Wednesday, December 29, 2010

See Glass

Last night I fell asleep - exhausted - at a little after 9. I woke up this morning at 8 - still tired. I'm attributing to low-blood-sugar and lack-of-calories. (And I ate a ton the last 2 days - I think I'm just vitamin & mineral deficient - even with the multi-vitamin. I've got to see an intelligent dietitian who actually knows what they're talking about - are there any of those anywhere in this country?! So far 5 out of 5 have not been.)

Breakfast today made me feel like a little old Russian lady in days gone-by - a boiled potato, with a shmear of butter and some salt. Lunch was a whole bowl of golden-jasmine rice. Dinner finally got me a protein fix - a big bowl of chicken soup with chicken and potato in it.

Today I packed up the 'wedding night survival kit' for the couple, packed a 'for the party' bag with shtick and whatnot and packed up clothes for an extended weekend (during which I'll be sleeping in a different bed every night for 3 nights running.)

The petek from the post office finally arrived (just after the post-office closed for the day) so tomorrow morning I'll be heading there at 8 (when they open) to pick up my package! I really hope the book came out nicely - I'm so excited about it (even though I know I probably shouldn't be until I've seen it.)

Dum and Mrs. G arrived in The Holy Land early early this morning - so we all 'skyped' for over an hour just for the heck of it - so we could pretend that I was there partying with them.

According to our trusty-dusty weather-predictor there is only a 20% chance of rain tomorrow - so I'm hoping there won't be any. (I know - the country needs it - but I really don't - not on my head while I'm driving and trying to get places alive and in 1 piece.)

Z's kippah for the wedding is just-about ready to be worn at the wedding. It's been in the 'flattening' stage since Saturday night when we got Home. By flattening I mean it's been under; 'The Complete Hitchhikers Guide' (that's all 5 novels), 'The Great Book of Amber' (all 10 of the chronicles) and even under the hardcover edition of Guy Gavriel Kay's latest release which is quite hefty - all at the same time.

Speaking of Z - he went on a field trip to Tel Aviv today. I forced him to feed the leftover sugar cookies from last week to his classmates - since I figured a busride was the perfect chance to pass them around. I actually got a present from this adventure - a couple of really pretty pieces of sea-glass. I love sea glass.

Tomorrow is 'today' - hard to believe - but it is!

Photos to follow - I should probably charge my camera batteries!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scurvy Ahoy - Yo Ho...

Today I ate: 1 TBSP vanilla ice cream, 2 medium-sized boiled potatoes (seasoned with a bit of salt), 2 oat-flour brownies, a big bowl of chicken soup with about 3/4 cup of cooked rice (I love chicken soup with rice!) and a whole bunch of chocolate chips. On my 'diet-cheaters because I'm an idiot list' were 1 tiny TBSP chocolate-chip cookie and about 4-5 leftover bowtie noodles from yesterday. So far the reaction is minimal - but I'd really better be careful tomorrow and Thursday. I really can't wait for it to be next Monday so that I can finally introduce new foods - I need flavor in my life - I'm going insane!!! (No comments unless you've ever spent a minimum of 4 weeks eating only plain white rice, plain potatoes and plain chicken.)

I baked 1/2 a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the 'wedding night survival kit' - so I think I've officially got that ready to go.

I also wrote a 'to do list' for tomorrow and a packing list for the weekend. There are just way too many things that I've got to remember. Seriously. I hope I don't forget anything.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Carnawho?

Sunday was pretty boring. Aside from eating 2 (big) bags of potato chips and ingesting almost 1/2 a batch of oat-flour brownies I didn't do too much. Well, I did boil 5 potatoes so that I'd have slightly more healthful snacks on hand. Pathetic - huh?

Monday wasn't really any better (though there were no potato chips left to snack on- so I guess that's a bright side.) I cooked up a big pot of chicken soup (which I'm looking forward to eating tomorrow after it cools and the fat can be skimmed off of it.) I also washed dishes - lots and lots of dishes.

I finally managed to make an appointment for a waxing for tomorrow - so at least my eyebrows won't look like scary hairy monster-brows at the wedding. (That's a good thing. Trust me.)

Z and I had a weigh-down competition for my weekly weigh-in and I'm holding at .7 kilo more than him. I'm just pretending that it's because my socks weigh more than his.

The whole fambily is hanging out with the cousins in Jeru tonight but we couldn't make it because Z had class until late - well, he was supposed to - but he ditched so that he could do homework - we're not going to go into details - all I'm going to say is that architecture school is stupid. Oh - have I said that before? sorry for the repetition - but if it's true...

