Mom’s Matzo Ball Soup

This week A Breakfast Serial focused on food! I wrote this piece in honor of Passover next week.


Mom’s Matzo Ball Soup

by abreakfastserial


< by Annie of Third Wave Domesticity >

Nothing is better than your mom’s matzo ball soup, nothing. My mom is a pretty terrible cook (sorry ma!) but there is something that this woman knows how to do. She knows how to harness her Jewishness and bust out a soup that not only warms the belly but warms the soul.

Next week is Passover. Passover is the story Moses and the Jewish slaves. As the story goes the Jews needed to get out of Egypt quick (that Pharaoh was a bad dude). Because they were in a rush they did not have time to let their bread leaven which resulted in a dry nasty cracker-y food: matzo. During Passover Jews give up leavened products for 7 days.

As a kid Passover was the worst. I yearned for chicken nuggets from McDonalds (ironic since the nugget is what eventually made me become vegetarian) and grilled cheeses. The entire holiday seemed daunting and terrible but there was always a silver lining, matzo ball soup.

My mom’s matzo ball soup is delicious. Delicious! I asked her a few years ago how she made it so great. Was it an original recipe? Was it a family secret? In true Ma tradition she replied “Nope just use the stuff in the box!” (<- say that in a New York accent) Of course! I tried to make “the box” and the results were shameful. The matzo balls crumbled and the broth was bland. There was something missing: perhaps it was the nagging, the jewish guilt or the uncomfortable hugs and kisses at dinner. I can’t pinpoint what makes her soup so scrumptious. Maybe it’s the memories associated with her soup:the weird voices at Passover, the rebellious act of drinking wine, or searching for the Afikoman only to receive a dollar if you found it.

I have come to terms that my soup will never measure to hers. As Stephen and I create our own traditions I hope to create a matzo ball soup that dazzles the taste buds just as my mom’s has for 26 years.

חג פסח שמח

For Passover recipes check out my blog: (new posts will pop up next week)

Wine Tasting Party

I love wine. I love the food that compliments wine. I love wine culture. I love that my husband loves wine. I love that wine reminds me of Paris.

During winter break Stephen and I went to quite a few wine tastings. I adore the atmosphere and new information I learn. However, I don’t love the lack of community or silliness that is often left out of tastings. This absense got me thinking and I was inspired to fix this gap!

The solution: a wine tasting party! This past weekend my friends and I gathered to enjoy our favorite wines and hang out.

yay for hosting!

yay for hosting!

The rules were as follows: everyone bring their favorite wine for submission. Each submission would be ranked and the wine with the highest rating “won.”

submission cards

submission cards

This protocol was hard to follow as you can imagine. The winner was instead determined by which bottle had the least amount of wine left. Stephen’s selection won 🙂 The prize was…well…. camaraderie and shenanigans.

7 submissions total.. all were welcomed!

7 submissions total.. all were welcomed!

Image (14)

Let the tasting begin!

In addition to having a ton of wine, we also had a lot of food. I haven’t had the chance to cook recently because of my schedule so the idea of preparing for a whole party thrilled me!

The Menu:

Cheese Plate:

Image (11)

Sweet Pears (recipe below)
Blue Cheese
Garlic and Herb Goat
Dried Figs
Unsulfered Apricots

slice unripe pear, sprinkle sugar on top, place in oven at 200 for 1 hour and serve

slice unripe pear, sprinkle sugar on top, place in oven at 200 for 1 hour and serve

Finger Foods:

the spread

the spread

Chocolate Dipped Dates
Goat Cheese and Thyme Stuffed Dates
Brie and Cranberry Stuffed Dates
Red Pepper, Artichoke, and Olive Bruchetta
Stuffed Mushrooms
Caprese Kabobs
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Rosemary and Thyme Crackers
Melba Toasts
Edamame Crackers (gluten free)

Stuffed with: chopped tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, basil and topped with mozzarella

Stuffed with: chopped tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, basil and topped with mozzarella

sprinkle with balsamic

sprinkle with balsamic

slice dates, stuff with blended goat cheese and thyme, top with pecan

slice dates, stuff with blended goat cheese and thyme, top with pecan

We had some fine submissions and attendants! Clearly we all took the process very seriously (note the sarcasm).

