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Showing posts from September, 2012

Leftover Chocolate Coating?

If you’re dipping macaroons or any other dessert and you have extra chocolate left over at the end, grab some popsicle sticks (or skewers, or not, if you don’t have anything)… and dip whatever you’ve got handy, then pop it in the freezer! These are bananas and marshmallows; it would probably work with lots more kinds of fruit.  We had frozen chocolate-coated bananas all the time as kids, but Ted had never tried one and claims it’s his new favourite dessert.

Sukkos (First Days) Meal Plan 5773/2012

Meal Sunday Monday Tuesday Day   Out – W’s - MEAT TO BRING: honey cake! (big round one) D & P/V - DAIRY * Squash Soup Salmon puff pastry * Mushroom/Broc Crepes * Crunchy Cheese Apple Kugel Vegs kugel from Shabbos Any leftover desserts Night J’ s - MEAT Challah Salsa g fish Beef / Split Pea Soup Shepherd’s Pie Apple Kugel (makes 2 round) PAREVE Desserts: Smores cookie bars Honey Cake Mommy/J/B/ Sara? - DAIRY Challah Salsa g’fish Green beans salad Carrots salad Potto Corn Chowder Lasagna (zuke / spinch) DAIRY desserts Pumpkin Pie (easy!) Honey Cake Crossed out = done so far! * = Cook on Yom Tov

Pumpkin Noodles aka Lokshin (& Pumpkin Lokshin Kugel)

Don’t be disappointed… this is more of a state of mind than a recipe.  Okay, more of a technique , but that sounds all boring and pretentious. First, have some leftover pumpkin.  You can buy it tinned, but at this time of year, pumpkins are cheap and plentiful (not as cheap as they will be come November 1st!).  Roasting them is easy, so don’t bother boiling (that’s what I used to do – cut up & boil – why???).  Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, place face-down on a pan (I use tinfoil because they get messy).  Roast at whatever temperature your oven is at (300-350) until you can poke through the skin & flesh with a skewer.  Done! When cool (I just leave them in the oven overnight, where fruit flies can’t find them) purée in food processor. (while you’re waiting for them to cool, read this heartfelt entreaty about why you must buy a pasta maker ) Now for the noodles.  You won’t use the whole pumpkin for noodles, so maybe divide it in half, or into 1-cup portions,

Gavriel Zev’s Sukkos Signs

Thanks to Ted, the sukkah is up!   And thanks to GZ’s no-nonsense signmaking – none of those tacky bright colours or illustrations for him – our guests can truly be welcomed in style:   (this says “Happy Soces” = Sukkos) All who are hungry… come and eat!  Oh, wait – wrong chag!

Pareve Potchkedik Pumpkin Pastries

In case you weren’t aware, “potchkedik” means “almost too much trouble to bother.”  Remember that ALMOST!  Lots of steps and annoying and nonsense… but sometimes, very worthwhile. But at this time of year, my thoughts wildly turn to pumpkin and so I was sucked in by these “ Crispy Pumpkin Purses ” from Jamie Geller’s site, Joy of Kosher, and decided to make them for erev Yom Kippur.  Of course, as I said in this post , that might not exactly be the best time to savour delicious and effortful food… as my mother said the other day, “we used to just eat a boiled chicken; chicken, and chicken soup.”  Luckily, we now have “extras” in the freezer, so we can enjoy them another time. These are basically rice-stuffed samosas, with a few nice touches.  The filling is a mix of puréed roasted pumpkin and pre-cooked risotto.  Risotto should be fairly “creamy” when cooked (though pareve).  Because I was making these pareve, I used the non-dairy option of substituting mushrooms for the cheese in t

Tiny Toy Torah Envy – Crochet-Style

My friend Sara has made quite a name for herself online crafting this sweet little Tiny Toy Torah (instructions  here ; rather nice copycat here ), and being full of envy and wanting my kids to have a “different” plush Torah for simchas Torah, I just went ahead and crocheted one instead. One side is thicker than the other so you can roll the rectangular piece onto it and still tuck it into its case. (I have rolled it up tightly to hopefully “block” some of the wibbliness in the rectangular section.) What case, you ask???  Well, it’s more of a cloak, and it’s a work in progress.  Hopefully finished by motzaei Shabbos, because we don’t crochet on yom tov, so that’ll be my last chance.     It looks a little wonky in the pictures, but I think it’s rather sweet… blank klaf and all. 

