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I Couldn’t Resist

This put a smile on my face the whole day :) The new Maccabeats Hanukkah song is based on “All about that bass”, and is hilarious! This year Maccabeats teamed up with Mayim Bialik to raise $10,000 for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. Kol Hakavod and good luck! I added also my other favorite Maccabeats Hanukkah songs, and One Day too because it’s just awesome. And yes, all a capella, even the beatbox “drums”. Enjoy!

 

“All About that Neis” – for the smile

 
 
“Burn” – for the hope


 
Candlelight (their first viral song) - for the nostalgia


 
And One Day, because it’s so true, and gives me hope even when I’m down.

 

Happy Hanukkah!

I spent most of the day banging my head against the wall of bureaucracy. Circumstances dictated that I find a child neurologist ASAP to look at my son. Apparently, this is impossible. The best I got was a polite secretary who said that I could fax them a request and they would get back to me within 10 business days. I almost told her just as politely to *** off,  but I heroically restrained myself. It wasn’t her fault, after all.
Before the holiday, I checked with a local bakery that stocks gluten-free cakes and bread, and they promised they would have gluten-free sufganiot (Hanukkah donuts). I was really looking forward to the comfort food along with a family candle lighting.
They didn’t have them.
So I soothed myself with baking. I can’t get an appointment in the next decade, but at least the house smells good and we eat awesome sufganiot :-) And my eldest dazzled us by giving a guitar concert of Hanukkah songs (he already knows two chords!) and we sat and sang together and relaxed.
A most excellent end to a bad day.

Gluten-free baked sufganiot *
Based on this recipe.

Ingredients
300 gr gluten-free Tagmish flour.
2 tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
50 gr softened butter
1 egg
150 ml milk
50 ml water

Mix dry ingredients together. Then add liquids. Process in a mixer fitted with dough hooks until you get a ball of dough that is just a bit too sticky. DON’T add flour. Oil the dough and let rest until doubled in volume (it took me ~3 hours). Split into 20 small balls,  about 30 gr each.  Now dough should be easy to work with. Flatten each ball.  Place 1/2 tsp filling of choice (I used jam in some and Nutella in the rest) in center and close around the filling, shaping it into a ball again. Place in lined baking tray, seam side down.

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After rising a few minutes

Cover and let rise for about half an hour. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 160 °C or until golden.

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Sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve.

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Not much left...

Happy Hanukkah!

* Obviously , these don’t taste like real sufganiot. But they still taste really good!

I’m on the lookout for easy gluten-free cookies. So when a friend told me about this recipe, I just had to try it. The cookies turned out great, but because I couldn’t use the original peanut butter (as my son doesn’t like it) and substituted bought almond butter, these have got to be the most expensive cookies ever :? If I make them again, I’ll make my own almond butter from ground almonds. If your kids like peanut butter, use that instead. However… Only three ingredients and no food processor!

Ingredients
1 cup almond or peanut butter
1 cup sugar (next time I’ll use 3/4 cup,  too sweet)
1 egg

Mix all together with a spoon. Using two teaspoons, put teaspoons of dough on a baking sheet a few cm apart. Press down with a wet fork.  Bake for 9 minutes at 160 °C,  until just the edges are brown. Let cool (when warm they just fall apart) and eat!

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I made this with my 2.5 year old daughter. First time that I make cookies with her and she’s more interested in scraping the jar of almond butter than the bowl of dough :-) Just shows that we’re raising her right ;-)

Gluten Free Rolls

I’ve found the most amazing recipe for gluten-free rolls. I was searching for gluten-free baking powder on the net (how important is that? Does anyone know?) and came upon this recipe. It looked simple, and it uses the simple and cheap gluten-free flour of Conditor (cornflour with a bit of sugar) and it’s ready within 20-30 minutes – actually a type of soda bread.
For some reason, when I doubled the recipe the rolls came out more dense but still good. I’ll ask my SIL about it  ;)

Ingredients: (for about 7 rolls)
2 cups Conditor gluten-free flour
1 packet baking powder (10 grams)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1/2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
Olive oil for coating the bread

Mix the flour and the baking powder. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 2 mins until you get a very sticky dough (I used a food processor). Coat your hands thoroughly with olive oil, take a handful of the dough, pat into a ball making sure that it’s thoroughly coated, and place on a tray lined with a baking sheet.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10 -15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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My family loved these, especially when I pointed out that they’re kosher for passover ;-) Bon apetit!

