Sunday, March 31, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #14 Sour Cherry Dessert

Sour Cherry by the Spoon

Sour Cherries are great sources of beta carotene or Vitamin A, and have more than either blueberries or strawberries. They also have Vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber.
If this doesn't sell you on them, how about they are a natural source of melatonin and an antioxidant.
And they taste-AMAZING!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #13 Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad

Mix together
1 can chickpeas
1 can wax beans
1 can green beans
1 can kidney beans
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 c onion, chopped 
place aside.

Mix together 
1/2 c canola oil/olive oil mixed
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Toss both together lightly and allow to sit for 24 hours or more.
Give it stir a few times while it marinates.

Of course, in a pinch, you can always buy some at the store too!
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Friday, March 29, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #12 Hummus Sandwich


Using a food processor or blender,
chop together 2-3 garlic cloves and 1-2 T fresh parsley.

Add 2 c chickpeas, reserve the liquid,
chickpeas are protein rich and have a rich nutty flavor.

Add half a lemon,
2 dashes of salt, cumin and paprika.
Add the reserved liquid from the chickpeas,
 to make the dip smoother or thicker per your preference.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #11 Juice Smoothie

Juice Smoothie

1 c juice of choice, apple, pineapple, or orange
1 c strawberries
1/2 c assorted berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
1 c banana

Place in blender and process.
Pour over ice.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #10 Chocolate-Super-Berry Muffins

Chocolate Berry Muffins

2 c flour
2 T baking powder
1/2 c sugar
dash of salt

1 c almond or vanilla soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c canola oil (or may substitute maple syrup)

1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chunks
  (if so inclined, can check package, many semi-sweet are lactose-free)
1/2 c assorted fresh berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together and make a well in the center.
Mix liquid ingredients and then pour into well.

Fold in chunks and then gently the berries.

Big Knitting

I've made several things in the past, 
after teaching myself to knit.
I'll remind you of some past projects.
Scarves, blankets and of course,
 the mittens that worked and those that,
 clearly did not work out.

Scalloped Edge Wrap/Throw

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 9 Shrimp Peach-Mango Salsa Tacos

Shrimp with Peach-Mango Salsa Tacos

Sometimes during Lent and other times,
you have to retune some of your faves,
and find different ways to enjoy them.
Here's one we like.

To make the mango salsa you will find the recipe here.

Peach Mango Salsa

Place shrimp on non-stick baking pan or baking stoneware.
Sprinkle with dash of cumin, garlic powder and lime.
Broil until they have the plumped up pink-cooked look.
Remove and cut off tails, 
pinch them at the base helps remove them cleanly.
Cut in half or thirds and mix with salsa and place in warm taco shells.

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Monday, March 25, 2013


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Accepting God's Will

Today is March 25th.
Today, we celebrate our Sweet Theotokos in a special way.
Today we celebrate that she said, "YES"

‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ 
Luke 1:24-38

This takes on special emphasis, 
as it is an important example of how to live our lives.
Accept God's Will.

This month our church school has been collecting to support missions.
There are so many ways to be involved in supporting missions, whether it is becoming an Ambassador of the Faith yourself,  or supporting the works of clergy and communities which are growing.

Our children are determined on filling their boxes.
Anyone loitering at coffee hour,

discover the

 'For nothing will be impossible with God.’
Luke 1:24-38 

Next week a surprise is being shared.

Check back 
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40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #8 Salmon with Maple Citrus Glaze

Salmon with Maple Citrus Glaze

To make the glaze you will need,
Juice of one lemon
3 tsp ground mustard
1-2 tsp cumin
1/4 c soy sauce (low sodium)
1 clove ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig parsley, chopped
3 T maple syrup
2 T olive oil
Salmon filets

Sunday, March 24, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 7 Super Easy-Red Clam Sauce

Super Easy-Red Clam Sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c white wine
1 c bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 c grape tomatoes, cut in thirds
2 c tomato sauce
3-4 dashes oregano
1/4 c fresh parsley
10 oz clams, canned

Saturday, March 23, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 6 Koliva

Koliva-is a traditional way to pray for, respect and offer one more gift of fervent prayers for those who have passed and for their salvation. The Orthodox faith is so rich in that services exist, not only out of tradition but also to offer healing and hope.
The wheat is a symbol of the resurrection, and eternal life.

