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Spanakopita Redux April 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Less IS More, Vegetarian Recipes.
26 comments

We recently revisited and revised a classic ~ Spanakopita.

To make the classic Greek dish, layer tedious layer upon tedious layer of phyllo dough to make the crust . . . AFTER slathering each tissue-paper-thin-sheet with a gallon of butter.

To save time and calories, make Spanakopita Quesadillas using fat-free tortillas in place of the phyllo/butter crust.

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On Superbowl Sunday, we served Spanakopita Quesadillas with Hummus, Tabbouli, Kalamata Olives, Peppers, and Black Bean Salsa.

Here’s an EASY recipe for Black Bean Salsa:

Combine 2-3 diced tomatoes with a 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed.  Add a few dashes of dried onion, dried garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir and chill.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Here’s an even EASIER recipe for Black Bean Salsa:

Combine a can of Ro*Tel Tomatoes and Chile Peppers (drained) with a 15 oz. can of black beans (drained and rinsed).

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Spanakopita Filling for Quesadillas

Saute an onion in 2 tsp. olive oil.  Add a bag of chopped spinach or kale.  Once the onions and greens are wilted, add 2 oz. feta cheese, 2 Tbsp. grated parmeson, 1 1/2 tsp oregano (or dill), 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Spanakopita filling is also delicious mixed with rice or pasta or used as a topping for a Spinach Pizza or in Spinach Crescent Rolls (spread 2 tsp. of filling on crescent rolls before rolling and baking).

Aah . . . that’s YUMMY!

“Hunger Never Saw Bad Bread.” April 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
28 comments

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“Hunger never saw bad bread.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.

Ben was so right!  Man cannot live by bread alone . . . but it’s a start!  Here’s two quick breads ~> Ben Franklin’s Beer Bread and Irish Soda Bread.

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Eat all you want . . . then make more!

Aah . . . that’s better!

It’s Not Delivery! April 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
48 comments

2015-03-21 13-06-16_0002The Pizza Project is still going strong.

So are we.

That got me thinking . . .

Would it even be possible to O.D. on pizza?

I doubt it, but let’s ask Luigi!

“Hey, Luigi!”

“Hey, my little pizza paisano . . . que pasa?”

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“Luigi, have you ever met anyone who ate too much pizza?”

“No.  Datsa, how you say . . .  an oxymoron.”

“Thanks, Luigi!”

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So, there you go . . . there’s no such thing as too much pizza.  Mangia!

Aah . . . that’s better!

The “Eh” Team March 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Music & Dance.
41 comments

The Canadian contingency threw a Ceileidh (pronounced Kay-Lee) for our street this month.

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A Ceileidh is a “kitchen party” full of food, fun, frivolity, and music.

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After a slide show of the Maritime Provinces, Dino took the stage for a sing-a-long . . . complete with a fiddler fiddling-a-long.

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Then Harry Chapin and Todd Rundgren took the stage to sing a few bawdy tunes for us.

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The funniest part of the evening came at the end when the Canadian contingency (a/k/a The “EH” Team) gathered for a group shot.

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It took some time to get everyone on board ~> “Let’s see, who’s missing?” . . . “Are my glasses on straight?” . . . “Where’s Louise?”

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“Hey Cam, c’mon . . . the camera’s waiting for you!”

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“So, do we have everyone?”

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“Hey . . . no photo bombing us with a full moon shot!”

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“Seriously?!  Stop talking and start smiling!”

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“OK!  That’s a Ceileidh keeper!”

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Aah . . . that’s better, eh?

Happy St. Paddy’s Day March 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Joke.
44 comments

170px-At&tPhoneAfter digging to a depth of 10 feet last year, American scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that Americans had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

In the weeks that followed, a Canadian archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and the Toronto Times reported:

“Canadian archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the Americans.”

Frog-CircusOne week later, Irish Dept. Of Mines and Resources in Dublin reported the following:

“After digging as deep as 30 feet in Limerick, Jack Lucknow, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing.

From that, he concluded that 250 years ago . . . Ireland had already gone wireless.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

If you want to get your Irish on . . . here’s a recipe for Irish Soda Bread that’ll have you dancing an Irish Jig.  It mixes up faster than a leprechaun guarding his pot of gold can sing, “Erin Go Bragh.”

Natural Resolutions & Remedies December 29, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Health & Wellness, Humor.
30 comments

If your New Year’s Resolutions focus on Health and Wellness, here are a few natural remedies to consider:

catlady

Turmeric has been touted as a “brain health miracle.”

I’m not surprised.

I’ve eaten turmeric and curry for most of my 121 years.

And my memory is still as sharp as a pillow.

* * *

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I’ve heard that 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar may aid digestion.

