i carry your heart with me by e.e.cummings

By Jodee Weiland

One of my favorite poems is by e.e.cummings. I love this poem. I hope you enjoy it as well and share it with someone special. When I think of family, close friends, and memories, this poem comes to mind.

This simple but beautiful poem truly expresses for me what I feel whenever I think of someone I love and care about, and the reason for this is very simple.  I see it as the perfect poem to express my feelings for anyone I truly love because those I love I do carry in my heart and all that touches them touches me as well.  So here it is…I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  If so, share this poem with someone you love today and make a memory.  Enjoy!

 

e.e. cummings – i carry your heart with me

 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

La Jolla, California…a Beautiful Jewel Found on the San Diego County Coastline

By Jodee Weiland

In the last two weeks of February this year, my husband, Rick, and I traveled to the County of San Diego.  While there, one of the places I wanted to visit was the beautiful coastal town called La Jolla.

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I had been told by family and friends alike that it was an absolute must on my places to see while visiting San Diego County.  I was told it was one of the most beautiful coastal views in southern California, and although I have not seen the entire coastline of southern California yet, I have to agree that the La Jolla coastline would be hard to beat.

 

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La Jolla is a picturesque town with breathtaking scenic areas along its coastline.  The town itself is absolutely delightful to visit and walk around.  There are shops to visit where you can find something for everyone.  Beyond that, there are art galleries that will delight your senses, performance venues that will entertain you, and a variety of restaurants that will satisfy your taste buds.  Art and culture choices are abundant with places to visit like the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, the La Jolla Symphony, and even the town’s own theater, The La Jolla Playhouse, plus so much more. There are concerts, plays, and art exhibits galore to view for those who may be interested.

 

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But what I found to be the most interesting and relaxing at the same time was that perfect jewel, the La Jolla coastline.  We walked from the town to Scripps Park that overlooks the ocean, a park where in the summer they have concerts.  We followed the walkway there to Shell Beach,where we saw one of the most fantastic views I have ever seen.  We continued to walk along the walkway, while enjoying the ocean views until we reached the Seal Rock where you can observe up close the ocean and the seals who reside there.  It was a wonderful way to enjoy our afternoon and far surpassed my expectations.

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Beyond visiting the town itself, it was interesting to learn something about its residents, present and former.  Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel was a celebrity resident of La Jolla, and you will often see evidence of this in 3-dimensional art displays in front of the town’s various art galleries and elsewhere throughout the town.  Some others who have lived or still live here are the novelist Ann Rice; actor Gregory Peck; novelist Raymond Chandler; painter Richard Allen Morris and so many others that I could fill the page with names.

 

I can’t recommend enough what a wonderful place La Jolla, California, was to visit.  Although we were staying in Carlsbad, California, another beautiful oceanfront town, we found that with a car, a map, and a GPS, there was so much to see and do in all of San Diego County. The distance between the city of San Diego and Carlsbad was less than an hour’s drive depending on traffic, and everything in between was easily accessible as well, either by using Interstate Highway 5 or Highway 1 along the coast.  They even have an Amtrak train called the Coaster that runs from Oceanside to San Diego for those who don’t want to drive.  Nonetheless, to get to the town of La Jolla and truly enjoy the sights, you need to drive there.  If you should decide to visit this great area of southern California, be sure to make the time to visit La Jolla.  I’m certain that the memory of the ocean views will warm your heart for years to come, and you will dream of going back again sometime soon as we now do.  Put it on your wish list, and then one day make it happen.  You won’t regret it!  Enjoy!

Spring is Here…Time to Think About Planting My Herb Garden in a Pot

By Jodee Weiland

Every year since we built our home, I have planted my herb garden.  Some herbs, like basil, go in with my vegetable garden because I plant them in larger quantities for my purposes.  But others I use in cooking, just not in such large amounts.  Those are the herbs I plant in a large container on my back patio just outside the sliding doors off my kitchen.  I usually put some potted flowers to the sides of the larger pot to add some color.  That makes not only for a lovely view, but it allows for easy access to my herbs throughout the summer when I am cooking.

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Now I have to say up front that I am not “Ms. Green Thumb,” but I do know a lot about the herbs I like and have had a good deal of success growing and using them through the years.  So every year now I plant some of my herbs in a very large container that has rocks layered on the bottom for drainage and plenty of good organic soil to fill up the rest of the pot.  In this pot I have my perennial chives planted years ago, which miraculously start growing again every spring despite my lack of a green thumb, and then I add a few of my other favorites, such as thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro.  When I finish the planter, it looks great, and each year my fresh herbs flourish in spite of me.  I follow what the books and articles advise as to cutting and using my herbs, and somehow it always works out in the end.

One of the nicest things about my herb garden in a pot is that it looks as beautiful throughout the summer as other plants in the various gardens around my house.  The biggest difference is that some of those other gardens are merely ornamental, while the plants in my herb garden pot become part of my kitchen cooking because I always have fresh herbs readily available to me. So once again this year, I begin my herb garden in a pot.

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I still plant basil and other herbs in my regular vegetable garden because many, like my basil, I use in much larger amounts.  I even plant some extra plants, like the ones in my herb garden pot, in leftover spaces in my gardens, if I think I will need them.  This year I am thinking of adding a couple of large herb garden pots on the edge of my patio to have additional space for more herbs.  We’ll see.  You should try it if you like to use fresh herbs in your cooking.  There’s something satisfying about growing them yourself. You can even do this on the patio of an apartment or condominium.  I know that whatever I finally decide to do, I look forward to having my own home grown fresh herbs again!  If you decide to join me, enjoy!

