Friday, February 28, 2014

Kosher in Miami, Fish & Sushi

I can't believe I've been back home for a few weeks and haven't yet posted about the lovely kosher restaurants in Miami, Florida.  First of all, even though I know that friends and others will groan and say that I'm just a New York/Israeli snob, but I was so pleasantly surprised to see so many kosher restaurants and stores in the Miami and just north or Miami areas.  Yes, you say that against me.  I hadn't a clue that the Jewish community in Southern Florida is so vibrant and traditional.

In all honesty and prepared for the slinging of soft tomatoes, I'll say that it reminded me of the Jewish areas of Queens and Nassau, Long Island, both in the Jewish Kosher establishments and in the architecture. Those of us who are strictly kosher won't have problems when visiting Southern Florida.

The very first day after my red-eye from Phoenix, Arizona, I was taken touring by two cousins, my host and another who winters in the area.  Miami, like Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale, isn't a New York City or Tel Aviv either.  It looks pretty suburban.  Here and there are some tall buildings, and on the whole, the hotels dominate the skyline especially towards the beach.

We stopped for lunch at a place called "17 Restaurant & Sushi Bar, KM."  I presume that the KM stands for Kosher Milk; though I could be wrong.

We started the meal sharing some sushi, which was delicious.  I ordered their salmon and asked that I only have vegetables and salad on the side.  It was perfect.

My cousins ate other dishes, which I didn't photograph.  They were also very pleased with their food, and we didn't leave over a crumb of anything.  That can't only be caused by our genetically good appetites; the food was delicious.

17 Restaurant & Sushi
1205 17th St‎
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305 672 0565

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hands as "Art"

This "hand thing" of mine started when I was in Miami, Florida, and my cousin pointed out that this reaching hand is a Holocaust Memorial.  Its visual impact is great.

Many of those who tried to escape the Holocaust and were refused by the United States ended up in in Central and South America.  And no doubt you know that too many ended up being returned to Hitler's Final Solution. Many survivors also found Spanish-speaking America more hospitable than the United States post-war. This hand reaching for help truly symbolizes how they felt and what happened. Today many in Miami and Florida's Jewish population are Spanish speakers and descended from those Jews.

I also found these sculpted hands in the Israel Museum.

There's a lot of drama in hands.  I know that from my dancing and choreography background.

Since I'm blogging about "hands" I want to show you my new ring, which I bought in Arizona at an Indian jewelry store in Scottsdale.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coffee in Arizona

I wouldn't quite call myself a coffee addict, but it is medicinal for me.  Coffee is an important part of my morning routine.  It and the water I drink "keep my system moving."  I trust that most of you will get the gist...

Coffee is also one of my anti-jetlag tools/medicines.  Well-timed coffee can keep me moving until it's late enough to go to sleep when I'm very, very tired, and my body thinks it's in a different time zone. First of all, I believe in jumping right into the local time zone.  Resting only makes things worse.  I don't nap.  I may unintentionally conk out for a few minutes or seconds, but I don't lay down and get comfortable for a nice "deep nap."  I save up my exhaustion for nighttime. I go to bed by midnight and generally get a good six hours of sleep, which puts me back on schedule.  Sometimes I cheat and take half a sleeping pill to help.

During my recent trip to the states I spent over 24 hours door to door traveling from leaving my home in Shiloh, Israel and finally arriving in the motel I stayed at in Tempe, Arizona.

They had a breakfast but the coffee was nothing special and a bit dicey in the kashrut department, since it wasn't directly from a coffee machine you could see.  It was in one of those big thermoses. So I bought myself coffee every morning from some place down the road.

And I also, at the Tempe Marketplace, a big spread out mall/shopping center I got some great coffee in a branch of a coffee place they have even in Israel, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

That way I felt more at home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Not Even Purim, but Don't Try to Tell it to The Plants

Here are some pictures I took yesterday while wandering around the neighborhood, while on my "fitness walk."

Many of the almond trees are losing their bloom and getting ready  for fruit/almonds.  It's all very pretty now, but it has been much too dry.  We're definitely suffering from drought and it will only get worse later in the summer.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

There's no way to rationalize and sweeten the hardships of the families that were banished/transferred/deported from their homes in the disgraceful, undemocratic example of ethnic cleansing, the immoral Disengagement Plan.  But, thank G-d a cadre of Jewish women from all over the world have been working together to raise money to help the DP's celebrate weddings.

"Facebook Lookback" at 1000 Gush Katif Brides Showered by the Committee for GK Bridal Showers

My dear friend Sharon Katz, of Voices Magazine and Dames of the Dance and Raise Your Spirits Theater is one of them.

