Grams of the Week – Oct 3

Here’s a recap of the best instagrams of last week. If you want the day to day follow me here!


Selfie – new season, new hair!


I’m trying to use the herbs in my garden before it’s too late. I’ve been making lemon/mint water. Very refreshing and little effort involved. Plus, it looks like a drink you’d find in a spa!


Saturday we closed out the summer at Rippers (St. Ripper’s Day). It was a hell of a party! Until next summer…


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My friend Rachel Krieger, yoga instructor (@yogawithintention) and co-founder of  Ladies of Business Rockaway Beach, saw my husband at the Little Bearz show at the Surf Club about a month back. “I wonder if Paula would be interested in co-hosting Rosh Hashanah with me?”, she asked. Matt responded without hesitation, “I don’t even have to check with her, I know she would love to do it!”

My husband was right. He knows that I like to think of myself as the Liza Minnelli of Rockaway Beach, and that I live for hosting parties. But this opportunity was a whole new realm. First, I was honored to be asked to host Jewish new year celebrations. Second, it would be a chance to learn about the culinary and other traditions of Rosh Hashanah. I later found out that Rachel had the idea because she attended my Easter Sunday brunch last spring, and thought sharing new experiences with people of different faiths was a beautiful way to connect, appreciate, be opened-minded with love and meet new members of our community. Wonderful, right? In a way, Easter is similar to Rosh Hashanah in that both holidays are meant for reflection and repentance and the promise of new beginnings and renewal.

Rachel’s mother Bobby (who’s amazing by the way!) was bringing much of the bounty – brisket, roasted sweet potatoes, challah loaves, honey, etc. Guests were bringing wine, matzo ball soup, and other offerings. I was making a roast chicken with vegetables and pomegranate apple coleslaw*. Since I didn’t have full responsibility of the entire feast, I had extra time. I wanted to bake an apple galette, because I learned that eating sweet foods symbolizes a wish for a “Sweet New Year.”

The schlepping around was done and the house was in order: the apple/pomegranate centerpiece was on the dining room table, glasses and plates were out, extra chairs were placed about and the food was warming in the oven. Rachel came over early. She wanted to teach me how to make a traditional noodle kugel. We softened the butter and cream cheese. The noodles just came out of the pot. We added the milk and final spices.  I opened the oven door and Rachel grabbed the heavy tray.  Her hands started to wobble and in a split second noodle kugel was dripping all over the oven and floor. Schmutz galore! Rags, paper towels, steam rising from the oven door, we mobilized and defused the kugel crisis. “I think it’s time to open some wine.” I said. Thankfully, she made so much that the amount spilled didn’t make much of a difference.


Our guests arrived and Evan began with the HaMotzi blessing (blessing over bread). We started noshing on apples, honey, dates and the challah (Jewish antipasto?). Galit brought new seasonal fruits and vegetables as an offering so the special blessing Shehechiyanu could be recited. Similar to Italian customs, food is the focus in most Jewish holidays celebrated in the home.  Dinner commenced and afterwards we sat around the table and shared our hopes and intentions for the new year. There were many new faces and I was happy to meet these new friends and share in the traditions of Rosh Hashana. Shanah Tovah!
*I’ve posted the apple pomegranate coleslaw, the apple galette, and Rachel’s noodle kugel recipe on The Glorified Tomato. Find them here

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rosh hashanah recipes

As a follow up to my column in this weeks Wave, I’ve posted three delicious Rosh Hashanah recipes. If you try them, I would love to hear about it and see pictures!


Gloria’s Noodle Pudding

glorias noodle pudding


Honey Caramel Apple Galette
Found on:

For the pastry dough – adapted from Alice Waters:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 3 1/2 tablespoons cold water
For the galette:
    • 2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
    • juice from 1/2 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the honey caramel:
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup honey (any variety)
    • 4 tablespoon butter
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the pastry dough:

    1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, two knives or your hands add the butter – 2 tablespoons at a time and blend until the mixture looks like pebbles.
    2. Dribble in the water until the dough just comes together, make sure there are no dry patches and it easily forms into a ball. You may not need all the water.
    3. Place on a lightly floured piece of plastic wrap, pat into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Dough can be made ahead.
Forming the galette:
    1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Line an un-rimmed baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
    3. In a medium bowl, mix together the sliced apples, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Set aside.
    4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 10-12 inches in diameter or 1/4 inch thick. Carefully fold up the dough and transfer to the lined baking sheet.
    5. Arrange the apple slices as you see fit, leaving a 1 1/2 to 2 inch border.
    6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
For the honey caramel:
    1. While the galette is baking, place the honey and sugar in a medium-sized heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.
    2. Cook until the honey and sugar has dissolved and start to caramelize, this will happen very quickly so make sure not to turn away. You want the caramel to be a dark golden brown – temperature wise it will be at about 250 degrees.
    3. Swirl in the butter one tablespoon at a time and then with the pot away from the heat carefully pour in the heavy cream. If the caramel seizes place back over the heat to cook until liquid again.
    4. Stir in the vanilla and salt and set aside to cool.
    5. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
Finishing the galette:
  1. After the initial baking time, remove the galette from the oven and brush the honey caramel all over the top and around the crust.
  2. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until set and glazed.
  3. Let cool slightly before serving. Serve with additional caramel sauce.


