Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Number 1 Fan(atic).. and other tidbits

I did it. I bought the new U2 CD the day it came out
(How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb).
I feel like a teenager again, although, I didn’t set out to buy the CD, I just happened to be at Costco to pick up my mom’s turkey and there was the CD (not in the turkey aisle). I know that I will have to listen to it at least a few times before forming my opinion on it and on the individual songs. It took me a while to begin to appreciate their last album (All That You Can’t Leave Behind). But now I thoroughly enjoy most tracks from that album. So we shall see if this one stands the test of time (it can’t be much worse than ZooropaJ).

Here is a
fun site…
see if you can get all the states right (if I was still teaching, this would be a fun geography test at the beginning of the quarter).

Happy Thanksgiving… whether an American or not, we all have something to give thanks to God about, I’m sure. And happy name day to my sister, mother in law, sister in law, and yiayia (Greek for grandma)… they are all named for St. Katherine. I had the blessing of being assigned to make the prosphora for tomorrow’s liturgy. It’s wonderful when our earthly “schedule” falls into sync with the divine. I was able to honor the Katherine’s in my life in such a special way.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Still Inquiring After All These Years

“Does one ever stop being an ‘inquirer into Orthodoxy’, even after they’ve entered the Church? I’m amazed at the things I come across sometimes. Its almost like I never knew it, had just found it out and am now convinced the Holy Orthodoxy is the True Church. Perhaps I keep getting re-convinced.”
From Jim N.'s blog.
My mother in law stayed with us for a week two weeks ago. She is a Khouriya (or Presvytera or Matushka (aka Priest’s wife)). She has been Orthodox for over thirty years. While visiting us, she picked up
Mountain of Silence
by Kyriacos Markides. There is a passage in there that made her stop and think (we had a long discussion over it). And it made me realize that even being Orthodox for 30+ years (and being married to a priest), there are still things that she learns about her faith. I have been Orthodox for 30+ years (having been baptized as an infant and growing up in an Orthodox Church) and every so often something crosses my path, whether through written word or through a service and I think, “duh, that makes absolute sense, where have I been?” Some would call it a “light bulb” moment. We never stop being an inquirer into Orthodoxy. We are constantly moving closer to and away from God and, therefore, we are constantly learning, re-learning, un-learning, and growing. Even in those movements away from God we will sometimes return closer to God than we once were. So my mother in law’s learning something new about Orthodoxy was my reminder that we are all learning something new about our faith. And woe is he that has reached a point where he feels he has “learned it all”.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Tried and True Lenten Recipes *UPDATED*

2/20/10 Hello and Welcome... if you came her through, thanks for visiting.  The following recipes were put on my blog 5 years ago.  Since then we have gone Gluten Free in our family.  For more Lenten recipes, please look at blog postings from Nov. and Dec. 2009 and I am currently posting more lenten recipes for the current fasting period (Lent 2010).  And, if this is your first time visiting, please leave a note saying hello!   May your Lenten journey truly be blessed!!!

It's that time of year again... the beginning of another fasting period in the Orthodox Church. Below are tried and true Lenten Recipes that are our favorites! If a recipe calls for oil, it can be cooked without the oil (except the dessert recipes). Have a blessed Nativity Fast!

Hummus (our favorite)

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans (reserve juice)

1 1/4 tablespoons tahini (can be bought in most grocery stores... looks like peanut butter) 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 large garlic clove 1/2 tsp. salt

Heat beans over medium heat until they come to a boil. Reserve juice. Put beans and next 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Slowly add juice from beans (not all the juice). Blend until creamy and very smooth. Place in a bowl... serve with pita bread, French bread, or any bread and veggies!!!

Spinach Rice

10 cups fresh, cleaned packed spinach (3 bunches)

6-8 green onions

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup rice plus 1 tablespoon

thoroughly wash spinach, drain, and set aside. In a large pot, heat water and sauté onions in water. Add spinach and simmer for 5 minutes with a spoon until the spinach is wilted. Add dill, parsley, tomatoes, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Add rice... cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done.

Juddra (lentils with rice)

1 cup uncooked lentils

4 cups water

1 large onion chopped

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1 tbs. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 tbs. lemon juice

rinse lentils and put into a heavy saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Add the chopped onion and rice. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes until rice and lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper and lemon. Serve on a platter. Optional: on a wine and oil day, sauté the onions in oil before adding it to the lentils.

Farina Pudding

5 cups water

1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup farina (cream of wheat)

1 tsp. vanilla


mix water and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Boil for one minute. Stir in farina until it thickens, about two minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir mixture well. Pour into an 8 x 8 dish or individuals bowls. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight. Cut into pieces and serve.

Bean Soup

1 lb. navy beans

2 quarts water

3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup tomato sauce

salt and pepper

soak beans overnight. Drain and add fresh water. In a deep saucepan, bring beans to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook for one hour. Then add onions, celery, carrots, and oil. When almost cooked, add tomato and salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Also, can be made in the crock pot... soak beans overnight, rinse, and then put everything into the crock pot!!!

