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Green Pepper Soup

This soup sounds like it would be spicy and bitter. In fact, it is almost sweet. And, equally amazing, this soup tastes good hot or cold. It is quick and simple to make.

4 Large green peppers, chopped
2 Large onions, chopped
2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4-5 cups of water
1 Large bouillon cube
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Saute green pepper and onion in butter and oil in a heavy pot. Stir in flour until smooth and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add water and then the bouillon cube and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Let the soup cool down. Then use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients.

In Israel, the green peppers do not make a sweet soup. You should use red peppers there.

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Why I Shop in My Friends’ Closets

By Joan Gross

I believe this is not my first life. My DNA has inbred in me urges to move. Although my grandparents came from Poland, Russian and Lithuania, eastern music calls to me and spicy food temps and pleases my palette. Other people have possessions and are proud of them. I feel that I am owned and burdened by my possessions.

My lifetime norm was to not be concerned about clothing although I admit a passion for jewelry. Jewelry can be packed in a small box. In ten minutes jewelry can be ready to go.

Clothes however do express the person and I learned years ago that shopping malls would never let me express my essence. My tastes are eclectic and while none of my clothing is bold, they definitely look like I have stepped out of another time and place. I prefer blacks and browns with some color accents and long skirts with high necked tops.

Seeing my non-fashionable demeanor, my friends always believe I need clothes. They on the other hand have tons of clothing but their yoyo weights always seen to be lower or higher than my consistent size 10 and they always have a pile of clothing that is too big or too small. They point to the section in their closet to the clothes that no longer fit and let me shop away. Since they are used and old, they fit my taste.

My friends long ago gave up the notion that they could make me stylish so if they don’t have clothes that fit me, they take me to the community closets – thrift stores.

Shopping in friends’ closets has brought me to the viewpoint that used is good. I have gone from used clothing, to used cars and to used husbands.

Used husbands know better than to be angry when I am angry. They wait until I cool down before they let off steam. Used husbands know better than to say “Hey honey, gaining a little weight?” And more important, used husbands don’t want to be micromanaged or to micromanage like they did in their first marriages. The more marriages they’ve had, or in other words the more used they are, the more freedom they give you. My current used husband has decided that it is cool for him to live over 6000 miles away. We take turns visiting each other.

I am now shopping for used ex-boyfriends for friends that have no boyfriends in the hopes of making perfect matches.

If we put our heads together, maybe we could come up with ideas for used mattresses, discarded rinds from fruits long ago eaten or used TVs. What do ya think?

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Potato Leek Soup

Harried mom’s quick, easy and frugal recipes

3 Medium to large leeks

3 Potatoes

1/4 Bunch of parsley

1 Bouillon cube or 1-1/2 tablespoons or use chicken stock instead of water

4 Cups of water (approximate)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 Cup of soy milk


After washing leeks, cut off the tough leaves and slice the softer leaves and bottom section. Cut two of the potatoes in chunks and add the rest of the ingredients including one whole potato.

Cook for about 20 minutes making sure it is not too thick or thin.

Put soup through an immersion blender or put into a regular blender and blend well.

Dice the last potato and add to the soup. When the diced potato is almost soft, then add the soy milk, salt and pepper and it is ready to serve.

Decorate top of soup before serving with a little fresh parsley or chives

This soup from beginning to end takes less than 30 minutes and served with hot bread and butter can be a  hearty meal.

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Chicken with Mangoes and Peaches

Harried mom’s quick easy and economical dinners

2    Pounds of boneless chicken (top or bottom)

1/2 Sliced onion

1    Large peach

1    Mango

1/2 Cup Chablis wine

3/4 Cup water

1    Bullion cube (or equivalent in powder)

1    Green pepper21

1/4 Teaspoon chili powder

2    Tablespoons vegetable oil


Photo of the chicken dish before putting it into the oven

This dish is vibrant with the juxtaposition of the colors of the pepper, fruit and chicken and the little bit of chili powder gives it a bite. This dish will not make an oh-hum presentation when served, especially if you ladle it into a colorful serving bowl.

Cut boneless chicken into small chunks. Sauté the chicken pieces, onion and green pepper for a few minutes. Add wine, water, bullion, mango chunks, sliced peaches, and chili powder. You can either simmer it on the stove for about 15 minutes or put it in the oven, covered, and bake for approximately 30 minutes.