Tag Archives: Les Miz

Decadent Mac

27 Dec

I’m 5.5 years older than my husband.  When we met, he was 22 and I was 28 and everyone thought we were nuts.  We met in Israel, spent an amazing year together there and then moved together to Ann Arbor so I could get my Master’s in Social Work.  We got engaged about a year and a half after we met.  A lot of people definitely thought at one point, ‘for sure this guy is being pressured to marry this woman”, but I have to say, we were both in a place where meeting a partner and getting married was at the forefront of our minds.  As a 28-year-old woman, it was more prevalent in my mind but my husband was never a guy who dated someone unless it was serious.  It was all or nothing with him.  We had our baby almost 5 months ago when I was 32 (still am. I know, I know, I don’t look a day over 25!) and he was 26 (he turns 27 tomorrow!).  My mom was 32 when she had me so it’s not so crazy that I’m already 32 and just starting to expand our family but never had I wished we were the same age until we got pregnant.

IMG_5420

Andy and Siona

Now please, don’t get me wrong.  I do not wish I was 27 again for anything.  I LOVED my 20s. L.O.V.E.D.  It was definitely my decade of decadence (more on that in my New Year’s guest post for Caitlin’s blog) but it sucks a little knowing that I’ll be 40 when we have toddlers.  When I take stock of my life I most certainly wouldn’t change a thing.  My journey brought me to where I am today and I can honestly say, I love my life.  Sure, I’m tired, but I love my life.  And yet, there is still about 15% of me that’s a bit bummed we’re not the same age.  If we were both 27 I definitely think we would have waited a year or two longer before expanding our family.  The 3 years we spent together without a baby were phenomenal and maybe society doesn’t want me to admit it, but I would have loved a couple more years for just us.  Even at this point, if we were the same age, I’d be 29 when we started having kids but 32!? 32 feels ancient in child-rearing years.  Who knows.  The grass is always greener, right?

IMG_5422

Jeremy and Siona were very impressed with each other.

I bring this all up because Jeremy and Andy came for a visit today (*squeal*). When old friends come to visit you start talking about all your friends you used to run with, how they all have babies now too.  I always give a silent giggle when I think about the fact that my old Chicago crew now has kids because those ladies were some of the funniest, craziest ladies I’ve ever met.  We had so many good times together and now the second generation is upon us.  Remember when you were 25 and you looked at your girlfriend on the dance floor, doing her best to look cool while dancing to “My Humps” while simultaneously giving a drunken wink to some Monet by the bar and you thought to yourself, “Good Gd, she’s going to be someone’s mom some day”? These are those friends.  And the best part? They’re all incredible parents.

At Mike and Dana's wedding - note Jeremy's class 'disco' face to the left of me, in the center, also giving a classic disco face.

At Mike and Dana’s wedding – note Jeremy’s class ‘disco’ face to the left of me, in the center, also giving a classic disco face.

Crazy ladies at Andy and Jeremy’s wedding.

P.S. Jeremy and I totally went to see Les Miz and it was a marathon.  I mean seriously, bring some Cliff bars, a thermos of coffee and a pillow because you are going to be in the theater for a very very VERY long time.

P.S. Again:  OF COURSE, I made the world famous Mac n’ Cheese, heretofore known as Decadent Mac.

IMG_5411

Delicious cheese

IMG_5413

Flour

Decadent Mac

What!?

  • 13 oz rotitini pasta or other small pasta shapes*
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half**
  • 6 oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 8 oz extra shredded sharp white Vermont cheddar
  • 2 tsp – 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (adjust according to your tastes)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce (like Frank’s or Siraccha works too)

How’s That Now!? (this recipe is easily adaptable. You can add sauteed mushrooms, fake chicken, your favorite herbs, anything!)

  1. In a large stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.
  2. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a 4-quart sauce pan over medium heat.  When the butter has melted and has started to bubble, whisk in the flour; cook for 1 1/2 minutes whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking frequently, until it thickens and bubbles, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove sauce pan from the heat and by the handful, stir in the cheeses allowing all of the cheese to melt into the sauce before adding more.  Stir in the mustard, salt, and hot sauce.  Return the sauce pan to the heat and stir in the pasta.  Be sure to stir up the sauce from the bottom of the sauce pan and thoroughly coat all of the pasta with sauce.  Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through.  Serve hot in bowls with spoons.
Oh you devilish and delicious half and half!

Oh you devilish and delicious half and half!

** I did one and a half cups of milk and one cup of half and half.  I never said this was going to be heart smart.

Decadence

Decadence

*I use whole wheat pasta exclusively.  It definitely takes away from the creaminess of the pasta if you go whole wheat.  Just a heads up.

Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits on a Sunday Morning

23 Dec

It’s Sunday and I’m not going to work tomorrow.  Wait. Waaaait wait wait.  Before I even get into anything we have to take a moment of silence for the fact that my co-blogger, Jeremy, and I are both in the same state. Holler!  Every winter Jeremy and his family venture to Little Israel, otherwise known as South Florida, and spend two weeks lounging by the pool and seeing movies every night while the rest of the world is eating Chinese food and throwin’ bows (a.k.a. elbows) at the local mall.  I visited them last year on their vacay.  It was pretty awesome, except for the fact that I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and was fighting the need to puke at all cost as no one knew I was pregnant.  Fun times.  This year we have big plans of going to see Les Miz and crying in our popcorn buckets.  I can’t wait.

