Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Meat-Free Feast

My church has what is called, "Dinner for Eight." Four couples get together for dinner once a month for 6 months to get to know one another. The couples are selected at random and after months, they are shuffled again and new groups are formed. Well I hosted our small gathering this past weekend for a superb Greek dinner. I selected a Greek theme because it could be vegetarian without the absence of meat being obvious. I made spanikopita (spinach pastries) from a recipe I learned when I worked at a Greek restaurant in my early 20s. I also made falafel (garbonzo bean patties) which my kids love. Finally I made a farina custard wrapped in phyllo dough for dessert. I also selected a red and a white wine, and sparkling mineral water. One of my guests made homemade pita bread (which was wonderful), Greek olives, and sliced vegetables to go in the pita (with the falafel). Another brought pita chips and hummus (along with a lovely tray of baklava). The final couple brought a delicious lentil rice salad and a yummy homemade tabouli. It was quite a spread. Beautiful to look at, delicious, filling and complete. We had a lovely time. Usually a game is played after the meal, so during the week, I made 100 'conversation cards' with interesting and fun questions on them. I went to a bookstore to purchase some, but I didn't find what I wanted so I decided to make my own. I love good conversation and this turned out the be really fun. A truly lovely evening, one that should be repeated again and again.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daily Routines

My daily quiet times have been fabulous. I've been working on a two hour regimen to start each day off productively. I start each morning with quiet meditation. During this meditative time, I light a candle and incense and breath deeply. I read from my Bible a bit, and then move on to journaling, which has been a long time practice of mine (since I was about 18). I read from my affirmation cards, then a chapter from an inspirational or self help book. Right now I'm reading Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." When my quiet time is complete, I write 1-2 pages on the book I'm working on. This is followed by my exercise regimen. I do yoga one day, aerobics with weights the next. I hope to keep up this simple regimen into the new year. I enjoy my mornings so much more now. It starts my day on a positive path.