Friday, March 30, 2012

Mother I Miss You

Ruth Ann, Buddy, Irene, and Mom holding Me Christmas 1956

In Loving Memory Of My Mother Ruth Marie Dunwell 
November 20, 1921-March 30, 1992 
Some people come into our lives and leave imprints on our heart, and we are never the same. I found this statement on a picture frame a month after my mother passed on.

My mother was one of those truly loving and caring people, and she left her imprint on many hearts. Let us remember Ruth M. Dunwell on this the twentieth anniversary of her passing.   

To my sister Irene I give thanks that you were there by her side, and prayed the 23rd Psalm for Mom that night so long ago as she slipped the surly bonds of earth and met her savior face to face.  To my friends Debbie and Rich Sloboda, thank you for taking Jamiann and I in that night as so we didn't have to see Finegan Funeral Home take her from her home.  Your loving kind words and hugs were more comfort to us than you will ever know.  

My mother never knew her own mother, yet she was a mother to all she met.  She epitomized unconditional love and forgiveness and for that I will always be grateful.  

In John Denver's song "On The Wings Of A Dream" he wrote: 

There are those who will lead us
Protect us each step of the way
From beginning to end
For each moment forever each day
Such a gift has been given
It can never be taken away.

And thus she is always with us, as she is so in our heart she could never be gone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Amazing Singing Plants Of Damanhur In Italy

 Damanhur ecovillage, and spiritual community situated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy

* You can either mute the music playlist on the right or click on the word Youtube on bottom right corner of the video and go directly to Youtube to watch it.
This is so amazing, watch and listen to the remarkable musician: 

To learn more about Damanhur click here.

Here is a link to another Youtube video with  Dr. Ashok Khosla who is one of world's leading experts on the environment and sustainable development. A former director of the United Nations Environment Programme, he was awarded the 2002 Sasakawa Environment Prize - "the Nobel Prize of the environment world" - and has been named in the UNEP's Global 500 Roll of Honour.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Magical Faeries Of Celia Harris

Tiny Aussi Bush Spirit

Celia Harris
 Celia Harris is the marvelous artist who sculpts these amazingly adorable faeries.  She lives in Northern New South Wales, Australia. She attributes her enchanted creative endeavors to her parents who are also sculptors, and the magical landscape of her surroundings in Australia. To read more about Celia, and learn how to obtain one of her creations, here is her website:       Official Website of Celia Harris 


 If you adore fairies I think you are now thrilled and can't wait to get one of these originals!  I think that they are amazingly mystical!Here is a link to her Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/thefantasydollsofceliaharris

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Fifth Birthday To My Granddaughter Maggie!

My youngest granddaughter Maggie turned five on March 16, 2012.  Her parents held a lovely party on March 17th at their home in Schuylkill County, PA.  The party was attended by family and friends and everyone had a wonderful time. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday~Baked Oatmeal, Homemade Pierogies, and Mock Chicken Fried Steak


Baked Oatmeal
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 large egg , beaten
  •  1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  •  3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • 2
    Mix together oil, brown sugar, and beaten egg.
  • 3
    Add oats, baking powder, salt, milk, cinnamon, and raisins, and mix well.
  • 4
    Pour into greased 8"x8" pan.
  • 5
    Bake for 25- 30 minutes until done.
  • 6
    Serve with your choice- honey, maple syrup, milk, & whipped cream.


Homemade Pierogies and Fried Cabbage

  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • butter and onions for sauteing
  • ingredients for filling of your choice (potato & cheese filling recipe below)


Pierogi Dough
To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to over beat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.
Prepare the Pierogies
Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or counter top until 1/8" thick. Cut circles of dough (2" for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2" for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.
Boil the perogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.
Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream for a true Pittsburgh pierogi meal.
Homemade Pierogi Tips:
  1. If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal.
  2. If you don't want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.
  3. You can fill pierogies with pretty much anything you want, though potato and cheese is the most common (recipe below). Sweet pierogies are often filled with a prune mixture.
Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling: Peel and boil 5 large potatoes until soft. Red potatoes are especially good for this. While the potatoes are boiling, finely chop 1 large onion and saute in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauteed onions and 4-8oz of grated cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you want your pierogies), adding salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, or other enhancements if you desire. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1" balls. 

Fried Cabbage

1 small head of cabbage
1 med vidalia onion
Chop cabbage and onion and saute in 1/4 C olive oil until golden brown and tender



Mock Chicken Fried Steak


  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 3 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup water

Measure flour into a pie plate. In another pie plate combine panko, Parmesan, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper, to taste. In a third plate add eggs and water. Dredge the zucchini in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the panko.

Working in batches, place the breaded zucchini slices in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined sheet tray and immediately season with salt and pepper. 

Onion Mushroom Gravy 

Saute 1 large vidalia onion, and 1 pint of fresh sliced mushrooms in 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Add 1/2 of a  32 oz.container of Swanson's Vegetable broth.  Bring to rolling boil.  Mix well 1 - 2 heaping tablespoon of flour with 3/4 cup of  milk or cream.  Stir into broth mixture to thicken as you would for gravy.  

Serve with mashed potatoes, and a favorite vegetable.


Molasses Crumb Cake
3 cups  Flour
1 cup  sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup  molasses
2 large eggs
1 cup  hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Cut in butter till mixture is crumbly. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. To the remaining crumb mixture, add the molasses, eggs, water and baking soda. Beat till smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Meatless Monday: Not Your Traditional Potato Pancake, Portabella Mushroom Panini, Vegetable Soup, and No Bake Pineapple Toffee Cake

 Not Your Traditional Potato Pancake

  • 2 cups peeled and grated potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  •  1  egg, beaten
  •  2 C.Krusteaz Pancake Mix
  • 3/4-1 C water
 Blend all the ingredients, next pour slightly less than ¼ cup batter per pancake onto lightly greased and preheated 375°F griddle (medium heat).  Cook the pancakes 1-1¼ minutes per side, or until golden brown, turning only once.  I enjoy mine buttered and spread with blackberry jam.

Portablella Mushroom Panini 
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 large portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Swiss cheese


In a large skillet, cook the onions in olive oil over medium heat, until almost carmelized, about 10 minutes. Add Portabella mushroom slices and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, until mushrooms are cooked and onions are carmelized. Lightly brush each slice of bread with a bit of olive oil on one side.
Pile the onions and mushrooms on the bread and sprinkle with just a bit of salt and pepper, then a slice of Swiss cheese. Top with another slice of bread to form your sandwich.
Cook until cheese is melted and bread is toasty, about 6 minutes in a pre-heated panini press, or 2 to 3 minutes on each side if you're using a grill.
Makes two panini sandwiches.

Vegetable Soup

Saute one large onion and four stalks of celery including leaves in 1/4 C olive oil until translucent and tender. Add 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic.  Add one 64 oz bottle of V8 juice, and 1 32 oz. box of Swanson Vegetable Broth. 1 can diced tomatoes, Wedge and core one small head of cabbage, 1 lb. Baby Carrots  1 box or bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Once the cabbage is tender add four medium red potatoes peeled, and cut into four.  Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, parsley, and a pinch of thyme.  Allow to simmer about an hour. 

Serve with you favorite crusty bread

No Bake Pineapple Toffee Cake
Drain well, one can of crushed pineapple, mix with 1/2 C toasted coconut. Set aside. 

  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in the pineapple toasted coconut mixture.  

Slice one thawed Sarah Lee Frozen pound cake, place on cake plate, spoon the toffee pineapple toasted coconut mixture over the cake, serve warm.