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Boa in Rose’s space! WE ❤ BOA, a true-Woo HERO!! … “I AM NUMBER 4”

“I AM NUMBER 4”

By Boa Newgate

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Boa strives to improve the lives of the poor children of his homeland, Vietnam. pics: submitted

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Boa giving out school supplies to school-age children in Vietnam.

My name is Boa D. Newgate. I am the Lead Manager for the Mental Health Cultural Case Management Program at the Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC) since 2008. I also oversee SEAC’s Youth Effect program, initiated its Vietnamese Language program and co-founded its Lion Dance program. In 2015, I was given the YWCA Best Guy Award for my contributions towards the prevention of domestic violence, my active support for equal rights and dedication to empowering youth, women and minorities. In 2017, I received the Community Hero award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Commission.

However, before I created my name and my identity, before I became the person that I am now, I was known as “Number 4.”

My father was in the military, and he was a casualty of the Vietnam War. He was badly wounded from the waist down and was not able to walk.

When my parents had no choice but to leave behind our home, our family and friends, and everything we love in order to stay alive, my mother was pregnant with my youngest brother.

My mother witnessed her grandparents taking their own lives because they did not want to die under the hands of the enemies. Yet with the strength I did not know a human being could possess, my mother carried me in one arm, my father in the other, and she brought us to a refugee camp in Thailand.

We lost all of the records that proved we existed, but we were able to save our lives.

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The photo (above) was taken in the refugee camp and it is my only childhood picture. In the picture, there is a little boy holding a number four next to his family. That little boy is me. Without the records, my identity was lost; I did not have a home and I did not belong to any country. My mother was, and still is, too traumatized by the experience to remember the month or year I was born. I felt like an outcast, and as I grew up in the refugee camp, I felt as if I was a prisoner, trapped with no control and no choice. The barbed wire fence isolated my family, and other refugees, from civilization.

It served as a painful reminder of the identities we no longer had, of the status and the rights that had been stripped from us. Its presence, day after day without failing, made fun of our bareness, of our nothingness.

I was too young to truly understand the suffering my family was going through. We lived in a house made of bamboo. On windy days, we could feel the wind force its way through the house.

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Boa back in Vietnam with the children he will never forget…

When it rained, the dirt floor would become muddy. The overwhelming smell of dirt, mixed with the smell of garbage that was originally there, clung to me for days. It felt as if the smell had ingrained itself in my pores and no amount of washing and scrubbing could get rid of it.

We often could not afford the necessities for our everyday life. I had to gather ice cream sticks that were thrown away by other more affluent families so we could make fire.

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Boa teaching a class in Vietnam while visiting

My eyes were often glued to the ground to look for things other people might have dropped.

On most days, our meals consisted of rice porridge because all we had were rice and water, and it often was not enough for the whole family. My parents starved themselves so my brothers and I would have enough to eat.

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Boa today … giving back to the kids of his homeland, his roots.

My older brother resorted to stealing from the stores in the camp and endured countless beatings as a result. He also sneaked out of the camp to steal food for the family. What my brother did, in those moments, taught me to not wait for the world to give me it’s approval, to not wait for a hero to appear, but to become my own hero.

What my brother did might have been lawfully wrong, but if not for him, we would not be here today; we owe him our existences . He is my hero. My family instinct was just to survive, to see each other tomorrow, and it was my only instinct, too.

Thinking back, I wonder whether those days were days spent in heaven or in hell?

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Making a difference

I do not have an answer for this, but those days have given me a curse that is also my blessing: my memories. They have taught me that every negative experience has something positive to offer. I have learned to love and cherish every moment differently. Most important, I have learned how to measure my success and my accomplishments with a different standard.

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Boa works at SEAC – the South East Asian Coalition – in Worcester where he helps Vietnamese immigrants and Vietnamese-Americans thrive in America! His focus: physical activity/exercise, education, counseling …

I have come to realize that I was lucky to survive the given circumstance and situation. I am lucky to be alive! I will not waste my life. I love myself and I owe it to myself to be smart, healthy and happy.

