DIY Real Food Mishloach Manos – Theme Based!

If you’ve been looking to give out real food mishloach manos this year, this post is for you. More and more, individuals and families are looking to offer a healthy, cost effective alternative to the candies that are so prevalent on Purim. In going with the wish of many to tie in mishloach manos with a theme, this post is a compilation of many classic theme based food groupings.

Where possible, the food suggestions in this post re “real food” based. What I offer are springboards for our creativity. Take a look, let your creative juiced flow, and remember that the mitzva of mishloach manos is about spreading joy and togetherness.

Enjoy!

Photo credit: http://thedailysmash101.blogspot.ca/
Photo credit: http://thedailysmash101.blogspot.ca/

 Doctor / Nurse

  • Apple (a day)fruits-320136_640
  • Veggie sticks and dips
  • Soup broth
  • Fruit salad
  • Salad in a jar
  • White chocolate covered pretzel sticks (thermometers)
  • Milk cartons
  • Orange / orange juice
Photo credit: http://lifefrosting.blogspot.ca
Photo credit: http://lifefrosting.blogspot.ca

Astronaut

  • Milk(y way) cartons
  • Cut star shapes from cheese pieces, melon, cucumbers, carrots
  • Star fruit slices
  • Cheerios (Saturn’s rings)
  • SUN-flower seeds
  • String (moon) cheese
  • Star shaped cookies
Photo credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com
Photo credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com
Photo credit: www.joyofkosher.com
Photo credit: www.joyofkosher.com

Construction Worker

The key here is that although assembly is required, it be extremely minimal, with very little effort or time required.

Photo credit: www.chabad.org
Photo credit: www.chabad.org
  • Build your own sandwich – Bread, cheese or deli, veggies
  • Build your own salad – Lettuce in container, chopped veggies, cheese, craisins, croutons, seeds, dressing
  • Build your own pasta – Pasta, shredded cheese, pasta sauce, sliced olives, grilled veggies
  • Build your own parfait – Yogurt, blueberries / chopped fruit, homemade granola
  • Build your own pizza – Pre-rolled dough (bake these most of the way through so as to hold their shape and lessen recipient’s bake time), pizza sauce, cheese, sliced olives

Kallah and Chosson (Bride & Groom)

  • Challah
  • Cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Grapejuice

Haman

Photo credit: http://overtimecook.com
Photo credit: http://overtimecook.com
  • Grape juice / wine
  • Hamentaschen
  • Triangle bourekas (can be dairy, meat, or pareve depending on fillings)
  • Triangle fruit turnovers
Photo credit: www.chabad.org
Photo credit: www.chabad.org

Shabbos Theme

  • Grape juice / wine
  • Challah
  • Kugel
  • Dips
Photo credit: www.jewishsource.com
Photo credit: www.jewishsource.com

Purim Theme

  • Hamentashen (mishloach manos)
  • Wine (seuda)
  • Chocolate coins (matanos l’evyonim)
  • A note rolled into a megilla
Photo credit: www,eventstocelebrate.net
Photo credit: www,eventstocelebrate.net

Curious George

http://www.glorioustreats.com/
Photo credit: http://www.glorioustreats.com/

recipe-3707

Farmer / Animals

  • Milk carton

    Photo credit: www,smittenkitchen.com
    Photo credit: www,smittenkitchen.com
  • Apples
  • Veggie sticks and dip
  • Baby carrots
  • Black and white chocolate bark (cow)
  • Black and white cookies
  • Black and white chocolate covered nut clusters *allergy alert – make sure to clearly label as containing nuts
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Red pepper dip
  • Vegetable soup blended or chunky with bread sticks / garlic knots
  • Chicken fingers

    Photo credit: www.kosherscoop.com
    Photo credit: www.kosherscoop.com
  • Pumpkin muffins
  • Mini pumpkin pies
  • Corn muffins
  • Corn salad
  • Egg salad sandwich / hard boiled egg
  • White frosted doughnut holes in an egg carton
Photo credit: www,thefoodies.org
Photo credit: www,thefoodies.org

