Food

Chia Seed Pudding

chiaseedpudding
Organic chia seeds (mix of black and white varieties)
1 can of organic coconut milk (sweet or unsweetened)
Boiling water
Cereal bowl
Cut mixed fruit or berries
Sliced and blanched almonds
 
Fill cereal bowl with 1/4 chia seeds
Add boiling water (enough to cover chia seeds)
Stir
Add entire can of coconut milk
Stir
Let stand until cool
Refrigerate until firm
Top with cut fruit and almonds
 
(Optional:  Drizzle with organic honey)

 

 

Honey Lemon Water

lemon-water-pitcher
 
1 cup of boiling water
Glass pitcher
Half of a lemon (equal sized slices)
Organic honey
Cold/iced water
 
Place slices of lemon into pitcher
Add desired amount of organic honey
Add cup of boiling water to the mix
Stir
Add cold/iced water
 
(Optional:  Slices of lime)

Holiday Menu

complacency

So, it’s that time of year, again–Passover (and Easter).  Hubby and I are looking to a have a quiet evening and Seder for two on Monday and then are entertaining and hosting the second Seder for 8-10 people next Saturday.  Thank goodness for online ordering and food-to-go.

Everyone knows that we don’t keep kosher.  It’s just never been my belief that the path to salvation is through the food you eat (or don’t eat).  With that said, I am respectful of the high holidays by eating “neutral” foods (i.e., fish, fruit, and veggies, as well as anything else that’s not on the “black list” such as pork and shellfish).  So, this year (which will be my second time hosting Passover Seder [as I have been lucky enough to go to other people’s seders and just sit back and relax in previous years]), I’ve come up with the following menu (with the help of Whole Foods, Lotte, and Charlie Chiang’s):

Ginger matzah ball soup, Chopped chicken liver, Fresh celery (Seder plate), Fresh Parsley (Seder plate), Cut tropical fruit with sliced and blanched almonds,  Coconut macaroons, Chocolate covered matzah, Fresh clementines, Stir-fried spinach with garlic and shitake mushrooms, Hardboiled eggs, (Seder plate), Lettuce (Seder plate), Wasabi (Seder plate), Sashimi platter, and Roasted (Peking) duck

Not traditional (Ashkenazi or Sephardi) Jewish fare, but Chinese American Jewish fare :).  Lets face it–there’s a reason Jews eat lots of Chinese food.  Could it possibly be that (traditional) Jewish food doesn’t quite measure up?

I wanted to write this post today to inspire those who celebrate Passover and Easter (and/or other holidays) to do something different and create your own traditions.  Don’t be afraid to think and step out of the box and be creative and imaginative, and, most of all, be yourself!

Shrimp and Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce

butternutsquashsauce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Jar of Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce (preferably by Dave’s Gourmet)
1 Cup of Red or White Onions
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Garlic
2 Cups of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
1 Pound of Jumbo Shrimp (Peeled)
Spinach fettuccine or linguine (enough for 3-4 people)
 
Cook pasta until al dente and drain immediately
Mix pasta sauce, onions, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, and shrimp in sauce pan and simmer until shrimp turn pink
Serves 3-4 people

Afternoon Tea

Teavana

So I’m a regular customer of Teavana (which is a chain tea shop located in many malls across the country).  I like its tea.  It’s basic loose leaf tea but very overpriced (perhaps due to the fact that the stores pay mall rents).  During my visit to the store today (and every other time), I noticed that the salespeople intentionally over scoop when selling loose teas (funny how they don’t do that when you order by the cup as their hot teas were so light that I stopped buying them).  The question is where the hell are Teavana’s competitors?  It would be nice to have other local options to purchase bulk loose leaf tea.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked in sales my entire career so I “get” the whole sales and marketing thing.  Trying to close a deal is one thing but blatantly ignoring your customer (scooping 5 oz. when the customer requests 3 oz.) and being overly pushy (describing the “benefits” of a more expensive tea when the customer requested a less expensive kind) is another.  Teavana needs to invest in more sales training for its employees (who need to learn the concept of the soft sell and the using education/information as a marketing tool).  Because of my experience at Teavana (again, this has nothing to do with the teas themselves) and various reviews on the treatment of customers and employees, I am making it a mission to find good alternatives and will keep you all posted.

Donate Leftover Food

homeless

We have been donating our leftover food and pantry extras to the homeless for awhile now and I just found out that, in addition to making an immediate difference in someone’s life, it’s also good for the environment.  Who knew?  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not much of a “green” person but, hey, if it’s easy to do and makes you feel good about doing it AND you’re helping people, why not?

Linguine with Clams

clams

1 pound of chopped clams
1 one-pound package of spinach spaghetti/linguine
2 jars of marinara sauce (personal favorite: Whole Foods’ Tomato & Basil spaghetti sauce)
1 pinch of fresh parsley
1/4 clove of fresh garlic
1/2 cup of fresh red onions
1 teaspoon of oregano (fresh or dried)
1 teaspoon of dill (fresh or dried)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
 
Using a pot, boil spaghetti/linguine (afterwards, drain and set aside)
Using a sauce pan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of the pan
Add 1/2 cup of onions and 1/4 clove of garlic
Turn on high heat
Add 2 jars of marinara sauce
Add 1 pound of chopped clams
Add 1 teaspoon of oregano
Add 1 teaspoon of dill
Add 1 pinch of parsley
Wait until sauce boils 2-3 times
Serves 3-4 people