Hello! Summer has officially arrived at Jewhungry! If you follow me on Instagram (and I hope you do — check out the sidebar to see all the fun you’re missing in case you aren’t), you’ll know that a few weeks ago, I posted what turned out to be a popsicle fail. I was so thrilled to be asked to join in on the my first ever #popsicleweek by the incredible Billy Green (of Wit and Vinegar). I was all excited to join in on the popsicle fun but then my husband went out of town for two weeks, summer school started and I fell waaaaaay behind on posts. You see, unlike actual seasoned food bloggers, I do not and cannot plan and execute my posts weeks in advance cause I just don’t have the time. My posts usually come together last minute on a Sunday that I’ve blocked out 3 days prior to a deadline. It’s not the MOST effective way to work but 9 times out of 10 it actually works. Two weeks ago, however, it did not.

So, like I was saying, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll remember that I posted a melted mess of a chocolate and vanilla creamsicle that I was hoping would have made it in time to actually be included in my first ever Popsicle Week. But, alas, it did not. Well, 5 days later, husband finally came home from being gone for 2 weeks and helped me make my Black and White Creamsicle dreams come true. And while they didn’t get done in time for Popsicle Week, they still got done in time for summer and you can find the recipe and some thoughts on the power of the Black and White cookie over at Interfaithfamily.com. Click HERE for the recipe! Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You ever wonder how it is you got somewhere? Not like, “I’m at home and now I’m at Target. How did that happen?” Because, really, we all know how that happens. The more appropriate question for Target is, “I went in for toilet paper. How did I end up walking out with $150 worth of goods?” Damn you, Target!!!

But no, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about looking back at your life and wondering how it ‘landed’ you where you are today. Case in point: This passed week I found myself how it was that I was managing a camping trip of roughly 110 9th graders and, like, I was in charge (of that camp — thank Gd, not of the whole trip). I was, however, put in charge of all medical issues—assessing, treating (with what little equipment I had), making calls on who needs off the island NOW and who can wait. I think back to who I was a decade ago or even 20 years ago as a fresh graduate of high school and I think, “There’s no way in hell I saw myself doing what I’m doing now”. Of course I had always wanted to be rock star—singing is the ONE thing I can confidentally say that I do well. I charted my course for that as well. I took lessons forever. I immersed myself in musical theater. I even went to college of a theater scholarship. But alas, I took a different direction when I was 19. When I was 19 I spent the summer working for a rehabilitation camp for Kosovo refugee children and that was it. I went to college the next year, changed my major from theater to political science (which is just theater for unattractive people) and starting working on my career as an advocate. I didn’t know that that’s what it was I wanted to be at that time but, in looking back at what I wanted, that was definitely ‘it’.

I guess you could say my dreams of becoming an advocate have come true. I advocate for my students CONSTANTLY and sometimes? Sometimes people actually listen . . . but not as much as I’d like. That said, I think I might possibly be living my dream. It’s not the dream of accepting a TONY award (I’ve had that speech prepared since I was 12) or of running a nationally recognized nonprofit (I love my family too much to give my whole life to running a nonprofit. Also? I don’t know how to run a nonprofit. Details.). But it is the dream of advocacy. Albeit, a different kind but I love it all the same.

So what does this have to do with fruit bowls and mermaids? Well, the other thing I NEVER thought I’d be doing is running the little food blog. Or any food blog, for that matter. Heck, even cooking! My first roommate and I used to add frozen vegetables to pots of Rice a-Roni and call it gourmet. I did not know how to cook for a very long time. That said, I still loved entertaining and would go out of my way to make sure the table setting looked great . . . most likely because I knew the food was going to be terrible but hey! At least it looked pretty. This post is an extension of that old Whitney. It doesn’t take a lot of culinary ‘know-how’ and it really doesn’t take a lot of talent. It does, however, take a few coconuts, some fruit and tiny little cookie cutters. Tiny cookie cutters came into my life last year when I was reading a Pinterest post on fun kid lunch ideas for school. Someone showed tiny cheese sandwiches in the shapes of various animals and I was like, “Can adults also eat that cause that’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Show me the Amazon link IMMEDIATELY”. A batch of animals, hearts, stars and Mickey Mouse ears later and I’m cutting everything I see into fun, tiny shapes. So if you’ve got friends and family coming over for a Shavuot or Memorial Day meal and you need a fun dessert recipe, STAT or you just really enjoy cutting foods into tiny shapes, this is the recipe for you. I hope you enjoy! Chag Sameach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mermaid Dessert Bowls