Stevi's sophisticated judging: "do not pair with gum"

Stevi’s sophisticated judging: “do not pair with gum”

Kendra advocated for the white wines

Kendra advocated for the white wines



these two.

these two.

It was a great party and I want to do it again! I can’t wait for a summer themed wine party… I dream big!

Activism is fun.

Big news… this month is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Months…months… months… months for everything right? Although I am not the biggest fan of designated months I do appreciate the opportunities these labeled time periods bring to unaware citizens. *Note: not the biggest fan because I think we should be activists all of the time. Anyways, this past Friday CAASE hosted a film screening (sex&money) and we had a GREAT turn out. It was incredible to be in a room with inspired activists who all shared (even if for that moment) a desire to bring social justice to the sex trafficking industry. To continue raising awareness I hosted a Lia Sophia party this past Sunday. If you haven’t heard about Lia Sophia quite yet, don’t you worry… I’ve got the scoop. Lia Sophia is a jewelry company with independent consultants. One of my dear friends from CAASE generously donated her time to help host the party and donate proceeds to CAASE. At the bottom of this post I put the information if you care to breeze the great jewelry and purchase a few items.


amazing women buying jewelry for a great cause! win win!

I love hosting parties for several reasons. I love bringing friends together, cooking (of course), and the wonderful conversation that ensues. For this activism brunch I wanted to honor my friends goal of being healthy. I included lots of fruit and various baked good.


(Links included in titles)

Apple & Pear Salad with Honey and Seeds Orange and Cranberry Muffins Gluten Free (Vegan) Chocolate Banana Scones with nuts and cranberries Berry Oatmeal Bake **see below Mixed Berries

Berry Oatmeal Bake and mixed berries.

Berry Oatmeal Bake and mixed berries.

Pear & Apple salad with honey and seeds, melon, and apple, orange, and pear salad

Pear & Apple salad with honey and seeds, melon, and apple, orange, and pear salad

Gluten Free Scones

Gluten Free Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones

** For the oatmeal bake I changed the recipe quite a bit. I used a bag of frozen berries from trader instead of bananas. I also used about a tablespoon of honey on the bottom layer. I did not use cinnamon. I also sprinkled brown sugar on the top and allowed it to caramelized.

These amazing beautiful people!

Goddesses of Special Education

Goddesses of Special Education

Changing the world!

Changing the world!

Two of the most bad ass feminists out there.

Two of the most bad ass feminists out there.

Lia Sophia Order Information:

Beautiful jewelry that benefits CAASE!

Beautiful jewelry that benefits CAASE!

1. Go to 2. Click on Browse Our Jewelry 3. Under hostess information you can search for Annie Warshaw. A pop up will appear and you can click on my name to access the show. 4. It will prompt you for a password at some point. The password is:XGNK8W. Also, don’t forget the awesome special that is going on! When you buy 1 item, you get 2 at 50% off. The best part is you pay full price for the lowest priced item. There is no limit on this so if you buy 2 full price items you can get 4 at 50% off.

Keep Calm and Cook on

Things are back to nutty and I NEED to maintain balance. This week I knew that I would have meetings each night after work so I planned ahead and made enough dinners for the week.

Stephen’s mom surprised us for Christmas and bought us two wonderful magazine subscriptions  She purchased us Vegetarian Times for the year which I am super excited about. Vegetarian Times has a lot of great recipes for under 400 calories. They also index all of the recipes by vegan and gluten free, making life a lot easier.

In anticipation of the craziness I prepared Moroccan Stew and Chipotle Chili. The calories listed in the magazine don’t seem to match MyFitnessPal. I am going to presume MyFitnessPal is correct because it considers the actual brands I used. Both recipes are really great and are perfect for when you are in a pinch.

