15 Down and Counting!

All this bean counting and portion measuring did bring a fantastic result! Drum roll, please: During the last four weeks my husband has lost 15 lbs. There was no wacky diet to follow and no magic trick, other than the right selection of ingredients, extremely tight portion control, and a 30-minute walk every evening. His…

Kitchen Queen

Originally posted on lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown:
Kitchen Queen Her souffles are a marvel and her cakes a work of art. Every single thing she cooks, a product of her heart. Her kitchen full of luscious smells and openness and levity, every disaster solvable and noted for its brevity. She surmounts each…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 3, Appetizers.

We are up to holiday appetizers and Part 3 of my story, Beautiful People (click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5).   3. Hassidic Jews – from Hassidism, a religious movement originated in Southern Poland in 18th century 4. Reds – supporters of the Red (Bolshevik, later Communist) Army 5. Whites –…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 1, Round Challah.

Years ago, when my grandmother was still around, it has occurred to me that only my mother and I knew her recipes, and we knew them by heart; they were not written anywhere. I decided to write them down, organizing them by Jewish holidays. Then my memories took over, plunging me into family stories, and…

The Rivers of Exile: Nine-Day Pie

Traveling through the streets of Paris with his entourage, Napoleon passed a synagogue and heard heart-wrenching wailing from within. “Why are my Jews crying? – asked the emperor, – What happened to them? “Sire, – rushed an aide-de-camp, “they are lamenting the destruction of their Temple.” “What? Their Temple was destroyed and nobody told me?…

Only Good Words for Savory Cupcakes

In a wonderful Russian play of the 60’s about love, kindness, and caring, there was a line that bothered me: “Even a cat appreciates a good word.” I could never understand the word “even” in this phrase – why “even a cat”? What about dogs? Birds? People, after all? My grandmother, may she rest in…

United Colors of a Rainbow

A beautiful shimmering symbol of peace, both a natural phenomenon and a Divine promise to protect and preserve the world, the rainbow is a living statement, a map, if you will, of what really transpires in our lives.  A rainbow is formed when pure white light refracts into seven shades. Red is nearest the original…

Light the Bonfire of Love with Chocolate Logs!

Happy Mother’s Day, Beautiful People! Our sages said, “Who is wise? One who learns from every person” (Ethics of Our Fathers, 4:1). The first person in our lives we have a chance to learn from is MOTHER. From her we learn kindness, caring, and most importantly, unconditional love. Sometimes, it’s not a biological mother who does…

Zucchini Caviar from Beyond the Sea

Tzar Ivan the Terrible was a cruel tyrant. Everybody knows that. And just like many things that “everybody knows” and thus nobody questions, the sobriquet “Terrible” should be taken with a grain of salt. Since we are in the middle of Pesach (Passover), I recommend Kosher for Passover Red Sea Salt. True, he did accidentally kill his son…

Eat Your Beer

Beer is liquid bread. They discovered it in Ancient Mesopotamia, when someone was grinding barley (some sources claim it was wheat), and the rain started. That “someone” ran into the house, got busy with other household chores, and forgot about the unfinished job. A few days later, she happened to walk by that place (yes,…

Success Factory

Your brain is busily working for you, manufacturing biochemicals called endorphins. Research has shown that those incredible little hormones infuse your blood stream and circulate through your entire body even when you act AS IF you were joyful, not only when you actually are happy. Think about it, says Rabbi Pliskin: your experience is totally imaginary, yet…