For lunch today I sauteed a finely diced onion in freshly-pressed olive oil (from Neat Kedumim) then I threw in about 4 cloves of minced garlic - I let it all get nice and soft before adding 200 grams of tomato paste and about 1/3-1/2 cup water and a whole bunch of seasonings including; salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and parsley. I poured that over pasta and then tossed it with some grated mozzarella cheese. I threw the whole shebang in the oven to stay warm until Z came Home from school. Then I did the inane and ate about 1/2 a bowlful. Thanks to the caution I've been taking with the 'careful eating' diet - the effects were relatively minimal and I'll probably suffer more tomorrow - but it's good to know that the worst that might happen is spending a whole lot of hours feeling really sick and miserable. (Oh yeah - and getting *itchy - that's actually a clinical side-effect. As if I needed any more excuses than being female.)

Sisters and cousin want me to come into Jeru tomorrow to go on a shopping spree - but I'm not overly interested in doing the drive solo (especially after my pasta/onion/garlic/tomato paste (+ corn syrup) /chili powder - fest of a lunch today.)

Guess we'll have to wait and see. I have a feeling I won't be going too far though...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kiss the Bride...

Friday morning I hopped out of bed at 6:15am and turned on the 'dud' so that there would be hot water for showers. We left the house at 8:50(ish) and picked up Sara on our way out of town.

In The Sun House we had a fun reunion with the Danzigers and Grandpa - then they headed off to Eilat for an awesome weekend and we started Shabbos prep.

Shabbos was a lot of fun. We were very busy Shabbat-kallah-ing. Friday night was 'girls only' (Z went to the Wolicki's, Yo'Abba and Ez went to S&S, and Eli went to his 2nd home - the Feldman's. Lunch was a grand affair - the boys were all Home, Ariel & Raizi, Sara, Dina and Ora - it was quite entertaining overall. The afternoon flew by - no naps for me - and before we knew it Settlers had been played (and won by Z - of course) and it was havdalah time.

I took Yo'Abba to pick up the car from near S&S's house and then the boys all went to Jeru to see the new 'Tron' movie. (Supposedly the acting was horrible and the plot was worse - but the graphics and 'fx' were super-cool.) Meanwhile - the girls had an awesomely fun bridal shower. We took loads of pictures, ate lots of yummy food, gave Freddie presents, played fun games like 'kiss the bride' and 'toilet paper bridal gown contest' and had an all-around fun time.

We decided (kind of last minute) that it would be a good idea to head back to Ariel since being Home would give Z extra time to do homework in the morning - so after the party (once the boys had returned) Z, Sara and I packed up the car and drove back to Ariel. (We even picked up a friend of Sara's at 'Tzomet Kessem' along the way.

Things should be relatively quiet until Thursday. All I've really got to do is put together the 'wedding night (and weekend sheva brachot) survival basket' for the newlyweds.

On a funny note - it's supposed to rain and pour on Thursday...

Good thing the chuppa is going to be indoors.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The One-Eyed Man is King

Verily insanity doth continue...

Yesterday I baked the following; 1 batch (white flour) oatmeal rolls, 1 batch (1/2 whole wheat) oatmeal rolls, 1 batch sugar cookies with bling (you know - the pretty ones with colored sugar on the edges - I made purple and teal.)

Not too much else happened yesterday - cooked/baked, washed dishes, cooked/baked, washed dishes - it's a vicious cycle. I went to sleep at around 11:30. Z didn't get into bed until 4am. (Have I ever mentioned that I hate architecture school? Ok. Just making sure.)

I was out of bed by 8 this morning. Probably would've been up earlier if I hadn't been woken up at 4am and then unable to fall asleep for over an hour.

First I baked a batch of apricot-jam crumble bars. The next order of business was caramel swirled brownies. (I must admit, I cheated on the brownies. I had some store-bought soft-caramel-candies - so I popped them in the microwave for 10 seconds, flattened them with a rolling pin and layered them with the brownie batter.) I also made 2 batches of caramel popcorn - according to Z it came out perfectly. (I'm hoping he's right - cause it's going to a lot of people and places.) The last thing on my list was a fructozoid-version of brownies for the fructose-mal-absorbant among us (we've got to count for something - there are 3 of us in the family.)

Aside from washing dishes - I did 3 loads of laundry (washed, folded and put away - thank you very much), I also tried to straighten up the house a bit and packed for Shabbos.

