In our family, anything that can be done in one dish and in less than 30 minutes wins. So when I was debating over one of several zucchini recipes or the Zesty Ravioli Skillet, Zoe voted for the Zesty Ravioli Skillet. She has been craving Italian and Mexican foods lately, so this was perfect and it met one of my criteria – it has green vegetables (spinach). It is only fitting that the Z in my life got to pick the Z recipe for this last blog of the alphabet.

I loved this recipe because it gave me an opportunity to use my new Stainless Steel Nonstick Wok in a dish that is not a stir fry. Italian and stir fry make an interesting combination to think about. It is like when we first began dating. Zoe had no idea what a mustard seed was, never mind where to find one. We had so little in common, but 18 years later we have come to realize that sometimes differences can create something amazing.  Think about some of your favorite pairings. At one point many of them were considered strange. Like peanut butter and chocolate, bacon and maple syrup, bacon and chocolate, or my personal favorite habanero’s and chocolate. So maybe I am still on the strange pairing list. LOL
I have known I can cook pasta in fluids like water and broth, but this will be my first time to cook ravioli in the juices of the diced tomato’s. I can only imagine how much of the tomato flavor is going to get absorbed into the pasta as it cooks in the pan. It reminds me of how we absorb so much of the energy and ideas we have from other people. I would like to think that those who soak me up are absorbing love, light, and positive energy.

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For the last few days I have been looking at these cookie cutters admiring the shapes and the playfulness of the seven cutters: pirate, sailboat, octopus, crab, shark, seashell, and turtle. These 3 ½” diameter cutters make the cutest 3” cookies.  Not only are they dishwasher safe but they snap together for easy storage.

What I love about these cookie cutters is that each one is different and each has a different story to tell about the sea. You can use them with children to tell different stories about the sea and the different gifts each brings to the world and the environment. They provide a great way to teach about these sea animals, about life on the sea and explore the myths and facts about being a pirate.

What I also love is that they remind me to value the diversity of those in my community. When we focus on each other’s gifts, we make room at the Welcome Table for all of humanity and by snapping together we also make sure none of us get lost. We stay connected and protective of the bonds we share, despite our differences.

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Three Onion Rub is more than a few of my customer’s favorite rubs and is a staple in their homes. Besides which, at $6 a bottle, it is easily affordable. So it was easy to pick this product as one of the many products we carry starting with a T.

What many people do not know is that our pantry products are exclusive eto the Pampered Chef and designed in our Test Kitchens at our Home Office. It is a blend of red onion, yellow onion, and onion powder.  Three kinds of onions which live harmoniously in one bottle, each bringing their unique flavors and gifts to the table. Not only that but if you somehow run out of onions, which I have managed to do, you can use three tablespoons of Three Onion Rub to replace one medium onion.

Did you know that our tasty spice rubs & blends are kosher & gluten free?What I love most is the simple lesson it teaches me. If we allow ourselves to open ourselves up we can be like any one of the three onions and work together in perfect harmony. It is a reminder that a diverse group of people (onions) can come together to create something even greater then themselves. We each have a purpose in life. However, we also have the opportunity to work together with others to make this world a better place. Our Three Onion rub can do that to your food and we can do that as human beings.

S IS FOR SPAGHETTI

March 2, 2019

This week has been crazy and I have been struggling to pick a product that begin with an S.  Then I found myself craving spaghetti and meatballs, vegan for us of course. I have always loved eating spaghetti ever since I was a child. Well actually it was Spaghettio’s until I discovered real spaghetti with amazing sauce, but that is another story. My wife, however, enjoys when I make spaghetti with homemade Pomodorro Sauce and vegan meatballs. There is something comforting for people about spaghetti and meatballs.

The thing about spaghetti I have found most interesting is that there is more to its history then I knew. When I think spaghetti, I think Italian and my guess is that most people do. However, it seems that the development of pasta, spaghetti in particular, has its roots in Chinese and Arabic cooking. Maybe that is why I enjoy lo mein so much. It reminds me of eating spaghetti, but without the sauce, which I never liked growing up, until I learned how it should be made, and with the vegetables, which I enjoy. Or why some of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes use some sort of pasta as a main ingredient, like lentils and pasta or a myriad of kugels. While we may associate spaghetti with Italian cuisine today, it has its roots in earlier civilizations and times.

