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Green-Eyed Monster

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  I developed an Electra Complex at a very early age.  I was a Daddy’s Girl, he was my quiet hero, telling me stories of an innocent childhood in rural Hungary before the Holocaust.  He was my knight in leather-bound armor, showing me the wonders of his collection of books, teaching me to read Hebrew before I entered the first grade and properly learned English.  How dare he smile up at my mother like that as she serves him his stuffed cabbage!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  I was the Little Princess, the much wanted and finally adopted heiress to my parents’ meager possessions.  The interloper was my brother, Skeezix.  All of a sudden, this mewling, pooping boy was taking up my parents’ time.  Take him back, I know you have the receipt!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  Mewling and pooping turned into obnoxious and wild (wild being the 60s and 70s term for today’s ADHD).  Skeezix would draw his space wars in my pristine Partridge Family notebook.  He would take his orange Hot Wheels race tracks and whap me with them while I was mooning over Captain Kirk on TV.  How many times did I have to tell my parents to take that kid back?!?!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  I went to an all-girls high school which taught that each and every one of us was unqiue.  They taught us this wonderful lesson while all the girls sat in their seats wearing rugby shirts, flair jeans skirts and Frye boots.  Or argyle socks and clogs.  Or Huckapoo print blouses and skirts with Jordache written on the back pocket.  Everyone but me.  My mom believed in hand-me-downs from my cousin from the Sixties instead of the brand new fashions of the Seventies.  Not fair, I wanted to be unique like everyone else!

I want this kitchen!

Jealous can be a terrible thing.  I want the kitchen that you see on the Food Network.  I want two giant stainless steel sinks.  I want an island big enough for both Ju-Boy and me to cook together without one of us elbowing the other into a pot of boiling water.  I want gleaming copper pots hanging overhead and a cozy little nook with overstuffed armchairs surrounded by my ever-growing cookbook collection.  I want a kitchen worthy of the Food Network star I am inside!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing!  I’ve created Hadar Bars for Hadar, Luscious Lambies for Leah, and Dalia Bars for, well, Dalia, of course.  But the requests for fame keep coming, even though that person already has a Miriyummy confection named after her.  So, at the behest of someone who loves to be immortalized in sugar and spice, I futzed around in the kitchen just to keep a certain green-eyed monster at bay, or at least in a cinnamon coma.

These little mouthfuls of cinnamon are yummy.  Jealousy can be a wonderful thing…

Mini-Cini Bites (alias, You Know Who Bars)

 

Photo taken by baskerville_gal -- I tried to photograph these babies but they were gobbled up before I could and I have to make them again, but it's difficult to keep up, so many people want me to name recipes after them, hmmmmm...

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar.
  3. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine the flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture and beat until smooth.  Stir in the pecans.
  5. Spread into a greased 8 inch (20 cm) greased (or parchment paper lined) square pan.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cut into small squares while still warm and dredge in powdered sugar.

Cooperative Competition

The birthday boy

They say a little competition in life is healthy.  I once had the bad judgement to take a class in philosphy.  Not much of that class has been retained, but I do remember writing a paper about Adam Smith.  One of my vague memories of him is that he wrote about cooperative competition, where individuals compete to improve their levels of happiness, but do so in a cooperative manner, joining forces to achieve a desired end and not violating each other’s targets.  

Ju-boy and his friend Tom Jones do not believe in cooperative competion.  They just believe in competition, period.  They compete over who has the best whisky collection, they compete over who paid less per kilo for a whole chicken at the supermarket, and they compete at the gym.  There they are, running side by side on their treadmills, little gerbils spinning their wheels, trying to see who can get nowhere first.  Tom’s wife, Sweet Caroline, and I just shake our heads.  Let the boys play their little game, we have better things to discuss.  

The other day it was Tom’s birthday.  Ju-boy, in the spirit of friendship, asked me to bake him a birthday cake.  I thought, how sweet.  Tom works hard to help everyone see a better world, and my altruistic husband wants to give him a surprise for his birthday.  I can be so naive.  When I asked Ju-boy what kind of cake to make for Tom, he cackled his reply, “Who cares!  Just shtup the thing full of sugar and fat and calories.  We’ll see how fast he runs at the gym, mwah hah hah hah hah!”  

Did I really want to do that?  Tom’s a nice guy.  He and his Sweet C belong to that group of friends-in-law that made me feel so welcome when I moved to Ra’anana.  And did I want to sacrifice quality over quantity (of calories)?  I went pouring through my recipes and found one that would make all parties happy.   

Birthday buns for Tom, it's not unusual...

Carine Goren has a recipe for cinnamon rolls that I’ve been dying to try out.  I can also have my own agenda.  The recipe was calorie-laden enough to make Ju-boy happy, interesting enough to make me happy, and Tom ate just one, managing to both treat himself and not totally annihilate his diet, so everybody wins.  Except Ju-boy, who would have preferred that Tom scarf down the whole plate.  Ah, well, he lives to plot another day.  

Ready for the oven, first an egg wash...

Carine Goren is my favorite (at the moment) for sweet yummies.  This is my variation of what she calls Better Than Store-Bought Cinnamon Rolls.  She uses instant vanilla pudding in the yeast dough, which gives it a nice flavor and an wonderful texture.  Carine’s original recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting, which I left out.  Also, her recipe is dairy.  I originally made this for Tom with milk and butter, but have since altered the recipe to make this non-dairy.  Feel free to sub milk and butter for the soy milk and margarine.  

Yummy Cinnamon Buns  

Dough  

4 cups flour  

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast  

one package instant vanilla pudding (3.5 ounces, 80 grams)  

2 tablespoons granulated sugar  

1 1/4 cups soy milk, lukewarm  

1/2 teaspoon salt  

Cinnamon Filling  

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed  

1 tablespoon cinnamon  

melted margarine for brushing, 1/4 – 1/3 cup  

Glaze  

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water 

  • Mix and proof the dough:
  • In a mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, yeast and instant pudding mix.
  • Add the sugar, soy milk, egg, melted margarine and salt, knead for 5 minutes until the dough is fairly soft and smooth.
  • Cover and leave to double in size.
  • Make the cinnamon filling:
  • Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.  You get to melt the margarine later…
  • Assembling and baking the buns:
  • Turn the risen dough out on the a floured surface and roll it out to a rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick (1 1/4 centimeters).
  • Brush with the melted margarine, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon, and roll it up width-wise into a long roll.  Cut into equal sized buns about 1 inch thick (2 1/2 centimeters).
  • Place the buns in a parchment paper lined tray, give them enough space to spread out.  As you can see from the picture above, I didn’t, but they came out just fine.
  • Leave them to rise and double in bulk once again.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
  •  Brush the buns with the egg wash and bake for just 15 minutes, or until the buns are golden but still soft to the touch. DO NOT OVERBAKE.  These are yummy when soft, not so yummy when overdone.

You can glaze them with a cream cheese frosting or just dust with powdered sugar, if you feel like you need the extra calories, but these yummy bunnies are delicious enough unadorned.

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