Although our basil suffered a terrible stroke (when winter decided to show up for 2 days a couple of weeks ago) we had a cutting 'sprouting' on the kitchen counter. I'm pleased to announce that it has finally popped out some roots. They're getting quite long and I do believe we'll be able to plant it soon. I've taken a cutting of our 'mystery herb' and am attempting to sprout that as well - since it suffered most terribly at the hands of 'fake winter' and doesn't seem to be coming back to life.

This morning the Danzigers and Grandpa Jordan arrived in The Holy Land. They're in The Sun House and we'll be heading out on the very early side tomorrow morning to try and catch a quick breakfast with them before they head down to Eilat for the weekend.

I think it's funny that I've known Z for 5 years, we've been married for 2 years and 10 months of those 5 years and that he hadn't met any of the American cousins until this past summer. Yet Freddie (who has only known Mr Freddie since June - gets to introduce him to cousins tonight at a big family dinner.) We'd be there too - if it weren't for stupid architecture school. Yeah - I hate school. Who in their right minds makes classes until 9pm - 2 nights a week?!?!!? Stupid stupid stupid.

Ok - I'm going to go clean some more so that this place doesn't get left looking like a complete disaster area. Cause that would just be depressing.

I don't have patience to be away for 2 shabbatot in a row.

*sigh*

No wonder I ate ice cream for breakfast and potato chips for lunch...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Larry & Pogo

Crunch time has ended.

Crunch time has begun.

Since posting Saturday night I have been working non-stop. Ok - so I took 2 six-hour naps from the hours of 1am-7am. Point is - the project is finally complete. Well, as complete as it's going to be for the moment anyway.

What project? Do you remember me getting all gung-ho about writing a cookbook a few months back? Well - it hit me that Freddie and Mr. Freddie are getting married next week. Yeah - NEXT week!

So I got my tuchus in gear and buckled down.

After working a little more than 50 hours over the course of 3 days - I finally exported a rather nice looking 64-page full-color cookbook just shy of 170 of our favorite recipes.

I sent it off to print and then wandered off to the kitchen to make a pot of mushroom barley soup for Z to have for dinner whenever he gets Home from school.

All in all - I'd say it was a pretty productive day.

Maybe we'll have some more exciting adventures to report tomorrow.

I've got to make 3-4 batches of oatmeal rolls and figure out what desserts to bake for a 20-person party, I need to figure out where to get Z's suit dry-cleaned for the wedding, I've got to find a nice picture frame for a 13x18 photo, there are a zillion dishes to wash on my counter, I also have to start baking and organizing the basket for the couple for the wedding-night/weekend - oh yes and of course I have to prepare shtick for at the party. To make things a little crazier the cousins arrive at the end of the week - which means a super early trip to Bet Shemesh on Friday morning (which turns out well since we've got errands to run there too.)

Have I mentioned that the wedding is next week???

Yup - the madness continues...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

You Eatted It?

Thursday was long and relatively quiet. I didn't suffer too much from the onion-experiment on Wednesday night. However Thursday I had a bad over-load experience from eating about 1/2 a cup of chickpeas. I was ok with the first 1/4 cup for an early afternoon snack - but shouldn't have eaten another 1/4 cup with dinner. On Thursday I did 5 loads of laundry and did 1/2 of the Shabbos cooking. For dinner (pre-fast) we heated up pea-soup from the freezer, then we added some of the freshly made chicken stock (and wings & bones) to the pea soup. Z enjoyed it very much with some of the whole-wheat-oatmeal-rolls that were also in the freezer.

Friday was quite a busy day. I was up and in the kitchen cooking by 7:15am. I put potatoes up to boil and baked a batch of cookie brittle. It's very hard to cook without tasting anything - just in case you have ever wondered. At around 9 Z and I drove into town. We stopped at the spice&grain store for salted/roasted nuts. On the way back Home Z insisted stopping at the snack store at the lower middle-mall and he bought me a container of vanilla Ben&Jerry's ice cream as a super-special Shabbos treat. It was the sweetest present ever!

For some weird reason the day just wasn't long enough - or maybe everything was moving in slow-motion because of the fast. Either way - by the time candle lighting rolled around we were just finishing up with all of the prep.

