Sunday, November 29, 2009

My birthdays don't line up

And I have no idea why.

The Hebrew and Gregorian calendars are supposed to synch up every 19 years.

So in theory this year's birthday should have both my Hebrew and secular birthdays on the same day. Except it doesn't. It's off by a day.

If you go to and look at December 15th, 1971 it says it's the third light of Chanukah.

If you look at December 15th, 1990 AND 2009 however, it says it's the fourth light of Chanukah.

I know that some years the month of Cheshvan has 30 days and other years it has 29 days.

It had 30 days both in 1971 and 2009. And 29 days in 1990.

So... anyone know why my birthdays don't line up?

Coca Cola recall... again,7340,L-3811108,00.html

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Economics of eating

In a recent post on Imamother about how in just 5 months of marriage, the poster and her (mostly in Kollel) husband were in debt an anonymous poster wrote the following:

Wow I am so impressed with how people really live frugally. I am not the op but I wish I could do the same. I know that I spend way too much money but my dh would never listen to me if I tell him that we should cut down. Do people really not serve meat or chicken every night for supper? My dh would kill me if I just served him macaroni.

I have to say I am flabbergasted that people can be so pettystupidselfishblind.

Last week my husband and I sat down with all our bills and our bank statements and using Google Docs we made several spread sheets with regards to our finances.

After looking things over we decided we needed to cut down our grocery budget and the main way we were going to do that was to pretty much cut out chicken and meat during the week and limit the fish to canned tuna.

This week's menu was: Sunday we had HOMEMADE lentil burgers and baked ziti. On Monday we had potato latkes and fresh salad. Tuesday was a thick veggie-barley soup and Wednesday I bought a package of kebabs, cut them into bit sized pieces and added that to the soup. So we had meatball soup. Not sure what we'll be having tonight. (Here in Israel, dairy tends to also be crazy expensive. Ingredients for lasagna for 6 is 50NIS or more in just cheeses. Also by 'we' I mean my husband and myself, our 2 1/2 year old son and on Tuesday my 18 year old daughter)

Would I prefer fried chicken and entrecot steak? Of course.

But I also would prefer a roof over my head.

I really think that anyone who claims that their spouse will 'kill them' if they served mac and cheese for dinner needs to sit down with said homicidal spouse and plan the budget. If smacked with the cold hard facts that chicken every night is simply out of touch with the budgetary reality, I highly doubt your spouse will want to kill you.

Kosher Cooking Carnival #48

title or description

Kosher Cooking Carnival #48!

It's the turkey day special of the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Well, for those living in the US it is and thank you for taking time between football games to take a look.

Anything Kosher

TechyDad is a first time contributor and I certainly hope he becomes a regular. He presents us with Cooking With TechyDad: Sneaky BonBons posted at TechyDad, a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies and not even realize it!

Jo shows us how to make Roasted Garlic Spread that would be perfect on pita or challah.

Batya presents Menu Conversion, Or What to Serve for Special Meals, Like Thanksgiving posted at me-ander.

Avital Pinnick presents Tender, Flaky, Sourdough “Naan” posted at This and That.


Batya gives us Cottage Cheese Cheesecake from a cookbook that came with the blender and while the machine pictured in the cookbook looks older than I am, the recipe looks timeless and tasty!

Hadassah Sabo Milner helps anyone with the dilemma of whether to make pie or cake with this recipe for My World Famous Delicious Pie Cake posted at In the Pink.

My sweet contribution is a versatile Cookie Brittle.

Diet Food

Mary Jones presents 12 Simple Tips to Make Drive-Thru Dining More Healthy which offers great tips to making fast food a bit healthier.

Every Day Meals

Lester Christmas presents KAHLUA Original K-Cups from Timothy's World (certified by the KSA) for those of you who love your java.

Annette Berlin gives us an easy Tomato Pesto Sauce over at Craft Stew.

Batya whips up Easy Stove-Top Steak at me-ander.

I make a broccoli salad I deem Pretentious Cole Slaw at YESHASettler. And to go with that, why not try Felafel-crusted Chicken Strips.

