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devotions: teach peace

Lupin Valley watercolor painting by Brazen Design Studio

As long as I have will and am physically capable,
So long will I teach mankind.

To strive for truth, order and peace.

Zoroastrian Scriptures


market day dish: confetti quinoa salad

Simple and light for summer. And so pretty! This week I brought my usual variety of veggies home - tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. I already had a huge bag of carrots to work through.

Veggies: tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper, and carrot
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains because its a good partner for just about any vegetable I have around. Fruits too! Here I've started with a bowl of cooked quinoa, then chopped whatever was in my fridge (the carrots were shredded), tossed in some raw sunflower seeds, chopped parsley and squeezed fresh lemon juice all over. Add a dash of salt & pepper and its good to go!

Experiment with your favorite raw veggies and fresh herbs for a custom salad. Don't forget to try toasted nuts and dried cranberries. Yum!


brunch at Gals, a local Israeli café

Gals Bakery, in Haifa, is one of those places no one knows about unless you're a local. I was thrilled to learn about this sweet spot at the suggestion of a friend.

It's a very laid-back atmosphere, with plants and bamboo ceiling, and thank goodness air conditioning, to make it a pleasant place to read the newspaper or gather with a few friends.

That's my chair, on the left. :-)

In no time at all our bread is brought to us. I'm expecting the entree to come later...

Bread baskets for EACH person! Oh yeah!

Then the condiments are set out. Everything below is just for me!

Top left to right: something pickled; sour cream, more pickled, olives, jelly,
sesame covered cheese, butter and cream cheese with chives.
Savory tart in the background was a mix of tuna, pickles and chopped boiled egg.

That's it for now, right? We'll just eat the bread with the condiments while we wait for our eggs. Nope. Now comes our...

Vegetable salad with tofu and granola on the side. Fresh squeezed orange juice.

And then immediately following is our egg dish...

Omelet with cheese and fresh herbs.

Now we can eat! And we did!

I got a few looks during my picture taking session, but it's worth it. I'm loving the presentation and variety served. Altogether the meal was 55 shekels or about US$14.

I'll be back. There are a lot of pastries to test!


bead shop finds and more

Allenby Street. The bead shop is in the next block on the left.
I took a much needed day off today and chose to walk to the bead shop in 90 plus degree weather, which is best described as "sauna-like".  Why I don't know, but I survived. It may have been the umbrella and the water bottle I packed. I felt like the condensation on a glass of water. Drip. Drip. Drip.

The morning was spent perusing beads and other goodies. I have several requests for bracelets to make, in a variety of color combinations, so I needed to add a few more color selections to my bead stash from home. While shopping I could hear the owner's grandson playing something like "The Star Spangled Banner" on the harmonica. I think that's the title...or is it "God Bless America"? Whatever the song is that is sung just before baseball games.

Lunch time rolled around and I was close to done when the owner's grandson invited me to join them in the back room for lunch. I sat down with three generations of men, the grandfather, his son and the grandson, and had a wonderful and simple lunch of tomato and cucumber salad, two kinds of homemade hummus and pita bread.
Bead purchases. The 29.00 price tag is in shekels, not dollars.

Our conversation was limited due to the language barrier, but it didn't stop us from enjoying the time and learning a little about each other. The grandfather has owned the shop since 1969. It was originally a sign shop. When computers took over graphics design, he chose to sell beads. Many of the beautiful beaded jewelry pieces in the shop is made by him. His grandson is fifteen and in the 10th grade. After school he is required to join the army for three years. Girls join for two years

I would have loved to have taken a photo of all three generations, but didn't want to appear rude. Maybe next time!


devotions: one reality

View from the terrace of The Shrine of the Báb

I hope that the lights of the Sun of Reality will illumine the whole world so that no strife and warfare, no battles and bloodshed remain.

 May fanaticism and religious bigotry be unknown, all humanity enter the bond of brotherhood, souls consort in perfect agreement, the nations of earth at last hoist the banner of truth, and the religions of the world enter the divine temple of oneness, for the foundations of the heavenly religions are one reality.

Bahá'i Writings


saturday morning plate - hearty and no meat!

A hearty breakfast for one
Last night's leftovers...I'm always looking for ways to use my leftovers, so please feel free to share your ideas!

Steamed potatoes from dinner become country hash browns with chopped red onions and red peppers (peppers were already cut for my veggie snack pack I keep in the fridge...very convenient!) and a nice dash of paprika and black pepper.

Add my leftover portion of a lentil veggie burger (frozen patty from the store), freshly scrambled eggs (made more fluffy with almond milk whisked in before cooking) and a few slices of feta cheese. Plenty of protein and flavor.


Haifa street walk - Israel

Local pics of an older area in Haifa, down the hill from the Bahá'i World Centre.

Common to see geraniums growing in pots. At times its the only color against so much beige, which really makes them stand out.

Most apartment buildings are beige like this one :-)

Fun sculpture in a road median area. Unexpected!

Typical to have clothes drying on special clotheslines made for windows. Not sure how it works with all the birds around here...

One of many small neighborhood markets. Makes it easy to pick up some produce on the way home.

"Homey" apartment building I walk by everyday

Cute idea!



market day dish: green bean wrap

I'm a believer in eating light and staying cool in the kitchen during the summer heat. I have to be craving homemade chocolate chip cookies before I'll turn the oven on.

My market day produce finds this week was a bag full of long green beans, romaine lettuce and mini tomatoes. I think they may be called "grape" tomatoes. I wasn't sure what to do with the green beans, but after surveying the fridge contents I had the perfect idea.

One of my favorite easy summer meal is a wrap. And I love the fact that just about anything can be rolled up inside and viola! it's ready to eat. For this wrap dish I happened to have a small jar of pesto on hand and the wraps of course. What isn't good with pesto!

 After washing the fresh green beans, saute them in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, then add some water and cover, over medium heat, until crispy firm, but easy to bite into. Do not cut the beans!

While the beans simmer, prepare the wrap by spreading the pesto sauce all over and lay lettuce on top. Cut the little tomatoes into slices (so they don't explode when you bite into them). As soon as the green beans are ready, layer them on top of the lettuce and scatter with the sliced tomatoes. You may want to sprinkle a dash of salt & pepper over all, however the pesto may have enough salt for some folks.

Roll, starting at one end, and fold the sides in before getting to the other end. If it's not big enough to fold both sides, one side folded is good enough. That can be the bottom. :-)

I like to add a side of carrot sticks and hummus for dipping. A light but filling meal!



devotions: consideration

Rose in the Baha'i gardens

… if a man is inconsiderate, 
even if he possesses much learning, people say of him, he is nothing, 
whatever he may know; for, if he were learned, he would not be so inconsiderate.

But if a man is considerate, 
even though he knows but little, to him indeed do people listen gladly. 
Consideration is the centre, consideration is the self, consideration is the support of all these.

Meditate on consideration.

(Upanishads vol. 1, Khandogya-Upanishad Part 4)

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