Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye California, hello Cleveland!

So continues the adventure! Goodbye California...

While most families are opening gifts and warming up with hot chocolate, we spent Christmas Day flying over eight states at 50,000 feet in the air. After bidding a tearful farewell to family and friends in California, we boarded a plane to start our new lives on the East Coast.

So here we are. And what a magical, wintery wonderland it is!

...Hello Cleveland!
Since we arrived in Cleveland, we've spent almost every day in the snow. The kids love it!

Let it snow let it snow let it snow.

For a family accustomed to year-round summer and sun-drenched beaches, I think we're making the adjustment to snow drifts, icy driveways and 20-degree weather just fine. 

I look forward to a cozy winter here in Ohio. Not sure how long we'll stay and when New York will come calling. 'Til then, we're embracing the unknown and the adventure that comes with it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From our home to yours: Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lucky number 7

Seven years ago today this boy stole my heart. 
Happy Birthday to you, Caden! 
My handsome little man with a heart of gold. 
You make me proud every single day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We will never forget you

Our hearts grieve for these beautiful children and courageous women whose lives were cut too short. We will never forget you. You are missed dearly. May you fly with angels now.

         Charlotte Bacon, 6          Jack Pinto, 6
         Daniel Barden, 7            Noah Pozner, 6
         Olivia Engel, 6             Caroline Previdi, 6
         Dylan Hockley, 6            Jessica Rekos, 6
         Jesse Lewis, 6              Avielle Richman, 6
         Josephine Gay, 7            Benjamin Wheeler, 6
         Ana Marquez-Green, 6        Allison Wyatt, 6
         Madeleine Hsu, 6            Rachel D'Avino, 29
         Catherine Hubbard, 6        Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47
         Chase Kowalski, 7           Anne Marie Murphy, 52
         James Mattioli, 6           Lauren Rousseau, 30
         Grace McDonnell, 7          Mary Sherlach, 56
         Emilie Parker, 6            Victoria Soto, 27

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From my table to yours: Korean-inspired latkes

This dish kinda sums up my marriage =  Korean + Jewish + warm + comforting.

Just in time for Hanukkah, I wanted to share a simple recipe I created using some of my favorite foods: kimchi and potatoes. These Korean-inspired latkes are wonderful to eat, not just during the holidays, but any time of year. They are comforting, delicious and the perfect balance of spicy and hearty.

Happy Hanukkah! 


Basic ingredients for a fantastic fusion.

Korean-inspired latkes

What you'll need:
  • potato pancake mix (I like Streit's Potato Pancake Latkes Mix)
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn (frozen or from the can)
  • handful chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup kimchi (you can get this from the Asian market or even in some American grocery stores)
  • you can also add chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, sauteed mushrooms, peas or whatever else suits your taste!

Mix together and fry!

What to do:

  • Follow instructions on potato pancake mix box. 
  • Add kimchi, green onions and corn. Mix all the ingredients together. Set aside. 
  • Put 2-3 tbsp of oil (I like canola) in a pan over medium-high heat. 
  • Scoop latke mix (about the size of a large meatball) onto the hot pan. Flatten to make a pancake. Fry each side until crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes each side -- you should hear it sizzle). 
  • Remove with spatula and place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. 
  • Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream. Totally batamt! 

p.s. I rarely measure when cooking, so the portions in the ingredients list is an approximate. General rule: go with your gut -- literally. Try as you go. Your taste buds will be your guide.

He's getting in tune with his Korean-Jewish roots and he's one very happy customer!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Girl before a mirror

Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror informs me that the artist understood women very, very well.

How did Pablo Picasso know women so well? Perhaps it was because he loved so many of them. From his wives to numerous mistresses (some say hundreds), Picasso certainly seemed to fall under a female spell. He was as passionate about women as he was his art (and that's putting it nicely -- I would argue Picasso's sexual appetite was irrepressible).    

I've always had a love-hate relationship with the Spanish master. I absolutely adore the man's work. I cried when I visited the Museu Picasso in Barcelona (I don't think any other artist has brought me to tears the way Picasso has through his brushstrokes). His paintings help me express what I cannot do with words. But the man himself? He has always struck me as equal parts intoxicating and egomaniacal. Both tender and tyrannical. How are you to feel about an artistic genius who called all women goddesses or doormats and drove his lovers to despair (two were driven to mental breakdowns and two committed suicide)?   

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon portrays five nude prostitutes from a brothel on Carrer d'Aviyo in Barcelona.

Oh, Pablo. How you loved and loathed us. 

My favorite of Picasso's work is Girl Before a Mirror. The painting shows one of his favorite mistresses Marie-Therese Walter, who was just 17 when she met a 46-year-old Picasso. I identify with the woman in this painting, both loving and hating myself, depending on my life stage. I look back on photos taken during my 20s and wonder why I was so unforgiving. This, when I could eat whatever I wanted and actually had an enviable waistline. Then in my 30s and two children later, my body morphed. Childbirth left me feeling distorted, sometimes grotesque. Much like how Marie-Therese confronted her mortality, I faced what I was now left with -- a softer, squishier me.  

But now, as I head into my 40s I'm finding grace is good medicine for vanity and seeking perfection is an imperfect way to live. Finding charm in the unexpected is what I have always loved about Picasso's work. It took me a while, but I'm now starting to apply that perspective to my own body. Which is a work of art.           

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The road less easy

"The mystical path will involve pain as well as joy. 
To reach the 'point of burning love of Christ,' as 
the English medieval mystic Richard Rolle (1290-1349) 
expressed it, requires discipline and commitment. 
According to him, the empty values of the world should 
be rejected. The soul's attachment to the world 
has to be broken before union with the divine 
can be achieved. And this will mean seeking 
the road less easy." 
-- Malcolm Day, writer and theologian

Tuesday, December 4, 2012