Monthly Archives: December 2010

Getting back to work

It’s still the holidays and hard to stay focused on regular posting.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to post more often.  I am determined to meet the challenge.  I am working on a post about sequels to Austen stories – specifically, one written by the talented author, Rachel Billington.    I recently completed this novel and felt like Emma and Knightley were right there in my living room.  Watch for this post later today!

Stay warm everyone.  It seems to be pretty chilly everywhere.  Here is a flower from my yard to brighten your day!
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More food as promised!

Okay readers, this is starting to feel like a foodie blog instead of a communication blog. But food and eating is communicating, right?  Especially when we talk with our friends and family over a great meal.

Last week I posted a new recipe for black bean and sweet potato chili and promised a recipe for beer bread.  Here it is!

Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
12 oz beer

½  cup sugar


Mix together flour, beer and sugar.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 – 60 minutes.  Immediately upon removing from oven, pour a stick of melted butter or margarine over the warm bread.  Let cool for a few minutes; remove from pan and serve immediately.

Optional.  You may pour the butter over the batter before baking for a bread with a softer crust.

Note: If you don’t have self-rising flour, sift together 3 cups regular flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt.  Be sure to sift the flour to avoid too heavy a bread.

This is great with chili, soup or stew or just with a salad.

 More later……..

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Communicating with food

Today I am communicating with food.  If you think food is not a way of communication be sure to check out this link  Want to try a meatless chili on this chilly day?  (no pun intended!)

Here’s a great recipe I tried today.  


Communicate with your family by telling them you love them through this delightful dish that incorporates traditional flavors (cumin, chilies, cocoa and cilantro) with healthy black beans and sweet potatoes!


Chili with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 28-can diced tomatoes plus 8 oz can
4 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained or 6 cups cooked black beans
hot sauce to taste – I use my homemade Datil pepper hot sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 lime, cut into wedges


  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, red pepper, garlic, and salt. Saute slowly until onions are well cooked.  Depending on your stove 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and lime zest, and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, continuing to stir occasionally.
  • Add the tomatoes, black beans, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cocoa, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  Add hot sauce to taste.
You may serve with rice.  A nice bread to accompany this is corn bread or beer bread.  Never had beer bread?  Tune in later this week for my recipe!

P.S.  This recipe makes about 3 quarts of chili; a similar version was suggested to me by my vegetarian daughter……..

 

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Communicating at the table.

  With Thanksgiving table still in recent memory, I have found myself reflecting on how important it is that we teach our children to respect the family dining experience – especially when seated at a holiday table with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as parents and siblings.
In this day of eating on the run, fast food and “quick fix” meals, it is important that we preserve the holiday dinners that many of us remember as children.  It should be a time to talk to each other and share conversation in a relaxed fashion.  This means adults and kids, put those phones away, and more importantly, parents, leave the kids’ phones at home.   There is plenty of time to talk, text and Facebook with friends during the rest of the year, but holidays are for family and close friends to interact, share a meal and be thankful for each other.
One way to get everyone involved with each other is to give everyone a task in preparing the meal.  Let the kids fix a relish tray or get the rolls ready for the oven. Let the younger kids make placecards for everyone’s seat or help with setting the table.
And this way of reacting to each other shouldn’t be reserved for holidays alone, but it seems in our fast-paced lives, this is often the only time we have to be together without the pressures of work and other responsibilities.  So enjoy the rest of this holiday season and make sure you set the example and enforce manners with the younger members of the family.

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Flagler County Food Pantries

 As a service to my community, I am posting here a listing of food pantries in Flagler County, Florida.  These pantries need your help throughout the year with donations.  Please help if you can!  Also visit the Team Feed Flagler Facebook 
page to see how our community served up Thanksgiving Dinner to 2000 members of our community.  Now, that’s communicating!! 

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