Leora offers up a Mushroom Barley Soup perfect for the cold winter nights.

mominisrael presents White Sauce in the Microwave posted in her new food-related blog Cooking Manager. She also offers us Sourdough Muffins to try.


Batya wonders Is The Veggie Option Really Kosher? posted at me-ander.

Jerusalem Kosher News tells us about the milk shortage here in Israel which is also affecting butter availability posted at Jerusalem Kosher News. This site also seems to be a great resource for Kashrut alerts in Israel.

Jewish Holiday Food

Crafty Rose offers us origami candy boxes which would be perfect for Purim. Wait... we haven't even had Chanuka yet. Am I allowed to utter the 'P' word?

Restaurant or Cookbook Reviews

Jon Baker and his lovely wife give us their review of The Solo Restaurant Experience posted at ThanBook.

Batya has a review from her recent trip to the US in Eating Kosher in Great Neck, Three Meat Restaurants in This Review. She also warns us that even though a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, restaurants bearing the same name may not all be kosher. So Beware: Cafe Aroma is Traif in Great Neck!!.

I Stand up for my order when service was lousy and the food cold.

Back in July the Kosher Gourmet did a review of Mike's Bistro posted at The Kosher Gourmet.

Traditional Food

Mrs. S. presents The poor step-sister of Shabbat kugels which is her ode to the lokshen kugel.

Newsman presents The Great Pumpkin Cholent posted at The Kosher Kook. So would that make it a very Charlie Brown Shabbat?

Hadassah Sabo Milner presents Chicken soup with matzah balls.

Felisa Billet presents Entertaining: Turn Thanksgiving Leftovers into Friday Night Dinner posted at Blog.


Wise_Bread tells us 5 Quick Fixes to Salvage a Good Meal.

Emily Moser warns us about 25 Common Foods That Can Be Toxic for Your Pet.

Liked what you saw? Help spread the word!
* Why not submit your own recipe for next month’s carnival? Just chose one of your own blog posts and go to the carnival submission form. It’s easy to fill out.
* And since part of the idea is to help publicize each other’s blogs, please link to this post on your own blog. Spread the good word!
* Batya’s always looking for someone to host a KCC. Email her with your hosting offer here: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com.
* Next month’s KCC will be hosted by

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Felafel-crusted Chicken Strips

The original recipe calls for one packet of felafel ball mix, dry and another mixed with water with about 1/4 cup more water than instructed. I cheated a bit and used flour for the dry dredge.

Dredge chicken in either flour or dry felafel ball mix.

Then coat in felafel mix (add a bit more water than the package instructs) and fry.

Cookie Brittle

1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 cups flour
chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan with baking paper and grease a bit.
Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
Spread the batter in the pan. (Keep smushing - it will cover the whole bottom of the pan. It's supposed to be pretty thin.)
Bake 20-25 minutes (until golden brown.)
Allow the brittle to cool completely and then break it into pieces.

* I made mine with chocolate chips, almond slivers and chopped craisins. It came out amazing. I now have a batch in the oven with chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts and chopped craisins. I have plans for a future batch to be a 'pina colada' version with coconut, macademia nuts and pineapple chunks (haven't decided if I'm going to go with canned pineapple or dried pineapple)

Chanukah Flashmob in Jerusalem

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ladies night at the country club

Once again the Matnas of Binyamin is hosting a ladies night at the country club here in Ariel.

Motza'Sh Nov. 28 between 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

40NIS for the evening which includes gym, sauna, pool, jacuzzi and belly dancing!

I went last time and it was great. The jacuzzi alone was a 'mechaya!'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sneaky cooking

I don't think NS is a picky eater per se, he's just 2 1/2. He'll eat when he's hungry, he likes to try things for the most part and he has some favorites.

Like pasta and rice, scrambled eggs, franks in beans. And if something is dipped in ketchup, well so much the better.

It was kind of ironic that someone posted about the Sneaky Chef and her husband's project to get their kids eating more veggies and not realizing it because I was having the same problem. How to get my 2 1/2 year old to eat more veggies without shoving it down his throat.

