recipes

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Activities for Kids

September 10th is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a day in which Jewish families around the world ring in the year 5779. Whether your child or classroom is learning Hebrew or not, it's a great time to expose them them to Jewish culture and global traditions surrounding this important Jewish holiday.

Rosh Hashanah translates from Hebrew to mean "start of the year." Traditionally, Jewish families attend services in a synagogue and enjoy traditional holiday meals with family on this day and the next.

The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram's horn, which is sounded on both days of Rosh Hashanah to mark the start of the new year.

For a fun craft, your child can make his or her very own (thankfully less noisy) cardboard shofar here.

Many of the foods Jewish families eat during this holiday are also symbolic. For example, apples dipped into honey help prepare followers for a "sweet" new year.

And Challah, a round loaf of egg bread is also commonly eaten on the first night and symbolizes the circle of life.

Apples & honey are traditionally eaten by Jewish families on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a "sweet" new year ahead.
Apples & honey are traditionally eaten by Jewish families on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a "sweet" new year ahead.

Teach your child about this yummy tradition by whipping up a batch of Honey Apple Cupcakes together.

If you want your children to learn more about Jewish tradition and learn Hebrew, check out our award-winning Hebrew for kids program.

Are you celebrating the holiday this year or teaching your child Hebrew? Be sure to send us your pictures or share them on our Facebook page.

And don't forget you can get Rosh Hashanah cards here to wish your Jewish friends or family members a happy new year! The traditional greeting is "shana tova," which translates to "good year."

5 Healthy Foods from Around the World

November is Good Nutrition Month!

Photo credit: donnierayjones / Foter / CC BY

It’s important to eat right, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your favorite foods or try new ones. We’ve made a list of delicious foods from all around the world that just so happen to be good for you.

Mexico:

Photo credit: lucianvenutian / Foter / CC BY-SA

Tacos are one of the most popular Mexican dishes, and they offer a great deal of variety. Mix it up this Taco Tuesday with a 200-calorie recipe that suggests yummy fillings like steak, beans, and even mango!

France:

Photo credit: Brisbane Falling / Foter / CC BY

French cuisine is delicious and rich, but don’t let that fool you; it can still be good for you! Fill these whole wheat crepes with fresh fruit to make a sweet breakfast (or dessert) that’s magnifique!

China:

Photo credit: stu_spivack / Foter / CC BY-SA

With small portions and lots of veggies, Chinese food can be a guilt-free dining option. A hearty stir-fry filled with chicken and vegetables is a great way to pack protein into your meal. Try it over brown rice for even more healthy goodness.

Italy:

Photo credit: derekskey / Foter / CC BY

When you think of Italian food, the first things that come to mind are probably pizza and pasta (not necessarily the healthiest options). But this refreshing mango-passion fruit gelato is a great alternative to carb-heavy Italian cuisine. Delizioso!

Morocco:

Photo credit: SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr / Foter / CC BY

Moroccan food is often cooked with delicious, good-for-you spices like cumin, ginger, and turmeric. Chick peas, another Moroccan staple, are a great source of protein that can be added to any meal. Spice up your recipe book with this pumpkin, cranberry, and red onion tagine.

Click here for even more ways to eat healthy while exploring international cuisine. Let us know what new, healthy foods you’re planning to try this month!

The Healthiest & Unhealthiest Christmas Dishes In The World

The holidays are a season of indulgence for most people around the world, when people come together to celebrate with loved ones over special dishes. We've been known to overdo it on the Christmas cookies, but there's more to holiday food than sweets. From France to Brazil to South Africa, every country has their own special healthy--and not-so-healthy-- traditional foods they enjoy around the holidays.

But some countries are definitely more indulgent than others, according to Yahoo. The website ranked countries by how healthy their traditional Christmas meals are.

Spain came out as the unhealthiest, with an average of over 70 grams of fat in their traditional meal, which often features roast lamb for dinner and nougat for dessert. The United States was right behind, thanks to Americans' love for fatty eggnog.

To contrast, Kenya's traditional Christmas meal of lean roasted goat and chapatti (unleavened bread) contains just 10 grams of fat, the lowest of any country in the list.

It's fine to enjoy the less healthy items on a special occasion--just make sure to get those veggies in too, like the Spaniards do with white asparagus. Or make like the Swedes do and serve herring as an appetizer instead of fatty dips.

As long as you don't overdo it at dinner, there's no reason to skip dessert. Add an international twist to your dessert tray with a French Yule Log Cake (Buche de Noel) or a delicious German Stollen, a fruit cake with dried fruit and marzipan.

Check out the infographic below to see how the meals ranked and find out the healthiest and unhealthiest Christmas dishes of each country.

