Monday, October 31, 2011

Date Confusion...

In a last-ditch attempt to salvage some Halloween spirit I went out to the grocery store and bought hotdogs, buns, pickles and fries.

I figured this way I could legitimately claim to have made Halloweenies in the spirit of the day.

Weird thing is it feels more like April Fools Day - trying to pass off a July 4th BBQ as a Halloween dinner.

Some days ya just can't seem to get it right.

Crunchy Shell

Friday was insanely busy. It was the first time I'd cooked Shabbos in almost 4 months. That's a long time by my standards. Z cleaned the house from top-to-bottom because it was so ridiculously dusty that neither of us could breathe.

Sara joined us for the weekend. It was extremely relaxing and highly enjoyable. I drugged Z with Dayquils/Nyquils as he needed them because his cold seemed to take a turn for the worse after inhaling all of the dust while cleaning. Thankfully by Sunday morning he was feeling a lot better.

Meal List from Shabbos - just so I don't forget:

Friday Night: challah, chumus, matbucha (homemade fresh), roasted garlic, chicken soup with matzah balls, Moroccan spiced chicken, jasmine rice, green beans with salt and garlic

Shabbos Lunch: challah, chumus, matbucha (homemade fresh), tomato onion quiche, potato blintzes with fried onions, sliced veggie platter

Desserts: candy apples, caramel apples, PB CC oat cookies, brownies with chocolate chunks

Sunday morning I went for (yet another) blood test. My veins were in an extremely playful sort of mood and kept disappearing when the nurse stuck the needle in. She apologized profusely (and I couldn't really blame her - the vein HAD been there when she started putting the needle in) but it took about 4 pokes and a bit of jiggling to get some blood out and it didn't really flow - just sort of dripped, so the whole process took a lot longer than I would've liked. Even more annoying was the long wait to go in for the test. There were 5 people ahead of me and somehow it took 45 minutes for my turn to arrive. Remind me not to go on a Sunday morning ever again.

The best part of Sunday was that while I was out getting poked//prodded and waiting... Z got up and made a batch of the most delicious fluffy buttermilk waffles ever! So when I got Home I drowned them in maple syrup and devoured half a dozen of them! Deeeeeeeelicious!!!

Dinner last night almost didn't happen. We couldn't agree on whose turn it was to cook. Eventually I got frustrated enough that I decided to just make what I was in the mood for. Turns out sesame noodles were a good choice. I lightly steamed: carrots, green beans and baby corn which I tossed with the seasoned noodles. We ate them warm and delicious for dinner and before putting the leftovers away I added sesame seeds, some extra soy sauce and a dash of garlic powder so that they'd pack a flavor-punch when eating them cold for lunch - which I plan to do today and tomorrow and well - to be honest every day until they run out. Cause they are just THAT good.

I had been hoping that Z's game-crew would come over tonight because it would have given me a perfect excuse to bake a bunch of fun Halloween treats - but Z didn't make it to class this morning on account of his cough and some unfinished homework. Anyway - by the time noon had rolled around all desire to spend hours in the kitchen had somewhat dissipated. But it still left me feeling super-sad because I'd had all these excitingly fun plans for caramel corn, black&orange cookies and other fun stuff - but I guess I'll just have to keep it bottled up until 2014 - which is the next year that Halloween falls out on Shabbos which means I can legitimately sneak in Challaween on Friday night. (I find it amusingly ironic to have pagan Halloween on Jewish Sabbath - I just can't help it. Ok?! I like the color scheme and can't help that I love candy and all the autumny-fun-stuff we associate with it.)

So what am I doing today? Well, I've been awake since 6:30am and have eaten enough to satisfy a small cow, but it hasn't even made a dent in my appetite (which I guess is a good thing.) I should probably get off the couch and take a walk, 15-30 minutes would do me good.

Maybe I'll bake those cookies anyway - I just really want cookies...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cold Noodles!

Here's a celebratory picture of my camera. I thought it was lost and gone forever, but Yo'abba found it moments before we left The Sun House to head back Home. And there was much rejoicing.
 Just to follow-up on yesterdays post...
 I almost didn't buy the apples because 'apple season' might be autumn in the USofA but the sure are pricey here (especially since you only get about 2 bites off of each one...)
 Setting up the candy...
 I dropped the apples into a boiling water and vinegar mixture to get the wax-coating off of them. It's an important step because if you leave the wax on then the candy will just sliiiiiiide right off of the apples into a sad little mound around their bases...
 Sticks up their middles. *clears throat*
 Half a teaspoon of red food-coloring - to make the candy that signature happy red color and 1/4 tsp of strawberry flavoring to add to the leftover candy...
 It takes a good long while for the heat to rise. I thought my thermometer had stalled or something around 225F - it just wouldn't change.
 At around 275F I added the coloring and then as we hit the 300F mark I started coating...
 So pretty!!! I only got one super-bubbly-candy-coating because I was a little too excited to actually be making candy apples and didn't dip carefully (no it wasn't the first apple, it was actually the 3rd, but I just got a little too exuberant...)
 The leftover candy shouldn't go to waste. So I added the strawberry flavoring and made some free-form lolly-pops! I never realized how easy hard candy is to make! I'm seriously considering investing in some lolly-pop molds now! They make an adorable gift and you can even customize them by pressing jelly-beans, licorice and all sorts of other things into them! Super pretty!
 Caramel apples to follow - just wanted to get your attention...
Mmmmm, candy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Give me my pencil.

