Warm Chickpea FG2

I’ve heard the story about my dad’s first day of kindergarten at least a dozen times. He was ready for the day. Excited even. But then he talked in class and was banished to the corner. It was cruel.  He barely made it out alive. When the final bell rang, he ran to his mom after class and exclaimed: “I did it! It’s over!”  Poor thing — he thought kindergarten only lasted for one day.

I only remember a few clips from kindergarten, let alone the first day. I recognized a girl in my class from JCC summer camp; she was crying and her mom was crouched down comforting her. And there was a blonde girl tending to a boy with a broken arm.  My teacher was Mrs. Kellams, I had a cubby above a kid named Jason, and I wrote about my crush on Jason in my diary.  When I think about the early years of school, the first thing that comes to mind is the smell of a freshly sharpened #2 pencil. In middle school, they had these monstrous, silver hand-wound pencil sharpeners that my friends and I would “meet” at during class to fight the boredom and pass notes. The smell would fill the class room and I was, like, crazy anal about getting the tip of pencil super sharp. I think about my immense pride dominating at four-square and all the “after school kids” who went to day care and were my earliest friends.  I have a lot of really sweet memories from the early years of school — learning how to be a friend, learning how to self-advocate, learning how to think.  And it is with loud, bursting joy that, 20+ years later, I am almost out of school and almost, finally, a real adult.

Three weeks ago, I typed the finals words into my last paper, emailed it to my professor, and just like that, I had finished law school. It was actually pretty unceremonious — especially because I had used a Crest Whitening Strip earlier that morning and my teeth were in such extreme pain that I was drooling down my neck, crouched in a fetal position on our couch, starving — but Adam gave me a pretty decent high five. In two months I’ll take the bar exam, and then I will throw out all my multi colored sticky tabs, post its, highlighters, toss a million half-used legal pads into the recycling, and retire an extremely long haul of student life.  Law school made me feel humbled, sometimes smart, mostly anxious, proud, embarrassed, and temporarily aimless, but more than anything, busy and extremely tired. At least that’s how I think I felt — now that it’s over, all I can see are rosy bushes, clean hair, and happy people jumping in gigantic bouncy machines.

I am so proud of what my friends and I have achieved, and so grateful for everyone, mostly my parents & Adam, for all the opportunities I was given that allowed me to make it this far.

Warm Chickpea Salad

What You Need

2 persian cucumbers; cut in half lengthwise and diced

2 c tomatoes; seeded and diced

1 can chickpeas

1 piece of bread; toasted and cut into cubes like croutons

1/4 c parsley; chopped

2 hardboiled eggs; grated


2 tblsp raw tehina

juice of one lemon (if you can get the lemon pulp in there too, do it!)

a generous pinch of salt

2 tblsp water (or until your tehina reaches your desired consistency)

1 tblsp olive oil

Warm Chickpea Salad-4   Warm Chickpea Salad-3 How To Do It

Hard boil your eggs. Set aside.

Warm the chickpeas in a pan with some oil over low heat, stirring frequently until they are warm all the the way through.

Add all the salad ingredients. Dress with the tehina. Add extra salt and/or lemon to taste. Serve and eat immediately. Enjoy!

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Chardonnay Leeks-2

At a workshop a few weeks ago, a woman asked the group of us to think about the strongest message we received about money when we were young and write it on a sticker. Below it, she said to write down the strongest message we received about “giving.” Then she blind-sided us and said we had to wear the sticker. I felt so exposed. I wrote: “It’s hard to make a dollar” above “Give money to the arts.” Both of these messages came from my mom.

As a kid, I spent a lot of hours sitting in the car silently while my mom made work calls. She had a huge, white binder and sometimes I would read phone numbers out loud to her so she could call people when you were still allowed to hold your phone and drive. I remember she used a gravel-colored paper for press releases and that her business logo at the top of the page felt slightly raised under my fingers as they slid across the letters. I remember the smell of cardboard boxes, clay, and the sound of clear masking tape stretching across the middle of a box tightly packed and filled with styrofoam peanuts. I remember spending spring breaks at horse shows in Kentucky and in Scottsdale and getting a painful shot in anticipation of joining her in Guam for an unveiling of her art. It’s hard to make a dollar.

