My Matzah Week: What Celebrating Unleavened Bread Looks Like

DIY Matzah Pinata | Land of Honey
A unique element to the Feast of Unleavened Bread (and Sukkot) is the duration of it: one whole week. That's something Western culture is not familiar with. Holidays, from birthdays to weddings to Christmas are one and done. There is anticipation building up to one special day and then it's over. This can create a lot of pressure to make that day spectacular. One of the great things about theses Feasts is that since they are so long there is less pressure to have a big blowout day. But this can also seem a little underwhelming. A few times I have come out of Matzah Week thinking that it wasn't terribly different from any other week.

I decided to intentionally make this week a little bit different. I didn't take off work entirely but I did take a few days off. I also spontaneously decided to limit my internet consumption, and didn't read the handful of blogs I check regularly. I put zero thought into this decision but it worked out super well, as when I caught up with them the following week I realized many of the posts centered around easter preparation. I'm happy to have missed that, particularly during a set  apart time of YHWH. Spiritually, I focused on the final days and statements of Yahusha.  A couple of things I did weren't really feast themed but they were things that I enjoy that make the week a little more special, like picking fresh flowers and reading a new book.  Another thing I'm glad I did was to jot down a few of the Feast centered things that I did each day. It's cool to see that not only was I taking steps to celebrate a Feast of YHWH but that this week really was different for me.

I'm sharing with you what my week was like not because I think everyone should copy my schedule, but because the first few times I celebrated Unleavened Bread I kept wondering, but what should we do? So here is what Matzah Week was like for me this year. I think we don't have more instructions on this holy day because YHWH doesn't want us to be carbon copies of each other. We have a few guidelines, the no-work days, not consuming anything leavened, and celebrating but we also have a little creative wiggle room in how we choose to honor him this week.

Chocolate Seder plate | Land of Honey

Monday was a no-work day. My husband and myself took the day off from our professional jobs and also set aside the perpetual to do list for the day so that we could rest and enjoy YHWH's feast.
-We read the Exodus story together.
-The house had some decorations up already but we set out the decorations I brought back from our Pesach celebration. Including my matzah pinata, chocolate Seder plate, coasters, and lots of printables.
-We ate leftovers from the Passover meal, including matzah.
-We watched The Prince of Egypt.
Cucumber tabbouli matzo sandwich | Land of Honey
My Matzah Week | Land of Honey

Tuesday:
-Made a fresh batch of homemade matzah.
-Read the Prince of Egypt story.
-Watched the Joshua episode of Stories from the Bible (since it happened right after Passover).
-I got my flair omer counter set up and ready to go.
-Made spaghetti squash with marinara for dinner.
My Matzah Week | Land of Honey
My Matzah Week | Land of Honey

Wednesdays I run errands with my grandmother. Our tradition is visiting a coffee shop at the end of our outing. This time we had to be mindful of not consuming leavened treats.
-Wore my matzah socks!
-Read a new cookbook from the library.
-Matzah for lunch and dinner. Homemade matzah can be soft like a pita or tortilla, so I used mine to make 'tacos' of roasted root vegetables from the Passover meal. Great with cream cheese and a sprinkle of tabbouleh.
My Matzah Week | Land of Honey
My Matzah Week | Land of Honey

Thursday I worked most of the day. I made it a point to still be mindful of this being a special time.
-Read a verse related to Unleavened Bread every few hours.
-Listened to some Passover music throughout the day.
-Wore my clay matzah ring.
-Watched Torah to the Tribes' Passover.
DIY Clay Matzo Ring | Land of Honey

Friday:
-Made plenty of fresh matzah to prepare for the back to back Shabbats this week.
-Listened to Torah to the Tribes' Unleavened Bread teaching while cooking and getting ready for Shabbat.
-Finally assembled my clay matzah picture frame for an extra decoration.
Homemade matzah recipe | Land of Honey
Homemade matzah recipe | Land of Honey
DIY matzah picture frame | Land of Honey

Shabbat:
-Attended congregation.
-Had a family lunch of black bean soup with matzah.
-Read the Last Supper accounts in the Besorah.
-Got a card around to send to friends also celebrating Matzah Week.
-More Passover music.
DIY matzah picture frame | Land of Honey

Sunday was the other no-work day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
-We slept in.
-Began our omer counting. (There are many different theories on when to start this, so don't feel bad if you started another day.)
-Went for a walk in beautiful weather.
-Picked a few flowers. The first of the year for me.
-Read the remaining Scriptures from this list.
Dandelion Menorah | Land of Honey

