Say Cheese(cakes)!

Traditionally for Shavuot we decorate with flowers and eat dairy. Some families eat a completely dairy meal and others will eat a dairy meal, clear off the table and reset for a meat meal. Again, Aish.com gives 7 different reasons why we celebrate this custom in their informative article. I like reason number two which states, “Torah is likened to milk, as the verse says, “Like honey and milk [the Torah] lies under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). Just as milk has the ability to fully sustain the body of a human being (i.e. a nursing baby), so too the Torah provides all the “spiritual nourishment” necessary for the human soul.”

Here are a few delicious and creative sweet cheesecakes that would be showstoppers at your Shavuot meal.

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The Classic: New York Cheesecake with Strawberries

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The Exotic: Individual Keylime Cheesecake with Mango

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The “Two-For-One”: Hot Fudge Cheesecake with Brownie Crust

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The Gourmet: Nectarine, Mascarpone + Gingersnap Tart 

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The Snack Option: Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

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The No-Bake-Snack Option: Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries 

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Last but not least… The Stay-Up-All-Night: Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

Eating Your Flowers

It is customary for the holiday of Shavuot that we decorate our homes, Synagogue and Torah scroll in flowers. Aish.com has a great article on the reason why we eat dairy foods and decorate with flowers stating that this tradition comes from a Midrash where the foot of Mount Sinai was covered in flowers while we were awaiting the receiving of the Torah. My family always grew flowers in our garden which were edible. It was always a funny prank to invite friends over, pull some off of the plant and stuff them into my mouth. Flowers are a beautiful way to garnish and add subtle flavor to salads, side dishes, desserts, basically anything!

Here is a list from GoodHouseKeeping.com which lists a few edible flowers and their flavor profiles:

  • Arugula Flowers: Peppery flavor, just like arugula leaves. Use in salads or other savory dishes. (Recipe below.)
  • Chive Blossoms: Delicate oniony flavor. Use whole flowers or separate the individual petals.
  • Hibiscus: Tart and sweet. Often used in teas, cocktails and salads.
  • Jasmine: Very sweet, floral fragrance and flavor. Use in teas or desserts.
  • Johnny-Jump-Ups: Minty, almost bubblegum-y flavor. Serve on cakes or with soft mild cheese, like goat cheese. (Recipe below.)
  • Lavender: Floral flavor that’s perfume-y and faintly citrusy. Use in cocktails, teas, desserts or other baked goods.
  • Lemon Verbena: Light lemon flavor that’s well suited for sweet or savory cooking.
  • Marigold: Faint citrus flavor. Try it in a salad.
  • Nasturtiums: Peppery flavor and golden hue. Try them on crostini with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Pansies: Use these as garnish—they’re so pretty! Faint grassy flavor.
  • Squash Blossoms: Mild raw squash taste. Usually cooked before eaten. Lightly dust with cornstarch and deep fry.
  • Violets: Sweet and floral. Use in dessert or freeze into ice cubes for decorative drinking!

Here are some beautiful examples and recipes to try and make your own house and meal filled with floral blossoms.

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Johnny-Jump-Up Angel Food Cake with Sour Cream Glaze : Recipe Here

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Edible Flowers

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Savory Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches 

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Stuffed Squash Blossoms 

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Beautiful Blossom Popsicles 

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Pansy Shortbread Cookies

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Nasturtium and Baby Greens Salad

Naked Cakes

Now that engagement season is is full bloom I thought I would share some of my favorite wedding looks. With engagement season comes wedding planning hysteria, which can be really intimidating, especially when you don’t really know where to start. I started by basically living on pinterest and figuring out the type of look which would be budget, seasonal and aesthetically friendly. Since I did spend quite the embarrassing amount of time on pinterest, I can save you the task of picking through the plethora of wedding blogs and pins.

One of the trends which I found to be quite beautiful is the ‘naked’ wedding cake. There are a few reasons why I think this is perfect for a wedding. First of all- Wedding cakes can be so expensive. One way to cut that cost is to have it prepared by a regular baker. The only difference, i think, is that they can’t really do the elaborate frosting decoration that many wedding cakes require. But why make that a requirement? This is a great way to have a delicious cake, not ‘caked’ on by all that parve frosting and be able to decorate it to match your colors, theme, season without a heavy price.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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Beautiful spring cake with rosemary and foliage

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Eucalyptus branches on one that could probably feed a whole Yeshiva 

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Ombre and Succulents? treeennndddyy

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Raspberries on a delicate summer cake

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Blushing flowers spiraling up the sides

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Glamorous fruit toppers for an elegant fall wedding

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Flower toppers with delicate detailing

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Almost completely naked except for honey and pomegranates, holiday appropriate Image

simple skim coat for a winter wedding 

 

#frumpterable

‘Frumpy’ and ‘Comfortable’ – what more could a girl ask for? In a simple google search for “frumpterable,” I found a field guide to all things frumpterable in which it says,A Frumpterable wardrobe demands that form follow function.”  A line typically thought over modernist Architecture, but this is anything but. Now If anyone knows me, I think they would describe my style more ‘schlepperaya’ than frumpterable, but either way, I could get behind it being socially acceptable to wear anything made from sweatshirt material to work. Here are a few of my favorite FRUMpterable looks. 

 

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Dress from TOTÊME 

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Natural Linen Tunic Dress from Etsy

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Sarong Style Skirt with Sweater

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Basically any type of sweater dress

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Perfect for Spring