I went to IKEA and it was awesome!

*I was not asked to nor paid to write this post. IKEA is just so awesome I had to document ALL. THE. THINGS!

The #BestBossEver was going to the IKEA food store after work and offered to take us with her. Shani and I decided to make an evening of it and do the whole store.

I made myself a list and was promptly laughed at by everyone because apparently you NEVER stick to your list.

Which  is true. I did not stick to my list. Although I only bought 3 extra things so that’s not so bad.

My list consisted of the following:

An oven glove

A4 boxes

Smaller boxes

A whisk

2 sets of tongs

An egg lift

A pasta spoon

A garlic press

IKEA zip bags

Light fittings for Faith and Aaron

And from the food shop:

Mustard

Herring

The additional things I picked up were:

A knife sharpener

A flamingo

A frog-pig-monkey 

Start Here

Shani and I started upstairs going through all the various rooms and apartments. It also happens to be the big winter sale, so lots of things were marked down. 

Sale

We took about an hour going through the whole upstairs and then parked our trolley (and Shani for a minute) while we went to the dining area so I could experience the quintessential IKEA meal. Swedish meatballs.

Parking bays
Meatballs

Oh man! Since it was relatively early for dinner, we landed up sharing a plate of meatballs, chips and green beans. We stopped just short of licking the plate clean. For ₪25 for a huge plate of food its almost worth just going there for dinner, never mind all the awesome things to buy.

All done

Once dinner was over we headed downstairs to begin the real shopping.

It took us about an hour to go through the store, find the things on our lists, find things that were on the sale, put things we really didn’t need back on the shelf and check out.

All the things!

We then popped into the food store and grabbed all the yummies.

I really enjoyed IKEA. The whole experience was amazing. I loved the room set ups, so many cool ideas to utilise a small space. And all the nifty gadgets. I could probably spend a fortune in there if I could.

I will definitely be going back since I saw a whole lot of things I would like to get.

Manifestation

When we were first making aliyah, people were slightly horrified that I didn’t have a job lined up for when we arrived.

They were even more horrified when I told them that I would be happy packing supermarket shelves if that was the only job I could get.

Then I was lucky enough to get a job within a month of arriving in Israel and I’ve just passed my 2 year work anniversary with the company.

I have also only just realise, like sitting at the bus stop this morning realised, that I have actually manifested my words from 2 years ago.

You see, I work for a company that price compares products across a variety of supermarkets. My job, specifically, is to make sure that all the data we receive from the various stores is correct in terms of price, quantity and of course, which shelves the products are on in the website.

It only took me 2 years to twig, but even though I may not be physically packing shelves at the local super, I am digitally packing shelves for a variety of supermarkets.

Things I have recently learned…

Boys are gross

OK, so not something I didn’t already know but still. 

I could not look at Aaron’s room for a single minute more on Friday. So I asked demanded that he clean everything. I made him pick up and throw away every last piece of paper, string, broken toy, piece of crap off his floor. He had to clean out his toy box, bedside table and computer desk. He had to dust everything, wipe down all the surfaces and then sweep the floor. I then came in and used my awesome steam mop thingy to clean the floors. The best part was when I told him I want the floor clean enough to eat off. His eyes almost bugged out until I told him that it was a saying and we were not really going to eat off the floor.

So now his room is pretty clean, except for the cardboard boxes he is turning into a plane. Lets see how long it lasts this time.

Winter – Pic taken by Paul

The vacuum cleaner wasn’t broken

About 2 years ago we bought a really cheap vacuum cleaner from the local grocery store. It was cheap but it worked really well. For the last little while I’ve noticed that it wasnt working as well as it used to. We cleaned it out. Paul pulled out a fair bit of fluff and hairballs and it worked a bit better but no where near as well as when it was new. I thought that was that. Its a cheap machine, obviously has a short lifespan. I asked Paul to give it a clean so I could use it on the above mentioned boy’s room. Paul landed up taking the thing apart and actually washing one of the big sponge filters, which was disgustingly dirty. 

Let me just say, the machine now works like I just took it out the box. It even picked up glitter off the tiles and carpet. 

Moral of the story? Clean and service your appliances before throwing them out. 

Jerusalem – pic taken by Paul

You can make cake using plain Greek yogurt and no sugar

I felt like making a cake for tea yesterday and I didnt have any diabetic cup for cup sugar replacement available. What I did have was stevia liquid. I searched online and found a simple trick for using liquid stevia as a replacement in a regular recipe.  Basically 1 teaspoon stevia for each cup of sugar as well as 1/3 cup liquid for each cup of sugar. In my case I used plain yogurt.