The meal Friday night was a great success. We had the Koplen siblings and the fiance and Sarah Leah joined us too. Considering it was post-fast I had made a nice big meal and it turned out amazingly. We started off with challah, chumus, roasted garlic, matbucha and chatzilim. While everyone started on challah I passed out tortilla-bowls filled with sliced lettuce and we did a small 'salad bar' with craisins, mandarin oranges, candied pecans and sweet dressing. (Next time I'll do a savory salad in the tortilla bowls - but I had to make do with what I had on hand - since the tortilla bowls had been a last-minute flash of insanity.) After clearing the salad plates we brought out chicken soup. (I had simmered the soup for just under 4 hours on Thursday and it had chilled sufficiently to properly skim the fat on Friday - I also added an additional 1.5 cups of water because it looked quite thick - the resulting broth was absolutely incredible. Seasoned to perfection with just the bit of salt I tossed in when I made it.) I had even made matzah balls (on the side) so the soup was great with a nice selection of vegetables - carrots, onion, zucchini and potato. The main course came out next - first rice & couscous, peas, maple glazed sweet potatoes and gramma's tomato-sauce chicken. (Speaking of the chicken - it was a weird sorta bird - 2 breasts, 3 thighs and 3 legs... Turned out to be the perfect amount though. All that was left was a breast and a leg.)

Dessert was a meal in itself - thankfully I remembered to put up the urn - so there was plenty of hot water. Everybody snacked on peanut butter swirled brownies, GF peanut-butter chocolate-chip oat cookies, no-bake chocolate oat cookies (courtesy of Ora), cookie brittle (with adashim) and an awesome candy platter with salted/roasted cashews, salted/roasted almonds, candy corn, after-dinner mints and chocolate adashim.

The boys played a game of 'Settlers' and the girls shmoozed. At a little before 11 the boys walked down the mountain to the dorms where they were sleeping and a little after midnight we finally all went to sleep.

I was up bright and early in the morning so that I could wake Ora for shul (7:15 minyan at Netzarim) and then to wake Z (for the 8:30 minyan down the block.) Then I put the food on the plata and went back to bed to read.

We had lunch at 11. It was a quick and quiet affair. Chumus, matbucha & chatzilim with challah, carrot kugel, sushi (with lox, avocado & carrots), a 1/2-fillet of teryaki salmon and a big pan of cheesy potato bake.

The day was spent noshing and relaxing. We all kind of read and slept a lot then suddenly the sky was dark and Shabbos was over.

Motzash Ora & Shlomo came to pick up Ora's stuff then they headed out on a date. Z & Sarah Leah are both doing homework and I'm working on a logo and a book cover. I'm kind of stumped on them. My style is very 'fun' and this project is supposed to be very 'serious' - I know I should be able to buckle down and do what needs to be done but I've been working on this project for over 2 months and can't seem to get it to work.

This week should be mostly quiet. Z has a lot of homework to do and projects that are due so I won't be seeing him much. I'm thinking of doing some gluten-free baking experimenting because I'm really in the mood for muffins or something like them.

Did I mention that I tried the tomato-sauce chicken Friday night (I had some of the sauce on my rice too) and felt pretty ok afterwards? I had a slight reaction but it took about 8 hours to manifest (which is why I ate maalox+gasX for breakfast this morning.) Still - it's good to know that I can eat small amounts of these things! It's serious progress!

Sarah Leah is staying over tonight and tomorrow morning I get to be a make-up dummy so she can do some more homework. She's also gonna cut my hair - which is in serious need of a trim. I'm thinking that if I feel alright in the morning that it would be really awesome to make these cinnamon twists for Z & Sarah Leah for breakfast. Cause don't they look absolutely awesome?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favicon Fever

I know - I didn't post yesterday. To be fair (and honest) I didn't do anything yesterday. The most physical activity was getting out of bed at a little after 4 to wash the dirty dishes from Monday night's (extremely successful) dinner and to make some Tuesday night dinner - (3 cheers for lightly seasoned little white fishies and french fries.) I was feeling fine - for the record - it was just too cold for my poorly-insulated body. I can almost swear I was warmer last winter under my thick layer of bluber. Mind you - I don't want the blubber back - but it would be nice to be warm.

Today I spent a good 2+ hours in the delightful heat of the car. I picked Yael up at 9 and we made our way to Jeru. We found an awesome parking spot on Washington street. The dress fitting was great - cause the gown is gorgeous (well, I think so anyway) and cause I looked pretty darn good in it (I think I said the same thing last time) and I was so excited that the pretty nail-polish I love goes really nicely with the color of the fabric. (Now I just need to be super-vigilant about food for the next 2 weeks so that the zipper actually closes on December 30th. No more wheat-induced super-bloat - I guess pasta will have to wait until after the party - ah well...)

