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In spite of warm August temperatures we are only days away from “back to school.”  That means sports, homework, busier days and that age old question, “what’s for dinner?” 

For the rest of August, let’s explore some of the oft’ forgotten, old classics, that everyone, including the kids, eagerly devour, often asking for seconds.  

One that comes to mind is a simple one pot dish referred to as goulash.  Served with a green salad and warm bread, it is a complete meal.  Not only do the tomatoes in this tomato based dish contain the vitamins A, C, and K, iron, potassium and protein that growing bodies need, the bright red color (lycopene) is a powerful antioxidant known to fight cancer and heart disease.  

Many are aware of the health pros of the tomato but did you know about the benefits of a second ingredient found in goulash?  Paprika!  Often overlooked by American cooks, it is a main stay in Hungarian dishes— the origin of goulash.  Many studies show that it promotes glowing skin, helps prevents hair loss, lowers blood pressure and aids in wound healing as well as being a powerful anti-inflammatory.  

So what is not to love about this economical, easy to prepare delicious dish? 

There are probably as many versions of the traditional Hungarian dish as there are recipes for spaghetti sauce and the one I am making today is Americanized and not too spicy, which possibly explains why it is popular with younger kids. 


1 lb. lean ground beef

1 medium yellow onion (chopped) (yields about 1 ½ cups)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 heaping tablespoon paprika (its good for you)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. crushed caraway seeds (optional)**

1 can petite no salt added diced tomatoes (undrained)

6 oz. can Campbell’s tomato juice

1 tablespoon tomato paste*

½ cup water

3 cups cooked small elbow macaroni*** 

* Buy tomato paste in the tube and you always have some in the refrigerator for the small amounts that many recipes call for.

**I like the slight sweetness of the caraway seeds.  

***You can use whatever pasta you like.  I just like the presentation of the elbows in the dish. 1 cup dry macaroni yields about 4 cups. 

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente, about 6 minutes.  Drain and set aside. 

In same pan, brown meat.  (If your pan is not non-stick, spray with non-stick spray for easy clean up.)  When meat is close to loosing it pink and turning grey, add the onion and cook until meat is done and onion is tender.  This is a good time to season meat with some salt and pepper since we are using unsalted tomatoes. (Campbell’s Tomato Juice is salted.) 

Add pepper, garlic powder, paprika, caraway seed, canned tomatoes, water, tomato paste and tomato juice.  Mix well and add cooked pasta.  Cover and simmer over low heat until seasonings meld.  Add additional water or tomato juice if you like more sauce, but adjust the seasoning and add a bit more cooked pasta if you like the taste of pasta as I do. Taste for seasonings and serve or store in refrigerator to re-heat when ready to eat. 

Although this recipe may not be spicy enough for sophisticated palettes that enjoy foods with lots of heat which seems to be a trend in cooking today, it is an old-fashioned, family friendly meal that the little one will probably enjoy.  

Also, as with any basic recipe you may add or change.  For instance, if you like bell pepper, add some when you add the onion.  It goes well with the dish.





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Rendering of Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

The Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance will continue hosting the summer series of public presentations by local Holocaust survivors, refugees and hidden children. 

Wednesday, August 16 hear Magie Furst, a Kindertransportee.  The Kindertransportee (children’s transport) was a series of rescue efforts which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940. 

Sunday, August 20 Holocaust survivor Max Glauben will present the program. 

Speakers for Sundays, September 3, September 10 and September 24 are to be announced. 

“If you have not had the chance to hear the testimony of one of our survivor-speakers, the summer survivor series is the perfect opportunity to do so,” Museum President & CEO, Mary Pat Higgins said. “You will not only hear first-hand from a person who experienced history, but you will be deeply impacted by the message of their experience.” 

Summer series are at 12:30 p.m. and admission is free.  Admission to exhibits apply. 

The Dallas Holocaust Museum’s mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust and advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. The Museum’s exhibits and programs convey the lessons of the Holocaust including the horrors brought on by unchecked discrimination and deep-rooted hatred that led to the attempted annihilation of the Jews and the systematic persecution of others. 

The Museum’s permanent exhibition is a narrative history of the Holocaust that features historical artifacts, video footage, and personal stories.  

Currently located at 211 N. Record Street it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  It is closed on Yom Kippur, September 30, 2017, and Christmas Day, December 25. 

