Sunday, February 19, 2023


In the kitchen with Sonya's preparations

Getting ready for Shabbat is not always easy, especially being a full-time working mom, says Sonya. There are so many things that we have to juggle with; between work, kids and other obligations. I get asked here so often, to provide some tips, on how I organize myself to welcome the beautiful and holy Shabbat weekly with a smile. So I'll be doing just that in this video. I will show you my Shabbat prep from start to finish in my Orthodox Sephardic Jewish home. So let's roll up our sleeves, and let's get prepping.

In order to make my life easier, my Shabbat prep starts on Wednesday after work. We love having sourdough for Shabbat; so I start by making my dough, this brings me so much enjoyment, and I look forward to it each and every single week. I will have a link to the recipe and the method that I'm using in the description box of the video; if you're curious, on how I make this weekly.

After the kids head on off to bed on Wednesday I make my easy peasy Challah breads. I love this recipe so much, because of how quickly the dough Rises; which as a very busy working mom I love the fact that, all comes together beautifully in a stand mixer or even by hand.




5 pounds all purpose flour
5 and 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of oil
1 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons of salt

Bake at 350F for 25-45 minutes depending on size.

I start off by proofing the yeast, I combine five and a half cups of warm water four tablespoons of active dry yeast and two tablespoons of sugar and mix; I place a towel over it and let the yeast bubble, I remove the towel, and then add in one cup of sugar to the mixture, followed by half of a five pound bag of flour, and mix it. I add in two tablespoons of salt, and the rest of the five pound bag of the flour. I mix again. I also add in half a cup of oil to help incorporate everything; once all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, I add in the other half of my cup of oil.

I kneed it for a few minutes, I put it in to a large bowl, I cover and set it aside for one hour; after one hour the dough has risen beautifully, and I am ready to do Hafrashat Challah (Separation of portion of dough); which includes a blessing recited on dough, when a specific amount is made, and if you would like to know more about Hafrashat Challah, then definitely leave me a comment down below, and if enough people are interested, then I'll make a video all About It.

This recipe as you will see does yield a lot of Challah breads. I can usually get about seven large ones, or 12 smaller ones; which is great, because that means that, I can make a whole batch, once every month or so; and I am good to go, instead of making Challah every single week. Which does take time and effort. I carve out one day a month, and get it all done. This time around I decided to go with a four braided Challah. My mantra for doing it, is two over one in the middle, alternating sides; I place each Challah onto a parchment paper; so that I may be able to easily remove it from the baking pan, once it's ready. And yes, I will definitely be reusing the pans; if I am able to. I place each Challah into a baking tray, and then place them in the oven to proof. My oven has a proof setting; so it's not on, it's just on that setting, in order to help the dough rise.

Then I egg wash it with one egg, and then add in some sesame seeds over the top. They are baked in a preheated oven, set at 350 degrees, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the Challah breads that you make. Once the Challah Breads are completely cooled; I wrap them into some foil, and place them in the freezer and remove them one at a time; whenever I need it, while I'm waiting for my breads to cool off; I'll be shaping my sourdough bread, and this is the best part; seeing how lovely the bread dough is. Once shaped, the sourdough breads go into the refrigerator, where they'll stay until Friday, when I get back from work, and bake them.


Now it's the next day, it's Thursday and the kids just had their dinner, so there are definite messes to be cleaned; and if you watched my previous videos, I personally love and work best in a clean and tidy kitchen. So before starting my cooking I want to do just that. For the past few years I have made a few Lifestyle Changes; which I've shown here on my Channel, with the kind of cookware that I use, and the oils that I place into my foods. I wanted to transition that into some of the products that I'll be using to clean my home.

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After the quick clean up that I just did; I make sure to, of course, wash my hands with this deliciously smelling scent, it's like a lemony scent almost; and I really, really did like the fact; that my kids are actually obsessed with the foaming soap. They are washing their hands much more than they used to, definitely and through the magic of this machine, my dishes are all washed, and put away. I'm putting the dishwasher on and getting that going so that I can cook and clean up, as I go.


I start cooking by placing all of my baking trays and pots that I'll be using onto my Island.

I then take out all of my defrosted meats and fish, and wash them and place them on their baking trays or pots. It was so interesting to see in my latest meal prep video, that 99% of you who watched have confirmed in the comments, that you also wash your meats and poultry and fish, before using them just as I do.

The first meal that I'll be making today with you, is oxtails; so I'll be washing it up, filling it up with some water, and placing that onto my stove top to boil for a few minutes.

The fish is next, I wash it place it into a tray, and then I'll be adding in some teriyaki sauce. I do always add in a bit of water to the trays to prevent the food from burning, when I'm heating it up on the hot plate, right before Shabbat starts. I covered the fish with some foil, and bake it in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes;

Next up on the menu is minute roast, and I wanted to try something a little bit different, something a little bit new with this recipe. I decided to cook it on a bed of onions, to keep it from drying out. I simply Season both sides of the roast with Montreal steak seasoning; which is great with meat. I added in my favorite barbecue sauce over the top. I then added some more onions over the top, to give it much more moisture, and the rest of the barbecue sauce. I do add in water just like I did with the fish to prevent it from drying out. It just creates more liquid in the pan; so when I reheat it on my hot plate, it doesn't dry out. I cover it tightly with parchment paper, and then the foil, just to lock in all the moisture.

It goes into a preheated oven set at 300 degrees for three or four hours, until the meat is just falling off, and absolutely delicious.





