Monday, December 24, 2012

December Kosher Connection - Chinese Food

I've posted this recipe before but was prompted to repost by the kind folks who run the Kosher Connection Link Up. This month's theme is Chinese Food and my yummy Pastrami Egg Rolls are always a hit at our Friday Night Table.


I begin by combining a can of stir fry vegetables, chopped fine, with some sauteed chopped onion and red cabbage and some finely diced pastrami. I seasoned it with soy sauce and some seasonings. This recipe is very flexible. I have, on occasion, added canned mushrooms as well. If you like it - ADD IT!  Then roll the mixture up in egg roll wrappers and fry them quickly in super hot oil.

The results are pleasing to both the eyes as well as the palate.







Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pirsum Project - Clever Camera Tricks


This clever photo comes to us via Annette from Chashmonaim.
Click on the photo to enlarge.
Her special lens created a magen david around each flame :)


Pirsum Project - Zos Chanukah in Har Nof



Thanks to Debbie for sending this lovely photo to round out this year's Pirsum Project!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Food Photo Friday - Gearing Up For An Engagement Party

These "simple" sugar cookies have become somewhat of a tradition for me for family simchas.
The problem is, that although the dough is simple and even the WRITING is (relatively) simple (if not dull and repetitive), the icing and outlining is quite tedious. 2-3 minutes per cookie x 100 cookies = you do the math.

Oh, and let's not forget that those little nonpareils which delicately outline each heart, skitter everywhere and I continue to step on them for days, no matter how often I sweep. I end out with the loveliest polka dotted soles of my feet.


They do, however, add a bit of fun, love and personalization to a simcha.




So if you ever want to attempt these cookies, consider yourselves forewarned ;)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pirsum Project - Enjoying the Light



Thanks SquasH (@EmesOrNT) for sending in this sweet photo of her son who sat enjoying the lights of Chanukah in that exact position for half an hour :)

Keep the photos coming! Email them to guesswhoscoming2dinner@gmail.com and tell me how/if you'd like to be credited. Extra props to the person who can take a nice outside photo of Washington Heights windows (I've never managed a good one...)


Chanukah Blog Party - Sweet Potato Leek Soup





Chanukah, and winter in general, is a time for soul-soothing, heart-warming comfort foods.

I love to whip up a batch of sweet potato leek soup for Shabbos Chanukah to be enjoyed with all the other delicacies reserved for this special Shabbos. (I still remember my grandmother preparing stuffed goose. I wonder if anyone does that anymore - or if it's even available.). 

This savory soup is surprisingly easy to prepare and even die-hard sweet potato abstainers are  pleasantly surprised. Garnish with homemade whole wheat dreidel croutons for a bit of fun.


SWEET POTATO LEEK SOUP

2 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 leeks, white and light green parts, well cleaned and chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 T salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I use substantially less, and have omitted for delicate stomachs)
32 oz broth
1/4 c parsley, optional


Heat oil and add onion garlic and leeks.
Let onions sweat for 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, salt and cayenne pepper. 

Mix and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broth and parsley. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer half an hour. Puree.



Please don't forget to send in your Pirsum Project menorah photos throughout the week as well and tell me how/if you'd like to be credited. (Search "Pirsum Project" on this blog to see some lovely photos from previous years - like here, and here, and here...)





Ready for more?

Welcome to our first ever Chanukah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It's traditional on Chanukah to eat fried treats, most notably doughnuts and latkes, and we've got a fabulous array of Chanukah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats. 





To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

2 copies of Susie Fishbein's new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
2 copies of Leah Schapira's  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 
2 copies of Esther Deutch's CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! 
Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite family Chanukah tradition.

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com


Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:


Latkes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can't Believe They're Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts:

Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi's Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn't Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Zaatar and Olive Oil Popcorn

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:


Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who's Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita's Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pirsum Project - Nazi Germany 1933

This poignant photograph has apparently been circulating for a while, but this is the first time I've ever seen it so I thought many of my readers may not have seen it either.

This menorah was in an apartment window overlooking the town hall of Kiel, Germany, bedecked with its Nazi flag (c. 1933-1939).


