My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soupas! Portuguese Feast Roast

This is a recipe that I remember my dad and my uncles getting so excited about. I love how my Grandma Dutra could always bring the family together with a good meal.  It has a very distinct aroma and taste, and it seems people either love it or hate it. After my father passed, I went without Soupas for several years, until just a couple of years ago when my cousin made it for the family at the annual Yosemite camping trip. The aroma was amazing, the anticipation as it cooked unbearable... and that first bite.... Delightful! I'm not sure which I like better, the taste, or the wonderful family memories that come flooding back when I smell it cooking.

•4 lb chuck roast
•oil, salt, pepper, water
•4-6 cloves garlic
•2 med white onions
•4 sticks cinnamon
•3 small cans tomato sauce
•1 ounce or more ground cumin (to taste)
•1 1/2 cups red wine (optional)
• fresh spearmint (as much as you can fit in the pot)
•1 loaf Sourdough Bread

In a little oil, fry roast on each side, adding salt and pepper.

Put roast in a crock pot and cook for a couple of hours. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Add water to 1/2 - 3/4 way up the roast. Add tomato sauce, cumin, cinnamon and mint. Simmer several hours until meat falls apart and sauce thickens. The roast should be covered with liquid. Add the wine for the last hour of cooking. Adjust cumin, cinnamon to taste. If juice is too thick, and more water. If using a chuck roast, it will need at least 8 hours of cooking on high.

Strain and pour over thick slices of toasted sourdough bread. I love the flavor of the sourdough and the sauce together... even more than the beef. Enjoy!

 There is a roast under the onions and garlic.  Next time, I'm not going to use quite so much water.

Thick slices of sourdough french bread toasted work best...
and definitely make the flavors come together.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Incorporating KALE - Breakfast Scramble

I love kale, though I have to admit, I’m pretty limited in the ways that I know to prepare it. Yes, I love it in my Calde Verde soup (ground turkey- italian style, potatoes, garlic, onion, kale, italian seasonings)…. but other than in soups, I don’t use it much. Since I don’t use it much, obviously I don’t buy it much. But this year is different, thanks to my garden, and I now have kale that I need to use.

Kale is one of those super foods that I want to incorporate into our diets more. I’ve recently read that it’s “amazingly nutritious”. Amazingly?? Who can pass that up? Kale is great for protecting your health, providing you with a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and preventing cancer.

Here are a few facts that impressed me about this green giant:
It has large amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper and potassium.

Benefits of vitamin C alone include helping to reduce cell damage that results in inflammation (one of the primary causes of heart disease and autoimmune diseases). It helps to oxidize cholesterol, fight infections, and ladies, it renews collagen in our skin for a “healthy youthful appearance”.

There is so much more, but I realize that not all are interested in such facts. But for those interested, a few minutes googling kale can give you tons of information on how all this nutrition can affect cholesterol, osteoporosis, mental decline, eye damage/cataracts and more.

One of the most impressive facts to me is that the organosulphur compounds have been proven to be highly effective against many cancers, including stomach, colon, breast and ovarian cancers. It seems everyone has been impacted by cancer, and it seems to be happening more and more. I’m not saying kale is a cure for this, but I am willing to recognize it’s benefits and to incorporate it into our meals, hopefully helping our family stay as healthy as possible.

Breakfast Scramble:
1 egg (another superfood for another day)
1/2 tsp of butter (doesn't take much)
1 slice turkey bacon (cut into 1/2" pieces)
2 cloves garlic (that might be a bit much for some, but I love it... also a superfood)
2-3 kale leaves (stem removed, chopped)
2 tbsp Pepperjack cheese (shredded)
I crisp the bacon, add the butter, saute the kale for a few minutes before adding the garlic (more health benefits the less you cook it).  I bring it all to the center of the pan.  I scramble the egg and pour it over the mixture.  I let it cook until mostly solid, and then flip it like a pancake. I sprinkle a small amount of PJcheese on top for that added kick.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Favorites 10/30-11/5

All in all, it was a good week.  Tuesday was rough - but the other days more than made up for it.  Here are some of my favorite moments...
 Road trip...
Clouds and ponies...
I love entering Warm Springs....
Blue skies and crazy rock formations....
And snowball fights....
 I'm not alone with my passion for rocks...
The twins hounding...
Bumpy roads...
 And hidden mountain tops....
Beautiful ride home...
A new favorite place...