Assemble what you need, whole white wheat berries, sometimes it's difficult to find if you don't have a Greek grocery nearby.  If going to a regular grocery it may be found in bulk bins, or health section.

Friday, March 22, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #5 Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

3 c flour
1T baking powder
1/2 c apple sauce
2 c water
6 dashes cinnamon or more depending on taste
1 tsp salt

Combine and use a non-stick skillet to cook.  
Don't expect them to be as fluffy or same consistency as regular pancakes, 
all the same,
still yummy.

Other recipes shared are here, here and here.
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 4 Greek Coffee

Greek Coffee

You know I've shared that I love coffee.
A special treat is greek coffee.
Many afternoons and evenings have been spent together,
 with friends and family,
 enjoying a cup and time together.
I don't make it just for myself, I've always considered it a social thing.
But here I am, far away from them and missing them "too much".
Not to mention, here we are at the beginning of Lent and I am in need of caffeine.
I can't add the fake stuff to coffee, and I am unable to drink it black.
I was taught to make coffee when I was 10,
by my Pappou (grandfather) who had a Kafeneio (greek cafe) in a little village.
Up to that point I was only allowed with supervision to go fetch water from the well,
during our summer visits.
Being allowed to make the coffee was HUGE!

So choose the demitasse cup of your choice.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 3 Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

4 large red bell peppers
1 c white wine
1/3 c shallots, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper

Place foil on a pan and place peppers cut lengthwise, broil until tender and almost charred. Peel peppers and put them in blender and process until smooth.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 2 Sweet&Colorful Salad

Carrot Pineapple Bean Salad

1/2 c black raisins
5 T apple cider vinegar
20 oz can pineapple chunks or fresh pineapple
4 c chopped/grated carrots
16 oz can small white beans
5 dashes nutmeg
5 dashes cinnamon
3 dashes salt

Combine raisins with vinegar in a bowl and set aside to sit, at least 20 minutes. 
In a different bowl, combine pineapple juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Combine carrots and pineapple chunks, raisins (place reserve vinegar into pineapple juice mixture.) 
Place beans into vinegar/pineapple mixture, add salt, let sit for 10 minutes.
Toss all together and combine gently.

Other Strict Fast Recipes can be found here and here.

Good for a strict fast day.
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Places I'm sharing the day.

The Chicken Chickmop it up mondays   

 The Shabby Nest

Come fly with me-come fly, fly away

More like, 
"Come shop with me, come shop, shop awaaaaay"
Well, how about some virtual window shopping together with my girlfriends.
You will recognize these places I'm sure.

You're invited.

Monday, March 18, 2013

40 days-40 Lenten Recipes #1 Here WE Go!

Well here we go!
I don't know about anyone else,
 but truly over the years,
 I have developed an excited anticipation for Lent
 and cleaner eating.

So I decided I would like to offer 40 Lenten Recipes.
This is going to be quite a challenge for me.
Posting them, and picking out 40 favorites to share.
A variety will be offered and different levels of "strictness,"
meaning some may or may not have, dairy, fish or  oil.
Obviously, there will be no meat.

Sorry, could not resist the reference.
Just to clarify, No Lamb either.
So to start will refer you back to this post.

Chocolate Orange Cake
This recipe like some others, almost tastes too good and feels too decadent to be considered Lenten.
But it is!
This is going on the table for the reception,
 following Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, 
on Wednesday evening.
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Sunday, March 17, 2013


Forgive Me.

Today is Forgiveness Sunday.
It is a time of re-examination and a time to repent and prepare. How is it different for a Christian than any other day? I suppose it's not, but the hymns of tonight are so beautiful and usher in an excitement, an awe, and a silence-all at the same time. To ask forgiveness of someone is taught when we are little. "Say, you're sorry," "Say, it's ok," "Now go on and play."  Playing nice in the sandbox, sharing and forgiving and even forgetting. It's something we expect of our children, so-why not when we are grown? Are we not all still God's children? Why is so hard for so many?