It is quite a powerful image.

Pirsum Project Begins - First Light

Thanks to twitter friend @SShaindyS for kicking of this years Pirsum Project with her photo of light 1.
Keep sending in your photos to guesswhoscoming2dinner@gmail.com
Get creative!
I'll put in my personal request.
For years now, I've been trying to take the perfect shot from OUTSIDE of all the windows lit, without  much technical success :)




Monday, December 3, 2012

She Put The "Guess Who" In Coming To Dinner...

Sometimes I think these kinds of things happen only to me.
I might have mentioned that my son is engaged ;).
You already know that we like to have lots of Shabbos guests at our table.
This weekend was slated to be no exception.
We were looking forward to sharing our meal with three lovely ladies -  A, R and "R's friend from out of town", whom we had not yet met.
When Joey got engaged, Kayla of course, rounded out the guest list.
What I didn't know (and apparently nobody else did either), was that purely by coincidence, "R's friend from out of town" turned out to be none other than KAYLA'S ROOMMATE! 
When R's friend arrived at R's house on Friday, she excitedly told R that her roommate just became a kallah - - - to none other than a Washington Heights boy! R was curious to know which WH boy had gotten engaged this week. It was quite amusing to find out that their long ago scheduled Friday night dinner, was at the very home of the engaged couple!
Happy surprises, and a few laughs, all around.
And around here... you truly never quite know who's coming to dinner!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I NEVER IMAGINED HOW THIS BLOG WOULD IMPACT MY LIFE...

I started this blog simply for myself. It was a way to keep a journal of sorts - a chronicle at first, mainly of the guests we had for Shabbos. Later, it morphed into a way for me to express my feelings about family, friends and the community I hold so dear.

But as you will soon see, this little blog took on a life of its own and grew. It grew to have more impact on my life and on the lives of others than I ever imagined.

 It began with a few emails:
"Thank you so much. I haven't heard the Yekkishe niggunim of my youth in a long time. It takes me back and makes me happy." 
"Your table photos look lovely. Do you have space for two more this Friday night?"
I met so many new people and suddenly I was a member of TWO beautiful communities - the one in which I currently reside, and the great online Jewish community that spans the globe.  I met countless bloggers and followers, many who eventually arrived as guests at my Shabbos table.  I received emails that proved the "six degrees of separation" rule over and over again:
Commenter YDL recognized his sister's creative arches in a family wedding photo I posted.
Long time follower and commenter, Mrs. S. recognized my nephew in a photo I posted and came to realize that even though she thought she was reading a stranger's blog all this time, we are actually related by marriage!
And THEN one day came the message that would by far have the most impact on our family than any other arising out of this blog.  The aforementioned Mrs. S. - a woman who began reading my blog without  knowing me at all, who is living in Eretz Yisroel, who I likely would never have met if not for this blog - contacted me, and wondered if Joey might be interested in dating her cousin.

People have criticized me in the past for blogging so much about my family. In this instance, Mrs. S. felt that the blog gave her a good sense of who we were and what we stood for.

I now realize what a great debt I owe to this blog. Without this blog, Joey and Kayla might never have met.
Think about THAT all you blog naysayers ;)

Oh, and......



Kayla and Joey!!!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Discovering Columbus

I had hoped to blog about this earlier, so that you'd have more time to check it out yourselves, but I only made it out to Columbus Circle yesterday, to view the clever art exhibit entitled "Discovering Columbus".
You might have seen the statue of Columbus towering more than 75 feet over the area,



 but you surely never had a chance to examine it from this vantage point:





Japanese artist, Tatzu Nishi, came up with the idea of making statues perched high above the ground (much more prevalent in Europe than in the States), accessible from a most unique perspective, by building a living room on a scaffold, around the statues.

For his first public project in the United States, he built a fully furnished living room around Columbus, complete with sofas, chairs, bookshelves, a television, lamps and draperies on the windows. The scaffolding will serve the additional purpose of allowing for maintenance on the statue when the exhibit closes.