Every December, my whole family used to travel to Florida to stay at my grandparent’s place for the holidays. At nights, my uncle and aunts would pile by the piano to sing Carol King and Cat Stevens, and eventually the night would end with the whole family erupting into: “Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end…!”  I remember my mom playing piano and singing “Glocca Morra” for my grandpa while he and my grandmother softly harmonized, exchanging flirtatious smiles. I remember my eyes widening so big when my mom sang opera that the corners would begin to burn. I remember being at home in our apartment, eight or nine years old, sitting at the piano late one night with my mom while she patiently taught me “Heart and Soul.” She gave me the deepest hug, yelped from excitement when I got it right, and made me feel like I was exceptional. I remember walking by street musicians and my mom never passing by without giving a dollar or two to enjoy their sweet sounds. Give money to the arts.

I don’t remember hearing “money messages” when I was young. But I learned so much when she didn’t know I was looking.

Chardonnay Leeks

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Serves 2 overeaters or 3 people comfortably. Serve with a salad and it could serve 3-4 comfortably.

What You Need

Dough: No-knead whole wheat pizza dough — click here  OR easiest flatbread dough — click here (*If using the whole wheat recipe, make dough 12 hrs ahead) OR change this to an appetizer and just buy a sourdough baguette 

2 leeks; halved and thinly sliced

1 tblsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c chardonnay (I used a cheap one — Charles Shaw)

1/2 tsp agave nectar (honey would be fine)

approx 2 tblsp goat cheese

approx 3 tblsp flat parsley; chopped (*arugula would be good, too)

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How To Do It

Get the dough ready, whether you are using the whole wheat recipe or the flatbread recipe. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.

While the oven is preheating, saute the leeks with the olive oil over high heat until they are soft, caramelized and beginning to brown. Sprinkle with salt. Add the chardonnay — the leeks should be just covered (not drowning) so you may have to adjust your measurement depending on your pan. Let braise over medium-high heat until the liquid has cooked out. Taste the leeks. Freak out about how good they taste. If the flavor is off, adjust with more salt or more chardonnay.

When the oven is ready, cook your dough without toppings for about 5-7 minutes or until the bottom begins to brown and the dough is nearly cooked through. Spread the goat cheese all over the bread, getting some on the crust and evenly distributing it over every bite. Spread the leeks all over evenly. Cook until the edges of the crust start to brown and dough is cooked.

Sprinkle with ample parsley (or arugula). Enjoy!

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Some days you have to eat cake.  I don’t really like cake, so some days I have to eat scotchmallows from See’s Candies.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I drove to the mall to go shopping and eat candy but almost everything I tried on looked ugly.  Or didn’t fit.  I felt sad.  My body started to drift toward See’s and once I approached the counter, fully ready to deliver my order, a wave of heat flew up my body as I noticed that the scotchmallow display was empty.  “Oh no! Are you out of scotchmallows?” I asked the woman. She looked at me with a slightly annoyed but almost kind of empowered grin and said they’d been out since Valentine’s Day.  And in my mind, I popped 100 red, heart-shaped balloons with a very sharp pencil.

When I got home, I needed a corrective experience.  Shopping failed.  Scotchmallows failed. But I knew that a crumble like this could only succeed because it barely requires brain power. And desserts that require little to no brain power are my kind of desserts. The instructions should really read: warm fruit, mix dry ingredients, pour dry on top of wet, bake, stuff your face.  Parents, are you listening? This is so easy that you should 100 percent do this with your kids. Baking-challenged readers, are you taking note? Everyone who is short on time, can I get an Amen?!  Ease aside, this tart, berry crumble is delicious and goes a long way for for those like me who don’t like super sweet desserts and don’t have a lot of extra time in the evenings. Plus, the topping is made from heart-healthy ingredients that won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied. And dare I say, if you added some yogurt on top, you could call this breakfast.  Enjoy!


