Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yo ho hum

One morning on my way to shul with the boys I hit upon the perfect Mishloach Manot to give dressed as pirates... ho hos and rum... yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Granted it would be home made ho hos and I'd never made a jelly/cream roll cake before but the recipes I found online (and the photos that went with them) were promising and seemed easy enough.

Yeah... well...

My first clue that I should abandon the idea came after looking in 4 different liquor stores and not finding the tiny bottles of rum I wanted. Heck, I couldn't even find SMALL bottle of rum. So I settled for... cup o'vodka.

Yo ho ho and a cup of vodka? Uh... ok.

Then it was time to make the ho hos. Rather than use any of the recipes I found online, I decided to go to my trust Spice and Spirit cookbook. I know roll cakes are pretty popular and figured they'd have a great recipe. I had Tzippy make it and um...

This is what we ended up with. It was like a Pesach cake disaster when the ingredients separate and you have a crust of sugar on top and this 1/2 inch thick layer of what looks and feels like what ballistics gel should. The only good thing about it was it rolled well and was thin.

So we went with one of the online recipes. Which rose too much. And then it stuck... the directions said to roll the cake once it's out of the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes. Then unroll, schmear and roll up again.

So I rolled it up but because it was so thick there was no way I was getting ho ho shaped slices. And then when I went to unroll it... it started coming apart and/or sticking. But I pushed through, got it unrolled, schmeared it and rolled it back up, using the cream to keep the bits stuck together.

So here's what it ended up looking like...

So... it's not a very ho ho and bottle of rum Mishloach Manot. But the cake is tasty and the cup of vodka is Kosher for Pesach...

Happy Purim everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And speaking of Carnivals...

The latest Kosher Cooking Carnival has been up for a few days. Excellent job!

JPIX - V'Nahafoch Hu!

When I volunteered to host the February JPIX carnival I was coming off the high of having hosted my first successful Kosher Cooking Carnival and having just seen Leora's JPIX carnival in all its thumbnaily glory, I was excited to step up to the challenge.

And then reality hit me upside the head when it became apparent that blogger has.. well.. 'teh stoopid' when it comes to certain HTML capabilities. Specifically having an image as the link.

Crazy, I know! The only thing people could suggest was for me to move my blog to another host such as Word Press... well, that's not going to happen at the moment.

So I resigned myself to posting the JPIX carnival less efficiently and less prettily than my predecessor.

This morning as I was planning this post in my head, I came up with 2 gimmicks that makes me feel better about posting an entry about photos with no actual photos... First of all it's Adar so we're all about "v'nahafoch hu" - doing opposite things! And second... Now you'll have to click on ALL the links to see the photos rather than simply squint at a thumbnail and see if it's something that interests you.

Oh wait. You mean you don't do that? Uh... anyway, on to the links!

phyllis has a beautiful Chanukah photo with Don't Let the Light Go Out posted at Ima on (and off) the Bima: Real-Life Jewish Parenting. This may have been featured in the previous JPIX, but it was sent to me too. In any event, it's worth the second look.

Batya has become a picture-taking addict it seems. And she's got a wonderful eye so they're all a pleasure to look at. Here are her submissions... Yes, It's A Jerusalem Landmark, A New One, Building, Natural Growth, Reflecting on Tel Aviv and Grey Days, Winter in Israel posted at Shiloh Musings and Great Room, Though Not For The Superstitious and "Seize the Day." Shoot! posted at me-ander.

Israel has great photos from a family trip to Mexico at Ech omrim “Trajineras de Xochimilco”? posted at The Weissers' Journey to Israel.

Leora presents a beautiful series of photos of Feeding da Birds posted at Here in HP.

G6 takes us back to Purim past... very past in Purim in the 1930's posted at Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.
Sharon A shows us More White Stuff - but not the kind you're probably thinking about posted at The Real Jerusalem Streets. In addition, she takes us to the Old City with Progress...Jaffa Gate.

And finally... there's my contribution... here's the aftermath of a 'Chefetz Chashud' and a little bit of excitement today posted at In the Middle on the Right. In addition my son has a pull up your pants moment while Investigating with Nana.

The next JPIX is in JUNE!!! So start snapping your photos and post away! Leora will once again be hosting so please submit your entries at the JPIX submission form.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All the news that's fit...

How to Be Israeli has a great post about the content on English-language Israeli news sites vs. the Hebrew Israeli news sites. She says to read the English sites one would think that all we care about is the Israeli-Arab conflict (not to mention politics, the 'settler issue' and the in-fighting among the religious).

My observation is that the English language sites are more like the NY Times while the Hebrew sites are like the NY Daily News...

So does anyone know where I can get a Daily News type English-language Israeli news site?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Little bit of excitement today

The boys and I went for our daily walk a bit earlier than usual because I needed to buy ingredients for the cheesecake I was planning on making for tonight's women's evening. On our way back I noticed a large insulated bag across the street that looked full.

Now for those of you who have never been to Israel there are a few things you need to know... abandoned bags are taken seriously here in Israel. You're supposed to call the police and often it ends up with the street being cordoned off and a sapper team called in and a little robot rolls up to the bag and sometimes it ends in a boom.

Usually, it's someone's forgotten groceries or lunch or laundry or backpack. Sometimes though it's much more sinister.

