Chicken Soup for the Presidential Soul

homemade chicken soup recipeLife is tough. Whether you are running across the country campaigning for president or running city blocks to the nearest coffee shop early in the morning, the moments of modern day living can sometimes leave one in a spinning, dizzying delirium.

As we come to the finish line of February, perhaps a bit weary from all the running – running to keep up with the 2016 presidential election, running to work, running a business or running a very crazy household – it might do your soul well to sit down for a quiet moment to enjoy a hot steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup. Maybe even contemplate a different perspective, such as what life would be like on Mars or back in the days of our Founding Fathers…

Enjoy below: the Winter Citrus Salad for some refreshment, the Homemade Chicken Soup for some comfort, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter chip cookies for some satisfaction. Read more

Waiting for a Ship from Spring

The icy cold waters of winter are breaking up, spring is on the near horizon, the final episode of the final season of Downton Abbey has almost aired…and the presidential candidates are steaming ahead to Super Tuesday.

Change is in the air.

2016 presidential campaign

“When the Ship Comes In” by Bob Dylan, 1963, from the album The Times They Are A-Changin’

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathing.
Like the stillness in the wind
‘Fore the hurricane begins,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking.
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking.

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they’ll be smiling.
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand,
The shout that the ship comes in.

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they’re spoken.
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean.

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline.
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck,
The hour that the ship comes in.

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin.’
And the ship’s wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watching’.

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re dreaming’.
But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it’s for real,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Then they’ll raise their hands,
Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands,
But we’ll shout from the bow your days are numbered.
And like Pharaoh’s tribe,
They’ll be drowned in the tide,
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered.

See also “Turning to Dylan During the Winds of Change” and some thoughts on the 2016 presidential election.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” –Ronald Reagan (40th President of the United States of America)

Ronald Reagan quotes on freedom

See also a reflection on the 2016 Presidential race and some thought provoking quotes from Thomas Jefferson

February 15, 2016: A Presidents’ Day To Remember

Thomas Jefferson quotesThe 2016 Presidential Election may very well be a turning point in American history. Many pundits and journalists are opining that it could even usher in a fundamental transformation of the political landscape, the likes of which we have never seen.

As the candidates travel from one state to another, carrying with them their bag of political goods and ideas, they are met by an increasingly disappointed, disenfranchised and even angry people, contributing to an already fiercely charged atmosphere that can be felt across the entire nation. Read more

Turning to Dylan During The Winds of Change

Bob Dylan The Times They are a-changin'See also some thought provoking quotes from Thomas Jefferson and a powerful quote from Ronald Reagan on the importance of freedom.

One can feel the winds of change and the increasing force with which they are swirling around the 2016 presidential race. With every state primary and every presidential debate, the atmosphere becomes more and more charged and leaves one with the feeling that a revolution is just around the bend.

Indeed, all manner of revolutions are taking place and changing everything – our country, our world and our lives as we have known them. Read more

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love is the energizing elixir of the universe,
the cause and effect of all harmonies,
light’s brilliance and the heat in wine and fire,
it is the aroma of perfumes
and the breath of the Divinity;
it is the Life in all being.”
–Rumi (Persian poet, 1207-1273)

Quotes on love

“The thought manifests as the word,
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And the habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love,
born out of concern for all beings.”
–Buddha

Valentines Day quotes

Love is a treasure, yet nothing to possess.
Love is a way, a way of being in the world.”
–Ingrid Goff-Maidoff (poet)
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged cupid painted blind.”
–Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Try some royal Valentine’s Day recipes and winter cocktails to warm your heart (and cheeks!)

Celebrate Royally with a Creamy, Spicy, Lovely & Sweet Valentine Dinner

Italian Cream Cake RecipeCelebrate Valentine’s Day royally with some creamy, spicy, lovely & sweet Valentine’s Day recipes. Enjoy a royal beginning with the cocktails below, followed by dinner and dessert! Read more

Three Bowls of “Just Right” Porridge

homemade oatmeal recipe

“The snow started and didn’t stop. Icy winds banged against the window as if they wanted to come inside and warm themselves by the fire. The gale howled, the drifts mounted around the house. Three weather advisories warned us not to leave unless absolutely necessary. Inside, the house was cozy,” writes Ruth Reichl in her new book My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life.

Reichl finds comfort and sustenance in her kitchen, where her everyday cooking and baking is inspired and directed by the natural rhythms of the seasons, the day-to-day elements that we awaken to each morning – sun, rain, sleet, hail, wind and snow – and that the earth needs to rejuvenate, grow and flourish.

Below please find three recipes for oatmeal that offer a cozy comfort and help to sustain one through early morning storms.

Ms. Reichl writes: “So cold. Heavy snow-swollen sky. Butter-toasted oatmeal, rivers of thick cream, brown sugar. Fresh orange juice; such fragrant hope.” Read more

February: Cold Hands and Warm Hearts

NYC Storm Jonas“Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”
–William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

The storm of a new year and all of January’s hopes, promises and resolutions have now settled into the mid-winter reality of February – a snow flurry of 28 days when daylight lingers just a little longer. Outside the window one can feel the cold frosty silence of winter’s expanse; inside one searches for warmth – a heater, fire, wool sweater or hot steaming cup of liquid to help ease the midwinter chill.

And so, if you have “such a February face” that is full of frost and storm and clouds, try one of the recipes for spirit warming drinks below. They are sure to warm your hands and heart and bring a little Valentine-red to your winter cheeks! Read more

The Magic of a Winter Evening Sky

“Always without formulating the concept, I had based my sense of being in the world partly on an unreasoned conviction that certain areas of the earth’s surface contained more magic than others.”  –From Without Stopping by Paul Bowles (composer and author, 1910-1999)
NYC Reservoir Central Park
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Central Park, New York City; 2016
“For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.” –From “Locksley Hall” by Alfred Lord Tennyson (English poet, 1809-1892)
Sunset quotes
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Central Park, New York City; 2016
“The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.” –Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Ohio River Sunset
Ohio River, PA; 2016