Yesterday we celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This feast was originally instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1944, celebrated on August 22 to coincide with the traditional octave day of the Assumption of Mary.
In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Saturday immediate following the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The purpose of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is to unite us to God through Mary’s pure heart. In order to feel united with our loving Father in Heaven, we need to do something that seems harder and harder to do these days, and that is to let go of anger. We live in such an angry world today. It’s sad. I pray that the world find the peace we so need through the pure and loving heart of Mary. Through a mother’s heart.
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
full of goodness,
show your love towards us.
Let the flame of your heart,
O Mary, descend on all people.
Today we find ourselves in the heart of summer. Summertime should be filled with activity – be it vacations or weekend travel plans, our leisure time is important. It’s a necessity to well-being.
We are lucky in that in the spring there are county fairs and street fairs and car shows and flea markets galore in our neck of the woods. It seems like every weekend we are faced with the challenge of deciding which of a half a dozen fairs to attend. Surrounded by small towns as we are, you don’t have to go far to find something fun. Most are free or next to free to attend.
However; by July the whirlwind of activity tapers off. At lease that’s true for the central valley and foothills. The sierra mountains are nice in July. As for the coast, the typical June-gloom has burned off and the beaches are crowded. However; the valleys and foothills are burning hot, limiting outdoor activity.
This year, I get the feeling that folks from the valley might not be taking advantage of the mountains or ocean for an escape. The cost of gas and food are making it harder and harder for families to do much. We’ve already seen small crowded this year for the Jumping Frog Jubilee over prior years. And that’s sad for both the families and the vendors that count on support.
This year we just might need to take matters into our own hands. Set up a wade pool filled with some water and sand (work with me here) to create our own beach. Put on some Mariachi music. Make a few pitchers of margaritas. Keep the food simple. After all, you’re on vacation – even if it is in your own backyard!
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
2 lbs boneless Chicken Thighs
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small Orange Bell Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
1/4 cup Nacho Jalapeno Peppers
4 Burrito Flour Tortillas
2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese
1 cup Thick Salsa
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Guacamole
1 Avocado, optional
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet, hold in the warm oven.
In a small bowl, mix lime juice with taco seasoning; pour into a gallon-size storage bag and set aside. Cut chicken thigh into 1-inch pieces. Place in the bag with the lime juice. Shake chicken to coat evenly, set aside.
Stem, seed and dice bell peppers, set aside. Peel onion, dice and set aside. Dice jalapeno peppers, set aside.
Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onion, cook until vegetable are tender.
Add chicken; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add diced jalapeno peppers, stir to blend. Remove from heat.
On a flat griddle, gently warm tortillas to make folding easier.
On half of each tortilla, spread cheese out all the way to the edge. Top with a quarter of chicken mixture. Fold unfilled side over the filled side, press down. Brush top of the quesadillas with a little oil, about 1/2 teaspoon at most.
Heat the griddle over medium heat. Place 2 quesadillas in skillet, oil side down; brush top side with about 1/2 teaspoon of the oil. Cook about 1 minute or until light golden brown.
Carefully turn quesadilla; cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until golden brown. Transfer grilled quesadillas to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
Cut each quesadilla into quarters with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole as desired.
Cut avocado into slices to garnish the plates if desired. Serve with favorite sides such as refried beans.