How do you like to spend your Matzah Week? Again, please don't feel like your week needs to be just like mine. Hopefully this gave you some visual inspiration for keeping this feast. More ideas for Unleavened Bread can be found here.
How do celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

Living the Torah Portions: Shemini

Living the Torah Portions: Shemini | Land of Honey

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Shemini - Eighth- Leviticus 9-11
DIY Rosemary Grapefruit Candle from Sugar & Cloth
Introspection is called for this week for sure. Torah Portion Shemini contains the story of the 'strange fire' that two of Aaron's sons brought before YHWH and were killed. We should take time to evaluate how we serve YHWH - do we just do what tradition or culture says? Did we come up with something that sounds nice? Or are we doing what Scripture tells us. Make a fresh smelling candle, have a bon fire, or light your menorah and consider the story.
DIY Rosemary Grapefruit Candles - Living the Torah Portions | Land of Honey

Tazria/Metzora - She will conceive/Leper - Leviticus 12-15 
Plant Hyssop - Baker Creek Seeds
Did you know that hyssop is what was used to spread the lamb's blood around the doorposts in the Passover story? This herb is mentioned many times throughout Scripture, usually used for cleansing. It has antiseptic properties and is used to treat everything from sore throats to mental fatigue to eczema. If it's too cold in your part of the world to plant outside, try planting some in your windowsill or diffusing hyssop oil.
Planting hyssop - living the Torah Portions | Land of Honey

Acharei Mot/Kedoshim - After the death/Holy - Levitcus 16-20
Honey Roasted Fig and Goat Cheese Popsicles from Snixy Kitchen
Goats are a significant part of this Torah portion as Vayikra 16 tells of the two goats during Yom Kippur. Since goats are central try using goat cheese in a recipe this week. Like during Yom Kippur this would also be a good time for personal introspection and repentance as we examine our lives.
Fig and goat cheese popsicles - living the Torah Portions | Land of Honey

Emor - Say - Leviticus 21-24
Plan Shavuot 
This passage is where we find details of YHWH's feast days and festivals. With Shavuot being only a couple weeks away make plans for how you will celebrate it. Plan a party, find a recipe to try, or make decorations for the Feast. If you need ideas see my DIY Guide to Keeping Shavuot.
How to celebrate Shavuot | Land of Honey

In Remembrance of Messiah - Passover Pictures

Menorah at Passover | Land of Honey
It's If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen a few of sneak peeks of my congregation's Passover meal. And speaking of Instagram, in the past week or so more than 30,000 photos have been posted under #passover. 30,000! Isn't that crazy?! I love checking out Passover photos and would love to see yours! Tag me or send some my way. :)
Passover Seder + inspiration and tips for your meal | Land of Honey
We had 16 people in attendance for our Seder. This worked perfectly for a square set up of regular folding tables with four people seated on each side.
Passover Seder + inspiration and tips for your meal | Land of Honey
We had a worship time before the meal with live music. That's not something we have each week at Shabbat service so it was extra special to us.
Passover Seder + inspiration and tips for your meal | Land of Honey
We did the traditional four cups of wine. To simplify things, we pour the first cup before the service begins.
One page Haggadah - a Passover miracle! | Land of Honey
Our Passover is not as complicated as most, so we stick with a one page overview of the evening instead of a textbook Haggadah.
Homemade einkorn matzah for Passover | Land of Honey
Homemade matzah! I know I've said this many times, but this seriously ups the quality of the meal. If making it is an option, I would encourage you to give it a try!
Beautiful Passover celebration | Land of Honey
Daffodils just started blooming here a few days before Passover!
Beautiful Passover celebration | Land of Honey
Wondering what the colored pencils are for? We made a custom coloring page.
Passover coloring sheet for adults | Land of Honey
Not everyone made a lot of progress on theirs. haha As you can see this was more geared towards adult doodling that a children's coloring book. 
Do this in remembrance of me - inspiration for a Messianic Passover celebration | Land of Honey
The matzah pinata of course came along; I'm not sure I will ever bring myself to destroy it. haha I made a few of these banners with different Passover related verses. Above the buffet said, "Eat to remember this," (Deuteronomy 16:3).
Do this in remembrance of me - inspiration for a Messianic Passover celebration | Land of Honey
Reading the story of Israel. We also five lit menorahs - so beautiful!
Do this in remembrance of me - inspiration for a Messianic Passover celebration | Land of Honey
This picture really symbolizes this year's Passover: a team effort. Many people contributed to make this a lovely and meaningful evening for all. One person brought the dishes, another made the napkins, another supplied silverware, someone else purchased and brought the glasses. Another picture of Paul speaking of the body of Messiah.
A Middle Eastern Seder Menu | Land of Honey
Part of our buffet. Our meal was basically the same elements as the Seder plate, plus a few more vegetables.
Menu:
Smoked lamb marinated in balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary
Einkorn matzah
Romaine salad with peppers, cucumbers, and kalamata olives
Baked charoset with apples and apricots
Roasted root vegetables
Two types of hummus with lots of fresh veggies
Hard boiled eggs
Tabbouli salad of parsley and lemon
Kalamata olive tapenade
Coconut yogurt tzatziki
A Middle Eastern Seder Menu | Land of Honey
Something we decided to do this year was ask everyone to bring plenty of food so there would be leftovers to share. The day after Passover is a no-work day and it was so nice to be able to take delicious, kosher, organic food home for meals!
A Middle Eastern Seder Menu | Land of Honey
I think this is one of our best Passover meals yet.
Hebrew Passover inspiration | Land of Honey
We had two special attendees with us via Facetime. They live in the south so they were able to enjoy their Seder outside.
Hebrew Passover inspiration | Land of Honey
About to enjoy the third cup of my homemade, homegrown grape juice.
Matzah ring tutorial here.
Hebrew Passover inspiration | Land of Honey
Dessert is served: three types of cheesecake with mixed berries, chocolate, ganache, and whipped cream.
Hebrew Passover inspiration | Land of Honey
We love pavlova for Passover dessert but since it had been raining we decided to go with cheesecake. It's hard to go wrong with cheesecake and these were excellent.
Hebrew Passover inspiration | Land of Honey
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to make this set apart time special! 