What You Need

1 12 oz. bag of frozen berries (I used blackberries, strawberries, blueberries)

1/2 bag of frozen mango (1 cup)

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 c shredded, sweetened coconut

1 tblsp agave nectar

The Topping

1/2 c rolled oats (replace with any non-gluten grain or use gluten free oats if you’d prefer)

1 c almond meal

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c shredded, sweetened coconut

2 tblsp brown sugar

2 tblsp coconut oil

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How To Do It

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Over medium heat, warm the berries and mango until softened (stir so nothing gets stuck to pot).  Add the lemon juice, agave, and 1/2 c coconut and cook for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients listed under “the topping” except for the sugar and coconut oil.  Place the berries in dish and spread evenly. Next, spread the topping evenly over the berries. Finally, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top and dollop the coconut oil evenly atop the sugar. Bake until the berries begin bubbling through the topping or along the sides (about 30 minutes).  When you serve it, just slightly mix up the berries and oat topping so it gets perfectly moistened. Enjoy!






Breakfast Chickpeas

Because oatmeal is really depressing.

I’m, like, super particular about my morning food.  I have eaten the same smoothie every morning for the last three years.  Every now and then, I won’t want to clean the blender and I’ll pour a bowl of granola, but I get kinda bent out of shape if I don’t have my daily dose of frozen fruit.  But man, I must have blacked out when I made this breakfast.  I thought, oh, it’ll be cute to take a picture with a bite missing from the stack.  And then I completely lost my mind. Within seconds, I had eaten the entire stack of pancakes.  TWELVE pancakes!  And I’m not a 250 lb man!  I thought about skipping lunch.  I considered going to the gym.  And then I slid across my floor and danced a little jig (I had a nice sugar rush going) because there really wasn’t anything to feel guilty about.  Except not saving any for Adam.

All hail the banana.  The more I look, the more often people are doing amazing things with bananas.  A single frozen banana mixed with peanut butter and chocolate yields a totally simple, affordable, calorie-friendly alternative to ice cream.  A fried banana covered in nuts is OMG so good and easy.  And I never would have thought that bananas could replace flour in a pancake – I thought you’d at least need something like almond meal.  Now, before you get all negative-Nancy on me and question the consistency of these guys, I’ll come right out and tell you that these pancakes are softer than normal pancakes. But what do you expect? They’re flourless!  But hey aren’t mushy, can hold a shape, and stacked on top of one another, you wouldn’t hate the difference.  These particular guys draw quite a bit of sweetness from the agave-vanilla-BOURBON syrup, but the blackberries give a quick flash of sourness to calm it all down.  This is a great option if you are gluten-free, dairy free, trying out the paleo thing, or just curious! I’ll definitely make these again and I can’t wait to hear what you think.  Enjoy!


Serves: makes approximately 10-12 pancakes

Inspired by this recipe

What You Need

2 ripe bananas; mashed

4 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

about 10 blackberries; chopped

1/2 c sweetened, shredded coconut

2 tblsp coconut oil

pinch of salt

Bourbon-Vanilla Syrup (please feel free to use your own diet-friendly syrup)

1/3 c agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp bourbon

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How To Do It

Mash up the bananas until almost smooth, and then mix in the eggs. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Over medium heat, warm up a little coconut oil. Drop a tiny bit of the batter onto the pan and when it has cooked, you’ll know the oil is hot and ready.  Spoon as much batter as you want for your pancake, and fry for about 1.5 – two minutes per side.

For the syrup, just combine all the ingredients and pour.  I like my syrup warm so I heated it very slightly for about 10 seconds.

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Minimalism is in.  And, anyways, it feels good to say no.

