Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Z finally got up at a little before 9 and decided to go to school. I figured I should really get out of the house so I snapped on my pedometer, filled up my water bottle and off we went. I didn't have any real plan of how far I would go but as I made my way down down down I decided that I didn't want to walk all the way back up. I figured that as long as I followed the bus-route I could always hop on a bus. Eventually I reached the last bus-stop that I was willing to walk to. A quick calculation made me realize that waiting 30-45 minutes for a bus in the sun was silly when a 20 minute uphill trek would get me back home. So I hoofed it back up the mountain.
For some weird reason I couldn't seem to get it through my head that today was Thursday and that Shabbos cooking really needed to be done... I guess there's always tomorrow.
We're planning on taking 'early shabbos' again this week - but that still gives me until almost 6pm to prep all of the food. On a really exciting note - it's our first quiet shabbos in 16 weeks and I am thrilled and overjoyed! I love having guests - but sometimes a quiet weekend alone is exactly the right medicine. Instead of cooking for shabbos I decided to restock the muffins-selection in the freezer.I had strawberries and a few sad looking peaches so I figured I'd turn them into something. I wish I could link you to the original recipes - but I didn't follow either of them anyway.
The strawberry muffins are a basic buttermilk muffin with diced fresh strawberries folded into the batter. Then strawberry jam gets swirled into the muffins to kick up the taste a notch - and it's all topped off with a cinnamon-y almond struesel topping.
The peach muffins are so 'autumn-y' - they're made with brown sugar and packed with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Of course fresh diced peaches are folded straight into the batter.
Z seemed to like both - so I'm hoping they'll actually get eaten.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I added some more recipe-cards to the photo-book-file. I'm up to 190 now. I'm aiming for 198 - but it's going to take some brainstorming. I've already included all of my favorites.
Z washed all of the dishes without me asking and I ate a lot of chicken soup.
I got the nicest phone call from Sara Kapara. She was in a huge 'American Product' store somewhere on the coast and wanted to know if there was anything I could think of that I wanted. She really wanted to buy me a present. I told her to surprise me and she brought me the coolest collection of things ever!!!!
Lyle's Golden Syrup - to experiment with because supposedly fructozoids can tolerate it.
Almond Butter - because I can't get it ground finely enough to satisfy in my food processor.
Almond Paste - because I really want to make marzipan.
Vanilla Cane Sugar - it's exactly what it sounds like, and it's going to be reserved for super special things like flavoring my almond milk!
Coffee Extract - because it's something new and fun to use for her birthday! I love flavorings and extracts!
Light Corn Syrup - because I'm almost out and I can't make caramel popcorn or taffy without it.
Mini Oreos for Z - cause we like him too.
Definitely the awesomest present!!! I am super duper excited to get into the kitchen!!!
Tomorrow is another day - hopefully more exciting things will happen. It's also 'Student Day' here are our local 'University Center' - so there aren't any classes. Just a lot of partying and having fun.
I'm thinking of attempting some sort of pizza-type-thing with no dairy and very little sauce... On second though - maybe I'll make myself some almond milk and some cookies.
Yeah - milk and cookies sounds good.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I should really stop commenting on what time I get up and claiming that it's early. Plenty of people with schedules get up earlier than I do. Truth be told - I like getting up early. I'm a morning person - so sue me. For some reason, the work I get accomplished before 10 in the morning feels like it's worth three times as much as what I do over the course of the remainder of the day. I'm weird, I know.
Anyway - I woke up yesterday morning and bummed around. Actually, I was semi-productive and figured out the hours for Bituach Leumi. (They're only open 3 days a week - and by days I mean either from 8:30-12 or from 14-16. Not both and not on the same days. Sunday & Thursday in the morning and Monday in the afternoon. Strange, huh?)
I offered Z leftover carrot kugel for breakfast - which meant that it actually got eaten. (Yeah yeah - not that interesting - but what can I say, it was a pretty boring morning.)
At 2:30 I left the house for Bituach Leumi's offices. I was in, out and back at home in under 1/2 an hour. That's even though there were 6 people ahead of me on line, and I needed to fill out a form which I only got once my number had been called and I got into the 'inner' office. It amazes me how bureaucratic offices in this country outside of Jerusalem are almost a pleasure to go to. Why are they so obnoxious in Jeru? I really don't understand it. (And don't say it's because Jeru is a big city - I went to ma'am and mas hachnasa in Petach Tikva last week...)
I made it Home before Z left for school. On his way out the door he asked if it would be alright for the usual 'game crew' to come over after school to play Settlers. I figured something along the lines of, "I've got pasta - sure, why not?" then told him it was fine.