Before I did not have a choice, now I will create my own heaven, I will not wait for it.

SEAC’s Youth Effect program was started in Worcester in 1999 with a mission to keep youth in schools, off the streets and away from gangs.

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The SEAC youth program helps kids thrive in Worcester – and America🇺🇸

Since then, the SEAC youth program provides services from academic tutoring to physical fitness activities, college preparation and the Lion Dance program to more than 100 Asian youths, and 3,000 youth visits every year. The program enjoys immense success (in the last few years, 100% high school graduation, more than 90% of our kids pursue higher education, our youth had an award winning Lion Dance team and more than 3,000 hours of civic and community volunteering by us. This has all given me a vision – to bring Youth Effect overseas – thus the Youth Effect International was born.

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Fulfilled

As my new identity and my new life began at a refugee camp, I want to go back to the refugee camps, to my roots, to help people in need. In March 2017, I traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines and distributed school supplies to hundreds of poor children and street kids.

Via my vision, SEAC hopes to fund-raise and organize one trip to Asia each year to continue supporting children in poor villages in Asia with school supplies, hope and encouragement.

To help, to make a donation, or for more information, please visit www.seacma.org

Just 4 u, Woo!❤

Chef Joey is in Europe cooking for and eating with his family …

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pics: Chef Joey

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Tasting and buying vino ….

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But heading back HOME soon … to Worcester (avec E.T?!) …

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Too cute, Joe Joe! (at Madame Tussauds wax museum)

… with new, oh-so-easy recipes just for you!

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Read his culinary Europe column – postcards from the center of ❤ – in the next issue of CECELIA❤❤❤, on stands next Friday!

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Fifth Annual Symposium -1(1)

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At the Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square

Free to all!

Mindful Based Stress Reduction

Eight-Week Program Plus Orientation and Retreat

Mindfulness facilitator Ginny Wholley was trained by the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness, in the world-renowned MBSR program, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The program consists of:

• Instruction on formal and informal mindfulness practices

• Guided meditations

• Exercises directed at developing awareness

• Dialogue and group discussions

• Mindful movement: gentle yoga, stretching and walking
(All movement can be adapted for abilities at any level)

• Home practice

Orientation: Tuesday, September 5
6 to 8 p.m., Saxe Room in the Main Library

Eight Classes: Tuesdays, September 12, 19, 26 and October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31,
6 to 8:30 p.m., Saxe Room in the Main Library

Full Day Silent Retreat: Saturday, October 28, 9:30 to 5 p.m.,
Saxe Room in the Main Library

Bring your own mat.

To receive maximum benefit you are encouraged to attend all sessions.

Register online today at www.mywpl.org or call 508-799-1655 ext. 3.

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RIP, Rhinestone Cowboy …


So romantic ❤💔❤💔… sigh

Imalay! Always in style!

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Imalay Guzman

Summer Times

By Imalay Guzman

After suffering mother nature’s cruel joke, I am excited to say summer is officially here! Coming from a Hispanic background and being born midsummer, I truly appreciate the warm weather. From lake trips to the cook-outs – who doesn’t love the summer time?

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Imalay’s sweet husband and their adorable kids enjoy the refreshing pool! photos: Imalay Guzman

There is something about warm weather that brings out the happiness in people: everyone can relate to letting loose and having fun.

Any spontaneous decision can lead to an unforgettable memory. When I was 15 years old, a group of friends and I decided to skinny dip at Vernon Hill pool. It was something to do while there was nothing to do. I will never forget how I cut my leg trying to jump over the fence! Over all, it was a great night – something I will never forget!

This is the time of the year where there are different occasions and reasons for family and friends to reunite. My family does this thing where every Sunday of the summer we get together just so all the family members can actually spend time with one another. This way all the siblings can catch up, and we have a day of the week where we can be a family. To be honest, the main reason for the gathering is my mother’s cooking. She is an amazing cook!

