Post 44: A message from the “Chinese Restaurants Association”: 8 Awesome Things To Do In Tel Aviv this Season From Nefesh B’ Nefesh and some Universal recipes to help get those extra pounds off. The Weight Loss Challenge: Shlushies and Muffies

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We Jews who lived in New York City were part of crowds in Chinatown on the big secular holidays.

Photo made me laugh!

Anyone who likes to sight-see needs to be fit. Seems like these two go together sightseeing and endurance.

The following segments contain sights and activities offered this season in Tel Aviv.

I suggest that you take some drinks/slushes along in a thermos. Drinks only for OCCASIONAL use! Also included are great muffin recipes made from leftover grains. The unity of the blog post is that there are many choices. One could never do all the suggested visits in one day, as one would not drink or eat all of the alternatives in a month.

They here for the time that you might FEEL like having a non sugary drink or muffin.

8 Awesome Things To Do In Tel Aviv During the Winter

8 Awesome Things To Do In Tel Aviv this winter

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Chanukah is past  with holiday parties, fried Jewish delicacies, and overall “simcha.” You don’t have to be a child to appreciate this magical time of year, in which we celebrate sparkling lights and astonishing miracles. In the spirit of Chanukah, we have highlighted some of the best things you can do in Tel Aviv this season to enjoy and celebrate thru the month of January also.

1. Twinkle in Habima Garden

Grab a bottle of your favorite Israeli wine and a few friends and find a spot in Habima garden after sundown. The sparkly lighting and calming background music will transport you to your favorite fairy tale.

Insider tips:
• Arrive after 8PM for a quiet kid-free environment

2. World Press Photo Exhibit 2014

This beautifully curated exhibit at the Eretz Yisrael Museum will open your eyes to faraway places with emotional and moving imagery that will stick with you for days. The press photos from around the world will remind you of everything we’ve experienced in 2014, be it good or bad.

2014 Exhibition

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL Tuesday 16 December 2014 – Friday 23 January 2015

Eretz Israel Museum


Eretz Israel Museum
Haim Levanon Street 2
Tel Aviv
+ 972 3 641524


Monday, Wednesday, Sunday: 10.00 – 16.00
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: 10.00 – 22.00
Friday 10.00 – 14.00

Insider tips:
• Saw this exhibit last year? Don’t worry, it gets better and better every year.
• Come with enough time to let it all sink in.

3. Jaffa Port Exploration

Bike or walk to the trendy Jaffa Port for some artistic exploration. Wander in and out of the hangers to discover something new in each one.

Insider tips:
• Check out the House of Toys to bring you back to (a borderline creepy version of your) childhood with their collection of toys from every era. In case you were wondering – yes, there is a Furby there.
• Check out the new group exhibition, featuring multiple techniques and platforms, which will be hosted in Hanger 2 for all of Chanukah. Heated that the largest Chanukia is at the port.


4. Get Locked in the Israeli Escape Game

Speaking of out of the box… this is a hands-on experience where you will need to solve puzzles, open locks, and find things in order to free yourself and your friends from a four walled room. Can you get out in time?!

Insider tip:
• Make sure to schedule in advance.

5. Join in for a Tel Aviv Art Studio Class

Support fellow Olim by signing up for a wonderful art class or holding your next office event at the Tel Aviv Art Studio. The atmosphere is warm and even the artistically challenged will have a good time. Insider tips:

• December offerings include Life Drawing courses, Drawing and Painting courses, and Photography courses.
• Bring your office in for a birthday or other celebration for a meaningful and fun artistic experience.

6. Be part of a legendary Tel Aviv street party

Tel Aviv Street parties are one of a kind and you will love this local experience. Come out with your party gear and your most fun friends for a day to remember.

Insider tip:
• Show up on Friday,  anytime after 12:00. You’ll find the party on Shaul Hamelech Street.

7. Relax and unwind at Beit Haamudim‎

Enjoy the power of music with some serious jazz at this intimate restaurant/bar/venue featuring  some of the best jazz and definitely the best vibes in town. You’ll find this spot in the cozy Yemenite  quarter.

8. Fulfill your holiday shopping craze

Many people are travelling this holiday season but you can get that international feel right here in Tel Aviv. Sail Away is bringing sales and brands from all over the world right to our very own Lilienblum Street.

About the author

Sara Klaben moved to Israel from Ohio in 2010 and made Aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh in 2013. As part of her Aliyah journey, she founded Nativer to help travelers get personalized recommendations for their time in Tel Aviv. Look out for Nativer’s pilot coming to Tel Aviv in January 2015.

I am not one for suggesting that you drink liquid meals. Choose from the following if you are skipping a meal or want a replacement.  In all the recipes add non sugar sweetener to your liking/and or additional vanilla, dry milk and ice. If you make your own frozen yogurt be sure to remove it from the freezer just as it is forming ice crystals or it will not blend.

The recipes may help you get rid of some of the pounds that you gained during the holidays. Anything in red is not macrobiotic because on the whole the recipes are very Yin (fruit). Fruits are generally eaten in the summer. However, if you substituted 1 tab. nut butter diluted in almond milk in equivalent volume for the yogurt/milk called for in each concoction, and limit the fruit, then you’d have a great treat. Afterwards there are many muffin recipes great to take along on a day trip.


