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Happy New Week!

22 Feb
My other husband, Mr.Rogen

My other husband, Mr.Rogen

The only way to start the week: Seth Rogen’s silly face and this song!

Well we didn’t get any of the snow that Jerusalem saw this weekend, and the sun’s back out in Hertzliya so it looks like Winter’s on the way out! Here’s hoping my cold/cough will follow suit.

This morning the radio introduced me to Family of The Year, an awesome band, with this gorgeous song ‘Hero’ on my way to the train station. Then reading the morning news, I felt so uplifted by this event that took place in Oslo this past Friday night – the true meaning of shabbat shel shalom.  Reading this other news story about a birthday party for a little boy with autism that nobody came to, my ears filled with tears as I read what happened instead. My conclusion after reading these two articles is that people can be good, even when other people are being terrible. And loads of other stuff.

Have a great week! x

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This Year I Want To….

1 Jan
glitter

May your year be glittery and bright!

Blog more, love more, laugh more, do more! Last year was the year of adjustment, becoming a working parent was tough. It took all of my energy up, and I let myself get a bit lazy. I hardly took up any new hobbies or projects. DesignMom writes that resolutions for her are just a fun list of goals to help her focus on the upcoming year, but she doesn’t put pressure on herself to keep them! I like that.  In that spirit, I have borrowed both her attitude and her family’s resolution mantra:

This year, I want to… 

  • Learn: Yiddish, and how to use my Kettle Bells properly.
  • Read: As much as possible!
  • Make: every recipe from a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook (excluding the non-kosher ‘ham + everything’ muffins) per my LLL.
  • Visit: Holland, or Norway.
  • Change: misconceptions about religious people in Israel, but that’ll take some time. This year I think I might change my dentist. 
  • Be better at: Friendships. Am going to work on becoming better friends with my friends. Look out, folks! Most of all I want: peace across our region, a foreign vacation and another baby please! Did I go too far? #dammit.

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming….

24 Mar
yep.

yep.

Pesach is almost here! That’s an exclamation mark, which you’d think would betray some enthusiasm, but it’s really quite difficult to get excited for Pesach. There’s just so much prep if you’re staying home, and all the fun things – like preparing red food dye, cotton wool balls and other ‘plagues’ for seder night –  is really only fun when there are kids around.  Also I love baking, but I don’t love a baking challenge which is what most Pesach baking is about. 

Then I read an article today which reminded me that this is a festival which should definitely not be about moaning or groaning or spring cleaning, but something else entirely.  Pesach celebrates our freedom (think about that word for a second…) and a miraculous event in Jewish history.

 It’s also a holiday which is supposed to focus us on others via the traditional giving of kimcha d’pischa before Pesach, as well as on our selves: what inflates my ego? Which elements in my life act as my taskmaster?

Most importantly, the holiday focuses us on future generations, on what and who will come after us. The concept of “והגדת לבנך” (“and you will tell it to your children”) is the point of seder night! Do we want our kids to think Pesach is just about cleaning and moaning and housework? Nuh uh. So, as my sister advised – put the oven on self-clean, wipe down your shelves & lock everything else away! In the holiday spirit of optimism and a love of food gawking, here are some good lookin’ Pesach goodies & recipes I will be enthusiastically trying out this year, exclamation marks and all. 

Chag sameach! 

carrot_cake-yummly

Yummly – Carrot Cake (Pesach friendly and healthy to boot!)

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A Modern Heroine

27 Feb

Recently, this lady Ruth Calderon – became both a member of Knesset as a member of the Yesh Atid party, and a star in my eyes and the eyes of many people (especially women people) that I know. Ruth Calderon is a Talmud scholar who has wonderful ideas and things to say about bringing Judaism back to the people of Israel, taking it back from those who have hijacked it for themselves and for their own means (we’re looking at you, Rabbanut crazy heads.) I am particularly excited to have this person in our government! If you haven’t seen her maiden speech in the Knesset yet, here it is with subtitles, along with a really interesting piece on her in today’s Tablet mag, by Daniella Cheslow.

A True Maverick

Ruth Calderon ( photo credit: Daniella Cheslow)

Ruth Calderon ( photo credit: Daniella Cheslow)

Shavuot!

24 May

Kosher Shavuot flowers from Design Megilla

This time of year brings up lots of happy memories for me and is also my favourite Israeli season – flowers are in bloom and abundance, the air is fresh and inviting, mornings are still chilly and – crucially – I can still get away with a long sleeve!

Summer will be here before we know it, so I’m enjoying this time while I can.

While I usually stick to baking indulgent desserts and treats for Shavuot, as per le Jewish tradition, this year I wanted to go all out and attempt the big kahuna: cheesecake. My plans have been foiled however, as this week has been (wonderfully) full with engagement parties and weddings, leaving no time to bake before the holiday. But I’m posting a delicious sounding recipes below, and maybe you can make it for me and let me know just how yummy it turns out. Deal?

It’s important to note, I think, that Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah, but not the receiving. As we learn from the wise men and women who have studied a lot of Torah and written a lot of books about it, we’re supposed to receive and accept the Torah upon ourselves on a daily basis. It’s a continual, reciprocal thing. 

This week, we celebrate the gift of the Torah to the Jewish people. May we each be blessed to receive it in our own individual, glittery, awesome way.

Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake (from Recipe.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3  cup Crushed chocolate wafer cookies (12 to 13 cookies)
  • 1-1/2 tsp.  Orange peel zest
  • 2 tbsp. Melted butter
  • 8-oz. pkgs. Reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4  cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose flour
  • 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3  cup  dried Cranberries
  • 1/4  cup Cranberry juice (or fat-free milk)
  • 1/2  cup Fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

Directions:  (Preheat oven to 375 degrees F)

1. For crust: In a bowl combine crushed cookies and 1 teaspoon of orange peel zest. Stir in butter. Press crust in bottom of 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

2. In mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour with electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes.

3. Mix in eggs and remaining 1/2 tsp. orange peel until combined. Fold in dried cranberries and juice. Pour into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with fresh cranberries.

4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a 2-1/2-inch area around edges appears set when gently shaken.

5. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen edges from sides of pan. Cool for 30 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving!

                     Chag Sameach!