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A family birthday party!🎂🎂

If it’s not dipping your feet in a pool or splashing around in a beach, people always find a way to keep cool and have fun. The idea of fun is what you make it! Not everyone is so lucky to have a variety of different activities – people who are not mobile can only do so much. It reminds me of a time when it was 95 degrees our and my friends and I decided to start a water balloon game, something like manhunt, but if you got hit more than three time with a balloon you would be it. When you’re younger, any little thing can be entertaining! Add water to the activity and you will beat the heat! There are different ways to be able to enjoy the hot weather, without having to spend lots of money.

Here are some of the activities I enjoy,using stuff around the house or items that are inexpensive:

The world’s cheapest slip ‘n’ slide – using an old tarp, detergent and water – you can even set it up at a softball field and have some real fun.

Hanging water balloons and letting the kids have at it like a pinata can also be a good way to keep the younger kids entertained and refreshed.

What better way to stay cool than to make everyone’s favorite treat – ice cream! You can go online and find different ways to make your own ice cream in your choice of flavor. Even if you’re alone a bike ride or even a trip to a place you’ve never been can make anyone’s summer.

Keeping busy and having fun can keep a lot of people safe and out of trouble. I hope everyone enjoys their summer!

Worcester’s Roger Salloom – always in style!

IN THE PINK🌸: MY OL’ PROVIDENCE STREET JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER, singer-songwriter Roger Salloom, wrote a new song. I like it!:🌸 – R.T.

The backstory from Roger:

” … after my loved one became a bit healthier, and after I became disgusted by what I felt were repugnant, political people in my country, I had to …write ‘Don’t Let My Country Wash Away.’

“Well, Friends, here it is. I sure hope you like it. My good friends in music have helped out with cameos……in the music scene, if other musicians like what you are doing- …. they want to endorse you, so they do stuff with you . …. Stu Cook from Creedence Clearwater Revival- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Creedence Clearwater Revisited… , Charles Neville- (Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Reed, the Neville Bros., James Brown et al, Grammy winner), Jamie Kent on his own record label debuted at #16 on the Country Billboard Top 100 chart- he is about 25 years old, and Seth Glier about 25 years old, Grammy winner, extraordinary singer… and dear Nell Levin (who had a young Bob Dylan sleeping on her couch for 6 months when he was homeless in Manhattan …. even Dylan was broke and homeless…. I wonder if he slept on his side or on his back? What would you think today if Dylan was sleeping on your couch?…and in those days I wonder if he slept much, sounds as if he did not) with her husband, Michael August Shelby Bottom String Band, and from my own men, Tommy McCarthy, one of my very favorite dudes-’The Dude will abide’. Fine character and talent in one little body. Thanks.

“One thing that is a curious coincidence is that I had a connection to President John Adams. I read a lot of history. My wife is a descendant of John Adams. She is dismissive of this, however, I am pleased because I have read much about him. I found him admirable with a keen sense of ethical true north and even prescient.”

– Roger

Paula!🐱 Always in style!🐱

But first …
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Buddies – L + C.❤ pic: R.T

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Dear internet, sharks aren’t props for your macho-fueled selfies

By Paula Moore

By now, you’ve surely seen — or at least heard about — the video out of Florida that has outraged the internet. In the clip, a shark is dragged by a rope behind a speedboat, while the people on board laugh. The shark’s body slams against the surface of the choppy water, and in addition to suffering from this trauma, the shark is likely also suffocating from the lack of water passing through his or her gills.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, “The brutality and disrespect shown to this animal is sickening,” and has called on state officials to review Florida fishing regulations “to ensure such inhumane acts are strictly prohibited.” Reportedly, the same people who shot this disturbing clip also posted a photo of the shark’s mangled body, torn to pieces by their abuse.

How many more examples of such total disregard for life must we witness before we humans finally understand that bullying and killing animals for alcohol-fueled antics and narcissistic selfies is wrong?

