jewhungry kosher hot pocket blog I am astonished at how quickly this whole thing is happening. The month of August has come and gone and so has my mom who was here the whole month to help take care of Siona while I was at work.  As I type this, my beloved husband is on a plane headed to us for a week of family love time. As much as I am thrilled that he is coming, I can’t help shake the thought that he’ll be leaving again in just 6 short days. I know that sounds pretty pessimistic and I don’t normally have that kind of outlook on life any more, but once we drop him off at the airport again it’ll truly just be me and the kiddo.

I swear some of them turned out looking like Midwestern States . . . and one Georgia.

I swear some of them turned out looking like Midwestern States . . . and one Georgia.

 

hot pocket 4Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m borderline obsessed with my kid so it’s not the thought of being alone with her that scares me (although I was singing a different tune when she was a wee baby. Being left alone with her scared the s*%# outta me. Ahh, how unprepared I was). No, it’s not being alone. It’s the exhaustion. It’s always been about the exhaustion. I’ve learned how to run errands with a two year-old (snacks and books, LOTS of snacks and books). I’ve learned the fine art of  dropping everything in the middle of the aisle and bailing when I feel that a toddler tantrum coming on. I’ve learned how to do laundry while simultaneously feeding her, vacuuming the apartment and responding to a work email. The thing I haven’t learned to do is fight the fear of exhaustion. I go to bed so dang early because I’m scared of being tired with nowhere to run and no one to step in. I know that seems silly but that’s my thing.  I’d like to stay up passed 9 pm one of these nights. I’d like to start crafting or reading again but I’m so physically and mentally drained that I just can’t do it.jewhungry kosher hot pocket blog     jewhungry kosher hot pocket blogThus, the homemade Hot Pocket. These are so easy and so NOT time consuming. I used to eat the s#%{ outta some Hot Pockets as a broke 20-something year old. It was absolutely normal for me to come home at 3 am from a night out at the club, turn on reruns of Sex and the City (ahhhhhh, 2002), and reach into the freezer for that delicious pocket of chemical cheesiness. The fact that you had to microwave it in a cardboard sleeve should have been a big red flag for me but I was living in DC on $25k/yr during the height of my Hot Pocketness so this was no time for pickiness. The thing is, I love any food in pocket form and as my beloved friend, Jessie, pictured in this post with my beloved kiddo, pointed out so do most cultures in this world. You got the samosa, the empanada, the krepalch, the pierogi, the dumpling, etc. Food in pocket form is just tasty and since the trashy eater inside of me yearns for a Hot Pocket but the smart, homemade cook inside of me knows that s{*# ain’t kosher or good for me I decided to make my own Hot Pocket. And the best news? Thanks to frozen puffed pastry dough, it takes about 10 minutes to make.

Epic pic - Between the creepy baby doll, Siona's neon band-aid and Jessie's boob. EPIC picture.

Epic pic – Between the creepy baby doll, Siona’s neon band-aid and Jessie’s boob. EPIC picture.

Homemade Black Bean + Cheddar Hot Pockets

Ingredients

  • 1 package of puff pastry dough
  • 1/2 cup of black beans
  • 1/4 cooked rice (I used basmati)
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup canned corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Defrost puff pastry dough according to directions on package
  3. While dough is defrosting, combine ingredients except for cheddar into a medium bowl and mix well.
  4. Once dough is defrosted, sprinkle a rolling pin and flat surface with flour and roll out dough until about 1/8 inch thickness (basically until dough nearly doubles in length and width).
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut rectangles into dough. Rectangles should be about 2 inches across.
  6. Using a tablespoon, put about 2 tbsp worth of cheddar in center of rectangle. Top with about 1 tbsp worth of bean mixture (I REALLY like cheese).
  7. Crack the egg into a small bowl and mix with a bit of water. Using this egg wash, wet the edges of each rectangle, one at a time, and press edges together to form your pocket. For added flair, roll edges as if making an actual pie crust. The egg wash acts as a paste for the dough so if you're finding it's not sticking, feel free to keep dipping and sealing until your edges stick.
  8. Once you've made all your pockets, brush the top of each with the remaining egg wash.
  9. Place pockets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes.
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kosher jewhungry hot pocket .

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Title EggplantSo I’m having an affair. I am 100%  falling in love with the State of California. Seriously, Cali, where have you been all my life!? Ok, well, I actually know the answer to that previous question but whatever. I guess the more appropriate question would be, where have I been this whole time?! I mean, I figured I’d like California in general and kind of like Los Angeles but I never thought I’d like it this much.  I mean, this morning I was at the farmer’s market in my neighborhood and tonight I’m going to Drag Queen bingo. I mean, what’s not to love in a city that offers a mommy that kind of diverse Sunday Funday?!

