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Archive for July, 2012

Music really lifts me up. It gives me strength, and beauty, and fills me with peace and love. In times like this, where I can barely stay awake amidst the whirlwind of taking care of my newborn, and my older children, and myself, and my husband, and the house… music gives me strength [1].

Some time ago, I copied a disk of modernized classical music to my computer. For example, Vivaldi as Irish music, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” as oriental music, etc. And there was one phrase that stuck in my head, and I wanted to find the original. Unfortunately, my computer saved the music as “Mozart”. Do you know how many pieces Mozart wrote? I can’t find music based on Mozart alone! It’s like searching for a man named John in England.

So I tried to find somewhere that will let me search based on a musical phrase. I don’t have a microphone, so I needed something with a virtual keyboard. So I found MelodyCatcher, and it very quickly told me that the piece I was looking for is the great A Major Piano Concerto, K. 488, number 23. It’s gorgeous!

Yesterday, the main song in my head is the beautiful “Etz HaRimon” (Pomegranate Tree). The original version I heard was performed by Arik Lavi, but I found a gorgeous version performed by Ofra Haza. The words are beautiful, and the music speaks straight to my heart.

And this morning as I was trying to find strength to load the dishwasher (even when you have to take care of a newborn, the dishes don’t load themselves 🙂 [2]) the radio played I’m free –  and I found myself dancing in the kitchen 😀 !

1. Admittedly, not as much strength as 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but you can’t have everything 🙂
2. Though they do, as my husband tends to load the dishwasher when I’m asleep. It’s like magic!

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After I returned home from giving birth, my FIL showed up and left some fruit for me. He remembered that I love cherries, so I got a large box of two kinds of cherries (dark and yellow); a large box of green grapes; strawberries (where did he find strawberries at this time of the year?) and “pita nectarines”, which are flattened nectarines which taste fabulous. He basically dropped by when he knew my husband was in, gave the fruit and left, without even saying hello for fear of waking me up 🙂 Isn’t that a thoughtful gift? It was great to have something healthy and sweet to munch on after breastfeeding, especially when it’s so hot.

Pita Nectarines – from Ben Dor Fruits

The nectarines didn’t last the weekend, they were so tasty; the cherries were almost finished as well; but inexplicably, I had a few strawberries left. They were sweet and succulent, but I wanted something more in the comfort zone.

So I made some vanilla quark and served the strawberries with that. Divine!

Vanilla Quark with Strawberries

Ingredients

3-4 tbsp quark
10 gr (one packet) vanilla sugar
strawberries, cut

Mix quark and sugar.  Sprinkle strawberries on top and serve. Yum!

Summer Snack

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As usual, by the end of the week we’re left with a bit of this and a bit of that in the fridge. One of the things we had were grilled chicken breasts that had dried out a bit in the fridge. They were still soft enough to cut with a knife, but not pleasant to eat as is. So I decided to cook them in a sauce, and serve over pasta.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
1 small onion
1 tsp minced garlic
5-6 champignon mushrooms, sliced
About 1/2 cup cooked green beans
3 small cooked chicken breasts, sliced thinly so they absorb liquid efficiently
One cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
About 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp spelt flour or other flour, for thickening

(I told my husband that he was lucky I made apricot jam the day before, other we would have had apricots in the sauce as well 😉 )

Heat olive oil. Fry onion until translucent, add garlic and continue frying til fragrant. Add mushrooms, cook until browned. Add chicken, green beans, ginger, stock and soy sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes on a low fire, so chicken absorbs some liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid, add water or white wine. Add flour and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until thickened. If not thick enough, add more flour. Serve over pasta.

My mom dropped by to pick something up and said the scent was overpowering, even outside the building, and said (hint, hint, wink, wink) that she wasn’t in a hurry and that my father was out of town for dinner. So we invited her for dinner as  well 🙂 By the time I thought to photograph the excellent sauce, only this was left:

Umm… Mushroom Chicken Sauce?

😆 😆 😆

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