Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting Ready for Rosh Hashana!

Right now, I'm a little apple-obsessed.

First, I made apple kugel. I make a really simple version: First, thinly slice 6 good-size apples (I used a mix of green and red, and sliced them very thinly in the food processor). I sprinkled lemon juice over the apples, my attempt at stopping the inevitable oxidation. Pile them into a large baking pan. Then I pour the following batter over the top of the apples - 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. oil, 1/2 c. sugar, and 3-4 T. ground flaxseed steeped in 1 c. of very hot water.

Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour.

Then I made apple crisp. Four of them. One got eaten tonight, so 3 are in the freezer for use as needed. I still have another 15 or so apples, so I'll probably make something else appley tomorrow. I am torn between more apple crisp and apple bread...

I've only sort of planned my menus. Here's a list of foods I am making, and we'll construct meals out of it. About half of our meals will be pareve or dairy.

Pareve Foods

Honey Challah

apples and honey (we'll offer 3 kinds of apples)

Chinese-style mushroom soup (this is a slightly complicated recipe, but a favorite. Saute white parts of 6-12 scallions, 4 cloves of garlic, and some finely diced ginger in olive oil. when lightly browned, add sliced mushrooms and reduce. Add teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, and some white wine (if desired) - sorry I just guess the quantities - and simmer for at least 10 min. Add soup stock (I use vegetable stock) and bring to a boil. Then add black pepper and chopped scallion greens to taste.)

Butternut Squash soup (I think I blogged this recipe a few weeks ago)

Potato Kugel

Apple Kugel

Carrot Kugel

Israeli salad, Cut Vegetables

Roasted Ratatouille


Tofu (marinated in soy sauce, and stir fried)

Chick peas sauteed with other vegetables (peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, with ground black pepper, salt, cinnamon, and ginger) 

Some sort of red lentil dish

Meat Foods

Pomegranate Chicken

Baked Breaded Chicken (served with a honey/ginger dipping sauce)

Dairy Foods

Broccoli Puff (Broccoli and Cheese Casserole)

Spinach Quiche (with Feta cheese if I remember to get some)


Pasta with Cheese (SOME of my children are picky and won't eat lasagna...)

Phew! I think that's enough!

Oh, Desserts:

Apple Crisp

Honey Cake

Chocolate Chip Squares

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Fresh Fruit

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday, Sept 18, 2011

My cupboard is bare!
I couldn't find anything to make for supper after a slightly busy day, so here's what I scrounged up...

Whole wheat spaghetti

Tomato, red lentil, and vegetable sauce (kind of like my sloppy joes from last week)

Mango (found some for 3 NIS/kilo. must use them before they are mushy!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shabbat Parashat Ki Tavo, Sept 16-17

This has been a really busy week for us, and I only got around to thinking about Shabbat on Friday morning!

So here goes:
Homemade Challah - from the freezer

Butternut Squash soup

Chicken marinated (and baked) in BBQ sauce

Spicy Roasted Potato Wedges (mix olive oil, mustard, spices and salt to taste, coat potatoes with this mixture, and roast in the oven at 425 till done)

Roasted Kishuim (with olive oil, salt, and pepper)

Roasted Eggplants and Tomatoes (served cold)

Something with chick peas, since I cooked some up this morning!

Vegetable sticks - Cucumbers, Carrots, and Peppers

Fruit for dessert

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday night, Sept 13, 2011

I haven't been posting so much because I still haven't really stocked my pantry very well! And I'm slightly overwhelmed... but I still need to get back to meal planning. No one has been happy with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches lately (we've been resorting to that FAR too often)!

So tonight I'm trying to get back to some bit of meal planning. Please bear in mind that my pantry is kind of bare (purposely, really, since I have to figure out how to keep the ants out of it. I was not happy to discover them there...)!

Here goes!

Lentil based sloppy joes (no real recipe, I just improvised this time. I used lots of onion, garlic, red pepper, tomatoes, and red lentils, tomato juice (had some in the fridge to use up), spices, water)

Pitot and Baguettes (some members of the family prefer one over the other, so we're serving both)

Steamed corn
Oatmeal Bread (really cake like) - the kids didn't finish off the pot of oatmeal this morning so I turned it into a treat for tonight!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Frugal Musings Monday

Every so often it makes sense to check in with your life and see if you are actually meeting your goal of frugal living, or if you could do better. Every family makes their own decisions about what areas they are going to splurge on. Of course, this is only feasible if you have the money for the splurge. If you don't have the budget for it, it would be irresponsible to splurge!
Right now, we splurge on housing, but we try to be frugal with everything else. We homeschool 4 children and we decided we didn't want to be crowded into a small apartment. We felt a yard was so important to our lifestyle; so that's where we splurge. Everything else we try to be as frugal as we can. HOWEVER this year is becoming decidedly UNFRUGAL! Between moving (money, money, money), getting settled into a new house, unpacking, etc (no time to cook = money, money spent), not knowing where the best deals in my new neighborhood are, a Bar Mitzvah (serious money), and family and friends coming to stay with us for a day here, a shabbat here, a week or two there, I feel like I have lost the ability to be frugal. And organized.
I need some inspiration!
So please share your best tips - whether or not it's frugal. If it helps my household run better, or makes it easier to have guests, it may be enough to justify. And if you have an awesome, frugal source for bulk grocery delivery that will deliver in my neck of the woods (near Haifa), please share. I can't run to the store all the time only to discover they are OUT of whole wheat pasta (or whatever item I really was counting on) AGAIN...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Shabbat Parshat Ki Tetze, Sept 9-10, 2011

I can't quite believe it's almost Shabbat again. The week flew by, and I'm not really sure how that happened!
Despite the fact that I can't quite believe it, I have to plan a Shabbat menu again. And, it's the last Shabbat before my biggest little boy becomes a Bar Mitzvah. It's all  just a bit TOO much for me to absorb...

