Monthly Archives: September 2016

Cold Cucumber Soup

Since the girls started school, it feels like a whirlwind of nonstop activity! It seems as though I am even more time challenged than ever before. 

I want to post this recipe, however, before the winter really sets in and no one can even think about making a cold soup. There is always the possibility of an Indian Summer.

This recipe is the outcome of one of my wonderful patient’s generosity. Bob shared with the group a few weeks ago some of his fresh, homegrown, basil, peppers and cucumbers. With such luscious produce, I experimented and came up with this recipe for cold cucumber soup. 

This recipe is extremely fast and easy. It’s almost like salad in a bowl. And, it’s perfect for those time challenging moments when you want something slightly different and slightly fancy.

The measurements are imprecise and VERY flexible.


2 English cucumbers

1 zucchini

(The idea is to have twice as much cucumber to zucchini)

1/2 onion

1/2 pepper

1 lemon juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil, chopped

Water to desired consistency, but be careful not to add too much.


Place all ingredients into food processor and blend to desired consistency.

Simple, easy & elegant!

I am happy to say that this was a successful experiment. Everyone loved it! The fresh basil made all the difference!

Nothing beats garden fresh produce.



Braised Beets Reposted 

My dates on my phone are incorrect, so I am attempting to post this again. Sorry for any confusion.

Adjusting to new circumstances and challenges require perseverance and a sincere resolve to be …

beets,fast and easy,husband,food processor,children and small kitchen approved,side dish

Braised Beets

According to Rashi, “all beginnings are difficult.” 

Adjusting to new circumstances and challenges require perseverance and a sincere resolve to be successful.  

In my case, I am still adjusting to my new kitchen.

I used to be able to cook many things quickly as I enjoyed the benefit of 2 ovens. Now, I have only 1 oven, and it recently needed to be repaired too.

So, rather than roasting my vegetables in the oven, I have been experimenting with cooking vegetables on top of stove. I have yet to fully master this technique, but I am happy to say that I am making progress!

Initially, I tried roasting vegetables on top of the stove. The technique behind stove top roasted vegetables is to first brown the vegetables, and then essentially steam them until they are done.  Overall, I was not pleased with the outcome using that method.

Now, I have discovered braising vegetables on top of the stove. This method seems to not only be a time saver, but, the outcome wins the husband and children seal of approval.

In order to cook vegetables on top of the stove, they need to be cut into smaller and more uniform-sized pieces. Since I make a lot of vegetables, I thought I would try slicing them with my food processor and then cooking them. Success!

I went from 2.5 hours to roast beets in the oven to 40 minutes, from start to finish!

I may yet experiment with using a pressure cooker, which could be an even greater time saver. Stay tuned.

I also think the spices could be varied and yield different results that are equally tasty.


Beets, washed and scrubbed

Salt, pepper to taste

Fresh garlic, crushed

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Optional: fresh chopped herbs


 Wash and scrub beets. Slice with food processor. Place beets in a spray oiled pan. Add salt and pepper to taste with a small amount of water. Cook until done. Add crushed garlic and adjust the seasoning. Pour lemon juice and lemon zest over beets while still warm. 

Here are a few pictures:

Sliced with the food processor.

Sliced with the food processor.


Final outcome. The beets are seasoned to taste and most of the liquid is absorbed.


I am happy because I have maximum taste with minimal time. 

Everyone else is happy because they taste as good as roasted. 

Plus, this is even small kitchen approved. A win-win overall!

We are all happy!


Lemon Cake In A Mug

Lemon Cake In A Mug

School started just this past week and things have been very hectic in our home.

Among our many changes, Raizel started high school in our new town. To say she has been nervous is an understatement.

Yaffa’s bus route has yet to be finalized as well. Everyday is a new bus adventure: when she will be picked up? When she will be dropped off? And, will she even be picked up at all?

All of this in a typical day, while working and managing a household. I truly feel that God is carrying me. There is no other explanation for how so much can be done with so little time.

Dolly, from suggested that we make a little celebration in honor of our new and many transitions to ease the level of tension and anxiety.

Unfortunately, I was only able to follow up with her suggestion a few hours before Shabbat last week.

With even greater time challenges than usual, it struck me as a perfect time for a microwave cake.

As I have shared before, these microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

I decided to adapt the vanilla cake in a mug recipe and make it into a lemon cake instead. I substituted lemon juice for milk and added lemon zest too. I did not use lemon extract, but I think that could have worked nicely as well.

As a bonus, this cake also does not have eggs. Spelt flour can easily be substituted, for those who do not eat wheat.

I am happy to say that it came out really well!


1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice. I used freshly squeezed

Zest from 1 lemon

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Optional: lemon extract could be good too.

Optional: sprinkle icing sugar over the cake, after it is baked and while it is still warm.


In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla lemon zest, and liquid, and mix until well blended.

Microwave for 90 seconds.

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary.

Sprinkle icing sugar on top if desired after it’s baked, and while it is still warm.

Here are the pictures. I am happy to say that some where taken by me, others by Raizel, and one was even taken by Yaffa, with Raizel’s assistance.

Raizel guided Yaffa to take this picture. Please forgive the mess in the background, but, you get a good idea of what preparing for the Sabbath is all about.

Getting ready to mix.

Mixing it up. Raizel took the picture.

About it go into the microwave.

Final product. Voila!

Raizel says, “it’s good! In fact it’s very good. In fact, it’s delicious!”

Yaffa says, “it’s good! I like it!” In a full sentence no less.

I am happy to say that it was eaten before the night was over. It’s not chocolate, but definitely still a hit.