Reflection – 12 years in Israel

14 Jul pexels-photo-59519


12 years ago I boarded a Nefesh B’Nefesh plane to move across the world and make Israel my home.

Here are some of my thoughts from the past 12 years:

  1. It was the best decision I ever made – and I knew it the day I moved here and feel the same way 12 years later.
  2. My local political views have changed *drastically* over the years. I went from the far right all the way to the center/left. Life and experiences change you. Living here changes you.
  3. Moving here has not changed my core values. However, I do see many more shades of color instead of black/white/grey.
  4. I still cannot express myself in Hebrew with the same comfort and ease as I do in English. I don’t think this will ever change and I have come to accept it.
  5. I met some incredible people who I am honored to call my friends. Some are olim like me, others are native Israelis. Some stayed, some left and wherever we are, the bond is forever.
  6. I stopped being an American consumer. I took a few years – and I am so much happier this way. Yes, I miss the crazy sales in the US but I also appreciate what I have and what I can afford.
  7. You can be fiscally responsible living in Israel – as long as you learn to live within your means and redefine “needs” vs “wants”.
  8. Socialized medicine has been a godsend.
  9. I now wish we could separate Church and State.
  10. My food consumption has drastically changed.  I no longer eat a big dinner but rather a modest lunch. I buy my vegetables and fruits from local farmers, on their farms. Nothing I eat has corn in it.
  11. My career took a serendipitous turn shortly after I arrived and I never looked back. But boy am I thankful that I was given a chance. Thank you Sheri.
  12. Most importantly, I met and married the man of my dreams.

To the next 12 years and beyond.

Latkes for Two

7 Dec

Latkes by Jypsygen

Tonight I made the best latkes (לביבות) that I have ever made – and just the right amount for only two of us. I thought it was prudent to write it down so that next year, I do not forget how I did it. They were crispy on the outside, mushy in the middle and just … perfect. Not too greasy, not too flat. Just right.

It all began when I spoke to my mother earlier today – and asked her how many potatoes she uses to make latkes just for two people (her and my dad).

1.5 per person and the trick according to my mom is to deep fry the latkes in a soup pot. This way, the oil stays in the pot and not on the stove, counters or anywhere else.


5 medium or small sized potatoes

1 onion

1 egg

1/4 cup of flour

1 tsp of himalayan pink salt

1 tsp of freshly ground pepper

A pinch of baking soda

1 liter of grape seed oil (or any low smoking oil)


(45 minutes – 12 medium sized latkes)

In a large pot, pour at least 1/2 a liter of oil and put it UNCOVERED on the stove to heat up

Crack the egg into a small bowl, mix and add in the salt + pepper

Wash, peel and quarter potatoes

Grate potatoes in the food processor, transfer to a fine mesh colander to drain. You want your potatoes to be as dry as possible.

Peel, quarter onion and grate in the food processor. Transfer to a separate bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, add the 1/4 cup of flour, pinch of baking soda and mix.

Add in the potatoes, onions and mix.

Add the egg to the potatoes, onions & flour and mix by hand.

By this point, the oil will be hot enough for you to fry.

Spoon a tablespoon of the potato mixture into your hands, press it together into a ball, place it on a ladle and gently (!) place it in the pot. You should only have 3 latkes (at most) in the pot at the same time. You don’t want to crowd them. Give it 3 min each side (or when they are nice and crispy) before turning them over.

When they are cooked, place them on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the extra oil. Repeat until all the latkes are cooked. Serve with some real sour cream and/or applesauce.




Moist Chocolate Oil Cake

21 Nov

This amazing Chocolate Oil Cake also happens to be a one mixing bowl vegan cake – easy to make with no eggs or dairy. The water and oil in the recipe make it an incredibly moist yet dense cake for any chocolate cake lover.


Chocolate cake

Moist Chocolate Cake (vegan & one bowl) | Sabraheart


The key to this recipe? Real cocoa powder, unsweetened. Seriously. Find the good stuff and never look back – it makes a tremendous difference. I found it at my local spice & grain store.


  • Cake flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • White Sugar
  • Water
  • Canola oil
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Vanilla extract


Add the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients into the bowl

  • Preheat the oven to 350F or 175C
  • Measure 3 cups of cake flour, sift (this is an important step) and add to a big mixing bowl
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sift)
  • 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the dry ingredients before you add the wet ones.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat by hand until smooth Pour into a 9×13 inch pan – bake for 35 minutes.

Insert toothpick into the center of the cake and it should come out dry. Let the cake rest before icing (if you want to).

*This cake does not need to be refrigerated.

**Inspired by the Chocolate Oil Cake recipe at All Recipes

Additional Recipes:

Rich Non Dairy Banana Bread 

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Walnut & Cranberries

Rita’s NY Style Cheesecake