Pomegranate Coleslaw
Found on:

1 14oz. bag coleslaw
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
2 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (how to deseed a pomegranate)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp whole grain mustard (with mustard seeds)
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine coleslaw, apple matchsticks, pomegranate seeds and scallions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey and mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: If you have a custom not to use vinegar on Rosh Hashanah, you may substitute with lemon juice.

Bailey’s “Butterfly”

Caterpillar fall webworm

About six weeks ago, I saw a picture of a fuzzy caterpillar on Facebook that my cousin-in-law Sarah Kearns posted. I was curious, so I messaged her. “What’s going on with that tiny caterpillar?”  “Bailey (her daughter) is making a habitat for it, so she can watch it grow and transform.” Sarah replied. Being a nature person, I just absolutely loved this idea. I wanted to  speak with Bailey directly to learn more. We set up a meeting to talk about her caterpillar, aptly named Catty.

Bailey Boden is a 10 year old  Rockaway native. She’s just started the 5th grade a few weeks ago at The Waterside School for Leadership. One of Bailey’s favorite subjects in school is science. No wonder she took the initiative on this caterpillar project!

“Where did you find the caterpillar, Bailey?”  “I left my towel outside for a while. Later on, I went to bring it in. My mom was about to shake it out when she noticed something on it. We were like… oh! It’s a caterpillar! I wanted to make it a little habit so we watched a Youtube video to learn how to do it.”


Bailey used a plastic container and placed a moist paper towel and a leaf inside of it. The video wasn’t specific on which type of foliage to use* so Bailey  picked a leaf from the holly bush in her backyard. The leaf she learned is called a caterpillar’s host plant.The adult butterfly lays eggs on a specific plant. When the larvae hatches, it can get right to eating the correct nourishment. At first, Catty didn’t move from the underside of her leaf. Bailey noticed Catty was eating the coating on the back of it.  Soon enough, her caterpillar started eating the entire leaf. She was starting to grow! When most of the leaf was gone, it was time to introduce another (while keeping the remnants of the host leaf in the habitat). Bailey learned through observation that caterpillars use the bathroom A LOT! When the wet paper towel dried (every 1-2 days), she would change it out with a new one, also removing Catty’s bathroom droppings.

Caterpillar fall webworm 1

The whole family was excited to see Catty start her cocoon… But when would it happen?! Bailey  went online and read the life cycle takes 4-6 weeks. There are four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The warmer the weather, the faster the process can be. Bailey and her mother also researched their caterpillar in an attempt to identify her species. After plugging in Catty’s physical description, they realized Catty may not be a butterfly afterall, she could be a moth! But only time would tell…

About a week later, it happened! Cathy the caterpillar began her metamorphosis.  Bailey informed me that caterpillars make their silk cocoons out of their spit. A cocoon is a silk shelter  spun with special silk glands produced in a caterpillar’s mouth.

Catty emerged on Aug 27th and she’s a moth!! Bailey wasn’t too surprised after her investigation and she was so excited to have successfully raised Catty to adulthood! Bailey waited one day before releasing her, so she could observe the behaviors of Catty, now a bright white moth.


More specifically Cathy the caterpillar became a fall webworm, a native of Native America, and of which there are over 636 species. Today, they’re now widespread throughout the world. Webworms, as the name suggests, are known for their characteristically large webbed nests on tree limbs.*

School has just begun and Bailey is hoping to share her summer learning experience about caterpillars and their habits with her classmates. She wants to incorporate her research  into a class assignment. I think it’s wonderful that Bailey pursued this project on her own. There’s so much to learn from nature, even right in our own backyards. Go Bailey!

*The fall webworm feeds on all deciduous trees and shrubs. Webworms are among the most polyphagous of insects. In this case, the host plant is less important.

**These moths are different than tent caterpillar. Their cocoons are similar but they form in the spring, where webworms you see in the fall.


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