If you’ve been to the “Kosher Foods” section of your local Vons lately, you may have noticed some newcomers. Alongside the year-round stocks of matzoh that we only use for seven days in April once a year and the matzoh ball soup in a can/box (gee, we Jews must practically live on matzoh!) there have lately been some interesting snacks popular in Israel. One that I am happy about the grocery store picking up on is Bamba, peanut butter puffs made by Osem. According to Osem’s website, 90% of Israeli families regularly add Bamba to their shopping carts, and once you taste the simple but addictive snack it’s easy to see why.
While I really like the ones filled with flavorful creams such as hazelnut, the plain flavor can be okay – if eaten with something super sweet. That’s why I created this super-indulgent parfait, complete with chocolatey-caramel pudding, light vanilla yogurt, succulent strawberries, sweet banana slices, creamy smooth peanut butter… and of course the featured ingredient, Bamba Peanut Snack. I used the individual serving bag found in my grocery store, and it was plenty to create a nice salty crunch to this parfait.
The only problem: as I was assembling this I kind of felt like a foodie frankenstein, as the cylindrical peanut puffs reminded me more and more of fingers. It’s the wrong time of year for creepy Halloween food! I just tried to put that image aside and enjoy this parfait which tasted quite good despite the unfortunate resemblance. So if you’re faint-hearted, don’t try this recipe. If you love Halloween and Israeli snacks on the other hand, give it a try!
Peanut Butter Strawberry Banana Vanilla Chocolate Parfait Featuring Bamba
makes one generous serving
- 1 oz (28 g) Osem brand Bamba Peanut Snack
- 1 Greek nonfat vanilla yogurt
- 1 chocolate/caramel flavored pudding snack
- 6-8 strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1 tbs creamy peanut butter
Directions: Layer Bamba, yogurt, pudding, and fruit in tall glass. Swirl in a spoonful of peanut butter throughout or on top as desired. Enjoy!
When I laid out this plate on the table and proceeded to try and take pictures of it, I was confronted with a strange issue: my digital camera was insisting upon being in “Auto mode,” whatever that means, and warning me that it would automatically choose what ISO to use and focus automatically. Basically, I had no choice in the matter. I tried to change the setting, but the familiar list of myriad settings had been replaced by a paltry enumeration of the few options available in Auto mode. There was no escaping it – not even by turning the camera off and on. So before my eggs got cold, I just resigned myself to snapping some pics in Auto. Luckily they didn’t turn out too horrific.
Later, I tried tinkering around with the camera – after looking at the settings so many times I was ready to throw the thing against a wall, I aimlessly flipped a switch clearly positioned near the shutter. I didn’t expect anything miraculous to happen – certainly not the notification on the digital screen that it was now in “Picture mode: set various camera functions.” When had I switched it to Auto mode, and why? Some of life’s mysteries will never be elucidated to us: I will never understand half the things that camera does, or what its motives are. I’ve come to accept my permanent ignorance in such great workings of entities more complex than us humans.
However, one mystery I have been able to solve is how to put together a yummy, healthy vegetarian breakfast on a busy morning. Whole wheat toast topped with savory spreading cheese, hot scrambled eggs, and veggies/fruit (tomatoes are fruits) is a varied, delicious dish that can be thrown together in 10-15 minutes. Complete with whole grains, bone-building calcium, nourishing protein, filling fiber and vibrant vitamins A, C, and iron, this flavorful meal is one you can feel good about enjoying any day of the week! Feel free to fancify it by changing up the veggies and adding spices – I just tossed this together with what I had lying around.
Cream Cheese Scramble Toasts
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges: Mozzarella, Sundried Tomato, and Basil flavor
- 3 cups fresh, washed baby spinach
- 3 NatureSweet Cherubs brand grape tomatoes, washed and chopped
- 1 egg
Toast bread. Meanwhile, spray a small pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place spinach and chopped grape tomatoes in pan.
Beat egg and pour into pan over spinach and tomatoes. Cook over medium, scrambling egg and wilting spinach.
When done cooking, remove from heat. Spread toasted bread with Laughing Cow cheese. Top with cooked eggs.
The earth is flat, they said, be warned! Don’t travel too far or you’ll fall into the sky.
The earth is round, he said, and I
will surmount every summit bathed in golden sun
traverse every trench at the sea’s bottom
And map every crevasse and curve
To prove that you lie.
Every inch of this sphere he set out to see
To feel with his finger, to taste the air
To trace a path
Over each mound, into every cavern.
Too early, and write my name in the sand
For I am the man
Who conquered each curve
Of this mystery earth.
You’ll do no such thing,
She declared, in the silence native to women of such galactic gravity
And shifting in celestial slumber
Her ocean gown undulated, sweeping away the profane sand-inscription with a tidal kiss
So sweet, as he was knocked off his feet
By new nameless mountains
Tumbling down a vertical road of red river rock
Losing track of his limbs, the power to talk
Crawling into the dark. Falling into the sky
is preferable to this fate of failure, he cried
Wondering why he ever had tried.
Meanwhile, her crystalline caves unpenatrated
Ocean rocking slowly to stillness
The ever-changing earth
Returned to her beauty sleep
For another pristine millennium or two
And man’s fear and jealousy only grew
For the treasures of this terrific and terrible
Earth of the sphere
Earth of the curves.
Image credits: (in order of appearance)