It has been a slow stroll into 2014 for me. I’ve neglected my gmail account. I’ve turned my text alert off. I’ve forgotten my log in password for my school’s website, and heaven help me if I can recall my locker code tomorrow morning. But slow feels right.

Around the holidays — beginning with Thanksgiving and ending right after New Years — my creative juices fizzle against the pressure to pump out peppermint desserts, pumpkin flour pies, and latkes with the new “current,” random root vegetable.  The holidays make me want to dig my heels in and just say “no!” to my blog becoming another “thing” I have to do instead of a creative outgrowth of being alive.  So, I usually pick up a show, binge watch four or five seasons, and then it’s safe to come out from hiding.

I’ve said no to some other things, too.  Like running.  I hate it, so I’m not doing it again – unless it’s dark out and the N Judah is coming.  And high heels. Bunions hurt and my knees are angry.  I tossed some used books, sold old clothes, and hung artwork that was blocking doors and collecting dust. I dumped some eyeshadow from 2005, two of my three copies of Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, and 42 lbs worth of notebooks scribbled with Farsi, course readers, and English essays from my freshman year of college. In my minimalist quest, I discovered $50 in Amazon gift cards, repurposed an old window, and I finally bought a container for what has got to be 1,000 sq feet of bubble wrap.  Kids, say no to drugs?  Say no to clutter! (and drugs.) 

If there is anything you should say yes to, however, it’s this breakfast.  Oh. My. Gosh. Honestly, I was just craving my favorite hummus from Tel Aviv, and I ended up with this dish that is lip-smacking delicious.  The chickpeas are really smooth, the cumin and cayenne are warm and subtle, and the lemon is perfectly bright.  The kale gives a crunchy texture and the drippy yolk slides right over your tongue like it ain’t no thang.  This is the kind of breakfast you make for someone you love. Including yourself. Enjoy!

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Serves 2 – 3 people

What You Need

2 tblsp olive oil

1 leek; halved and thinly sliced (or approx. 2 cups)

1/4 tsp cumin seeds (if you don’t have these, just use a little more cumin)

2 garlic cloves; minced

1 c white mushrooms; thinly sliced

6-7 cherry tomatoes; quartered

1/4 c kale; chopped

harissa/cayenne pepper/something with a kick (to your taste)

1 can of chickpeas

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 c veggie broth

1-3 eggs over easy  (depending on how many people you are cooking for)

cayenne pepper & chopped kale to garnish


Breakfast Chickpeas

How To Do It

Saute the leeks and cumin seeds in olive oil over med-high heat.  Once the leeks soften add the mushrooms and garlic.  After about 10 minutes, stirring so the leeks don’t burn but become a golden brown, add the tomatoes, harissa (or whatever spicy substitute you’re using) kale, chickpeas, lemon juice and salt. Continue stirring for a couple of minutes and then add the vegetable broth.  Cook until most of the liquid has disappeared.  Top with an over-easy egg and garnish with cayenne pepper and chopped kale.  Enjoy!

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Some weekends remind us how far we’ve come.

Half of the time, I grew up in a Splenda house.  A non-fat milk, sugar-free chocolate, ten-calorie popsicle, crazy-fiber-muffins-for-breakfast-make-for-super-embarrassing-drives-to-school kind of house.

The other half of the time I spent eating cantaloupe for dessert.  Cantaloupe or Jell-o with whipped cream.  Cantaloupe is what you eat when you’d rather be eating brownies.  Cantaloupe tastes like the back of a fridge.  Cantaloupe is diet food, and I can’t look at a cantaloupe today without feeling bad about my body.

I spent my entire adolescence eating around the food that was actually good for me.  I thought I knew what the “right” food choices were.  But do you know how much better coffee with half-and-half actually tastes?  Or how much better simple olive oil, balsamic, and salt tastes than some Newman’s reduced-calorie vinaigrette that oddly never seems to mold or expire?

