Those Carefree Days


The eighties; when we were babies.
The nineties; the days of hanging out in the backyard and playing with the neighbors on the swing set.
Carefree.
A time when your biggest responsibility was to make sure that your book report was done on time.

Yes, those were the days.
That was a different feeling.
When all our problems were solved for us by our parents.
Were they better days?
In some ways, yes.
But I really want to see what the future holds.

~Lily

Grandma’s Pot Le Gel


On February 10th, last year, I entered a contest on justapinch.com and asked my followers to cast their vote for it.  The problem, of course, was that I didn’t have a proper picture of my recipe being made or completed.

Tonight, I made this fabulous eggplant dip to have as an appetizer before a dairy Shabbat dinner.

The story as it was written last year:

“My Grandma was notorious for her home cooked family favorites. There was never a visit without a hot, homemade pie.
Another recipe was for this eggplant dip. My Poppy adored this dip!
She had given me the recipe, but I lost it. Poppy has since passed on and Grandma has dementia, and so for the last couple of years, I tried searching the internet without luck.
Luck changed a few months ago when Grandma and I were looking at a recipe for ratatouille, when suddenly, it all came back to her!”

This recipe calls for one eggplant.  We used two and came out with this one small bowl.  You may decide to double or triple your recipe, depending on how many people you intend to serve it to.

More than one website recommends the use of wooden utensils for making eggplant dips in order to avoid oxidation in your food.  Poppy of Poppy Planet warns that if you use stainless steel, inox or iron, it will leave the dish with a bitter taste.

*This recipe may be Eastern European in origin, but I’m not sure.  I will update this post when I find out.

Pot Le' Gel

Pot Le’ Gel

Pot Le’ Gel

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tsp oil (I suggest olive oil, it’s healthiest. Start with 1 teaspoon. Another recipe we found says 4-5 tablespoons. You may not need all of that.)
  • 1 medium onion (finely grated, or finely chopped)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, mashed (the amount you use is to your preference)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Utensils: wooden knife or wooden spatula

 

Directions Step-By-Step:

  1. Microwave the eggplant until it is soft.
    I don’t recall the exact microwave time, but I recommend starting with five minutes and then another five. Keep at this until it will slightly ‘sink’ in it’s appearance. DO NOT OVER COOK!
  2. After cooking, cut the green tips off. Peel the skin, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. I remember my grandmother using a grapefruit spoon for this, but I used a fork since I don’t have any.
  3. Mash the meat in a bowl. Use a little olive oil. Start with 1 teaspoon. Mash this with a wooden knife or other mashing utensil.
  4. Add salt, pepper, onion, and garlic (optional).
  5. Cover, chill and serve with bread, crackers or matzoh. This makes an excellent accompaniment alongside your vegetable trays and is also a great vegan alternative to your classic babaganoush.

Disney Has Done It Again!


Everyone knows that the people who make the magic happen at Disney’s studios are extremely creative. They must be. It’s a successful giant that’s been around for nearly a century.

Disney Channel, one of its many successful enterprises, aired a television show called Phil of the Future. It first aired on June 18, 2004 and was successful until it was cancelled on August 19, 2006. The story follows a family from the twenty-second century (year 2121) whose time machine breaks down and lands them in the year 2004. Here they have to adapt to life in the twenty-first century. The parents must buy a house. The father gets a job in a hardware store so that he can eventually fix their machine. The children, Phil and Pim, enroll in the local H.G. Wells Junior/Senior High School. They try to teach their caveman, Curtis, whom they accidentally picked up from a stop they made in the Stone Age, to behave like an average, twenty-first century man. They deal with nosey neighbors, an annoyingly peppy girl, school issues, and, of course, keeping the family secret. The family often uses the gadgets they brought with them from the future.

In one of the episodes, Virtu-Date (aired June 26, 2005), Phil takes his best friend, Keely on a date to a mall that looks like something out of his time. How do they get there? By virtual reality goggles!

In the following clip, the characters have already put on the goggles and are now clothes shopping in the virtual mall. Don’t blame me for the quality of this video clip. It was uploaded by another YouTube user.

Today, I see a post on Facebook that Microsoft is coming out with something called Microsoft HoloLens. “Microsoft HoloLens brings high-definition holograms to life in your world, where they integrate with your physical places, spaces, and things.” I read also read some articles about it here and here.

I know that so many other movies, books and television shows have similar items, but when I saw the photo of Microsoft’s upcoming glasses, my exact thought was “They had these exact glasses On Phil of the Future!” Of course, even Microsoft isn’t as technologically advanced as it one day will be in the year 2121, so the fictional television series covered a few aspects of this gadget that we have yet to look forward to.

From what I’ve read, we will be able to move objects by turning our heads and pointing our fingers while wearing these devices on our heads. We can play Minecraft, make a task list, or watch a movie in the bathroom, but I don’t see us being able to touch anything that obviously isn’t really there.

The television show has the characters sitting on a couch with these goggles on while their minds are visiting a mall together; trying on clothes that are purchased from a vending machine with a holographic display, sitting and consuming tropical drinks at a tropical island themed juice bar. Meanwhile, they never leave living room.

The same would go for the HoloLens; you wouldn’t need to leave the room, if you didn’t want to, that is. I suggest you check out the official website for more information, photos, or to sign up for news and updates on the product from Microsoft.

Leave it to people like the teams at Disney to come up with something like this ten years before the computer companies actually come out with it.

Is Disney the frontier for all things futuristic?

What do you think?  Weigh in!

Steaming Thai Vegetable Gyoza in the Joie Veggie Steamer


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Steamed Thai Vegetable Gyoza from Trader Joe's, cooking in the Joie Veggie Steamer.