Tickets to, and more information about this free exhibition, which sadly closes December 2, are available here.

How did we get up there, you ask? We climbed the stairs! (Though an elevator is available upon request )




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Not Because It's a Holiday or Anything......

If you are thankful that kosher turkeys are 30% of the price of kosher chickens this week, I present to you the best turkey carving video I have ever used. (I'm thankful for that too...)



... and a table photo because I think it is so cute that Avram found ladybug candles to match the ladybugs on the vase I painted.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life By The (Children's) Book

Though I definitely pride myself on trying to live my life by following the blueprint set forth in THE Book, once in a while I have to smile at how the wisdom and truisms laid forth in children's books become part of our lexicon and help guide us through or merely find the most succinct way to express and define, the hills and valleys of life.

Take this week for instance. I arrived at work one day to find that an event which had taken place the previous night, had really left the premises in a state. All I could think of ways, "... and this mess is so big and so deep and so tall, that we cannot clean it up, there is no way at all...." (give yourself props for knowing the source immediately)

Then last evening, after a brutal workday following a crazy week of muddling through without the best office-mate I've ever had the privilege of working with - I was faced with the daunting task of trying to rally my energy for a much needed exercise workout. I began to channel my inner Watty Piper - "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."

What is it about these children's books that resonate with us decades after they cease being a nightly bedtime ritual?

What phrases have stayed with YOU through the years?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Flash Fun Chanukah Giveaway Contest!


Chanukah is fast approaching and it provides so many opportunities for creating family traditions.
In my house, we decorate the light fixture, hang 20+ year old dreidel cutouts, lovingly created with Erica's playgroup, on the front door, hang my 1930s photo of my father and uncle playing dreidel in Germany and eat sizzling hot and crispy latkes (best fresh from the pan!).

It's also time to bring out all the assorted Chanukah kitsch, dreidel hand towels and of course - remind you all to send in your menorah photos for the third annual Guess Who's Coming to Dinner PIRSUM PROJECT!! Yes, photos are once again being solicited. Email your lit menorah photos to guesswhoscoming2dinner@gmail.com and let me know how/if you'd like to be credited. Share the beauty. Share the light!

And now, just in time for Chanukah, there is a NEW WAY to have some fun and win cash and prizes, with the Chanukah House Contest!  New from Manischewitz is the Chanukah House Kit, which comes with everything needed to build and personalize a tasty Chanukah house including cookies, icing, and decorating accents.



It’s simple to enter. Participants submit a photo of their completed Chanukah House to the Manischewitz Facebook page for a chance to win prizes of money or Manischewitz products.

Here at Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, the contest just got EVEN EASIER!
Enter to win the entire kit shipped directly to your door in time to assemble and enter your photo before the December 15th deadline!

You can earn multiple entries to this random drawing by posting in the comments section in any or all of these ways:
  • Visit the Manischewitz website, and share a favorite item, or an item you would like to try, or a recipe that looks good by posting in the comments section of this blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your Facebook page or blog and link me to the page, either by placing the link in a comment or emailing me the link and commenting that you've done so.
  • Link this blog post and tweet about this giveaway and (likewise) send me the link to the tweet.
  • If you refer a friend to this contest and he/she mentions your referral in his/her comment, you get an additional entry as well.
Contest closes Wednesday, November 29th at 9 pm EST and is open to US residents only.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We're Not All Bad

I've heard people postulate in recent weeks as to the causes of Hurricane Sandy. I've heard fire and brimstone sermons and read numerous articles, chiding Kal Yisroel for a multitude of sins which our self-proclaimed prophets say have precipitated this horror. (I'm not even going to comment on my thoughts regarding the trauma inflicted on people who have sustained significant damage to their homes, who are then forced to hear that it is due to their own evil ways....)

I would like - VERY HUMBLY - to put forth an idea that is quite the opposite. 
We live in a world that can easily make us lose faith in humanity and in goodness. Sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to illuminate all that is RIGHT in the world. People are not all bad. Before, during, and after this storm, we have been inundated with stories and images highlighting tremendous acts of chessed and generosity, depicting all that is RIGHT with this world. And did you ever notice that acts of humanity are contagious? 