Coconut Cookies for Passover

Kosher for Passover Coconut Cookies - GAPS and Paleo approved | Land of Honey

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It's Matzah Week! At least for some of us. My congregation just started observing the calendar that Torah to the Tribes uses so we are celebrating a little earlier than most this year. I wanted to share this cookie recipe today for those of you who are craving something sweet for this Feast but don't know what to make. Or if your Passover is still coming up I think this would be a great addition to the menu.
Menorah latte! (with Passover coconut cookies) | Land of Honey
(Menorah lattes. An ongoing project in my life.)

I don't know if you've had a Passover cookie before, but often other than the name and the shape they bear no similarities to real cookies. They tend to be dry, crumbly, and not very good. These however are nice and chewy with a little bit of toasted coconut crispness on the edges. Since they contain no refined sugar or flour they fit with the GAPS diet and are Paleo friendly, so this should be a winner even for those on restricted diets. They don't taste like a diet cookie though; if you like coconut, this is the Passover cookie of your dreams!
Kosher for Passover Coconut Cookies - GAPS and Paleo approved | Land of Honey
You know how the best part of a coconut macaroon is the edge that got toasted? Flattening before baking makes the entire cookie that good!

You will need:
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup finely shredded coconut flakes (unsweetened)
3 tablespoons almond meal or almond flour
2 tablespoons chocolate chips (I used 100% cacao but feel free to use whatever kind  you like)

Preheat your oven to 350°.
Mix together the egg, honey, and salt until smooth. Then add in the remaining ingredients. You will end up with a sticky mixture that is not as together as a typical cookie dough. This is what you want.
Since it is so sticky you'll want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Scoop about two tablespoons of your dough per cookie. I ended up with 9 cookies. Then using a clean, wet hand pat your cookies until they are flat. Since they have no leavening they will stay whatever shape they are.
Bake for 14-16 minutes. Your cookies are done once the coconut is nicely toasted and golden brown. When your house starts smelling heavenly of toasted coconut it's time to take them out.
Let cool before eating.

I really like that these aren't cloyingly sweet but if that's more your thing you could add an extra tablespoon of honey.
Kosher for Passover Coconut Cookies - GAPS and Paleo approved | Land of Honey
Kosher for Passover Coconut Cookies - GAPS and Paleo approved | Land of Honey
Kosher for Passover Coconut Cookies - GAPS and Paleo approved | Land of Honey

I know the food restrictions can be a little confusing during this week. If you need a little clarity or inspiration check out these posts for more meal ideas.

Kosher for Passover Coconut Cookies - GAPS and Paleo approved | Land of Honey

Happy Feast of Unleavened Bread!