A Passover Project Playdate


Passover has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It might sound strange...but I LOVE Matzo! Matzo bri, matzo with cream cheese and jam, matzo pizza....YUM!! Seriously, it's my fave. I also love Passover because I'm always the one who gets to host one or two seders. And I think you all know just how much I love to entertain!


The only issue I sometimes run into is how will I entertain the kids (aka keep them out of my hair) while I prepare for dinner?

This year I asked my friend Deanna of Imagination Lane NYC what she suggests for a fun craft for the kids and she said DIY Afikoman bags. I thought....well isn't that genius since my kids have been yapping about hiding the matzo (and the prizes they will get if they find it) for weeks now!


Deanna sells craft sets that require no prep on your end at all. So if you're strapped for time like me then click on over to her site to shop. IF you want to DIY this Afikoman craft yourself then you're in luck because Deanna is sharing the how-to steps for us today! Check it out...


DIY Afikoman Bags:

Supplies: -3-4 pieces of felt (we used blue for the bags and white for the stars) -Fabric fusion glue (to prep the bags for the kids to decorate) -Fabric glue (for the kids to work with) -Wax paper -Puffy Paints (we used white, blue and yellow) -Assortment of jewels and sequins (find at your local craft store)

Adults to prepare the Afikoman Bags: 1. Cut 1 piece of felt into a 9”x9” square (to fit Matzo), and one piece of felt into 9”x12” rectangle. 2. Using Fabric Fusion glue, glue them together by the bottom and 2 sides of the sheets felt, leaving the longest side as an open flap at the top.

Tips: A. It’s very important to use enough glue to go through all layers of the felt and then to let it dry thoroughly before use. B. It’s also helpful to slide a smaller square piece of wax paper between the sheets so that the bag doesn’t close shut where you need to put the matzoh.

Adults to prepare the Felt Stars: -Use a 2” Jewish star template (easy to find online) and trace it onto the felt sheets with a marker. -Cut the stars out and glue them onto the bag. -Use puffy fabric paint applicator to make the star shape on top.

For the kids to craft: 1. Set out Afikoman bag bases, glue in small paper cups with Q-tips and the felt stars. 2. Using the Q-tips as applicators (you may need to change often), allow the children to begin by gluing on the stars of David. 3. While they dry also set out the assorted jewels and sequins.  They can begin to add these on as well with the glue. 4. When they are done distribute the small bottles of puffy paint and using the fine tips oft the bottles assist them in writing their name and/or “Afikoman bags” 5. Let the bags dry fully before use.  The glue takes several hours and the fabric paint takes about 24 hours to dry completely.  So ideally let it sit for about day before you take out the wax paper.

*NOTE:  The fabric paint is not washable (so it stays nice and secure in the fabric), so extra should be taking in covering up clothing.


Now of course when I cook I need a little something to sip on. So for a special Passover signature cocktail we whipped up Manischewitz Manhattans. Which ironically for this blog post were made by my not so Jewish friend, Maggie...here's how...

The Manischewitz Manhattan

Ingredients: 2 oz. rye 1.5 oz. Manischewitz 3 dashes of Aromatic Cocktail Bitters Orange Slice Garnish (optional)

The Manischewitz Manhattan is a perfect cocktail to spruce up your passover dinner. Plus, it’s super easy. Only 3 ingredients are needed for the beverage. The garnish is totally optional, and can really be any fruit you have around the house to add some color to your cocktail glass. We chose oranges, and it looked AMAZING with the color of the Manischewitz.

Step 1: Fill your glass with ice. Step 2: Pour the 2 oz. of rye over ice, so it has ample time to chill. Step 3: add the 1.5 oz. of Manischewitz Step 4: Carefully add 3 dashes of bitters. Careful not to overdo it, so the taste will not overwhelm the rest of the drink. Step 5: Garnish with orange slices and your favorite LMP cocktail toppers.


And last but not least, obviously we need a snack! I was DYING to try Aunt Debi's Fruit and Nut Matzo crunch after she sent it to me for her blog series this week. And since it looked so easy to make...I asked Harlow and Luke to join me!

Here's a photo step by step of our cooking session....see the link to full recipe below.

Step 1: break up matzo to fit evenly onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and wax paper. The kids snacked on the pieces that didn't fit.


Step 2: Cut up 2 sticks of unsalted butter into chunks.


Step 3: Combine the butter + 1 cup of brown sugar over low heat and bring to a bubbling point. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt.


Step 4: Send the kids to watch the Ipad and pour the hot caramel mixture all over the matzo getting an even spread all around. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.


Step 5: Once the matzo comes out of the oven, have the kids (carefully) add chocolate chips to the matzo (all over).


Taste test the chocolate chips as you go.


Step 6: The chocolate chips will instantly melt, spread them all over the matzo to evenly coat. Then Smile and pose for the next step....


Step 7: Taste test your toppings. We used dried fruits (cranberries and apricots) plus crushed walnuts and sliced almonds. You can top your matzo with pretty much anything...


Step 8: Smile and pose with your Best Friend and your beautiful Matzo snack.


Step 9: Drizzle with melted chocolate and place into the fridge to set for about 20 minutes.


Step 10: Smile and pose with that gal who's been behind the lens all day: Maggie Antalek.


Click on over to our blog post yesterday for Simply Beautiful Eating's detailed recipe for this delicious Passover treat.

Happy Passover, friends!