November 29, 2015
inspiration, inspiring, Paramahansa Yogananda, Prayer, self realization, urban simplicity
Paramahansa Yogananda at Niagara Falls
“I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection, and discrimination. I will remodel the cradle with the dazzling soul-qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God, will power, self-control, renunciation and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
November 23, 2015
Culinary Freedom, Lebanese Cuisine, Lebanese Food, Mediterranean Cuisine, Mediterranean Diet, urban simplicity
Firstly, and you may already know this, but I didn’t list the ingredient, chickpea, in the title of this recipe because it is actually already listed…the word hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. Anyhow, I’ll say my recipe mantra again…this recipe is so easy and delicious you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before (but maybe you have). The sweet potatoes offer not only a bit of sweetness to the recipe but also a certain creaminess. I also topped this with a good dollop of plain yogurt, and vegetables (onion, squash, sliced Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and a bit more garlic) which I caramelized in olive oil in a hot skillet. And rather than using proper utensils, I went slightly feral and used sliced and toasted whole wheat bread (click here for whole wheat bread recipes). Anyhow, and just to be a bit redundant, this recipe is really easy to make, packed full of nutrients, and super-delicious.
Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed
4 tablespoons cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce
Preheat an oven to 325F. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the sweet potatoes a few time, then place them on a baking sheet. Bake the sweet potatoes for about an hour, or until very soft. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and dice them. Place the cooked and diced sweet potato, along with all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. If the hummus is too thick add additional water or lemon.
November 20, 2015
This is a photo I shot today on a bike ride home from a peaceful rally in downtown Buffalo, NY. It’s a photo of the top of the Liberty Building. It was a beautiful fall day and I took this while at a traffic light. And as I stood there I couldn’t help but think of the words by Emma Lazarus, which are on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor…the first thing so many of our ancestors saw when arriving to this country.
November 20, 2015
Food Photography, pizza, urban simplicity
Ok, so I’ve posted recipes for this in the past. At least variations of it. Many variations. But not in a while. This is the version I made for myself for dinner this evening….whole wheat crust with oats and flax. Spinach aglio e olio, eggplant sauteed in olive oil. Three cheeses. It’s simple to make and tastes even better than it looks in the photo. For the dough recipe (which also makes excellent bread) click here or here. To cook the spinach (or nearly anything else) aglio e olio, click here. For more on pizza (recipes, photos, history, etc), click here. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll go grab a third slice.
November 20, 2015
Uncategorized, urban simplicity
Contemplative Photography, inspiration, inspiring, photography as therapy, urban simplicity
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
just so much to be grateful for.
But some days I don’t see it.
Mind-made problems cover me in fog.
You are closer to me than I can imagine,
closer than my very breath.
There is so much to be grateful for.
In the midst of everything.
All I have to do is look.
November 16, 2015
bicycles are vehicles, inspiration, urban simplicity
“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
So a couple things. The guy in the photo above–pianist David Martello–drags his piano by bike to central Paris to play for free on the night of the bombings. He apparently is known for visiting conflict zones to play his piano. One of the songs he chose to play on this evening was, Imagine, by John Lennon. I have always found this song particularly moving, tear jerking at times. To see John Lennon see the original version, click here. David Martello can be seen and listened to playing his beautiful and moving rendition below. If you’d like to see other videos of him playing his piano outside (some of them in conflict zones), click here. And oh yes, I forgot to mention, David pulls his piano by bike.
November 16, 2015
Culinary Freedom, Lebanese Cuisine, Lebanese Food, Mediterranean Cuisine, Mediterranean Diet, soup recipes, urban simplicity
I’ve posted a recipe for this before (a few times no doubt) but each time is slightly different. This soup is so easy to make but at the same time bursting with flavor and super-nutritious. What’s different about this version is I used a sort of slow-cooked sofrito to bring out the flavors of the vegetables and spices. And a sofrito is really as simple as that…cooking vegetables and spices very slowly until they caramelize, the liquid evaporates, and the result is an intense flavorful paste. Anyhow, here it is…
Red Lentil Soup with Spinach
2 teaspoons whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1 (15 oz. Can) diced tomatoes
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups (4-6 ounces) fresh spinach, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper; saute slowly until caramelized. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, hot pepper, and salt; cook another minute or two. Add the tomatoes, and cook them until the juice reduces and everything forms a sort of paste.
Add the lentils and broth; bring to a boil then lower it to a simmer. Cook the soup for about 30 minutes, then add the potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes or until the soup thickens and the lentils become very soft. Stir in the spinach and cook another 5 minutes. If it becomes too thick, add additional broth or a little water. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the soup from the heat.