Maybe - just maybe - it's time we stop looking for the worst in people and start noticing the BEST in people.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Food Photo Friday - Sushi Gefilte Fish

Sushi is just one of those things.....

But whether you love it or you hate it, you must admit that there have been some beautiful presentations done with sushi.  I've been at functions where the artistic presentations have mimicked stained glass windows, flowers and more.

Enter the lowly gefilte fish... a Shabbos staple in many households.
I'm always on the lookout for creative plate-scapes.
Often I make tricolor gefilte fish.
Sometimes I simply decorate the plate around the fish as I did here.

So when I saw a recipe for sushi gefilte fish from the newly published Chic Made Simple cookbook, I knew I had to try it! (I have not been compensated for this quasi-review, but if Feldheim wants to send me a free cookbook for this heartfelt recommendation, I certainly won't send it back ;) )

What a fun way to serve gefilte fish this is! Aside from the nori, the ingredients are all traditional - fish, carrots, red peppers.... 
Let's hope it tastes as good as it looks! (Actually, I know it does already, because I trimmed the ends off the rolls to make them sharp and even and I couldn't resist tasting the "shnips")



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Summer Town of my Youth...

I know this blog has a bit of a "nostalgia factor" for some of my readers.

I thought I'd share this segment that aired on today's Today Show, about the beautification of Tannersville, NY - the summer retreat for generations of Breuer's members.

 
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rock the Vote

Now I've seen EVERYTHING.

This was sent in by a reader whom I'm choosing to keep Anonymous, because even if he doesn't care, HE SHOULD care about wasting his vote this way ;)

(Though full disclosure - our state is a done deal anyway. His vote wouldn't matter)
Thanks for the "vote" of confidence though!




Election Day Poetry


Guest Post By Anonymous....

THE ROAD I NEVER WANTED TO TAKE
By: Not Robert Frost

Today’s the end of all the trauma
If you’re alive and not a zombie
You know now ends a year of drama
Between Mitt Romney and Obama
You know Election Day’s upon thee
Both Democrats and Republicans
Irritating us through 2012
Once you have tossed your filled ballot in
At last a brief respite begins
As they’ll now just fight amongst themselves
My election headache will subside
Brought on by ads you cannot escape
Shouting for us to be on their side
Yelling that the opponents have lied
Now their dull roar shall at last abate
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Four years from now when we will regress
But I’ll step into that booth and I-
I’ll check the box next to one guy
And that vote still matters nonetheless

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Scene Around Town


This mural just popped up recently near my home. Somebody is trying to create a little beauty in an otherwise drab little alleyway. More power to him!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh Nuts! Oh No!


I'm not the sort of person that you would describe as super sensitive about this sort of thing.
Which is why, when I find myself having a viscerally negative feeling, I wonder what others must be feeling.
I open this up to discussion from you.
Does the above website offend you?
Why or why not?



Friday, September 7, 2012

On Opening Presents Early

When I was younger I had a bit of a problem waiting for presents.

I have a vivid memory of sitting with my grandfather in his living room and the postal carrier rang the doorbell with a package for him. My grandfather was a generous supporter of a certain Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel and as a "thank you" to him each year, they would send him a hand selected, especially fine esrog from there. My grandfather was always so happy and proud.
"Aren't you going to open the box right now Opa?", I asked as he sat back down peacefully in his chair with a smile playing on his lips.
"In a little while", he answered.
"But how can you wait??!", I asked incredulously, knowing how special this gift was for him.
He chuckled. "When you're my age, everything can wait."
I'm not sure all these years later whether he said more, or whether it was implied or even learned later on my own, but sometimes the wait and anticipation is part of the fun.

Of course I didn't learn this lesson immediately.... Ask Avram about the year (I'm guessing about 22 years ago...) when Avram bought me a blouse that I had admired in a store but was too frugal to buy for my birthday. I not only found my gift's hiding spot prior to my birthday, but TRIED IT ON, with the skirt I had imagined it going with! (I rationalized that in case I didn't like it, I should have my "game face" prepared...)