Moroccan Potato, Carrot, and Chickpea Stew


Not plated because I haven’t served it in a portion yet 🙂



so fresh and whole.. nom!

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato- cubed
  • 8 oz. baby carrots
  • 2 large shallots- chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 can of 15.5 oz low sodium chickpeas (drained, reserve liquid, divide portion of beans)
  • 1/3 c dark raisins
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbs lemon juice, lemon wedges for serving
  • 2 c of fresh spinach


1. Heat oil in large non stick skillet (have lid handy) on medium heat. Add potato, carrots, shallots, salt, and pepper, saute for 3 minutes.


2. Add chickpea liquid, raisins, cumin, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss, and then cover to let simmer for 8 minutes on low heat.


3. Mix in 1 half of chickpeas, cover and let simmer for an additional 3 minutes- make sure carrots and potatoes are tender, if they are not continue to let simmer.

4. Mash remaining chickpeas in a shallow bowl and mix with lemon juice.

5. Mix mashed chickpeas into skillet and pile spinach on top. Toss mixture until spinach begins to reduce in volume.


6. Add water to the mixture if you would like it to be soupier and serve. * Since I was not serving right away I added water and let the mixture simmer off of the lit pilot for about 4 more minutes and then placed it in a air tight container.

Nutritional Information:


Italian Crusted Tofu

I have been a vegetarian for 14 years. When I was 12 I decided to stop eating meat for a number of reasons. I have never really cared for the taste and I have been traumatized by animal veins in my food one too many times.  When I decided to stop eating meat I received a lot of slack for it from my family. During middle school and high school my diet preference was never really considered when our family chose restaurants or made meals. A result of this lack of consideration was me consuming a ton of broccoli, popcorn, and dinner rolls. You can only imagine the results…over weight and not balanced. During college I started to explore vegetarian options, but even then I was scared of foods because I was never taught to try food or explore different cultures. I decided to take control of my health and make healthier choices while in grad school. My tastes have progressed, my culinary skills have improved, and I have lost a ton of weight (a by product of living well).

Did I mention I wore "Meat is murder" shirts in middles school? ha!

10th grade: Did I mention I wore “Meat is murder” shirts in middle school? ha!

I bring up my journey towards healthy delicious vegetarian food because I realize that I was raised within a house that did not understand that vegetarian food could be well-rounded and yummy. I do not think this belief is restricted to my childhood household, I encounter this mindset all of the time. If people dare to think about vegetarian food they often jump to tofu. I will be the first to admit that tofu can be bland. However, if prepared properly tofu can be wonderful. It assumes the flavor of whatever spices it is prepared in.

vegetarian partners in crime

vegetarian partners in crime

I found this recipe on Pinterest and hot dang… it was divine! Husband approves! I can not recommend this dish enough. It would be a great date night meal or dinner party dish. The recipe takes approximately 35 minutes from start to finish.

Italian Crusted Tofu with Spaghetti



  • 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 14-ounce package firm or extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed (You can drain but leave some residual water, this will help keep the breadcrumbs on the tofu)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. Combine breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Cut tofu lengthwise into 4 steaks and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides of the tofu with garlic powder and salt and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and begin to brown, 4 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the tofu steaks (2 at a time) and cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes.


  1. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the tofu, pour marinara over the mushrooms and scatter mozzarella on top. Cover and cook until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.
So filling and delicious!

So filling and delicious!


Pair with a red

Serves 4
calculation based on MyFitnessPal
calculation based on MyFitnessPal
*This does not include the spaghetti

Later than Brunch… Breakfast

Winter Break has been very kind to me. We have slept in, been to two wine tastings, and visited the Nutcracker. I also began my 200 Yoga Alliance Training program and have started logging my hours. I am super excited about all of this!


The Auditorium Theater, Roosevelt (one of my favorite places)

One of the most amazing things about break is staying up late and sleeping in. I love waking up to a clean house, having a fresh pot of coffee and pastry at mid day. It is a spectacular feeling to be free.

stephen b

Stephen enjoying his scone at 11 am (this is the life!)