Sadly, there seems to be no limit to the number and species of animals manhandled by ignorant gawkers for photo and video ops — from a baby dolphin yanked out of the water and passed around by tourists to peacocks grabbed out of a zoo exhibit for selfies — but sharks seem to bear the brunt of the abuse.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a second video, possibly of the same boat crew responsible for the shark-dragging incident, showing a hammerhead shark being used as a “beer bong”: A man positioned beneath the shark drinks beer as it’s poured through the animal’s gills.

Last year, a video and photos circulated showing a group of men, purportedly lifeguards at a hotel in the Dominican Republic, dragging a shark out of the water and forcing the animal’s face into the sand. The shark died. A few months earlier, video footage had surfaced of a man in Florida pulling a struggling shark from the ocean and pinning down the resistant animal while mugging for the camera. It’s unclear whether that shark survived the encounter.

Commenting on the speedboat video, Neil Hammerschlag, a shark expert at the University of Miami, told the Miami Herald, “Maybe if you’re able to overcome a big shark, there’s a sense of accomplishment. But there’s other ways to express that, and certainly animal cruelty is not a good one. You know — arm wrestle.”

Like us, sharks have unique personalities, and they socialize and form friendships.

Porbeagle sharks have been observed playing with objects floating in the water, repeatedly rolling themselves in kelp fronds and chasing after other sharks who trailed pieces of kelp behind them.

Biologist Peter Best once witnessed several great whites working together to move the carcass of a partially beached whale to deeper waters so that they could eat it.

Sharks have long-term memories, they teach each other how to find food, they can perceive optical illusions and they feel pain.

And tellingly — unless some drunken idiots are dragging them from their ocean home — sharks naturally shun human contact.

Bullying an animal who just wants to be left alone is not brave. It’s not funny. It’s pathetic. If any good can come of the outcry over these sickening videos, perhaps it’s that more people will understand that animals aren’t playthings for us to use and abuse — and leave them in peace.

While the other vintage-antique shops are away (read: closed on Mondays) …

… you can always play at Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester.🌺🌸

BEST PRICES IN THE CITY!❤

Open Mon. – Sat., 2 – 8 p.m.🎹

A sampler👠: pics: R.T.

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Jett? Lilac? Cece?!

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Trump’s “Real Dump” comment sealed his fate!! IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP!

By Rosalie Tirella

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Rose walking her dogs.   pics: R.T.

Let us Impeach President Donald Trump. Be done with Trump!, America’s big, bloated megalomaniac – our orange-headed, toxic buffoon! He has turned us Americans into a global punchline! He has destroyed millions, globally and locally – humans, fauna and flora! From the refugee, the young woman – really, just a girl – who flees her homeland and runs straight into America’s arms to escape gang rape, stoning, starvation for her children … to our Appalachian streams and their quicksilver fishes: Trump has hurt us all.

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And he’s only been in office for eight months!

Impeach Donald Trump!

If enough Dems win the House in 2018, it will happen – but not soon enough!

I say: House Republicans, put your political careers into the buzz saw and do the RIGHT thing: Cut Trump out of the White House the way you would cut a bruise out of a beautiful apple with your pen knife! That beautiful apple is America!

Do it after summer recess…

Comedian Dave Chappelle nailed it when he said: Trump’s a bad DJ at a great party.

That GREAT party is AMERICA!!

I am exhausted – the world is exhausted! – emotionally, spiritually, psychologically – by this pathological liar who is squatting in OUR White House! The people’s house!!

The LAST STRAW, for this Green Island gal???

A few days ago, as reported in Sports Illustrated, President Trump called the White House, the people’s house, “A REAL DUMP.”

“A real dump.”

Would you put up with some asshole calling your apartment, condo, ranch, Dutch colonial or room “a real dump”?

Didn’t think so!

Early Americans chose NOT to call our president YOUR HIGHNESS. They chose the every-man title “Mr. President.” They chose NOT to attach a fancy name to his abode or build him a castle. No castles for us Americans! No moats, moors or parapets for us! Our head guy (or gal) – the person who served/represented WE, THE PEOPLE, would live in a house, just like most Americans did. True, it would be a big house and have nicer china, but it would still be a house – a white house. So we called it the White House!

