One of the many traditions during the holiday season is to enjoy chocolate bark – a sheet of chocolate with nuts, dried fruits, pretzels, chips, or candy blended in. Although peppermint bark is one of the most popular treats during the holiday season, chocolate hazelnut bark or chocolate bark made with roasted hazelnuts is growing in popularity because the hazelnut (also known as a filbert) is naturally sweet with a rich, nutty, and versatile flavor that goes well with dark chocolate. Read more
A few days ago the postman delivered an envelope called the Money Mailer whose back cover was covered with an advertisement (pictured below) for an organization called Cars Helping Veterans (www.carshelpingveterans.org) – an organization asking for car donations “to help our veterans” along with the statement “Your car donations support purple heart recipients, wounded warriors, homeless veterans, disabled veterans, paralyzed veterans, veterans and their families.” Read more
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) “is committed to transforming law and culture so true freedom can flourish” although there are many people who would disagree with this statement because the ADF advocates for religious freedom to uphold their idea of justice and preserve the right of certain people to freely live out their faith.
That this freedom results in the discrimination of others and infringes on the rights of women to choose what they want to do with their bodies doesn’t appear to matter to the ADF. It’s their religion, their faith and their definition of justice that trumps the rights of others. How ironic is it that ADF (a non-profit that relies on public donations) calls itself an alliance defending freedom but only defends the freedom of those who believe what they believe? Read more
Those were the headlines on the front page of the Business & Finance section of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) yesterday. Mark T. Bertolini – the CEO of Aetna since 2010 – stands to make a half billion dollars if Aetna successfully merges with CVS and he leaves his job. According to the WSJ, about $230 million will come from already vested stock appreciation rights while another $190 million would come from the common stock he already owns. An additional $60-$85 million is estimated to be his payout if he is terminated when the company sells itself. Read more
Chocolate caramel turtles – the unbeatable combination of roasted nuts combined with creamy caramel enrobed in chocolate) were one of three foods (the other two being a slice of cheese on my toasted bagel with lettuce, tomato, and red onion; and bread pudding) that made me think twice about changing my diet from vegetarian to completely plant-based.
I could certainly enjoy nuts and dark chocolate on a vegan diet but caramel which is typically made with milk and butter was out of the question. After much soul searching, I made the leap anyway and went through a brief period of mourning until I discovered Lagusta’s Luscious Salted Galapagos Turtles – which turned out to be better than the chocolate turtles I gave up! Read more
Every autumn the abundance of apples and pecans is overwhelming – in a very good way. When I see stacks of Honey Crisp apples and freshly harvested pecans at farmers markets, I stock up and start thinking about Apple Pecan Strudel – a delicious variation on the Austrian favorite (“apfelstrudel”).
This recipe is one of my all time favorites because it tastes like an apple pastry with a crunchy rich pecan topping and yet there are only 4 tablespoons of vegan butter used in the whole recipe that serves 8-10. The strudel relies on the sweetness of the apples with minimal added sweeteners: 1/4 cup of brown rice syrup and 2 tablespoons of sugar. The lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extract give the strudel a depth of flavors that will have everyone begging for seconds. Read more
If you haven’t seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri run to the theater and watch this amazing flick. Written, produced, and directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes, a weathered, middle-aged divorced mother of two, Woody Harrelson as Chief (of Police) Willoughby, Sam Rockwell as the dimwitted, racist police officer, James Dixon (pronounced “DickSon” throughout the film) and Peter Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) as James, the local pool shark and car salesman. Read more
In the Garden of Eatin’, no one cares about the apples because it’s all about the chips. Made with organic yellow corn, expeller pressed oils (canola, safflower or sunflower) and a touch of sea salt, Garden of Eatin’ Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips are simply delicious. With a big yellow corn flavor, these classic chips (what they look like on the bag is exactly what they look like in the bag) can be enjoyed au naturale, in nachos, or with salsa and guacamole…or, all of the above! Read more