Saturday, December 31, 2011

I hate goodbyes. I always have. This is more of a 'so long, see you soon' kind of a goodbye. If you've been following my saga here (and over at my other blog) you know that life's gotten busy lately. Very busy. And I just haven't been able to find a balance that allows time for work, family, cooking, and blogging. Unfortunately, the blogging's got to go. For now.

It's been sad for me not to be able to photograph and post. I love it and I was actually becoming half good at it. I have a sweet group of followers, and I love you guys. But I just can't manage it all now - between my super crazy work schedule, my husband's insane school/study schedule, and my always hungry and always wonderful family, there just isn't enough time in the day.

Here's a sendoff to 2011 and to my blogging. For now. I will be back. When things quiet down and I can make some time for this wonderful hobby. I don't know if it'll be six months or a year. Maybe more, maybe less. But I do hope we'll meet again when I return. In the meantime, thanks for visiting and commenting. Please keep visiting this place. Please keep writing. (Fellow food bloggers, I'll still be stopping by your blogs and doing the same.) Thanks for your support. Have a wonderful year.

# 1 Reader Favorite: Zucchini Banana Bread
#2 Reader Favorite: Roasted Peaches.

#3 Reader Favorite: Lemon Mint Zucchini Pancakes
#4 Reader Favorite: Raspberry Peach Tart

#5 Reader Favorite: Pan Fried Chickpeas
#6 Reader Favorite: Chocolate Muffins

#7 Reader Favorite: Baby Bok Choy Salad

#8 Reader Favorite: Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 by Rivki Locker


Monday, December 12, 2011

Visit Joy of Kosher to vote for me!
I know. I haven't exactly been posting regularly. I haven't been keeping you well fed or well read. See, I accepted a promotion at work (read more here) and I just haven't been able to find a balance that takes care of my readers (that would be you) and my eaters. That would be these guys:

But the balance is evolving. Think crock pot dishes and make ahead meals. Think photos taken on the fly with my always handy smartphone. Think award-winning and life-changing iPad photo apps.

Yes, it's been quite a shift from those days of food photography using a fancy DSLR, light kit, and tripod. But the point I'm trying to make here is that I think I'm on to something. I think I've found a way to cook, photograph, and blog once again.

Show me you believe in me! Cast your vote on Joy of Kosher today. It'll give me the push I need to keep going.

And just to show you I'm really back in business, here's a super easy soup recipe that's a weekday dinner staple in my household.

Super Easy Crock Pot Soup
This recipe serves a large brood of hungry people (at least 10 bowls). I tend to make super easy dinners during the week and I feel a lot less guilty serving scrambled eggs or mac-n-cheese if there's a big old pot of  soup to go along with my quickly thrown together meals. This pot goes up in the morning and cooks all day. And here's a great secret to make morning prep even easier: I prep all the veggies the night before and leave them in the fridge in a container or bag overnight. It takes less than five minutes to throw everything in the pot in the morning, and it sure is nice to come home to a fresh hot pot of soup. 

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
5-10 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife (leave these out if you're too rushed; or throw in a whole unpeeled head of garlic instead; yes, I do mean a whole unpeeled head)
1/4 cup barley
1/2 cup white or brown rice
1/4 cup red lentils (you can substitute green split peas or brown lentils)
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
black pepper, to taste
grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese for garnish

Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese in a large crock pot. (Read the recipe header for my quick prep-ahead tip.) Cover generously with water.

Turn the crock pot to high and cook all day (at least 8 hours).

Ladle into bowls, garnish with cheese, and serve.

Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 by Rivki Locker