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The Egg Magician
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03/18/2015

I recently poached eggs – successfully. I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever been more proud of anything; which probably means that I should find a more thrilling life.

Bring on the Madness
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03/17/2015

One of my favorite times of year is finally here – March Madness. The good weather, the high stakes, and basketball on television nearly every minute of every day.

Travel in the USA
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03/16/2015

I’ve recently learned that many of my friends — including my soon-to-be husband — have spent more time traveling abroad than within the United States. As kids, they spent summers and winter breaks exploring London, Paris, Peru, and Morocco, but have never been to Seattle or New Orleans.

The bitter truth about horseradish
The bitter truth about horseradish photo_th-2
03/13/2015

We Jews love our food memories. We have our stand-by recipes that remind us of holidays, family, good times, and bad. And horseradish—maror in Hebrew—is one of those foods. I can’t even look at the root vegetable without the familiar smell taking me to Passover.

Purim vs. Halloween
Purim vs. Halloween photo_th-2
03/12/2015

My 5-year-old son, all dressed up in his finest Purim costume, looked up at me and said, “Abba, I love Purim! Let’s go do some more shalach manos!” He was referring to the special candies and treats that are given out amongst friends throughout the community on Purim day.

My Troubles with Eating Alone
My Troubles with Eating Alone photo_th-2
03/11/2015

I’m terrible at feeding myself. Not literally – when it comes to getting a forkful of food to my mouth, I’m actually over 98 percent accurate. What I mean is, in this life that could be considered adult, when I am tasked to eat a meal by myself, I constantly feel as if I’m failing quite spectacularly at it.

On Tzedakah Boxes and Feline Philanthropy
On Tzedakah Boxes and Feline Philanthropy photo_th
03/10/2015

Growing up as a child I didn’t fully understand the concept of piggy banks. As far as I could tell — based on the information amassed from countless viewings of Toy Story and the occasional Nickelodeon advertisement — piggy banks were strange, possibly animate creatures into which you put your unusually large coins.

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18 Chicago Foods to Carb-Cram before Passover
03/26/2015

Passover is almost here, which means Jews everywhere are about to embark on their annual religiously mandated Atkins diet. We know parting with sweet, sweet gluten for eight days can lead to agonizing, salad-filled melancholy – especially in a foodie city like Chicago – so now is the time to load up, friends.

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  1. 18 Chicago Foods to Carb-Cram before Passover
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8 Questions for David Schwartzbaum: Comedian, improv veteran, JCC programmer
8 Questions for David Schwartzbaum photo_thx
03/10/2015

I met David Schwartzbaum at JCC Apachi Day Camp, and have worked with him there in a number of capacities over the last five years, but our connection also extends beyond entertaining Jewish children and into the realm of performance theater. David started performing theater and comedy in Miami before moving to Philadelphia and becoming the founder and co-artistic director of The Off-Color Theatre Company.

How Jon Stewart changed a Jewish generation
How Jon Stewart changed a Jewish generation photo_th
03/03/2015

Oy vey! Comedy Central legend, Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show after 16 years! When I first heard the news I couldn’t believe it. I became a bit verklempt. Why was I feeling this way? Why is Jon leaving me? What am I now going to fill my need for news with? How will I get through the next election? What will replace this show on my DVR? And why am I asking so many questions?!

8 Questions for Sonat Birnecker Hart: President of KOVAL Distillery, organic kosher spirits expert and Master in Jewish Studies
8 Questions for Sonat Birnecker Hart photo_th
02/17/2015

In 2008, Sonat Birnecker Hart, an esteemed teacher, lecturer and writer on Jewish Studies and German Jewish Cultural History, gave up her tenure and started making whiskey. While traveling and teaching in Europe and the U.S. was, for Hart, a “joyful way to keep the world of my grandparents and great grandparents alive,” when it came time to start her own family, she decided she wanted a lifestyle where she could work with her children close at hand. So, she and her husband, Robert Birnecker, moved back to Hart’s hometown of Chicago and opened KOVAL, Chicago’s first distillery since the 1800s.

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