As of late I have been inspired by our wedding and France… maybe it’s the wine.. maybe it’s the crepes. Anyways I have wanted to eat breakfast pastries and thus I whipped up some scones yesterday (I am aware this is not French). I adapted this recipe, added protein and made it vegan. I love using fresh and in season fruit. Recently, organic oranges have been super affordable and delicious!


Cranberry Orange Protein Vegan Scones

photo (99)


  •  1 1/4 cups  whole wheat flour
  •     1/2 cup brown sugar
  •     1 teaspoon baking powder
  •     1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 365 Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (1 scoop = 1 serving)
  •     1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •     1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  •     1/2 cup applesauce
  •     1 teaspoon vanilla
  •     1 cup oats
  •     1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • orange zest

Orange Cream Cheese Glaze (not so vegan):

  • 4 tbsp of powdered sugar
  • orange zest
  • 2 tbsp of reduced fat cream cheese (if you want to make the frosting vegan sub out with Tofutti cream cheese)

photo (98)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F and spray a round cake pan with Pam for Baking.
Stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, protein powder and cinnamon.
Make a well in the center and stir in  almond milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
Mix well and fold in oats. Stir in cranberries and orange zest.
Spread batter into prepared pan, and flatten so it looks like a cookie cake. Bake for 18 minutes, then cut into 8 pieces when done.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
glazed scone for the husband

glazed scone for the husband

perfect morning

perfect morning

Serving Size: makes 8 scones

Nutrition info according to MyFitnessPal (not including glaze)

Nutrition info according to MyFitnessPal (not including glaze)

how you do anything is how you do everything

photo (95)

Yay Yoga

My favorite yoga teacher said the title of this blog  to our class last week while we were in shavasana. I couldn’t agree more.  Because I try to go to yoga after work I often skip delicious meals. If I go to yoga I end up making eggs really quickly when I get home. I really want to integrate yummy meals back into my evenings… even if I am at yoga. I have been using the crock pot more and more to help ease the burden of time consuming cooking. I love cooking vegetarian pot pie however its labor intensive which means I haven’t made it in forever. I recently found a vegetarian pot pie crock pot recipe and I am so very happy to be reunited with this tasty meal. I have altered the recipe quite a bit and the results are perfect! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Pot Pie Crock Pot Recipe

photo (96)

Calories: 364
Carbs: 57
Fat: 12
Protein: 8


photo (92)

1 cup vegetable broth
3 small potatoes chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
3/4 cup butternut squash, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of sage
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of basil
1/3 teaspoon pepper
2  cups baking mix (I use Bisquick Heart Smart)
just a bit over 1/2 c  cup of unsweetened almond milk

photo (94)

always great ingredients to have on hand


1. In a crock pot, put broth and vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery, peas, and onion).
2. In medium bowl, whisk together the water, flour, oil, and spices (salt, garlic powder, and pepper) until smooth.
3. Pour mixture into crock pot and stir. Cook on high for 1.5 hours until thick and bubbly.

photo (93)

Let cook without crust for 1.5 hours

4. Mix baking mix and nondairy milk (you could use any biscuit or dumpling recipe) and spread over top of vegetable mixture in crock pot. ( *I take the mixture and take small balls and flatten them out. This makes it a lot easier to cover the top evenly.) Reduce heat to low and cook another 2.5 hours.

photo (91)

cover evenly so broth does not boil onto crust

Preparation Time:
1/2 hour, Cooking time: 4 hours

He lives in a pineapple under the sea…

Who said you can’t enjoy a tropical drink in December in Chicago. The Green Smoothie craze continues and we are shaking it up in the ol household. Pineapples were 98 cents each at Stanley’s this weekend so you bet your bottom dollar we bought a bunch. If you want to brighten up your morning I recommend this delicious smoothie!

Sunny Morning Green Smoothie



  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 c low fat organic vanilla yogurt (i used trader joes)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 c of strawberries
  • 1/2 c pineapples
  • 1/2 c blackberries
  • 1 tbs of flaxseed
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/4 c cold water


Place ingredients in blender on liquefy. Blend until completely smooth.