I then proceeded to bum around until they about an hour before they were due to arrive. For some reason pasta alone just doesn't cut it for me for a dinner (especially for 4 hungry guys.) I decided to make bread. But what kind of decent bread-y thing can be made in an hour that's tasty and will go with pasta? To make things even more complicated - I had to decide what to put on the pasta. Drunken Spaghetti? Pasta with Eggplant? All the 'real' recipes seemed too complicated - so I stuck with the easiest thing I knew how to - I made a nice sized pot of 'chunky tomato sauce' which I stirred into the pasta (to prevent it from drying out and/or sticking.) Since I was going with a classic tomato sauce I figured I could make garlic knots as a side. Then I remembered that our favorite garlic knot recipe take 2 hour and 15 minutes from start to table. So... I brainstormed and decided to play around with my favorite pizza dough recipe.
I mixed up the pizza dough and as it all mixed I sprinkled in some garlic powder, dried parsley, extra kosher salt and some red-chili-flakes. After the dough rose for about 1/2 an hour (more than enough time to clear the drying racks, wash the dishes from by the sink, put together tomato sauce and put up the pasta) I divided it into 32 pieces then proceeded to 'knot' them all. I let them rise for a few minutes on the tray before brushing them with some olive oil and popping them into the oven for 18 minutes. When the timer rang I pulled them out and brushed them again - then I let them cool.
Suffice it to say - when the front door opened and I heard exclamations of, "it smells like a bakery in here!" I smiled.
I served the saucy pasta with Parmesan and Mozzarella on the side, the knots and all of the leftover sliced veggies from Shabbos - because everybody loves the refreshing crunch of vegetables and I like having color on the table.
Finally the game got underway. It was our first time using our very own '5-6 player extension' - and we had 6 at the table. I'm not quite sure how it happened but the board was insane and everyone crowded around 1 corner - except for me. Then lucky numbers kept getting rolled so I cordoned off 1/3 of the board and won the game while everyone else had 4 or less points. How often does that happen? They continued playing (since there were 5 of them left and they all had so few points.) The game took about 3 hours in total and the 2nd place winner was Odelya - it really was a 'girls night' for winning - and for her it was a fun first-time experience. I'm pretty sure she'll be back - though I don't know if the guys will let us play again. It's funny because they always ask me if I want to play and I always decline - I guess now they know I just want them to keep their egos intact. ;) Cause who likes being beaten by a girl at a 'guys game'! (heeheehee!)
The gang left at a little before 2am. I went straight to sleep because there was nothing to clean up - they did it all. I love that people come over and feel so comfortable here. It makes me happy and means that I've done a pretty good job creating the atmosphere I've always wanted in a home. At least - that's the way I figure it.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday morning it was kind of overcast but Z and I went to town to run a few errands. I needed to pick up some vegetables and we had to stop off at the post office to pick up a package.
Shabbos was super long. The food was good though. The afternoon dragged on seemingly forever and I napped a lot more than I should have - which resulted in a ridiculously late bedtime Saturday night - which was interrupted multiple times by some allergic-congestion... Summary - a really long Saturday following a really long Friday with no good sleep. I hate Shabbos in the summer. Seriously. Also - the weird weather really creeped me out. It's not supposed to rain and pour with thunder and lightning in mid-May - is it?
Sarah Leah had to leave Motza"sh because of an 8am class on Sunday morning. They enjoyed some pizza and calzone from the freezer stash for melava malka and then she was off to catch the bus.
I'm trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the day.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 09, 2011
During dinner we watched the Yom Haatzmaut fireworks (from the 'country club') and after dinner we watched some quick tv. Then we drove Sara back down to the campus - it was all foggy and icky out and we didn't want her to have to walk down all alone.)
Tomorrow is going to be super busy. I can't really think about it too much or my head starts to spin. I just keep hoping that there will be enough bread...
Friday, May 06, 2011
Shabbos lunch: salatim, mushroom quiche, sushi, potato cheese bake, tossed salad
Seudah shlishit: sliced veggies with salatim, crackers and leftovers from lunch
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Don't throw out the nut-pulp - I spread mine out on a baking tray and 'dried' it out at 100C for about 2.5 hours - stirring every 20-30 minutes. After it cooled I poured it into a container and am storing it in the fridge (just in case it isn't as dried out as I thought.) It's great to use in cakes, cookies and a whole batch of other delicious baked goods.Nothing else of note really happened today. The machines outside have dug a 10 foot crater about 10 feet from the back of our building. Nobody really seems to know where the actual construction will be happening - but in the meantime they're digging holes and shlepping the dirt down the hill to dump it and make new mountains.Z and I went shopping at Yesh today - it was our chance to 'get out' and I was happy to restock on fresh vegetables (not that any of them are for me) but they did (finally) have french fries in stock again - so I bought a few kilos of them.