Within the year the Museum will break ground on a permanent home in the historic West End of Dallas. 

This state-of-the-art, 50,000 square foot structure will allow visitors to experience an even deeper immersion into human and civil rights, their centrality to our democracy, and their vital importance in preventing events like those of the Holocaust from happening again.

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The Westside Academy of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) hosted “Summer Showtunes” Saturday afternoon following a two-week drama camp held at the church this summer. 

Campers performed musical numbers from “Hairspray,” “Hamilton,” “The Sound of Music” and more. 

This year marked the third summer that Central has provided a kid’s camp promoting fun while learning theatrical skills, but it was the first year under the direction of Lois Leftwich and choreographer, Michael D’Andre Childs. 

Leftwich has taught for The Junior Players, Dallas Children's Theatre and Park Cities Dance.  Childs made his Dallas debut in 2015 and has excelled displaying his talents in the Dallas Arts industry.

Parents, family friends and Central members gathered in Fellowship Hall Saturday afternoon to watch the performance and cheer on these talented kids. 

Performing were Payton Archer, Carissa Burns, McNaron Gray, Thomas Jordan, Elise Laharia, and Tinashe McGowan.  

Remember the Westside Academy when planning next year's summer camps for your kids.  

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Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is beginning the second week of their two-week summer drama camp.  This is the third year that Central has hosted a singing, dancing and acting theater workshop for kids who have been bitten by the show-biz bug.  

Campers in the past years have delighted family and friends performing numbers from “The Jungle Book” and “Honk! Jr.”  This year the performance will feature scenes and songs from “Hairspray,” “Hamilton,” “The Sound of Music” and more.  

After giving the kids ample time to enjoy Campizi’s pizza, their Friday lunch treat for a week of work well done, I asked the kids what makes the drama camp so special.  

Some of the young campers have already developed a history with the stage. 

McNaron Grey said that she has been studying drama since Kindergarten.  She portrayed the ugly ducking in last year’s production of “Honk! Jr.” 

“It’s fun to explore new characters and express yourself,” McNaron said.   

Thirteen year old Carissa Burns is currently taking 6th grade theater classes at school. 

Carissa says, “It’s fun being someone else for a time.  Plus, if the character you are playing is ‘not so nice’ you are not judged, because it is playacting.” 

This summer marks 11 year-old Payton Archer’s third year at Central’s Drama Camp.  

To come three summers in a row, you must really like it I said to Payton. 

“I do.  I like the singing and acting and getting to know the new kids,” Payton said. 

She added that what she has learned from the camp has made her more confident and less insecure in front of other people. 

The two guys pictured are Tinashe McGown and Thomas Jordan. Both boys come by theater naturally.  Tinashe’s dad Eran sings in Central’s Chancel Choir, often performing solos.  Tinashe is an accomplished pianist having taken lessons since he was six years old and said that he is enjoying the variety of singing, dancing and acting at the camp.  

Thomas also plays the piano and boasts a show-biz heritage.  His grandmother is the late Jowanda Jordan who directed award-winning choirs at SouthOakCliffHigh School and was musical director of the South Dallas Concert Choir, dedicated to the preservation and performance of the Negro spiritual as an American art form.

Obviously these kids are enthusiastic about the theater, but the camp has coached kids who have never waked upon a stage before.  It is amazing to watch their progress from day one to performance day in such a short period of time. 

Directing the camp this year is Lois Left Leftwich who has a long and varied career in performing and teaching and has lead a variety of Musical Theatre and Acting Camps for ages 5 through 17. Leftwich has taught for The Junior Players, Dallas Children's Theatre and Park Cities Dance. She has also been busy on stage in “A Civil War Christmas” and “The Wedding Singer” both at Theatre Three. 

Choreographing the production is Michael D’Andre Childs who is an accomplished director, music director, composer, playwright, choreographer, and actor.  Originally from San Antonio, Michael made his Dallas debut in 2015 and has excelled displaying his talents in the Dallas Arts industry. 

Central Christian Church has long been a supporter of the theater.  It is home to the Westside Players, a theater company founded by the late Ed DeLatte, who also founded the Dallas Repertory Theater at North Park Mall in Dallas.  

The church fellowship hall features a fully operable stage making it a perfect venue for theatrical productions. 

