Travel Tips with Amy Tara Koch

We recently got the chance to speak with style and trend expert Amy Tara Koch, author of the new book for moms to be “Bump it Up.” Since it’s been ages since we’ve had a baby bump of our own, Amy was on hand to offer advice on the essential items to bring with us when we’re traveling with our family. From the ultimate travel chargers to snacks with a twist, get ready to watch, learn and start packing!

Life is a Journey

Whenever I attend a shabbat service at my synagogue, there is one incredibly moving passage that has brought great meaning to my life – especially when friends and family members have experienced profound loss. While it’s incredibly hard to find the right words to comfort someone who has lost someone close to them, what I would like to share is this incredible poem, written by Rabbi Alvin I. Fine.
Please take a moment, read it and share it with those you love.
Life is a Journey
By: Rabbi Alvin I. Fine
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
and youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
and then perhaps to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or
from strength to weakness
and often back again;
From health to sickness
and we pray to health again.
From offense to forgiveness
from loneliness to love
from joy to gratitude
from pain to compassion
from grief to understanding
from fear to faith.
From defeat to defeat to defeat
until looking backwards or ahead
We see that victory lies not
at some high point along the way
but in having made the journey
step by step
a sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey;
A sacred journey to life everlasting

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

greenbeanscasserole_s4x3_lg.jpgAs we head into the coldest months of the year, I do believe some comfort food is in order. Try this creamy update to the old school Green Bean casserole. This time, hold the can of soup…..
Green Bean Casserole:
2 LBS trimmed green beans, cut in half
Bechamel or White Sauce:
6 TBS butter
4 cups whole milk
4 TBSflour
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (adjust it to your liking)
1 tsp salt (adjust to your liking with more, a little at a time)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 -2 cups canned fried onions like French’s or ones from Trader Joe’s that my sis told me about which have a lot fewer ingredients-healthier
Steam green beans after they have been trimmed and cut in half. Set aside or refrigerate and use the next day if you like.
In a medium sized sauce pan, heat up the butter over a low flame until melted.
Stir in the flour with a whisk until fully incorporated with the butter.
Slowly add in the milk, whisking all the while.
Keep whisking now over a low to medium flame. Whisk every minute or so until the mixture becomes thick like pudding. This may take about 10-15 minutes.
Add in the nutmeg, salt and pepper and add more of each if you need to.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the green beans and the bechamel sauce.
Place mixture in a casserole dish and top with the fried onions.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about half hour or until mixture is bubbling and heated through. Serve immediately and enjoy!
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.