Here's the deal - I went grocery shopping today and for some impulsive reason I bought 10 tiny round and adorable apples.

With me all nostalgic, autumn in full-swing in the good ol' USofA, apple picking season well-underway and Halloween coming up in just a few days I don't think I can be held accountable for craving candy covered and caramel smothered apples. Really, I mean - who isn't?

Anyway - point of this ramble is that I am 'chalishing' no, make that 'plotzing' to make some of the divine creations myself. Problem is - I can't realistically eat the apples, and the coatings all have corn syrup in them so...I'm not quite sure where the point in making them would be.

I suppose it is almost worth the effort of going through all the trouble just to photograph the darn things,  post the pictures and make a couple hundred other people drool...

Oh, is that sadistic twisted and evil?

Yeah, maybe.

But I'm thinking that it might just validate the whole experience.

Alright, it's settled.

Tomorrow will be the day of the apple.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Prunes Mmmm...

Since when do I love citrus fruits? I ate grapefruits with Phil in The Sun House and that got me in the mood for pomelit, so I ate 1/2 of one today. Man oh man it is refreshing and delicious! I like them a tad on the sweet side - so I might have to switch over to pomelos... I guess I'll pick some up tomorrow.

I did 5 loads of laundry today. Yup - all the laundry from the last month. I think I'm good for a while now.

I surprised myself actually because I pushed myself and forced myself to make a healthy nutritious dinner. Second night in a row. Truth be told, it wasn't as rewarding as last night's feast - but it still turned out quite tasty.

I whipped up a 'kinda-version' of these vegetable cutlets. I say 'kinda' because I used a different array of spices (though I did stick to the garam masala/cayenne/curry combo somewhat) and the veggies I added were carrots/zucchini/peas which I steamed to just-before-perfection. (I used my steamer-basket-majig for the very first time! Heehee! I've had it long enough!) then I shaped the mixture into 2 tsp patties, coated them in breadcrumbs, sprayed them with some cooking-spray and baked them for 40 minutes (flipping once in the middle) til' the crumbs were golden brown, crispy and delicious.

For the protein portion of the meal I figured I might as well use up the breadcrumbs, so I coated some chicken fillets and fried up some shnitzel.

I hope Z enjoyed the meal. I know I did.

Even more stuff to do tomorrow. I'd better get some sleep tonight!

Jellybeans are Perfect!

Ok ok, so it's been almost a week...

The good news is - we're officially back at Home!

After a highly successful visit to the doctor, The Crazy Lady was super-awesome and drove us Home. Z went to his first day of classes and the girls went out to the grocery store. Good thing we picked up the basics cause Z invited the 'game crew' over for the first game-night of the year.

I'm not sure how I managed, but I wiped down the living room couches and dining room chairs. I also did a load of laundry (including the guest room sheets - which Meanma helped me strip off the bed.) I switched a light-bulb, wiped down the kitchen counter and unpacked most of the suitcases/bags from our month-long vacation.

Then I put together dinner. A big pot of tomato vegetable barley soup, 1-hour buttery dinner rolls, pasta alfredo (cause alfredo sauce is so darn easy to make), and a batch of blondies for dessert. Man oh man it felt good to be back in my kitchen!

Sara came to visit and keep me company after school. Then Z came Home and soon the guys all arrived. Dinner was delightful, I've missed the banter and fun times.

Summer was nice but I'm very happy for a new school-year to be starting. I've missed what I considered 'routine' and can't wait get back into the swing of things. If today was an indication of the good times to come - then I am ready to let them roll!

Bring it on Big Guy - I'm ready!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finger Cookies

Monday was a super-busy day of chol hamoed 'round these parts. Debs and the little came to visit for an awesomely fun(ny) lunch (prepared by Z.) Yo'Abba had quite a good time pulling out big yellow trucks, knights and pirates to play with! The afternoon was by no means relaxed - The Crazy Lady got dinner cooking as the concert set-up and by the time the music started Sarah Leah arrived after a 1.5 hour bus-ride and Timmy made it home after 2 hours on the road. (Don't we ALL just love rt 38 traffic?) Little Brother stopped by to visit and left more enlightened than he arrived. Akiva&Emunah stopped by before rushing off to hear Udi Davidi from the front of the Stage with Yo'Abba. Then at 10:45 as Moshav Band wound down their set, Feige & Shani stopped by bearing benchers and to share wedding pics. Suffice it to say bed-time didn't roll around until a little after 1 in the morning.