The kids will perform “Summer Showtunes” Saturday afternoon, July 22 at 3 p.m. at the church located at 4711 Westside Dr.  It is free, open to the public and a concession will be provided.

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Young and old enjoy ice cream sundaes

It was 1984 when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.  

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tries hard not to miss an opportunity to celebrate food and fellowship! Following morning worship the congregation gathered in the church fellowship hall to “build your own Sundae.” 

Sweet treats like chocolate, hot fudge, caramel, pineapple, nuts and candies lined the ice cream buffet so people could make their own special concoction before topping it with the traditional whipped cream and maraschino cherry. 

Did you know that ice cream was introduced into the United States in the 1700’s as a delicacy for “high society”?  In 1776 the first ice cream parlor opened its doors in New York City.  The ice cream sundae was born in the 1880’s and reportedly, the waffle cone was introduced at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.   

These are facts that could be tested, but one thing is for sure; Americans love ice cream.

Happy National Ice Cream Month from Central Christian Church!

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Camp Sweeney

Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed. Currently, there is no cure and about 200,000 kids under the age of twenty are living with the disease. 

Effective management of this condition is absolutely necessary to reduce the risk of developing long term complications such as blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.  

The disease is legally considered a disability, but often overlooked because it is a “hidden” disability. You can’t tell that a child is living with Type I Diabetes by looking at him, but the children are insulin dependent and treat their condition by way of injections or an insulin pump. A child with Type 1 diabetes is required to balance their diet, insulin and exercise 24 hours a day to prevent hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose levels) and hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels). 

Simple enough, except when you are the child or the parent of the child with the disease!  When school, sports and other normal kid activities are swapped for blood tests, insulin injections, and carbohydrate calculations, life is not so simple. 

A child living with Type I Diabetes usually sees himself as different from his care-free, needle-free peers. 

Not at CampSweeney! Diabetes, injections, blood tests and meal calculations are the norm. And they go hand in hand with kids having fun. 86 percent of the kids at CampSweeney are return campers.  

Think of what that means to mom and dad back home. They can be confident that their child is having a great camp experience and is safely cared for at the same time.  

Located on 460 acres (35 of those are water), CampSweeney is set in Whitesboro, Texas, between Sherman and Gainesville, just South of the Texas Oklahoma border. Founded in 1950 from land donated by a series of area ranchers, over 30,000 kids between 5 and 18 years old from all over the world living with Type I Diabetes have eagerly filled the bunk houses, dining room, lakes and hiking trails for an incredible camping experience. 

Many area parents and grandparents may even know the camp director, Dr. Ernesto Fernandez, from visiting the popular pediatric practice located at WoodhillMedicalPark in Dallas. Dr. Fernandez, a Dallas pediatrician, joined campSweeney in 1989. 

Our goal is to “normalize living with Type 1 Diabetes,” Dr. Fernandez says about the camp program. “Kids are not different (nor do they feel different) here at CampSweeney because everyone is doing the same thing to cope with their diabetes.” 

I took the two hour drive from Dallas to CampSweeney to meet with senior associate volunteer Preston Walhood for a camp visit and hands-on tour of the property. 

When I asked Preston how he got involved with CampSweeney,  he said that he was asked to volunteer 13 years ago and “I’m still here.” 

Preston and I boarded one of the several AFVs and drove the camp grounds while we visited. We stopped to photograph the cabins, the lake, the pool, the gym, the medical stations and dining facility. 

What is a day like at CampSweeney?  It’s much like the regimen at any other camp except for the medical data that is required daily. 

“Up at 7 a.m. and ‘yes,’ they make their bed,” Preston said.  Following “medical data” is breakfast and then the morning activities begin.  

CampSweeney offers everything from archery, aerobics, zip lines, climbing walls, jet skis and tubing. There is fishing, skeet shooting, riflery, paintball, lacrosse, football, soccer, hiking, cross country, swing dancing class, weight-lifting class, internet publishing and video production. The camp has their own radio station, which serves the Cooke County/Denton area, so they have broadcasting class as well. Parents, you can tune in! 

At CampSweeney, the goal is to find something that especially interests each child. They choose three activities for the morning session.  

The afternoon repeats the morning with the addition of Sweeney Medical Lectures.  These lectures are provided by UT Southwestern and are great learning tools— knowledge that kids take home with them about current diabetes research. 

Mealtimes are special times. With diabetes, “food is a drug,” Preston said. 