Our second stop was to pick up a big white bunny named Sugar. He's a classroom-bunny but the class is going on 'chofesh' so Sugar needs somewhere to stay for a couple of weeks. The teacher (Yael's friend) will be going to The States to visit family which is why Sugar is being bunny-sat in Ariel.

Leaving Jeru we decided to make a quick stop in 'Rami Levi' (a 'super-store' by Israeli standards) - the place is quite big, has pretty good prices, is clean and well stocked and really has a lot going for it. I was bowled over by the selection of produce - amazing quality and a huge selection and variety! Sugar came shopping with us too cause the parking lot was in the sun and we didn't want to leave him in the car - he was in a carrier which we put into the shopping cart then we piled stuff up around him. He behaved very nicely - if you were wondering.

Next stop was in Ofra where we filled up on Petrol. I was on my last 1/4 of a tank and considering we'll be doing a bunch of Sun-House drives next week I figured it was worthwhile to fill up at a gas-station where I get a discounted rate - yay Fuzzy(Paz)Gas!

We made it back to Ariel without too much ado and as we turned onto the back road into the city I saw a girl waiting at the bus stop - now buses are few and far between and it was chilly so I stopped and asked if she needed a ride up to the michlala. She was very grateful and hopped in. She was also quite taken with Sugar which made the ride up the mountain quite entertaining.

Luckily a bus was letting passengers off at the michlala so it wasn't awkward for me to stop to let off our trempist. Then I dropped Yael off and helped her shlep the cage and all the bunny accouterments inside. As I pulled into the parking lot Z came down and helped me get all of our groceries inside too.

I know the wedding is 2 weeks away and I've already mentioned the food-psycho I have to be in terms of monitoring what I eat - but I figure that if I eat something 'bad' all it really means - worst case scenario - is feeling like well, we'll just say 'garbage' plus a bunch of other bad things and possibly even some bloating. Anywho - all the bad stuff really only takes 7-10 days to clear up - so I decided to tackle another food that I haven't eaten in a while. I figured that if potatoes, water, salt, pepper and parsley seem to be ok - that I could try adding some onions to the equation and see what happens. So - potato soup for dinner. I ate about 1/2 a bowlful about an hour ago and so far it seems alright.

Of course - wheat seemed alright until 2 days after eating it - so I'm not jumping to conclusions - but I'm still hopeful. Onions aren't fructose - they just contain fructans (like wheat) which the body basically deals with in the same way as fructose. Anyway - I've got my fingers and toes crossed for now and I haven't got anywhere to go tomorrow - just have to cook for Shabbos but should be able to manage that even with a serious Fructose-induced-stomachache - heck I did it for at least over a year and somewhere closer to 13.

Speaking of Shabbos - it's going to be a fun weekend! More on that tomorrow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter is Here?

A major dust-storm blew in yesterday morning. We had been hoping for rain but the skies were thick with choking dust instead. Without any warning (aside from the radar images online...) the clouds began to shower us with big fat raindrops. On their journey from sky to land the droplets trapped airborne dust particles and deposited them back on the ground.

Here's a shot of our mirpeset this morning - Z insisted on doing a quick squeegee job because the dirt-load was too much to bear looking at. The picture was taken after the first 2 rounds of squeegee-ing had been completed.
Even though the rain continued to fall all day today the dirt was unable to make it's way down the drain thanks to the insane gusts of wind which hit the building with tremendous force and bounced back creating a sort-of force-field which held back the puddle's flow. (The fact that the building has settled over an inch in the last year also means that the drain is no longer really the lowest point of the balcony - but that's neither here nor there...)

Our herbs ~really~ don't seem to be enjoying the cold-spell. Due to lack of suitable spacing we've decided to relocate the little orange-tree to the living room - but the others will have to fend for themselves. (I don't remember them looking quite this pathetic last year... Did I mention that they were green and vibrant on Friday?)
It's been a long cold day and I've spent most of it shut in the office with a heater on as high as it will go. For some strange reason it only warmed the room up about 5 degrees (F) - I'm seriously considering buying some fleece or heavy material 'by the meter' and hanging it over the windows. I am now certain that the people who lived in drafty castles were on to something great with the whole 'hanging tapestries' thing. Seriously.

