Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I LOVE holiday breaks!!!

I love celebrating holidays! I love that we have such a long holiday break this year and I love that I actually have some down time and I get to hang out with my family and do nothing if we choose to do so. I also love baking so I took a full day to make cookies with the kids and after about 18 dozen of cookies, I am done with even wanting to eat one, although the lemon ones in the picture are excellent and not too sweet.
Since Christmas we have being doing a lot of chilling out at home (in pajamas) and catching up with friends who we don't see often enough. We had one of our best friends from Vancouver stay with us for a couple of days, which was wonderful and we have had numerous evenings full of wine, food and great conversation with those we love the most. I also was able to host my first Feminist Potluck with a diverse group of feminists from all stages in their lives. I had a lot of fun catching up with the women from WIF and I can't wait to host my next potluck in February. We also have been catching up as a couple. It has been a lot fun reconnecting and actually spending time together when we have energy as oppose to the usual schedule. Did I mention we have actually been able to sleep in until 8 every morning?!

The holiday was fun, we hosted Christmas dinner for the Simon family for the first time and I think it was pretty successful. Since we are vegetarians we decided to just do a yummy spinach, walnut, Gruyere' lasagna and go with a lot of Italian sides and appetizers. We went to a wedding the day after Christmas that left me breathless; partially from laughing, partially from eating and drinking and the other part was from all of the beautiful Arabic dancing. Wow! If you have ever been to an Arabic wedding you know what I mean, if you have not, try to get invited to one! I have been to a few in the last nine years and I am always amazed and in awe of the dancing. At the reception the bride and groom were escorted in with a live Lebanese band and the dancing didn't stop for two hours. We finally ate dinner at a little after 9 p.m. and then continued on with dancing the night away. Congratulations my friends!!

Speaking of weddings...I am very happy to be celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary today! Not only are we celebrating the arrival of the new year, or our wedding, but also our first kiss. We kissed our first kiss as the ball dropped in 1999. I am so happy that Gregory kissed me that night because my life has been full of love, life, laughter and joy ever since. We have started a beautiful family and have a beautiful life. I truly feel blessed.

Before we leave in a few hours to celebrate this holiday/anniversary with our friends and family I wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful closing of this year and a prosperous year for 2009.

For the final entry of this year I thought it would be appropriate to post the prayers of the faithful from our wedding. These prayers mean a lot to us and as I approach this new year I will meditate on these prayers once again as they are still relevant in my life. Peace be with the world, and peace be with you...Happy New Year!

Creator of All, we rejoice that You make Your presence known in the beauty of human love. Filled with this faith, we make our needs known to You.

For this couple-that they grow in love through the realities of their lives together, we pray to the Lord~

For the parents, relatives and friends of Gregory and Lacey- that they continue to support and encourage this couple with their love and good example, we pray to the Lord~

For the relatives and friends of Lacey and Gregory that have gone before us- that they rest in peace, we pray to the Lord~

For the community leaders-that they always serve in the best interest of the people they represent, we pray to the Lord~

For all those who fight for the social justice of themselves and others, we pray to the Lord~

For parents, teachers and clergy- that they pass on a message of compassion and tolerance for all people, we pray to the Lord~

For those struggling with poverty, hunger or sickness-may Your grace protect and guide them, we pray to the Lord~

For our leaders-may they choose peace over war, love over hate and equality over privilege, we pray to the Lord~

Be with us, Lord, as we strive to do your will. Be with us to give fervor to our aspirations, fortitude to our resolves, comfort in our failings, gentleness to our care for others, and constancy to our love. We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord~ Amen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The holiday season is here once again and I find myself reflecting on the blessing in my life. There are many reasons why I love this time of year, most having to do with the people around me who offer me a sense of community and place. I have so many people and things in my life that I am grateful for and that I have been blessed with. I have a beautiful family, a loving & supportive partner and I have beautiful community all around me...not just one community, but many communities. As Christmas approaches I feel the need to thank these people for all that they have brought into my life; I am a better person thanks to all of them.

Feminists: To all of the wonderful, strong feminists in my life that encourage, support, listen, and challenge me~ thank you. Thank you for accepting me as I am and for encouraging me to just be me on a daily basis. I am proud to be a womyn, I am proud to be a feminist and being a part of this community has helped me find my voice and for that I thank you.
To feminists (womyn & men) around the world thank you for fighting the fight; standing strong through opposition and oppression. For putting yourselves on the front line in so many different circumstances and not backing down, but standing up for all womyn and fighting for true equality, true freedom.
Mothers: To all of the amazing mothers my life has been blessed with that offer insightful advice, experience and support, as well as their ears & mouths for listening, bitching, laughing, crying and for just keeping it real~thank you. I feel so blessed have dear friends at every stage of motherhood who aren't afraid of sharing their own experiences (good & bad), which is not always the easiest thing to do.
Gardeners and Homesteaders: To the amazing organization Detroit Agricultural Network and all of the knowledgeable and helpful members thank you for offering a urban community that is committed to sustainability in Detroit (of all places) and the local food movement. My own gardening knowledge & experiences would not have been possible without your help and resources.
To all of the other people who have come into my life that are as passionate about local food, organic food, sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture and having accessibility to fresh produce thank you for offering me your experience and amazing knowledge not to mention some amazing fresh food once in awhile!
To all of you blogging homesteaders~PLEASE continue to document your wonderful endeavors, I LOVE reading and learning from all of you and already in these few short months of blogging I have gained so much knowledge and so many new ideas. THANK YOU for sharing on a daily basis.

Detroiters: Oh...where do I begin on this one?! Thank you ALL (if there are any of you reading this other than my sister-in-law) for keeping it real and being committed to this city and the people of Detroit. I have to admit it has not been an easy 6 1/2 years in the city, but at more times than not it has been worth it! We have been through a lot in these last few years with our former mayor ( I will leave out all of the curse words since there are too many to list), city council and the school board and well...just plain life in the "D" and to see so many people committed to sticking it out because they believe in the revitalization of this city like we do, it warms my heart. 3-1-3 BABY!!

Holistic Health, Breastfeeding & Natural Birth Advocates: For walking the walk and not just talking all of this talk (and there is a lot of it) thank you. I know first hand it is not always easy to try to follow this lifestyle that is still seen by majority of the population as something that is weird or a fad. It is not always easy to stand up for what you believe in, whatever that may be, and I thank you for all of your strength in this war against the big pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and established medical field, as well as the numerous individuals who try to stand in the way of practicing what you believe to be the best choices for your life and for the lives in your family. Please continue to educate about the benefits of these alternative choices and lifestyles.

Food & Cooking Enthusiasts: mmm.....for all of the food that you have made for me, helped me make or introduced me to, I say a full belly thank you. It has been so great to share this love for food with all of you. Not just the making of food, but the growing, the cultivating, the harvesting, the preserving and the creating of such beautiful food that nourishes our souls & bellies. Each collective cooking experience and meal that we share are some of my fondest memories and all of the recipes you share are like gold.

Yonis of the world: To this wonderful group of womyn who treasure the power of the feminine, thank you for always believing in each womyn and her powers and potential individually as well as the strength that we have as a collective group. Thank you for your daily rituals: manifesting, meditating, praying or whatever it may be that you continually do to uphold the sacred power of the feminine in yourself as well as ALL the womyn around you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Everything pumpkin

So for those of you who cannot get enough pumpkin recipes in your life I thought I would post a few that are wonderful...that is if you like pumpkin! Since we still have two large lumina pumpkins left I will be continuing to create, explore and perfect this pumpkin mania that I have at the moment...SORRY GREGORY, I know you are SO ready to be done with the pumpkins!!!

This is a recipe that I picked up off another blog and it is good, but I would recommend making it with more OJ and less wine. I did make this for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie and we all liked it a lot, but at random times you would get a bite of the wine-soaked ladyfinger and that is ALL you taste, the wine.


1 1/2 cups Heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Carton (8 oz) mascarpone cheese (cream cheese can be used as a substitute)
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
1 cup Moscato, divided
3 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
2 pkg (3 oz each) ladyfingers
1/2 cup Orange juice
1/2 cup Crushed gingersnaps

In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until soft peaks form. In another bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, 1/2 cup Moscato, and pumpkin spice until smooth. Fold in whipped cream; set aside. Dip one package lady fingers, one at a time, into the orange juice. Place in a 13-in x 9-in x 2-in baking dish. Spread with half of the mascarpone pumpkin filling. Dip the 2nd package of ladyfingers into the remaining Moscato; place over filling. Spread remaining filling over the top. Cover & chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with gingersnaps.

This next recipe is a family recipe that I was given by Gregory's aunt for a vegetarian version of the traditional Lebanese Kibbee which is made with lamb.

Pumpkin Kibbee

4 cups baked pumpkin pureed

2 cups of burghal (cracked wheat) soaked in 1 cup of water

1 cup of flour

1 cups of chickpeas cooked

1 medium onion

1 dried red pepper (cayenne works well)

1 tsp. of mint

2 tsp. kibbee spice

2 tsp marjoram

2 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. pepper blend

Combine these last 7 ingredients in the food processor until well blended and a paste. Add in the first 4 ingredients and if too watery add a little flour to thicken it up. Pour into a well-oiled tray to bake for 1 hour on 375. I also have added a little brown sugar and pumpkin spice to the spice mix to give it a little something different.

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Pasta Sauce:

11 oz. of pumpkin and cut into cubes

1 lb. of Penna

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1 cup of cream

2-3 T. of honey

1/3 cup of fresh Parmesan

chopped chives

Boil Pasta until al dente. Steam or boil pumpkin until tender. Melt butter in pan and cook the onion until tender and then add garlic and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Pour cream in pan and add pumpkin and honey and bring to simmer and simmer for 5 minute until sauce is thick and heated through. Add parmesan until melted and season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over paste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve.

