Category Archives: Feast

Smelly Proof Is A Sustainable Alternative To Single-Use Plastic Bags

I have two kids in school who bring their snacks and lunch to school with them every day. While I do my best to pack their food in sustainable containers, I sometimes find them lacking. Like many “green” products, they are too bulky, too hard to clean or flimsy. I end up giving up and reverting back to unsustainable sandwich bags and other wasteful products.

I wanted a product that got mimic the convenience and ease of the food storage I was accustomed to, while still giving me a eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic.

Enter Smelly Proof, a brand of storage bags that function better than typical plastic storage bags and are durable, reusable, and FDA approved. The bags are also free of BPA and other harmful materials often found in plastic storage items, and are 100% American made.

Since receiving my samples of Smelly Proof products, I have used them to store everything from produce to cheese, and have found they keep these items fresh for a reasonable amount of time. And unlike traditional plastic bags, the Smelly Proof bags are easily cleaned by hand are even dishwasher safe!

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flat lay photography of variety of vegetables

Simple tips to encourage plant-based eating in your home

I began limiting animal-based foods from my diet when I was in college, mainly because I never loved the texture of most meat, and I was drawn to the idea that cutting back on such food could be beneficial to the environment. I went back and forth on what exactly I included in my diet, eventually settling in my comfort zone, which is as a technical pescatarian (though my fish intake is limited), who is currently limiting dairy.

For me, cutting back on meat is simple, as I enjoy many fruits, vegetables, nuts and other plant-based products. I am perfectly happy with a salad filled with colorful ingredients, and can put together a full meal entirely of sides at even the most meat-centric restaurant. My kids, however, do not share my love of veggies, and getting them to think of greens, whole grains, legumes and other plant-based foods as tasty parts of a healthy diet has been a futile effort. Like many parents, meat-eaters or not, I stress about whether my kids are eating enough nutritious foods (spoiler: mine probably are not).

Social media makes me believe every other family has kids who happily eat platefuls of raw spinach, while I am happy with mine eating a few pieces of lettuce at dinner. What I am learning, however, is no family is perfect, and that we need to take a deep breath and realize we are all probably doing much better than we realize. I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with Brooke Brimm, a mom, advocate and champion of plant-based eating. Brooke, who has been vegan for many years, believes adding plant-based foods shouldn’t be a negative or stressful experience. In our chat on Instagram, Brooke shares how eating more vegan foods is not about shaming meat or meat eaters, nor is it about projecting our own needs onto our family. She urges her followers to make food a positive experience and to embrace the myriad of ways many of us (our kids especially) enjoy eating.

Keep reading to see more great tips from Brooke.

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PJ Library makes celebrating Passover easy, meaningful and fun

In addition to running this blog and related social media channels, I run an Instagram account and Clubhouse club called, “Raising Jews.”

In our most recent discussion, we spoke about ways to make Passover fun for kids of all ages, and shared crafts, games and other ideas to make the holiday a joyous experience for everyone.

My main takeaway from the conversation was realizing our children reflect our attitudes and emotions. If we can find the joy in Passover, they can as well.

Of course, having some resources to help us make a memorable Passover helps, and once, again, PJ Library delivers with its extensive offering of books, music, games and more to create a meaningful holiday.

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Recipes, books, games and more — PJ Library’s got everything you need to celebrate Hanukkah

Hanukkah is almost here, and I can already smell the latkes and see my kids smiling from all the holiday fun.

If your family is like mine, your kids are already looking forward to Hanukkah, and you are ready to make some special memories.

To help families embrace and share the joy of The Festival of Lights, PJ Library has updated its “Hanukkah Hub” for 2021 to bring Jewish and Interfaith families games, projects, recipes and more ways to make this year’s holiday one the family will cherish for years to come.

Photo Courtesy Of PJ Library

Whether you are looking for ways to mix up your latke recipe, or instructions on how to light the holiday candles, PJ Library is your go-to source for all things Hanukkah.

You already trust PJ Library to curate and deliver quality Jewish books to your family, so you can be sure that they have an excellent selection of activities to make Hannukkah a blast for all eight nights.

PJ Library’s Hanukkah Hub is free to use, and anyone is welcomed to visit PJ Library to browse all of their wonderful Hanukkah books, activities, and recipes.

For more information on PJ Library, and how you can enroll your children in their free book subscription service for Jewish families, visit PJLibrary.org.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All views expressed are my own.

