My friend Naftul, who is just about 9 months pregnant, celebrated her baby's upcoming arrival with an afternoon baby shower today (photos will be posted next time). To help her out I decided to take charge of the sweets department, and so yesterday I spent most of my afternoon in the kitchen. I made Trifle!! And if I can tout my own horn here, it was damn good :)
Here's the recipe, and some photos...
2 pkg fresh strawberries
2 pkg instant vanilla pudding
4 cups milk (I use 1% milk)
150 gr cream cheese
350 gr Mascarpone cheese
2 cups fresh strong brewed coffee (at room temp)
1 pkg whipping cream
2 tbsp casters sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 pkg Lady Fingers
Bitter-sweet chocolate, shaved
Cut the strawberries in halves, leaving 3-4 perfectly shaped ones for garnish.
In a lg. mixing bowl combine the milk & instant pudding and beat for a minute or two until smooth. In a separate bowl beat the cream cheese with the Mascarpone until smooth. Add 2-3 tbsp of coffee and mix well. Add the pudding and beat until well combined. In another bowl, beat the whipping cream with the vanilla extract and casters sugar until thick and creamy. Fold the whipped cream in to the pudding-cream cheese mixture and stir until smooth.
On a square oven pan spread the Lady Fingers and drip the coffee over them to moisten.
In a large trifle or glass serving bowl spread a bottom layer of the lady fingers. Top that with a layer of half the strawberries. Spread half the amount of the chocolate shaves. Top that with half the amount of the cream mixture. Repeat all three layers again. On top, place a few of the whole strawberries you saved, for garnish.
Should be refrigerated before serving (you can prepare a day ahead of time and refrigerate over night)
I know it's not Valentine's Day yet, so I don't really have a good excuse for getting all lovie dovie and all, but I just can't help it... I just love him! Plain and simple, hearts and butterflies & jitterbugs all over!
A lot has changed in my life these past few months. If I were to look in to the future, back in January 2009, I would have never predicted my life would take the turns they took.
So what has changed?
Well, to start off I went from being married, to sadly separated, to surprisingly hopeful and strong, and now I am in a happy, healthy, supportive (not so new) relationship with my someone! And speaking of my someone, I've been asked by a few of you to tell you his name... Well, his name's Shay (pronounced "Shy") which in Hebrew means gift. How fitting is that as he truly was my gift!
When it comes to my photography it sure has come a long way too. After a long hiatus from my chosen field of work, I can finally say I am back BIG TIME! Just in the last 2-3 months I have shot a couple of pregnancies, a small fashion shoot, and two large events. There are currently two more upcoming events that I'll be shooting, and I know this is just the beginning! Alongside my photography I am still designing wedding albums, and I can happily say my clients are not just local. I have designed for a client in the US, and there's another one on the go from Canada.
Even when it comes to my day job, working at Dallal Restaurant in Tel-Aviv, I am in a different place as well. First of all I was promoted to shift manager (I was a waitress before...). But it's not so much the position change, rather what Dallal means to me that has changed. When I first started working there I treated the place as somewhere I work, somewhere I can make an extra buck to pay the rent, and nothing more. But when my life turned upside-down I found a safe haven at Dallal with all the people that work there. I got stronger & managed to get through the hardship thanks to my co-workers support and care. Today, Dallal is more of a second home than anything else!
As a person with itchy feet that doesn't like to stay too long in one place, what keeps me sane is the great outdoors. But since I returned home to Israel, and until a few months ago, I didn't really get to go anywhere, to travel the country, to hike. Thankfully Shy is as adventurous as myself and lately we've been taking advantage of our days off to go somewhere fresh and beautiful!
So what do I hope for next...?
Well, more photography and design work of course. More personal achievements. More fun times. More love. More travel. More memorable moments with good friends.
I know it can't all be Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice, but I do hope that most days the sun will shine on me rather than rain fall.
Have you had many changes in your life recently? Any good turns you didn't expect?
My friend Cyndi at Reduce Footprints is a huge Green activist. She dedicates her blog to that cause trying to motivate all the rest of us to care, that's first & foremost, and to take action in saving this planet in small manageable acts. In August of last year Cyndi started a blog post series called "Change The World Wednesday". You can read the rules here, but the basic gist of it is that every week she presents an action that if followed, even if just for that one week, that is another small step towards making this world just a little greener.