If you visit Washington, D.C., for the first time ever, you’ll be a little surprised when you first see the White House!❤ I know I was! It is not really all that big a house! It looks like a huge estate on television, but it is not in real life!! … Cool!!

Apparently, the White House is not grand enough for Donald Trump, the king of opulent crud.

The White House is just not ostentatious enough for the King of the Moneyed.

Or gold-plated enough.

Or gaudy enough.

Or bloated enough.

The gold-leafed toilet to puke or shit into is missing!

So he calls the people’s house – belonging to you and to me! – to just regular folks (the millions who voted for him and made him president!) – “A Real Dump.”

Trump’s possible very own collusion with Russia to turn the 2016 U.S. presidential election in his favor, for me, at this moment, this early Saturday eve, August 5, 2017, means ZIPPO. Nothing. Nada.

I, Rose T.,  caffeinated, swingin’ at the ceiling, my Lafayette Street childhood cold-water tenement existence haunting me more than usual…my husky mix Jett yippin’ at God’s lilly white robe while wearing his Yankee Doodle hat …

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… I, Rose T., say: SHUT THE TRUMP DEBACLE DOWN!!

Enough is enough!!

Impeach President Donald Trump!!

Shut the Trump Reality Show, in all its vulgar, crass, ghastly Day Glo “glory,” off.

Vice President Mike Pence is this liberal’s nightmare, but I’ll deal with his neanderthal political agenda when Trump goes, probably resigns, like Nixon did, to avoid impeachment. I’ll sleep ok at night knowing Pence sucks on climate change, women’s rights, saving the American working and middle classes but HE IS NOT DONALD TRUMP. That he won’t start a nuclear war with North Korea – or Russia. That America  – and the world – won’t know nuclear holocaust because Trump has a hair across his fat arse. That President Pence will shut his pie hole and not say asinine things 24/7. Pence will at least give lip service to the American ideals and building blocks: human rights, truth, artistic, religious, sexual and political freedoms, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Yes! to fledgling democracies, YES! to freedom of speech, Yes! to freedom of the press, YES! to sending EVERY GIRL ON THE PLANET TO SCHOOL and eradicating global diseases … goals and ideals the world connects to America, or the idea of America. The shining light in that city on the hill!

It’s so easy: TRUMP HAS TO GO because HE IS MENTALLY ILL.

MENTALLY UNFIT TO BE ARGUABLY THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON ON THE PLANET.

Trump is Unwell. Can’t You Tell?!

He called the White House, home to some of the greatest American thinkers and leaders in the history of America – Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eisenhower, JFK – he called their home “A REAL DUMP.” Great Americans who filled his “dump” with grand, ahead of their times IDEAS, IDEALS, KNOWLEDGE, POETRY and SCIENCE … trips to the stars and back! Not midnight-trips-to-the-toilet Tweets!!

Who amongst us would say something so awful about THE BRILLIANT SIDE OF OUR AMERICAN FAMILY?! Who would diss their home – the people’s home – the White House – this way?!

I grew up in what most people would call a “dump” in Green Island years ago! For example, on Lafayette Street, in my childhood “dump,” we had: A tub that leaked onto the ceiling of the tenement below us every time you tried to take a shower. We had one crappy gas kitchen stove with a gas “log” to heat a three-bedroom flat where three little babes (my two sisters and I) lived. We had a perennially cracked window pane in our back door that the January winds always whistled through. Every winter my mother taped clear plastic wrap over all our windows to better keep out the cold and wind. Still, the snow sifted down, light as sprinkled sugar, and I would run my small finger through the little slanted hill of white snowflakes that formed inside our kitchen window sill, smiling at its pure, pretty whiteness. As a little girl in winter time, I slept in my bed wearing an ugly navy blue seaman’s knit cap but I dreamed of those beautiful white sugar snowflake mini-mountains…and wrote poems to them on my Saturday afternoons! And my mother told her sisters, my aunties: My Rosalie is so smart she is going to college someday! To maybe be a veterinarian because she loves animals so much! My mother gave birth to her and MY American Dream in that “dump.”