Today I made the 'white puree' - steamed zucchini and cauliflower and then ran it through my grinder (my blender was a total waste of time). I froze 2 baggies with one cup each in it and 1/3 cup portions went into other baggies. And 1 whole cup was mixed into tonight's dinner - Mac and Cheese.

Everyone ate it. No one complained, as a matter of fact I don't think anyone particularly noticed.

The smaller portions I froze will be for NS's scrambled eggs. I'm sure I'll find a use for the larger portions.

The next puree will be the 'orange puree' of baked sweet potato and steamed carrots. I'll be using that for pasta sauce.

Heck, I can probably steam and grind a whole bunch of veggies for pasta sauce...

If you go to their site and bid, tell them Chanie Vaiselberg (my sister) sent you so she can win prizes too!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Who is a Jew in Britain....

Interesting article in the NYT.

Standing up for my order

How many of you have done this - you go to a restaurant and order something and when the server sets the plate down in front of you in your opinion, there's something wrong with it - the dish wasn't what was advertised, it's cold when it shouldn't be, it has things in it that you requested be left out or it's over/under cooked.

And rather than 'cause a scene', you eat it. And sometimes it works out that it's better than you expected but more often than not, each bite just makes you more annoyed at yourself for NOT returning the plate and at the end of the meal the food sits in your belly like a lead weight.

I don't know about you, but I tend to be that person.

One time I was out with friends and we had gone out for my birthday. I ordered a dish and told the server to hold the pilpel which is Hebrew for peppers. My dish arrives, swimming in red peppers. When I said something to the server he said "Yes, you did ask to hold the pilpel. This is gamba".

Silly me for forgetting that the Hebrew word for sweet peppers is different from 'regular' peppers. He took it back and brought it out several minutes later... someone had simply picked out the most visible red peppers off the plate. No, I wasn't expecting different.

More recently I had a bit of a breakthrough.

Thursday many of the Anglos in Ariel had a community meeting at CafeCafe. We met to discuss any issues the new Olim (immigrants) are having and to discuss activities and such. Since it was an official meeting, the city council gave us 300NIS to spend on food. Since we were about 20 people, we were allowed 15NIS to spend. Most folks ordered hot or cold drinks but a few of us (like me) were hungry. 2 people ordered sushi. 1 person ordered a sandwich. I ordered Belgian waffles.

It took about 20 minutes for the cold and hot drinks to start showing up. 10 minutes after that the sushi and sandwich arrived. Then my husband came and he ordered sushi. 10 minutes later, my husband had his sushi.

I joked that they had to go to Belgium for the waffles. I waited 5 minutes and asked a server where my waffle was. She said it was coming. A minute later another server placed a spoon and napkin in front of me and set another 2 spoons and napkins to the side.

I don't know about any of you, but I eat my waffles with fork and knife. And I felt it was a tad presumptuous that I'd be sharing with anyone.

It's now been 50 minutes since I ordered. Everyone else has long finished their drinks and even my husband was popping the last bit of sushi into his mouth. And finally a server arrives and sets my order down in front of me.

The plate is drizzled with the bad imitation maple syrup and the even worse imitation chocolate syrup so popular in this country. In the center is a fluffy-looking, golden waffle smothered in a mountain of whipped cream. On either side of the ridge of cream are golf ball sized scoops of ice cream - one chocolate, one vanilla. There's also a small boat of fruit salad (I think it was mostly diced apples). I think they serve it so people feel better about ordering a dish that has a bazillion calories.

I cut into the waffle with my spoon and it starts to slide so with my finger I hold it in place.

The waffle is cold. And not as in 'it's smothered in whipped cream and ice cream so it's transfer' cold. But like 'what do you expect, it's been sitting on the counter for 40 minutes' cold.

I called the server over and told her I was sending it back because it was cold. She mumbled an apology, took it away and came back a few minutes later to tell me they were going to make me another plate. I told her to forget about it because the meeting was over and everyone was finished eating.

Before going home, Zach and I went for pizza.