One of the things I like about spaghetti is what its appearance on the plate teaches me about life. If you look at a plate of spaghetti, nothing is laid out in a clear distinct linear pattern. Rather, the noodles are interwoven, interacting with each other, and overlapping each other. The movement of one noodle affects the position of others. This plate of noodles reminds me so much of life. We are all like noodles, interwoven and intermingling on a plate. We may not always even realize we are somehow connected until a certain string of spaghetti is moved and we discover something shifting in our own lives.

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R IS FOR ROCKCROK

February 20, 2019

If you have not ever tried or heard about our amazing Rockcrok, then buckle up, you are about to learn about a set of cookware which will change the way you think about cookware. It’s like the moment you learned something spiritually which totally changed the way you walk your spiritual journey.

One of the most amazing things about our Rockcrok’s is that they go everywhere. They can be used on the stove, in the oven, in the microwave, under the broiler and even on the grill since they can hold up to 752 degrees of heat. With the slow cooker stand, you can also slow cook in it. You can start on one heat source and move to another. They can also be stored in the refrigerator and freezer and are also dishwasher safe.

They also come in just about any size you can imagine like the casserole dish which is perfect for the side dish or a main dish for two to the Dutch Oven XL which hold 8 quarts. It is much lighter then heavy cast iron, but has the even heat distribution cast iron has. It has high heat retention and will keep your food warm until everyone is done eating.  The list of what you can do with this cookware can be hard to believe because in addition to all of the above you can use metal utensils while cooking in it and it is dishwasher safe.

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IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

January 7, 2019

I was five
and saw this woman
who I told my Bubby
was so ugly.
She is beautiful
in God’s eyes.
She is a creation
of the divine,
she said.

Beauty is not
in the eyes of
the beholder
Beauty is in
the wisdom of
the creator

You look like a whale
the little boy said.
Thank you, for seeing,
the grace in all of
God’s creations,
I replied

Beauty is not about
what we have been
told is beauty.
Beauty is about
the ability to
see the Divine
in all of creation.

Today may we
seek the beauty
in all
May we remember
we are all created
in the image of God.

THE WELCOME TABLE

July 29, 2017

I have been spending so much time thinking through my feelings about community. I know I like the idea of being part of a community, however, I grapple with the challenges of being a part of one. On the one hand, I appreciate the feeling of belong and being a part of something bigger then myself. On the other hand, I hate the feeling of never quite fitting in or living up to the communal expectations. It is feeling like you fit in when so often you feel like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole or vice versa.

I have spent most of my life feeling like I never quite fit in. The one place I feel as if I fit is in my relationship with you. It is in my relationship with you that I experience that unconditional love and acceptance. Perhaps that is because you never ask me to leave a part of me at the door. I have always known that you love for me is unconditional.

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L is for Lettuce

January 22, 2014

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When most people think of lettuce, they think of salads, but like any other food, it does not just appear on one’s table and not all lettuces have the same flavor or texture. Each one brings their own unique taste to the salad bowl. One of my favorites is Boston lettuce because of its cup like shape and mildly sweet taste. Arugula has become another one of my favorites because of its peppery nature and because it does not look like any other lettuce (not a head of lettuce). I also like radicchio, especially when blended with something sweet like butter lettuce, or grilled slightly. It also brings some color to the party. Watercress is one of those lettuces, which I never thought of as a lettuce, like arugula, because it does not grow in a head. It is another lettuce I like best when mixed with something else. Frisee is another one. I love blending lettuces that have different tastes and different textures, like the curly leaves of Frisee and the flowery leaves of red or green leaf lettuce. What I have found interesting is that the least nutritious of lettuces is the one that is most commonly sold and ingested – iceberg lettuce.

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