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11
Dec

Cars Helping Veterans (Others First, Inc): Donor Beware

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 »

9
Dec

Where Does $100 to the Alliance Defending Freedom Go?

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 »

7
Dec

“Aetna CEO in Line for $500 Million Payout”

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 »

5
Dec

Salted Galapagos Turtles

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 »

3
Dec

Tarallini, Racioppi, and Chianchette

Agricola del Sole is an Italian company based in La Murgia, an agriculturally diverse territory in the Puglia (southeast) region of Italy (known as Apulia) that specializes in making traditional Italian foods including Tarallini, Racioppi, and Chianchette – small crackers made with durum wheat semolina, olive oil, white wine, and salt.

These crackers are typically served as appetizers with tapenade, olives, roasted red peppers, and various antipasto dishes but they are also an ideal snack as is. Read more »

1
Dec

Apple Pecan Strudel

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 »