Ingredients:

1 whole coconut, cut in half
1/2 mango, sliced long and thick
1 pint strawberries
1 pint blueberries
1  package pineapple, sliced long and thick
1 pint ice cream

Directions:

First, drain the coconut. Seeing as that I am not, in fact a mermaid and that we definitely didn’t have coconuts falling from the trees where I grew up in Marietta, GA, my husband and I totally searched “WikiHow” to figure out the best way to cut a coconut in half as precisely as possible. We found that #3 works best from the site: 3 Ways to Open a Coconut.

Once you drained and rinsed out your coconut, set it aside. Next, using your favorite tiny cookie cutters, cut out as many tiny figures as possible. I used a tiny heart, dolphin and star cookie cutter to create a more ‘under the sea’ vibe.

Next, scoop out as much ice cream as you want and top with fruit. No one’s pretending this is a difficult ‘recipe’, but it is a fun one at that. Enjoy after Instagramming so that all your friends know you’re having a deliciously fun mermaid time!

P.S. Use all the leftover fruit scraps to make one delicious fruit smoothie! Waste not; want not!

Hello and happy Passover! I hope everyone had wonderful Sedarim. We went low-key this year as it’s been a tough couple weeks. Unfortunately, my husband lost his beloved father to cancer the week before Passover. He had been sick for only a handful of months and, as cancer tends to do, it took him quickly. We are still in shock, even a week after his funeral. I flew to Jersey for a quick and emotional 48 hours in order to be with the family as we said our final good-byes. While I lost my grandparents at a relatively older age, this is the closest I’ve come to losing a parent and I’d like to not do it again, thank you very much.

 

 

My husband was gone for a total of 2 weeks prior to Passover and while it was tough to go through all of that with the two kids at home, I gotta say, I continue to be overwhelmed by the support of friends and the community we’ve made here in Los Angeles. People sent food and prayers and showed up at 8am on a Sunday morning for the shiva in order to stand by Yonz and I as we ended the shiva week. It’s amazing how truly wonderful people can be when you ask for help (and accept it).

Now, about this recipe. It wasn’t until I went to Teaneck and had my first Passover at my would-be in-law’s house that I had my first matzah lasagna. When I saw my mother-in-law making it I was like, “ummm, matzah soaked in water and then baked with sauce and cheese? Hard pass”. But then I took a bite and I became a believer. Since then, matzah lasagna has been on our Passover table at least once every year. I pair it with some baked salmon and a spring green salad to help off-set the immense cheesy-ness of it and I have to say, it’s a delightful little lunch (if I do say so myself). Pay attention to the directions below. You do need to soak but not for too long as it will turn into mush if it’s soaked for too long. I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Roasted Eggplant Matzah Lasagna

2 large eggs

1 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese

1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1 jar of marinara sauce or 3 cups of homemade sauce

8 standard sheets of matzoh

1 eggplant, roasted (<— click for roasted eggplant recipe)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a baking dish with about an inch of room temp. water and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs then and add 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, ricotta and 3/4 cup of mozzarella. Next, add the spices and combine well.

Spread ½ cup of sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish,

Soak 1 sheet of matzah in the water for about 30 seconds in order to soften (note: You might need to soak 2 matzah slices or 1 1/2 as matzah never seems to be fully the right size for a lasagna baking dish. Just make sure your matzah covers the majority of the length and width of the baking dish). It’s important that you not let it soak for longer than 30 seconds, you don’t want it to fall apart or become mush. Place the soaked sheet of matzah in the baking dish.

Spread ½ of the ricotta mixture on top of the matzoh. Spread ¼ cup sauce on top of the ricotta and then at least 4 slices of roasted eggplant. And sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Soak the second sheet of matzah for 30 seconds and place in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining ricotta, ¼ cup sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella.

Soak the last piece of matzah for 30 seconds and place in the baking dish. Spread with ¼ cup sauce (or more) and top with a few slices of roasted eggplant. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and a tablespoon of grated Parmesan.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is golden and lasagna is bubbling, about 10 more minutes. If sides are bubbling, but you want the cheese more golden quickly, stick it under the broiler for 10-30 seconds.

 

 

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