Lentil Soup

1 cup lentils

1/2 cup tomato sauce

4 tbs. vegetable oil

1 onion chopped fine

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)

1 clove garlic

5 cups water

1 tsp. salt

sort and wash lentils. Place in a deep saucepan and add all ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook slowly for about 1 1/2 hrs. Add a dash of red wine vinegar.

I sometimes add 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup rice to thicken it up. Or I will add 2 potatoes, cut into cubes. I also will do this in the crock pot!

Lenten chocolate cake

3 cups flourCocoa

2 tsps. Soda

6 tbsps.

1 tsp. salt

2 cups sugar

3 tbsps. Vinegar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups cold water

powdered sugar (optional)

measure flour, soda, cocoa, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add vinegar, vanilla, oil, and water and mix well. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cake sit for 1 hour and then sprinkle powdered sugar on the top OR make the following chocolate icing: Mix powdered sugar, cocoa, and a little margarine. Add enough warm water to make a smooth, creamy icing.

Applesauce cake

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 cup canned applesauce

2 1/4 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. apple pie spice (or 1/4 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) 1 cup raisins

Cream shortening, add sugar and beat. Add applesauce. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture. Fold in raisins. Bake in loaf pan or flat pan (greased) for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Vegetable soup

3 large potatoes

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 small onion, sliced thin


2 tbsps. Rice

2 tbsps. Tomato paste

3 carrots

1 tsp. salt

2 cups tomatoes (I use diced)

2 cups water

chopped parsley

Prepare vegetables and cut in cubes of uniform size. Cook celery and oinions slowly in 2 tbsps. Water for ten minutes. Add remaining ingredients and boil until vegetables are soft (about 1 hour). Add more water if needed. This should be a thick soup.

I will also do this one in the crock pot (just throw everything in). But you have to watch it carefully because it is a very thick soup. Freezes well, too!!!

Corn Bread

1 cup corn meal

1 cup white flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. veg. oil

1 1/2 cups soy milk

Mix ingredients. Pour into 8 x 8 pan (slightly grease). Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

Apple Cake

6 apples peeled, cored and sliced

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup veg. oil

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

heat apples and sugar until sugar is melted. Pour oil and vanilla over apples (off heat) and mix well). In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add apple mixture to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Pour into a greased cake pan. Cook 350 for 40 minutes.


1 zucchini diced

1 small potato peeled and diced

1 shallot diced

1 carrot diced

8 oz can chopped tomatoes

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup thin green beans cut into 1/2 in. pieces

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup small pasta shapes

4-6 tbsps. Pesto

1 tbsp. sundried tomato paste

salt and pepper

Place the firs five ingredients in a large stockpot. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the green beans, peas, and pasta. Cook for 10 minutes longer, until the pasta is tender. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if necessary. Mix together sundried tomato paste and pesto. Stir into each serving.

Phad Thai

1 cup water

2/3 cup peanut butter

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tbsps. Brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsps. Lemon juice

1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Thai chili paste

Spaghetti noodles or rice noodles

1/2 cup peanuts finely chopped

1/2 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup shrimp (optional)

Cook water, peanut butter, and garlic over medium heat, stirring until mixture boils and thickens. Then add brown sugar, lemon juice, and chili paste. Stir until it boils.

Cook noodles (rice noodles according to package directions, spaghetti noodles as you normally would).

Combine peanut sauce with noodles, then sprinkle with chopped peanuts, bean sprouts and shrimp.

Crock pot marinara sauce

1 cup packed fresh parsley

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

1/2 tsp. dried sage

16 oz. can seasoned tomato sauce

16 oz. can regular tomato sauce

16 oz. can seasoned diced tomatoes

16 oz. can regular diced tomatoes

1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Pinch of chili peppers to taste.

Add all ingredients to crockpot. Cook 5-6 hours on high or 12-18 hours on low. This is an awesome marinara sauce!!!

Vegetarian Chili

3 cloves garlic mincedDijon style mustard

2 14 1/2 oz cans stewed tomatoes

1 12 oz. can beer or non-alcoholic beer

1 cup water

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

3-4 tsps. Chili powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsps.

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. pepper

several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce

1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 oz can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)

1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini or yellow summer squash

I do this one in the crock pot, too. Just toss everything in and cook! This is good with the corn bread.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tired and Rusty Gears

I wanted to explain, in a little bit more detail, the title of my blog. Underneath the blog title it states “what my 2 1/2 year old says when the gears in his head are spinning. So this is a place for me to "spin my gears" (post my thoughts).” DS is 2 ½ years old and can be really funny sometimes. He says everything he is thinking (oh, wait, I do that too). When I ask him, for example, what is your favorite food he replies with a loud “uuuhhhmmm, ka-te (chocolate)”. The uuuuhhhmmm part is the funny part. I can literally see his little brain working while he is making that noise. So, I thought that would be an appropriate title for my blog. I will attempt to write my thoughts and post them here. Most times I will probably be sitting at home, staring at the computer screen, and saying, “uuuuuhhhhmmm.” And, God-willing, the tired and rusty gears in my brain will start to turn and something will appear here that is worth reading.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Ok, so this is my blog. Just testing it out... my husband told me that because I read other people's blogs I should do a blog of my own. So here it is.