Celebrate Good Times

because eventually all good things come to an end

Photo: d. king

It was one hell of a good run while it lasted.  It is with a huge void,  big hole in my heart and ultimately resigned acceptance that I finally got it together to organize a celebration of life for my husband Don. Just short of three months after he passed, and on Remembrance Day no less.

He didn’t want a service, big hoopla or anything pretentious.  Just a gathering of people closest to him at home with food, music and memories.  He never mentioned a slideshow although with help from a friend we managed to put together a lovely showing of images from past travels and our life together and some heartfelt words from those who treasured him.  Hooked up by computer to TV, it continued to loop around while people mingled.  My dear friend Ryoko, who is responsible for us meeting was here and gave an unrehearsed funny speech and managed to sum up in a few short minutes what Don was all about.  It was perfect in it’s simplicity,  warmth and endearment.   Just like Don himself.

Outside a winery in Napa – 2013

I’ll try my best; no promises.

 

 

Food: Flu Fighting Soup

Winter Veggie Soup for flu & cold seasonsoup1
I made a whole batch of this soup and ended up freezing most of it.  The name of this recipe was formerly called “anti-cancer” soup because of the goodness of all the wholesome ingredients but I changed the name to anti-flu soup.  In general, it’s just a great overall recipe that tastes really good. I just unfroze a container and added brown rice macaroni which made it a complete meal (especially for lunch).
Serves: 12-16 servings (almost feeds an army!)
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper, to preference
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or other dried herbs like basil, oregano, and parsley)
  • 12 cups (or 3 32-ounce cartons) of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (look for BPA-free cans)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup lentils (any kind will work; rinse first)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped finely
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1-2 cups frozen green peas
Instructions
  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic for about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Season lightly with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to your preferred heat level), and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add chicken or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and lentils. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer (slight bubbling), stirring occasionally. Season again lightly with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add all other vegetables except frozen peas (zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach) and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Stir in frozen peas and turn off heat (or turn to low), so they don’t overcook. Remove bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. If you like, serve with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and/or whole grain crackers or crusty bread.
Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To freeze: 
Fully cook and cool the soup. (Do not leave soup out on counter more than 2 hours.) Divide soup into freezer bags or containers and freeze.

To thaw and reheat: 
Thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Then reheat gently over low heat on the stove or in a crockpot. Another option is to put the frozen soup block over low to medium-low heat on the stove top or in a crock pot. Add about 1-2 cups of water or broth over the top. Gently warm over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!

 

 

Monday Mood Board #13

The Weekend

With Lisa, Colleen, Stacey & Wendy at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver.

Meaningful Evening: Quest for a Cure for CF (cystic fibrosis).

What a fun, colourful event for such a worthwhile cause. Celebrating East meets West at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel for the yearly “65 Roses Gala” with great food, entertainment, friends, and auction items. Our gracious Master of Ceremonies was CBC’s Gloria Macarenko. Special mention to our dear friend Colleen Kohse  (in the middle of the above photo) who underwent a double lung & heart transplant 29 years ago. She also had a kidney transplant. She’s not only the poster girl for CF, she’s also extremely inspirational.  Always up for a good time with a wicked sense of humour.

CF stands for cystic fibrosis. To date there is no cure, but hopefully one day CF will stand for “Cure Found.” 

The Vancouver Health Show at the Convention Centre (Canada Place) had a very familiar keynote speaker.

images: d. king

I picked up a few really great new products which I’ll share with you very soon.  But for starters here’s an amazing new product geared for kids and teens although even I put a scoop being the kid that I am in my smoothies.  The taste is undetectable which is good because you get the health benefits without overpowering any other ingredients you choose to put into your smoothie.  Or it can be added to any type of juice or even plain water for that matter.

With formulator Brad King at the Samuraw booth

SAMURAW

is a new product that has been flying off vitamin & natural food stores of late.  There’s no deception or hype because health fanatics have developed it to deliver optimal nutrition to kids when they need it most.  The organic vitamims, minerals and cofactors are 100% absorbed by the body – compared to less than 25% with synthetic vitamins. Every serving (of one scoop) contains the nutrient equivalent of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables. It includes the world’s most clinically-tested probiotic and does not have preservatives, fillers, binders, artificial sweeteners or flavouring agents of any kind. It’s the first truly natural 100% organic, real-food-derived multi vitamin/mineral formula.

In essence…it really kicks butt!

Well that was pretty much my inspiration for the past weekend

 

 

Feel-good Friday: It’s never too late to…

Act on your dreams.

Be what you want to be (or better still; who you want to be).Change your future.  Sometimes the future makes changes without your consent. Makes changes you didn’t want or hope for.  But you can still make some changes that will make a difference.

Do things differently.

Enrich others’ lives.

Face your fears.

Get out of neutral.

Have fun.

Initiate friendships.

Jumpstart possibilities.

Knock the “t” off can’t.

Live enthusiastically.

Be Nonjudgmental (try, try hard!)

Orchestrate your legacy.

Plan for tomorrow.

Question your priorities.

Reinvent yourself (even if you’re not Madonna or David Bowie).

Stop keeping score (unless you have money on the game of course).

Take a leap of faith.

Uncork your mind (maybe along with a good bottle of wine).

Value who you are.

Wake up your luck.

Explore your spirituality.

Yearn for fulfillment.

Zoom in on love.

Source: Meiji Stewart – A taste of Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul.