Hi! So my blog has sucked lately. Sorry about that. I skipped the last two Saturday posts because nobody reads them except my mom (sorry, mom). And now it's 10:37 on Wednesday so I figured I would make up the last Saturday post here, as my Wednesday post, and if anyone reads it who is not in my immediate family, well, that would be an interesting twist.
So my new experience last week was going to Shavuot services. Shavuot, for those of you who don't know, is a Jewish holiday commemorating when we received the Torah at Mt Sinai religious stuff yada yada, the main point is that we get to eat dairy. If you're not Jewish, you might not know this, but Jewish families insist on eating meat ALL THE TIME. (Update: not because of laws. It's just a tradition thing) And kosher laws decree that you can't eat meat and dairy together. I'm a vegetarian who loves dairy, so most Jewish holidays are a game of eating the side dishes for me. (Not that I mind too much- side dishes are great!) But Shavuot- Shavuot is the best.
The reason it counts as a new experience is because I usually celebrate Shavuot by, like, eating pizza and ice cream, and not actually going to services. But my local Chabad (I don't know how to define Chabad- Google it) held services for Shavuot and they always have great services- followed by amazing food- so my family went this year. It was great.
Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about dairy food. (And the beautifulness of the Torah also, orthodox relatives who might be reading this). Oftentimes, Shavuot dinners, because Jews are so freaking obsessed with meat, are basically a time to sit and lament about how we can't eat meat and then we eat fish, and like, a spoonful of yogurt, I don't know, really lame stuff. (Update: this is sarcasm. Most Jews eat more dairy than that. I just wish we would eat EVEN MOOORE) And I kind of want us to get our act together. As a dairy enthusiast, I think that Shavuot is a time to ponder the many ways that we can eat dairy. Now, there's the obvious stuff- pizza, ice cream, cheese, put cheese on everything- true. But I'm talking stuff that you could have for a fancy meal. HENCE. I now commence a list of ten fancy dairy foods! (courtesy of Buzzfeed Food and Tumblr of course) (also I'm not linking recipes because that is not the point. Suffer)
1. Fried Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine Stacks with Balsamic Glaze
EXCUSE ME. This is too fancy. Right off the bat and we already got something that mixes fancy and fried cheese. I'm not sure this would taste THAT good together but I mean... worst case scenario, take it apart, and you got balsamic nectarines and some fried mozzarella. That's a pretty good worst case scenario.
2. Fondue... just, in general
This particular picture is "Smoky Three Cheese Fondue" but make any fondue you can think of. As long as it has dairy and enough fat in it to kill you. Cheese, chocolate, weird other thing, whatever. Dip bread, fruit, veggies, soft pretzels, other amazing things. Fondue is a perfect food- it mixes dip with gooey amazingness. (I say "a" perfect food because there are many.)
3. Fancy Mac and Cheese
So, mac and cheese isn't exactly cocktail party fare, but fancy it up, and serve it on little plates, and suddenly, it's like... wine, or whatever fancy people eat. Make it with Brie, like in this photo, or with bechamel sauce, like I tried to do that time that failed. Add breadcrumbs. Or just make Kraft and add a sprig of parsley, I don't know.
4. Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon and Basil-Mint Oil
Something just a wee bit healthy. I know grilled watermelon sounds weird, but although I've never tried it, countless hipster blogs have sworn that it's amazing, and I trust hipster blogs. They just sound so genuine. Plus, it's basically grilled cheese. Get it? Yeah, I stole that pun from Buzzfeed.
5. Charred Corn with Rosemary Grilled Pizza
Another grilled option! I know I said pizza is like basic dairy food, but this is FANCY pizza. It does look kind of odd, and there doesn't seem to be tomato sauce, which is a bit of a turn-off, but it still looks to have my main requirements- starch, cheese, and herbs. So we're good.
6. Roasted Blueberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Ice Cream
Again, I know I said ice cream is kind of obvious in terms of dairy food. However, again, this is FANCY ice cream. Now this is the kind of dessert that screams, I know about dairy. Goat cheese ice cream! Who ever heard of that? It could be terrible! But that's just the kind of crazy risk taker you are. Plus, come on, it's not going to be terrible. There's too many good words in that recipe title: roasted, blueberry, balsamic, goat cheese, and ice cream. All the words are good!
7. Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Other Good Stuff
This is my favorite kind of salad. (Note to my mom: "Also Ariel, if you like this spinach salad so much, how come you never eat it? I buy all this spinach and then you don't eat it!" I KNOW) If you don't like raw spinach, put some other kind of fancy green that's "in" right now like kale or some other terrible thing. The main point is goat cheese. Other things to add: strawberries, balsamic vinegar, pecans, candied nuts of other sorts, avocados, apples, other fruit, whatever you like. It makes you look healthy but it's basically a carrier for cheese.
8. Cheesy Yuca Balls with Chipotle Mayo
Yuca, if you don't know, is a yummy root vegetable that's kind of like... some other root vegetable. I'm bad at descriptions. Anyway, this is an example of the kind of fancy appetizer you can make that's a finger food, has cheese, and has a name that will make people roll their eyes when you're not looking because people roll their eyes at foods that aren't major staples of Western cuisine because they think it's hipster when these foods have actually existed for centuries THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR A SOCIAL JUSTICE RANT, ARIEL. Sorry. I gotta stop leaving these blog posts until right before bed.
9. Greek Sweet Potato Fries with Curried Tzatziki
Tzatziki is like this yogurty thing that's amazing, don't question it, just eat it. I know for a fact that my Persian family eats tzatziki-like foods, so they should not be weirded out by this one, at least. This sounds really good and sweet potato fries are great. This should be good for someone who doesn't want the big cheesy stuff.
10. Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies
I know, I should have put more desserts. I got caught up in all the cheese, what can I say. But of course, Shavuot necessities (at least in MY opinion) are brownies and cheesecake. And this recipe combines them AND adds a dash of fanciness! These sound amazing and, I'm not saying I'll storm out if I don't see them on at least one Shavuot table next year, but I am saying that, actually. This or straight-up pizza. I'm looking at you, everyone who does Shavuot meals.
Anyway, sorry this post is SO abonimably late AGAIN. Did I spell abonimably right? No, that's gotta be right. I'm not even going to check. Stupid Spellcheck.
HOPEFULLY you get a real Saturday post this week. Well, it's unlikely, but I might try.
Thanks for reading,