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For the Fun of It

Do you ever forget some part of you for a while? Unintentionally, I mean. Life stops for nothing, and often I find myself realizing it has been an awfully long time since I have done insert hobby/passion here. It has been an awfully long time since I have done any true writing. I have some advice you may be in need of.

I think the best advice I have heard lately is to write the way you speak. How simple is that? Write how you speak. Each of us has a voice, and somewhere along the way we forget this. Well, maybe you haven’t, but I have. Personally, I like looking back on my writing and hearing bits of my personality. I don’t always speak with proper grammar or with the correct idiom, and I haven’t quite mastered the semicolon, and I think that lends something to my character. I think allowing our flaws to peek through is important.

I recently purchased a simple plastic camera with black and white film. I’ve always been interested in photography, and the only reason I haven’t done more with that interest is I haven’t explicitly set out to do so. Now, the camera I purchased is nothing special; in fact, it was very inexpensive. I am inclined to believe the pictures I will be taking will never mean as much to anyone else as they do to me, so I’m going to have fun with it.

Have you done anything for the fun of it lately? If not, take a minute and think about some things you would like to do. You’re the only thing in your way.

music & dancing & cooking

If you cook like I do, the best meals are made with a worthy playlist. “Worthy” to me is a bunch of mellow songs, with a few songs screaming for interpretive dance, and ein bißchen Deutschen Musik. (Mein Grammatik is sehr schlecht, es tut mir leid!)

Anyway, I love singing along to classics, and playing funky new songs, and dancing around my kitchen while I cook. If you enjoy those as well, this playlist might be for you. Enjoy! 🙂

OPEN!

Dangerous* Mac Salad

Dangerous* Mac Salad

Ingredients:
1/2 1lb box of pasta, cooked according to package

1/2 sweet pepper minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
5 sweet pickle slices, minced
1/3 cup sweet peas
1 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 C reduced fat Vegenaise
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp organic sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1. Cook pasta, rinse with cold water and drain
2. Chop veggies
3. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor – keep it chunky!
4. In a medium sized bowl, mix together Vegenaise, ACV, sugar, paprika, celery seed, black pepper, and salt
5. Add veggies and pulsed chickpeas, mixing thoroughly; fold in pasta
6. Enjoy!

Notes: I prefer shells, but any small macaroni works well. Other additions to jazz this up are grated carrots, shredded and chopped red cabbage, green onion, and (finely minced) radish. Any plant based mayo will work for this recipe, too (including whipped avocado)!

* say goodbye to your willpower, this mac salad is dangerously yummy!

Salad Musings

Salad Musings

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Above: lemon pepper tofu, sliced bartlett pear, diced cucumber, and plain hummus sprinkled with chia and flax seed over baby kale.

Lemon pepper tofu:

  • press extra firm tofu to rid of excess water
  • marinade in lemon juice, olive oil (or oil preference), black pepper, and pink salt
  • in a small fry pan, heat tofu over medium heat until golden brown

Other ingredient ideas:

  • protein – maple chili tofu, orange sesame tempeh, curried chickpeas
  • fruit – strawberries, apples, plums, figs, pineapple
  • vegetables – oyster mushrooms, beets, roasted fennel, artichoke hearts
  • crunch – walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds
  • base – red cabbage, bibb lettuce, romaine
  • dressing – avocado, fruit salsa

Salads can get very boring, very fast. Changing up ingredients, from choice of greens, to protein, to vegetables and fruit, makes a huge difference in creating a tasty salad. The next time you consider salad for lunch, remember your options – salads don’t have to be boring to be healthy!

Compassionate Coffee

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In the heart of Rochester, NY is a 7-month old coffee shop by the name of Fuego Coffee Roasters. Maybe you have a small coffee shop near you, maybe you don’t. I can guarantee, however, that your relationship with the baristas does not rival that of Fuego’s customers and Tony & Renee Colon.

The Colons dreamt of opening their own coffee shop for years while they both worked in the business. This past August, that dream came true: Fuego Coffee Roasters was officially open for business. Using their savings, knowledge of coffee, and connections with Roberts Enactus (formerly RWC SIFE), the Colons began operating as artisanal coffee roasters.

Tony & Renee believe in the art of coffee, utilizing brewing methods such as the Aeropress, Chemex, and Clever. As ultimate and knowledgable baristas, they have quite the following of loyal customers and newly referred customers on a daily basis. Most days, this makes for a long line of customers and brewing methods that cannot always keep up.

Enter in the Alpha Dominche Steampunk (according to alphadominche.com):

“The award-winning Alpha Dominche Steampunk 4.1 is a hand crafted next-generation coffee brewer designed for brewing the best single-cup coffees and teas in the world. This versatile machine offers a new way to brew up to four different single-cup coffees and/or teas simultaneously with the most repeatable consistent brew method to date.”

Why is this important? This machine can produce coffee using different brewing methods in a more timely fashion without compromising the integrity of the product. The Colons are fundraising the money needed to purchase this machine through crowdfunding on Indiegogo, which is where you come in. If you’re reading this, chances are you enjoy coffee. Maybe you’re from Rochester. Maybe you know the Colons.

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If you don’t, trust me when I say that I don’t know any other baristas or business owners more deserving of fulfilling this campaign, which launches on March 25th. Every dollar donated is greatly appreciated:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-fuego-coffee/x/6283432

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for your generosity in helping out these awesome people!

– top image by me, bottom image found on http://www.fuegocoffee.com

Shalom

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I attended a worship event tonight. The speaker’s theme was shalom: peace, rhythm, rest. It is so easy to lose ourselves in the anxiety of the constant.

We get caught up in the whirlwind of daily life, only to look back and feel overwhelmed by the ratio of work and rest. We all have meetings, work, and activities to manage. On top of that there’s friends, family, significant others. The important thing to remember is that rest is necessary for each of us. It should be scheduled into each day. None of us can go, go, go without crashing.

Take the time to recharge, friends. Make time for hobbies that fuel you. Journal, listen to or make music, read, take a nap. Turn your phone off for this time. It isn’t selfish to recuperate.

So, whether you’re a student or a working adult (or both): rest, reflect, recoup. In the face of many struggles it isn’t easy to keep going, but in order to keep going you need to make stops. The things that need to get done will get done. I’ll leave you with this verse:

“For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.” (Ps. 72:12)

Shalom.

(P.S. Go follow @morgan1mitchell on twitter.)