Monday, December 10, 2018

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Buttermilk Chicken

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Buttermilk Chicken

Adapted from this site

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Vegan Lemony Walnut Linguine

My picky taster, my husband, gave this two thumbs up.  Btw he is not vegan.  It is delicious and creamy with that lemony tang.  The sauce is easy to prepare using only five ingredients and a very inexpensive nut, walnut,  not the expensive cashew.  The result is a creamy sauce which makes you think some nondairy milk was used.  Nope!

As I said this will be a crowd pleaser with both vegans and nonvegans alike.

Vegan Lemony Walnut Linguine

1 cup walnut
1/4 large lemon juice and rind
2 tbsp miso
1/4 cup water
1 tsp dry garlic flakes
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Black pepper to taste
8 oz linguine, cooked saving 2 tbsp pasta water

Blend all the ingredients except the linguine in a blender till the consistency you like.  I prefer mine to be still gritty.

Place the cooked linguine including the saved pasta water in a  pan and add the sauce mixture and heat through with stirring till sauce is incorporated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Vegan Cheese Pimiento

Love this and so would you. Extremely addictive on corn tortilla scoopers. One scoop this morning became ten. The umami taste receptors in your tongue will be satisfied by the miso and the almond butter plus the garlic. They also give the cheesy flavor usually imparted by nutritional yeast which is absent in the recipe. Just five readily available pantry ingredients are used. Blend them and voila this oh my goodness delicious dip is born.

I used northern beans instead of tofu used in the original recipe from this site and it worked. I further tweaked the recipe here and there and here is the final result.

Vegan Cheese Pimiento 

Adapted from this site

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp almond butter
2 large pieces bottled roasted red pepper in water
3 tbsp miso
2 cloves garlic

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.

Glide Through

Why worry in a
world full of utter beauty.
Stop. Look. And just be.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Slow Cooker Boozy Honey Baby Back Ribs

How about some boozy pork ribs for a change after all that turkey and gravy this past Thanksgiving? Here is an easy one that is surely delicious. Sweet, spicy and also boozy. What more can you ask?

Slow Cooker Boozy Honey Baby Back Ribs

3 lbs pork baby back ribs
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 bottle beer
1/3 cup honey
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp bottled jalapeƱo peppers
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Place all the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high for three hours or at low for six. I cooked mine in an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker for two hours at slow cooker setting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Maxim 88 Monroeville Prayer Meeting November 20, 2018

Natalie conscientiously prepared the thorough handout on Maxim 88 shown below for the Monroeville Prayer Meeting held on November 20, 2018.

You will also see below the wonderful piece on "How life is all about how you handle Plan B".

We also celebrated our send off for Sister Bernadette Carlow who has been attending and participating in our meetings all these years.  She will be the chaplain at the Villa starting next month.  Thank you Sister Bernie. We will miss you and God bless. Photos are shown below.

A wonderful piece to ponder on provided by Natalie.

Photos of our celebration of our send off for Sr. Bernie.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Crisis can bring pain
but also transformation
and growth in ourselves.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Open Eyes

To see things with eyes
wide open. Experience
life to the fullest.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Slow Cooker Beef Chili Verde with Blender Green Tomatoes

What do you do with your bumper crop green tomatoes? Put them in a blender, chop, distribute in Ziploc bags, freeze and then use them for this recipe. Oh so good.

The recipe from this site called for tomatillos which I did not have and so I thought of my frozen blender green tomatoes as a substitute. It gives a different twang from the red ones. I also just used ground beef rather than beef chuck used in the original recipe.

Just enough spiciness and flavor does this chili verde have. So addictive and comforting.

Slow Cooker Beef Chili Verde with Blender Green Tomatoes

Adapted from this site

1 poblano chile, chopped
1 tbsp jalapeno pieces from a bottle
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup water
1 1\2 lb green tomatoes, chopped in blender
1\2 cup cilantro
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lime

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cooked on high for three hours or at low for six hours. I cooked mine in an Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker for two hours at slow cooker setting.

Serve topped with diced avocado.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Easy Portable Vegan Asian Coleslaw Burrito

I have mentioned before in a blog post, that a survey found that the burrito is something most people order once a week and not the burger or pizza. It must be because it is easy and not messy to eat. We also are fond of having our Asian food cravings satisfied now and then, don't we. This burrito fixes both these food desires we have.

