Monthly Archives: January 2011

Mikvah Question

We took a selection of kids to Chuck E Cheese yesterday to play on the machines. Don’t get me started on the appropriate-ness of it all – I already discussed that over here.

When you go in they stamp your hand with an ultraviolet number, the same number as everyone in your group, so that you don’t leave with someone else’s child. Anyhow. If you cannot see the number that is stamped on your hand, is it a chatzitzah or not? Do you have to attempt to scrub it off if you are preparing to immerse on the same day as you got stamped? Do you have to invest in an ultra violet light reader to see if indeed you were able to remove the stamp?

This is actually a serious question. It went through my mind yesterday as I was mindlessly tailing our 8 year olds through the place….

French Toast – KoD style

I have been pushed out of the kitchen when it comes to making French toast. See, apparently, the kids feel that the KoD makes it better than I do, even though I was the one who taught him how to make it. There’s gratitude for you!!

Problem is, though, that we are trying to go low fat over here in the royal palace, and French Toast is usually fried up in oil or butter – mucho fat!!

SO my oh so smart husband decided to come up with way to make it lower in fat but just as tasty. Enter our oh so trusty grilled cheese maker thingamajig. Apparently you can use it to scramble eggs too…..Who would have thought??!!

Here follows his recipe. It is truly delicious. Oh and I have to say that he only makes French toast from leftover challah that I have baked. Click here for my challah recipe.

For 4 slices – two servings – you will need:

2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk – obviously the lower the fat content in the milk the better.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 thick slices of challah – 3/4 to 1 inch
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
Cooking spray

Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl. Put bread slices in a 9 x9 baking pan. Pour egg mixture over the slices in the pan. Turn bread over and leave until all the mixture is absorbed into the bread – about 5 minutes. While you are waiting, preheat the grilled cheese maker. When it is hot (green light is on) spray it liberally with the cooking spray. Put two slices of the bread on the grids and close the lid and lock. French toast is ready when green light comes back on.

We like it with syrup, the KoD likes to put yogurt on his, some just sprinkle confectioner’s sugar. What toppings do you like?

Fire Alarm Works!!

I don’t often make potato kugel. I hate peeling potatoes. My hands get all starchy and I just hate to do it. But the KoD asked me, and I couldn’t say no to him – he doesn’t ask that much of me.

I must have put too much oil in the dish, because half way through the cooking process there was smoke billowing out of the oven. I rushed to turn it off and open windows. I checked the oven – there was a lake of smoking oil on the bottom.

Then the fire alarm starting to beep. It’s connected to our house alarm. Um, how do I shut it off?

I called the KoD who is running errands with my two oldest sons. He answered on speakerphone (either that or my voice was so loud they all heard me) in a jovial tone. I blurted out “How do I turn the fire alarm off??” and heard raucous laughter from my young progeny.

The alarm company called me, we figured it all out, and the kugel looks like it may still be edible. The windows are open, the alarm has stopped beeping, and I am about to braid my challahs. Will turn the oven back on once I have mopped up the oil on its floor and once the smoke has dissipated.

Oh, and the kid that yelled to me from the sofa – “I think that’s the fire alarm” – thanks for not getting up to check that I wasn’t on fire. You rock.

I will NEVER live this down. I can just see it now…. Sigh.

18 years

On Saturday night I will be lighting a candle in memory of my father. It will have been 18 years since he passed away at the Good Samaritan Hospital here in Monsey.

This time of year always finds me in a reflective mood. I have written before (Lessons of the Fathers, Introspection, Mixed Emotions) of my relationship or lack thereof with my Dad, and even though I know it’s useless, I always wonder what if… If he were still alive, wouldn’t he be totally thrilled that I and the boys had moved to Monsey?! If he were still alive, what would I have called my second son (who I named after him)? If he were still alive, would we have any kind of relationship? Would 18 years of me as an adult have been enough to forgive him and forget the long years of little to no contact? Would my maturity have allowed me to move on and build a new relationship with him? But he’s gone. It doesn’t hurt as much now as it did then, but this little girl desperately wanted a relationship with her Daddy – and never had it. I was blessed with the family I had – my mum and my brothers. But there was always something (someone?) missing.