1/2 cup of water, 1 apple, 1 onion and 1 tomato, a squeeze of 1/2 lemon, oil, 1 can of tomato sauce, bones, 4 cups of water, chicken broth, seasoning,

Add 1/4 cup of oil to the pot and the ingredients above. Add 2 cups of rice, 1 can of tomato sauce, bones, and 4 cups of water. Season with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of chicken broth. Cook for 12 hours on low heat.


Now I'm going to make my Osvo shulent; which is a stew that we eat on Saturday for lunch, this gets cooked overnight.

I place it on the fire about two to three hours before Shabbat starts, and then I place it on my hot plate and it just cooks for basically like about 12 hours, and we eat that delicious stew on Saturday for lunch.

I have the full recipe below; as well as, all of the other recipes that I'll be sharing with you today in this video.

I love fire roasted eggplant; so I'll be placing that on the fire to cook, while I'll be doing something else.


These are the oxtails; I have rinsed and drained them after their first boil, I fill them up with some water again, and let that cook away. Over here, I'm making basmati rice. I have two cups of rice here that I've washed. I add two and a half cups of water, I add about two tablespoons of avocado oil, I sprinkle on some salt, season it to taste, give it a good mix, I cover it with foil and bake it in the oven at 350 to 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until it is perfectly fluffy and delicious.

After charring all sides of the eggplant, it is now soft and it smells so Smoky; absolutely delicious, I'm going to carve out all of the flesh; as soon as I remove it from the fire to help retain this beautiful like greenish whitish color, otherwise it gets Brown. Notice how I'm going to take all the flesh out, put it into a glass Pyrex, let that cool off and I'll finish it up with some garlic and salt tomorrow after work.

A quick side note about this dip; the interesting thing about this fire roasted eggplant is, that I'm the only one in my family who enjoys it, and I still make it for myself, because I think it's important to make things that you enjoy as well, not only what your family enjoys. Let me know if you agree with me, or if you just stick to foods that you know that your family will eat, as well let me know in the comments below.

It's highly unusual for us not to have soup on Shabbat; so I'll be making this Yemenite soup, and I do have a video already out on that one, and I'll have it linked down below.

This is the meat that has cooked for about two to three hours, and I'll finish cooking it on the next day. The salmon Teriyaki is out; The Basmati rice is out, and the oxtails are right there. And I'll be finished cooking them up on Friday. The baby potatoes are there; the soup is done, and the beets have been boiled as well. So that is all that I've done on Thursday. I'll show you how I get everything ready on Friday after work.


On Fridays my kids and my husband are home before I do; so it was so nice to come home with the table already set so beautifully by my boys, my husband did some baking; which I'll show you later on. The first thing that I do, is pop in my sourdoughs into the oven; so that they can get cooking while I get myself together, and finish up the rest of my salads, and the rest of my meals.

I'm going to be scoring my sourdough breads with different designs, I have all of this, like I said in my videos with how I make my sourdough starter and how I make my sourdough breads; so if you're curious about that, it's all linked Below the video.


Miriam is making the tuna salad over there, I have everything going on at the same time, it's a bit of a mad house on a Fridays, right before Shabbat; especially in this in the winter months when Shabbat comes in so early. I'm making some chicken livers over here;

so I sauté some onions as you'll see, and then I chop in some of the liver with brown sugar, it really comes out so so delicious. I season the onions with salt and black pepper, and let it soften up, add in the brown sugar like I said, and it's going to get all nice and caramelized. The liver goes in last, and it is just delicious.


Now I'm making my pickled purple onions; which just goes well with anything and everything. I added in vinegar, some salt, sugar and some boiling hot water, with a sumac spice. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. I got this from Jamie Geller and it is really really delicious, and it just like I said goes with anything and every everything. The liver here is all done as you'll see. This comes together beautifully and so quickly.


I'm also going to be making a pickled cabbage salad over here; it's simply just cabbage sliced up thinly, carrots, a red pepper, a green pepper; and I'm going to be finishing it up, the same exact way that I basically did my pickled onions. 

So I'm going to add in a nice amount of vinegar and this will vary on the amount that you're making, some oil goes in, some salt and sugar as well, and I'm going to be adding in a little bit of garlic slices; which I don't think I showed over here, mix everything really well. And the longer this sits in your fridge the tastier it gets.


The baby potatoes are here, I'm going to add in a nice amount of crushed garlic, some salt, and some oil, I mix it all and I put it on my hot plate; and it will just get nice and toasted on the bottom of it.

The sourdough breads are gorgeous, and they are all out and absolutely smelling delicious. I love having fresh bread for Shabbat.

These are the salads that we made; that pecan pie that you see peeking over right there, is what my husband Shay made. And these are all of the yummy goodies that we have ready to eat for Shabbat.

I hope you enjoyed this look into Shabbat prep in our home from start to finish in my Orthodox Sephardic Jewish home. I hope it gave you a sense of how I paced my time as a busy working mom. It is definitely not easy, it's a lot of work; but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love the time spent with my family, close friends and loved ones.

Don't forget to check out Blue Land for your 15 % off for your first kit. Happy prepping and shabbat shalom from my family to yours.



1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 to 5 pound steak or 8 to 10 individual slices of steak
Steak Seasoning (Montreal Steak Spice)
1 teaspoon salt
2 black pepper shakes
1 cup of sweet casher red wine
1 onion, cut into rings
1 small can of mushrooms
1/2 cup water, mixed with 2 tablespoons flour