Have a Multicultural Thanksgiving with Little Pim

When most people in America think of Thanksgiving, they think of eating traditional foods like turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie with family and friends. Uniquely American traditions like football and Black Friday shopping may also come to mind. But Thanksgiving looks very different in other countries, each of which have their own way of celebrating the bounty of the fall harvest with loved ones. You can teach your child about other cultures and build on their foreign language learning by introducing them to some international Thanksgiving traditions.

Germany: Germany's version of Thanksgiving is national holiday called "Erntedanktag," which translates to "Harvest-Thanksgiving-Day." Harvest Festivals (Erntefests) are held in churches, markets and dance halls throughout the country, each celebrating foods for which the region is famous.

China: China's Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, like the American Thanksgiving, is a time for family and loved ones to celebrate the end of the harvest season with a giant feast. Legend says that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this day, which is said to inspire rekindled friendship or romance.

To represent the full moon, the Chinese eat a delicious flaky pastry called a mooncake, which is stuffed with either sweet or savory filling. If you're up for a tasty challenge, check out this step-by-step guide to making your own.

This trio of soups for Sukkot is the perfect way to celebrate a Hebrew Thanksgiving.
This trio of soups for Sukkot is the perfect way to celebrate a Hebrew Thanksgiving.

Israel: Jewish families celebrate a 3000-year old harvest festival called Sukkot. A hut of branches called a Sukkot is built, and Jewish families then eat their meals beneath the Sukkot under the night sky for eight days. These hearty, seasonal fall soups from Israeli Kitchen are the perfect way to celebrate the end of the autumn harvest.

Korea: Chuseok is a major harvest festival and 3-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. During this holiday, Koreans return to their hometowns to perform traditional rituals in the morning to remember their ancestors. Family members also visit their decreased loved ones, offering food, drink and crops. A popular food for the holdiday called songpyeon, a crescent-shaped rice cake, is prepared using healthy ingredients like sesame seeds, cinnamon, and pine nuts.

Check out the video below for a tutorial on preparing your own Songpyeon.

Tradition is great, but don't be afraid to mix in a few international foods and activities this holiday. As the Portuguese say, "Feliz (dia de) acção de graça" (Happy Thanksgiving)!

Kids Cook: Gooooaaaal! Brazilian Treats For the World Cup

The World Cup 2014 is just around the corner – it starts June 12 – and is being held in host country Brazil. Here at Little Pim, we’re excited to share our love of both the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture with our friends. To get you ready for some world class World Cup watching, we have two easy Brazilian recipes – one savory and one sweet – great for small hands to help create.

Vamos comer! (Let’s eat!)

Savory Treat: Pão de Queijo (cheese puffs)

Courtesy of Saveur
Courtesy of Saveur

These savory cheese puffs are crisp on the outside, rich and chewy on the inside. They’re a popular treat in Brazil for an afternoon snack or pre-meal nibble –although we think they’re also perfect for watching Futebol (soccer)!

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together tapioca starch, Parmesan, flour, salt, and yeast. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Pour mixture into dry ingredients along with 1 egg and stir until dough forms; cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Kids cook:

  1. Using a tablespoon, portion out dough and roll each into a ball. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2" apart; beat remaining egg in a small bowl and brush balls with egg.
  2. Bake until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 16

Sweet Treat: Brigadeiros (Chocolate fudge balls)

Courtesy of Saveur - world cup brigadeiros
Courtesy of Saveur - world cup brigadeiros

These fudgy truffles are a favorite dessert throughout Brazil. We say “Gooooaaallll” for the easy recipe and yummy sprinkles on top.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup chocolate sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring butter, cream, and milk to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add chocolate and cocoa powder, and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is the consistency of dense, fudgy batter, about 16 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Chill until set, at least 4 hours.

Kids Cook:

  1. Using a tablespoon, portion out fudge and roll into balls. Roll each ball in chocolate sprinkles until evenly coated.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 2 dozen

All recipes courtesy of our friends at Saveur.

4 Tasty Surprises for Your Thanksgiving Table

Although Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday, at Little Pim we also think it’s an excellent opportunity to explore the melting pot of cultures that comprise the United States. And there's no better way to taste a culture than to literally pick up a spoon and start cooking up some global cuisine.

Have your kids tie on an apron and give you a hand with some of these globally inspired, easy to make, recipes for your Thanksgiving feast:

POTATO LATKES

In 2013, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah (festival of lights), falls on Thanksgiving, creating a unique opportunity to celebrate “Thanksgivukkah.” These savory potato latkes (pancakes), are the traditional way to celebrate Hanukkah, and also make a great Thanksgiving side dish or appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. matzo meal
or flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or shortening

Directions

  1. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater or use a food processor with a shredder blade. Squeeze moisture from grated potatoes with your hands or a dishtowel. Add eggs, matzo meal or flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.
  2. Heat enough oil to come up about ¼ of an inch in a large skillet.  Oil should be hot, but not smoking. Shape potato mixture into small pancakes and fry until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake and repeat on the opposite side. Remove cooked potato pancakes and drain on paper towels.

