Womens March 2017

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linguine shrimp artichokes peppersImage: oprah.com

I believe in the power of 3. This trio of fabulous, simple-enough-for-any day-of-the-week dish uses these staples: artichokes, red bell peppers, and olives…. AND it’s absolutely delicious. I’ve been making a linguine with peppers, artichokes, green olives and shrimp dish for many moons now. You have to try it. Believe me, you will do a face-plant onto the table.

Linguini with Peppers, Artichokes, Green Olives, and Shrimp

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

20 medium shrimp (1/2 pound), peeled and deveined

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more for pasta water

¾ tsp. ground black pepper, divided

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

10 pitted green olives, thickly sliced

1 cup (4 large) canned artichoke hearts, cut into thin wedges

1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

2 tsp. chopped thyme

10 ounces linguine

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil.  Add shrimp and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until halfway cooked and pink on bottom, about 1 minute.  Turn shrimp, then cook for another 30 seconds; until shrimp are barely done. Put shrimp in a medium bowl and set aside. Add remaining oil to skillet. Add red pepper strips along with ¼ tsp/ each salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add olives, artichokes, wine, and thyme and remove from heat.

 

  1. Salt the boiling water, add linguine, and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta water.  Drain linguine and add to skillet.  Add reserved shrimp, and any accumulated juices to skillet and cook over medium-high heat about 1 minute, stirring in reserved pasta water 2 Tbsp. at a time. Remove from heat, season with remaining salt and pepper, and stir in butter.  Divide among 4 pasta bowls and serve.


Enjoy! Enjoy!

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martinlutherkingjr

Image: stanfordfreedomproject.com

Martin Luther King Day 2017 is a very special day.  In addition to taking time to personally reflect on race relations, freedom, and peace, it is a phenomenal opportunity to teach our children valuable lessons about our history. In fact, the Shining Moment is that teachers all over the country are finding ways to talk about the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  First thing this morning, I watched his “I Have a Dream” speech. I get teary every time I watch and/or read it.  Here it is below.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I always do!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

“But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable Right’ of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’

“But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick-sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

“But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

“We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: ‘For Whites Only.’ We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

“I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of ‘interposition’ and ‘nullification’ — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

“I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; ‘and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.’

“This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

“And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!’ And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

“And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

“And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

 

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suzylanda

Image: jckonline.com

Why not treat myself, right? I want to add this lovely pair of earrings crafted by Suzy Landa to my jewelry box collection. Handmade in New York City, these earrings present an unexpected and colorful twist to a gemstone hoop. Made of 18K gold with spinning rubellite stars that feature Suzy’s classic diamond-set prongs. They will definitely make me glitter and shimmer!

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someonetoleanon

Image: Jarofquotes.com

For solo cancer patients like myself and those who aim to offer them support, many resources exist to provide a helping hand. Here are a few that I used during my treatment.

  1. American Cancer Society, cancer.org:
  • To volunteer to help those with cancer:

http://www.cancer.org/involved/volunteer/patient-services-support

  1. Imerman Angels: one-on-one support for people with cancer, their loved ones or those who have lost someone to cancer: http://imermanangels.org
  • org: information, resources and limited financial assistance for people with cancer
  1. LIVEstrong.org:

http://www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/

  1. Online Grocery Shopping with Delivery

 

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mm192017

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nutellasmoothie

Image: Athriftydiva.com

Nutella. I L.O.V.E. IT. I recently smeared Nutella on toast and found it to be pretty darn delicious. But, I’ve also learned that it’s a sweet shortcut ingredient. I have one girlfriend who uses it to “glue” no-bake desserts together.  Another girlfriend shortens many of her recipes by substituting it for a ganache or chocolate icing. Whatever you do with your Nutella, don’t forget to lick the spoon.

My newest recipe is quick and oh so easy. You will definitely do a face-plant into this delicious breakfast Banana, Nutella and Chia smoothie.

Process 1 frozen banana, ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 ½ Tbsp. Nutella, and 1 tsp. chia seeds in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Enjoy, enjoy!!

 

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A New Year

newyears2017

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winter

Image: Theodysseyonline.com

Winter is the

Best Time

By: David Budbill

 

Winter is the best time

to find out who you are.

 

Quiet, contemplation time,

away from the rushing world,

 

Cold-time, dark-time, holed-up

pulled-in time and space

 

To see that inner landscape.

that place hidden and within.

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mistletoe

Image: Prairieworkssinc.com

Did you know that long before it became a signal to smooch, this festive flora was thought to possess special powers? Here’s the scoop on the history of mistletoe.

 

SIGN OF PEACE – Around 500 B.C., Druid priests in what is now France hung mistletoe over doorways to ward off evil and boost fertility.  The belief was that the plant’s magic would be lost if it touched the ground.  Since it thrived in winter, when most living things go dormant, mistletoe was considered special.  It was treated so sacredly that if two enemies met beneath a tree on which it was growing, the foes would lay down weapons, exchange greetings, and observe a truce until the following day.

KEY TO THE UNDERWORLD – Mistletoe gained wider attention around 20 B.C., when the Roman poet Virgil wrote about an otherworldly plant in the Aeneid. While on a quest to learn his future, the story’s hero, Aeneas, must attain a “golden bough” (a.k.a. mistletoe) to gain entry to the underworld. During this time, it was believed that plant could be used not just to enter the dark world below but also as a sort of master key for all locks-and that its “seed of fire” (the white berry) provided light to travelers in the dark.

MAKE-OUT POINT – The pucker-up practice began in the 18th century, when Brits made balls with ribbon, ornaments, and mistletoe to hand from the ceiling at holiday time.  If a young lady was kissed under the decorations, said tradition, a future romance or a lasting friendship was in the cards. With each kiss, a berry would be plucked from the plant, and when all were gone, the good luck-and the pecking-would cease.  Needless to say, bunches of mistletoe with plentiful berries were highly sought after.

Don’t forget to hang your mistletoe and get your pucker ready!!!

Happy holidays!

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