I can’t say I’m wholly reformed today.  I still sit in classrooms ignoring important career panel discussions because I’m deciding if “it’s a good idea” to get another cookie from the buffet spread.  But these days, I’m more scared of the non-fats, low-fats, sugar-frees, and Splenda, than I am of going back for seconds.

A couple of weekends ago, I sat on the couch and fisted handfuls of homemade granola into my mouth with a demented half-grin on my face.  I drank an enormous cup of delicious, over-priced coffee that had some real, full-fat cream in it.  Then I stood up, waved my freak flag, and felt proud to have entered a new phase of my life where eating has more to do with satisfaction than with fear.

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Makes two 8 cups of granola — or 2 quarts (in mason jar language)

What You Need

“The Granola”

3 C rolled oats

1.5 C shredded, sweetened coconut

2 T fennel seeds

2 T sesame seeds

1/2 C sunflower seeds

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cardamon

1 C dried, unsweetened cranberries (reserved for after)

“The Glue”

2/3 C agave nectar

3 T (heaping) coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

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How To Do It

Just a warning: this granola is unbearably addictive.  Parental supervision required.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a pan with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the granola except for the cranberries. Over medium heat, melt the agave, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour over the granola and mix until all the granola is well-coated.  Spread the granola onto the parchment paper so it is evenly distributed.  Bake until the edges of the granola begin to crisp up (about 10 – 15 minutes), remove from the oven and mix it all up again.  Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes until granola is a nice golden color.  Mix in the cranberries.  Leave your house and walk back in so you can enjoy the smell.  Let cool on the stove for at least 20 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

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This year, I want to play the long game.

Rosh HaShanah never really meant much to me. We didn’t celebrate it as a kid, and it wasn’t until I was 24 years old and living in Israel that I even discovered people had Rosh HaShanah seders. I was terrified at that table with Adam’s family, having absolutely no idea what to do with the pomegranate or what to say over the dates.

Celebrating the New Year in the US means literally nothing to me.  This year, Rosh HaShanah is giving me the excuse to re-envision the person I want to become, in a more profound way than simply promising myself that I won’t be so shallow next year.

This year, I’m thinking about “grown up” Lauren.  Will she be happy? Will she be proud of her life? What will she regret? This year, I am taking a personal inventory of the values, people, and activities that make a positive impact in my life, and I am “defriending” every.single.other.thing.  I’m closing the book on doing things that are “the logical next step,” despite how badly the controlling, type-A in me wants everything to fit together like a puzzle. This year, I am opening my mind and heart to what makes sense for more reasons than just logic.  And I hope you all find a moment to consider whether you are the person you want to be and, if not, feel empowered to reorganize the puzzle pieces. Shana Tova!


Slightly adapted from this recipe

Serves 4

What You Need

1 packet of puff pastry (note: don’t get phyllo dough!)

1 egg; beaten well

6 oz soft goat cheese

2 tblsp honey

1 tblsp lemon

1/4 tsp salt

1 gala apple; peeled and sliced into thin moons

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 c honey

1.5 tblsp butter


How To Do It

Combine the cheese, lemon, salt, honey in a small bowl. Set aside. Roll out your puff pastry, and, using a bowl w/a 5″ diameter, make four circles. Using a bowl with a 3″ diameter, make four more mini circles. Place your 5″ circles on a parchment-lined pan. Brush the outer inch of the 5″ diameter circles with egg. Place the small circles on the larger circles. Freeze for at least 30 minutes (I did mine over night if you’re planning ahead).

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Spread the cheese mixture on the area of the small circle. Slice your apples and arrange them on the tart. They look prettiest if you fan them out. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Melt the butter and 1/4 c honey together, and drizzle it over the tarts (leaving some for the end).

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with a little more of the honey (2 tblsp) & butter mixture. Serve warm! (But they are also really, really good cold.) Enjoy!




I am asleep but my heart is awake.

