April 4, 2019

Growing up pies, were one of the many baked goods my mother excelled at. Although she was much better at her cakes and pastries like rugelach. I can still close my eyes and smell those aromas floating through the house. When she made her pies she always made her own dough and had her own secrets about making pie crust, which are no longer secrets, but that will be another blog.

What I do remember, however, is that all her pie crusts looked the same. She always went around and made little pinches with her fingers. I wonder what she would think of some of the creative ways Pampered Chef has come up with to decorate pie crusts and tops. This X marked pie crust is just one of them. It is quick, easy and creative. All you do is press the dough into your pie pan, trim off the excess, and then use the releasing end of the Cake Tester and Releasing tool to make X marks on your dough. If you then brush the crust with beaten egg, using the Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush, it will enhance the details and make the X pop.

You already know why I like the Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush, but the Cake Tester and Releaser is not only a baker’s dream, it also represents some spiritual lessons for me. this tool not only can check to make sure something is done, but it can also help to release the baked goods from your pan. I have known folks who use it to piece potatoes and those who used to bring them out at fondue parties to dip fruit into melted chocolate. Of course, that was before we came out with our S’more and Fondue Stick Set.

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February 4, 2019

I can’t shake your hand,
when it is in a fist.
I can’t hug you,
when your arms are not open.
I can’t love you,
when your heart is closed.
Nor can you love me
when I am not open.

May we open our hearts,
our minds, and
our souls
to being loved.
May we open our fists
to shake hands.
May we open ourselves
to receiving a hug. May we open ourselves
to the generosity and support
of others.


January 25, 2019

Dear Ultimate,

Thank you for all you have been doing for me. I am not always as positive and grateful as I could be. There are days I let the fear of what almost happened during the last attempt to do a procedure on me color what might happen during this next attempt. Yes, I could have died, but I did not and for that I am grateful. Yes, putting me on the surgical table again is risky, but it is a different surgeon, a different hospital, a different team of specialists, and they have all the knowledge from what happened the last time

Yes, it is scary, but I have to remember Dr Broderick’s words that she would not put me on the table if she could not safely take me off the table alive. I have to remember that she will be able to see things because of the Ultrasound Dr who will be with her. They did not have that the last time. I have to trust her and know she is doing everything she can to find out what is growing inside me, remove it, treat it, and keep me safe.

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The other day I came across this quote from Kevin Ngo and it fit perfectly with the theme for this month. Occasionally we all need a word of encouragement or a reminder that we are worth the investment. That includes me. If, as don Miguel Ruiz suggests we do the best we can in all things, then that is our best. We each have the potential to do our best and to know that we can manifest the life we are trying to create. It is important that we always remember to stay focused on the vision we have for the life we are seeking to manifest. If we work on this vision a little bit every day, then we will achieve it. When we stop taking those daily actions in our lives, we inadvertently or unconsciously create the life we do not want. So stay encouraged and create a circle of support, as encouragement is important for all.

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July 16, 2014

For the last two nights, I have been making dinners served on sticks. Last night was chicken and zucchini yakatori. The night before was chicken and tomato pesto skewers. My family loved both of them and they were both put on the “you can make this again” list. At first, I thought this is my first time to cook food on sticks, but then I began to realize it was not my first time to serve food on sticks. Numerous times, I have made popsicles, in which I have inserted a popsicle stick as it froze. I have also used straws and created breakfast skewers with donut holes and chunks of fresh fruit.

Food on sticks is becoming increasingly popular and is one of those things, which exists in every culture around the world. 

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R is for Risotto

March 12, 2014



As many of you know, most of my inspiration for this blog comes from my addiction (in a good way) to the show Chopped. This week is no exception as the episode I was listening to as I drifted to sleep (yes I fall asleep to reruns on the Food Network). What I woke up thinking about was how many times I have heard the judges discuss how hard it is to make rice on this show, never mind make the perfect risotto. I think it was Scott Conant I once heard talk about how many people have bad risottos. While it may be difficult to master, Bon Appetit magazine has identified as one of their favorite rice based dishes. They said the perfect “risotto is rich without being heavy, with al dente rice, a rainbow of seasonal vegetables, a shower of fresh herbs, all christened with a blanket of Parmesan.”[1] They did agree with the Chopped judges “it’s not always done right. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy to screw up.”[2]

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December 24, 2013


I came across a quote recently by Wendell Berry from The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. He wrote, “The world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground of our own feet, and learn to be at home. It is a journey we can make only by the acceptance of mystery and of mystification – by yielding to this condition that what we have expected is not there.”

Have you ever had one of those experiences that turned out to be far more then what you expected? A colleague of mine tells the story about going out to pick cranberries. She had walked this trail many times before in her life. As she tells the story, she found herself becoming tangled in her inner mind and emotions. 

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A Spinal Journey

October 5, 2013


This last week I was reminded why it is so important to have someone to ask you questions, which hold a mirror up to your life in a new way. It wasn’t even that it was a question; it was more of an assignment. It wasn’t even the assignment; it was me and what I saw and came to understand about my life. I came to realize that my spinal problems all began during the time in my life when my support system began to disappear and the less supported I felt, the more problems I began to experience with my back and knees.

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Several years ago, someone asked me how I came to this space of compassion for humanity in my life. I remember the question as if it were yesterday. At first, I was not sure how I was going to answer the question, and then this simple word floated up from my heart – LIFE.

I once heard LIFE was an acronym for Love Is For Everyone. The simplicity of that message resonated with me because it was part of what I have learned my entire life. It was a valuable lesson I learned from my parents who made room in their hearts for an infant who was looking for a home. My parents believed that their love, as parents, was for me and for my two brothers who arrived a few years later. Love is for everyone.


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