Morning Prayer


Good Sunday morning to you– A dear friend shared this with us.  His grandfather had said this prayer every morning as he rose.  I find it so beautiful and meaningful.  Wanted to share it with you…

Morning prayer

O God, Lord of all power and might, preserver of all thy creatures:
Keep us this day in health of body and soundness of mind,
in purity of heart and cheerfulness of spirit,
in contentment with our lot and charity with our neighbor
In our labor strengthen us;
in our perils defend us;
in our troubles comfort us;
and supply all our needs,
according to the riches of thy grace in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen

P.S. photo from our kid’s home in Ojai on Mothers Day.

Two Wonderful Cookbooks

Hi Cooking Friends– I’m guessing that’s most of you.  For my birthday this week two friends gave me cookbooks– and they are the best!  I’ve already made the Moroccan Chicken from one of them and it was so good!  Thought you’d like to see them.

Checked this book out from the New Book shelf at the library.  I started to dog-ear pages (I know– in a library book??!!) of recipes I wanted to try and it was half the book!  So when Jenon dropped it off as a gift I was jumping up and down! Everything is so so beautiful and just unique enough.  Amazing photography and little garnishing touches.

 

And this book I browsed through at a store on vacation– but being the cheapskate (frugal??) person that I am, couldn’t bare to buy it on first acquaintance.  But after I described it to my friend Joy, she scooped it up for me!  Everything in the book is a big board or platter full of ingredients– S’mores Platter, Beach Board, Mediterranean Board…   And I have the Big Board from breakfast a few weeks back to fill up with all these yummy recipes!  Such fun ideas more than recipes!  I think you’d love it!

Books & Breakfast –Morning with Friends

Hi all– This isn’t really a recipe, but an idea that was so much fun, I thought you’d like to know about it.  Saturday morning a tableful of friends came in the door for breakfast and a favorite books “show and tell.”

We started off with a breakfast board down the middle of the table– sort of a help yourself to whatever looks good kind of meal.  Drank mugs of tea and laughed and talked over the week…

Then we all pulled out a short stack of what we’ve been reading lately to recommend to each other.  I typed up the list of books with small descriptions and emailed off the recommendations for everyone to use for future book possibilities.  So fun!  (we all had things to say about each other’s books–adding on movie and podcast ideas).

So here’s the Breakfast Board list –just in case you want to throw one together–
(sort of like a cheese board, but with breakfasty things thrown in!)
Brie
Smoked Gouda
Sliced ham
Rye bread
Baguette
Cranberry walnut bread
Mini blueberry muffins
Hard boiled eggs (salt & pepper)
Pears, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe
Berry jam & orange marmalade, honey
Yogurt
Granola
Almonds
Seedy mustard
(throw on a few flowers for the pretty part)

I got the long board (4′ by 12″) at Home Depot for $8.  Larry sanded and oiled it to make a breakfast worthy serving board.

       
And here’s a handful of the books we talked about:
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
Hearing God by Dallas Willard
Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah
A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Here’s to friends who read and love noisy talks over breakfast!!  Can’t wait to do it again!

Sailing to Santa Barbara


Hi everyone– Have you been to Santa Barbara??– one of the prettiest towns in California.  It was a port on our recent cruise with our travel buddies, Paul & Sue.  Here were our favorite parts of our day there.

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is a wonderful small museum– with art, artifacts and historical figures.  Fun to wander and read your way through…

     

The city center is full of historic beautiful remnants of Santa Barbara’s past.

    

We came upon the Regan Ranch Center, a sort of mini- Presidential Library, based on Regan’s nearby life at his ranch.

     

And we ended our day at the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse, climbing up the tower for city views and wandering through the gorgeous interior.

     

     

One last Santa Barbara Institution– McConnell’s Ice Cream!!  Thanks Paul & Sue for the best day out and about.

 

High Seas Highlights


Hi all — Just back from our very first time going on a cruise.  Our friends Paul and Sue (experienced cruisers & close friends for almost 40 years) invited us along on a trip up the western coast from L.A. to Vancouver.  So we tagged along and here are some of the best bits about cruising up the coast with good friends.

We arrived at the terminal and settled into our smallish rooms. Then set out to explore the ship–15 floors of lounges, dining rooms, shops and decks and places to settle in.

        

Between ports, we passed the time reading (it’s a gift to have friends who like to sit and read the morning away), eating (too much!) and enjoying the ships entertainment venues (here- a pop concert, interview with a Oscar winning song writer and our favorite piano violinist team from Russia)

     

And of course there was the meals, high tea and snacks galore.  Plus my favorite– a tour of the ships kitchen.

     

     

After 7 pleasant days, we glided into Vancouver B.C. docking right up nestled in the city!! (See Larry at the rail, taking a photo).   And I’ll end with our last late night walk around the deck.  Thanks thanks Paul and Sue.  We love time to talk and laugh and relax with you two!

Field Trip– Judson Studios


A watercolor of the ramshackle Judson Studios building, in the city of L.A.

Hello everyone–  A couple weeks ago our buddy Paul organized a “field trip” for a bunch of us to Judson studios, where they have been turning out gorgeous stained glass since 1897.  It is a family operation, now run by the 5th generation of Judsons.

First stop was the designer’s office, work all done on computers.  Then on to the room of glass samples and tables where it is cut from a pattern.

     

We moved on to the workshop where they bend the lead and assemble the windows.
     

And stepped up into the painters studio, and watched an artists add details to a face to be placed in a church window.
     

   

Thanks Paul and Sue for getting us all together for a wonderful day!

Italian Turkey Sausage & Spinach Lasagna

Hi there — Some men in our church built a sleek, beautiful long table this spring.  It’s being used for a series of “family” dinners.  Anyone can reserve the table for an evening and invite 14 people to come sit around together over dinner.  It’s gone on for weeks, night after night.  There’s a fire in a fireplace and flowers on the table.  But the best is the unhurried conversation, a chance to sit together in the middle of the week.

This week I joined in for dinner with our young adult group friends.  It was pot luck and this was my contribution.  Hearty and hot from the oven, I think you’d like at your table too.

ITALIAN TURKEY SAUSAGE & SPINACH LASAGNA
1 pound Italian turkey sausage
2  28 oz jars of marinara sauce*
1 package no cook lasagna noodles*
16 oz. ricotta
4 cups mozzarella, grated
4 cups spinach, chopped to shreds (about 5 oz.)

Cook the sausage in a deep skillet, chopping it to crumbles with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.  Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce into a 9″x 13″ baking dish and then pour the rest of the 2 jars of sauce in with the cooked sausage.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with the uncooked lasagna noodles.  Spoon little dollops of ricotta over the noddles (using about 1/3 of the carton of ricotta).  Sprinkle on a cup of the chopped spinach.  Ladle 1/4 of the meat & sauce over that.  And finish it of with a cup of grated mozzarella.

Do that same layering 2 more times.

For the top, add one more layer of noodles, 1 cup of spinach, the rest of the sauce and the last cup of mozzarella.

Cover the baking dish with foil (tenting it so it doesn’t touch the cheese) and pop it into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake it 5 to10 minutes longer until the cheese is beautifully melted.

Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes to set before you cut into it.  Delish with a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread.  Enjoy!