Here's the plan:

Vegetable soup

Potato Kugel

Chicken (maybe with pineapple?)

Tofu in some sort of sauce (same kind as the chicken?)


Baked sweet potatoes

Vegetarian cholent for Shabbat Lunch

Chocolate chip squares for dessert

What's on your menu?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday night, Sept 8, 2011

I don't normally post on Thursday nights, but we ended up swapping pizza night this week - we had that Wednesday instead!
So here is my very simple plan:

Macaroni & Cheese
Cut vegetables (we have tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and carrots)
Some sort of dip for the vegetables

I'm hoping to get my Shabbat menu planned and posted very soon. What's your plan?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vegan Carrot Muffins

I promised a few people that I'd share my carrot muffin recipe, so here goes:

1 c. pureed cooked carrots
1/3 - 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. ground flaxseed, mixed with 1/2 c. hot water, (allow to sit for 5 min. before mixing into the batter)

mix the above ingredients well.

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. whole oats (optional)
1/2 t. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well, but don't overmix. spoon into prepared muffin cups (I use silicone muffin cups for baking these, although sometimes I'm lazy and just bake it in a loaf pan to make carrot "bread") and bake at 350 F for about 25 min. (check to be sure they are done!)

I usually double the recipe...

Enjoy! Let me know how they come out!

p.s. you can use other things in place of the 1 cup of carrots - applesauce, shredded zucchini, butternut squash puree, banana puree, any fruit puree (can be chunky puree!) to make other kinds of muffins. Enjoy!

Tuesday Night, Sept 6, 2011

Pressed for time, once again! We kinda had a "not-back-to-school" party at our house today with 4 other homeschooling families! It was great fun, but then I was so tired I fell asleep reading on the sofa to my little one...

Here's my last minute supper:


Steamed broccoli and snow peas (found the snow peas on sale for a great price - frozen of course!)

Steamed Corn

Potato Bourekas (from a package, I know... but they were buy 1 get 1 free...)

Sliced Tomatoes

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Night, Sept 5, 2011

For some of you it's a holiday weekend, and chances are high you're not so interested in my run of the mill menus today, you're probably eating BBQ with a whole bunch of family and friends...

But for those of us for whom this is a regular monday, here's my regular frugal dinner:

Homemade Flatbreads

Houmus, Roasted Eggplant Salad (I found some eggplant in the fridge I forgot about!)

Make your own Salad


Sunday, September 4, 2011

We had a great time at the beach! When we got there, it was pretty quiet; there weren't so many people around (just the way I like a beach). We left when the crowds started to show up...

When we got home, I threw together a really quick, easy dinner:

Cut vegetables (cucumbers, carrots)

Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Zucchini, peppers, onion, eggplant, and tomatoes, sauteed in olive oil, and spices (to serve over the spaghetti, although my kids opted for cottage cheese on the spaghetti and ate the vegetables on the side) (I found green peppers and eggplant really cheap last week (somewhere around 2 NIS/kilo), and today I even managed to score red and yellow peppers for 3 NIS/kilo!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shabbat Parashat Shoftim, Sept 2-3, 2011

Last week, in my excitement about having family visit, I made too much food. So I wrapped it up and froze it and this week I'm on easy street.

Here's what I'm making:

Homemade Challot (trying to get back to that!)

Butternut Squash and Apple soup (it may not feel like fall outside, but I found some cheap butternut squash this week so we HAVE to have this soup!) - saute onion, garlic, and a tart apple in olive oil. when lightly browned and soft, add a tablespoon of flour and continue to stir. Then add soup stock or water and bring to a boil. Then add cooked butternut squash, bring back to a boil. Puree. Add cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken with honey and ginger (from the freezer)

Carrot Kugel (from the freezer)

Something for my vegetarian child (haven't decided what, though. maybe he should decide)

Steamed snow peas

Make your own salad

If my kids are good and let me have a bit more time, I'll even make a chocolate cake, or I'll have them make one! I use the "Grand Fudge Cake" recipe from Ghirardelli Cocoa, but I modify it somewhat... (like oil instead of butter - and I only use 1/2 the amount, whole wheat flour instead of white, and rice milk instead of dairy milk...)

What are you making?
Shabbat Shalom!

While searching through my recipes for my Challah recipe, I came across an old version of my challah recipe. Of course, I've played with it and changed it, but I think this was the basis for our  current Challah! This one certainly looks well used, and I believe it dates back to my Texas days...

This post was linked up to the Hearth and Soul blog hop on Nov 22, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Free Personalized Photo Calendar (just pay s/h)

New-Pharm customers can get a free personalized photo calendar thru the end of October!

I haven't tried it out yet, but their Facebook page explains exactly which size is free and how to get it.

S/H within Israel is 9.90 NIS. Offer expires 31/10/2011. More details available at

Let me know if you make one!