8 fl oz nonfat milk

1 tsp Brandy essence

1/2 peach


8 fl oz nonfat milk

1/2 banana


6 oz apricot yogurt


8 fl oz water or skim milk

1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract

1⁄4 tsp pumpkin pie spice


8 fl oz nonfat milk/ soy milk/almond milk

1⁄2 cup apple

1⁄2 tsp Cinnamon

Dash of Nutmeg


2 fl oz nonfat milk

2 oz butter pecan coffee creamer

Lots of ice cubes (8+)


5 fl oz nonfat milk

1/4 cup fresh pineapple

1 tsp Coconut extract

1 tsp Rum essence

3 fl oz herbal aloe juice


8 fl oz skim milk/almond milk

1 tbsp Honey/agave

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp Nutmeg


4 oz nonfat yogurt

4 fl oz water

1⁄2 cup frozen peach slices

1⁄2 medium banana


4 fl oz nonfat milk

1/4 cup blueberries (fresh)

6 oz light (reduced sugar/fat free)

peach yogurt


4 fl oz nonfat milk

1 – 6 oz container nonfat coconut yogurt

1 tbsp crushed pineapple

1⁄2 banana


1⁄2 cup milk

1⁄2 cup apple juice

4 strawberries

1/2 banana


8 fl oz nonfat milk

1⁄2 tsp Black walnut extract

1⁄2 banana


8 fl oz apple juice

1/8 tsp cinnamon


1 cup watermelon plus 3 ice cubes


3⁄4 cup orange juice

1⁄4 cup skim milk

• then add orange crush

• And stir…


1⁄2 cup fruit juice or water

1/2 frozen banana, peeled

1⁄2 cup fresh pineapple

10-12 raspberries

ARCTIC FOREST (2 servings)

1⁄2 cup nonfat milk

1 peach, frozen

10 blueberries, frozen

1⁄2 tbsp crushed pecan

1⁄2 tsp salt

1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup light vanilla frozen yogurt or make your own


1⁄4 cup apple juice

1 tbsp coconut milk

1⁄2 banana

1⁄4 tsp ginger


1 cup carrot juice

1⁄2 cup apple juice

6 oz nonfat vanilla or plain frozen yogurt

1/2 banana


6 fl oz apple cider

3-5 slices of peach

4 large strawberries

1/2 banana

1/8 tsp cinnamon


1⁄2 cup whole strawberries

1 cup dole pineapple juice

1⁄2 cup orange juice

1⁄2 cup low fat vanilla frozen yogurt


1⁄2 envelope peach flavored gelatin (sugar free)

8 fl oz boiling water

1 banana

• Dissolve Jell-O in water

• Then mix all ingredients in blender until smooth

• Freeze until firm, but scoopable


1⁄2 cup blueberries

1⁄2 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt

1⁄4 cup orange juice

1⁄4 cup skim milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


1/2 banana

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 1⁄2 cup orange juice


1⁄2 banana

1⁄2 cup crushed pineapple

1⁄2 cup nonfat yogurt

1 tbsp honey

Dash of coconut extract


1⁄2 cup diced pineapple

1⁄2 cup diced cantaloupe

1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice

1⁄2 cup carrot juice

Pinch of nutmeg

1⁄2 apricot

1⁄2 nectarine

Here’s a great universal recipe from the Tightwad Gazette, with several modifications.

This is one I have used a variety of many times – universal muffins. These make a delicious and inexpensive breakfast or snack. Cheese variations are not macrobiotic, but nut cheeses can be substituted,

Amy Dacyczyn says: Instead of sharing a single muffin recipe, I wanted to share the process of creating muffin recipes. This will allow you to use ingredients that are cheap in your part of the country, use up odd leftovers, and accommodate dietary restrictions.

The quantities listed are for a single batch of 12 muffins.

Grain: Use 2 to 2 1/2 cups of spelt flour. Or substitute oatmeal, cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, rye flour, or flake cereal for 1 cup of the white flour. Or substitute 1 cup cooked oatmeal, rice, or cornmeal for 1/2 cup of the spelt flour and decrease liquid to 1/2 cup.

Milk: Use 1 cup. Or substitute buttermilk or sour milk (add a tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup milk). Or substitute fruit juice for part or all of the milk. Or almond milk.

Fat: Use 1/4 cup vegetable oil or 4 tablespoons melted butter or margarine. Or substitute crunchy, regular peanut butter, avocado for part or all of the fat. The fat can be reduced or omitted with fair results if using a “wet addition.”

Egg: Use 1 egg. Or substitute 1 heaping tablespoon of soy flour and 1 tablespoon of water. Or substitute 1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water.

If using a cooked grain, separate the egg, add the yolk to the batter, beat the white until stiff, and fold into the batter (Amy later gives a better method for fluffing up batter with cooked grain, which I will give a little later).

Sweetener: Use between 2 tablespoons and 1/2 cup sugar. Or substitute up to 3/4 cup brown sugar. Or substitute up to 1/2 cup honey, molasses, agave, mashed cooked fruit and decrease milk to 3/4 cup.

