Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Long time no blog, well there's no better time like the holidays, right?

Put on your yarmulke it's time for Hanukkah!

While the much of the world, and most of the BCS, is getting ready for Christmas, a few of us are celebrating a lesser known minor holiday known as Hanukkah. For those less familiar with the holiday, here's a little background...

This year especially is unique because for the first time since 1888 that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coincide and thus creating a holiday fusion of epic proportions. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from one of my favorite Rabbi’s, Matt Rosenberg, the Director of the Texas A&M Hillel Foundation, “I like to think of Thanksgiving as a profoundly Jewish holiday since it involves giving thanks and gratitude to G-d (and the word for turkey in Hebrew is Hodu, which also means thanks!)  And with the holiday of Hanukkah, we are celebrating religious freedom for everyone, much like the pilgrims were celebrating upon their arrival on this continent.”

Like Thanksgiving (at least the spirit of it, not necessarily what had followed), it gives us a chance to express our love, thanks, and gratitude for the blessings in our life as well as spend time with our loved ones. The Hanukkah tradition, like Judaism as a whole, has evolved and is celebrated in various ways, but regardless of whether you light the candles every night or not, it’s a time to reflect on where we have been, where we are going, how we can collectively best perform the mitzvah (good deed) of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and your personal relationship with G-d.

So, here's to all of my fellow Jews and honorary hebrews. Happy Hanukkah and many more from the Krugel clan. May the warmth and glow of each candle you light make your heart and home happy and your Hanukkah bright it’s the Festival of Lights! Shalom - Peace to you at Hanukkah and always. 

We had planned on sending out tacky Hanukkah cards this year however due to family illness and well, Hanukkah being in November, we ran out of time. However here’s my formula for a Hanukkah-rific holiday card:

1 Part adorable puppy:

1 Ridiculously tacky, yet amazing, Hanukkah puppy sweater

Lots of shiny Hanukkah wrapped over sized boxes to use as a background

A few fabulous sweaters for the doting Mom and Dad

An awesome photographer and Voila!

Since we don’t have any kiddos quite yet, any future cards will definitely be featuring our furry munchkin!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What do you with two extra ripe bananas?? Add chocolate chips, of course!

So, in our quasi-cleaning spree the hubs reminded me that we have two perfectly ripe bananas crying out to be eaten. What do you do with two extra ripe bananas? Why make delicious Chocolate banana bread muffins, of course! And that's exactly what we did...and they were delish!!! Want the recipe?? You're welcome!


Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Dear loyal readers, have you noticed the change in my current status under my Who's Cooking tab? I am no longer unemployed, but slightly employed! What do I mean by being slightly employed, you ask? It means that I no longer have the luxury (or curse) of waking up at noon but that I work for my mother and her sister. Last Monday, the Ateneo School of Medicine finally relaunched Home Flavours to serve students and yes, that is where I work. Ish. I help around in preparing and serving the food, and when lunch is over, I go home and bake sweets to serve for the next day. 

Remember my Oreo Cupcakes, by the way? The students gobbled them up, ordering 2 at a time with their meals. They were a hit! So for tomorrow, I have a new treat for them: Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. They like bananas a lot, and they also requested for desserts and snacks they can carry out and eat in class, seems like a good idea to indulge them.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
1/2 cup butter, melted
3-4 bananas, mashed
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips

makes 12 muffins

Peel bananas and place them in a large bowl. Mash.

Beat in the eggs, melted butter and vanilla.

Add the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt with the banana mixture and beat until smooth.

Fold in as many chocolate chips as your heart desires or your diet allows. I didn't put a lot in the batter because I'll also put some on top of the muffins.

Line your muffin tins with muffin liners and fill them with batter until the rim. You'll want them to mushroom on top when they're done. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top if you want (I did).

Bake at a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the muffin tops are golden brown. Wait about 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to a tray to cool, so that the muffin tops avoid sticking to the tin.

I'd like to think that these muffins are healthier than other banana muffins out there, in spite of the chocolate chips present. I don't use banana extract because that crap is evil, only fresh, ripe bananas. Also, I tried putting less sugar in them, letting the natural sweetness of the bananas and chocolate chips do their magic.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentimes Day with the Krugels

Since this was our first Valentimes, yes I know, it's spelled wrong :), as a married couple I decided to take some well deserved flex time off and cook dinner for the hubby. Since I've been working so many late nights lately and we've been watching our girlish figures I haven't made authentic Cuban food for him. time like the present.

The original plan was to have:

Frijoles Negros con Arroz Blanco (Black beans with white rice)

Pollo al Mojo de Ajo (Chicken in a garlicy citrus sauce)

Fried Bananas courtesy of my friends at Goya

Salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, balsamic dressing, and homemade croutons

And, if I could pull it off in time, Yucca

Unfortunately because neither the HEB or Kroger near our house had Yucca or any semblance of Goya products we ate, a delicious salad, followed by black beans and rice, and semi-decent chicken al mojo.

All in all, it was a great night and we event picked up some beautiful dormant roses for our yard. If all goes to plan we will be enjoying these beautiful babies in our backyard this summer or possibly fall.
Peace roses
Oregold roses

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Day in Pictures...