Trays are color coordinated and the organization for preparation and distribution of meals is mind-boggling. There are 26 staff members in the kitchen at a given time to ensure happy campers at meal-time just as during activity time. 

Check out the web-site and you will see first-hand the fun these kids are having. Online you may obtain information on camp schedules and registration or give your support through donations.   

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Chris Wilkes

Have an idea for a new product but not sure where to begin? The North Texas Angel Network (NTAN) is here to help. 

NTAN is a non-profit corporation of angel investors looking to fund early-stage businesses that have quality product ideas but lack sufficient funding to get their products to market. 

No idea is too big or too small to catch the attention of an angel investor, and NTAN’s portfolio is proof. It includes dozens of growing and established companies that began as underfunded ventures that needed a cash infusion and business mentorship to get off the ground. 

Chris Wilkes, president of a McKinney, Texas mechanical engineering software firm, Sigmetrix, is on the board of NTAN. His interest began on Google when he was looking for an opportunity to invest in early stage businesses, rather than trading with mature established companies. 

What sets the angel investor apart is not only a willingness to write checks, but to take up-and-coming entrepreneurs under their wings. It’s the kind of care and attention the average venture capitalist rarely provides. 

Since angel investors typically get in on the action in a company’s startup phase and use their own money to do so, they are far more willing (and incentivized!) to keep a close eye on their business and lend any support the business owner might need along the way. 

Angel investors don’t invest in everyone they meet. Groups like NTAN are particularly careful about researching and scrutinizing the products they invest in because at the end of the day angel investors do not want to throw their money away on failed products. 

If, however, NTAN decides to fund your business, there’s a good chance that what you’re selling is something consumers will want to buy. 

Here’s how the process works. NTAN members start by screening applicants that wish to give presentations to the 60-person organization. Applicants who make it past the screening phase are given the chance to deliver the most clear, comprehensive, and compelling presentation they possibly can. 

At the organization’s monthly meeting, NTAN members sit down to hear the presentations and ask questions about the entrepreneur’s vision and his plan to reach that vision. After deliberation and debate, a select few are given a major monetary boost—typically between $200,000 and $800,000—to realize their dreams. 

From there, members of NTAN, who are successful businesspeople in their own right, provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help their budding companies overcome obstacles, stay on track, and ultimately market and sell a successful product. 

NTAN is also interested in attracting new angel investors. Those with a certain baseline net worth are encouraged to apply and become a fellow angel. The perks can be significant. 

Members get to network with fellow angels, screen newly discovered talent and businesses before anyone else, diversify their investments, reduce inherent risk through co-investing, and gain automatic membership into the Angel Capital Association of America. 

The biggest perk? Money. And the potential to make a lot of it. 

The advice that Chris Wilkes would give upcoming entrepreneurs is “understand the finances.”  Yes, you do need to have a passion for your invention, but total focus on technology is not all there is to being successful.  You must know the financial aspect of your business.  It takes money to build a business.  A good mentor helps. 

How is NTAN different from the popular and entertaining TV show “Shark Tank?” 

“Actually, it is similar, but we are a lot nicer,” Chris said. 

He joked that it is sort of like comparing the friendly people of Texas to the friendly people of New York.  

An interesting and apt analogy —as the names implies, “Sharks” compete and “Angels” pool and help. 

The members of the network including attorneys, experts in finance, sales and marketing with a variety of backgrounds to evaluate and mentor ideas. 

One of NTAN’s recent success stories is Savara, Inc., a pharmaceutical company that has developed three inhalable medical treatments that are ready for clinical development and that will eventually allow patients with rare pulmonary conditions to inhale painless scheduled treatments. 

Savara just debuted on the NASDAQ. 

Angel investing isn’t just limited to North Texas. In 2015, the Center for Venture Research estimated that U.S. angel investors funded about 71,000 small business, granting a total of $24.6 billion dollars in exchange for company shares. 

Local and national companies will continue to find success because of generous and passionate angel investors and organizations like the North Texas Angel Network, who give innovative individuals the chance to bring their ideas to life.

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Lunch break

About an hour and a half drive from Dallas is Granbury, Texas— a gem of a “get-a-way”  from city life. 

Steeped in history and showcasing beautiful old homes, it is set on picturesque Lake Granbury— a virtual water playground with a sandy city beach, boating, skiing and fishing. An extensive trail system is perfect for hiking and bicycling.  

However, if the “great outdoors” is not your cup o’ tea; don’t worry.  The historic town square is lined with quaint boutiques, charming eateries and the famous Granbury Opera House.

The Westside Wanderers from Central Christian Church (named after the drama company  founded by the late Ed Delatte) took the short drive Saturday morning to enjoy lunch on the square and see the matinee performance of “South Pacific” in the beautifully restored opera house. 

Originally built in 1886, the Granbury Opera House has been painstakingly renovated to the period.  The interior boasts elaborate, imported chandeliers, elegant curved staircases, the original limestone walls, filigree iron balcony railings, pressed-tin-inspired acoustic ceiling tiles and an intimate seating arrangement.  

The Opera House, the landmark crown jewel of Granbury, brings to the small town patrons of the arts from all around the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is home to the Granbury Theater Company.  

Rogers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” originally opened on Broadway in 1949 but the story, set during World War II, could not be more appropriate then than it is today. 

Granbury production director Jay Lewis encouraged everyone to enjoy the enchanting story, but added that, “maybe you will be challenged to reach across and better understand those who you might consider different from yourself.” 

A great cast performed the musical with Amber Lanning playing Nurse Nellie Forbush and Brian Lawson playing Emile de Beque, sounding a lot like Ezio Pinza. 

In addition to a wonderful theater experience, the group enjoyed lunch at one of the many tea room style restaurants or diners on the Square and still had time to browse the many interesting shops. 

A couple of us came home with coconut balsamic vinegar from 1890, the olive oil and vinegar gourmet shop on the Square. Can't wait to experiment with that.

Day trips from Dallas are a fun and economical way to see our state, get to know our neighbors and make new friends.

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Where's the hot dogs? Photo by Mary Bahr

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) kicked off the Fourth of July holiday celebration Sunday afternoon with a hot dog cook-out following Dr. Ken Crawford’s delivery of “Never Stop Dreaming of Freedom” from this summer’s “Come Dream with Us” sermon series.  Musical highlights of the service included a solo of “America the Beautiful” by Ed Morgan. 

Charcoal grilled hot dogs with all of the trimmings along with traditional sides of potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw were enjoyed by members and guests in Fellowship Hall following Sunday’s worship service.  

There are many good cooks at Central and nothing says summer like fruit pies and cobblers.  A variety of peach, cherry and blueberry homemade cobblers were served a la mode.  

Central may be the oldest continuously operating church in Dallas (established 1863), but remains young at heart as demonstrated through their many community outreach programs and in-house activities. 

Come visit!  You’ll be glad you did.   

Summertime Peach Cobbler 


1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar, divided

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup milk

4 cups fresh peach slices

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional) 


Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

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Mollie was a natural loving to pose

Tuesday’s photo shoot at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was a howling success.  Fellowship Hall was turned into a photo studio and both dogs and people sat while photographer Kris Hundt captured their image and personality. 

We met Kris several months ago when she attended Central’s “Pop-In Tuesday” cooperative work environment headed up by Pastor Ken Crawford and Daryn DeZengotita and have used her skills with the camera on several occasions.   

Kris draws inspiration from connections forged during the actual shoot.  Her interaction with both people and their pets is a natural gift for bringing personalities to surface. 

Her images have been published in nationwide magazines and on the web.  She loves to travel and of course, her camera is one of her greatest traveling companions. Like many artists, Kris finds beauty everywhere. 

“The world is a beautiful place, you just have to be open to seeing it,” she said. 

Central Christian Church is often referred to as “the church with the dog park.”  Out back, just behind the church is a one-acre dog park with plenty of seating, natural shade from the huge life oaks, running water, a dog wash station and professionally manned waste containers.  Open from dawn to dusk, a statue of St. Francis of Assisi watches over it all. 

Church members and dog park regulars lined up in Fellowship Hall all day Tuesday to have professional portraits made. Coming along for the photo op were big dogs, little dogs and a variety of breeds making for a very amusing day.  Numerous poses were taken of each subject— dogs, kids and owners, (selection won’t be easy) to give everyone the opportunity to get the perfect shot that says it all.  

Back scene shots may be funny, but the finished product is a beautiful treasured photo that you will cherish forever. 

If you missed today’s photo shoot, watch for future opportunities on Central’s website and on BubbleLife Community Media.