So we can agree that I've come a long way. I no longer even LOOK for my hidden presents, let alone open them. I truly have learned that anticipation is more than half the fun.

So you can forgive me this one minor indiscretion.
I bought myself a Yom Tov present. I've admired it for a long time (and therein lies my fulfilled anticipation) and when I was out Yom Tov shopping for my family, I decided that I deserved to buy this for myself as well.
It's a beautiful, yet simple, hand made glass challah board.
Tonight we have a full table for dinner.
I couldn't help myself.
It looks so pretty........


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Sounds of Elul

I cannot begin to tell you the calm, satisfied feeling that washed over me last night, as I was elbow deep in preparing enough stuffed cabbages to hopefully last through Simchas Torah while simultaneously turning two roasts in my oven, as I listened to Avram preparing his Yom Tov davening in the other room.
Call me sexist but my first inclination was, "This is how things should be....".
Growing up, my father being the shul's Baal Tokeah, the first sounds of Elul were of course the sounds of tekias shofar. The deep tones of my father's yekkish teruos easily conjured up sounds of repentant sobs. (For those new to the blog, I will once again embed my shofar video at the end of this post.)
Shortly after I got married, the sounds changed a bit. They were the haunting melodies of the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur davening that Avram was preparing.
(Click the link below for a nice rendition of Lewandowski's Zocharti Loch)
Of course in later years as my son took on the tradition of his grandfather, the house was once again filled with both sounds.
And through all this, my kitchen provided the olfactory evidence that Yom Tov was on its way.
Sounds and smells.
Two powerful triggers.
I like it this way.



Monday, September 3, 2012

On Mesiras Nefesh....

Some people truly confound me.
I was at a simcha last week and found myself sitting next to someone who should definitely know better. I was introduced to a woman who has strong familial ties to Washington Heights and to the Breuer's community.
Our conversation went something like this:
Her - "So where do you live?"
Me - "Washington Heights."
Her - "Wow! Washington Heights? That's so wonderful! Such MESIRAS NEFESH!!!!....."
Mesiras Nefesh?
Seriously?
I questioned this woman as to when the last time she had even set foot in the Heights. I've lived here all my life and frankly find it cleaner, nicer and safer than when I was growing up. Yes, the shul is quite a bit emptier, but does that constitute mesiras nefesh??
I have merely chosen to stay in a shul that I feel comfortable with, in a community that has "cradle to grave" service that is unparalleled. I have stayed close to my roots, because it works for me. I chose to raise my children in surroundings where rich and poor live side by side and I dare you to tell them apart - and where the most silent chesed abounds. I didn't leave "just because everybody else was doing it". You may have noticed but I've never been an advocate of doing something just because the masses were.
I think it was a little bit of escapee guilt talking if you ask me.
This woman really needs to contemplate what TRULY qualifies as mesiras nefesh.
Living in Washington Heights without a backyard (or living in Monsey without a pareve dishwasher), does NOT qualify!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gut Chodesh


For more details on how to make either of these challah styles, check out my blog posts from last year regarding Croation Star Challahs and Hashtag Challahs.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Go Get The Dictionary...!"

I'm not sure that I've ever mentioned this before on the blog, but the title of this blog post was a familiar refrain heard at many a family dinner in my house growing up.
It was often to settle a dispute about the correct usage or pronunciation of a word among family members that prided themselves on making the most of our glorious language.
The phrase was most often uttered by my father, and if the dictionary proffered did not agree with his stance, he insisted that the complete Oxford English Dictionary (a set of two volumes) be removed from its slipcase and examined with its included magnifying glass (I kid you not! In order for it to fit into two volumes, the print was MINISCULE!) for the definitive answer to the question at hand.
In our house we rely on Mr. Webster most of the time, but last weekend a dispute broke out that I feared would not end well.
It centered around the definition of one word.
Two members of our family had definitions for the word.
The two definitions were WORLDS apart.
Who was right?
The word? PORTMANTEAU
The definitions:
  • A suitcase
  • A word derived from combining two different words
So who was right?
They both were!
I wonder how such a word can have two such divergent definitions.... chortle.... (that's a portmanteau, by the way.... chuckle+snort)


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Suspect Siyum Scavenger Photo



(HT: Yekke Wannabe)

First Siyum Scavenger Photo

We've got a non-white shirt sighting.
What can you knock off from the list?