Jeremy and I in a scene from Les Miz. What? Ya'll didn't know we were in it? Weird.

Jeremy and I in a scene from Les Miz. What? Ya’ll didn’t know we were in it? Weird.

But anyway.  It’s finally ‘winter break’ and it’s actually been cold in Florida for the past 2 days. I mean we dipped down into the 60s here people.  I’m very excited to have a week and a half straight with the family.  We have some plans but mostly I hope we get to cook and sleep a little and enjoy this gorgeous weather together.

We kicked off winter break this morning with a visit from some dear friends of ours from our Israel days.  The hubby and I met in Israel over 4 years ago.  He was in Israel to get his Master’s degree in Marine Sciences from Hebrew University and I had decided to take a year to learn in an egalitarian yeshiva in Jerusalem called Pardes.  Pardes is one of those places where you either drink the kool-aid and ‘get it’ or you don’t drink the kool-aid and you run away fast.  I drank the kool-aid.   I love Pardes and will forever be grateful for what it gave me.  I was raised in the Reform movement in Marietta, GA and had a wonderful experience with the Judaism.  I participated in youth group activities and was really involved in my synagogue.  My Jewish identity was strong and even led me to take jobs within the Jewish community however my knowledge-base of anything Jewish was extremely limited.  I used to lead Birthright Israel trips and my participants would call me “super Jew” because it blew their minds that I got paid to go to Israel and I worked in the Jewish community yet I knew I was most certainly NOT a ‘super Jew’.  I didn’t keep kosher.  I definitely didn’t keep shabbat (not that either of those makes you a ‘super’ Jew) and I didn’t know much about laws and well, really anything.  I just knew I loved being Jewish.  By the time I made my decision to do a year of intensive Jewish learning I was 28 and fed up with not knowing the answers to a lot of the “Jewish” questions I was asked so off to Israel I went.

Pardes is a special place.  It’s the only co-ed, egalitarian (but with an Orthodox lens) yeshiva in Israel. People from all over the world come to Pardes to study in this environment.  The learning at Pardes is incredible—by the time I left my brain was able to look at things and think about things in ways I never could before. When you study Torah and you’re trying to decipher the meaning of a certain text, well, let’s just say now I get why are people are good at law.

Most everyone who was in the same ‘year’ program I was had relatively the same background that I have; loved being Jewish but was definitely searching for something more.  Due to my inability to get passed the 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet on my entrance exam I was placed in the ‘newbie’ class and can I just say, thank goodness.  The people who also placed in this class were pretty amazing.  We were a motley crew who I think, if we tried really hard and combined our collective knowledge, could probably say the entire Hebrew alphabet and most of us were still eating cheeseburgers when we started our year at Pardes.  However, by the end of our year of learning, most of us were able to read directly from the Chumash, and were keeping kosher and shabbat.  My year at Pardes was one of the best years of my life.  I hope Pardes is still alive and thriving by the time our children are old enough to study.  It would truly be a dream come true if they could study there as well.

Some of our Pardes friends at our wedding.

Some of our Pardes friends at our wedding.

I launched into all of this because I’m still very close with a lot of the people I met at Pardes and two such friends, Ali and Noam, came over this morning for a lovely breakfast.  So many of my Pardes friends were at our wedding, which was so lovely.  And now,  three years after we left Pardes, our friends are meeting our daughter.  It’s pretty awesome.  To celebrate our friends’ morning visit, I decided to go big and make cheddar and scallion biscuits.  What else would you expect from a Southern Jewess when her friends stop y for a morning visit?

 

Flour

Flour

 

Pea-sized butter.  It's in there!

Pea-sized butter. It’s in there!

Scallion-flecked dough

Scallion-flecked dough

 

White Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits

What!?

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh scallions
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

How’s That Now?!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl.  Stir with flat spatula.  Add the butter and mix using a crust cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Slowly add the half-and-half and beat until just mixed. Add the scallions and the cheddar and mix until just combined.

Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and knead lightly into a rectangle 3/4-inch thick. Cut out rounds with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter* and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with the egg wash.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are firm. Serve warm.

*If you don’t have a round cutter you can always use a glass.  That’s what I had to do and it worked perfectly.

Flattened dough

Flatted dough

Biscuit-y goodness

Biscuit-y goodness

 

Jewhungry

Recipes and stories from my shvitzin' kitchen

molly yeh

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

LALA LAND

Still trying to figure it out.

Pop Chassid

A blog about feelings - Ended in 2019

The Little Ferraro Kitchen

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Food with a View

Mindful Cooking - Green Living

Take a Megabite

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Manu's Kitchen

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Foodie With Family

Life at the intersection of food, family, philosophy, frugality and fun!

The Rural Roost

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Love and Lemons

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Lea & Jay

(Gimlet, Mistletoe, Arwen)

Finger, Fork & Knife

I'm Kate and Finger, Fork and Knife is where I record the recipes that excite, nourish and inspire me. I focus on wholesome, high-nutrition, home-cooked food - recipes that satisfy and delight. Welcome!

The Joy of Caitlin

cooking, loving, life-ing!

iamthemilk

Every day I'm jugglin'.

I want that for dinner

Gluten-free, healthy, creative, and kosher cooking...with a comedic twist!

%d bloggers like this: