Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Taco Pasta

There’s been some weird fusion stuff going on in the culinary world in recent years.  In general, I prefer my Italian food to be Italian, my Chinese food to be Chinese, etc.  However, sometimes a little cross-culture pollination can be good.  For example, I do like the blending of cuisines in Taco Pasta.  It’s delicious, filling, and economical.

1 lb. wagon-wheel-shaped pasta
1 (15-oz.) can rinsed pinto beans
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain; return to pot.  Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet on medium, add beans, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and salt.  Simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir sauce into pot with pasta.  Add half of cheese and stir to blend.  Spoon mixture into large serving bowl; sprinkle remaining cheese over it.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

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