Meatless Monday: Banana Bread – tropical deliciousness on a cold day!

With this weather being as snowy crazy and cold as it has been, and the 2nd floor renovation, I have been spending a lot of time at home. I am totally content to be a homebody, but there was something about knowing that I really couldn’t go out that these past few days that made me feel a little stir crazy. In the past couple weeks I have watched a lot of football, and I do mean a lot. I have read (I’ve challenged myself to read 30 books this year, so far I’ve read one and half of another), and I’ve watched some of the stuff that has accumulated on my DVR. I sort of felt like I was running out of ways to entertain myself.

Meatless Monday: Vegetable Soup on a cold Winter’s night!

One of the benefits of the Temple’s administrative office being closed for remodel (outside of getting a beautiful new work space of course) is that I was able to come home to Ohio for a week to visit my family. Coming home for any amount of time always feels rushed, like I am trying to squeeze too much into too little time. I never get to see everyone or do all the things I would like.

Acknowledging Others

On our trip down south, my husband and I stayed in 2 completely different types of establishments. The first was a bed and breakfast. We arrived late so I did not begin to notice some of their environmentally friendly efforts until the next morning. The first thing was the card in the bathroom reminding me just how much energy and water it takes to wash the towels daily and did I want to opt for a more planet friendly approach. Now that is pretty standard today in hotels and inns so that was not what impressed me but it started me looking for other things that they were doing. First, although it was a Victorian home converted to a B&B, they were using compact fluorescents. Kudos to them. Then I noticed there were no Styrofoam cups or plates. China only. Again kudos to them. There was coffee offered all day long but it was kept hot in thermos containers. There was bottled water for the guests to take with them but they recycled all the bottles that were used on premise. Now these were only the things I noticed on first glance so then I began a conversation with the manager about any other things that they were doing. In our conversation, I planted some seeds of my own, asking about rain barrels for use in irrigation and composting. Something may come of it or maybe not. I probably will never know. But the conversation itself was fun and interesting and hopefully fruitful.

Temple Sholom’s Meatless Monday: The Return! Full’a Green Beans!

It has been a long time since I have written a Meatless Monday blog. Like High Holidays long. I had originally meant to share this recipe before Thanksgiving, because it is my family’s (well, really mine) favorite side dish. Sautéed green beans with tomato and basil. Amazing. My aunt makes them just about every year for Thanksgiving and has even written “Carrie’s favorite” on the recipe. We almost always double the recipe, because they are that much of a crowd pleaser, and there’s not usually any leftover.

Someone usually comments at least once that they don’t know why we don’t make these more often. In addition to being amazingly tasty, it’s also a pretty dish to make and a really versatile one too. As I mentioned we have had them many times as a side dish to turkey at Thanksgiving, but we’ve also made them with lamb or prime rib at other special occasion dinners.

E-Cards…a great way to be green

60 something …wife, mother and grandmother of 2 beautiful boys

I have to admit that when e-cards started showing up in my in-box, my first thought was that my friends were cheaping out. And granted e-cards can run the gamut from free (where there is advertising attached) to moderate in price. Hallmark, American Greeting and Jackie Lawson to name a few sell you a year’s subscription for less than $15 and with that you can send as many cards to as many people as you want.

Then there is the convenience factor. If you are pressed for time or are unable to get out, then the last thing you want to be doing is running to the card store and the post office. Again e-cards save the day. There are literally hundreds of styles and messages to choose from. And you can actually take an afternoon and input all of your friends and families important dates and what card you want to send and it will be done automatically.

New & Improved Recycling Program Arrives at Temple Sholom

When Eco Chavura was first formed, we conducted a survey with respect to the top issues at the temple that members thought we should address. The number one response: RECYCLING; and for understandable reasons. For years, although the Temple may have had blue bins placed randomly in different areas within the building, there were no signage indicating what could go in them. Exacerbating the situation was the fact that if one came upon a blue bin and there was no accompanying trash bin, people simply threw their trash in the recycling bin. What does that do? It contaminates the recycling bin’s integrity and everything ends up going to the landfill. Landfills are BAD!

Back to the Beach – Mishpacha and Eco Chavura

The families of Temple Sholom had a great time cleaning up Montrose Beach.
Rabbi Shoshanna joined us to remind us the importance of taking care of our earth. We picked up 35 pounds of trash and made our beach a healthier place to enjoy. See the Pics!

How I found my way to connect more deeply with Temple Sholom through Eco Chavurah

Temple Sholom always held a special place in my heart from the first days our family joined and my son Cole Spanierman (now 15) went to Gan Shalom. But it took another decade and an “aha” moment for me to get involved in a more meaningful way.

My son was volunteering regularly at the Monday Meal as his social action project in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah in the fall of 2011. As part of that effort, I joined him one Sunday a few weeks before his big day where we and other Temple members harvested leftover vegetables from community gardens on the South Side to use as ingredients for the next day’s Monday Meal.

Temple Sholom’s Meatless Monday: Let’s take this dip to the next level!

Have I ever mentioned that Pinterest is both the best and worst thing that ever happened to me? It’s true, and I doubt I’m the only one who feels that way. I don’t even want to admit how much time I can spend there on what is supposed to be just a quick visit. I saw somewhere (maybe even on Pinterest) the following statement: for every diet plan on Pinterest there is at least two delicious dessert recipes. It really is a very accurate statement. For me it isn’t really the dessert recipes that trip me up, because I have to be in a specific mood to attempt baking, but rather it’s the ooey gooey cheesey recipes that get me to ignore my diet and pin away for future use.

Temple Sholom’s Meatless Monday: Leave the Chicken – Take the Salad

I spent the Fourth of July holiday with my family in Saint Louis. It was so nice to get out of the city for a few days and be around family. My aunt is a great cook, and I always look forward to nights when we stay in for dinner, because her food never disappoints. She is a big fan of Iron Chef Michael Symon and his show television show The Chew, and one night while we were debating dinner she decided to try this recipe out on us. It was a grilled Greek style chicken and a Greek salad. The chicken was good, but for our purposes we will just focus on the salad. It was phenomenal! You know a salad is good when everyone at the table (a table full of pretty serious meat eaters, might I add) goes back for seconds and even thirds. I know I’ve posted a lot of salad recipes lately, and I promise more variety in the next few weeks, but this was just too good not to share!