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Archive for March, 2013

It’s Passover for many people this week and it’s almost Easter, and all over the world (even in places that are still covered with snow) it’s the very very beginning of springtime. It’s also my birthday today, so this is a time of year that I have always been particularly connected to, and in tune with. Where I live, it’s signaled by the blossoming of almond tress and the sprouting up of wild bulbs – iris, poppy,  and daffodil shoots burst out of the ground, ready to blossom. It’s also a time where it is easy to see the hand of God everywhere – in small things like the blossoming of flowers, the re-awakening of the world from it’s winter slumber. It’s a time that it’s easy to be grateful too – for family and friends that many of us are surrounded by during these holidays and festivals, but also for little things like the sun on your face for the first time in months, and for warmer temperatures.

I am thankful for many things, but this week it’s for all the emails and tweets and facebook messages from people who have been posting about my cookbook and talking about it – being excited with me that it’s finally coming out, and remembering the meals they ate at my home and test kitchen over the past twelve years since the idea for the cookbook first came to me. I am also mega-grateful to all those that have already pre-ordered the cookbook – that has meant so much to me – and left me both grinning and with tears in my eyes at the same time. Thank you. And keep them coming!

All of this is a long way to say that I find what happens in Exodus Chapter 33 very odd. Moses wants to see God face to face. He says to God, “look, we’ve come this far together, don’t I at least get to see what you look like?” But God refuses. The closest he will let Moses get to him is this verse:

“And behold, when My glory passes over, I shall put you in the cleft of the rock, and I will place My hand over you until I pass.” (Exodus 33:22)

And that made me think that it’s kind of like what we feel now during the springtime – the presence of God everywhere – in all the little things, flowers, friends, family, sunshine, and yes, in crevices of stone too. The hand of God as it “passes over” us and renews the land, the hand of God in baby chicks and lambs and springtime.

Questions: Why do you think God refused to let Moses see his face? Would you want to see the face of God? Why do you think God put Moses into a crack in a rock? What do you think God’s hand felt like to Moses? What are the ways in which you feel God’s hand in your life?

Ideas: spread frosting, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff or chocolate spread between any two cookies to create a “rock” with a filled crevice. Hand-shaped cookies are appropriate as well –  they can “pass-over” some round rock-shaped cookies. You can draw a face on a cookie and then serve them turned over (hidden), or any kind of pie without a top-crust (store bought or home-made) can be called an “open-face” pie.

face cookie

I offer to all of you a recipe appropriate for both Passover and Easter: Chocolate Filled Meringue Cookies

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I just finished five fabulous days of photography for my cookbook “Eating the Bible” which is forthcoming from Skyhorse Publishing in September 2013. It’s been a very exciting process, but also an exhausting one and I haven’t been able to manage to do much except obsess about every aspect of the photo shoots and the recipes.

The most exciting part is that the book is already up on Amazon! And Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads, and probably all sorts of places I haven’t even seen yet! It is available for pre-order, even though we don’t have a cover up yet. But the cover is coming….very very soon.

My family and I are going into the weekend with a fridge full of fabulous food that I made this past Wednesday – the day of the last photo shoot.

Our menu:
Honey Coriander Manna Bread
Crispy Potato Nests with three fillings (creamy mushroom, sundried tomato and chicken, and roasted vegetables)
Golden Brisket with Roasted Root Vegetables
Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Haroset
Curried Jasmine Rice with Figs
Cat’s Got Your Tongue Cookies
Apple Mounds in Pastry Dough

And I’ll throw together a salad from all the leftover fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs!

I look forward to explaining all the dishes to my guests. We have invited over good friends, and they invited over five hungry teens! So between our kids and their kids and the extra teen stomachs I have no doubt that all the food will be gone in no time! I am having over my friend Dina, who is personally responsible for making my Gingerbread Tabernacle happen. Without her it would have been shabby looking indeed.

Stay tuned for more cookbook updates and I wish all of your a fabulous weekend. Spring is in the air! I’ve added a new recipe to the blog for Mincha Spice Cookies, though we tend to make spice cookies in the winter, when we want to warm up with a mug of hot cider or cocoa and something sweet and spicy, the addition of the almonds and the sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar gives it a springy feel. Enjoy!

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“And if a soul brings a meal offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. He shall pour oil over it and place frankincense upon it.” (Leviticus 2:1)

Questions: In every other mention of the offerings one can voluntarily bring in Leviticus, the individual bringing the offering is referred to as a person or a man, in Hebrew: “Adam.” However, when speaking of the meal offering, the person is referred to as a soul, in Hebrew: “nefesh.” What is unique about the meal offering that the person who brings it is referred to in this way? What differentiates a “man” from a “soul”? Why is one of the simplest offerings the one offered by a “soul” rather than a “man”?

Ideas: Serve anything made from “fine flour,” olive oil or spices. Artisan bread dipped in olive oil, or even cinnamon-raisin bread. Spice cookies or cinnamon buns are a great choice too!

Recipe for Tasty Mincha Cookies here

spice cookies

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