Choppin'

Choppin’

But in all seriousness, being away from my husband has been extremely hard and draining, but this city (along with my daughter and my mom) has kept me company and I’m so grateful.  This week at work has been full of orientation meetings, CPR training, more meetings, ice cream and then even more meetings. My ‘mommy guilt’ has only increased with every work day that passes by. Even with my mom here, I still feel incredibly guilty every time I leave the house.  I know this feeling is completely useless but it’s still very real for me.  Tonight’s night out with my dear friend, Jessie, is a huge personal triumph.  I’ve tried several times to attend a workout class with her during the week, after work, but once I’m home the idea of leaving the kiddo again just tears at my heart-strings. I’m hoping that once she’s at school and she has a more engaged daily schedule, I won’t feel so guilty if I leave for an hour or so in the evening in order to take care of myself.  I am such a frikkin’ hypocrite right now because I am the first one to advocate for self-care and here I am completely ignoring my own advocacy pitch. I’ll get there.  I’ll get there eventually, right? So far, my nights have looked a lot like me putting the kid to bed by 8pm and then climbing into bed with a mug of Trader Joe’s vanilla soy ice cream (covered with sprinkles, obvs.) and watching reruns of Parks and Rec, which, by the way, is my new favorite show (sorry Nashville). I’m not sure where I was around  5 years ago when everyone was on board with this show but whatever.  I’m here now and I’m completely obsessed with Ron Swanson, Leslie Knope and the whole lot.  So yes, I guess this means I’m now 3-timing my husband with the State of California, the City of Los Angeles and a hilarious NBC mockumentary.  That doesn’t make me ‘loose’, right?

This Week's Highlights: Ice Cream at Carmela's, Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies for New Co-Workers; Siona's First Love; Chickpeas in Spices

This Week’s Highlights: Ice Cream at Carmela’s, Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies for New Co-Workers; Siona’s First Love; Chickpeas in Spices

So the recipe below is for my go-to Shabbat lunch and/or picnic favorite meal. It’s been revealed recently that some of my favorite people don’t like eggplant because of the texture, but I’ve decided to keep them in my life, despite the CRAZINESS of not liking eggplant. I L-O-V-E  love eggplant.  It’s my favorite vegetable of all time. This recipe is easy, delicious and doesn’t need to be assembled until the day of Shabbat so it’s great for the last minute Shabbat meal scramble (y’all know what I’m talking about). Enjoy and have a wonderful week. Jewhungry eggplant kosher rollups

Herbed Cream Cheese + Roasted Eggplant Roll Ups.

Ingredients

  • 4 - 5 medium whole wheat tortilla or wraps
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt (for getting out excess moisture from eggplant)
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro OR chives (OR BOTH!)
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tbsp table salt

Instructions

  1. Place sliced eggplant on paper towels so that they do not overlap. Salt each eggplant and let soak in salt for at least 30 minutes in order to draw out excess moisture.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. After 30 minutes, place eggplant on baking sheets and brush each eggplant with olive oil.
  4. Place eggplant in oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
  5. While eggplant is roasting, prep all over the other ingredients for your wrap.
  6. Place cream cheese in a bowl. Add in cilantro, garlic powder, ground pepper and additional table salt. Mix until well combined.
  7. Once eggplant is finished roasting, stack your eggplant and slice for easier bites.
  8. For wrap assembly: Spread herb cream cream mixture onto a wrap. Lay diced avocado on top of cream cheese and mash for an easier rollup (try to keep all toppings off from the direct sides of the wrap. This way they won't burst out when you actually roll everything up). Place eggplant on top of the avocado and any left over herbs that didn't make it into the cream cheese.
  9. For rolling: Tightly tuck in one end of the wrap and roll, tightening along the way. Slice the finished wrap into 2 inch rolls.
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Cake for Two

Cake for Two

Hi dear readers! First and foremost, I’d like to start off this post by wishing my sweet Miss Siona Mae a very happy birthday.  Yep, another year has gone by and the kiddo is 2.  I’m kind of shocked at what we’ve gone through together in the last 2 years.  We’ve traveled to Montana, North Carolina, Kentucky, New Jersey, California, and a few other states I’m probably forgetting.  We’ve had to say good-bye to her great grandmother while also meeting some of my oldest, dearest friends.  She’s learned how to walk, talk, swim, sing, feed herself, and ask for what she wants (while remembering her manners . . . most of the time).  She’s obsessed with Pharrel, sand and and the color purple (the actual color, not the book or movie.  Give her time people).  Forgive the extra layer of cheese with this paragraph, but I’m just so proud to be her mom.

WOW

WOW

 

My favorite picture of all time -- in our custom-made Jewhungry aprons.

My favorite picture of all time — in our custom-made Jewhungry aprons. The face she has is too much.

