Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Ten years later: A motherless daughter honors the mom she barely knew

"Mom, I'm proud to be your daughter.  You'll always be my hero and the pride of New York City." -- Patricia Smith, 12, memorializing her mother, police officer Moira Smith, who was killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Many words were spoken today on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  But,  I found none more moving than these words spoken at the sight of the  9/11 memorial in New York.

On September 11, 2001, Patricia Smith became a motherless daughter.  It is a connection she shares not only with other 9/11 families, but with countless others who lost their moms at a tender age.

Patricia was only 2 years old when her mother Moira, a New York City police officer, was killed assisting victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.  This was the same little girl who, in a red dress, accepted a medal of honor for her mother's bravery.

To see her now as a beautiful young woman, standing with such poise and confidenc,e speaking those words without tears is an inspiration.  I can think of no better way to honor those who lost their lives than to see and hear this living tribute today.

Watch the "Good Morning America" interview with Patricia and her dad here:

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Friday, September 9, 2011

This day in HERstory

From Detroit ...
 ... to Tulsa

In 2006, the Detroit Shock beat the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs 80-75 in game 5 to win its second WNBA championship in four years.

In 2009, the team relocated to Tulsa, Okla.

Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Feminist Quote Bag

"I don't like the phrase 'balancing work and family.'  The idea that there's some sort of balance leaves (people) feeling guilty.  I spend more time at work than at home with my three beautiful chldren and I'm not going to feel guilty about that ...
"I'm amazed male executives still say to me, "How are you going to do this job with three young kids at home?"  Men are never asked that question."

-- Norah O'Donnell, chief White House correspondent for CBS News.

Courtesy of USA Weekend.

Friday, September 2, 2011

From Cherie's Kitchen: E2 Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Here we are in September.  Back to school, back to work and back to the kitchen for hearty dishes we enjoy as the weather turns cooler and the leaves turn color.

Here is a dish that will persuade even the most ardent carnivore that vegan food can be tasty and satisfying, courtesy of "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn, a vegan version of the classic Shepherd's Pie.  And the best part is -- Nobody gets killed!  Here's my slightly modified version:

Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4-6


3 Yukon Gold potatoes (or your favorite potatoes,) quartered
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 teaspoons dried, chopped rosemary
Cracked pepper to taste (optional)
16 oz. fresh or frozen green beans (or 1 15 oz. can, drained)
2 onions, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package soy meat crumbles (I like Morningstar Farms)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce ( I like Wizard's)
1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Boil the potatoes until soft.  Drain and mash them with the soy milk and a teaspoon of the rosemary.  Add pepper if desired and set aside.

If using fresh or frozen green beans, steam them for about seven minutes, or until bright green and still firm.  If using canned beans (they work just fine,) drain and set aside.

Saute the onions on medium heat in a large nonstick skillet until translucent.  Add mushrooms, if desired, garlic and the remaining teaspoon of rosemary to the onions.  Cook another few minutes.  If using mushrooms, cook about five minutes until they release their juices.

Add the meat crumbles, pepper and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  Stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.  Add a small amount of water as necessary to combine the ingredients.  The mixture should be moist, but not runny.

Spray a medium casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Place the vegetable/meat crumble mixture in the casserole dish.  Spread the green beans on top of the mixture.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove top and bake five minutes longer, or until potatoes begin to brown lightly.

Because this dish completely free of animal products -- even milk or eggs  that are allowed on a vegetarian diet -- it is considered vegan.

I had most of the ingredients stocked in my pantry, fridge and freezer and had to pick up only a few items.

I usually keep a couple of bags of Morningstar Farms Meal Starter soy crumbles in my freezer where they are available for soup, chili or spaghetti sauce.  These are easy enough to find in the frozen foods section of Meijer, Target or Kroger.

My first question was, "Why do I need vegan Worcestershire sauce?"  I was not aware that this popular flavoring contains Anchoives -- fish!  So, pitch any old Worcestershire sauce in your fridge and replace it with the Wizard's brand, available at Whole Foods Market for just a few dollars.

Bragg's Liquid Aminos is a substitute for high-sodium soy sauce.  In addition to its nutritional value, Bragg's contains only a small amount of naturally occurring sodium, with no additional salt added.  It's also available at Whole Foods Market for only a few dollars.  So, throw out any old soy sauce in your fridge, too.

The fall is a wonderful time to set goals.  Why not strive for one meatless meal a week?  With delicious food like this, you'll never miss the meat. More great recipes are available on the Engine 2 Diet  website.

And, best of all -- NOBODY GETS KILLED!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Film festival features flix with feminist flair

I've discovered a great source of economic intellectual enlightenment and entertainment:  The Detroit Film Theater located in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The theater wrapped up its summer season with the film "!Women Art Revolution," a new documentary by filmmaker/artist Lynn Hershman Leeson that explored the feminist art movement of the 1960s and '70s. 

This was definitely not a film to be found at a local cineplex, and neither are the films included in the DFT's fall schedule.

Two selections deal with women and gender themes:

"Mozart's Sister. " Who knew he had one?  That's exactly the point.  This is the "re-imagined account of the early life of Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart".  She was an exceptional musician and composer whose talents were on par with those of her famous brother, Wolfgang.  Yet, she was a victim of the strictly enforced gender roles of her time.  Since this is a "re-imagined account," it would be interesting to do some research to see just how much artistic license is taken with this woman's story.

The film plays Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m; Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 7 at 9:45 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 8 at 9:45 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9 at 4:45 p.m.

Note:  French with English subtitles.  See the trailer here:

"A Woman Like That." This is a presentation of the Friends of Detroit Film Theater and the DIA European Paintings Council.  Filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod combines her own life experiences with the "her pursuit of the truths behind the legends about 17th century female painter Artemisia Gentileschi.  Gentileschi's painting "Judith with the Head of Holofernes" hangs in the DIA's gallery.  The DFT says, "The enduring power of her story is revealed through her singular works of art, and the filmmaker learns that it matters who gets to tell it."

The film has one showing on Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.  see the trailer here:

The Detroit Film Theater is located at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward, Detroit, Mich.  Secure lot parking is available for $5.

The great thing about the features is that they are not expensive.  Tickets are $7.50 and discounts are available for students and senior citizens.  Order tickets on line and see the DFT's full fall schedule at:  Secure lot parking is available for $5.