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 287
Carbs: 57
Fat: 4
Protein: 12

Holiday Work Cheer: Part 2

Today was hours and hours of baking and prepping for work! One of my precious students came over to help me bake. While she was here we made an assortment of goods for my co-workers and for her family. I didn’t get to snap pictures of all of the treats but I did for the majority of what I am giving out for my holiday work gifts. My student has never had the opportunity to make Christmas cookies so I felt we must undo this wrong and decorate sugar cookies! I also taught her how to make basic chocolate chip cookies. We added some M&Ms for festive coloring. We also made some white chocolate peppermint Oreo bark, nom nom!

The past two years I made labor intensive gifts for my co-workers but this year due to time constraints and money I wanted something simple, affordable and delicious. I decided on Oreo bark and I am quite pleased with my choice! I purchased the items at Aldi and the total for the goods was around $6.00. I was able to make 16 gifts which means each bag cost .37… not too shabby!  I made Christmas colored bark for the majority of the staff and Hanukkah bark for my beloved tribe members. I recently received a wonderful Star of David mold* and was able to use it to craft the Hanukkah bark.

*I can not find the exact mold online but this quite close.

Hanukkah Oreo Bark

photo (70)

Christmas Oreo Bark

photo (74)


  • 1 package of oreos
  • 1 package of white chocolate almond bark
  • 1 package of white chocolate morsels


Prepare tray with parchment paper. Place oreos in a gallon ziplock bag and role with a rolling pin. Melt white chocolate in microwave safe dish at 25 second intervals. (If you want to use a double broiler feel free I just don’t have the patience) When the chocolate has almost completed melted, mix in food coloring. When the chocolate is completely melted mix the oreo pieces into the gooey greatness. Spread the mixture over the tray and place in fridge or freezer depending on the time. Once the mixture has hardened break into pieces and serve.

After bark making we made some sugar cookies and did some cheesey decorating. Nothing says Christmas and Hanukkah like sugar cookies!

photo (73)

My cookies!

photo (75)


photo (72)My dear student’s cookies

Also, my wonderful husband bought me this awesome cook book  for the second night of Hanukkah and I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes.

photo (71)

The Green Monsta

My delightful husband is being a wonderful partner and helping me maintain the healthy yogi lifestyle I enjoy 🙂 We have been drinking Green Smoothies each morning and I must admit… I feel wonderful! The amazing thing about these smoothies is the lack of spinach taste. You only taste the fruit but reap all of the benefits of the greens (benefits listed at bottom of post).I have consumed more greens this week than I have in quite sometime. I have had a smoothie in the morning and spinach and kale salad for lunch. My body is very happy with my choices.

photo (67)

Because of our massive consumption of spinach we had to adjust our normal grocery route and went out of our way to go to the legendary Stanley’s.


(10 lbs of spinach for $10, score!)

Annie’s Green Monster Smoothie

photo (69)

  • 1 scoop of whey vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of baby kale
  • pb2 (can be purchased at Wholefoods)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 c of water
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tbs flaxseed

Place all ingredients into blender and liquefy.

photo (68)

Stephen places a tablespoon of cocoa powder in his. You can substitute the banana with avocado

Stephen’s Green Monster Smoothie

  • 1 scoop of whey vanilla protein powder
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 c of spinach
  • 1/2 c of baby kale
  • 1 tbs flaxseed
  • 1/4 c of water
  • ice cubes

Place all ingredients into blender and liquefy.


The Benefits:

According to the research we have conducted, Green Smoothies are great for your metabolism, digestion, and provide you with an insane amount of vitamins. Since the greens are already pulverized your body can absorb the nutrients faster which allows you to benefit quicker. Further it helps regulate your digestion and gives you a ton of nutrients that we often don’t get on a regular basis (i.e. vitamin K). These smoothies also help your skin, hair and nails.

To read about the benefits of green smoothies check out the links below: