Monday, April 29, 2013

Prayers and An Appeal: God Grant Them Strength and a Safe Return


Official Statement by the Patriarchate of Antioch

According to rules, if the petition reaches the 25,000 signatures threshold,
 the White House has to issue a formal written response. 


An appeal to President Obama and his government for the release of two abducted Orthodox Christian Archbishops in Syria.

An appeal to President Obama and his government for the release of two Orthodox Christian Archbishops, namely Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Archbishop Youhanna Ibrahim, who were abducted by armed rebels on April 23, 2013 in the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria. The driver of the Archbishops was murdered and the Archbishops were forced by the rebels to go to an unknown location either in Syria or in Turkey.
We appeal to you beloved in Christ and peace loving people to sign this petition urgently asking the American administration to use all its influence for the release of these two Archbishops and to bring a peaceful settlement to this bloodletting Syrian conflict through a negotiated settlement.
Petition Created: Apr 27, 2013
Click here to go to the

 WE THE PEOPLE :Your Voice in Government Website

Please share the information regarding this petition.
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Lord Have Mercy

Friday, April 26, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #40 Avocado Poppyseed Oil-Free Dressing

I cannot believe here we are, recipe #40. 
 40 days of Lent have passed by and we are nearing the end and a new beginning.  
For the last recipe of the series, I decided to share this original recipe, which can be used during strict fast times. I wanted to leave you with something really good for next week.  
It's healthy, sweet and tangy with a kick! 

Avocado Poppyseed Oil-Free Dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 avocado
1 tsp dried mustard
1 shallot, chopped finely
1 T poppyseeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup sugar

Mix all together in the blender.
Can keep up to 3 days  in the refrigerator, but wouldn't go any longer because of the avocado.
Great on salads with fresh field greens, spinach, and strawberries.
Another fave is adding silvered toasted almonds, dried cranberries and chow-mein noodles.
Disclaimer: there is no product placement for monetary gain in this post, just what I use.

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Thank you to all who posted comments and who have joined once or join regularly along this Lenten journey. Kalo Pascha. Starting tomorrow, it will be a new series, A Pictorial Holy Week!

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I've been asked about the Non-Lenten Version of this recipe.
It's a regular poppyseed dressing, omit the Avocado and chop it up and place in the salad instead.
Then, double the shallots, and add 1/4 cup canola oil.
Voila, more Yum.
It turns out very similar to commercial brands, but I think better.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #39 Pineapple Fried Rice

Today's recipe is our last by a guest blogger for this series. 
She is another one of my "Besties", also a Presvytera and an awesome person. 
She is incredibly bright, from intelligence, to wit and beauty. It all shines from within, giving so much to everyone who is blessed to know her. 
Whenever we are get to have time together, no matter how long in between, 
it's as if no time has passed and all we do is laugh.
Thank you for sharing this great dish!

Pineapple Fried Rice

Feeding three kids, six and under can be a daunting challenge on a good day.  This is a recipe I made last year during Lent a few times.  Usually at least one of the kids would eat it, most of their protests were centered on the food containing the offending food color of the week (usually green).  This can be made with left over meat and a scrambled egg, when you aren't fasting.  One of my kids is allergic to eggs and it came out great without it.  The veggies can be changed.  I usually add more pineapple and cook it a little extra, my family really likes it more caramelized.  It is a very flexible recipe that can be thrown together quickly and is great to clean out your fridge.  

Hint: Make the rice the night before, day-old/ leftover plain rice works the best!

1 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sesame oil (vegetable oil can be substituted)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup diced cooked meat (chicken, pork, shrimp)
1/2 cup peas
1 cup fresh pineapple diced
1/2 bag of cole slaw mix (I use one that has a mixture of broccoli and cabbage with carrots)
1/2 cup bell pepper cut into match sticks
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup soy sauce

1. Bring the rice and water to a boil in a sauce pan over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed, 20-25 minuets.  Put it in a bowl cover lightly and chill overnight.  

2.  Heat oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir the onions, meat, veggies and ginger in the hot oil until the onions are softened, about 2 minuets.  Stir the pineapple chunks into the wok; cook until the pineapple begins to darken, about 2 minuets.  Push the ingredients to the side of the wok, and pour the beaten egg into the center.  Cook until the egg begins to set, about 30 seconds. Stir together all of the contents of the wok.

3.  Mixed the cooled rice, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder into the wok; stir constantly to keep from sticking.  Cook until heated through, about 3 minuets.  Sprinkle the rice with soy sauce, and stir to combine.

This makes about 4 servings.  It makes great leftovers for lunch too!  I have made it will all sorts of vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, sprouts (I would put those in last), green onions, and edamame. Just make sure the veggies are cut small and about the same size so they cook evenly. I hope you share the day, and your kids don't give you a hard time at dinner!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

40 days-40 Lenten Recipes #38 Bean Soup

Bean Soup

4 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup kale, chopped
2 cups navy beans, soak overnight
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
1 T oregano
1 T basil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 4 cups water to a boil, add all ingredients and bring back to a boil.
Cover and lower heat to a simmer for about an hour, more water may need to be added.
Stir once every 20 minutes.
When beans are soft but not mushy, it's done!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #37 Super-Healthy Mayan Salad

Remember the authentic magic black beans recipe, here's a great way to use them.
This is a great strict fast recipe too!
I cannot even express how well these flavors blend and yet there is a fantastic kick from the peppers!
This has become one of all-time faves, not only because of the flavors,
but also because of the protein and vitamin power!
This is a complete meal and totally satisfying.

Super Healthy Mayan Salad

Salad Ingredients include,
1 c quinoa, cooked, drained
3 c black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2-3 scallions, diced
2 c corn
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
Sliced avocado
Warm tortilla or Crispy Tortilla Chips

Then whisk together, 2 T rice vinegar and 2 T apple cider vinegar, juice of one lime, 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, cilantro and crushed red pepper. Mix in 2 garlic cloves, minced.
Toss with salad ingredients.
Serve in a warm tortilla or with crispy tortilla chips.
If having warm tortilla, place slices on top and fold over.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes # 36 Apricot Glazed Squash

Sometimes recipes work out and sometimes they don't. 
With this series I wanted to share favorites and try some new ones. 
This is a new one, I had some butternut squash left and needed to use it.  
We agreed that this recipe was good but not as good as it would have been if paired with pork and amaretto in the sauce. The spices are my version of a herb de provence mix. It was good, but next time, on it's own without meat, I would omit the spices, except the ginger and add the amaretto.
Sometimes simpler truly is better.

1 butternut squash, cut in slices or chunks
1/2 whole pineapple fresh, sliced
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp majoram
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 T fresh grated ginger
4 T apricot preserves
1/4 cup water

Place spices on squash and pineapple with water
bake at 375 degrees covered for 30 minutes
Uncover and broil for 10 minutes after placing preserves overtop.
Serve and enjoy.
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40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #35 Stuffed Peppers (Yummy-sta)

Well, you can truly tell we are almost there, I am running out time, every time I turn around and check a clock I say, "Whaaaaat?" Followed by, "oh no!" So here is number 35 a day late, but still gooood.
We had a Lenten Get-together with our JOY families and I was so flattered when one of the Mom's told me her 12 y/o son couldn't wait to see what I was bringing? What a compliment! (blushing)
In Greek these are called, "Yemmista", meaning "stuffed."
Same Mom-friend calls these "Yummy-sta."

Simple Stuffed Peppers

6 cups cooked rice
vegetable bouillon
bay leaf
Assorted large size peppers and tomatoes
red onion
juice of one lemon
1 T oregano
1 T basil
1 T cinnamon
2 tsp garlic powder
28 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: use mushrooms, beans, apples and raisins.

Clean out your peppers and tomatoes.
Save the insides of tomatoes and mix with chopped onion.
Add half your spices.

This next instruction is going to create strife for some.
I cook my rice before baking, 
I know, I know, many people add uncooked rice
and cook them in the cups. 

While you are cleaning out peppers, cook your rice. 
Boil water with one bay leaf and veggie bouillon, 
then add rice of choice.
Cook for 18-20 minutes.

Once done, remove and mix with tomato/onion mixture.

Fill your veggie cups, dust with remaining spices, lemon juice and then breadcrumbs.
Pour over tomato sauce and olive oil.

Bake at 350 degree covered for 40 minutes.
Uncovered for 15 minutes or so, on low broil.

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Routine post on track for later today.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #34 Tabouli Salad

Tabouli Salad

1 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
2-4 tomatoes, chopped fine
2 cups bulgur, cooked
red onions
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1-2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: chopped olives and cucumbers also add to this salad

Cook bulgur per package directions. 
Allow to cool. 
In blender or food processor, mix lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and mint. 
Mix everything together.

I will admit, things have been so busy the last few days, 
I do make my own, but this picture is of Tabouli that is store-bought. (gasp)
Don't think less of me. 
You got to do what you got to do, boys and girls.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

40 Days of Lent-40 Lenten Recipes # 33 Prasorizo- Guest Blogger

This next recipe is from another guest blogger, who is a close friend and one of the most resilient and beautiful woman I have been blessed to know.  Her beauty shines although she will deny it and her creativity is unmatched.  
Thank you for sharing this great dish!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #32 Olive Phyllo Rolls

Want a satisfying snack or add it with a salad to make a meal.
Olives are a staple, especially at Lent. 
We use it as a spread and in bread.
How about Olive Phyllo Rolls?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #31 Clam Soupa

How is everyone doing out there? Day 31 of the Fast, we are approaching the end... and a new beginning. Now comes the struggle, to make it to the end. While tired, we are anticipating our second wind. It's always a rush when we get to Holy Week, the rhythm of the services and activity.

For now, we are still in the midst of it. 
Today's offering is Clam Soupa. 
Looking for more avenues to incorporate protein that isn't shrimp. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #30 Eggless Chocolate Apricot Cake with Banana Icing

Well, the baking bug has hit me again. I really do love baking.
This is an original recipe that we really enjoy and play with what to call it.
"Choco-cot", "Apri-coco", "Choco-bana-cot" or hey, just "Choco-Frutti-Tutti".
Doesn't matter, what you call it, it's delish!
Full of healthy flavonoids, Vitamin C and anti-oxidants.

Lord Have Mercy


May consolation be found for all the families affected from the Boston Marathon
and strength to those who have much to endure in the road ahead.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #29 Mango-Coconut Rice

Mango-Coconut Rice

2 cups light coconut milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 T vanilla extract
2 cups jasmine rice
1 mango

Mix all together, and bring it all to a boil. Turn it down to low and continue to stir while it heats.
Partly cover and cook for another 30-45 minutes.
Continue to stir.
It's done when you start to fold it over and it is thickened.

Cut up a mango to serve on the side.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #28 Orange-Garlic Quinoa Salad

We have a friend who visited recently and asked me how to make this Orange-Quinoa Salad.  I had made it the last time we had a visit, on the fly, wishing to offer something, other than the fruit on the table that was gluten-free.  I promised I would try to recreate it and here is the closest I can remember?

Orange-Garlic Quinoa Salad

1 package Garlic Quinoa
1/4 cup black raisins
1/2 cup mandarin oranges or regular oranges cut small
1 tsp honey
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 small apple, diced
1 small scallion, diced
1/4 c  sliced almonds
2 T fresh basil, chopped
1 dash each of cumin and ground ginger

Make quinoa per package instructions. Add to quinoa, and mix in raisins, oranges, apple, scallion, almonds, and basil. In a separate bowl, mix cider vinegar, oil, and cumin. Add and gently fold mixture into salad. Serve warm or cold.

In hopes of recreating I think this is close?
If this isn't it, what do you think anyway?
Do I have a hit?
I really need to keep a pad of paper next to me in the kitchen.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #27 Koulourakia

Something to dip into your coffee or tea, or just munch on all by itself.
Dairy-free and Egg-free.


1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
3 T honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp baking soda
3 T brandy

In a separate bowl mix,
2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1T baking powder
1 T cinnamon

Mix oil and sugar well, I use my electric mixer. Pour in honey and then orange juice and baking soda. Start adding flour mixture slowly and mixing well, continue to add flour until pliable but not sticky.
The last 1/2 cup of flour really is dependent on how the flour is mixing in, on humidity etc.

Roll out little ropes and make little wreathes or twisted cords or anything else you like.
Don't get too complicated with it.
Place on a baking sheet, with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with non-stick baking spray or use my favorite stoneware baking pans, which don't require any treatment after they've been well-seasoned.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

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