Fundraiser for CHAD


The California Home for the Adult Deaf is having a 60th anniversary fundraiser on Saturday, October 13, 2012.  The home is in the Los Angeles area in Arcadia.  Arcadia is east of Pasadena.  This all-day event is in a hotel near CHAD.

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Holidays are Changing

I’m trying to talk my parents and in-laws into coming to our place for Thanksgiving.

Ever since leaving for college at age 18, I’ve traveled over the holidays.

My hubby and I are moving in early November, and we’ll hopefully be settled into our new place by Turkey Day. I’d hate to move in and then turn around and leave right away. Plus, it sounds fun to host the holidays. Of course, I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, but a minor detail, right? I can figure it out.

One year I asked my mom if she’d teach me to cook the turkey. I arrived at her house ready to tackle the bird and learn how to make stuffing. My grandmother was visiting too. The two of them have been taking on Thanksgiving together forever, and despite my good intentions, everyone fell into their normal roles that year. My brother helped mash the potatoes, my dad prepared to carve, I found myself setting the table, pouring the wine, and arranging the relish tray. My mom and grandmother had their own rhythm and didn’t need anyone – including me – butting in. Or maybe I simply got distracted watching whatever movies my brother had rented from the video store. Either way, I never learned how to bake a turkey. (Actually, bake or roast?)

This year will be different. My grandmother no longer travels. One of my brothers is married and will be away. I’ve pegged the local, sustainable farm where I plan to purchase Mr. Tom. (For any vegetarians, here are some recipes I stumbled across on GentleThanksgiving.org).

My parents jumped on the chance to come to my place for a change. I hope my in-laws do too.

Times are changing. Times are changing.

Part of me is nervous about altering the rhythm of our holiday, but I’m excited too.

Wasa with Cottage Cheese, Strawberries and Blood Orange

Ingredients

4 ounces low fat cottage cheese
1 cup (6 ounces) fresh strawberries, chopped
½ teaspoon blood orange zest
1 teaspoon juice from a blood orange
2 teaspoons honey
4 pieces WASA Sourdough Rye Crispbread (May substitute WASA Multigrain, Hearty Rye, Sourdough Rye, or Oats Crispbread)

Directions

Mix together strawberries, ¼ teaspoon zest, blood orange juice, and honey in a small bowl.
Spread cottage cheese on cracker, top with mixture, and sprinkle with remaining zest.

TIP: May substitute any berries, peaches, apricots, or pineapple for strawberries. You can also substitute a regular orange for a blood orange.
Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

 

Calories 322
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 641 g
Total Carbohydrate 65 g
Dietary Fiber 12 g
Protein 19 g
Calcium 100 mg

Retraining Taste Buds

The carrots I hold in my hand are fresh from a local garden. They’re dirty and have wild bushy green tops. I wash and peel the carrots then pick up the knife. I have a long way to go until I can maneuver this utensil like those chefs on the Food Network, but I’m getting better. Faster.

I cut the carrots, chop the onion, dice the celery, slice the mushrooms and throw everything into a skillet with water. While the veggies are steam sautéing I boil tri-colored pasta in a medium pot and steam spinach in a small one. I add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. When the pasta and spinach are ready I add those too, along with garlic and oregano.

My husband, Ron, wanders in the kitchen.

“What’s for dinner?” he asks.

“Italian Skillet Casserole,” I say.

He leans over my shoulder and investigates the simmering dish on the stovetop.

“Almost all veggies,” I point out.

Cooking healthier foods has been challenging in certain ways, but one thing I completely forgot about when I started this new path is that my husband can’t stand vegetables. He’ll eat certain items (broccoli or beans or salad) because he knows they’re good for him, but he would prefer them as a side dish, not the main dish.

But it just so happens that his company is having a Vegetable Challenge this summer.

So perfect timing.

I scoop out the meal into two bowls, light some candles, and sit down.

It’s delicious, and I look at Ron to see what he thinks. He’s pushing a piece of onion, a hunk of tomato, and a mushroom slice to the side. “I can eat them when they’re small, but these big pieces…” he shakes his head.

“You need to retrain your taste buds,” I suggest softly.

He’s a good sport so he takes a huge spoonful, onion chunks and all, and gives it a go. He likes it. This truly is one of the tastier dishes I’ve made, and when I’m done I push my bowl aside and lean back in the chair.

“Hey, what’s that?” Ron says, peering into my bowl.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Uh-huh,” Ron nods, smirking.

Okay, okay. So I really do consider myself a vegetable lover, but I’ve always struggled with cooked carrots. There is small pile of them left. I guess we both have some retraining to work through.

Care of the Human Frame

“The doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes of disease.”
–Thomas Edison

Yoga. Acupuncture. Herbs. A Clean Diet..

As I learn how to take care of myself naturally, all are becoming part of my life.

It’s a slow process. And a process that needs a ton forgiveness (the other day before the going to the movies I ate a “healthy snack” so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat candy – and ended up munching on a box of Jr. Mints anyway!).

Tonight for dinner it’s chicken tacos. Organic corn tortillas, free-range organic chicken, and a variety of vegetable toppings to choose from: tomato, avocado, black beans, dark green lettuce, salsa, etc. Also, some steamed spinach on the side (sprinkle the spinach with a little apple-cider vinegar and it is delicious).

I’m not some fancy chef, but I find myself cooking, thinking, and caring about food a lot these days.

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