I was motivated one morning to carry out preparing a burrito with Asian flavor. I was pretty lazy to chop anything so I used a bag of coleslaw mix and dry spices and pantry ingredients. I have previously prepared a similar recipe before that was more involved and yet not as portable as this one. The sauce in the past recipe was too thin. This one which has the right proportion of ingredients did not have that problem.

I know I have a winner of a recipe when I eat the food prepared from it in one day. I did share one with my daughter which I left in her fridge and almost took it back to eat later but she ate her share. That good, really.

I had one waiting for me back at my house in the fridge and I gobbled it.  It held its form and was not limp or soggy. I experimented and air fried half of it, but it was not as good as the fresh as is version.  So there. No need for any other step. Just mix, roll and eat!

Easy Portable Vegan Asian Coleslaw Burrito

1\4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 packets Stevia or to taste
Juice of one small lime
1/8 tsp dry red chili pepper
1 bag coleslaw
6 stalks green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cashews
8 large tortillas
Romaine lettuce leaves

Mix all the ingredients from the peanut butter to the red chili pepper in a large bowl with a fork or whisk. Add to the sauce mixture the coleslaw and green onions and mix till the sauce is distributed all over the vegetables. Add the cashews.

Warm the tortilla for 8 seconds in the microwave to make it more pliable. Line the tortilla with lettuce leaves and  top with the filling leaving an inch space on the sides. Fold the two sides and then the top over and roll into a cylinder.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Air Fried Vegan Chickpea Burrito

If I need to take something to eat on my next airplane trip, this will be my go to food to put in my purse. It is portable not gooey and it is satisfying. The  ancho guajillo chile sauce coats the chickpeas, you do not need extra sauce. No fussy drips. The refried beans glue the other stuff of the filling together. No dribbling at all. I have tested its portability by eating it in the car while driving and it performed well as a no fuss hand held food. More importantly it is good and easy to prepare.

You do not need to air fry it but if you're consuming it right away, do take that extra step.

Air Fried Vegan Chickpea Burrito

1 can garbanzo or chickpea beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp dry onion flakes
1\2 tbsp dry garlic flakes
3/4 cup ancho guajillo chile sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp green peas from can
Salt to taste
4 large tortillas
1 can refried beans
1 cup cooked rice
Carrot julliened
Bunch cilantro
Chopped green onions

In a skillet add the ingredients up to the salt and allow the mixture to boil till most of the liquid evaporates.

Microwave tortillas 8 seconds.

Spread refried beans on tortilla. Top the beans with the rest of the ingredients.

Fold the two sides of the tortilla and then fold over the side closest to you and roll into a cylinder.

Air fry at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes.

Let It Be

Sometimes it is best in time of sorrows, anger and helplessness to let it be for awhile and just allow oneself to grieve . Prayers for those who we lost on the recent shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh PA. Our prayers go to their loved ones and thanks to those who helped in during this moment of crisis.

Friday, October 26, 2018

When A Name Triggers Tender Memories

As I was driving to work, I heard on my car radio a familiar name of a nursing home. Immediately memories of our search in the late 1990's for a suitable one for my mother in law, who had failing hea!th, came back.  Included in these flashes of events was a certain feeling in my heart for a tender moment that occurred during this challenging but inevitable part of my whole family's lives.

My two daughters were with me as I searched everywhere for the best nursing home close to where we lived. We got to a place about thirty minutes from our house where a nursing home with the name I heard on the radio was located. The rooms were clean but small and dark. The residents looked neat but glum.

My first born daughter, Wendy,  is a quiet, soft spoken and not an opinionated person. I was surprised at the end of the visit when she exclaimed, "Do not put grandma there." sounding like a command. It was out of character of her to be that bossy.
I knew then how much she loved her Grandma Beaty who lovingly helped me raised her and her sister, Bettina. She wanted the best place for her and this one we visited was not up to her standards.

Her Grandma sold her house in Alma, Wisconsin and moved in with us when Wendy was born in 1982 in Ames, Iowa where Bob my husband, her son, and I finished our graduate work,  She was with us in Kansas City, Missouri where Bob worked at his first job and finally in Monroeville, PA where we have been since 1989. Wendy was a senior in high school in 1999, when my mother in law moved to a nice bright nursing home  near our house.