White and dark chocolate chip cookies with WAFFLE CONE pieces

My son turned nine years old this week, and we will be celebrating with a small group of his friends this weekend.

I purchased a bunch of snacks (more than enough, according to my son), yet I couldn’t resist adding another fun treat to the mix.

My family loves chocolate chip cookies, and I often make the classic favorite we all know well. This time, however, I wanted to have some fun, so I swapped out half of the chocolate chips for the white chocolate version and added some waffle cone pieces for a crunchy, sweet surprise.

Note, I used the Keebler-brand waffle cones, as that’s what I had on hand. I would be curious how this would work with other brands, or even other types of cones.

Let me know if you try this recipe and share what you think in the comments.

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Warm up your nights with this “ramen style” shitake mushroom soup

When you have picky eaters, you lean into the ways your kids enjoy food. My children happen to enjoy various soup, and this delictable, ramen-inspired soup with a delectable mushroom broth is no exception. And, with the weather getting colder, few things are as comforting as a warm bowl of healthy soup.

You will notice I don’t have ramen noodles in my ingredients list. Honestly that is because I can never seem to find them as a stand-alone item. Unfortunately, I do not have the skills to make my own noodles, so I work with what I can find.

I believe any Japanese-style noodle would work well in this recipe. If you are only able to find (or prefer to use) dry pasta, just boil the noodles in the broth following the instructions on the package.

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5 Ways to enjoy fall in the Western Hudson Valley

I have called the Hudson Valley my home for several years now, and I am finally getting around to sharing some of the incredible food, places, and culture this region has to over.

The Hudson Valley is an area of New York State that stretches along the Hudson River. On the east side, you have Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess County, while on the west side of the river, you will find Orange, Rockland and Ulster County.

My family resides in Western Hudson Valley, so my focus will be on this part of the region, but you can certainly find incredible places to explore on the eastern side of the Hudson River.

While any time of year is a wonderful time to visit, the Hudson Valley is especially popular in the fall, and with good reason. The leaves turn gorgeous shades of red, orange, yellow and purple; farm stands are filled with tasty fall produce; and, apple and pumpkin picking is plentiful.



Please note fall weekends (especially Columbus Day weekend, and during Warwick’s Applefest) can be extremely crowded. If you prefer less people around during your visit, try coming in the middle of the week, or later in the season. Late November, before the Winter holiday activities start, is a good bet.

Read on to learn about some of my favorite spots to experience the best of the Hudson Valley.

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Super simple pizza lunch/snack hack

I have two school-age kids who bring their lunches from home. Though I am far from the healthiest parent, I do try to give my children a variety of foods, and, when possible, pack them items that are homemade.

Still, those prepackaged kid lunch options you find in the supermarket are very tempting, and definitely convenient.

My son and I were at the store together, viewing these very items in the refrigerated section, when I thought of the idea to try and make my own version of this popular item.

I grabbed some pizza dough I had already made, got a muffin tin, and got to work. The result was portable, stackable, packable mini pizza rounds.

If you are a parent looking for an easy school/camp/sports lunch or snack hack. Read on for the super simple recipe.

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Rich, creamy vegan roasted cauliflower soup

My husband and I have made a point to eat more healthily this year, by making vegetables a bigger part of our diet.

Our go-to veggie of choice is cauliflower. Packed with nutrients, this versatile vegetable lends itself nicely to a number of dishes.

We particularly love cauliflower when it is roasted, and this past winter have enjoyed the warm flavor of my roasted, cauliflower soup (recipe to follow).

Note, I almost never use measuring tools while cooking savory foods, so the measurements are very much an approximation. Please adjust as needed to suit your taste.

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Spice up your family’s health with these flavorful recipes

Getting kids to eat healthy is a battle I know all too well. From artistic uses of fruit, to “hiding” vegetables, parents seem to have to go through extreme lengths just to add some nutritious foods into our children’s diet.

While eating produce is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and sometimes we do need to get creative with our recipes, there is an even easier way to add nutrition to your family meals, and chances are, you already are doing it.

Herbs and spices, the stuff you pull from your pantry to add flavor to your favorite dishes are packed with the vitamins and minerals our families need to promote healthy living. From improving digestion, reducing inflammation, to boosting immunity, just a pinch or two of these small, but mighty spices cand do wonders for your nutrition.

Read on for some delicious ideas to add flavor and health to your family meals.

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