Siyum Hashas Photo Challenge


It has been suggested to me that I conduct a Siyum Hashas Photo Scavenger Hunt to keep my readers occupied during some of the longer speeches. (A good Mommy always comes prepared with a bag of activities....).

You know.... challenge you to get photos of such things as:
  • The guy in the colored shirt
  • The guy holding the most feminine umbrella
  • The guy sleeping
  • Best use of Siyum Hashas Poncho
  • Best concession stand photo
  • Anyone caught on the wrong side of the mechitza
  • Anyone scalping tickets or selling souvenirs
  • Any man entering a restroom marked Ladies, and vice versa
  • Picture of the guy trying to start "the wave"
  • Best overall photo of the evening
Send all entries, along with how/if you want to be credited to guesswhoscoming2dinner@gmail.com

Happy snapping!

(suggestions for scavenger photos will be updated throughout the day. Please feel free to email me suggestions to the address above, or post in the comments section)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What It's All About....

I'm not quite sure why this story moved me so much more than the myriad of other touchingly beautiful videos shared on YouTube and the like.
Maybe it's because I work with seniors.
Maybe it's because I value the family unit so much.
Or maybe just because this is what it's all about......

Sergey Kadinsky is a "good boy". He could be spending every Shabbos doing what is fun and convenient for him. Instead he's doing what is right.

I hope you find this as touching as I did.
I hope it inspires all of us to go out and do something meaningful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Nine Days Cooking Conundrum

My family doesn't eat a lot of meat as a rule, so our dinner menus this week look much like they do every week.

Yet, all over the world, Jewish cooks are scouring recipe websites and consulting their friends for 9 Days Ideas. What I find puzzling, is that many people are going out of their way to prepare elaborate and sumptuous dairy treats - many people even borrowing from their Shavuos menus.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me. But doesn't this sort of contrary to the POINT?
Thoughts?

Friday, July 13, 2012

All Ready For That Special Feeling That Only Shabbos Brings...


Food Photo Friday - Sweet & Tart Summer Refresher

Hot summer Friday nights simply beg for cool, refreshing desserts.
I love the look of this one:
Trader Joe's Vanilla Soy Cream (I have no stock in the company, but on this product alone, I should! You'll never TOUCH Toffuti ever again....) topped with fresh blueberries. On the side is my quick and easy Strawberry Rhubarb dessert - crisp and tart, which a few diced peaches for color.



So save room for dessert! Or better yet - eat if first!!!

Scene Around Town - Subway on the Street



I love photos of the unexpected.
I've seen these subway cars being hauled down the street at night, but the photos I managed were never quite good enough.
Now, I'm not quite sure why they couldn't transport these trains on the existing underground rails that they ride on, but I thank the MTA for a wonderful and interesting photo op ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Scene Around Town - Manhattanhenge by the GW Bridge


As opposed to popular belief, the New York street grid is not on the North-South axis. It is actually 30 degrees off. But twice a year the sun's axis is parallel to the street grid. On those days, the sun sets straight down the street so if you go to the far east end of a street that goes all the way across the island (like 34th or 42nd Streets) you can watch it sink straight down across the whole city.

I thought it might be fun to see how it looks in my neighborhood.
I hope you like the results.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scene Around Town - July 4th Edition

I've been neglecting you.
I've been meaning to post about events and activities going on around town this summer.
I have been taking photos so I may still post them in the future, but last night's fireworks display must jump to the top of the line.
I made a new discovery (after last years discovery how to avoid the long wait in Manhattan).
This year I wanted to view fireworks from closer up.
I wanted to "feel the boom", not just see the show (... fun science experiment though. Since light travels faster than sound, there is a noticeable delay between each flash and that heart thumping "boom").
So we went out to Hudson Park, on Echo Bay in New Rochelle.
We were right under the explosions.
One of the most amazing moments though was watching an airplane cross our field of vision just as a particularly full round of fireworks were launched. What it must have looked like to those passengers!
See the video below. The plane crosses the screen at the very beginning about 3/4 of the way down the frame.