(NB: although you can cook several latkes at a time, do not crowd the pan or they will not become crisp enough.)

Serve latkes hot with sour cream and/or our easy applesauce (recipe, below).

EASY APPLE SAUCE

Peel, core, and slice 5 large apples (a combination of eating and baking apples works well) and place in a large, flat-bottomed saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then simmer until apples until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Mash apples with a potato masher (this results in a slightly chunky applesauce). Add cinnamon to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Fein Tau Weiyama (South American Pumpkin Bread)

(courtesy of Saveur)

This rich dessert bread can stand in for traditional pumpkin pie on your dessert sideboard.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup canola oil, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for pan
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans pumpkin purée

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan; set aside.
  3. Stir together oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin in a bowl; add flour, and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan, and smooth top.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  6. Cut into squares or wedges to serve.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING

Yorkshire pudding, a British import to the United States, is commonly known as popovers here. Crisp on the outside and airy on the inside, popovers should be served warm and are a great accompaniment to turkey and gravy. These might be your new favorite dinner roll replacement.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large room temperature eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • PAM or other baking spray

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. While oven is heating, place a 12-cup muffin or popover pan into oven to also heat.
  2. Whisk together milk, eggs, and butter. Add flour and salt. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Carefully remove the heated pan from the oven (parents only for this step) and spray with oil. Evenly pour batter into sprayed pan then return hot pan with batter to oven.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, keeping oven door closed during baking.

Halloween food around the world

For most American families, Halloween "treats" mean one thing: candy – mounds of bite-size morsels heaped into kids' bags in exchange for that magic phrase: "Trick or treat!" Other cultures, however, celebrate All Souls' Day, All Saints Day or Dia de Los Muertos (Nov. 1 and 2), from which our Halloween (All Hallows Eve) is derived, with different sorts of treats. Why not expand your family's cultural horizons this Halloween by trying some of these traditional sweet treats from around the globe?

Here are a few ideas about food from Halloween around the world - about what people eat in other countries, and recipes to go with them.

Soul cakes (England and Ireland): These sweet, round cakes were traditionally given out in England and Ireland on All Saints Day or All Souls' Day during the Middle Ages to those who went door-to-door saying prayers for the dead in what may be the forerunner to today's trick-or-treating. They can be made with raisins and currents and aromatic spices like allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. (Soul cake recipe)

Fave dei morti (Italy): In Italy, All Souls' Day may be celebrated with delicate cookies (sometimes white, brown or pink) – made with almonds and covered with sugar – called Fave dei Morti or Ossei dei Morti, whose name translates to "Beans of the Dead" or "Bones of the Dead." (Fave dei morti recipe; Ossi dei Morti recipe)

Pan de Muerto (Mexico):  This soft sweet bread is a Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) tradition in Mexico, sometimes eaten at the grave of a loved one or placed on an altar. It may be flavored with orange zest or decorated with a teardrop or bones, perhaps placed in a circle to represent the cycle of life. Some people even mold the bread into animals, angels or other evocative shapes. (Pan de Muerto recipe)

Guagua de pan (Ecuador): These "bread babies" – sweet rolls molded and decorated to look like small children or infants – are part of the Day of the Dead tradition in parts of South America. Often made of wheat and sometimes filled with sweet jelly, they may be exchanged as gifts between families and friends or used ceremonially. (Guagua de pan recipe)

So what are you waiting for? Put down those miniature chocolate bars and start baking. These tasty treats will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but your appetite for cultural exploration as well.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Today commemorates the unexpected 1862 victory of the Mexican army over the French army in the battle over the city of Puebla. I've compiled some Spanish vocabulary words that follow the theme of today's festivities.

La batalla - battle La revolucion - revolution La bandera - flag El heroe - hero La independencia - independence La victoria - victory

Get the kids together and practice your espanol today! If you're heading out to a party, I've included a guacamole recipe below that will entice even your pickiest eaters.

Yummy Guacamole

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados 1 small red onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped cilantro 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

Cooking Instructions

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and peel them. If they are ripe, the peel should come off easily. Dice the avocado flesh, and dump into a bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients, and toss to combine without mashing. The ingredients should remain separate, and the salsa chunky. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping, or as an accompaniment to tacos or burritos.

Servings: Makes about 2 cups (500 mL).

recipe from Kaboose.com