If there is someone who has done you wrong, say a prayer of forgiveness tonight, whether they are in front of you or not. Whether you can ask them or not.
Play nice-it's a big sandbox and there are big expectations.

Lord Jesus Christ, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner.

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Happy St. Patricks Day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Success-who says corporate doesn't listen?

No I really don't have too much time on my hands, 

but as usual could not stay quiet on this, and many other issues, sadly.

I wrote into Pottery Barn to inform them about their "Greek Olive Bucket."

While the bucket looks similar,

 to those used in my grandfather's (Papou's) groves many years ago, 

the writing certainly is NOT Greek. 

Sorry, I felt the need to point it out, love the bucket and what everyone has 

been doing with them, but I had a very powerful ethnocentric moment.

And look I received a response.

PB Found Olive Bucket

Marchn 06, 2013

Dear Pottery Barn Customer,

On behalf of Pottery Barn, I thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with our company. We appreciate your opinion and insight on the Olive Bucket. Although we cannot guarantee this request will immediately take place, please be assured that your feedback will be taken into consideration and will be used to evaluate and improve future products and services we provide our customers.

We value you as a customer and hope we will have the opportunity to serve you in the future.


Opinion Lab Responses, Custom Upholstery & Registry
Williams-Sonoma Inc.
Desk Hours: Wednesday - Sunday  12:30 PM - 9 PM PST

Also, already, 
all references to the bucket being Greek or picking olives in Greece were removed from the description. :)

Now referred to as, the "PB Found Olive Bucket."

Once used to gather olives in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, our bucket takes on new life as a home for gardening tools, potted plants, or anything else that sparks your imagination.
  • 18" diameter, 20" high on average
  • Made of metal.
  • Formerly used in Turkey to collect olives in the fields.
  • Each is a one-of-a-kind found piece and therefore unique; dimensions range within 3 inches of average dimensions given, plus or minus.
  • Catalog / Internet only.
  • Source

I feel better now.
Thank you Pottery Barn for responding so quickly.
Sidenote: In our home, we try not to bring in items made in Turkey,
and yes,  it does make it difficult to find towels.
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day!

Have you never heard of this?
Pi is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet and also a mathematical constant.
It is an irrational number which means it has no exact fraction and an endless number following the decimal point.
Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.
Pi =3.14159265359..........and keep going...

Check today's date.
So today in honor of Pi, we will be eating "Pie" of course.

Spanakopita (spinach pie for dinner) 
pie for dessert.

Make things fun, find something that makes you smile.

"Letting out my inner geek, I love math."

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

To Infinity and Beyond

Well, thankfully, I guess March is like a Lion and a Lamb.
I was able to finish the Infinity Scarves in time for Valentines. 
But, do you think I actually got them to the post office?

The colors of this scarf actually was really hard to capture, different rich shades of red.

A soft seed stitch creme cowl.
Very luxe.

So glad I can finally share these, 
as I really wanted the recipients,
to be the first to see them.

And how lucky we still needed them?

They were received in time for the last big blizzard and guess what?
They loved them!
So happy.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Sugar Time

Guess what?
The weather is perfect for Maple Sugaring!
40's during the days and below freezing at night.
What a fun family day.

We learned that trees have to be at least 1 1/2 feet around in diameter.

In the sugar shack, this is the place where the sap becomes syrup.
Most trees produce 1% sweetness and,
 if you have a large rounded tree in the middle of a field, 
the sap will be 2.5% sweet.
To make one gallon of syrup, you need,
40 gallons of sap mixed with 39 gallons water and then boiled.
See all the water evaporating?

It rises up and up ...

and out!

Once the water evaporates it drips and goes through the filter cloth
which removes any crystallized sugar.

If you boil the syrup some more, 
you get these!
Maple sugar candy!
Melt in your mouth goodness.
Warning: if you have never had one, nibble and eat slowly

We also saw something else special.
Who knew you could do this in the winter?

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sparking the Living Room

Spring is coming, when a young girls fancy turns to sprucing up the place? 
Changing things about?
Time to focus on the living room.  
I love our living room. It is quiet, bright and has become what it was like when I was growing up.
A reading room, reflection and family gathering-discussion spot.
Don't get me wrong, we are BIG talkers in this family. We talk everywhere.
But something about this room, lends to different discussions.  
Sitting in there, always makes me feel peaceful and happy.  
The colors are warm and the furniture not stuffy or overly formal, but comfy.  
I'm trying to add some more grown-up elegant touches as we go, and it truly is a work in progress.  

The color foundation is Summer Corn/Sunflower Yellow and a sweet Slate Grey and some touches of black and dark brown in the furniture.

I also have a whimsical side.
Stripes, Florals, Geometric patterns.

I think you can tell what colors I'm recently attracted to.
My question is how long will THIS color attraction last...

What this palette doesn't show you is my other attraction: texture.
I LOVE texture!
Whether it is the beauty of a wood grain, or stone, brick, fibers...
You name it, I think it's fantastic.

So...this work in progress will remain as such.
I'll add little touches and share with you as I go.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sweatpants: The Makeover?

Ok, I don't normally vent this way. Get ready-here I go.
I am so tired of all these makeover shows on TV.

"You have to put yourself first, not last."
"We're going to have a team do you over!"
"You need to look sexy, and get out of the sweats."

Women's Sweatpants

Women who are at home and at work and running constantly do NOT need one more pressure of needing to focus on their looks more. You want to help someone daytime talk-show hosts-how about providing a years-worth of housekeeping (so someone else can clean some nitty-gritty) or a personal chef, (like all of you have).  Real women have real issues, this pressure is unnecessary! Wouldn't it be lovely to have more time to focus on something useful, healthy, to enjoy doing something you love. I love playing with my child, having more time to sit and play legos with him - is a joy! Wouldn't it be lovely to not have sheer exhaustion at the end of the day, so that you don't fall asleep, as you put your children to bed. Which means you can't get to the 8 things you planned to do, before you actually planned to go to bed. This is real life. And yet, still joyful.

What are we teaching our children when we don't put them first!
When we focus on looking sexy, like this has to be a goal?

The purpose of the makeover show is to help someone's confidence. What exactly does it do to someone when they need a team to complete a makeover. Think about it?

How is being in a tight dress and heels with mall hair going to help anyone on a day to day basis.
Even movie stars are in sweats when not working! Check out any grocery aisle.

Now having said this, I am not against, looking good! I LOVE having a pretty haircut, getting a manicure, pretty outfits, putting a smile on my hubby's face, and clearly making my home beautiful. 

It is a joy to have children, it is a joy to have a partner that loves you no matter what, and bring beauty to your home.  Example: I forgot to put any makeup on, on Sunday, I switched purses, the makeup didn't make the crossover.  When I say any, I mean absolutely nothing made it on, not even eyeliner. My husband still said I looked "lovely".
So there...daytime TV...take that!

Women out there, accept who you are, where you are, and if you like sweats, wear them!
Looking beautiful comes from within, not the sweatpants, or the 4 inch heels.

Enjoy life! Each minute of it is a blessing!
Praise God and Thank Him every minute of the day!

Ok, my little soapbox rant moment is over. Deep breath/sigh, I feel much better now.
Thank you.

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Also shared Here and Here and Here

Monday, March 4, 2013

Secret Storage

How many of you out there do this?
When Christmas shopping, you pick up a little something-something for yourselves.
I saw these and knew I could make them, but took the short cut...
I know slap my hand...
I bought them.

I couldn't resist.
I knew exactly what I would use them and where the second I saw them.
Burlap wrapped faux books with leather decorative stripe 
and lined in black linen-type material.

Inside the top box I keep my paint chip boards,
who doesn't have a stash of these?

The middle has buttons, clasps, etc.
And the last is where I house things like, 
my rotor and paper cutter, glue, magnets,
tape, pencil sharpener and more. 
Things that when I want to do something quick
I do not feel like hunting or going far to grab.

Where do you have your fave craft must-haves?

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