That makes sense to me given the enzymes and the acid which help to break down ingested matter.

But life is uncertain . . .

So eat dessert first!

OPA!

* * *

Mickey-OKAnd last, but not least . . .

Switching the broadcast from “gripes” to “gratitude” ALWAYS pays B~I~G dividends.

Gratitude magnifies happiness.

And it’s HEART healthy.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Calcium in Plant-Based Diets (PCRM); Honey & Cinnamon (Snopes)(great for everything from colds to cancer); Space for Gratitude (Find Your Middle Ground)

 

Plan A Staycation November 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
48 comments

AirplaneInstead of taking out a second mortgage to travel halfway round the world on a gas guzzling jumbo jet (AFTER a heated argument with TSA agents about what constitutes unreasonable search and seizure), consider playing tourist in your own town.  Staycations can be a fun and budget-friendly way to explore the beauty of your own backyard.

Plus, you don’t have to pack, unpack, or endure TSA pat downs by Frisky McFrisk.

Not sure what to do?  You could . . .

* Seek out local tourist attractions, walking ghost tours, or cultural events.
* Catch up on reading or take a class.
* Try a local ethnic restaurant.

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* Hold a family talent show . . . with prizes!
* Pursue an old hobby or a new interest.
* Plant a backyard garden (or hang out in a hammock).

Water lilies
* Take tap-dancing or limbo lessons.
* Dust off your accordion and perform at an “open mike” night.
* Snap shots on a nature walk.

Reflections
* Take a picnic to the park to explore scenic vistas.
* Take your bike for a spin around a lake.
* Play Scram Scrabble or charades.

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* Volunteer for a favorite cause or help with a friend’s project.
* Watch movies. Pop popcorn.
* Build a snowman.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever “spent your vacation” at home?  Did it feel like summer break as a kid . . . with late nights and lazy mornings?

Does the idea of a Staycation hold any appeal?

A Royal Pain In The Ass November 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Joke.
39 comments

Once upon a time a king wanted to go fishing.  He called the royal weather forecaster and asked for the weather forecast covering the next few hours. The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days.

So the king went fishing.

Shrek-&-Donkey

On the way, he met a farmer on his donkey.

Upon seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area.”

The king’s response was polite but firm.

“I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.”

Eeyore-under-a-raincloudA short time later torrential rain fell from the sky.

The King got soaked!

So did the farmer and his donkey.

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once!

Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high-paying role of royal forecaster.

The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, I know it will rain.”

So the king hired the donkey.

And so began the practice of hiring asses to work in government and
occupy its highest and most influential positions.

zebras

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Cocktails By The Bay October 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.
36 comments

Harbor Isles invited us to the Grand Opening of their new Clubhouse.

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While clouds rolled in, we sipped cocktails by the pool and enjoyed aerial entertainment.

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And acrobatic feats.

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As I dipped pita chips into hummus and munched on egg rolls, I gave thanks that I hadn’t worn a form-fitting leotard to the gala.

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When the rains arrived, we went inside to check out the interior landscape.

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The rain cleared out long enough for us to enjoy a sunset over the intercoastal.

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While ladies in leotards burned calories rolling in, and on, the pool, we swung by a bubbling fountain for a night cap ~> chocolate covered strawberries.

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Just as the sunset reached peak perfection, a human “butterfly” fluttered by.

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We stopped to admire Chef Doug’s “Swan Song” before leaving . . . after a final creme puff.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Sustainable Eating September 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Sustainable Living.
39 comments

3D-CowThe best and fastest way to break out of a rut is to try something new.

Sometimes the something new we choose moo-ves us to greater simplicity and sustainability, saving us time and money.

With a few easy tweaks we can benefit ourselves AND the planet by changing our diet, our buying habits, and even how we vacation.

By way of example:

Donald-Duck-DrivingEating vegetarian meals is better for the planet.

In fact, what we eat has more impact on the environment than what we drive.

PLUS going “meatless” is better for our health, our wallets, and for the animals we would otherwise be consuming.

It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN!

When we moved from “meat” to “meatless” (circa 1997), we started small by swapping out the meat in our favorite recipes.

  • Instead of chicken curry, we made broccoli curry.
  • Instead of beef tacos, we made veggie tacos.
  • Instead of lasagna with meat sauce, we made veggie lasagna with broccoli, spinach, and grated carrot.

We found that the food tasted better and we felt better.

AND we saved money by shopping for fresh produce instead of meat.
AND cooking was less messy (without worry about cross contamination).
AND less time consuming ~ I’ve cooked Thanksgiving Dinner in an hour.

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“Every time we sit down to eat, each of us can make the world a better place simply by leaving animals off our plates.” ~TryVeg.com

To request a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide, visit  TryVeg.com

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more menu ideas:  A Month of Meatless Meals

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