Parsha Poem: Ha’azinu / הַאֲזִינוּ

דְּבָרִים / Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52: Read it ;  hear it ;  colour it . Printable PDF version here . No parsha narrative overview this week – we’ve been busy! Copywork and parsha activities available at this page – updated weekly. A song, sung by Moshe, at the end of his life: Listen, O heavens!  Listen, O earth! Hashem is the one who gave you your birth; Hashem is the Rock, He is great, strong and pure, Cling to Him now and your lives are secure. Though it may seem that He will destroy, Remember forever, you are His great joy; Our Father He is and our Master will be, So take heed of His words most seriously. If you forget now the promise He made, Your elders beseech, for His message betrayed; As no special deeds or accomplishments came To you before he bestowed His great name. He swept you aloft with His presence so regal, Carrying you higher, borne as an eagle; Gave you the best of all the land’s things, All the sweet foods and the riches it brings. And yet you

Birthday Baby Boy

It’s a problem, being born the day after Yom Kippur.  He asked last year and this year when his actual birthday starts, and I said that when he hears the shofar, he’ll know he’s 5.  But by then, most of us aren’t really feeling like partying, though we did attempt some minor gift-giving after the breaking-the-fast meal to accommodate my sisters’ weird schedules.  So this year, we decided to do his birthday beforehand instead, barring any decent Sunday party dates in the near future. Anyway, the point is, it’s NOT his birthday yet!!!  Why does that matter?  Because we have three more nights of nummies left before he turns 5 and then I’m done for good.  And yes, it’s a sentimental thing, and I think I’ll be okay, but even though he’s a big boy, I think we’ll both miss the closeness. Anyway, moving on: I love this expression on his face as the cake arrives.  “OMG, really, it’s really MY birthday?!?  It’s happening at last!!!” He has been talking up and planning his birthday as the Awes

The Two Frankies

So Gavriel Zev has this little friend named Frankie that he’s been running around with for over a year now.  He adores Frankie, who is a goofy little alien guy with big bug eyes and three wibbly things sticking off his head.  He was part of a set of baby links which have long vanished, and a few months ago, GZ removed the huge plastic links from Frankie’s hands, so now he’s just a regular doll.  Here’s a picture of a brand-new Frankie with some of the linkie things he came with when brand-spanking new. With his ever-cheerful (but not too cheerful) expression and perpetual willingness to get into and out of bizarre scrapes and difficulties, Frankie has become part of GZ’s hardcore group of “friends” (including Spot and a couple of monkeys) with whom he plays constantly – they have unbelievable adventures together.  You can see that these adventures have “aged” him significantly, but because he’s made of some type of polyester thing,  he’ll probably outlive us all. While he was playi

Naomi’s Parsha Narration – Good Shabbos!

I haven’t posted many of these lately, but we’re still doing them.  Naomi’s illustrations are more of the stick-person variety than the detailed scenarios she was sketching before, but they are still cheerful and fun.  Today, she wanted to write her own narration – I wouldn’t let her for the main narration (you can see my lousy handwriting down below), but she added her own caption on the left-hand side.  (the baby carriage floating over the king’s Torah isn’t really floating – it’s in the background ) She got the thing about needing “three things – a chumash, a gemara and a mishna” is from My First Parsha Reader, which said every Jewish home needs these things as part of the mitzvah of writing a sefer Torah.  And then Naomi started correcting me and said, “Every sentence must begin with a capital letter [I write in all-caps, but make the first letter bigger]… and end with a pyramid .”  She meant period, but I drew a little pyramid over the period after Mishna, just to be funny. A

Short Parsha Riddles: Nitzavim / נִצָּבִים

דְּבָרִים / Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 Click for printable PDF version . Don’t forget to read this week’s Parsha Poems (Nitzavim-Vayelech Poem 1 and Poem 2 ) and parsha overview .  Plus… copywork and parsha activities – something for every week of the year. פָּרָשָׁת וַיֵּלֶךְ Parshas Vayeilech דְּבָרִים / Devarim / Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30 [ 1 ] Moshe is old – at the end of his life, His days full of travel, of feuding and strife; Of birthdays, he’s already had good n’ plenty, And now his last age is __________! [ 2 ] If you were nearing your own end, You might for doctors quickly send, But if anything, Moshe has more need Of composers, with great speed!  What was he doing? [ 3 ] Of course, a good leader is so hard to find A leader for me-a and you-a and you-a But out of the people, one name comes to mind, And that’s Moshe’s brave young friend, __________! [ 4 ] BONUS! This Torah, that Torah – can’t you decide? How do we know which one’s bonafide? Well, it

Hands-On Explorations: Math (Geometry with Straws)

Following up on the theme of actually schooling at home, rather than just hanging around the house cooking, cleaning, and letting the kids run around outside like savages, which is what we’ve done a lot of lately… Yesterday, we did a quick, fun hands-on exploration of geometry which the kids sort of got into… though it’s not as easy as it looks.  The JUMP Math (Grade 2) book said to use straws, but honestly, straws are tough to work with because they’re flimsy and bend when you don’t want them to.  Popsicle sticks or skewers cut in half might be better, because they’re more rigid. Basically, you start with plasticine balls (about the size of an olive) and create a 2-d shape… Then “extrapolate” it into 3-d…     Mine was a pentagon, but Naomi’s 2-d shape was a square.  She grudgingly made a pyramid because I asked her to do that first, but what she really wanted was to make a cube… The cube was frustrating because she insisted on using ONLY pink plasticine, and we didn’t have ve