourself and your family some special food treats that are part of your holiday traditions or customs…denying oneself EVERYTHING we love is a sure way to feel deprived…and that often leads to overeating, oversnacking and going overboard.  I actually have a small ice-cream (made with fat-free frozen yogurt, a handful of homemade granola and a few almonds) every night after dinner.  I look forward to it and enjoy it immensely…it is my reward to myself for a good day’s work…and, so far, I haven’t had to hide the scale.