{Simple} hot chocolate

By | November 20, 2014

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After Tuesday’s horrifying terror attack, as I read the news and saw the photos along with the rest of the world, I wondered once more how I could keep putting up new posts here as if it was just business as usual for me. I’ve said this before, but this attack was so savage, so brutal, it had me questioning the same thing all over. And then I woke up Wednesday morning and learned that one of the victims, Rabbi Kalman Levine Hy”d, was the father of one of my high school classmates.

I don’t know what to say anymore.

I’ve just typed and deleted five different sentences in the span of two minutes, and you know what? There really isn’t anything to say. I’m not going to try.

But I made us hot chocolate. It’s fast and simple, the version I’ve been making over and over again these last few weeks while I’ve been working overtime and kept needing a little something to go with my laptop. As the weather turns colder, I love knowing that a comforting cup of hot chocolate is only two minutes away.

May Hashem comfort the families of the victims and bring a speedy refuah sheleima to the wounded.

Menu Plan: Week of Nov. 16, 2014

By | November 16, 2014

For the last month, I’ve been proofreading a book for a client and I’ve given it everything I had. Whatever I could pare down in the rest of my daily schedule, I did, which is why the last four weeks’ meal plans might have been a bit repetitive and a bit uninspiring. My husband shifted his own schedule around to take the kids out as often as he could, and even so, the whole thing was a big challenge. Having made it to the other side (and having satisfied my perfectionist standards) feels like a miracle.

Crazily enough, there’s no time to think about that because my next book project starts today. I’ve actually never done this back-to-back thing before — there have always been busy periods and slow periods, and it evened out in the end. This time, it’s two big books without even a day’s break in between. Don’t get the wrong idea, this is work that I love and I’m glad to have these opportunities. It’s just…anyone feel like making us dinner?

P.S. Have you seen post #3 of Orthodox Women Talk? This time, we’re talking about how we most like to infuse our lives with Judaism. Come check it out!

Healthy peanut butter cups

By | November 13, 2014

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I’m staring at these pictures of my peanut butter cups and not knowing how to reconcile them with the article about Dalya that I just read. The one that made me cry at 5 a.m., the one you should only read when you’re ready to cry, too. It’s been happening too often lately that I’m about to post a new recipe here or share something on Facebook, and then there’s a terror attack and things like this just don’t matter anymore.

We had this conversation over the summer, and I do believe that life goes on and that it has to go on, and that we all still need to feed ourselves and our families. And so maybe new recipes aren’t totally insensitive and irrelevant. But still. I just can’t be all “I have the most delicious recipe for you!!” as if nothing else is happening. That’s why I’m so ambivalent about sharing these healthy peanut butter cups, even though I think they’re ingenious.

There’s really my husband’s invention — I’ve been so overwhelmed with work lately, and just making my old standbys. Since he didn’t measure or keep track of the cooking time when he made them for the first time, I had to make them myself a few days later and take down all the notes. (A difficult task, right? Really arduous.)

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Here’s why these are a stroke of genius: Normally, when you make peanut butter cups, you need to use a lot of powdered sugar to achieve that Reese’s-type peanut butter texture. This recipe uses just half a cup of sugar for 3 dozen peanut butter cups, yet the texture is perfect! I think we have the oats to thank for that. (Oats! Who knew??)

To save time but still have the peanut butter + chocolate thing happening, we like to put chocolate chips straight in the batter. If you prefer, you can always melt chocolate and use it on the bottom and top of the cups or even brush it up the sides of the paper liners, like I did here.

The main thing is that there’s a fast, easy, pareve, and low-sugar way to enjoy peanut butter cups. You’re very welcome.

Menu Plan: Week of Nov. 9, 2014

By | November 9, 2014

I was going to write something real. Except then, about 7 seconds ago, both kids woke up. And if I don’t publish this now, and I do mean now, I know I won’t get to it until tonight, but by then I’ll be on my way to sleep. And so — with absolutely no fanfare whatsoever, here you have it! Meal plan for the week.

Come back soon to check out a healthy version of a universally loved dessert! It’s crazy stuff, and you won’t want to miss it.