Chicken Phyllo Pie
Moroccan chicken, dried cherry, cinnamon
 Beautiful decor that doesn't even compare to my friend....
  Stained glass...

 Walks with my monkey...

 Changing seasons...
  And the best company.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3,4

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Continuing with my theme of titling my posts with the first letter of the day of the week, I almost titled today's post, "Teary Tuesday".  It's early, but already I can tell it's going to be one of those days (insert big sigh here).

For most, today is simply Election Day - and this is my cue to remind you to get out there and vote.  I love how my friend Dave says it, "If you don't exercise your right to vote, you don't have a right to complain!".  If only you all could know Dave....

So today would be Chelsea Rae's 17th Birthday.  I watch her friends, and wonder what kind of things my baby would be doing.  What would her interests be?  There's a few given.  We probably would be going to the DMV today to test for her driver's license.  School would be causing grief and late nights working on projects.  There would be lots of giggles, texting and phone conversations - and yet at the same time there would be a maturity as she transformed into a young women.  Talk of college and dreams....  and Kate would want you all to know that she was the bestest big sister ever.

Where has the time gone? You should be here with me. I should be teasing you that I’m not going to let you get your drivers license until you’re 30.

New hairstyles, new music, new clothes…


Groans regarding homework and chores.

Drama over the little things.
Prayer over the big things.

Oh how I miss those times.

Today would be your day. Who knows how you would have wanted to celebrate?

I wonder about the little things… what would your favorite color be now. What kind of hair style would you chose. Would you have a rebellious streak, or would you be easy going as you go through these teen years – almost an adult...

Would you still have a heart for worship, or would you be so busy being busy?

I smile as I realize that your heart for worship now far exceeds anything we can grasp here on earth.


My heart aches as I miss my babe. No, this isn’t the way I planned for things to be at this time in my life.
Yet those who have been through trials and hardships – who haven’t given up – those are ones who truly know joy.

I have joy – in the midst of the trials. I have peace, even though I miss my baby. I have faith in God who loves me so much, and supernaturally carries me through. You may argue that He doesn’t care, or maybe even doesn’t exist. But that would be like trying to tell me that my best friend doesn’t exist. His presence has proven itself over and over in my life, so really, it doesn’t matter what others say or think.

I have hope in tomorrow. I have excitement, in the things that God is going to do in my life… and even more so, in the lives of others.

I have eternity.... with my baby.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
  • '"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"  Then He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."                    ~ Revelation 21:1-5

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mellow Monday

There's nothing quite like a relaxing day after a busy week or two.  Time seems to be flying by faster than I can keep up.  My Monkey is loving first grade, and I am loving her being in first grade.  I had forgotten what quiet time was like, or lunch dates without kiddie menus.  About the time I start missing her, it's time for her to come home.  School is really working out rather nicely.

Today was one of those sweet days with a sweet friend.  We had set up our 'date' a few weeks ago, and the anticipation was fun as I was being taken to a new place.  We both loved the historic establishments in the area, and watched a man almost get blown away by a tornado of leaves.  The colors were stunning!  We laughed, and we laughed some more, not at the man of course.  Okay, maybe a little bit at the man.   It was mellow, it was easy, and it was nice. 

Monday migraines are not so much fun, so when Monkey got home we cuddled and snuggled and made beaded necklaces.  More mellow, as it should be.

I've had some blogging ideas that I may incorporate later this week that may be fun...and could help me be a bit more consistant with my random posts.  But for now I must go, as Monkey is ready to read "This Little Pumpkin".  Time for this Mellow Monday to wind down....

Mellow Monday keywords:  Morris, Meriwether, Monkey