Accidental Saints

Last January in an effort to try and bring a little Zen and balance to my life I signed up for a group called the “Brown Baggers” at my church.

The group, spearheaded by a dear friend, Gretchen, met over lunch and was filled with a fabulous group of women; our conversations were/are never dull or disappointing. The curriculum was created to challenge us to examine a variety of topics and more fully examine our faith. One of the many works we read was titled Accidental Saints : Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia-Boiz-Weber. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Za’atar chicken


Last week’s recipe found us admiring the colorful spices in a Moroccan souk. This week’s is driven by my love of Middle Eastern food, fueled locally by an international grocery store at the end of a strip mall on the north side of Chicago. Continue reading

Moroccan Pot Roast with Ras el Hanout

The conical piles of ground spices that fill large silver drums and dried flower petals and berries lining wicker baskets in this Moroccan souk are just a handful of ingredients used in ras el hanout, our spice blend focus this week.

In the words of Paula Wolfert, author of The Food of Morocco “The thing that all good varieties of ras el hanout do have in common though, is that they are sweet and savory and aromatic. No one particular spice will leap out of the blend, but when working together, they really give a dish some punch.” 

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Sichuan Spice Blend Debuts!

Our eldest child, Phil, is a passionate adventurer.  He fell in love with Asia in his teens.  Two years ago, he ventured back to China to study and live there for eight months.  To visit Phil, and also wanting to better understand this part of the world, Steve and I had our own adventure traveling the countryside on a three-week tour of this beautiful part of the world. Continue reading