The cake came out delicious!

Greek Yogurt Lemon Cake
A dense and yummy lemon cake with no sugar.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 3/4 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon butter (you can use the equivalent in oil)
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  8. 2 teaspoons stevia liquid
  9. 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  10. 1/2 cup lemon juice (you can also add a bit of lemon rind if you used a fresh lemon but its not necessary)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In 1 bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a 2nd bowl mix the butter/oil, eggs, vanilla, stevia, yogurt and lemon juice.
  4. Slowly add the dry bowl into the liquids bowl, mixing well as you add them together.
  5. Mix well until there are no lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into a prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. We ate this cake straight from the oven. It was totally delicious.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Its been a crazy few weeks

So the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of school holidays, Chanukah candles, fried foods, family dinners, Faiths (belated) birthday party, a visit from Wendi’s daughter, Sivan, a visit from our Australian family and my mom came to visit for two weeks.

I think I will just let some of Paul’s photos do the talking…

 

The Beyond Series by Kit Rocha – A Review

Author: Kit Rocha

Book: The Beyond Series (Books 1-9)

Genre: Dystopian, erotic, romance

Stars: * * * * *

I love a book (especially a series) where I become emotionally invested in the characters. And I really, really did with this series.

From the moment I started reading the very first book (Beyond Shame), I was immersed in this post apocalyptic world. I could smell, taste and feel the grittiness and vibrancy of life in Sector Four. And by the time I finished reading the first book? I was salivating for the next one and the next.

I found that each and every character has a little bit of me in them. Something that made them so relatable. Even in a world so far removed from what we know.

The characters are fully fleshed out, the dialogue is snappy, the sex is scorching, and even though each individual story is happily concluded, the overall story arc pulls you right back in with next book.  

I flew through these books at light speed (and have re-read a number of them while waiting for new books to be released). I originally downloaded the first 3 books as a free bundle in September 2014, 10 days later I bought the next 2 books as well as the 1st 2 novellas. I then had to wait (im)patiently for the rest of the books to be released. The wait has been well worth it and the final book (Beyond Surrender) left me in a squishy pile of feelings last night. 

If you love romance then these books are for you. If you enjoy a gritty, violent story with no sugar coating, these books are for you. If you want a series that involves all the characters from start to finish, these books are for you. If you are a fan of strong men and even stronger women these books are for you.

You can buy the books here: Amazon (some of the books are free downloads)

You can view the authors site here: Kit Rocha

Oh, and if you are like me, and cried puddles because the series is finished, not to worry, Kit Rocha has a new series set in the same world, starting in March 2017. I’ve pre-ordered the 1st book already!

Yogurt = cheese. No, really!

What happens when you ask your husband to by you plain yogurt to go with your muesli and instead of coming back with the 500ml bottle you were expecting he presents you with a 3L bottle instead?

You ask FB for recipes to use up the yogurt, that’s what.

You also get some great options.

  • Fruit yogurt smoothies
  • Frozen berry yogurt drops
  • Yogurt chocolate chip muffins
  • Tsatsiki
  • Yogurt pancakes (which I made last night and were delish)
  • And a half dozen suggestions to make Labneh cheese

After doing a bit of research and buying a brand new pair of knee high stockings I set about making cheese. It was really really easy and I will definitely be making more of it!

Look closely, you can see the liquid draining out the stocking

 

Cream cheese!

 

Labneh balls rolled in sweet chili mix, rosemary & garlic mix and a few plain ones for the kids.

 

Labneh Cheese
A simple and delicious Lebanese style cream cheese
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup full cream (or high fat percentage) plain yogurt
  2. pinch of course salt
  3. cheesecloth (or a pair of new knee high stockings - I used 20 denier)
  4. a colander or large sieve
  5. a bowl big enough to fit the colander/seive
Instructions
  1. Place your colander into your bowl and then your cheesecloth over your colander.
  2. If you are using stockings, double them up and get someone to hold them open for you.
  3. Mix your salt and yogurt together.
  4. Spoon or pour your yogurt into the cheesecloth/stockings.
  5. Tie the top of the cloth/stockings closed at the top, squeezing the yogurt towards the bottom as you go.
  6. Now you can either leave the cloth/stockings in the colander as is or you can hang them above the colander and let gravity help (I hung mine from the kitchen tap).
  7. Leave your yogurt to drain for at least 24hrs, the longer you leave it the firmer the cheese will be.
  8. You can leave it out on the counter (in winter) or in the fridge if its too warm.
  9. When you are ready to unveil your cheese, give it one last squeeze to remove any residual liquid and then, over a plate, unwrap the newly formed cheese.
There are a few options once your cheese is ready
  1. You can place it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it as a plain cream cheese spread.
  2. You can roll the cheese into small balls and then roll the balls into various herb and spice mixes before placing in an airtight container in the fridge.
  3. You can roll the cheese into small balls and then place them in a glass jar with a well sealing lid. Top the balls of cheese with a high quality olive oil to preserve them. You can also add various herbs and spices to the oil to infuse the cheese with flavour.
Other options
  1. You can also add your herbs and spices to the yogurt before draining if you like which will give you a flavoured cream cheese when you are done.
Adapted from various recipes on the web
Adapted from various recipes on the web
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Lets take a moment to discuss the coins in the lining of my jacket…

