Archives for January 2012

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

Hebrew Text

Torah! Torah!

The short answer?  Studying Hebrew.  (And yes, I know that it rythmes) It’s the end of January and the big day is on May 26th.  I received my torah portion a few weeks ago and I am beginning to wonder if 5 months is going to be enough time to learn, memorize and clear the linguistic tongue twisters that I have come to know as Hebrew.  Heck, I can’t even master the prayers that are recited before the torah portion is (get this) chanted!

A few weeks ago, while she was on a sugar low (i.e. I forgot to feed the creature) K, my 8 year old, confessed to her father that she thought that there was something seriously wrong with me: “I mean, Dad, she (meaning me) CAN’T even chant the Ve’ahavta!  Everyone knows that prayer!”  I don’t think that she knew that I was listening and to his credit, my husband defended me.  But seriously, that is a REALLY hard prayer to read, let alone remember if you weren’t raised hearing it. But maybe she is right, perhaps I am a Hebrew language idiot?  There are still letters that look the same to me and I can’t seem to remember.  Even my Hebrew teacher has been caught writing out the phonetic pronunciation for me.

Let’s add another layer to the stress, shall we?  The date of my Bat Mitzvah also happens to fall on my 4oth birthday.  No pressure right?  So we are celebrating a double mitzvah!  Not only will I become a woman on May 26th (that’s what happens when you become a Bat Mitzvah–you are told that you are now a woman) but I become a MIDDLE AGED WOMAN!

I’ve gone into my reasons for willingly ensuring this discomfort and embarrassment in another blog post so I won’t bore you again with my reasons.  Let’s just say that at this point not only is getting a Bat Mitzvah a personal goal but it is also proof that I am capable of finishing things that I have started.  Like many women (and particularly, moms) I start a lot of things just to leave them hanging for a bit while I move onto something else.  Completing this “project” will prove to me that I can set a life goal and meet it.

In the meantime, I still have to figure out who I am inviting, design and make the invitations/announcements and, oh yes, find a place to take everyone who is flying in to dinner.  Oh the pressure!  The pressure!

 

 

Peace, Love & Cupcakes: Making Cupcakes At Jilly’s

Peace, Love & Cupcakes: Making Cupcakes At Jilly’s

Cupcake Jillys

The Perfect Cupcake

American Girl dolls. American Girl dolls is all I have been hearing for over a year.  Our daughter can’t get enough of them and when asked what she would like for her birthday, the holidays, or on a Wednesday (joke), she doesn’t pause to take a breath or give the question any additional thought: An American Girl something.

Luckily, she also has quite an imagination and makes up humorous and somewhat gruesome stories for her dolls.  K can be found in her room setting up a Tier 3 ER for her American Girl dolls who have recently been in a deadly helicopter accident and were then “mauled” (aka sniffed) by the German Shepherd, who for the sake of the game is now a Saber Toothed Tiger.

Imagine my surprise several weeks ago when I discovered the American Girl dolls had been left by the wayside and K was parked in front of the television watching the Food Channel’s latest dessert show: Cupcake Wars. When I tried to distract her, she promptly told me: “Not now Mom!  I’m about to find out who won this season’s competition!” Uh, huh?  What exactly was she watching?  It seems that K is hooked on a show that, like Top Chef (on the Bravo network), pits chefs (Pastry chefs in this case) against each other for the honor of winning an award and monetary compensation.  In K’s case, she was watching the final episode of the 3rd season in which Chefs Casey Shiller, Certified Executive Pastry Chef, and Dana Holland, executive chef of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe competed against several other teams on the episode entitled “The Final Frontier,” an outer space theme.  The winner’s cupcakes would be featured at a VIP party honoring the first man in space.  Guess who won?  And guess who was screaming with joy and jumping all over our living room furniture?  Yeah, it was Jilly’s and K was THRILLED!

So it seems that the competition had been re-run in preparation for Season #4 beginning in January, 2012 but K didn’t know (or care).  When we told her that we decided to go to St. Louis for a winter break holiday, K’s first questions were  “Can we go to Jilly’s?  You know their in St. Louis too?”

So off we were to visit some wonderful friends in St. Louis and go to Jilly’s.

K Outside of Jilly's: Day 2

We showed up at the bakery a bit later than we had intended: 4:30 p.m.  The bakery was scheduled to close in 30 minutes.  How were to know that we were about to experience Divine Intervention in the shape of Jill Segal and a fantastic cupcake?  When Jill saw us taking pictures, she sadly told us that they were OUT OF CUPCAKES! OMG!  We came all this way (from Chicago to St. Louis) and they were out of cupcakes?  I couldn’t help it.  I swear that the words just slipped out of my mouth: “Oh No!  And we drove all of this way!  From Chicago to St. Louis just to try your cupcakes! And she (my daughter) is such a fan! You can’t be out of cupcakes now?!?”

Jill just melted in front of us.  This wonderful woman who owed us no more than an “I’m sorry but what kind of dummies show up at a bakery 30 minutes before it closes expecting prize winning cupcakes?” explanation, stopped everything that she was doing, grabbed K’s hand, took her to the back room and introduced her to Casey Shiller and Dana Holland, the chefs who created magic and won the contest!  K was speechless, and it looked as though she was having trouble breathing because she was so excited to meet her culinary idols!  Casey asked K if she was interested in designing her own cupcake?  And the rest of the story can be shared through pictures–they are much more interesting and tasty:

Casey and K choose the cupcake

 

Yum! Cream cheese fills the cupcake

 

Pink Cream Cheese Icing

 

Now? Which toppings to choose?

 

Carefully applying silver balls

 

More design

 

Add an Umbrella or No? Choices, choices

 

Cupcake Jillys

The Perfect Cupcake

 

 

The Finished Product: Boxed

 

Dana consults and declares it a "Good Job!"

 

We get our pictures taken with the famous crew from Jilly's

 

What a way to spend a phenomenal afternoon in St. Louis!  Adam, K and I had different favorite parts of the trip.  Visiting with new and old friends absolutely made the list of highlights.  But I think that we can all agree that there is NOTHING like a cupcake to make your day and bring a smile to your face.  I cannot thank Jill enough for her hospitality and enthusiasm.  Carey and Dana were fun to work (and play) with and I know that K cannot wait to make it back to Jilly’s again for a repeat performance.  Be honest, if you had a chance to design your own cupcake with an award winning team, wouldn’t you?

Brings a smile to my face every time I see this pic. Must be a Mom thing?

I know that she would!

 

Willy Wonka's or Jilly's Cupcakes? Yummy!