Church Pew Priorities!

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This is so true! There is always amusement when there is a Church feast day during the week and the regular, daily Mass people find a ‘stranger’ in their pew!

Another Casualty of War

'Canadian Special Forces SGT Andrew Dorion asked that this picture be released in the event of his death. Please: Share this and repost it. He died on March 6th while performing his duties in the fight against ISIS with the Kurds. RIP WARRIOR! -CMH'

Canadian Special Forces SGT Andrew Dorion asked that this picture be released in the event of his death. Please: Share this and repost it. He died on March 6th while performing his duties in the fight against ISIS with the Kurds. RIP WARRIOR! -CMH

Palm Sunday . . .

Tomorrow, as Christians all over the world process into church carrying their blessed Palms, I hope they remember to offer some of their prayers for the persecuted Christians in the world especially those in the Middle East.

Palm Sunday is the day we rejoice in Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem, a shining moment soon gone as He faced and endured the Crucifixion. Although many of us have considered crucifixion a torturous death from thousands of years ago, the news has been filled with many Christians being killed this way in what we consider ‘modern’ times. How many of these people realize that this time last year, they would find themselves already a part of eternity, fleeing horrendous persecution, or awaiting fates the stuff of nightmares.

Given the world’s situation, today, it gives the celebration of Easter even more meaning as we still have a chance to take Christ’s sacrifice for us and do better by it with more prayers and speaking out against the people and politicians that would let these incidents continue. Each of us has a part to play in the ultimate outcome of our own lives as well as the world. We have a lot to pray for and have been blessed with another Holy Week in which to do so.

“Bless, we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm or olive; and grant that what Thy people this day bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the greatest of devotion, by gaining a victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy.”

Roman Missal, Prayer for the Blessing of Palms (9th century)
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Zucchini Made Palatable . . .

I like zucchini but that taste is not always shared by everyone in the family. Yesterday, the zucchini got eaten without a fuss and even seconds were served! My secret? Went super simple and it turned out super tasty, it’s zucchini elements not quite as obvious!

Ingredients:

Three, medium to large zucchini
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Basil Pesto
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and diced
Two green onions, finely sliced
Grated Parmesan or Romano

First, wash the zucchini and slice in half, lengthwise. With a vegetable peeler, peel off long, wide strips of zucchini starting from the ‘open’ side of the cut vegetable. Place your finished strips in a bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Slowly saute the prepared garlic until just tender not browned. Add the zucchini and toss to coat in the butter/garlic mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix carefully, toss once more with the grated cheese and serve.

When She is Good . . .

P1000459 P1000461When our cat, Fresh, is good, she can be very, very good but when she comes across an unchaperoned newspaper, she is horrid! As you can see from the pictures, she felt obliged to teach the newspaper a lesson then got very tired and ended up taking a nap on top of our car the rest of the afternoon.P1060789P1000348

Feast Day of Saint Joseph


Dad’s at Work – Spaghetti and Meatballs Night!

I usually prepare meals that are easy to pack and warm up for my husband’s lunch at work the next day. Spaghetti is one of those dishes that is 1.) messy in the office break room scenario and 2.) doesn’t really warm up as tasty as it is served fresh. My children (age 25 and 21) love spaghetti so to insure they get their requirement of pasta and sauce, the times my husband is home for dinner, I plan spaghetti the evening before as he won’t be needing that extra lunch. Today is that day but I’m out of sauce so am making my usual triple batch so as to have some to freeze for later spaghetti adventure meals.

My spaghetti sauce holds a lot of nutrition secrets that might take away from their favor did the family know in it’s entirely exactly what is simmering in that closed pot on the stove. In case any of you parents are interested in sabotaging your children’s food with needed nutrition, I thought I’d share my secrets.

Ingredients:
2 24/ounce cans of your favorite pasta sauce. (I watch for sales so usually get them for a dollar or less each)
4 cups chicken broth although beef broth works well, too.
1 6/ounce can of tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon chili flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (gives a sausage-taste to the sauce)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion (you can use 2 teaspoon onion powder)

Now, the nutrition elements!
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 stalks of celery thickly sliced
15 cloves of fresh garlic, mashed
1 large onion, chopped
2 Bell peppers, your choice of color, seeded and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced (use care as the oil can burn your hands!)
1 12-16-ounce packet of frozen spinach, defrosted
1 14-16 ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed
4 medium to large tomatoes, quartered

Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy cooking pot, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for one and a half to two hours. At this point all the ingredients should be very tender. At this point, there are two ways to smooth out the sauce. I am blessed to have a handheld immersion blender so I can smooth out the sauce right in the pot. Another way is to strain the liquid portion of the contents into another pot (don’t throw it away! :-)) and put the solids through the blender until smooth. Add everything back together. Check for seasoning. At this point, I like to add a cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to the mixture and cook on low until it is melted into the sauce. Keep the sauce simmering on low while you prepare your spaghetti, bake your meatballs, etc. Serve with lots of grated cheese on the side, garlic bread, and a salad and you shouldn’t hear any complaints.
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Chicken Salad Recipe – Cool Fare for a Hot Day!

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The temperatures are going up into the 90’s around here this weekend. Although I’m not particularly fond of the hot weather, it is a good excuse to make a cold dinner and get out of the kitchen sooner. A favorite around here are homemade chicken salad sandwiches. I usually keep hamburger buns in the freezer for just such an occasion but am not adverse to making my own . . . depending on how soon in the day I set the bread to rise and how hot it actually gets today.

Chicken Salad
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
2 cups very thinly sliced or diced celery
1 small shallot, finely diced or 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
Dijon mustard to taste, usually a teaspoon or two
Salt & pepper to taste
Thousand Island dressing

Romaine lettuce, washed and patted dry
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced Provolone Cheese
Hamburger buns or desired bread choice

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the Romaine. The Thousand Island dressing should moisten not drench the chicken.

Toast the buns or bread lightly. Line each side of the bread with Romaine and add the tomato and cheese on one side. Spread with the chicken salad, close the sandwich, and serve.

As usual, this is open to creativity.

Try dill pickle relish instead of the sweet.
Add some crushed croutons or potato chips to the chicken salad.
Try you favorite cheese.
A dash of barbecue sauce isn’t bad.
My son likes a few pickled jalapeño peppers.
Use a bottled Asian dressing instead of the Thousand Island.
Go with a Ranch dressing and add some crisp bacon.