Monday, October 28, 2013

Gal Friday (Recipes included)

For most people, Friday is the beginning of the weekend. It is a day of excitement and the beginning of relaxation.  For those of us who keep the Sabbath, Shabbat, Shabbos or whatever you choose to call it, it is, hectic!  There is a huge dinner to prepare for the Friday night Shabbos meal and prep needed to be done for the Shabbos day meal, Saturday lunch. Included in prepping a huge meal, which is often reminiscent of a Thanksgiving feast, is also managing everything else going on in your life.  Your family, your work, your sanity.  The ladies (or men) who prep for Shabbos do not usually get a day off on Friday to leisurely shop in 5 stores and prepare the big evening meal with family standing near by  help chop all those little Brussel sprouts off the Brussel sprout stalks (you can find those awesome things in Trader Joes f.y.i.).  Unlike the prep for Thanksgiving, we are usually not drinking glasses of wine while we stir our delectable soup and slowly grab another cinnamon stick to throw in the bubbling pot.  In the actual Shabbat-prep world, for most of us, there are no other family members helping to chop and stir. There are children to take care of and work to be done and the world slowly does not exist.  In the real world of preparing for Shabbos every Friday, there is one word that is tried and true; RUSH!

Every Friday I rush and rush and rush.  You would think by now in my life, 6 years married and almost 2 years with a child, I would have organized my week better. I would shop on Wednesday and start cooking on Thursday. But no, what would be the fun if life ran smoothly?  And besides, I love bumping into all of my Friday friends at the local kosher markets in the morning.  We get to discuss what each one is making for dinner or lunch the next day and I always am inspired to make something new. 

Thankfully Kol is easily entertained and I can run back and forth between the kitchen and the living room switching records so he can dance on his own. The sunglasses are new and a must wear for my accessory man and he loves putting them on and taking them off. Notice the vacuum, yoga mat, and drum in the background. All great activities that last 3 minutes, enough time to open the oven door and place my chicken/brussel sprouts/cake inside before Kol comes rushing back into the kitchen saying "mama play!"

Through the rush I am aware of all that needs to get done before Sundown.  At sundown we light the Shabbat candles and no matter how busy or crazy my house was a minute before, peace begins to reign and it is truly magical!

I think this is why we happily go back to our Friday craziness.  There is nothing like that moment when Shabbos comes in and your world becomes calm.  There is no other time during the week that you are forced to become focused, to revel in your home and your family and to not allow any other distraction (work or play) disturb that tranquility that we bring into our home.  It is something so beautiful, real, and needed!

Everyone finds their own way to cope with the Friday rush. Mine has been creating a menu Thursday night so that when I shop on Friday, I know exactly what I need and then when I am home I know exactly what I need to do.  Since I can't be in the kitchen there with you,  I wanted to share 3 really quick and delightfully tasty dishes that may help enhance your Shabbat dinner and make your Friday run a bit smoother!

Sweet and Spicy Brussel Sprouts:

A bag of brussel sprouts, 3 Tablespoon e.v.o.o , 3 Tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt , 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper, a dash (or two if you like spicy) crushed red pepper flakes.  Bake on 350 degrees for 20 (make sure to toss the brussel sprouts during the cooking time) minutes or until the brussel sprouts are browned.

Fluffy Brown Rice:
2 cups Brown Rice (make rice according to the package) , 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon garlic.  Add spices, fluff rice with fork and serve.

Mid cooking selfie:

Taken to share what real women look like when they are cooking a big meal and doing 1,000 other things at the same time. I love you foodie blogger world but please start posting what you look like when you spend all day in your kitchen. Thank you- Management.

Basil Chicken: 
Recipe given to me by my sister Hindel. There is no pretty plated picture on this one, I did not get a chance to plate it before sundown. That being said, this is one of the most delicious chicken recipes I have ever tasted.  It is a classic in my home and will probably stay that way for a long time!

1 Chicken, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoon fresh garlic, 2 tablespoon dried basil, 1/4 cup olive oil.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then pour over the chicken.  Cook chicken covered for  1 1/2 hours  on 350 degrees. (uncover for the last 1/2 hour).

This is what my kitchen looks like about 30 minutes before Shabbos starts every week.

And this was the best part of the day!

Hope you had a great weekend too!

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