Steamed Thai Vegetable Gyoza from Trader Joe’s

This is my absolute favorite thing to make from the frozen isle, but I never had a steamer to make it with before!

It includes pre-use instructions. It is dishwasher safe, but if you don’t have one, like me, it tells you how to boil the steamer two times before its first use.

To steam your own, it is best to use a recipe.  I followed the instructions for setting up the steamer for cooking on it’s packaging and then the stove top directions for the dumplings on the back of the Gyoza package.

For steaming vegetables, dumplings and other foods, I recommend the Joie Veggie Steamer.

https://www.joieshop.com/e/item.asp?ItemCode=87655&CatCode=14490&s=0727HCH

Amazon:

Joie Veggie Steamer

Vegetable Soup in Chickenless Chicken Broth


 

 

This vegetable soup will warm your soul this season. It’s vegan friendly!

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First of all, I have to say that this is an amazing, tasty and wholesome recipe. If you are in an area where you can get to a farmers market, then do it. Potatoes have a great shelf life, so if you have some from the last trip you made in the early Fall, then use them.

I think this is a great recipe that people will love because of that fact that it is a VEGAN recipe. You can, however, add your own chicken into the broth to make it an actual chicken soup.

Osem Consomme is labeled as kosher and pareve. This means that it has no meat and no dairy products in it.

The Osem Company is an Israeli based company that is in partnership with Nestle.  I’m sure that there are some people who are boycotting these companies because of it, but to me, food is food, products are products, and yes, human beings are human beings. None of this is why I am posting this recipe!

If you make this soup, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

ENJOY!

 

Before you begin:

I don’t recall how long it actually took to make. This all depends on how small you cut your vegetables and how long you are cooking your noodles or pasta for. It is important to follow the cooking instructions for the consomme as that should be added towards the end.

There really isn’t a need for salt, but if you must, I’d recommend sea salt.

 

Vegetable Soup in Chickenless Chicken Broth

Ingredients:

6 or 7 halved, then quartered locally grown, baby gold or cut up gold potatoes (more skin means more nutrients – leave it on)

1 – 14.5 oz (411 g) Trader Joe’s Mirepoix: celery, carrots and onions (These come chopped up in the package.)

A tablespoon (or more, as necessary) of Osem Consomme

1 cup elbow pasta (I used Barilla.)
Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. put water, potatoes, and veggies into a large pot
  2. Bring this to a boil.

  3. Add pasta. Cook pasta until desired tenderness is reached.

  4. While pasta is still boiling, add soup mix. Bring to boil while stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer for 3 minutes.

Serve.

 

*I do not work for, nor am I in any way affiliated with Osem. I just like their products.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  While you do not have to buy these products from Amazon, it can help to have a visual reference if you’d like to see what something looks like.

The Snowstorm Before Thanksgiving of 2014


!!!שלג

It really stuck this time! To be honest, I have doubted the New Jersey weatherman for the last fifteen years when it came to the snow forecast.  It was always as if they said “snow” and people ran with it like chickens with their heads cut off, only to wake up to rain the next morning.

I took this while it was still coming down.

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Snow in the New Jersey Woods

Many storms have names or titles. Hurricanes are given first names. I like to give snowstorms titles too.

In the winter of 1995-1996, we had a storm so big that my whole neighborhood lost its power.  I was about twelve years old at the time, but I remember what happened quite clearly because my mother had been cooking all afternoon.  She had a nice bird all seasoned and ready to go into the oven, when the power went out!  So she made some calls and we ended up bunking at another family’s house for the weekend.  That was fun, especially since their kids were friends from school.  That storm is called ‘The Storm of ’96’.

This one would be ‘The Snowstorm Before Thanksgiving’ (of 2014).  It works because winter came extremely early this year.  The meteorologists are calling it Cato.

שלג
(shĕ•leg) means ‘snow’ in Hebrew

Stay warm this Thanksgiving all you Northerners!

Ready for it? “The Hunger Games” will go on stage…by 360°!


mockingjay

On November 7th, 2014, Lionsgate Entertainment, Inc., Imagine Nation, and Triangular Entertainment announced that they will be taking Suzanne Collins‘ “The Hunger Games” to a whole new viewing experience: the stage.

A 360° rotating auditorium, that is!

AMSTERDAM and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Continuing the expansion of its global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise into new businesses, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, is teaming with Dutch media company Imagine Nation and U.S. based Triangular Entertainment to bring The Hunger Games to the stage using innovative and immersive staging techniques, the companies announced today. The Hunger Games theatrical experience will launch in summer 2016 in a brand new purpose-built theater next to Wembley Stadium in London, UK.

Click below for the full press release.

LIONSGATE AND IMAGINE NATION FORM PARTNERSHIP TO LAUNCH THE HUNGER GAMES ON STAGE

Another business venture for “The Hunger Games” is “The Hunger Games: The Exhibition,” which is set to launch in the Summer before the November 20, 2015 release of “Mockingjay – Part 2″.

The state-of-the-art exhibition, which will include interactive displays of authentic costumes, props and other elements of the world of The Hunger Games, will be designed in conjunction with Thinkwell Group, one of the world’s leading theme park and location-based entertainment companies.

Click below for more on that press release from May 30, 2014 here:

LIONSGATE ANNOUNCES “THE HUNGER GAMES: THE EXHIBITION”

Take a look at some of the incredible things Thinkwell has been involved with:

At any rate, I know where I want to travel the next time I decide to break my bank!  It’s time to start saving up every penny I have!

Now for the questions.  What do you think of Lionsgate’s ventures?  Do you think they are taking their Hunger Games franchise a little too over the top, or do you think this will work?  Would you go to the US exhibition tour or see the live show?  Weigh in below!

Image: Twitter