Now the truth was, when I saw the bag, I really didn't think it was anything serious but abandoned bags are a serious issue in Israel. So first I called a friend to make sure it's the police I need to call. And then I did. About 5 minutes later a couple of security trucks came by and then for the next hour at least (maybe even more), the street was blocked off while They decided what to do.

How do I know it was an hour?

Because soon after we got home (we only hung around until security showed up) I heard a commotion in the neighbor's front yard.

Now our neighbors have a dog they keep tied up in their front yard. The lead is only about a meter and half long. And the dog is a Shepherd of some sort. And the dog spends about 7 hours or more every day tied up like this.

Needless to say the poor boy is BORED. And like many dogs, he destroys anything he can reach when he's bored. For this pooch, it includes his dog house, the planters and the house's propane gas balloons and the metal connections.

Sunday and Monday it only was the dog house and the metal hood that goes over the gas balloons but today he managed to knock both of them over and disconnect one of them.

Did I mention this is propane?

Unfortunately I don't have any contact numbers for these neighbors (heck, I don't even know their last name) and I couldn't get into the front yard. And I didn't want to stay in the house with two tanks of propane laying around.

So I put the boys back into the stroller and off we went to the center to go to the police station in person and try and get them to help.

On our way there, we saw a police truck blocking the street and I looked back and sure enough, there was the bag I had called about an hour earlier. We got to the police station, I told them what happened with the gas tanks and the woman dispatched someone to take care of it. Just to give them some time though, we hung around for almost an hour before heading home.

Someone had removed both tanks into a corner but the dog had managed to tangle himself up in the metal pipes that feed the gas into the house. I saw there was a latch on the inside of the gate so I opened the gate, untangled him, gave him some water, moved the ruins of his dog house out of the way and ignored the poo and pee.

About 10 minutes later the man of the house came home and when I went outside to talk to him, he was of course blaming it all on the dog and saying they were most likely going to get rid of him.

Which really annoyed me because it's not the dog's fault he's bored.

Oh, and on our way back from the center, we saw this...

JOOC, for those of you reading this who live in Israel... would you or have you called in a 'chefetz chashud'?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spinach Noodle Kugel

This is so easy to make and my kids love it. Feel free to substitute frozen broccoli for the spinach.

8 oz elbow macaroni (or small shells)
2 10 oz packages frozen spinach
3 eggs
1 1/2 packages onion soup mix (about 6 tablespoons)
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup margarine or oil
1 can of mushrooms (optional)

Cook the macaroni and drain. Thaw the spinach.

Mix all the ingredients together. Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or into individual muffin cups and bake for 30-45 minutes.

Chicken-wrapped Kebabs

Whether you call it a cutlet or a schnitzel, here's an easy way to beef up (or lamb up?) your ordinary breaded chicken breast.

To feed 4-6 people you'll need:

2 pounds chicken breast that's been butterflied and pounded flat (usually will be 6 pieces)
1 lb package of defrosted, prepared kebabs - beef, lamb, spicy, whatever strikes your fancy and tastebuds (usually will be 9 pieces)
1 egg
seasoning - my favorites are garlic powder, sweet paprika and black pepper. Feel free to use whatever you like.
12 toothpicks

In a bowl, whisk the egg, about 1/8 cup or oil and 1/8 cup water and the seasoning.

In a plate, pour the breadcrumbs.

Take a chicken breast and wrap it around a kebab. Secure the chicken with a toothpick at the top and bottom.

Dip into the egg, shake off excess and then roll in the breadcrumbs.

Place on a well oiled cookie sheet.

When all the pieces are done, bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes then turn over and bake for another 15 minutes.

That's it!

Just be sure to remove the toothpicks before serving.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ebaying Momma

In an effort to bring in some much needed income, I've started to ebay Israeli headscarves.

New stuff goes up on Tuesdays.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I am Israel

Weather or not...

Since I usually get my local weather from Israel Meteorological Service, it didn't really bother me per se that Yahoo Weather stopped showing Ariel, Israel weather. I noticed they reorganized things so it became less convenient to get Ariel's weather (and try as I might I couldn't get it to save as my default weather. It kept giving me Sunnyvale, California).

What DID bother me though was it kept giving me Jenin, PA Occupied Territories as my nearest location.

Uh.. Jenin doesn't have a weather station. The nearest one to Jenin is... Ariel.

Well look, I could go on about this, but Omri Ceren over at Mere Rhetoric does it better.

If you'd like to see Jenin weather, look here. It's weird because I don't see any way to get to any of the "Pal.OccTerr" from the Yahoo weather page. When I click the link, it says "Weather > Palestinian Occupied Territories > West Bank > Jenin". If you click on the first weather, there's no POT choice. Plus on the 'West Bank' list, there's no Jenin...

Curiouser and curiouser...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

People Magazine: Duggars “won’t rule out having baby #20″ « No Longer Quivering

People Magazine: Duggars “won’t rule out having baby #20″ « No Longer Quivering

Very interesting POV from a former 'Quiverfuller'.

I wonder what the cases of pre-e, increased c-sections, complication, uterine rupture, micro preemies, etc. are int he Ultra-Orthodox communities where many women have more than 10 children.