Today I ate a whole lot of oatmeal pancakes (ok - only 9 - but they're really small - each one is about 1/16th of a cup of batter) and more of that leftover potato concoction from Shabbos. For dinner I made Z a super special treat (which I can't even have any part of) - Split pea soup with fresh whole-wheat oatmeal rolls. I figured that it would be a delicious warm and filling dinner after a 12 hour day at school and 2 frigid walks in pouring rain.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Itsuhkuhdooozee

Friday was super slow-going. I had a hard time getting moving with Shabbos prep. Somehow by the time candle-lighting time rolled around I had slapped together some semblance of a meal.

Friday Night: chumus, (1/2 a head) roasted garlic, challah, chicken soup (with just a whole small onion & potato), (1 leg&thigh) Indian chicken with chickpeas (I can't eat it cause it's got honey and soy sauce in it), (2 Tablespoons) green peas, Jasmine rice.

Shabbos Lunch: chumus, matbucha, challah, vegetable lasagna (for Z), cheesy potato bake (for me)

By the afternoon I was super hungry (considering all I had to eat for lunch was a small slice of challah and a bit of mashed potato with cheese) - so I did something slightly stupid and noshed on some of the peanut-butter-swirled-brownies that I made. Turns out it was a big mistake - my stomach swelled up so I had to take off the pretty skirt I was wearing and it made me super-grumpy (yes - the brownie made me grumpy - as in - it's an effect that the wheat has on my system.) The stomachache didn't actually hit until about 8 hours after eating the stuff. Either way - I'll be going gluten-free until after the wedding - because I want to make sure that I fit in my dress.

While I'm thankful that I've been given a conclusive diagnosis of 'FructMal' as the reason that my body seems to hate me - it doesn't actually make life that much easier. Most days I wonder whether it's worth my while to just eat whatever the heck I want and pay the consequences. Then I eat something that I shouldn't and realize that feeling good should be enough of an incentive for me.

It just seems so unfair to watch everyone else eat a variety of yummy stuff - I don't mean cakes and cookies - I mean things that get taken for granted - like onions and tomatoes!!!

It's even worse to have to cook 2 completely separate meals - a colorful varied one for everybody else and a pathetic one for me. (Now I know my mother would say, "so don't cook 2 meals." or something like "yours doesn't have to be pathetic" - but the fact is that I really only feel at my best when I'm only eating chicken, white rice or potatoes seasoned with olive oil, salt & pepper - and that doesn't really leave much room for creative flair and options.)

Frankly - while I used to be scared that my gut was going to implode and kill me from the inside out - now my greatest fear is developing scurvy. I've really got to go to a doctor and find out what kind of vitamins I should be taking. Sadly - they probably won't believe (or know how to deal with) Fructose Malabsorption as a diagnosis.

On a happier note - I've been wandering around my house feeling like a crazy fisherman for the last couple of days. My new favorite outfit is a big baggy sweatshirt (preferably my Afikei Shana Bet one), A pair of warm baggy flannel pajamas (I've been over-wearing my old Bruriah pair this weekend), and my awesome boots (remember the pair I ordered at the 'end of season' last year? Well, I've decided that I'm never wearing them outside - I'm keeping them as 'house boots' - so that they stay clean and I can feel comfortable wearing them on my couch.) Anywho - the pants get tucked into the tops of the boots, the sleeves of the sweatshirt cover my fingers and presto - I am warm and cozy.

This weeks adventures include a playdate this afternoon, a trip to Jeru for a dress fitting and to pick up a bunny, a whole bunch of work, and somewhere between 1-3 guests for Shabbos. I'm hoping more fun stuff will turn up too.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Printers & Wipers

I've been waking up much later than usual - I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that my body heals while I sleep - so it's actually a good thing that I've been sleeping so much.

Popped out of bed at 8:30 this morning and got right to work. 5 loads of laundry, neverending project work, changed the sheets, sorted/organized/ all of the skirts from my closet (I love how there are 3 piles - 'tooo tooo big', 'kinda big' and 'juuuust right' - obviously the last ones are my favorite.

The only cooking I did for Shabbos involved putting up a huge pot of chicken soup.

Then on a whim I decided to experiment and brave the 'angel food cake' (since I had 3 egg whites in my freezer - which had somehow escaped my notice a few months ago on my insane meringue making binge.) Anywho - I was too stingy to use 10-11 egg whites (even though I had 3 already) so I decided to chance making 1/2 a recipe - in my full size tube pan... It smelled pretty good when I took it out of the oven - and it's about 1/2 as high as a full recipe probably would've reached - so I'm assuming it might actually have worked out. We'll know more after Shabbos - either way we're eating it for dessert - I think I'll whip up some whipped-cream to go along with it - even though strawberries will probably never be a part of my diet again. I'll try to remember to take some pictures tomorrow when there's sunlight...