It sure beats this year's San Francisco Display......

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We Have A Winner!

Please check the comments section of the myheadcoverings.com giveaway post for details. The winner has one week to contact me, at which point if I have not heard back, I will choose another winner.

Monday, June 18, 2012

MyHeadcoverings - A Three Generation Review & Giveaway



You might remember a while back I did a review for myheadcoverings.com
The kind folks over there have offered me the opportunity to do so again - with a twist.

I present to you all a three generation review and giveaway - proving that myheadcoverings.com truly does have something for everyone.

Since the product that I still wear the most from my last review is the pre-tied, I decided to try two of those again. This time I tried a sparkle swirl one, similar to the appliqued one that I own, and an Israeli pre-tied as well. Israeli tichels are all the rage now but tying them can take a small amount of skill and time. I like to be able to "grab and dump" so the idea of an Israeli pre-tied sounded intriguing.
I chose the purple sparkle swirl because the black one was too.... well.... black. And the silver and blue seemed a bit too flashy to me. I think this snood will become my new favorite. It fit snugly and looks so pretty.
Now the Israeli pre-tied will take a bit more finesse... The fabric is INCREDIBLY light, making it a wonderful choice for summer, but figuring out how to create some of those fancier buns and wraps may take me a bit of practice. Good thing it's a pre-tied. Because it looks lovely just as it is, with the tails hanging long. That also fits well with my aforementioned "grab and dump" styling ;) .

My daughter Erica chose the studded beret/short snood in navy which she plans on wearing as a snood. She reports that it’s a very comfortable and light weight knit which should be great for the summer. The studs on the snood give it just the right amount of sparkle - noticeable but not overly flashy. This is definitely a snood that she will wear on a regular basis and she's even considering buying it in another color.

Now little granddaughter Kayla has been wishing for a pretty white headband to go with her summer dresses, and myheadcoverings.com has a lovely assortment of jewelry and hair accessories for the little ones. She settled on the flower headband with sequins and gem and when prompted, said the following about it:
“It’s so pretty and I want to keep it. It’s so sparkly and so shiny. It’s so comfortable and I want to wear it.”

Now once again, what would a review be without a giveaway? We will be giving away a $20 credit towards any item on the site. Many items are less, so you can get them free. If you'd like a more expensive item, simply pay the balance. If you'd like a chance to win, simply visit MyHeadcoverings.com and leave a comment here telling me what your favorite product is, with a link. I will choose one winner at random on Monday June 25th, after 9 pm.

In addition, as an extra gift to all my blog readers, My Headcoverings has set up a coupon code just for the readers of this blog. Simply enter the code "dinner10" at checkout, for 10% off your entire purchase. This code will be valid for the next 14 days.

So go forth and shop! :)
And be sure to share this giveaway with your friends.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Food Photo Friday - Deli Wraps

The Shabbos table in the summer time can get pretty warm.
Especially if you are like us, and serve hot soup 52 weeks a year.
That's why I like to make these appetizers on occasion on Friday nights. They usually make enough for leftovers to double as additions to the main dish of a cold Shabbos lunch meal.
Deli wraps are very versatile with regard to ingredients.
I like to buy two different flavor combinations, more for color than for taste. Pictured here are Sundried Tomato and Spinach Wraps.
I lightly spread a layer of Hellman's Sandwich Spread onto 2/3 of the wrap, then add a mixture consisting of bagged salad mix, slivered sundried tomatoes and smoked turkey slices pulled apart into pieces.
I then roll them tightly and wrap in foil for several hours.
Each full sized wrap is then cut into 4 segments.
As you can see they make a very pretty plated presentation... doggie knife rests are optional ;)