Sunday, April 30, 2017

See the Whole





Not just one part. Then
you can forgive. After all
He did. Why can't we?




Spectacular Sight and Sound


Mesmerizing it
was. Made more memorable
seen with grandchild's eyes.



Note: The Lion King production at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.




Making Memories




With Mickey, those ears,
castles, princesses, Dumbo,
Under the Sea ride.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Feel the Flow of Being





Be the Being. Let
go. Empty yourself  into
that Great sustenance.



Note: Paraphrased from Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Lovey Doveys


Side by side. Getting
along. Beautiful sight to
behold and uphold.

The Divine Dance




Moves to the music.
What others think don't matter.
Free, open, joy filled.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Life Uncomplicated



We're fed. We eat. Let
free, we frolic in the grass.
Happy, we lay eggs.

Mystical Moments







To find wonder, awe,
hope in life's joys and sorrows,
order and chaos. 





Note: inspired by thoughts from Sr. Marcella Clancy's opening talk CSJA annual retreat 2017. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Fifth Element of Prayer




Praise, ask, thank, sorry.
And silence. Stop inner noise.
Listen to Him speak.



Note: Thoughts gleaned from Sister Marcella Clancy's,  CSJ exquisite opening talk, CSJA annual retreat 2017.



The Courage to Relish the Present Moment




Ditch asking its whys,
wherefores. Have hope, faith in its
possibilities.


Note: This is based on the following quote:


You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Swing's Invitation




Come smell the sun, feel
the flower's warmth, listen to
bunnies hop, birds fly.




Why Easter is Cool



Christmas you've got to
be good. Halloween you dress
up. Easter just be.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Blessed Are They That Mourn





Let the tears fall and
the soul be thawed and touch the
 "divine compassion"*. 



Note: *This term and the thoughts were paraphrased from the reflection by Cynthia Bourgeault on the Beatitudes in Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation April 17, 2017.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Slow Cooker Three Ingredient Easter Ham





Aside from the ham, I used two other ingredients shown below. I was surprised it was a hit with my family in today's Easter Dinner. The slow cooker made it even simpler.  I just dumped the three ingredients in the slow cooker and made the steak and the other sides.  I did not have to worry of warming it up before dinner since my slow cooker had a keep warm mode at the end of cooking.  The sauce is not gooey but one can concentrate the juice generated on the stove if you want but I did not.  I just served the ham straight from the slow cooker and just douse it with the sauce. If you do not have the pineapple honey mustard, any mustard would do.  The orange marmalade dominated the flavor and that is all you need.  The pineapple was just a whisper.



Three Ingredient Easter Ham

  • 8 oz sweet orange marmalade
  • 8 oz pineapple honey mustard (Note 1)
  • 4 lb ham slices
Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker.  Cook for 3 hours at high setting or 6 hours a low.  I cooked mine in an Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker for 2 hours at slow cooker setting.

Note

1.  One can substitute any mustard.  One can add honey and crushed pineapple.  But as I said in the introduction the dominant flavor is the orange marmalade.  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

He Really Loves Us






He is risen. He
was crucified. He was born.
For us all, you, me.




Note:  This is a photo of the altar at the Our Lady of Peace Parish located in Baden PA.







Breaking Bread





Forging bonds old and
new. Minds meet, hearts warmed, spirit
lifted, soul nourished. 

Note: The photo shows the candied sweet potatoes to be served tomorrow by the Breaking Bread Ministry at St Bernadette Parish. It was prepared by Sharon and a bunch of volunteers.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mary Did Know



What greater love and
heartbreak than what this mother
felt when He suffered.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A New Day




Waking up to the
birds tweet, I welcome a new
day, fresh, neat and sweet.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sr. Paula's Prayer Meeting April 11, 2017




Suffering is one thing in life that is hard to understand.  As Father Adrien van Kamp used to say, life is a mystery to be lived not a problem to be solved.  Our sufferings or those of others would make us understand why Jesus came down on earth and suffered during his last days.  He knew we would need an example to follow.  Let me quote this haiku I wrote based on the wonderful talk by Father Don Breier at Baden during the auxiliary recollection last month.

_____________________________________________________________________________
 Why Me?


               
Turned into "Why not?"
When He suffered just like me.
So "Why not me?" then.


Note: Insight gleaned from the magnificent talk by Fr. Don Breier at the Sisters of St. Joseph Mother House, Baden PA.  Photo taken of one of the Stations of the Cross at the St. Anthony's Chapel, Pittsburgh, PA.

Blueberry Muffins from Homemade Pancake Mix



My husband loves blueberry buttermilk pancakes and I have posted a recipe which I consider the best ever for fluffy ones. I decided to try to make a muffin version of it so he can take some to work.

I went online and found a source , WikiHow, with three versions. I tried two of them and my husband chose the muffin using this recipe I am sharing with you.

I used homemade pancake mix the recipe of which I am also sharing in this blog post.  One for one batch and another for a big batch. I prepared the latter by taking the quantities of the first batch and multiplied it by five. Dah.  I or my calculator did the math for you.  I provided both recipes below for your convenience. Sometimes taking out the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda just discourages me to bake so I like preparing big batches of mixes.



Blueberry Muffins from Homemade Pancake Mix

Makes 12 muffins ( this is half the recipe in WikiHow)

  • 1 1/4 cup of the big batch homemade pancake mix or 1 1/4 cup of the one batch 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or place 2 tsp vinegar in a 1-cup measuring cup and add the 2 percent milk to the rim)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Bag of Frozen blueberries or fresh. Four per muffin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

Mix all the ingredients except the blueberries in a medium bowl. Distribute the batter into the muffin pan using an ice cream scoop.  Place four blueberries per muffin.