Lovely Nachla'ot

Recently I was overjoyed to discover that I have a friend who lives right near Kraft Stadium, so that after late IFL football games I don't have to rush to catch the late bus or tremp home. 

After cheering the victorious Big Blue Jerusalem Lions, I just walked across the street and met my friend who very generously gave me a bed in her "very Nachla'ot" apartment.  And I had a good night's sleep.  In the morning I walked to the CBS aka Central Bus Station and took the bus home.  It was certainly less stressful than arriving home after my usual bedtime.

And Nachla'ot/Nachlaot is one of the most photogenic Jerusalem neighborhoods, which is why Natalie Portman chose it as the location to film scenes in her movie, though not the streets I walked Friday morning. She actually chose to shoot on my sons' street though not next to their building.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Perfect Havel Havelim From "A Damaged Mirror"

Many of us bloggers are wannabe writers who've either given up on having a real career at it, writing down those books in in head, hustling as a free lancer or never even tried.  But Yael of A Damaged Mirror has been keeping us updated about her book's progress and at the same time has hosted a number of editions of Havel Havelim including the most recent.

Havel Havelim is the weekly international Jewish blog carnival which has been going on for well over a decade.  Of late, we've been coordinating on our facebook page where you can check out what's new, the latest edition, who's hosting and even volunteer. You can send in your best post or two of the week via blog carnival, which forwards the link to whichever blogger is hosting.

Please read, comment and share the carnival and the various links included. Thanks and Shavua Tov.  Have a wonderful week.

Don't forget about the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Please get your links in via blog carnival.  We also coordinate on facebook.  And JPIX appears a few times over the year and is coordinated on the JPiX page.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jerusalem Night View

I took this picture last Thursday night while walking on Rechov Uziel, Bayit V'Gan, towards the train on Sederot Herzl. 

This picture doesn't do the view justice.  I was in a rush and using my smartphone.

Way back when, well over forty years ago, when we had first moved to Bayit V'Gan on the street above, there used to be nighttime bus tours to our street to see the views.  It wasn't all that built up then, and the trees were shorter and thinner.  There wasn't all that much of Jerusalem then either.

Even though I was rushing the other night.  I kept stopping to look.  It really was gorgeous.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Five 5 Shekel Food Place on Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem, A Review

I finally made it to the Ben-Yehuda branch of the ns5 place, COFIZZ.  All items are just ns5.

I had a ns10 lunch, which was a tuna sandwich on a small roll with a bit of salad in it.  In addition I chose carrot juice instead of coffee.  The meal was surprisingly filling.  My lunch date had coffee and said that it was good. I tasted a bit.  I could taste the coffee but also the artificial sweetener she had added. I do not like those sweeteners; they taste like chemicals to me.

I took this picture to give you an idea of the size of the portions. In the picture over this one, you just see the sandwich and juice. They are in proportion to each other and don't look small. But here I want you to see how small the cups really are.  The sandwich was about the size of the palm of my hand.  If it's too small for you, then buy another.  It still will only be ns10, which isn't bad.

It's all clean and nicely set up.  Considering that portion control is one of my problems in keeping my weight down, so the smaller portions here are great.  This is the perfect restaurant if you're dieting or eat little.  And if you do want more, the price is right.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So Much Walking

The day before yesterday I walked a lot, as I wrote on Shiloh Musings, but that's peanuts compared to yesterday's walking.

Today I got out of a ride in Ma'alot Dafna, near Ramat Eshkol.  Then I made my way, rather roundabout, to the Municipality Building. From there to the David Citadel Hotel to meet someone.

Then we went to the "triangle" of Ben-Yehuda, King George and Yaffo.  After that we walked to Meah Sha'arim.  Then we ran towards the bus station, so she could catch a bus.  I leftt her near "Beit Egged."  And then I walked back to town, via Machane Yehuda.

Next was to meet a friend at Ben-Yehuda and King George.  I helped her spend money/shop for gifts for her family.  When she finished I hailed her a cab.  And then I took a bus to my bus and went home.

Whew! I hope this helps me keep my weight down.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What a Difference Five 5 Pounds, Two Plus 2+ Kilo Make

A few months I finally realized/accepted/admitted that my weight had gone up a bit for the first time since I had lost about 30+ lbs or 15 kilo five years ago.