This morning I woke up fighting a war between me and my allergies...le drat. Here's what ensued...
My HQ with my personal nurse, Manny

Pulp does a body good!!
Homemade Caldo de Pollo con fideo (Chicken Noodle Soup)
My new favorite tea
In my new teapot, thanks Mom and Alle!

This is what happens when I don't want to spend $5 on puppy ice cream...

So as many of you know I have a penchant for pampering my pup and I have found a great recipe for "Frosty Paws"! For those of you unfamiliar with "Frosty Paws" here's more about this great product,

"Frosty Paws" typically run around $5 a pop and only have 4 per container. With as many treats as Manny goes through we used to only buy them for special occasions, however now with this new recipe, he can have them all of the time!!

*Side note, I used a blender and ice cube trays because was easier....

Manny tested and approved!
Step 1

Find two hungry puppies (or kitties, ferrets, hedgehogs, etc. who love store bought Frosty Paws) after a long day in the pool. Pictured here.

Step 2

Assemble all your ingredients. I like doubling the batch.
2 lb – 32 oz container of plain yogurt
Peanut Butter
1-2 Ripe bananas
Plastic containers
Spatula, masher and small ladle

Step 3

Take 1-2 peeled, ripened bananas and put them in mixing bowl and mash ‘em. Mash ‘em hard. Mash ‘em good.

Step 4

Empty entire container of yogurt into bowl. You can use any kind of plain yogurt. I would not use non-fat unless Fido needs has some serious love handles, but you’re his master.

Step 5

Squeeze some honey on top. I would say around 2-4 tblsp – but I like to “feel” the measurements. I’m kind of rebellious that way.

Step 6

Add the peanut butter.  You can use as little as 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. I even use a little bit more sometimes. Once again, I “felt” this one up. I use this creamy PB because we go through PB in our home like it was, well PB. The dogs love this kind. Feel free to use all-natural, organic or whatever. Be careful using chunky if you have small nugget dogs like Chee-waw-was. Do not need Pepe being rushed to the vet for choking on peanut chunks.

Step 7

When you have all these together, mix it really well so everything is combined.

Step 8

It should look like this. I am sure you women who have babies know of this particular substance.

Step 9

WHOOPS! Don’t forget the LOVE!!! This is mandatory ’cause love makes it all happen. ;-)

Step 10

Start ladling into little containers. If you have smaller dogs, I suggest filling up ice cube trays. They are perfect for small dog treats and you can give them 1 or 2. What I like about these containers is that if they do not want the rest, you can put the lid on and back to the freezer you go!

Step 11

After they are filled, bang them lightly on table to settle and wipe off any messes around rim.

Step 12

Pop the lids on!

Step 13

Put in freezer next to edamame and Reese’s. Breakfast of Champions.
If you have done this correctly, then you will no doubt have happy doggies!
Enjoy and I hope you all found this helpful!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yes, I realize he is a dog not a child

So since Brad and I adopted Manny my friends and family have poked fun at me for treating Manny like a baby. So what if I like to cuddle him, carry him around like a baby, make him homemade cookies, buy him shirts and sweaters, created a fan page for him on facebook, and post a ton of pictures of him?? Ok, so re-reading that, I may seem a bit obsessed with my dog, but wouldn't you be?? How can you not love his precious face?? So in homage to my favorite pup, here are some of his most recent pictures...

Lion and I are ready for bed mommy

Relaxing with his great Uncle Abe

"The Smirk"coined by my friend, Heather Wheeler

I love my momma!!!

Besos from his Uncle David

Manny Red Riding Hood

I had lots of fun in Dallas mommy, but it's time to go home. I miss my yard

Post bath time

Someone sure loves his sleep!

Taking care of his mommy when she was sick on Monday

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's a musical lovin' kinda day...What Your Favorite Musical Says About You...

What Your Favorite Musical Says About You

Jan. 3, 2013
Chelsea Fagan is a writer living in Paris. It's less pretentious than it sounds.
Few things say as much about us as the musicals we have devoted way too much of our fangirl/boy free time to. Whether it’s a serious(ish) melodrama or an over-the-top farce, your favorite musical is the best part part of who you are as a human being.


You are all about the underdog, the villain, learning the story behind the most misunderstood characters of our youth. Never the pretty, popular one yourself, you have a tendency to side with the misfits who are easily thrown under the bus when times get tough. Aside from your vaguely sexual and certainly crippling attraction to Idina Menzel (something we all have, regardless of orientation), you are all about a new take on an old story, especially if it includes a song as good as “Defying Gravity.”
Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)

Les Miserables
Sometimes you just like to sit in your room and cry and think about how difficult life was for people in early-19th century France, okay??? You are not here to be judged — you like things that are sad… like, egregiously sad, sad to the point of scarcely making sense anymore. You have yet to meet a character you wouldn’t want to go through an absurd amount of trials and tribulations before reaching a semi-happy ending which actually isn’t that happy if you think about it for two minutes beyond the end of the song. There is just something refreshing in all of the somberness, especially when coupled with rousing, revolutionary marches. Also, you are secretly Eponine. #WeAreAllEponine


You are a little too classic for your own good. You probably like vanilla ice cream, roller coasters that don’t go very high, and boys that call you back at a reasonable hour. But then, of course, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. You don’t need to have some flashy new musical be your favorite and be that Special Snowflake who is on the cutting edge. (Also, if Grease 2 is legitimately your favorite musical ever, you are now my new best friend. Only the realest and most perfect humans can successfully love that masterpiece in the face of the tidal waves of hot, salty Haterade which crash down upon it.)