Two years ago, I packed up my clothes, emptied my cabinets, and crossed the long, marbled hallway into Ben Gurion airport. I sat alone at my gate, eyes welling with tears, and I wrote a post about leaving Israel. When the plane took off, I said a private goodbye to the silence of my backyard on a Friday night, the soft Tel Aviv sand, and the aggressively loud banter in the markets. In that sweet moment, I completely lost my shit, frantically asked the man next to me if I could borrow his cell phone, and I cried hysterically into the stranger’s mouthpiece saying a final goodbye to Adam who was taking a later flight.

It was definitely dramatic. But the end of my 2008 Birthright trip was completely ridiculous. With snot and tears on my face, loose Israeli clothing on my body, sunburnt, exhausted, and filthy, I demanded that the agent remove my bags from the plane immediately because “I wasn’t ready to leave!” She was unmoved and, frankly, suspicious. 

Every time I leave Israel, I’m “not ready to leave.” But I didn’t think I’d go back by leading a Birthright trip. Nevertheless, the trip was a perfect return. It was hilarious, heartwarming, and sometimes gut-wrenching to see the places I love through the eyes of people seeing them for the first time — listening to everyone scream from pain in the Dead Sea, watching them cry at Yad Vashem, and their shock and exhaustion after getting around the shuk. And it was comforting to run into old friends in unexpected places.

Coming home is always hard, and it won’t be long till routine sets in again and the memories start to fade. But in the time being, I don’t know where to put the nostalgia. Those 47 people gave me something special I will never forget. A sense of wonder. I’m exhausted from the trip, but I also haven’t felt so awake in years.


What You Need

2 tblsp olive oil

2 lemons; skin peeled and piths removed (add more juice to taste)

2 plums

1 tsp sherry

1 tsp agave nectar (or honey)

salt & pepper

1 can of chickpeas (approx. 15 oz); coarsely chopped

1 fennel (plus fronds and leaves)

2 tblsp fresh mint; finely chopped


How To Do It

Pour yourself some coffee.

Remove the lemon peels and the fruit of the lemons from the pith. Smell your fingers. Squeeze the fruit into a bowl along with the pieces. Mix in the oil, salt, pepper, sherry, and agave. Add the plums and chickpeas and mix well. Add the fennel, garnish with the fennel leaves and mint. Enjoy!



Cooking in someone else’s home is hard. You don’t know which knife is the best. You’re uncharacteristically clean. You’re unsure whether you can just rinse a cup that was only, sorta, kinda used or if you really have to use soap. The burners never get hot fast enough, the oven gets hot too quickly, and eventually your just throw your arms up spoon feed yourself some peanut butter.

I said bye to my kitchen on Sunday as I packed up some clothes and moved out of San Francisco for the summer. There are geese outside my window here. And a lake. Yesterday, I took a long walk beside a corn grove. I even walked for 25 minutes without seeing another person. It didn’t make me nervous. I sat on a lawn chair, next to a pool. I listened to a waterfall. I read Bon Appetit, laughed with a friend, stared at the lake, stared at the geese.

When I first visited Israel, someone told me that one of the worst things I could let happen to my life was routine. At the time, it seemed kind of dramatic, especially on the heels of the second Lebanon war. I see now how naive I was. Routine shrinks our eyes. It offers a temporary comfort in exchange for substantial discovery, growth, radical amazement. It’s frustrating when we open a cupboard for a glass only to find cereal and vitamins, but eventually we find our way to what we set out looking for.

I started a new job on Monday, in a new city, with new people, new questions and some unfamiliar independence.  I don’t yet know the best coffee shop around, the cheapest nail salon, or which file to put in which folder with which cover sheet. I suspect the next ten weeks will feel like I’m in someone else’s kitchen every day, at every turn. It’s exhausting. But like my friend was essentially saying, the worst thing we can do is remain the same.


What You Need

2 c dry farro

1 tsp salt

juice of 3 lemons

1 garlic clove; chopped

2 c celery; sliced (you could substitute for cucumber, too)

6 or 7 radishes; thinly sliced

5 thyme sprigs

2 c arugula; (before) chopped

2 leeks; sliced vertically, chopped, then roasted

1/4 c olive oil

1 to 1 1/2 c red grapes; halved and roasted

salt to taste!


