easy app

Saw this dish on the Today Show this week and thought it looked super easy and healthy. We improvised a little bit by adding some onion and spices to boost the flavor.
If you’re looking for a great New Year’s Day appetizer, this might do the trick!






Black Bean Hummus

1 15 oz. can black beans

1/4 white or yellow onion, minced

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (adjust amount if necessary)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (also can adjust)

Dash of cayenne pepper and paprika

Juice of 1 lemon (could also add just a squirt of fresh lime juice)

Mince onions by hand or in food processor. Add onion, black beans, olive oil, cumin and lemon juice to food processor or blender.  Puree until smooth. Place in serving dish and top with chopped onion or fresh cilantro. Serve with raw veggies and crackers.


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new traditions


Years ago, when Mike and I took our first ski trip to Colorado, we fell in love with the Colorado Blue Spruce which blanketed the mountains with their winter snow. Now, every year we go in search of Colorado’s state tree for our own Christmas celebration (despite those prickly branches which make carrying and putting up the tree painful and usually results in a search for Neosporin).

This year, Mike surprised us with a live baby Blue for the farm. We placed the little potted tree in the kitchen so we could enjoy it during all the holiday baking, and in the next few days we’ll plant it on the property. We decided this will be our new tradition — a live Blue Spruce every Christmas.

Hopefully, we’ll have lots of these beauties dotting our landscape for years to come, and for future generations to enjoy.


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O tidings of comfort and joy


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A Christmas Repost

Yes, Virginia…

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


“Is There a Santa Claus?” reprinted from the September 21, 1897, number of The New York Sun. Originally posted here December 22, 2010.

 “Yes, Virginia, a Thousand Times Yes.” The New York Times, September 21, 1997, on the 100th anniversary of journalism’s most famous editorial.


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