Bake at a preheated oven for 17 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

One Batch Homemade Pancake Mix


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  


Big Batch Homemade Pancake Mix

  • 10 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients in a large container with a large spoon and replace the cap and shake well.

Death - Certain Yet Uncertain




Shock, tears, then peace, joy. 
She's in that place she's been all 
along without pain.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Passing of a Friend





Tears I cannot hide.
Sorrow I cannot stop. I
just let the grief be.


To Remember is to Be There






This Holy Week as 
we pray and remember, we'll
truly be with Him.


Note: The title is a Jewish saying. The award winning painting is by Kathy Stromple.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Deafening sound of silence





More eloquent than
words. Its power cuts through the 
heart with its meaning.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ...




Asked my grandchild of 
three years. To whom days seem the
same, so with old me.

Friday, April 7, 2017

When the Why Has No Answer





There are things in life
we cannot understand but
just to be lived through.




Steamed Fish Fillets in Ponzu Sauce


With the help of readily available Ponzu Sauce from the grocery store or Asian store, you can have delicious steamed fish fillets with the flavor of soy sauce with a tinge of citrus.  That is what Ponzu sauce is all about, citrusy soy sauce. Not spicy at all.




Add the usual ginger and garlic for more flavor during the steaming process and a splash of sesame oil and more Ponzu sauce at the end and you have a fish dish reminiscent of what you eat in a Chinese buffet.  Easy and fast.




Steamed Fish Fillets in Ponzu Sauce

  • 6 frozen fish fillets, thawed (I used tilapia fillets)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Ponzu sauce (I used Kikkoman brand)
  • 3 green onion stalks
  • 1 inch ginger, cut into coins 
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic or 1 tbsp dry garlic flakes
  • sesame oil to drizzle at the end
  • more Ponzu sauce to drizzle at the end
Add water to a pot or wok.  I used the Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker.  Place the steamer or bamboo steamer or the slotted steamer that came with the rice cooker above the water without the water touching the steamer. Set aside.

Add salt and pepper to both sides of the fish fillets. Add the Ponzu sauce.  Place the seasoned fish on the steamer.and place the ginger, garlic and green onion stalks on top of the fish. You can stack the fillets, just be sure you have ginger and garlic on each fillet.  Turn on the heat and allow the water to boil and steam the fish till done.  I used the steam setting in the rice cooker and set the timer to 20 minutes. 

At the end of cooking, place the cooked fish on a large platter and drizzle with sesame oil and more Ponzu sauce.

Tip:

You can slice a large potato and place the slices in the water to cook it and you will have your starch to go with the fish. I microwaved the asparagus but you can add it towards the last 5 minutes of the steaming process. 

In Nature






Duality does
not exist but unity.
Let us learn from it.





Thursday, April 6, 2017

Slow Cooker Beef Stew in Dill Pickle Juice






This is a beef stew that is green ethically or philosophically or however you put it.  It uses leftover dill pickle juice from a jar.  Together with a bit of sugar and tomato paste, it creates a delicious sauce for the tender beef.  The combination of the three ingredients is equivalent to ketchup, my favorite ingredient for any stew. Why waste your ketchup when you can use leftover dill pickle juice? The taste of dill in the juice is an added flavor to the dish.




Using the slow cooker where you just dump all the ingredients make this an easy and convenient recipe to prepare.  To make it a complete meal I added potatoes, baby carrots and red pepper.   I serve this over rice. You will love this dish.


Slow Cooker Beef Stew in Dill Pickle Juice

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
Mix the first six ingredients in the crock pot bowl with a spoon.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook at high setting for 4 hours or at low for 8 hours.  I cooked mine in an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker for 3 hours at slow cooker setting.




An Empty Hole




To be filled with hope.
Sadness over a loss with
faith be comforted.





Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Here and Now





Appreciate it.
Live through it no matter what.
The reward is there.


Note: Photo taken in Palawan, Philippines.




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sue's Beautiful Salad





I just want to share this beautiful salad prepared by my friend Sue during a luncheon at her place to celebrate her birthday.  I am just enumerating the ingredients used without the exact amounts or details of the procedure. It is a feast for the eyes and the soul not to mention the tummy. It is beautifully breathtaking and delicious.


Sue's Beautiful Salad

  • Chicken breast marinated, baked and sliced, (I suggest bottled Italian dressing for marinade for convenience)
  • Pan fried bacon, (Sue used regular Sugardale brand bacon)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Red onions, sliced
  • Corn, cooked in the microwave
  • Honey Mustard Salad Dressing 
Arrange the prepared ingredients in a large plate as shown in the picture.  Serve with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing (recipe below).  

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Dijon or whole grain mustard
Mix all the ingredients.

Let Us See the Whole





Rather than just the
parts. The context rather than
the text. Unity.





Note: Paraphrased from Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations, April 3, 2017, "The Bigger Story Line". Photo taken in Bangkok, Thailand.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Dance, dance, dance




I'm in this dance called
life. Through relationships I
tango my way through.






Sunday, April 2, 2017

I like spring







Sounds of birds, smell of
mowed grass, blinding sun, blooming
flowers, smiles that last.







Saturday, April 1, 2017

Summer Family Picnics on this Spring Day





We look forward to.
But for now let's enjoy the
birds sing, flowers bloom.




Note: Painting by Ed Diaz.