Baking Powder: Use 2 teaspoons. If using whole or cooked grains or more than 1 cup of additions, increase to 3 teaspoons. If using buttermilk or sour milk, decrease to 1 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Salt: Use 1/2 teaspoon, or omit if you have a salt-restricted diet.

The following ingredients are optional. Additions can be used in any combination, up to 1 1/2 cups total. If using more than 1 cup of wet additions, decrease the milk to 1/2 cup.

Dry Additions: Nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut, and so on.

Moist Additions: Blueberries, chopped apple, freshly shredded zucchini, shredded carrot, and so on.

Wet Additions: Pumpkin puree, applesauce, mashed cooked sweet potato, mashed banana, mashed cooked carrot, and so on. If using 1/2 cup drained, canned fruit or thawed shredded zucchini, substitute the syrup or zucchini liquid for all or part of the milk.

Spices: Use spices that compliment the additions, such as 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cloves. Try 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon peel.

Jellies and Jams: Fill cups half full with a plain batter. Add 1 teaspoon non sugar jam or jelly and top with 2 more tablespoons batter.

Topping: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the batter in the tins.

Nonsweet Combinations: Use only 2 tablespoons sugar and no fruit. Add combinations of the following: 1/2 cup shredded cheese,  2 tablespoons grated onion, 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Spices could include a teaspoon of parsley and a pinch of marjoram.

To make muffins, combine dry ingredients, and then mix in wet ingredients until just combined; the batter should be lumpy. Grease muffin tin and fill cups two thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (give or take 5 minutes).

Shorthand basic version:
2 to 2 1/2 cups grain
1 cup milk/soy milk/almond milk
Up to 1/4 cup fat
1 egg or substitute
Up to 1/2 cup sweetener which I omitted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Up to 1 1/2 cups additions

Later in the book, Amy wrote another article about using cooked grains without having to separate and beat the eggs. Here is an excerpt from that article (I used this method this morning with wonderful results):

I’ve experimented and found that I could use cooked cereals in my muffin batter with the aid of my blender. First, I mix all of the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Then I put all of the wet and moist ingredients in a blender. These could include: cooked grain (about 1/2 cup per batch), egg, milk, honey or molasses, peanut butter, pumpkin puree, applesauce, and/or banana. I’ve even added unused cookie dough and pastry scraps. I don’t use the blender with moist ingredients that I want to retain its original texture, such as shredded zucchini.

After blending, I mix the wet stuff into the bowl of dry stuff.

I make a final adjustment to the batter by adding more liquid or flour.

The blender seems to whip up the egg sufficiently as well as helps to quickly combine hard-to-mix-in moist stuff.

How I did it this morning:
I had a large container of miscellaneous cooked grain in the fridge. It included kasha millet, and oat groats and pears. I had cooked together one morning to make a combination hot breakfast cereal.

So this morning I had several cups of mixed cooked grain that needed to be used.

Some of it I laid out on an aluminum sheet spread some oil on  the sheet and laid about half inch thick of the mixture. That was a breakfast for two.

Toasted that ’til a crust formed.

That left me with 30 oz. of cooked grains! About 5 cups. I decided to freeze all but 1 cup as I will be doubling the recipe which originally called for 1/2 cup cooked grain.

Muffin Recipe:

1. I chopped 2 oz soaked and  dry toasted (lowest possible temperature)  with 2 ounces dried cranberries. I soaked the cranberries in vanilla/liquor, to cover, about two tablespoons. This liquor which started out as vanilla beans in bourbon or vodka. They were chopped also.

Those vanilla beans stood for several months in the liquor. Now the liquor has vanilla flavor.

2. I tossed the cereal in the blender with milk/almond milk, egg substitute, and oil. Saved the shredded apple etc from 1 for a muffin topping. Banana works too. 3.

(For 1 1/2 cup cooked grain)

4.Mixed in a large bowl mixed 2 1/2  cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (allspice, cinamon, dried cloves etc.).

5.Blended the wet stuff and added it to the dry stuff and spooned into greased muffin tins (my batch made 16 muffins instead of 12). Added 1 tablespoon of the apple, cranberry, nut mixture to the top of the muffins and pressed them topping down.

6.Bake @ 350, (177 degrees C) 55- 65 min for a loaf, 20 minutes for muffins, 10-12 minutes for mini muffins.

7.After 20 minutes take out the muffins and check the bottoms. If not brown bake another 20 minutes on a lower shelf.

The result was a slightly pear-flavored, light and fluffy muffin. Blending the cooked grain in with the wet ingredients had an unexpected benefit – you couldn’t tell by looking at the muffins that they included such bulky ingredients as grains because they had been so nicely incorporated. Hooray!


We  had several unexpected guests (visitors from the States) and enjoyed several muffins between the four of us (they were delicious with yogurt and some homemade plum jam). Then I tossed the rest into the freezer in zip-top baggies. They will come in handy for later lazy breakfasts!

Mine look different than the photos because I use whole grain and place the sweetened toping of cranberries and nuts on TOP. Like the crunch!


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