The Heart of Leadership


I begin today’s post with a confession.

I am a fallen away Catholic and have been so for over forty years. I do not expect that to change during the rest of my life.

1 pope 3


Nevertheless, I always follow the death of a Pope, the ensuing election, and their reign as simply current events and history. The Pope is after all a world leader.

I also like the pomp and ceremony that attends the election, inaugural, as well as the religious ceremonies throughout the year.

No one does royal pomp and ceremony better than the British. And no one does religious pomp and ceremony better than the Catholic Church.


I also like the continuity of the papacy. In a world that seems to have sea changes every fifteen seconds it is nice and comforting to have an institution and ceremonies that are centuries old – The Circle of Life.

Having said all of this I have to say this new Pope seems to be some thing different; something special even.

When I first heard the name he chose for himself I liked it and had an immediate positive impression of the man before I could even put a face to the name. Francis. One of my all time favorite saints has always been St. Francis, that gentle man who loved and helped all creatures.

To Serve

From his early acts and words Pope Francis seems to be genuinely humble and down-to-earth.  He seems to intuitively and truly know and understand that his most important job is to serve others.

1 god 

I can only hope and wish those men and women elected to public offices at the local, state, and national level and given power and privilege here in America would know as much and would follow Pope Francis’s lead and serve the people.

God knows we have enough elected men and women who already think they are God!

Featured Recipe    Warm Mushroom Spread
1 basketballLooking for something a little different to nosh on during all those hours watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

Today I have just the dish in mind for you. Quick and easy. Delicious. Filling. Nutritious.

Life doesn’t get any better than this.


This is a great dip or spread for parties and get-togethers. Served with a salad and/or some soup it is equally delicious as a meal in and of itself.

Below I show the spread served on crusty bread as a light meal with a salad and some hot soup. But it is equally good as a dip for crudités. In fact, this spread would be lovely on your Easter table, not to mention the NCAA Basketball Tournment as a dip or spread for veggies and bread or crackers.

This is what you need for about 4-5 people:

3 tablespoons butter

8 ounces mushrooms chopped

1 shallot, diced

1½ tablespoons flour

1 cup sour cream

½ teaspoon lemon juice*

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste  



Bread, crackers and/or crudités


*Substitute Worcestershire sauce for a savory flavor.

Here is what you do:

Turn the oven on to 375 degrees F.

Wash and chop the mushrooms and dice the shallot. How To Prep Mushrooms ~ To chop after washing & slicing the mushrooms cut the slices into smaller bits and pieces.


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms and shallot and sauté until tender about 2-3 minutes.


Sprinkle the mixture with flour and mix the flour in.


Reduce heat to low and cook 5 more minutes.


Mix in sour cream and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Transfer to a small casserole dish.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.



Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees.


Bubbly hot straight out of the oven.


Serve on some crusty bread or, or a roll, or with crackers and/or with soup and/or a salad. Perfect for a cold snowy day like today.


NOTE: You can serve the spread staright from the oven. Just place a sliced mushroom on top and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top. [See picture at top of the recipe.] Then place some plates with crackers and crudités nearby.

Nifty Noshing!!!


3 tablespoons butter                          $0.24

8 ounces mushrooms                         $1.99

1 shallot                                           $0.27

1½ tablespoons flour                         $0.08

1 cup sour cream                              $0.99                         

½ teaspoon lemon juice                     $0.35             

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese                  $1.26

Salt and pepper to taste

                                      Sub-total = $5.18


Parsley                                            $0.09

Crusty bread                                    $1.10

Total cost = $6.37
Cost per person = $1.27 per person

Quote of the Day

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson


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4 comments to The Heart of Leadership

  • We share the discarding of the Catholic guilt and we also share the enjoyment of the pomp and ceremony. I don’t know why. I think of incense and it brings me back to 10 years old. I wish Pope Frank well but the doctrine the church espouses is not what Jesus left behind. Priests need to be free to get married and then the priesthood might attract way more than the weirdos. Women shouldn’t be an also ran.

    As for your mushies – I never met one I didn’t like and popped on some toast and I’d be in heaven.

    • Roberta

      Ahhhhhhh the incense…….still love the heady aroma.

      I didn’t get into doctrine and the like. Serious issues there. But the church is not a public organization. It is a private organization. No one has to be a member. No one is forced to join. It does not have to make any changes I or anyone else thinks they should.

      Feel the same way about mushrooms!!! 🙂

  • I’m Jewish but I’m so into the popehood. For me the Catholic Church is like a march through history – mine and yours. We’re so intertwined. I have high hopes for this new pope. My entire family watched, transfixed, waiting to see who the cardinals would choose. We’re quite excited about Francis I.

  • Oh, like the recipe too. I’ll give it a try.