 

Ok, quick update before getting into this delicious guest post by the incredibly talented Molly Yeh of, My Name is Yeh.  When last we spoke, we were gearing up for husband to go back to Florida.  Well, the band-aid has been ripped off and he is officially back in Miami.  Saying good-bye was ROUGH.  I did my very best to keep the tears from flowing so that I could appear somewhat strong for the kiddo, but once we were outside and waiting for the Super Shuttle to arrive, the tears just came.  I wrestled with how I should present myself for the sake of the kiddo for so long.  Should I hold back the tears and stay ‘strong’ for her so that it wouldn’t freak her out to see mommy upset or should I just let go and let flow? Ultimately, what I realized was that it didn’t matter what I ‘decided’ was the best course of action for in that moment, I was going to feel what I was going to feel.  I want Siona to know that it’s OK to feel things, ALL things, whether good or bad.  I want her to know that emotions are not something to be ashamed of but rather, it’s what we do with our emotions that truly makes the moment.  And so, some tears came down and I explained why I was sad and where the tears were coming from, and then we immediately marched ourselves right upstairs to our neighbors apartment so that Siona could play with her bestie and mama could have a big ol’ glass of wine.  We now fill our days with lots of phone calls and FaceTime (I love technology).  I truly don’t know how folks existed before FaceTime.  I really don’t (**this post was in no way sponsored by Apple.  I just really, really appreciate technology).

A family portrait taken in the forests of Limekiln State Park

A family portrait taken in the forests of Limekiln State Park

My mom is in town now to help and I’ve had to hire a babysitter for a couple hours a day to take care of Siona during this time that I’m at work and her school is still not in session.  I keep thinking about good ol’ Hilary Clinton’s message about how it takes a village to raise a child. One never really understands how true that statement is until you move, leave your  established village behind and realize that the only way you’re going to survive is to hire a village. We’re in the beginning stages of this temporary single-parent situation and I’m balancing the emotions of panic and guilt. How fun! Guilt for every time I walk out the door to go to work and leave her with a babysitter and panic because I work at a school and there are back to school nights and parent luncheons and grade-level trips and how the @#*$ am I supposed to do all that when it’s just me? I miss my Miami village.  I miss my hubby.

Jewhungry the blog kosher birthday cake

 

Jewhungry the blog kosher birthday cake

my heart.

my heart.

But, enough of that.  There’s a cake to get to! An adorable cake made by Molly Yeh! If you’re living in a cave (albeit with amazing WiFi because you’re reading this post) and you’ve never heard of Molly Yeh before, let me please introduce you to her.  She’s got more charm in her pinky finger than I could ever hope to dream for.  She’s a Juliard-trained percussionist, recently engaged to her egg boy (MAZAL TOV!) and lives on his family’s farm in North Dakota. She also happens to be incredibly talented in the art of baking/cooking and photography.  We became modern-day pen pals when she wrote a comment on my shakshuka post and I couldn’t breathe all day because Molly Yeh had read my blog! I decided I should write to say ‘thank you for reading’ and several months later I got the balls to ask her if she’d write a guest post for my beloved Siona’s 2nd birthday.  To no surprise at all, because she’s that selfless, she said yes! Below is her birthday cake for Siona. It seems like such a yummy, user-friendly recipe I might actually attempt it myself.  Happy birthday to my Siona and thank you Miss Molly.

Jewhungry the blog kosher birthday cake

 

A Birthday Cake for Two – A Guest Post by Molly Yeh

TO ASSEMBLE: You could do anything you want. You could spread the frosting on the cake and call it a day. This would be the easiest way. You could wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze it for an hour, and then either cut three equal rectangles or use a 2-3 inch biscuit cutter to cut out small round layers and frost in between them, for a little layer cake. Or if you’re wanting a challenge, you could do what I did and wrestle with a simplified miniature version of momofuku’s birthday cake. (the steps are here, under “birthday layer cake” http://milkbarstore.com/main/press/recipes-and-how-tos/). I subbed a biscuit cutter for the cake ring, parchment for the acetate, and omitted the cake soak and crumbs.

*taking a cue from Momofuku’s birthday cake recipe, I prefer Mmccormick’s clear imitation vanilla because of the nostalgic flavor that’s reminiscent of a boxed cake. It’s silly, I know, but taste it and you’ll see what i mean. you can of course use all-natural vanilla instead.

a necessary last step: sprinkles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 7 tb cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 tb butter, softened
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla*
  • 1 tb vegetable oil
  • 2 tb whole milk
  • 1/4 c sprinkles, optional
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 6 tb butter, softened
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar, or more to taste
  • a splash of vanilla*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease and line the bottom of a small loaf pan with parchment. i use a tapered loaf pan that is 6 inches by 4 inches at the bottom.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until combined. whisk in the egg, vanilla, and oil.
  5. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until combined. add the milk. if using sprinkles, gentle fold them in.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. i highly recommend using a cake strip (an easy diy one here: http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2013/03/15/how-to-bake-level-cake-layers-diy-cake-strips/#comment-84116) since this recipe is so small—you don’t want to have to level any off.
  7. Bake for 12-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let cool for a few minutes in the pan and then turn onto a cooling rack.
  8. To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy (See the very top of recipe for assembly instructions).
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