Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Soup and sick since Sunday

I made my first soup of the season! One of my favorite thing about that chill hitting the air is that I can bring out the pot and start throwing together some soups!
Unfortunately, this sudden change to soup must have confused my body and cursed myself. See, I eat a lot of soup when I am sick and once I made soup my body must have thought it was supposed to be sick, so here I am: sniffing and sneezing while drinking tea by the gallon.
Anyway, it's just a cold so I will survive.

The first soup of the season was Curried Lentil Soup, which was quick and easy to throw together. That's the way I like it... especially when it turns out to be yummy as well.

2 tablespoon veg. oil
2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup dried lentils
1 can garbanzo beans
3 3/4 cup water
1 can veg or chicken broth
1 tablespoon peeled grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tspn. coriander
1/2 tspn. dried crushed red pepper
1/2 tspn. curry powder
1 cup seeded, chopped tomato
1/4 tspn. salt
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream

Basically you just saute the onion and garlic in the oil until they are nice and tender (about 5 minutes). Then add the lentils and ingredients through the curry powder. I used dried ginger because that's what I had. In general I cut the size in half for dried instead of fresh, but that still seemed like a lot, so I didn't use that much. I also took it easy with the red pepper because I was a little scared. Anyway - bring all that to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let her do her thing for about 25-35 minutes until the lentils are tender.
Next, stir in the tomatoes and salt.
Dish it out into some bowls and top with a dollop of Daisy.
There you go! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to the Music

It's Opening Niiiiight!!!!

I've been working at Carnegie Hall since May. At first I got to see several concerts for free - which was my favorite part of the job. Well, summer came and the season ended. We had a couple of JVC Jazz things that came through in early summer, but it's been pretty dry since then. Actually, completely dry. Drought kind of dry. They were doing some renovations on the building, so nobody was there except the workers and of course us in the rat-race of marketing/sales, etc...

Anyway - I am excited because tonight the season opens! From now until next summer the hall will be "alive, with the sound of music." Tonight I am going to hear the San Fransisco Symphony with a bunch of all-stars like Yo-Yo Ma performing a concert of music by Leonard Bernstein. Bring it on.

I did get a little preview of music seasons starting yesterday. Last night I saw half of a concert in Bryant Park. Musicians from the NY Philharmonic played the Mozart Clarinet Quintet. This is the last year for the principal clarinetist of the philharmonic, so they are featuring him. Not only is this his final year, but it is also his 60th year. SIXTY years with the orchestra. Wow. He was appointed when he was only 19 years old by Bernstein himself. What a life. Anyway, after hearing some clarinet I jetted back to Carnegie Hall to hear a solo violin recital by Philippe Quint. This guy left his Stradavarius violin in a Newark cab a while back. Ooops! Luckily he got it back and gave comp tickets to last nights performance to the driver who returned the instrument and his family. The encore was even dedicated to the cabbie. What a story! The performance was really nice. Solo violin music can be so fun and flashy, plus this guy added a touch of Russian schmooze, which I tend to fall for, so fun was had. Hearing all of this great music makes me itch to practice. That's definitely not a bad thing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


stray cats in israel

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

coffee culture

It should be expected that I would soon write about one of my favorite things...coffee!!! Coffee is universal. No matter where on the globe you go, you will be able to have a cup of it. Let me tell you something about the coffee in Israel. They have different kinds of coffees that they use. For coffee at home, they tend to go with instant coffee. They don't really do the drip/filter thing that we do here in America. When ordering coffee out it is common to get a latte/cappuccino or to have Turkish coffee. Iced coffee is also popular, but it is more of a frozen drink which is very very sweet. Small bakeries scatter the streets with their delicious deserts sitting in front, beckoning to all passer-by's. Because of this, Israel is a place where one needs a lot of will-power to walk down a street.
They use a lot of breads and chocolates, but pastries soaked in honey are also popular. While in Jerusalem's Old City, we had to stop for a "power-up" and tried some baklava and these other little deserts that I don't know the name for. Basically, they are little balls of dough, about the size of grapes, fried and soaked in honey. Ronen's family that was with us said that those reminded them of when they were children, because that is the kind of deserts that mothers and grandmothers made for them in Romania. It is interesting to compare that to the deserts that I think of as my "comfort food" such as gingerbread men and chocolate chip cookies.
Anyway, while in a new place, I must try as many new things as I can. Paired with a dark, sludge-like cup of Turkish coffee...what a treat it was.

Monday, September 1, 2008


While in Israel, we stayed in a town near Tel Aviv, but, as I mentioned before, we did quite a bit of traveling. We were able to spend three days in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a beautiful place mixing new with old...REALLY old. Ronen's father and his father's cousin went with us on our second time into the Old City. They are both knowledgeable about the city and its history. Especially his cousin, who was practically a private tour guide for us. His stories were amazing as he walked with us from the Mount of Olives (bottom picture) where he told us the history of Israel and all of its conquerors into the city walls where we walked the Via Dolorosa (side picture) and experienced all the stories of Christianity's beginnings. It was really unbelievable to be standing in places that are so important to so many people. Places that have been fought for over and over throughout history. We were so lucky to be with somebody who could point to something and actually know what it was and where it was from. On my own, I'm sure I would have walked right past a lot of this stuff without even knowing it! There are so many layers of history there that it would take years to get it all!

Of course, we couldn't spend all the time studying history. Too much at once can cause an overload or brain malfunction - especially in the kind of heat we were facing. (If you are planning to travel to Israel, try to do it in a month besides August!) So we had to spend a little time doing fun things like coffee, deserts, shopping, and camel riding.