Believe it or not that just about sums up my day. I accomplished a lot but feel like I did nothing. It's such a strange sensation.

Anywho - it's 8:30pm and Z just walked in from school so I'm gonna go feed him a delicious dinner of french-fries and delicately seasoned little white fishie. Aren't I sweet?


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Mr. Sooper Dee Dooper

I woke up at a little after 8 this morning. I must've been super-tired or something. I got out of bed and just as I stood up the phone started to ring. It was Becca calling from Oz for a cinnamon-bun recipe! Then Z got out of bed and promptly ate a salami sandwich for breakfast. Thus began my awesomely fun day.
After a shmoiling hot shower I got dressed all pretty (I wore my long black-denim chor-bakir skirt which didn't even fit me in July) then I packed up the picture frames that needed envelopes and wrote a couple of letters. Finally I made my way out of the house and to town.
First stop was at the photo-printing place - I sent the 'family reflection photo' off to be printed. I played around with it in photoshop a bit and I'm hoping that the quality is alright for the print job I ordered. I'm having it enlarged a teensy-bit. Next stop was 'Kravitz' for some bubble-wrap envelopes. I sat down on a bench for a moment to assemble and address the packages and as I started writing Nana's address I heard a familiar voice saying hello. Yael was in town doing some errands too.
We went to the spice&grain store then stopped at the post-office (but I was too lazy to wait for stamps when there were 30 people on line waiting to be served.) So - we went to the drug-store to pick up a bottle of base-coat (cause I finally finished my bottle) and then we stopped at 'Mega' for a couple of groceries.
I offered Yael a ride home and when we got to her house she gave me back my platters from the Thanksgiving dinner which she had kindly collected, washed and had been babysitting for me for the last couple of weeks.
Neither of us really wanted to work and we're enjoying reinstating our weekly play-dates and it's Chanuka after all - so we decided to bake cookies! We mixed up a double batch of sugar cookie dough and while it was chilling in the fridge we baked a double batch of these incredible Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies - I would highly recommend them! Not really overly time-consuming (even though there's an extra step or 2 between scooping&baking) and oh-so-delicious (at least they seemed to be from the 1/4 cookie I braved...)
For dinner I promised Z a mushroom white pizza. I also decided that white pizza required homemade ricotta cheese and a bechamel sauce (alright - so to be honest it turned into more of a mornay sauce because I decided to dump in a bunch of Parmesan cheese - but it came out absolutely incredible.)
The ricotta making process was a bit risky - I attempted it with 3% milk and 15% cream. It took a little while to curdle - but the liter of milk + 1 cup of cream yielded a little more than 1 cup of fresh ricotta cheese. Was it easy? Yes. Was it really worth the effort and all the dirty dishes? Undecided. Was it actually cheaper in the long run than buying the fake ricotta that they sell in this country? I'm not sure - because I can't seem to get it in yechupitzville.
Anywho - the menorahs are lit and dinner is ready - so I'm off to enjoy the last night of Chanukah for the year.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I-K-E-A is a 4-letter word...

Here are some more pictures taken to document the Holiday!Here are a couple of shots of our sad attempt at gluten-free sufganiot. Ok - truth be told the pictues make the results out to be 'not too shabby' looking - but I don't think we'll be trying the recipe again...
Lighting some more candles - cause we get to do this for 8 nights in a row. Woohooo!!!!
Today the parentals went to Ikea with the little-boys. The little-boys were thrilled to finally get stuffed mice/rats juuuust like Z has...
From what I understand Dibble named his; Pinto, Lima & Garbanzo.

Cause who doesn't like beans...?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

You Are a Wicked Man.