Winter dinner

I’m not much of a soup person. I usually feel as though it’s a first course, and I wait for the main afterwards ;)
However, daylight saving time and colder weather, coupled with trying a healthier lifestyle, changed my mind.
During the summer, my husband and I decided to make a large salad every evening. This worked about 50% of the time :? But it was better than nothing. With cold weather, I had zero liking for a salad, so I called my MIL and asked what she puts in her vegetable soup (as that’s one of the few soups my husband eats) and tried it out. I used the food processor to chop the vegetables, using this awesome knife that I discovered for salads:

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To my surprise, I also discovered that it’s great for homemade French fries, but that’s a different blog post ;-)
Basically chop everything, put in a pot, add water and salt, and wait. Of course, doing this around the kids means that part of the vegetables end up in their mouths,  but that’s just a bonus – and they love working the food processor :) Turned out great and perfect for a quick dinner on those busy weekdays (I made a pot for the weekend and we ate it during the week).

Ingredients
1 onion
2 kohlrabi, peeled
1/2 a cauliflower
5 large carrots, peeled
4 potatoes, peeled

Optional :
1 leek,  cut into 4 (no need to chop)
Canned chickpeas, whole, drained
Small bunch of parsley
Small bunch of dill
(I tie them together without chopping and take them out after cooking)
Fennel

Chop all vegetables. Put in pot.

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Tied up herbs on the right

Cover with water. Add 1 tsp salt or to taste. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables can be easily picked with a fork. Serve and eat!

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If you’re in the mood, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top… Yummy!

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A Prayer of Thanks

Thank you, G-d:

That I live in a country where rape is a crime of the rapist and not of the one raped.
That I live in a country where a confession under duress is not accepted.
Where in the few cases that this did happen, the perpetrators were punished and not the victim.
Where a trial is needed for every crime.
Where a lawyer is provided for every accused.
Where the death penalty is not given.
Where justice is the norm and not the exception.

Thank you for these things which I take for granted, and are such a great gift.

Thank you.

Dedicated to Reyhaneh Jabbari. May she rest in peace.

This is another Nora Roberts gem. The protagonists are interesting and likable, the love interests builds slowly enough that it’s believable, the murder mystery holds water (mostly). The pace could be a bit better – I found the build up of the suspense as to who the murderer was a bit too long, but that also depends on my mood :) . The secondary characters are interesting for their own sake. Also, the descriptions of life in Alaska are very interesting, and made me want to visit Alaska myself ;) 4.5 stars

Northern Lights. Taken from theguardian.com. Photograph: Daniel J Cox/Corbis

The only jarring note is Roberts’ attitude to psychiatric illness. There was something similar in Angels Fall, but here it’s even more pronounced: “[Medicines] make me edgy or jumpy or out of myself. I can’t do the job on meds…” or “pills he’d stopped taking because they made him feel less of who he was than the depression or anxiety or insomnia“. It has now been my privilege to know four people who took psychiatric medicines, and I found the exact opposite was true: The anxiety and depression made them less themselves, and the medicine made them more themselves. If your pills make you edgy or jumpy or out of yourself, you’ve got the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage. If her characters pull out of depression because they fell in love or went on a trip alone they probably weren’t clinically depressed anymore, as depressed people are simply not capable of these actions. Like suggesting that someone suffering from double pneumonia should just apply willpower and get going right now to a warmer climate. First take the medicines and get better; then you can spend some convalescence time in the sun.

OK, rant done.

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