Love 'em. Lying on a blanket and watching them pass overhead. Naming the types of clouds and likening their shapes to things.

When I lived in San Francisco I bought a VHS (google if you need to know what that is) of cloud scenes at some shmancy art gallery. I watched it on TV after a hard, stressful week in grad school and would stare. Relax. Wind down and feel that all was okay. When you stop and take in the clouds, all is better. Maybe because we are in the now. Maybe because clouds take us and our thoughts up.

When I had my first baby, the Artist, she would ask for the clouds video. Sit in the bean bag and snuggle up and doze while watching the clouds. How can you not?

This changed my thoughts on clouds. And many things. Pay attention to the lyrics. I hear my Jesus in there:

Zach, I wish you were here so I could meet you. What an inspiration. Your life lives on in so many ways because of your motivation to make people smile. You made me smile, giggle and you aren't even here.

I pray his message speaks to you as it did to me and you see each day differently after hearing how this 17 year old put it, "It's simple, actually, it's just try and make people happy. Maybe you have to learn it with time, maybe you have to learn it it along the way - but as long as you learn it, you're gonna make  the world a better place."

Yep. Got it. Thank you Zach. Quite sadly ( and quite beautifully ) you are speaking to me from the grave, but I get it. I so long to hear it from you. But we will meet. I am sure of that.

Can I live it? That remains to be seen. But when I can't? I call on my Maker and guess what? He has me covered!

Love that Jesus. And I am so glad He loves me.

Be inspired. Watch:

Wow.  A boy I never met has moved me in a way that shall never be forgotten. Because, honestly, I just want to bring people happiness and joy and make them smile.

And remember, "You don't have to find out you are dying to start living."~Zach


Philly Cheeze Steak

A few months back, Lucky Peach had an issue with a Philly Cheese Steak recipe that got my mind going.

I have been thinking about it for a long time. How to take the meat out and make it ever-so-scrumptious. Like dripping-off-your-fingers-gets-on-your-shirt-and-you-have-to-walk-around-the-rest-of-the-day-with-a-stain-on-your-shirt-good.

I thought about my Dad a lot while making this. He is a brilliant cook. A chef really. And if I make a vegan dish that is a copy of a "meat -lovers" all time favorite, it needs to pass the Daddy test. My Daddy can cook some meat. But like any fine chef can appreciate all things well prepped, prepared or cooked.

Last Saturday, I finally got around to putting thoughts into action. And then into my belly.

Big hit. For everyone.

And I think Dad will be pleased when I make this for him when next we meet.

It will definitely be a regular at this house.

Try it and let me know if you give it the thumbs up as well.

Philly Cheeze Steak

5 large Portabello Mushrooms
3  Bell Peppers
2 Onions
Steak Seasoning (I used Penzy's Mitchell's Street Steak Seasoning)
Your favorite Vegan Cheeze Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot Dog Buns

1. Turn Portabellos on their sides like a wheel and thinly slice them. Then slice those thin slices into strips. Put into a skillet and saute' with veg broth and liberally season with the steak seasoning.
You want this juicy and dripping with flavor.

2. Slice peppers thinly (I prefer red peppers with a serrano thrown in). Saute' in veg broth until soft.

3. Slice onion in thin slices. Caramelize in veg broth in a skillet. I actually use water to saute' and add a bit of Happy Herbivore's No-Chicken Broth Powder.

4. Now pile it on your warmed bun: mushrooms, peppers, onions and then add your favorite vegan cheeze sauce. I used Heidi Ho Veganics because we had some on hand. My Red Pepper Dip would be brilliant as well.

5. Eat, but watch that shirt because if you did it right it should be dripping good!!