A Great Stew for Two
This simple, Tuscan-inspired stew is the perfect casual supper for two, though it can easily be doubled. Enjoy leftovers with a piece of whole-grain French bread baguette for dunking. This is a YUMMERS of a recipe!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cup chopped plum tomato
¾ cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (about ¼ cup)
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add fennel, onion, and oregano; saute 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add tomato; cook 2 minutes. Add stock, beans, and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Gently stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove bay leaf; discard. Stir in parsley and pepper. Sprinkle feta over top.
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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ L.M. Montgomery
#fall #shiningmoment #colorstory #autumntrends
With zero family history of breast cancer, Amy Robach wasn’t concerned about the disease when she got her first mammogram on the air in October 2013. But within days, she was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. She instantly started dry heaving (I hear ya, sister) and was wondering how she would break the news to her daughters. Once she was able to discuss her diagnosis with her daughters, she was able to find the strength to fight for her girls. Amy underwent a double mastectomy and endured eight rounds of chemo, working through it all. Like Amy, I worked through it all and didn’t want the cancer to take me away from my career. (Sorry, I digress. Back to Amy.) She now speaks at breast cancer conferences across the U.S. She is a living and breathing reminder that it can happen to you and to take your health seriously. Amy is waking us up to the need to screen #mustmammo.
As many of you may recall, I was the patient for whom everything that could go wrong seemingly did. My, oh my. From my colitis (i.e., spewing from both ends) to extraordinary pain because someone forgot to give me the pain medicine after surgery to having many Chemo Sobby days, I was a bit of a cancer mess (understatement of the decade!).
One of my great Shining Moments during this period was the ability to find humor in the absurd. I know that it may sound whacky – to laugh when throwing up on the side of the road, for example or to absolutely completely and totally relate to the bathroom scene in Bridesmaids – but my girlfriends and I laughed – a LOT. Sometimes it was that nervous, screechy, ridiculously high pitched laughing, but it was indeed laughter. There were situations in which things were just so ridiculous that they were funny!
According to the American Cancer Society, Humor therapy is the use of humor for the relief of physical or emotional pain and stress. It is used as a complementary method to promote health and cope with illness. Although available scientific evidence does not support claims that laughter can cure cancer or any other disease, it can reduce stress and enhance a person’s quality of life. Humor has physical effects because it can stimulate the circulatory system, immune system, and other systems in the body. These are some pretty wonderful and worthwhile Shining Moments of laughter!
A few years back, a friend of mine introduced me to a blog called “Rectal Talk.” The blogger was 30 years old and diagnosed with rectal AND liver cancer. Uh huh. Sit with that for a second. Or don’t. It was pretty stunning to learn about his diagnosis at such a young age as it was for people to hear about mine.
In the blog he chronicled his experiences and included a great deal of humor….and potty talk. When it came to incorporating humor during cancer treatment Danny, the blogger, felt cancer could really knock you down to your core. I couldn’t agree more.
Part of Danny’s treatment included having an ileostomy bag. In case you are unfamiliar (and I hope that you are!), an ileostomy is performed when the large intestine is no longer capable of performing its normal functions. In an ileostomy, an opening called a stoma is constructed to connect the small intestine to the skin allowing fecal material to be expelled from the body without the large intestine’s help. As Danny described it, “Having feces poor out of your stomach while you are chatting with friends is a great feeling. Sitting at restaurants and feeling it come out while eating is another great way to feel good about yourself! I will miss emptying it in every public bathroom in West LA. If you are in West LA and need to know where the best restrooms are, hit me up and I will guide you to a great experience.”
I read Danny’s blog daily a few years ago. I don’t think that I laughed as hard as when I read his post when he said, “I have been through a lot of tough situations in the last year but going to Costco in Van Nuys on a Sunday afternoon was one of the toughest. The only thing that got me through it was that it was sample Sunday.”
Reading Danny’s blog always gave me great perspective and helped remind me to not only appreciate the health that I have today, but to find humor daily. The Shining Moment is that Danny is married today. His family and future is what Danny chooses to focus on, which is one of the many reasons that I admire and respect him.
Breast cancer is not just a disease that strikes women. It strikes at the very heart of who we are as women: how others perceive us, how we perceive ourselves, how we live, work and raise our families – or whether we do these things at all. ~ Debbie Wasserman Schultz
#womenshealth #livingbeyondbreastcancer #wellness
Did you know that today is World Smile Day? Celebrate the iconic symbol of happiness created by artist Henry Ball and help encourage acts of kindness.
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Have I got a great book for you to read around Halloween. The book, The Witches, is a great exploration of the Salem witch trials. I found it to be so diabolically entertaining. It takes place in a Massachusetts community of pious Puritans, a group of girls begins to howl, convulse and accuse neighbors of witchcraft. Within nine months, more than 140 innocent people have been named as witches or wizards, often by their own families. Fourteen women, five men and two dogs are executed for satanic activities. Pretty eerie, right?
I’ve always enjoyed books written by Stacy Schiff. She is a stylish writer and an inexhaustible researcher who offers fascinating particulars. Denounced by the putatively possessed (one a minister’s daughter, most of them overworked teen domestics orphaned by Indian raids), defendants admitted to murder, flying poles, ghostly bed hopping and selling their souls for nice shoes. They concocted imagery crimes because those who confessed survived; only suspects who insisted on their innocence were hanged. Schiff shrewdly analyzes factors that may have fueled madness, including teenage hysteria, political instability, bad weather, general intolerance, rampant litigiousness and sexual repression, Witchcraft explained hard times, settled old scores, punished sharp-tongued women and independent thinkers. Modern corollaries come to mind, from McCarthyism to more recent brands of xenophobic, misogynistic, holier-than-thou politics. “The witch hunt,” Schiff writes, “stands as a cobwebbed, crowd-sourced cautionary tale.”
I really enjoyed it, and it got me in the mood for spooks, witches and ghouls this Halloween. Also, how can you pass up a book that rhymes with Bitches?!