A Shiksa on a Mission

Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife
I'm a shiksa on a mission...
It may not be perfection but it's the journey that counts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Little Pie

Please to repeat after me.
Waiter, there is too much pepper in my paprikash. 
But I would be proud to partake of a piece of your pecan pie.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Had a fun afternoon at Reed College last Sunday taking pictures of the Yakes. The campus is simply beautiful any time of year but right now it is magnificent. And, wow, these kids are cute!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This last week and weekend I was apparently bitten by the baking bug because I went all out on the baked goods.  I made some desserts for a potluck with some wonderful women and then I just couldn't stop baking.

I made this Flourless Chocolate Cake and liked it so much that I made it again the next night.  But I'm pretty sure that the first time, I accidentally left out the sugar but don't tell Martha because I bet she has a bad temper for that kind of laziness and a mean right hook. The second time I remembered.  I think the first one tasted better.  You be the judge. It is so incredibly easy and delicious.

Then I made this French Apple Tart but I made a million changes.  I used apples and pear because that's what I had.  I used phyllo dough because it was there. And I changed the apricot jam and rum that you brush on the top to my homemade fig jam and pear brandy.  It was still good.  It's one of those recipes that you don't need to actually follow to the letter.  And you can tell that to the Barefoot Contessa because she doesn't scare me like Martha.

Next I made some Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles only because I stumbled upon the recipe and the kid were still busy doing their chores.  I have the time so I might as well bake. They were tasty and easy.

Lastly I made this Nutmeg Coffee Cake to have on hand when my friend came over for coffee. It makes this crust on the bottom and it tastes great melting in your mouth with coffee. Plus, I have to admit that I simply love love love nutmeg. 

Give one a try!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday, So Far

Woke up with energy to spare so here are some of today's projects.

I wanted a pennant banner for the front.  I didn't need it to say anything but I may add a some words.  I love reusing all my favorite fabrics. And today's sunny Autumn day is the best way to display it.
Haven't made pretzels in quite some time.  Made a few with salt and a few with cinnamon and sugar.  I think the salt ones are my favorite.
Today's football feast is spicy pepper chicken.  Delish but next time is more spice.  This may be jut the beginning of  a journey to find the best way to make chicken wings.


It suddenly feels like Fall here. Summer started late in Portland (although many could rightfully claim that it barely happened at all) and so Autumn kind of weaseled its way in without notice. I'm not complaining. Favorite season, hands down. I love it here. The leaves are vibrant shades of red and gold. The air is crisp. And there is a push to wrap in warm quilts, drink hot concoctions and maybe just read. Sure, it's cold. It's also pretty gray and it has been rainy. Nobody's perfect. Plus, I'd take change of season any time.

This season has us slowing down a bit. It's needed. I don't want to point any fingers, but someone has barely made it to the kids' bedtimes this week. Now this time change is really going to throw me for a loop. This was our first weekend to take a deep breath and not be in five different places at once. A momentous occasion worthy of not doing a damn thing. Well, not entirely. Yesterday we wandered downtown during our one scheduled event: Flannery's acting class. But the key word is wandered, which is nice.  And, at times, we were quite aimless in our wandering. We took Emerson to Powell's and bought him a new book. We're suckers for kids who want new books. And we watched part of a college football game. Football is quickly becoming Emerson's passion much to my chagrin. I do like to watch the games (it's a sport that is growing on me) because it means several hours of not being required to do anything else. I would, however, prefer to be watching basketball. Or soccer. Or baseball.  But I'm learning to love.

Now Sunday is here, time change and all, to do what I want to do.  My ideal Sunday is lazy and barely structured. Today I believe it will be some cooking and some kind of craft.  I've been planning on making a few choice recipes for a Sunday (check) when it's so very cold (double check) and everyone is mostly glued to a football game or two (and check!).
Here are some of the ideas I have for today....

Chicken wings for the boy who just realized he loves them more than anything.
Pretzels for everyone because they're pretty easy to make and they feel so Sunday afternoon in the Fall to me.
A possible fondue for dipping veggies and the aforementioned pretzels.
And some Chocolate Filled Sweet Potato Cupcakes because they just seem like they need to made and then devoured. 

What's on your Sunday agenda?