Kale and White Bean Soup…Good as Well as Healthy

By Jodee Weiland

 

This spring has been as cold and damp as many fall days, so I decided to make soup.  After looking to see what I had readily on hand, I found I had just the right ingredients to make my own kale and white bean soup.  It was so easy to do.  I was surprised I never attempted this before today.  I have made all kinds of soups, some with many of the ingredients used here, but I never thought to put them together to make this particular soup. Well, today I decided to try something new, and as it turns out, it was a great idea for a dinner to warm you up on a cold day that took very little effort and time.

 

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In order to make my soup, I gathered together all the ingredients I thought might go well together to create a warm hearty soup that would take the chill off on this damp rainy day.  Once that was done, I started putting together my idea for a great hearty and healthy soup, and it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. Here’s what I put together, and how I did it to cook my soup.  Keep in mind I always make enough soup to feed a family.  I’m Italian, so there’s no such a thing as too much food on the table.

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 Kale and White Bean Soup

 

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic or more to taste
2 tablespoons snipped and chopped parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 to 10 cups chicken broth (I prefer fat free low sodium/ vegetable broth can be substituted)
1 large bunch of kale (wash, rinse, and tear leaves from stem)
3 medium carrots peeled and sliced
3 cans Great Northern, cannellini, or navy beans
Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
A loaf of crusty fresh baked bread sliced, whichever type you prefer

 

In a covered stockpot, about five quart, sauté the onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, and black pepper for about five to ten minutes. Rinse and clean the kale, pulling the leaves off the center stem and tearing or cutting the leaves in to smaller pieces.  Add the chicken broth, kale, beans, and carrots to the stockpot and bring to a low boil, stirring as you add each ingredient. Then lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for twenty to thirty minutes or until the carrots are tender.

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Serve this soup with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese and a crusty loaf of fresh baked bread, whichever type of bread you prefer.  This soup tastes especially good served with a nice Pinot Noir wine. We loved it! It is very tasty and just what you need on cool damp day to warm up. Try it!  I sincerely think you will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy!

Jodee’s Homemade Chili

By Jodee Weiland

Healthy eating sometimes involves taking a close look at what you’re putting into your recipes made at home. With store prepackaged seasoning packets for various dishes, you might think it’s just seasonings, but look again. It was for this reason I made my own recipe, seasonings and all, for Jodee’s Homemade Chili.

Homemade Chili a 011 (500x333)When my children were little and we went grocery shopping, they would always ask, like most children tend to do, “Can we have this?” Usually, it was something I would not even think of buying for them. My answer was always the same, “Look at the ingredients on the label.  If you can’t read it or if you don’t know what it is, it probably isn’t real. So no, you cannot have it.”  Eventually, they would start to ask this question once more, and then stop to say, “Never mind, it isn’t real.”

Homemade Chili a 013 (500x333)Right about now, you may be asking, “Why?” That’s easy enough to explain.  My own mother, a wonderful woman, was health conscience and chose natural foods over everything else before it was even popular. She exercised to keep in shape and lived to be ninety.  Having been raised in this manner, I chose to do the same with my own children.  Consequently, when I wanted to make homemade chili for my family, I came up with my own recipe through trial and error, and chose not to use prepackaged seasonings or less lean meats.

Homemade Chili a 018 (500x333)My recipe for homemade chili is healthy and tasty.  My family loves this recipe, and my own children have asked for it, so they can make it in their own homes.  There are some optional ingredients that have been added in through the years since I first put together my final recipe.  Those options are for those who like a spicy chili as I do.  When the children were young, spicy was not an option for me, but later it became a choice for some of us. It really is a good recipe that everyone can enjoy with even a few add on ingredients after cooking, if desired.

 Homemade Chili a 004 (500x333)Jodee’s Homemade Chili

1 to 2 pounds of lean ground round or ground sirloin
1 to 2 (16 oz.) cans of kidney beans drained and rinsed (all natural ingredients brands)
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 green bell pepper (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 (16 oz.) can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes (no salt added brands)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Water as needed to thin out chili sauce as it cooks (usually about 1/4 cup more or less)

Homemade Chili a 002 (500x333)Note: The recipe calls for 1 to 2 cans of kidney beans and 1 to 2 pounds of lean ground round or ground sirloin. These amounts are flexible depending on whether you like more beef in your chili or more beans in your chili. You decide what’s right for you.

Brown meat slightly over medium heat with onion and garlic added (green bell pepper if used).  Add to this the chili powder, paprika, cumin, and oregano (cayenne if used) and stir in to meat.  After browning the meat, onion, garlic, and additional seasonings, add the tomato puree and sugar, stirring into the meat and seasonings.  At this point, add water if needed to thin out the sauce a little.  Once you have the desired thickness, add the drained and rinsed kidney beans, and stir into the chili.  You can use light or dark kidney beans, whichever you prefer. Cover the pan and lower your heat to simmer for about twenty minutes or until meat is cooked.

Homemade Chili a 017 (500x333)Serve the chili with all your favorites.  We usually serve our chili with tortilla chips, shredded or grated cheese (any type you prefer), and sliced or diced jalapenos. To this we sometimes add a sour cream or sliced olives (green or black). However you choose to serve this chili, even if that is just the chili by itself, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to put together and how delicious it tastes. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as my family has through the years.  Enjoy!