Curry Pumpkin Soup:

2 T. butter

1 cup onions chopped

1/2 cup carrots chopped

1/2 cup celery chopped

1 T. garam masala curry powder

3-4 cups of pumpkin cubed

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 T of canola oil

2 Q of broth ( I use veggie, but I am sure chicken would taste good to those who are carnivores :) )

1 cup os cream or half & half

1/2 tsp. of salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Heat the oven to 425. While that is heating toss the cubed pumpkin in the maple syrup and oil and roast in the oven for about 30 or until nice and tender. While the pumpkin is roasting chop all of the veggies and in a dutch oven or a nice large soup pot heat the butter and add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until all veggies are soft. Add the curry powder and stir for a minute. Add the roasted pumpkin and broth and bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes covered. Remove from heat and cool alittle. Put through the blender and food processor until nice and smooth. Return to the pot/dutch oven and stir in the 1/2 & 1/2 , salt & pepper and heat and serve with some good hearty bread to dunk.

* I created this so if you don't have fresh pumpkin try a butternut or winter squash or even (2) 15 oz. cans of canned pumpkin would probably work.

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Salad:

3-4 lbs. of pumpkin cubed

2-3T maple syrup

2-3 T of canola oil

1/4-1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes

1 1/2 lb. of arugula or lettuce mix

1/2 cup crumbled feta (I use sheep milk feta and it is YUMMY)

1/4 cup pepitas

a sliced red onion

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

couple T. of dijon mustard

pinch of sea salt

*put all of these in a jar and shake vigorously until well blended or mix in a blender

Heat the oven to 425. While that is heating toss the cubed pumpkin in the maple syrup and oil and pepper flakes and roast in the oven for about 30 or until nice and tender. Toast pepitas for a couple of minutes in the oven on a cookie sheet and set aside.

Wash the lettuce and top with the onion, feta, pepitas, and pumpkin and toss with dressing.

Pumpkin Oatmeal derived from Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious

2 C. oats

2 C. milk (rice, cow’s or soy)

½ C. canned pumpkin puree

¼ C. raisins

2 t. vanilla

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients into a microwave-safe bowl (large, deep Tupperware rock ‘n serve!) and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir, microwave for 3 additional minutes. Serve with a drizzle of local honey, agave, or maple syrup and a sprinkle of nuts.

Pumpkin Raisin Bread Strata

½ C. butter, softened

6 tsp. ground cinnamon

14-16 slices raisin bread

½ C. brown sugar ( I use less)

8 eggs

1 C. canned pumpkin

2 C. milk

6 T. maple syrup

2 t. vanilla extract

2 t. pumpkin pie spice

Spray 13x9 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Line bottom with half the bread, cut to fit if necessary. Mix butter and cinnamon and spread half onto tops of bread. Sprinkle with ¼ C. brown sugar. Make second layer with the remaining 7-8 slices of bread, butter/cinnamon spread, and remaining ¼ C. brown sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin, milk, syrup, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until puffed.

Serve with additional syrup if you choose to do doesn't even need it!

Pumpkin Souffle

This is a very pure and dairy-free version of a pumpkin pie. It is crust free and a souffle style pie, which makes it gluten-free as well. The coconut milk makes it just creamy enough and you don’t need to add any oil or butter because the natural coconut oils add that aspect by it self. Therefore there are limited ingredients and this pie goes together very quickly. It is best the next day or a few hours after it has been chilled because it firms up very nicely. Hot out of the oven it is still very gooey and does not hold together it has more of the consistency of a hot sweet potato. Both ways it is delicious though.


1 Can Organic Coconut Milk (13.5 fl oz)

1 Large Can Pure Pumpkin Puree (29 oz)

2 Free Range Eggs

1 Tbs Cinnamon

1-2 Tbs Organic Maple Syrup

1 tsp Freshly Grated Ginger Root

1 tsp Nutmeg and Allspice

Place Pumpkin puree and coconut milk in food processor and mix until creamy. Add in the eggs, Maple Syrup, and mix some more. Lastly add the spices and mix just a little. Pour into pie dish and voila you are done!. Put in 400 Degree preheated oven for 45 mins-60 mins. Check if done by inserting a knife - it is done when the knife comes out clean.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's a Gemini thing

I can't seem to stay on task these days and after pondering this all morning I have realized that this is a common occurrence in my life; I start one thing and then become bored easily and move on to the next before that task is completed. It is very common for me to have numerous projects going on simultaneously and I am always feeling pulled in numerous directions. On top of it, I have a very hard time just enjoying the moment I am in without thinking about some moment in the future. I am always struggling with this part of who I am because I don't allow myself to is like I am not capable of it.

I have never been one to follow Astrology that closely, but it has been of interest to me over the last year. Today I decided that maybe this is part of being a Gemini, which I have been told, but I have never taken too seriously. I decided to search around the internet about these crazy characteristics and see if it falls in line with my zodiac sign. I found this website that gave me a lot of insight so I thought I would post it for others who might be interested in getting a reading.

Check it out and see what you think...I was amazed and in awe of how right on it was for me. It gave me a little insight and peace about this part of who I am that I continue to question and struggle with. One more piece of the puzzle that I have found to guide me in being the best person I can be.

Now I must move on to the next project for today~Peace and Blessings