A friend of mine recently lost his biological / birth father. This friend was adopted soon after his birth and didn’t know his bio family growing up. He didn’t have any real connection to this man, yet the person who was instrumental in his conception is dead. I can kind of imagine the conflicting emotions – not to depth that my friend feels them, obviously – as I had a father who was not part of my life in any major way. My friend, however, was blessed with an adoptive family who loved him and accepted him and gave him a place to belong. He has a dad and a mom and plenty of siblings. When I heard his news, I felt his pain and his confusion. There is no guide book for how one is supposed to feel in such a situation. ES – our thoughts are with you at this time.

I have decided that I will try to focus on the positive. What I learned from my relationship with my Dad has enabled me to make sure, that even though I and my ex are divorced, that he is a major player in the children’s lives. Of course, that only would work if he wanted to be so invested, but BH he totally is invested and wants to be as big a part of their life as possible. The boys are so close with their Abba, and I try to do all in my power to keep that connection strong, to keep that bond. I don’t want them ever to turn around and say that I kept them from having a relationship with him.

My kids love their father, and also are blessed to have a great relationship with their stepdad, the KoD, who is a great Dad in his own right. Such positive male role models for my boys to emulate. They are so blessed.

So, I will honour my father’s memory on Saturday night and Sunday, and thank him for the gift of life, and I will take a few moments to appreciate all that I have in this world.

GIVEAWAY!! I must be crackers!!

Manischewitz wants to give one lucky In The Pink blog reader some yummy Tam Tams!! Why? Well, because they are wonderful and nice and also because they are celebrating the launch of SIX new Tam Tam flavours. How are they celebrating? By giving YOU a chance to win oodles of cash in their competition described below! In order to be the lucky winner of a box of Tam Tams and a box of Tiny Tams on my blog – leave me a poem or cute little rhyme about why you like crackers and I will choose my favourite one and you will get a free box of Tam Tams in the mail. MY Contest Ends Monday Jan 31st at 6pm EST.

But the other contest runs longer. Here’s the info on the main competition:

Tam Tam lovers are invited to think outside the box and enter the “How Do You Tam Tam?” contest. The purpose is to demonstrate the many innovative ways this six-sided cracker can be served and enjoyed.

One of America’s favorite snack crackers are now in a bigger pack size and better than ever- debuting vibrant new packaging along with 20% more crackers for the same price in Original, Everything, Garlic, Onion, Unsalted, and the new and latest— Sesame flavor! These crowd-pleasing Tam Tam crackers are even better for you with no Trans Fats and are now available in a larger 9.6 oz pack size. So whether you put out your favorite dip or eat them straight out of the box, you and your guests can enjoy snacking a lot longer. The 9.6 oz. size is available with a suggested retail price of $3.69.

To celebrate this exciting Tam Tam relaunch, from December 1, 2010 through February 15, 2011, consumers are invited to use any of the six available Tam Tam flavors to add excitement to their everyday favorite recipe. Whether you simply spread a little “schmear” on top, make a double decker sandwich, use it as crunchy coating for main dish recipes or have your very own unique recipe, let us know about it!

The top 10 recipes will be featured on both the new Tam Tam website at http://www.tam-tams.com and the Manischewitz Facebook Page. There will be the one Grand Prize Winner who will receive a $500 American Express gift certificate along with a basket of Manischewitz products. The other nine Finalists will each receive a $50 American Express gift certificate and a basket of Manischewitz products as well. Winning entries will be based on originality, creativity, appearance, ease of preparation and adherence to theme.

Enter and Win!!

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

Delayed Reaction

I understand that they had to call me. I do. But now I am panicking and having the shakes even though I know he is ok. One of the school buses was involved in a minor accident this morning, all the kids were checked out by the nurse and they are all fine. The car that hit the bus – those people are fine too… Thank God! The nurse said most of the kids were not even aware of what happened.

Probably legally they had to call me? Nurse said it was a courtesy call and not to worry. Of course now I cannot wait for my child to come home and let me look at him and make sure he really is ok. Why did they call me? I am shaking….

My heart just needs to slow down a bit….

Man v Food

So in my job as professional foodie, I immerse myself in food – recipes, blogs, magazines, websites, and even TV shows. Luckily I don’t have to eat everything that I write about or I would be the size of a house.

Adam Richman

One show I came across has me seriously addicted – it’s called Man v Food. Adam Richman (judging by the Star of David around his neck he seems to be an MoT) hosts this show where he travels the US of A looking for “pig-out joints” and tries to beat certain restaurant challenges. We just finished watching our way through the second series on Netflix. We are watching Adam gain weight from episode to episode.

He eats things like a 12 inch high burger – 12 patties with cheese and veggies on a bun; wings so hot you can see the steam exiting every single pore on poor Adam’s face; eating a burger covered with sauce so hot it’s called “Shut Up Juice”! And those are just the challenges – each episode Adam visits two restaurants for their unique cuisine and a third restaurant that has a competition. Eat this signature dish within the time limit and you can win a tee shirt or something equal. We watched Adam plow his way through a 72 oz steak in 35 minutes, try to eat 50 chicken wings in 30 minutes, eat so much ice cream that I suffered an ice cream headache, and we saw him attempt to demolish a 7 lb burrito in an hour.

His quest is to find the best junk food in all America, and not the McDonalds and Burger Kings. He is visiting the mom and pop restaurants along with the most popular eateries in each town he visits. As we watch, his cholesterol is rising, his waistline is increasing. Regular portions are not enough for him – everything needs to be supersized.

It’s like a train wreck – you can see destruction and devastation happening but you cannot tear your eyes away. Truth is I love hearing about all the different signature dishes, and I enjoy watching Adam devour amounts of food that normal men could only dream of consuming.

Adam, this yiddishe mama worries about you, and I want to feed you some healthy food. But I do have a challenge for you. Do a kosher episode. Come to our neck of the woods and let’s go to ETC Steakhouse in Teaneck – let them make you a kosher 72 oz steak to eat in 60 minutes, or maybe Shalom Bombay can make you a curry so hot, it will put “shut up juice” to shame. Or even, take my KoD up on his suggestion – how much cholent can you consume in 60 minutes?? Adam – what do you say? Kosher food will go down so much easier I am sure!!

Go Adam Go!! Man v Kosher Food – sure to be a winner!!

Baltimore / KoD – FTW!!

Ok this post is less about Baltimore and more about the KoD – but he’s a Baltimorean so they kind of go together.

Yesterday evening I was in Baltimore for work. As you guys know I am the Content Manager for Jamie Geller’s phenomenal blog. Last night, the Baltimore Talmudical Academy had its bi-annual tea, and they had invited Jamie to come and speak and give a cooking demonstration. There will be a wrap up post on the event on the kosher.com blog soon, but I will say that the Baltimore TA ladies were the friendliest bunch of women I have come across in a long time – they just met me last night, and I had THREE invitations to people’s homes to sleep over if we didn’t want to drive back after the event!

So, it’s a 4 hour drive from Monsey to Baltimore, and we had to be there for 5.30pm. That necessitated us leaving at 1.30. KoD encouraged me from the beginning to go with Jamie, that he could totally handle the brood at home – that would be no reason for me not to go. I have to say, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about the kids gave me tremendous peace of mind.

They were all in bed on time, homework done, bellies full. No one called me to whine or moan or kvetch. (OK, yes, I did call the KoD to check in – but only ONCE!)

After a really tremendous event, we returned home by 3.30 am and I fell into bed. The alarm rang at 6 am and I felt like hurling it across the room. I get up at 6 am daily to get the kids up and off to school. This morning, well, ouch, low on sleep! However, it was KoD to the rescue. He got up and let me sleep. He got the kids up and showered and dressed and fed and lunches packed. He got them out the door and off to school while I slept the day away. One of the kids’ buses didn’t show up – he sorted him out a ride to school, AND called the bus company to give them a piece of his mind. (But the bus company is a rant for another day). The man even charged my BlackBerry for me. *

I woke up at 11 with a splitting migraine, to a peaceful house, no mess or dishes lying around. KoD was out at a meeting, and I was able to just take the time to return to normal at my own pace.

To have a husband that so totally encourages you to follow your dream, that loves you beyond reason, that will do all that he can to support your work and your career, who loves your kids as if they were his own – what more can a woman ask for? I am so truly blessed to be married to the KoD.

Ever since I have met him my life just keeps improving in so many ways. He truly is my beshert, and I relish and appreciate every day that I get to spend with him. Thank you KoD for bringing such light into our lives.

*Dear KoD, now that you have shown me just how incredibly capable you are, I might take total advantage and sleep in at least once a week 😉

WIN WIN WIN!!

Over on the kosher.com blog we are doing an awesome giveaway of tickets to the Kosher Food and Wine Experience in NYC – you could win a pair of tickets worth $200!! It’s easy to enter and it’s going to be so much fun.

So go, hop on over: Kosher Food and Wine Experience – I want to win tickets!!