There are 3 of them. 2 small coins and 1 larger one.

The jacket is a K-Way down jacket from Cape Union Mart.

Edited to add: There were no coins in the jacket when I bought it!!

It has 4 pockets.

There are no holes in any of the pockets.

4 separate people (and myself) have literally turned the jacket inside out searching for any holes.

There are none.

Yet, there are 3 coins floating around in the lining of my jacket.

How even?

coin

Its driving me insane. I can feel them every time I put my hand in my pocket. I cannot find any holes. GAH!!!

So, this morning I placed 4 x 10 agorot pieces in the jacket pockets, 1 coin in each pocket and then zipped them up. 

Now we wait and see which coin disappears and then search that pocket for a hole.

And if there is no hole?

You may just find me rocking myself and a bottle of whiskey under my desk.

Soup weather

Winter, the season for soup.

So far I’ve made a pot of chicken soup and a pot of zucchini soup (requested by the boy child).

I wasnt sure about the zucchini soup. I like it roasted or as zucchini noodles but soup…?

So I searched the interwebs and found a few recipes but none really appealed to me. What did appeal to me were the recipes that had garlic in them.

So armed with a list of various recipes, a bag of zucchini, a garlic bulb and my spice rack I created my own recipe.

img_6470

 

Zucchini Garlic Soup
A mild and creamy zucchini soup.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. Oil for frying
  2. 4 large zucchini, peeled and sliced
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (more or less per your taste)
  4. 1 red onion, diced (most recipes called for white onion, I only had red and it was perfect)
  5. 4 cups of water or vegetable stock
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Herbs, I used basil and rosemary
  8. Ginger powder
Instructions
  1. Soak your peeled and sliced zucchini is a bowl of salted water.
  2. While that is soaking, in a large, heavy bottomed pot, lightly fry your onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Drain your zucchini and add to the pot.
  4. Heat until the zucchini starts to soften.
  5. Add your water or stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and add your salt, pepper, herbs and ginger to taste. If you are using water, add more, if you are using stock add less.
  7. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serve hot with slices of olive bread.
  2. This soup has a very subtle flavour. Next time I will probably add a bit of sweet chili powder for a bit of a kick.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Salutations

One of the things I love about Israel and the Hebrew language is that there is a greeting for everything and everyone greets everyone (well mostly, remember the grumpy old men?)

There are regular, every day greetings, good morning (בוקר טוב – boker tov) and evening (ערב טוב – erev tov).

There are greetings for the beginning and end of the week, good week (שבוע טוב – shavua tov) said from the moment shabbat has ended to the end of Sunday and  shabbat shalom (שבת שלום) said anytime from Thursday through to the end of Saturday night.

Then there are greetings for High Holy days, usually happy holiday (חג שמח – chag same’ach) or the yiddish, gut yontiv (גוט יום־טובֿ – good yom tov). 

My favourite though, is an alternative to good morning. It is usually said as a response to someone who says good morning (boker tov) to you.

The greeting is בוקר אור (boker or) and literally translates to ‘morning light’.

It really does lighten up my day!

27928092742_4cb5f3560c_k

Party!

Last week was Aaron’s birthday party at our house. It was hectic and loud and fun!

Here it is by the numbers:

  • 10 children
  • 7 packets of microwave popcorn
  • 6 (possibly more) litres of juice
  • 3 hours of party time
  • 3 bags of Bisli
  • 2 packets of marshmallows
  • 1 packet of suckers
  • 1 movie (Tintin)
  • 1 melktert
  • 1 very happy birthday boy

aaron

I cannot get over that my first born is 9. He is almost as tall as I am, wears a size bigger shoe than me and we wear the same size jeans!

Where has the time gone?