West Side Story

You are all about the idea of gangsters existing in some charming version of New York in which fighting is replaced by highly choreographed dancing. You would be totally down to join some kind of a gang if it involved pirouettes and coordinated snapping. You’d even love to get stabbed by a rhinestone-studded pocketknife and bleed sparkling blood. Adorable!

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

Just kidding, no one likes this musical. If you disagree, you are lying. It is physically impossible to enjoy.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Anything campy and kitsch is your favorite thing. You love getting dressed up and getting into things — being a part of the show — and it wouldn’t surprise me if you were the kind of person who sings along during songs so loudly that others can’t hear the actual singer. After all, this excuse to dress up insane, ripped up, semi-gothic hooker garb is as good as any other, amirite? You also enjoy constantly addressing your gender-bending love for Frank-N-Furter, which is KA-RAZY because you are a STR8 GURL and he is KROSS-DRESSING omggggggggg.

Avenue Q

Let’s be honest, this whole musical is just a little to #real when it comes to live in general. You’re either Kate, undesirable and perpetually messing up with her various crushes, or you’re straight out of college with a BA in something useless about to get hilariously exploited by the insane real estate/job market. Or you’re a terrible combination of both. In any case, you relate to this because it is one of the few musicals that doesn’t make people in their 20s and 30s look like some unrealistic magical creatures who have fabulous apartments with their imaginary money. Even if they’re foam puppets, the characters of the Q just get you.


There is just something so incredibly beautiful to you about the combination of uplifting rock-n-roll numbers and horrible, fatal disease. For some odd reason, few things make you wax as romantically about New York as seeing some of its most dark, unfortunate corners — especially when accented by unforgivable 90s clothes. There is at least one character who gets you entirely/makes you wish that you were a tragic bohemian living in the West Village and/or stripping, and there is at least one song which, in only the first few notes, will systematically make you cry like an enormous, ugly baby.

Mamma Mia

You either really love ABBA or you really love Meryl Streep. There is no way Amanda Seyfried won you over on this one.

The Phantom of the Opera

There is no level of cheeseball which is too cheeseball for you. There is RENT cheeseball, which is not quite enough. Then there is Les Miserables cheeseball, which is getting closer but still not quite enough cloying period costumes and ridiculous operatics. But then there is Phantom of the Opera cheeseball, which is the only level of soap opera-level absurd to quench your undeniable thirst for over-the-top sopranos and completely unbelievable love stories. You need Phantom, because there is nothing else quite like it.


You understand the purpose of Cats and genuinely enjoy it. That is the only criteria. That, in and of itself, is an extreme accomplishment.


There is just something extremely sexy to you about jazz, prohibition, gangsters, and the general look of a sequined flapper dress. You have likely sung/performed “The Cell Block Tango” for your friends enough that they have learned to hate the words “pop” and “squish” in their daily lives. You also have never found a moment in life that didn’t call for a little bit of jazz hands, and are proud of having a movie adaptation that is among the better ones in the musical theater world. (I’m looking at you, Phantom)


There is at least part of you which totally identifies with Tracy Turnblad. And even if you think that the musical will never quite live up to the subversive genius of the John Waters film, your love for the musical lives almost independently of the original material. You realize that almost every song on the soundtrack could have just been a legitimate song on the radio in the early 60s, and the style of wearing your hair several feet above the end of your forehead is something that should have never gone out of style. Also, you would totally bang Zac Efron wearing an argyle sweater vest.

Jesus Christ Superstar

You are almost too kitschy to function, but you’re not kitschy in a Rocky Horror way, so you’re bearable to talk to at house parties.

About Mariam

Life is sweet

Life is sweet

And they lived happily ever after

And they lived happily ever after

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

About Me

For those of you who know me, writing has always been one of my passions, with the exception of my Masters or any ridiculously long testament within the wide world of Academia. I've only had the pleasure of blogging a couple of times, mostly for a few classes in graduate school, but figured it was time to organize my numerous thoughts and musings with all of you out there in cyber land. I created this page because my mind is always running and often times my thoughts get lost in the hubub. Plus, my friends have always said that I'm a great storyteller, so I'd love to share them now with you. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this... Throughout the past 33 years of my life I've seen, heard, and experienced so many different things as well as had many adventures and dream of so many possibilities. But in short, what it comes down to is this..I'm just a little Jubana trying to make a difference in the world. Everyday I live my life to the fullest and have fun doing it. Life can't always be about work or how much money you make. There's so much more to life than that.