I've been coughing/sneezing and slightly congested since last Friday but I figured it was just an allergy related thing (weather changing and all - it happens every year - doesn't it?) But spending 2 hours in the car on Sunday sent my delicate and slightly-compromised immune system in to a super-dee-duper downward spiral so the few hours I spent in bed on Monday night were occupied by much nose-blowing, coughing and sneezing. Sadly things only got worse on Tuesday when I went into complete breakdown mode. After 4 rounds of salt-water sinus-irrigation, close to 300 tissues, 2 liters of water and about 5 cups of tea - I actually managed to sleep for a few hours last night.

With all of the germs and whatnot we cancelled our holiday plans to go to Petach Tikva and are staying in The Sun House until next Monday afternoon (since I have a dr's appt on Monday morning.) Then we'll rush back Home so Z can go to his first day of classes. Yay for school!

I can't wait for vacation to be over so I can get some rest in the quiet of my own Home. At least I hope it'll be quiet. Maybe the rains can start, heavy and frequent - that way the construction noise will be kept to a minimum...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Macro Flash

What can you say when you're encouraged to drink 2 cups of vanilla milkshake (made with Ben&Jerry's ice cream and whole milk) for dinner because you haven't eaten enough calories in one day?

Aside from maybe, "Life is good."

Spent the day at the cousins celebrating Adina's bat-mitzvah in the sukkah with a festive bbq and good times. Got stuck in rush hour traffic on 38 on the way back to The Sun House and it took us 40 mins from "shaar hagay" until we made it back to the Fambily House. Quite an adventure.

More to come tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"...cool, minty bliss..."

It been an interesting last week and a half or so. But they've been feeding me here - so I guess I can't complain...

The laaaaaast tea biscuit (don't worry there are another 6 packages in the kitchen pantry.)
We even got to socialize. And yeah - Settlers happened. 3 times. And I even won once.
This morning I woke up early and frosted the cookies that I baked last night. Not perfect - but good enough for me.
And of course the Rum&Spice cookies - they look prettier when sliced, but I didn't have the time or the patience. Dibble already ate half a dozen and declared them 'delicious' so I don't really care.
Phil and I made a chain of rainbows to hang in the sukkah and there were some extra papers left over. I woke up to find this attached to the bedroom door...
Toffee is kind of zonked - I keep waking him in the middle of the night. He's holding onto that water bottle like it's the last good thing he's got. Poor fuzzy buddie.
Have a great holiday everybody! Enjoy sitting in your booths and hope you have lots of fethtival thpirit!

May the rains not fall (yet) and the wind be calm! (Also if this heatwave would break - that'd be awesome.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Realized...

It would be a whole lot easier to deal with waking up with the urge to vomit daily if I weren't such an emetophobe.

Ugh.

*shudders*

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Nose Knows

Dear Z,

When I say the milk is spoiled - trust me - it is spoiled.

Love,
me

PS: I forgive you for trying to feed me what was in your estimation 'almost spoiled but not quite there yet' milk with my cereal.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Big Salt

That was decidedly the strangest Yom Kippur I've ever kept. Still, I actually made it to shul for chazarat hash"atz of neila so I was pretty impressed with myself.

For breakfast everyone enjoyed some homemade bagels which Phil & Z made on Friday morning. (Yo'Abba bought a few from the bagel-store for 'just in case' but now they're in deep-freeze-storage because the homemade ones were very very tasty.)

I got myself weighed and measured this morning. Still haven't gained back what I lost 2 months ago, and actually somehow managed to lose 2 of the kg that I fought to gain back. Not sure how that's possible - but the dr. isn't worried, so I won't be either. In good news my blood pressure has hit the new 'golden standard' of 110/70. The nurse was highly impressed. At least something good came of the visit. Heeheehee.

Phil made me some potatoes for 3rd lunch which were quite delicious then I chowed down on a snack from 3:30-4 - ok, it was a lot of snacks. But I need it, right?

They're building the big famBily sukkah outside now and I'm thinking I should go and cheer them on.

I'm excited to bake for Sukkot. A batch of regular rainbow cookies and a batch of monochrome rainbow cookie (ff!) Hooray!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wolfie!

It's been over a week and I've fallen off the face of the planet. It happens.

We've been in The Sun House since last Thursday early-afternoon. Rosh Hashana was a rocking great holiday. I made it to shofar blowing on the 1st day. Sunday was uneventful and Monday was spent being assessed for 7 hours (long story for another time - no patience to type it out now.) Tuesday we went to Ikea with Sarah Leah, Meanma & Phil. It was a last minute idea and we were only there for about an hour and a half before I was ready to collapse.

Today we're travelling back to the-middle-of-nowhere to pick up some stuff that we need for Yom Kippur then we're coming back to The Sun House. There are also a  few errands to run and yet another doctors appointment. Goody goody.

I'll be back when I have something interesting to share.