Insects

  • Butterfly bag snacks
  • Bread and different flavored butter(fly)s
  • Raisins (ants)
  • Chocolate covered raisins

Bumblebee

  • Honeycomb cereal
  • Milk carton
  • Banana (yellow)
  • Little container of honey
  • Honey cookies
Photo credit: www.superhealthykids.com
Photo credit: www.superhealthykids.com

Flowers

  • Flower shaped cookies baked on sticks
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Vegetable bouquets
Photo credit: www.shockinglydelicious.com
Photo credit: www.shockinglydelicious.com

Painters / Rainbow

  • Sprinkle covered chocolate dipped pretzels
  • Fruit salad
  • Israeli salad
  • Fruit kabobs
  • Layered salad in a jar

download (2)

Pirates

  • Chocolate coins
  • Mini kabobs on sword shaped skewers
  • Bread sticks (swords) and dips
Photo credit: www,jewitup.com
Photo credit: www,jewitup.com

Sports

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Trail mix
  • Nuts *allergy alert – make sure to clearly label as containing nuts
  • Water bottle
Photo credit: www.myshtub.com
Photo credit: www.myshtub.com

Superheroes

  • Soup(erheroes)
  • Hero sandwiches
  • Super-foods
Photo credit: www.dansdeals.com
Photo credit: www.dansdeals.com

Airline Meal

Pack onto small rectangular tray and cellophane the entire package.

  • Fruit cup
  • Single serve cereal
  • Milk
  • Small water bottle
  • Baked dessert
Photo credit: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com
Photo credit: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com

Colonial Theme

  • Corn muffins
  • Popcorn
  • Mini pumpkin pies
  • Mini cherry pies
  • Apple cider
  • Jam

Fireman

  • Salsa and chips
  • Matbucha and rolls / pita chips
  • BBQ chicken
  • Grilled vegetable salad / skewers
  • Water bottle

Under the Sea

  • Sushi (stick with veggie varieties as fish poses health hazards not being refrigerated)
  • Can of tuna with packets of mayonnaise and pickle on the side

Clown

  • Popcorn
  • Homemade soft pretzels or pretzel bites with mustard
Photo credit: www.kidfriendlyhome.com
Photo credit: www.kidfriendlyhome.com

Beach Theme

  • Sand(wiches)
  • Pasta salad made with macaroni shells
  • Water bottle

DIY Purim Costume Roundup

Dressing up is one of the major highlights of Purim for so many little ones – and let’s not forget the adults! Here are some super cute and inexpensive ideas that you can make with your kids this year. They’re sure to enjoy playing with them for weeks afterwards as well!

Box Built Costumes

One of most often repeated themes to date have been farm related costumes in various configurations. I think this Farmer’s Tractor might be happening in the not too distant future.

img-baby-farmer
Photo credit: wildinkpress.com

This Firetruck DIY is a great idea for those kids whose idea of the world’s best field trip is a day at the firehouse.

This Construction Worker in a Backhoe costume is a bit more complicated, but super creative! Can you imagine a putting your little one in this?

Photo credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com
Photo credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com

Dressing up as a Train Conductor + Steam Engine is one my family actually made years ago. Especially for those kids who have grown up with Thomas the Tank Engine, this would be a great pick.

Photo credit: littleredwindow.com
Photo credit: littleredwindow.com

For a very simple and unique family theme idea, try this Lego Brick costume series. Each family member can go as a different color block.

Got an older kids who’d love to make a box costume? Try this Rubik’s Cube costume.

Balloon Inspired Costumes

Hopefully it goes without saying – don’t give these costumes to the really little ones for whom balloons could be a choking hazard, or who might be scared of them suddenly popping.

Looking for a healthy mishloach manos theme? How about going as grapes this year and giving grape juice and, well, Grapes?

Photo credit: todaysparent.com
Photo credit: todaysparent.com

This is simply adorable. Dress your kid as Bubble-Bath!

This Astronaut Helmet doesn’t have a child going around dressed in balloons, but is crafted using papier mache over a balloon. For this costume you do have to purchase the suit (or make it) but the helmet is just so fun and creative I had to post it. Great way to introduce a new DIY craft to your kids before blasting off into outer space!

