BUTTERY CELERIAC POTATO MASH

Thanksgiving at my house is a bit of a scene. Depending on whether the Michigan-Ohio State football game is in Ann Arbor or Columbus, we usually have between 20 and 35 people at what I can only accurately call a Thanksgiving feast. Even though my mom complains about hosting, I know she secretly loves it. Family from both sides come into town along with a few old friends and college pals - what's not to love? It's certainly a joyous occasion filled to the brim with laughter and lots of carbs.

Ah, carbs. If Thanksgiving was a Jewish holiday, I'm pretty certain it would be a mitzvah to eat carbs. Between the stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and rolls, you've got all the starch you need to hibernate for the rest of the winter. My mom loves to complain about the carbs. In fact, she chooses her carbs wisely (and dutifully reports back to me) usually opting for stuffing over mashed potatoes. I'm more of a little bit of everything kind of girl, myself, but I will admit that in recent years the mashed potatoes have been so lackluster that it's been hard to make the case for multiple carbs.

Enter this celeriac mash.

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BALSAMIC GREEN BEANS WITH LEMON + GARLIC

It's Sunday night, and I just got off a plane. Scratch that - I just returned from the airport of horror, LaGuardia. The last thing I want to do, let alone think of, is making dinner. In my imagination, dinner is already ready and waiting for me. Perhaps, for practicality purposes, served by a handful of singing-and-dancing knick knacks? 

OK, so maybe my life doesn't involve any Disney movie magic - which is too bad because how cool would a magic carpet be? Especially in New York, you'd save time and health commuting via magic carpet. I digress - but this blog is pretty magical. Especially when it comes to turning an over-abundance of veggies into the most convenient and delicious dishes your Sunday night has ever seen. 

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BEET HUMMUS + CRUDITÉ BOARD

My junior year in Tel Aviv was the first time I had a kitchen of my own. Apart from the summer spent in an absorption center in Ashdod while volunteering on ambulances (whose kitchen consisted of a sad hot plate, a sad counter and a sad toaster oven), that was the first time I had a space to cook for myself. And what did I do to inaugurate this life's milestone?

Ate nothing but hummus and cucumbers on toast.

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MUSHY PEAS

A lot of my stories start out with, "When I lived in Israel..." (the cleaner - most of the time - version of Alyson Hannigan's infamous "When I was in band camp...").  Usually they take place in Tel Aviv, but every once in a while a good one comes out of Jerusalem - Tel Aviv is just a much better city, in my opinion-that-is-also-a-fact.  Feel free to fight me on this one. I'll win, but I welcome a challenge.

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PORTABELLA-VEGGIE FAJITA BOWLS

I can’t tell you how much I love Mexican food.

It combines all of my favorite things – cheese, spice, corn and avocados and can be eaten with your hands. It's my go-to drunk/pre-drunk/drinking/non-drinking-but-just-hangry food (just ask any of my kickball teammates). If I could eat bottomless nachos and never feel sick, I would sign my soul away to the cheese-covered devil.

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ROASTED CAULIFLOWER (AKA CRACK)

It might be odd to start a food blog with something that seems so simple. "Rina, I guess cauliflower is fine and all, but what's so special about this?  Where's the pizzazz?" NO. This is not just fine, this is spectacular. I included the term "crack" in the title for a reason. Cauliflower might seem like a weird broccoli ghost, but when it's roasted something magical happens. And that's not hyperbolic. When roasted at high heat, cauliflower becomes this glorious, caramelized being that it is brown and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I hate the word meaty, I really do, but I suppose you could call the interior of roasted cauliflower that. I won't, but you can.

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