I guess a person today would call my childhood home in Green Island “a real dump.”

But, for me, today, whenever I drive by that Lafayette Street three decker (yes, it’s still standing!), I feel proud. It’s a shrine: A shrine to my immigrant Bapy from Poland who couldn’t write two words in English and wore my sisters and my knee-socks on her arms, in layers – the socks she cut the toe tops off of – to keep warm and soothe her arthritis. That “dump” is a shrine to my late, beautiful mother who not only persevered and raised (single handedly) her three little girls but INSPIRED us to be the best!

Don’t you see?

Donald Trump is the “Real Dump.”

SAVE AMERICA!

IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP!

Chef Joey = 🎵🎹🎻 to your tummy!

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Catch Chef Joey’s ALL ABOUT GARLIC❤ column in this issue of CECELIA! (Rosalie’s new mag, named after her late, lovely, magical mom!👗❤)

Text and recipes by Chef Joey

It’s beautiful weather, and there are many days and nights when outdoor cooking is a nice break to the usual pots and pans! But outdoor cooking does not always have to mean meats, chicken, hamburgers or hotdogs. There are lovely vegetables to savor!

Italians have been grilling veggies for years, firing off peppers for antipasto, grilling eggplant, carrots, fennel, squash, zucchini to name a few, and the flavors are exquisite – plus, it is so easy to do!

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Back at Rose’s shack: she sauteed some veggies… pics: R.T.

If you think about it, people have been boiling or steaming vegetables for what seems like forever – oven-roasted is popular now, too. However, that tradition of cooking is as old as the first oven. Go back a few hundred years – they had ovens, spit roasts and pots over a fire. As the concept of cooking came about in the 1700s with fancy chateaus creating stoves, sauces and other delights were new for the palate…

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R.T. says, more veggies❤, less meat!

You do not have to have a grill outside to do this – a panini press or a “Forman” grill works great. The trick to grilling veggies is to cut them diagonally so they are large enough and you are not spending hours on small circles.

Carrots, for example, sweeten up and taste fantastic! Drizzle them with fresh olive oil and salt, and you have the sweet and savory effect that everyone loves.

Simply peel your carrot and cut lengthwise, as thin as you can, and toss them with a little oil before placing on the hot grill.

Close the lid, wait about 4 minutes, then turn them.

You don’t want to burn them!

Cook another 4 minutes or so and then place them in a pan and cover. They will continue to cook.

This is the same process for virtually every vegetable …

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Rose’s Trader Joe’s organic yum yum

Asparagus cooks much faster and, of course, adjust the time for squash, which is very wet so it takes a little longer to cook.

Eggplant burns quickly – so keep an eye on it!😉

Once you have completed your grilling – take your veggies and arrange them on a platter.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt on top.

It is that simple!❤

If you want to take it to the next level…

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pic: Chef Joey

Put 6 garlic cloves in the blender and ½ cup of olive oil and puree.

Add 1/22 cup olive oil and some salt – pour it into a dressing decanter and drizzle your veggies with that – the garlic adds a kick! And you have dressing for the next time. It goes fast, as the veggies soak it in.

Veggies like sprouts: I recommend a grilling basket. You can just shake it to move the sprouts around. Cut them in half for faster cooking times.

Rule of thumb is when you see the grill marks distinctly on both sides, chances are they are done. And again, they keep cooking when you take them off the grill.

When arranging your veggies, feel free to toss a can of drained chick peas, cannellini or navy beans into the oil and garlic mix. Place them with the veggies for added protein!!

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No one’s perfect! Rose makes CHEF JOEY’S CAKE AND FROSTING – recipes on this website. She bought this cute little cookbook a few days ago!😉