Sunday, June 8, 2008
The Great Cheese Holiday
Ah, the holiday where one stays up all night and then rewards themselves with forks full of cheescake. I've been busy, and so I apologize in advance for not writing. I can't believe that I actually have 30 minutes to myself, before I have to shower and get ready for Shavuot. I've spent the entire day cooking, shredding, cleaning and organizing. Phew. Good thing we don't entertain often, I don't think I could take it. Fortunately, I had the energy today to do everything on my list. Hopefully, I'll has some more room in my energy reserves for the hour walk home we have tonight.
But, before I get to the Chag, let me catch y'all up.
B"H, I've been feeling much better. And, thanks my exposure to an enormously obese pregnant woman, I've been doing all that I can to take better care of myself. That means walks every day or the gym. No more days lying in bed for this preggo! Oh no, I am absolutely petrified that I'll end up 50 pounds heavier than I already am and won't be able to move let alone lose the weight after the baby. So, when I could have been updating the blog, I've been exercising.
We also decided, early in the week, to host Shavuot lunch in the apartment. We haven't been too social these days, so we thought it would be nice. At first, I was afraid I'd have to scramble for some guests, but we were able to rustle up a nice group of folks. And, next thing I know, our friends Oren and Rachel are coming to sleep here from Tel Aviv too!
Quid pro quo though, we had been planning a weekend in Tel Aviv by Oren and Rachel for the past few weeks. They were able to secure the apartment in their building for us, and we were so thrilled for the change of scenery for the weekend. It was so much fun!! They hosted a wonderful Friday night dinner on the roof for us and some of our close friends (and a new group as well of very nice folks). Unfortunately, once 11:00 p.m. came, we had to excuse ourselves and went down to the apartment so I could give myself the shot. We've come to the conclusion that, until it's early shabbatot again, we're not going to be able to go out for dinner anymore. It's because, 2 hours into the meal, we have to leave and I feel bad doing that to our host and hostess. Anyway, we thought we would get to bed early, and then the AC crapped out and I spent the entire night tossing and turning and sweating. Not what I was hoping for, but I was still so happy to be in Tel Aviv with my friends that I didn't let it get me down.
On Shabbat, Pidgeon and I had lunch by our friend Jeff. He hosted a small, dairy meal with us, another couple and my friend Lana, and it was really fun. After the meal, we went for a walk towards the beach. We ended up going to the look out area up on Ben Gurion Street, which gives you these fabulous views all the way down to Yafo. The beach was insanely packed, with lots of people just enjoying their Shabbos of surf and sand. I wished we could have stayed longer, but we were tired and had to head back. We ended up back at the apartment and both sweated through an attempt at napping. A quick Shalosh Seudot with Rachel and Oren and suddenly the entire weekend was over!
Don't you hate when that happens? Especially on a long Shabbos? When normally, the Shabbos could just drag on and you're counting the minutes until you can put on your TV and boot up your computer. But then there are the weekends when you're just so happy, and having so much fun, that it ends way too early?
We drove back to Jerusalem happy with our great weekend and I immediately set to work on making the cheesecakes. I hope they came out ok, as I used only 5% cheese for both of them. Normally, I use full fat for this cheesecake recipe, so I hope it tastes good.
Here's the menu for lunch: deconstructed taco salad, quesadillas, guacamole, salsa, hummus, mandarin orange salad, baked ziti (pictured above), tuna croquettes, garlic roasted sweet and regular potatoes, cheesecake, watermelon and vegan brownies for dessert.
Well, with the vegan brownies made on Thursday night and the cheesecake done last night, I had well everything else to make today! I was exhausted when I pulled myself out of bed this morning and I quickly got to work making a cranberry crunch for tonight's dinner. We're going to pidgeon's Aunt for Shavuot dinner and I offered to make this dessert for the non-cheesecake eaters. Pidgeon is looking forward to it, as we think the cheesecake is full fat and not on either of our diets.
Then, I literally hand grated a huge block of cheddar (finished result pictured above) and two blocks of mozzarella. Next, I set to work making the baked ziti. It came out beautiful! I hope it tastes as good! I also made a smaller version, with low fat cheese, for pidgeon. Next, it was on to the garlic roasted potatoes and it took me forever to peel all of them. After that, I made the corn salad since it needs to marinade overnight, and I set to work on getting the tuna croquettes ready. They took no time at all to fry up and I think I might have burnt a few, but it wasn't took bad. I cooked up 6 eggs just in case someone doesn't like tuna or pasta and I'll have an egg salad backup, and then I got to work on the quesadillas. It's iffy making these in advance, but my friend suggested that I reheat them on Shavuot without any cover. This way, it won't get too soggy. Pidgeon was extremely helpful, running all my errands and making the bed for Oren and Rachel, helping clean the apartment and putting away stuff that has been strewn about for weeks! I was pretty much falling off my feet when I had to work on cleaning the living area and setting the table. I decided to just put a tablecloth and the chairs around the table, as opposed to actually setting out plates. I still don't know if I'm going to use real plates or paper, we'll see how I feel tomorrow.
Well, I'm off to finish getting ready for our Shavuot guests! Here's hoping your lactose induced holiday is enjoyable! We won't be staying up this year, and I'm looking forward to P"G a restful 24 hours.
Chag Sameach from Baka!