Potato and Zucchini Gratin

Leading up to Shavuot, I find the hype over dairy recipes amusing. There is an innumerable amount of cheesy, milky, buttery recipes for a holiday that will be predominantly filled with meat meals, and only a small fraction reserved for consuming dairy. But I'm not complaining. I enjoy sampling from everyone's milky treats.



So, in the name of getting into the holiday spirit, I'm sharing an easy Potato and Zucchini Gratin that will make you want to eat dairy-fully way past the Yom Tov.



 It's easy and comforting. Think melted, burnt cheese with potatoes and zucchini. Yum!




{Enjoy sharing it with your loved ones}





Light and Fluffy Cheesecake

I'm not a big fan of cheesecake. If there's a cheesecake in front of me, my sweet tooth will urge me to test it, in hopes that this bite will change my relationship to this kind of cake. It usually doesn't go beyond 3 bites. The first bite is an introductory sample, the second is the confirmation of blahness from the first and the third is to solidify the consensus that it's just "not worth the calories."

I find most cheesecakes to be blobs of too many eggs mixed with over-sweetened cheese. So you can imagine my level of excitement when Shavuot is around the corner. It's parve. I'm not particularly excited since I don't join in on the dairy hype.

That is, until Debby came along and introduced the pivotal cheesecake that made 3 bites turn into an inordinate amount I won't disclose.

She introduced me to the fluffiest, airiest, most delicate cheesecake I have ever tasted.


I wish I was exaggerating for the sake of drafting an interesting blog post, but thankfully I am not. I implore you to get your mixer and cream cheese and make this cake now. Yes, now. You won't regret it, you might even thank me profusely later.


Lucky for me, I usually get to skip the preparations since Debby makes this as a Shabbat morning treat. And this past Shabbat she even let me take a few snapshots to share with you. Since sunset was getting close and I was not in my own home to "plate" the subject, I took haphazard shots so I can share them with you straightaway.



I hope you will push yourself to try it. Believe me, it is well worth the effort (and calories).


a short update

I thought I would share a few things I've been up to lately, while away on an uninvited blogcation.

My baby turned one, and bloomed into a rambunctious toddler. Thank G-d.


(second time using fondant. So much fun.)

I started experimenting with my macro filters on some flowers. My husband got me those, in case you were wondering. (As a side note, macro photography is a real challenge.) Maybe my husband can get me a macro lens instead of flowers next time...


And I started a detox program. After feeling tired and weak for so long, I knew I needed to make some lifestyle changes. I watched a food documentary called Hungry for Change that was quite informative (though I would have happily been sparred the before and after images of obese men shedding their fat deposits), and I read a book called Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger.

I quickly became sold on his detox program. He made me drink purple cabbage. Happily.



I haven't had any sugar, wheat (save for Shabbat), dairy, soy or corn for the past three weeks and I feel great. I have more energy every day, no sugar cravings, or mood swings. I feel light, yet full. I eat healthy and exercise (when my kids let me).

So I thought I would share with you some of the smoothies, salads, and juices I've concocted. And if you've been wanting a jumpstart into feeling healthy then read the book and start your own journey.

{Stay tuned}




Chocolate Molten Cake with Coconut Ice Cream

It's so exciting to finally be back to my little online world. I feel almost as delighted as when I wrote my very first post. Well it's been three months, this almost feels like my very first post. I'm anxious and hopeful to keep sharing some of the yummy recipes I've made. You know, consistently. 

So I brought you flowers. Because they are bright and beautiful and make me happy. And so you'll forgive my neglect and keep coming back to visit.
 


Yes, I got them for Mother's Day. No, not from my dear husband, but from someone else who spoils me consistently, my mother-in-law. Though I don't necessarily celebrate mother's day, I do feel bursts of joy as I glance at this lovely arrangement gracing my table. So if Mother's day warrants their presence, I will not object.

(Though I'll admit their present withering state prompts a less enthusiastic reaction.)



I also made a decadent chocolate dessert for Shabbat and gave the two a photoshoot. Three symbolic elements that make most women (me included) swoon: dark chocolate, fresh, vibrant flowers, and sweet, vanilla ice cream. The strawberries are there, you know, for their antioxidants, to make me feel like this is healthy-ish. And because I had to follow the cliche of adding strawberries to a chocolatey, ice creamy dessert. 

I fondly remember when this dessert started gaining widespread popularity in the restaurant scene. My husband and I were dating, and therefore restaurant hoping quite frequently. When dessert time came around, I constantly ordered the chocolate soufflee (though strictly speaking this is more of a cake than a soufflee, but I was ignorant to the differences). After tasting too many to disclose (really, I ate all of them, my husband-to-be had iron-clad will power and would take only ONE bite. I, on the other hand, the bride-to-be who needed to shed college pounds, blissfully sipped on "chocolate soup" as I lovingly dubbed it), I became quite the connoisseur.




So after recreating this dessert at home numerous times, I finally settled on this recipe I found on the Martha Stewart website. It has the right amount of chocolate, not too much sugar, and very little margarine (though I'm hoping to try it with coconut oil instead).

This dessert was a success. My brother-in-law, who is quite carnivorous and will gleefully chew on lamb chops over chocolate, attests to it's deliciousness. He ate his whole plate. Quite the achievement.

Let me know when you've tried it, or leave a comment just to say hello.


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