Aaaaaand now it's the 4th day of Chanukah! It's just flying by - let's recap for the record's sake...On Friday we cleaned up the house, Z swept and washed the floors, we packed up the car and drove off to The Sun House. Friday night was a whole lot of fun. We ate the Shabbos meal at Saba & Savta's house and found out all sorts of interesting family history. Shabbos lunch was relatively amusing and the day flew by. Of course there were any number of funny things that happened - Mommy & I kicked tuchus at 'Settlers', Dibble had many amusing things to say, Daddy didn't throw the cat down the stairs and Oscar tried to steamroll us all just to mention a few.
Motzei Shabbos we lit our chanukiyot and relaxed for a bit in the candle-warmed room the we piled into the car and went to visit Saba & Savta again! We noshed on melon (well, the non-fructozoids did anyway), potato chips and nuts.
We took a whole lot of pictures because taking pictures is so much fun. I was holding a mirror and Phil started to take pictures of her reflection. Then we had a brilliant idea - we'd get a picture of the whole family - in the mirror. It took a bunch of cooperation and coordination but we're pretty happy with the result.
This morning we had a bright and early wake-up. First Z accidentally locked me in the suite that we're staying in (but Dibble freed me), then Phil & I went to the Dr. to get a 'well-note' for her, then we toiveled all of my new kitchen goodies (the presents from the 2nd night of Chanuka.) Z and Ez caught a bus into Jeru to see 'Harry Potter' in theaters together. Yo'Abba and I took a nice mile-long walk together in the sunshine. Meanma & Freddie had a dress-fitting in Chasmo. Eli went back to the army. All in all we were quite busy. Then Phil & I spent some time in the kitchen experimenting with fructose-friendly/free chicken piccada and gluten-free sufganiot (still in the works...) And so when Z came back to The Sun House we decided to stay over another night.
We'll be heading Home tomorrow in the early afternoon.
Right in time for yet another night of Chanuka!

Isn't this a fun holiday?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Buzzerear

Today I did 3 loads of laundry, washed dishes (twice), made somewhat of a lunch, went to town to pick up my package from the post office and to the 'spice' store (to get stuff for my fructozoidal fambily members) and I even made dinner after setting up the chanukiot.

In exciting news - it's officially the 2nd day of Chanuka! Woohoo!
Did I mention that I picked up my super-awesome present today? See it? You can slice in 4 different thicknesses and julienne tiny strips or biggish strips. It's so cool!!! I can't wait to give it a whirl! I'm definitely going to try this awesome looking zucchini pasta idea.

I'm also excited to make potato gratin with thinly sliced spuds instead of the super thick slabs that the food processor makes. The other part of the gift was 2 really great frying pans - an 18cm and a 20 cm for pareve! I have a serious addiction to kitchen implements - I can't help it!
We lit candles when Z got Home at around 8ish... Do ya see us in the window there?
Then we enjoyed an awesome dinner - Z got to wrap his pan sauteed chicken breast up in a wheat tortilla with chumus, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and some fried salami. I enjoyed my chicken with a side of white Jasmine rice.
Tomorrow morning we've got to straighten up the apartment then we're heading to The Sun House for the weekend. It's gonna be awesome. I've just got to remember to pack the menorahs...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Kick Puncher!

I still get overly anxious when I have to drive somewhere. It's not normal. I've seriously got to get over it. It's driving me crazy! As a result I was up at 6:00 this morning fretting about the drive to Jeru. Why? I'm honestly not sure.

Thankfully my friend Yael graciously agreed to join me on my trip today. I picked her up at 9 and we were in Jeru by 10:15 (then we had to find parking...) We met Meanma and Phil at the seamstress and the dress fittings went smoothly. I'm actually very happy with the way my dress has turned out. It's a gorgeous color and oh yeah I looked pretty gosh-darned skinny - well, I did today anyway. (Just gotta stay this size for 4 more weeks...)

After the fitting we went to Talpiot to the arts-n-crafts store to find pretty brooches for our gowns. Both Phil and I found gorgeous pins - they'll go on the gowns for the wedding and then afterwards we can put them onto our coats. SO pretty!
The ride back to Ariel was uneventful. I chickened out of shopping at Rami Levi - it's an ENORMOUS grocery store on rt. 60 - I was feeling kind of 'eh' and was completely exhausted so I opted to drive Home as directly as possible.

We stopped at the apartment for 5 minutes to get some water and freshen up. Z had come Home early so I guilt-tripped him into joined us on an excursion to Yesh.

The shopping trip was relatively quick - they actually had fresh (enough) chicken so I stocked up. We also bumped into another neighbor and wound up giving him a lift home too. (Have car - do mitzvahs!)

Back at Home we unpacked the groceries and set up our chanukiot. Finally the time came - we made the brachot, lit the candles and sang the songs - then I ran and checked the calendar just to make sure that we weren't a day early...
In Jeru I picked up a caramel-filled sufgania and a fun expanding ball-y toy for Z. He didn't seem too thrilled by the toy - but the donut made him happy enough.

Tomorrow I get to pick up my Chanuka present from Z which is waiting for me at the post office - it's a mandoline and I am super excited about it!

Chag Urim Sameach everybody!!!