In 2000, we would be in Alma where in the only funeral home in this town of less than 900 persons, my mother in law was laid to rest. My quiet, shy daughter, Wendy, unabashedly sobbed as her casket was taken away. I watched then and was touched and now remember with tears in my eyes this great love of my daughter for her grandma who had lovingly helped raised her.

In a way I was grateful that name of the nursing home triggered  back these memories. I needed to take that journey back when I got to witness my daughter show both her vulnerability  and strength and I, in turn, receive the precious gift of knowing her more.

Memories like this also  help tenderize  a cynical heart. It did these past few days when I have been in an overwhelmed and "angry at the world" state. As I shed tears as I was writing this post, I felt my heart soften, feeling more understanding and empathy for others who were in a rotten state as I have  been. You really do not know the power of a word or name sometimes and the memories they evoke. I am grateful they were consoling ones in this case.

The Question

Comfort or growth? Hmm.
Shun the fear. Take the leap. Just
do it. No what if's.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Vegan Veggie Laden Thai Soup

This is an easy soup to prepare. The combination of spices found in most cupboards give it that characteristic taste found in spicy Thai soup.  Since most of my vegan friends prefer not to ingest coconut milk, I used non dairy milk to tone down the spiciness of the soup.  The toppings make the soup. Do use them.  As for the vegetables, you can add any vegetable you like. Any one you choose will work with the delicious broth. I used straw mushrooms and bamboo shoots from a can.  Both are available in any Asian store or even in large grocery stores.

Vegan Veggie Laden Thai Soup

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  •  1/2 cup straw mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots from can
  • 1/2 cup pea pods, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, julliened
  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped 
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, torn

Place  the first eleven ingredients from salt to red pepper flakes in a medium sauce pan. Boil at medium high till the ginger cooks.  Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pea pods and milk and continue to simmer.  When serving top the soup with green onions, juice of the lime and cilantro leaves.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Ancho Guajillo Chile Sauce

I first had ancho guajillo chile sauce when it was used to cook the sausage filling of the mixed plate of taco, burrito and enchilada I ate at the Madero Cantina Restaurant in Murrysville, PA. I fell in love with it and decided to find a recipe for this sauce to prepare a vegan version of the taco using cauliflower. I found the recipe for it in this site and the rest is history. My craving has not stopped for the cauliflower filling especially with rice and refried beans. No need for the tortillas actually or any cheese. Cilantro do help enhance the dish. The filling was even better the next day.

Btw I found the dried ancho and guajillo chiles at the Giant Eagle Hispanic food section. Each was less than three dollars for a packet of a dozen or so.

Madero Cantina's mixed plate.

Here is my vegan version of the tacos prepared with this incredible sauce. Double the recipe for the taco filling. I wish I did.

Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Ancho Guajillo Chile Sauce

Ancho Guajillo Chile Sauce

Adapted from this site.
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded
  • 1 1\2 cups hot water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1\8 tsp oregano
  • 1\4 tsp salt
Soak the chiles in the hot water right in tbe blender for 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree the mixture till smooth. Set aside. Store any  leftover in the fridge.

Cauliflower Tacos


  • 1\2 onion, chopped
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 1\4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1\2 head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup ancho guajillo chile sauce prepared above
  • 1\8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp green peas
  • 1\2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Boil the onion and garlic in the broth in a skillet till they are cooked.

Add the rest of the ingredients and allow the mixture to boil till the cauliflower is cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated.


  • 8 small soft corn tortillas
  • cilantro and green onions for garnish
  • more ancho guajillo chile sauce
  • refried beans
  • cooked rice
Warm the tacos for ten seconds in the microwave. Add the filling. Add cilantro and green onions.  Serve sauce on the side. Eat with rice and refried beans on tbe side.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

CSJA Maxim 86 St. Bernadette Group Sept Meeting

This was the thorough handout prepared with a lot of thought by Natalie for our September 20th, 2018 Meeting held at the St. Bernadette Convent, Monroeville, PA. Natalie gave three versions of the suggested readings. Pick and choose which one appeals to you or the one that hits the message best.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Maxim 87 St. Bernadette Prayer Group October 15, 2018

Here is the wonderful  handout on Maxim 87 prepared by Natalie for our October prayer meeting at St. Bernadette Convent. Thanks Natalie for putting your time and much thought in preparing this excellent handout.