She Writes: What if a whole lot of people did the same "green" activity during the same time period? Would we have a positive impact on the environment? I believe we would! That's the simple concept behind Change The World Wednesdays (CTWW). Each week a new challenge will be posted, here on Reduce Footprints ... something which is easy to do and when done "en masse" will have a positive effect on the earth. It's the idea that when a lot of little actions are joined together ... the impact can be huge. We hope to take a huge step towards saving the earth.
This Wednesday Cyndi called out for everyone to only use reusable mugs & glasses. At home that's an easy one, but outside presents a challenge. I say you can do the same when you go out, as you do at home. Carry your own reusable water bottle, take your own mug to the coffee place, or simply take a ten minute break and stay for coffee instead of taking it To Go in a paper cup. Here are a few ideas to help you with this "challenge"...
SIGG makes reusable bottles that are made from a highly durable aluminum material, and their inside liners are taste & scent neutral and they reduce chances for bacteria buildup (unlike the plastic bottles...). They can be used for any beverage, hot or cold. Check them out here
Starbucks will give you a discount every time you bring your own reusable mug. Read more here
REI makes water bottle that are BPA-Free. You can buy them here
Thermos brand has a real cool technology that keeps your coffee real warm, and your water real cool. See it here
Hope that helps and motivates at least one more person to do Green ;)
My someone and I had another day off! This time we headed up north to the Upper Galilee area of Israel. We were invited by my someone's parents to a family day trip, and so us two, his parents, his two brothers and one of their girlfriends all headed on an adventure. We stopped for a picnic at the bottom of the Bar'am National Park and after a short break we headed by foot into the Bar'am forest. The trail passes through old giant Oaks, and filled with weird and unique mushrooms. It was a sunny warm day, not typical of winter, but between the Oaks along the trails' path it was damp and cool (like the atmosphere you get when you walk into a winery's cellar).
As always I had my camera at hand. Here's a day trip in imagery...
Back in 2005 my friends Karine & Guy set out to Cambodia to shoot a film. Guy is a writer-director. Karine is his wife. The film is called Holly. It is not a happy film. It is a film that deals with a real life problem, a problem that doesn't seem to be going away. I am talking about children being used for sex trafficking. There are over 2 million children around the world that are kidnapped or sold for sex trafficking. That is inconceivable to me! What's worse is that there are too many of us that prefer to look the other way rather then deal with the problem and bring it to an end.
My friend Guy Moshe (writer-director of Holly), alongside Guy Jacobson (writer-producer of Holly), a dedicated production crew and actors, and the K11 Project, set out to put this matter on the table, to show the rest of the world a glimpse of what these children go through.
Although this film was shot in 2005, only yesterday I had the chance to see it in the cinema. This film has been to several film festivals, was screened at the UN, and had various openings in selected cinemas around the world. It has finally made it to Israel and I got my chance last night to see it.
If you are anywhere near Tel Aviv go see Holly on Sunday, January 17th at 9:30 PM at the Cinematek.
For more info on the film and the K11 project visit this site. If you want to do more visit The Redlight Children Campaign and read how you can be a part of the solution.
A few weeks ago I posted about a photoshoot I did for my friend Naftul who's a talented clothing designer (blog post here). What I didn't tell you is that Naftul happens to be about 8 months pregnant, and so we decided to kill two birds in one photoshoot and take some belly shots.
But that wasn't enough for us, we invited another pregnant friend to join us on the fun, and took some belly shots of her as well.
The location was a very uniquely designed clothing-home accessories store in Jaffa, Israel, called "One Bedroom". It was the perfect location to make two beautiful ladies feel comfortable and at ease. You can see that in their pictures below.
I can't believe how time flies!! It's a new year already, a new decade just started, my 4th decade on this earth (technically it's my 5th, as I was born at the end of the 70's but since I'm only in my 30's we'll leave it at four decades, ok...?)
If you follow (and thank you if you do!) you know what turbulences 2009 has brought my way. It wasn't an easy year by any means, but I am parting from it with a smile and appreciation as I have learned a lot, grown a lot, managed to surprise myself and others a lot, and I am only a better person at the end of it all.
I welcomed 2010 with my someone by my side, and all of our good friends from work. We were both the shift managers at the restaurant on New Years Eve, and our good friends were all working with us as well. It was a fun night, busy & hectic, but nonetheless so very very fun!
May the rest of 2010 be inspired by that night.
Wishing you all a very happy, successful, rewarding, inspiring, friends-filled, love-packed, joyful, and memorable year ahead!
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