Not only had the scale been telling me so, but I also remembered that in the summer I hadn't been able to wear some of the skirts I had worn the previous summers.  At the time, I had blamed it on the fact that I hadn't been to the pool much. Because of my mother's death and my being restricted/forbidden "pleasure" swimming during the shloshim 30 day period after the funeral, it just didn't pay for us to shell out our limited financial resources on a three month pool season.  I'm the main one to take advantage of the membership, and I wouldn't be.  My body sure paid the price for that money-savings.

Not only was the scale complaining, but I began to suffer more aches and pains.  Of course I made up lots of excuses for them. Easy since I work in a store which is physically challenging.

I did not like those numbers the scale kept showing me, and I certainly didn't want to get used to the size I was becoming.  So, I tried to cut down, just a bit.  Since I had been eating a lot of fruit, including a fruit snack of a couple of small (yes, really small, since they were cheap) oranges soon after breakfast, I tried postponing that snack.  Amazingly, I discovered that if I didn't eat the oranges when I first began feeling the craving and did something else, the craving would just go away.  Then I'd discover that it was almost lunchtime, and I'd wait a bit while preparing lunch.  That resulted in not eating the two oranges.  On workdays, I'd have a small clementina sometimes before lunch if I was hungry.  Or sometimes I'd just have lunch a bit early, and then I'd have a fruit snack before supper.

The result was that I found myself eating two or three fruits a day instead of my previous six or so.  In addition, during my visit to the states, I didn't have too many opportunities to eat, so my weight began to drop and get to the maintenance weight I had been enjoying for the past four years.

An unexpected bonus has been that my aches and pains have been reduced, bli eyin haraa. I still have to work on the fitness, muscle tone to make my body look better.  But that first step, of losing just five pounds, has made a great difference.

Nu, maybe I can drop a few more and keep them off, G-d willing....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Friday's Rain Clouds, Gone Too Soon

On Friday when I threw out the recyclables, I saw clouds in the sky.  Now, considering the drought we're suffering from, clouds are news.

It rained Friday night, Shabbat and bit on Sunday, too.  But now we're back to dry blue skies.  Britain and parts of Europe are getting most of the precipitation, and they're not sharing.  In the states, California, Arizona and other parts of the west are also suffering a drought, but the East Coast has more snow than they they need.

G-d must be very angry with us!

Mozart Kosher Dairy Restaurant, AZ, Revisited Twice

A few years ago, when an internet search for kosher restaurants in the Phoenix, AZ, area helped me discover Mozart Café, I called them on the phone to ask if they were shomer Shabbat, Sabbath observant, meaning truly kosher. They said "of course" and sounded rather amused. This recent Arizona visit had me there twice, and I wasn't the only Israeli customer. There was a very famous Israeli rabbi there both times. So, no doubt that Mozart is the kosher dairy restaurant in the area.

I had the Salad Nicoise, (hold the potatoes, please) which is a fancy name for tuna salad.

My cousin had one of the wraps.  We both loved the food. The salad and its house dressing were delicious, though probably too sweet for our needs, but we didn't complain.  We ate it up. Finishing food is rather genetic by us.  In Miami I ate out with two cousins, and nothing was left on any of the plates.

Later in the visit I returned with a friend and ordered their Greek Salad.  It came with a plain unsweetened salad, nothing like the sweet one I had the previous visit.

I don't remember what she ordered. But for whatever reason, we decided to have dessert, but not a sweet one.  We ordered Zucchini fritters or pancakes.  I don't remember what it was called, but they were good.

I wholeheartedly recommend the restaurant.  Everything was delicious, and it's a very pleasant place to be in.
Kosher & Vegetarian
We are a Certified Kosher Dairy (Cholov Yisroel; Hebrew: חלב ישראל‎) restaurant. Which in return means we do not serve any meat. Almost our entire menu is Vegetarian friendly with an exception to some dishes that have seafood (not considered a meat in Jewish law). 7116 East Mercer LaneScottsdale, AZ 85254(480) 609-3879

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Staff and Services in the Old Age Home

It seems like one of the biggest industries in the Phoenix/Scottsdale/Tempe area of Arizona is "senior facilities."  My father is in the third one since his move four years ago.  He and my mother "outgrew" their first one.  It didn't suit their needs and requirements, so my sister found another one.  After my mother died, the staff/administration wasn't able to properly take care of my father, so my sister found another place.

This new one seems much better.  It has 24/7 nursing staff and regular doctors visits.

The staff is very nice and even the administrator helps with the residents.  I told her how impressed I was by what she was doing.

During one of the visits I was surprised to hear the barking of a dog. Apparently the dog is "part of the staff."

Another good thing I discovered was a mobile dental clinic parked outside.  My sister is able to register my father instead of having to schlepp him to private dentists.