Photo credit: somethingmadedifferent.com
Photo credit: somethingmadedifferent.com

Wrapping up the box and balloon list is a combination of both. Can you guess what it is? Hot Air Balloons! I’ve always wanted to take a hot air balloon ride. Can you imagine what fun a little one could have with this on and after Purim?

balloon-costume-diy-1009-de
Photo credit: countryliving.com

Dollar Store DIY Purim Costumes 

This Flower Pot costume is one of the sweetest I’ve come across for a little girl. And literally can be made for under $5. I love that.

Photo credit: dukesandduchesses.com
Photo credit: dukesandduchesses.com

Little ones old enough not to eat their costumes will be soft and cuddly in this cotton ball inspired Little Lamb costume. Just pay for cotton balls, felt, and pull out an old outfit that was destined for the scrap pile.

Photo credit: parent.com
Photo credit: parent.com

Doing a bug theme this year? Add a sweet little Caterpillar to the mix. Best factor here after being inexpensive? This one is so easy and quick!

Photo credit: parents.com
Photo credit: parents.com

Have more to add? Please share! What are you dressing your little ones up as this year?

Our Unplanned, Unexpected Vacation

Florida Palms

So, remember the post two weeks ago when I reconciled myself to remaining local for my little one’s winter vacation? After spending hours surfing the web I’d decided we weren’t going anywhere?

Well, there was a greater plan in store for me.

Have you ever had an “If I only had a million dollars” moment? Well, within not more than a day of having said that I’d stay home rather than travelling for vacation, I suddenly – and I mean our of the big blue sky – found myself having come into a sum of money I hadn’t owned hours before. And that washashgacha pratis if I’ve ever seen it. I hadn’t expected it and could only sit stunned thinking Baruch HaShem! Annnnd now what am I supposed to do with this money? Why was I given it?

Well, it took not too long for a family member to convince me that now was the time to turn around and book that vacation I’d been yearning for. And so three days and a whole lot of rushed planning later, we found ourselves in sunny, warm Florida. I was still living as my frugal self, having brought food from home in our luggage – jug of frozen milk and loaf of bread anyone? I kid you not! I made sure that we’d have healthy food, save money, and not waste time on vacation searching for grocery stores. (Which worked out extremely well, because truth be told I didn’t see a fresh veggie in any store throughout our trip!)

We had a great time, while spending every moment feeling eternally grateful for the opportunity. We bonded, relaxed, experienced, and just had a great time. Baruch HaShem!

Have you got any similar hashgacha pratis stories you’d like to share? Please comment in the space below. I’d love to hear from you!

Why I’m Not Booking a Vacation – Again

1415275_22821821

I love travelling. The sights, the experience and the education all entrance me. However, I don’t go away more often than once every few years.

I’ve been known to spend hours on deal sites, travel sites, flight comparisons and train fare sites, without ever actually booking. I yearn to visit the locations in the photos. I research a city’s history, its excursions and its entertainment venues. And then I close the browser windows.

Why?

Well, today was one of those days. With midwinter vacation coming up, I found myself battling the travel itch. It’s bitter cold, and my wanderlust has kicked in. I need to visit the great outdoors! Well, with my little guy in tow and getting older, I knew there was a chance. And then I clicked that little “x.”

To me vacation is about getting in touch with yourself and your surroundings. Where we live in such a temporary society, with seconds whizzing by, I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on going to theme parks. A week in paradise sounds wonderful, but then, so does the prospect of growing as a person, as a mother, as a woman.

Living in America, there are so many tens of locations I would love to see. I love learning about and experiencing history, and these are the experiences I seek in a vacation. Until now I have savoured these moments in the Eretz haKodesh. There aren’t many local options in midwinter because unfortunately this is the time when travel is most difficult in cold climates.

Our vacation will be spent at home. Exploring and experiencing our city’s own history. We will enjoy one another’s company, and create lasting memories together. After all, isn’t that was history is made of?

My kind of vacation.

Make some memories today.