How To Do It:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the leeks with olive oil and then roast for 15-20 minutes (or until they are crunchy). When finished, raise the temperature to 450 F, toss the grapes in a wee drizzle of olive oil (and pinch of salt!) and roast  for about 7 or 8 minutes (they should get wrinkly and look like an old person’s forehead). Remove from the oven, stick your finger in the juice and smile.

While those items are roasting, cook the farro with salt. In a large bowl, mix the farro with the lemon, garlic, celery and radish. Toss in the thyme and arugula and add the grapes last. Enjoy!





What are you thankful for? That you can make it to all of your kids’ sports games? That you have a job? That you have good health? I have a lot to be thankful for this week.

Our vet found a rare tick hidden on this little guy’s body that paralyzed and nearly killed him. But once removed, he was back to his happy, dancing self!


I accidentally left a spoon in the blender the other day, and when I turned the blender on, the glass broke and a huge shard flung into the kitchen wall. Happy it didn’t fling the other direction into my stomach.

Happy to be typing this post with two hands. I accidentally turned the electrical hand mixer on as I was trying to put one of the whisks into the socket. It turned on with my hand stuck between the two wands. It hurt, but all’s intact.

Happy birthday to MyJerusalemKitchen! 100 posts and two years later, my little blog is growing up. And happy birthday to Adam, the love of my life!


And most importantly of all, that this woman is my mom and has taught me everything I know about being an ambitious and compassionate woman. We shared this eggplant dish for a light mother’s day lunch. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!



I got to spend the last week with some family. Some I hadn’t seen in years and others have grown inches in a matter of moments it seems. My mom and I spent a lot of time together doing fun stuff but also just sitting in the car, giggling, running errands, and driving back home to get things we forgot. We tried to “make plans,” but we mostly just wasted time together like school girls. My mom, probably like many of you, or at least like many of your moms, does it all. She buys hundreds of crickets for the lizards my sister catches in the backyard and she stays up late into the night, talking with us, if we are worried about our lives. She finds lessons in a bad turn of events. She encourages us to follow our hearts but tells us that it’s hard to make a dollar. She worries that we’ll stand too close to the subway platform or lean against the wrong window, that we’ll walk anywhere at night, or too close to a pool without a cover. Please don’t get tattoos, don’t wear high heels, and don’t let manicurists cut your cuticles.

Mom, and moms of the world, you teach us how to exist. Your constant worrying keeps us safe and makes us a little crazy. You soften us but you don’t let us think the real world is easy. This Sunday, you deserve a break. You spent hours in excruciating pain to bring us into this world, and every subsequent hour has been spent wondering where we are, what are friends are like, and who we will become. This Mother’s Day, breathe out a little. We love you.


Serves 2 for a light lunch

What You Need

1 eggplant; burnt on a burner

1/2 c tehina/tahini

salt to taste

lemon for drizzling

1 handful of pomegranate seeds to garnish; for how to de-seed one easily, look here

1 tblsp of parsley for garnish (mint would have been good, too)

How To Do It:

You’re going to burn the eggplant on top of a burner on your stove. Put some foil on your burner, leaving an opening around the burner, so you don’t have too much to clean up after. Over high heat, burn the eggplant, turning every 3 minutes (with tongs!) or so until the eggplant is completely black. Set aside to cool. Once the eggplant isn’t too hot to the touch, peel the black burnt skin off. Do not wash the eggplant because you want to retain that roasted/smoky flavor. Make four cuts into the eggplant, vertically, leaving the “head” of the eggplan intact (don’t cut all the way up to the top so that if you want to divide it with another person, each if you has two slices that are intact). Fan the pieces out on a place. Drizzle tehina across the eggplant, squeeze the juice from half a lemon all over, salt to taste, and garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Enjoy with someone you love!


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