Microwaved Fried Rice


Microwave Fried Ricesource: jeffreyw

I discovered a wonderful new Microwave Fried Rice recipe this week. It came from the Taste Of Home site and it’s super quick, easy and delicious. The original author of this recipe is Merrill Powers from Spearville, Kansas.

I made quite a few changes to the ingredient list to suit the tastes of my family. However, I followed the preparation instructions to the letter.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/2 cup onions, chopped

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups water

1 cup uncooked long grain rice

1 tablespoon onion soup or chicken soup mix ( I used one individual serving package of onion soup mix)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed


In a medium, microwave safe dish, combine the olive oil, shredded carrot and chopped onion. Cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes on high.

Add water, rice, garlic powder and soup mix. Stir well. Cover and cook for 9 minutes on high. Stir and cover. Cook for another 1-3 minutes on high.

Add the soy sauce and frozen peas. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.


Pea Salad


Easy Pea Salad

My sister sent me a cookbook last week. It’s called From Our Table… To Yours and it’s a fundraiser put out by Yeshivas Darchei Torah in Michigan.

During a quick perusal of the book, I immediately found tons of easy recipes to try out, all contributed by members of the organization..

Here is my version of the Pea Salad, submitted by Marcy Millman. I wound up making changes to the veggie part of the dish, but I kept her delicious dressing  intact. The result was a tasty and unusual side dish.

This is definitely a recipe I will be making again and again.


1 10 oz. bag frozen peas

1 pepper (green is good but red adds more color)

1/3 cup canned corn

1/2 red onion

1 tsp. salt

1/2 – 1 tsp. sugar

1/4 – 1/2 cup mayonnaise


Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate. Wait till the peas have completely defrosted before serving.

Amazing 3-Ingredient Vegan Noodle Soup


Amazingly Easy Three Ingredient Noodle Soupsource: Liza Lagman Sperl

This soup is surprisingly good because the soy sauce adds a rich taste to the plain bouillon.


vegan chicken bouillon powder

soy sauce, to taste



Make up two quarts of  bouillon, as per instructions on the package. Bring to a rolling boil. Add several tablespoons of soy sauce, to taste.

Boil 1/2 lb. noodles in the bouillon till tender. Ladle into individual bowls.

Note: Serve immediately, or the noodles will absorb excess liquid and become mushy.

Massive Craft and Cookbook Haul


Massive Craft and Cookbook Haulsource: Horia Varlan

Living in the Middle East, it’s sometimes hard to get books written in English. Fortunately, I’ve discovered two book sites that offer free shipping to Israel. The first is Book Depository which sells new books only. The other is Better World Books which sells both new and used books.

Since discovering these two sites I have gone a little shopping crazy. I went on a massive book buying spree that lasted for months.

Many of the books I bought were older volumes, but with timeless ideas. These were bought mainly as references. I will use these for techniques, rather than actual projects.

The few new books on the list, were absolute “must-haves” in my mind and to be used in the very near future. I marked those as new.

Here is a list of every craft, cooking and creativity book I bought.

Paper Crafting
How to Make Pop-Ups by Joan Irvine
How to Make Super Pop-Ups by Joan Irvine
Creative Paper Art by Welch, Nancy
Crafting with Handmade Paper by Hercher, Gail
Paperhouse by Hall, Mary Ann
Paper Crafting with Carol Duvall by Duvall, Carol
The Complete Book of Papercrafts by Lorenz Books
Decorative Papercutting Beautiful by Morrell, Deborah
The Book of Papercutting by Rich, Chris
Paper as Art and Craft by Newman, Thelma R.
CardMaker’s Hand-Lettering Workbook by Nancy Burke (new)
Origami Handbook by Rick Beech
Papercrafts and Origami by Painter, Lucy (Ed).

Creating Handmade Books by Golden, Alisa J.
Making Books by Hand by Manna, Philip
Handcrafted Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks & More by Browning, Marie

Creativity Books
Caffeine for the Creative Mind by Stefan Mumaw (new)
InGENIUS: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig (new)
365: A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin (new)
Thinkertoys by Michalko, Michael
Serious Creativity by de Bono, Edward

Drawing Books
You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler (new)
One Zentangle a Day by Beckah Krahula (new)

Jewish Cookbooks
Kosher Kettle by Kaplan, Sybil R.
Kosher on the Coast by Congregation Nertamid Sisterhood
Manna from Heaven by Rudlin Torah Academy
Secrets of Fat-Free Kosher by Bernstein, Deborah
Jewish Holiday Style by Brownstein, Rita Milos

General Cookbooks
Quickies by Rosenberg, Monda
American Country Inn Bed & Breakfast Cookbook by Maynard, Kitty
Good Recipes For Hard Times by Newton, Louise
Cheap Eating by Edwards, Pat
Quickies 2 by Rosenberg, Monda

Healthy Cookbooks
1,001 Low-Fat Soups & Stews by Spitler, Sue
The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Shaw, Diana
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook by Weight Watchers
The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook by Wesler, Cathy A.
Prevention’s the Healthy Cook by Prevention Magazine
Fabulous Fat-Free Cooking by Fischer, Lynn

Needle Arts
The Ultimate Cross Stitch Companion Dorothy Wood
The Open Canvas by Carolyn Ambuter
The Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery by Ryan, Mildred Graves
Fabrications by Cargill, Katrin

Other Crafts
Papier Mache by Marion Elliott
Mobile Magic by Juliet Bawden
Stone Style by Purvis, Linda Lee
Traditional Floral Designs and Motifs by Orban-Szontagh, Madeleine
Step-By-Step Fabric Dyeing Project Book by Stokoe, Susie
Complete Home Crafts by Innes, Miranda
Imagery on Fabric by Laury, Jean Ray
Painting on Glass by Gilchrist, Paige
Mosaics by Soler, Fran
Wire & Glass by Maguire, Mary
The Family Creative Workshop: Beachcombing to Bottle Gardens
The Family Creative Workshop: Rosemaling to Scrimshaw
Encyclopedia of Projects for the Weekend Crafter by Kavaya, Karol
Wire Magic by Ball, Michael

Jewelry Making
The Art and Craft of Jewelry by Janet Fitch
Fashion Beading by Kim Ballor
Simply Beautiful Beading by Boyd, Heidi

Read More: Book Reviews or Home

Any Way You Want It Rice


Anyway You Want It Ricesource: Miikka H

This dish is very loosely based on the Curried Rice recipe in Louise Newton’s Good Recipes For Hard Times. I’ve used the same basic proportions and concept but changed everything else.

The main recipe is for the plain version. Variations are listed below.


1 cup raw rice

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion

1 green pepper

1 cup flavored tomato sauce

2 cups onion soup  or 2 cups water plus onion soup mix

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

extra water


Saute onion and green pepper in hot oil till just soft. Add rice and cook till slightly transparent. Add liquid and seasonings. Cover.


You will probably need to add additional water. So check  and stir periodically or the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot.


Indian Version: Add curry and thyme to taste.

Italian Version: Skip the pepper. Add oregano, garlic and basil to taste.

Mexican Version: Add garlic powder, a small amount of chili powder, and a small amount of cumin.


Bat Yam Beach Trip


Bat-Yam-500x375source: Eran Sandler

I took a trip to Bat Yam beach yesterday with a few friends. Bat Yam is located on Israel’s Mediterranean Sea coast and is very beautiful.

Bat-Yam1-500x375source: philrieberer

I was afraid to take my camera because the sand might have damaged the lens so I found a couple of photos on Flickr that show exactly what it looks like.

Bat Yamsource: Or Hiltch

You might be interested to learn that Bat Yam has “ladies only” days each week.  Except for the life guards, a large portion of the beach is restricted entirely to women (and young children). This is done for religious reasons, as many Israeli women will not show their bodies to men.

On a side note, having lived in Israel for almost ten years, I knew better than to spend an entire day exposed to the harsh sun. Instead, I made myself an impromptu beach shelter. Everyone was amazed at how well it worked.

No pictures are available but here are instructions:

1) Gather several beach towels, 1 large sheet, 4 strong rubber bands and 4 screw-in broom/mop handles with holes at the top.

2. Attach two of the handles together using the rubber bands so that they make a v-shape. Repeat with the other two handles.

3. Push each of the upside down v-shapes into the sand, about 3-4 feet from each other. These are your two walls. They should look very similar to the two ends of a swing set.

4. Drape the sheet across the walls. Since there is no “roof support” that sheet will drag slightly in the middle.

5. Use the beach towels to create the floor of your shelter.

Once the materials were gathered, the entire process took about 5 minutes and stayed up the entire day.

Read More: Other Interests or Home


This Is Not A Chair: An Exercise In Seeing The World


This Is Not A Chairsource: Maureen Didde

I am currently participating in a free, online class called Tangible Things. It is given by Harvard University and it is about seeing and understanding the objects around you.

We did a exercise today that I would like to share with you. The exercise consists of stretching your mind by looking at an object in your home in as many ways as possible.

For instance, a telephone is a form of communication, but it’s also an artifact of modern design, a scientific invention, a retail commodity, a method of relaxation, etc.

To do the exercise yourself, follow these instructions:

1. Watch the video called This Is Not a Chair located on Youtube.

2. Complete the template This is not a _________; it is a __________.

3. Photograph the object, if desired.

Here is my finished exercise

This in not a plate. It is a decorative object. It was purchased for the pleasure it brings to the eye.

This is not a plate. It is a method of eating. It allows the user a simple way of enjoying food away from the immediate area of the stove.

This is not a plate. It is a part of a cooking technique. Food is placed on the plate and then heated in a microwave oven.

This is not a plate. It is small bit of American culture. Corelle became popular about 35 years ago and is still sold today.

This is not a plate. It is an example of modern science. This plate is made from Vitrelle, a substance first invented in a lab.

If you decide to do the exercise, please send me your results. I would love to read them.