You never believe it till you hit it, but being in your twenties is like free falling without a parachute. For whatever reason, when you’re a kid and a teen and even in college, you imagine you’ll have everything sorted out once you’re in your twenties. I blame TV for this, mostly. Twenty-something sitcoms are notoriously inaccurate. But they do get one thing right - something you completely neglect to appreciate until you’re chin-deep, flailing about the most confusing decade of your life thus far.

You find comfort in the oddest places.

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I never thought I’d consider getting a haircut an oddly intimate experience. Intimacy is reserved for people you’ve dated, family members, a handful of good friends. Probably a doctor or two. Maybe, the woman who gives you bikini waxes. But never hair stylists. Or so I thought.

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When I lived in Jerusalem (OH MY GOD YOU LIVED IN JERUSALEM YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT IT), I was invited to a friend’s for Shabbat lunch and was tasked with making a side dish. I decided to explore my horizons and make something I’d never made before, and for some reason settled on mashed butternut squash with feta and pomegranate seeds.

Which like, sounded delicious.

But boy was it a mess.

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I know what you're thinking. Another salad. Right? Well, let me tell you, there's no such thing as too many salads. I've mentioned before that salads are traditionally thought of as boring, but what if I told you that this salad was packed with so much flavor it would almost make you forget how healthy for you it is?

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I've been binge-reading a column on The Cut called "I Think About This a Lot"and it is brilliant. BRILLIANT. Each article is about a meme or shared cultural experience that the author, well, thinks about a lot. There's one about Baby Jessica, one about Kanye West saying that George Bush doesn't care about black people, and so on. But the article in which I truly see myself is: "I Think About the Gossip Girl Murder Confession a Lot."

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I've been told I'm a great salad maker. It's a weird thing to be proud of, but damn am I proud of it. If there's one that gets a bad rap it's salads. I think the American food system has made people associate salads with sad iceberg lettuce, pieces or purple cabbage and mushy tomatoes doused in ranch or Thousand Island dressing. 

Sad, indeed.

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In my dream world, Rina and I work in a light filled studio with professional equipment. Our kitchen is white and full of state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances and large windows. Our counters are covered with fresh flowers; our workplace filled with props and kitchenware that photograph wonderfully. Jon Hamm makes frequent visits and Ina Garten does cooking demos for us. It's a pretty damn great place to be.

But, sadly, my magical powers haven't kicked in yet, so we have to work with what we have on hand. If that means shooting in Rina's bedroom, where the sunlight is, or doing dishes every six minutes to keep her tiny sink from overflowing, then so be it. It's all part of the process that hopefully one day we can look back and laugh at. Anyone who's stopped by or been privy to the tornado that is our recipe testing and shooting days (hi, Cornelia!) knows that's it's basically a hot mess. But it's something we love nonetheless. 

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It isn't technically winter yet, but I'm already starting to feel the wintery blues. What a quaint way of putting it, as if I'm a little sad that it's cold and dark but with the right blanket and mug of hot cocoa everything will be fine.

What I really mean is, now that I see the sun without a window in front of me for maybe two minutes a day, my mood has gone south. Way south, with the birds. Maybe my mood is in Florida, with the geese and octogenarians. I hope it has a good time down there, and that it will come back soon.

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I don't like bacon. There, I said it. I'm often approached by outraged and baffled friends and strangers who can't believe I don't like bacon. Usually, this is followed by the accusation that I'm a religious Jew, as if that somehow explains it. 

The truth is, I simply don't like the taste. It's no secret that I'm the meat-eater of this blog duo, but when it comes to smoky meat, specifically pork, I didn't grow up eating it and therefore don't like the way it tastes. Sorry, folks. 

This faux bacon, though, is on another level. 


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Remember when kale was seen as nothing but a mere garnish to place various mayonnaise-based salads upon? Seems like ancient history, right? Now that kale is in everything from smoothies to pasta, it's hard to recall a time when people weren't obsessed with what carnivores could rightfully call "rabbit food."

Well, I'm here to remind you that those times did happen, friends, and what better way to remember than with a good old-fashioned fun fact? I'm nothing if not consistent.

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When I was younger, my family went on a few cruises with my mom's side. I don't remember that much about them, but the majority of what I do remember is food-related (duh). Eating room service fries with my sisters and cousin, the insane art carved into watermelons and cantaloupes and, most notably, the nightly dinners in the dining room. These cruises were like, v. fancy, and so we would dress up in our finest Jessica McClintock (RIP) dresses and be served by very nice, very snazzy waiters. While breakfast and lunch were free-for-alls with buffets that could easily feed five times the amount of passengers aboard, dinner was a set menu with classy dishes.

One dish I remember was an appetizer of grapefruit and avocado salad. I had never had this combination before, and to be honest the idea kind of freaked me out. This was also way before the avocado craze, the millenial pink craze, and the pink and green color scheme craze existed.

My parents were really good about encouraging us to try new foods while respecting our likes and dislikes. When the avocado and grapefruit salad appeared on the dinner menu one night, my dad suggested I order it - I could always get something else if I hated it, since cruises are filled with literal tons of food. Well, thank you dad, because that salad was fantastic and now avocado and grapefruit are two of my favorite foods.

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So, apparently the watermelon - that round bastion of summer, picnics and ingenious bongs - has a long, murky history. No one actually knows how the watermelon we know and love came to be, and while there are quite a few candidates for its predecessor, horticulturists are pretty damn confused. One such horticulturist, Harry Paris, blames taxonomists from the 18th century (those tricky bastards), who messed up their melon classifications. Also, fun fact, the name for our modern watermelon - Citrullus lanatus - is wrong. Lanatus means "hairy" (um, ew) and is supposed to be the name for a different, fuzzier melon.

National Geographic wrote all about this here, and it's a super interesting read. I recommend tucking into it when you have a party to go to and want to bring along some cool science facts, or if you're feeling down on yourself. At least you aren't the person who misclassified a watermelon.

Watermelon might have a confusing backstory, but that makes it all the more interesting! Not only is it refreshing and the most beautiful color, but it's mysterious and maybe it rides a motorcycle that your parents would HATE.

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When I first started my junior year on study abroad, I made the rookie mistake of actually studying. My roommate, now a best friend, and I would spend hours on our homework, memorizing Hebrew verbs and studying Israeli artists until our eyes glazed over. Silly, really, to think of all those wasted hours that could have been spent at the beach or the shuk. Once we moved out of the dorms, though, and into the city center, we learned our lesson. This is why you should never live more than a ten-minute walk from the beach.

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There's this magical eatery in Metro Detroit called Leo's Coney Island. A humble little place where you can get the most delectable Greek salad. A place where your thighs stick to the vinyl booths in the summer, but you JUST DON'T CARE because even if their fries are a little bland, there's nothing that can't be fixed by a smothering of their world (read, Detroit) famous Greek dressing. 

Leo's is the reason that "Greek salad" has been my favorite food since I turned 6. I remember learning that "real" Greek salads don't have lettuce, and almost bursting into tears. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I haven't met a Greek salad that gives me more joy than Leo's. Since college. I've spent countless hours trying to replicate their infamous dressing. Too garlicky. Too little oregano. Too much vinegar. Not enough Dijon. I got close once, playing around with this (pretty damn delicious) recipe from Cookie + Kate. I finally resolved that I'll never duplicate the dream that is Leo's. 

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