Super quick Nutella cupcakes

Inspired by Pamela’s promises of how easy it would be, we tried out these Nutella cupcakes to celebrate abba’s unbirthday. (Kids + easy cupcake recipe + abba not home = it’s abba’s birthday!)

Essentially Nutella replaces a boxed brownie mix, except slightly cheaper and more Nutella-y.

Super simple instructions:

  • 10 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (280 grams) of Nutella

Mix, dump in cupcake holders or cake pan, bake for +/- 30 minutes. Makes 12.



The first death conversation.

As the sun set outside the kids’ window, and they shifted in their beds after saying good night, I turned back around to make one more announcement.

“Round of applause kids, your mom and dad made it to seven years tonight!”

Koala spoke up.

“Ima. I want more kids.”

I smiled.

“More kids?”


“How many do you want?”

“Like [his friend] E. E has six. No… seven. No, eight. Cuz he has a dog. And his abba.”

“I see.”

I’d been waiting for Koala to bring up E’s dad. I walked toward the bed and sat down as he continued,

“No… His abba is מת.”

As my boy said the word – dead – chills ran through me. Koala’s blue eyes were looking directly into mine. I then asked him a similar question as one I had posed to him before, when he’d brought up soldiers fighting with swords.

“מת… What does that mean?”

“I dunno. Maybe it means so he no pick him up from Gan ever.”

“Hmm. Well, it means he isn’t here.”

“Where is he?”

“I dunno.”

He said with this beautifully innocent tone of resolve in his voice,

“Tomorrow I’ll ask E where is his abba.”

I shifted.

“You know… Maybe it’s better to not ask E unless he wants to tell you… It must be hard to not have your abba around, right?”

He looked at me. His face wasn’t sad or scared. But all of him was listening to every word I said.

“Like, imagine your abba wasn’t here. That would be hard.”

“Yeah. Ok.”

I patted my four-year-old boy and turned my head away.

A different time, a different line.

do not crossThat first year I interned at my first paper, there was a day that always stuck with me for some reason, even after I quit journalism.

We were sitting around the conference table, a bunch of us young students, listening to our seasoned head editor. She was talking emphatically about the Line. That included photos you may or may not publish on the cover.

Back then, in the late 90s or so, it was a man’s successful suicide, midair while jumping off the Verrazanno Bridge.

It was a different time.

RIP, Line.

A 2-year-old’s perspective on Tisha B’Av

“Did you make this Beit HaMikdash today?”


“Is it burning, is there so much fire?”

“Yeah… …fireman come… put water… pssssshhhhhhhhh…”

Perhaps my 2-year-old has more wisdom about the Messiah than any of us could dream of, or she has a vast knowledge of history and the fire fighting capabilities of warring nations, but really, either way, her overly simplistic view on life is just all too refreshing… I’ll take it.

Try Tzur Hadassah for yourself: live band, standup comedy, good food & us locals

Yes, seriously.

Throughout the year, I get more than a few people emailing me:

So what’s Tzur Hadassah like? Is it an evil settlement? Are there schools there? Wait, so is the mikvah controversy not over? Is it true Tzur Hadassah will become a part of Beitar Illit in 5 years? Is that empty store slated to be a coffee shop still empty? What’s with the giant orange dinosaur?

I love answering. But it would be even more fun to show you a real, live, entertaining side of one Tzur Hadassian sub-community.

Specifically, I associate myself with Kehillat HaTzur VeHaTzohar (a mouthful; easier this way: קהילת הצור והצוהר. Ok, still a mouthful.) We’re a small kehilla-that-could, constantly climbing uphill to build our community founded on mutual respect, tolerance and understanding. The binding philosophy and attitude make this an open-minded, multicultural, youth-focused, apolitical, dati leumi community based (not settled) in the Judean Hills.

At this point, we’re trying to literally build the major thing missing: a building, to serve as our center – beit knesset, educational facility, youth movement activities, etc. A dedicated group has been working hard at uncovering inspired folks who are excited to help.

And now, we’re gonna be totally fun about it: A midsummer eve of live music, stand-up comedy, good food, and a bunch of us locals. In English, so keep in mind it’s representing a sub-demographic of a sub-demographic (Tzur Hadassah, and our kehilla, is mostly Hebrew-speaking).

So whether your priority for coming is:

  1. meeting the locals (ask us ANYTHING),
  2. laughing with our very own veteran-olah-chadasha Lisa make us all feel a little better about how funny our lives are here in Israel,
  3. rocking out to our very own Jon and his jazz/soul/rock cover band, Funktion,
  4. tasting from the hillside-famous Pichonka meat restaurant,

…you’ll get yours and more on Saturday night, July 20th, 9:15pm at Pichonka Country Restaurant in Nes Harim (20ish minute drive from Jerusalem or the Gush).

For tickets and more info: email, Facebook, or call Tamar: 0523474160

See you there?