Sunday, September 27, 2009

SOUND OFF: Time, Treasure and Talent

Growing up in a Catholic household, giving to charity was a major part of our lives. We not only tithed at church every week (we kids fought over who got to put the envelope in each week) and donated items to St. Vincent de Paul and Goodwill, but we also volunteered our time and skills to various causes. This is known amongst Catholic communities as the Three T's: your Time, your Treasure, and your Talent. These three items make up the concept of Stewardship. We've always been good about donating items and money to charities and lending a hand to friends lately, but now that we're parents, the plight of children has recently lodged itself in our hearts. Giving of our time and talent was so important to both Michael and I in our youth but as we've gotten older and gotten bogged down by jobs, parenthood, and life in general, we've haven't been able to give of our time as much we would like.

We finished watching Long Way Round a couple of days ago, which if you're not familiar with it, it's a documentary featuring Ewan MacGregor and his best mate Charlie Boorman on a motorcycle journey to circle the Northern hemisphere. One of the things they did while on this life changing journey was to get involved with UNICEF and the things they saw just tore our hearts out. I'll admit, I have not always been as charitable to the plights of other countries as I felt it was our duty to take care of those in America first, but seeing these segments made me realize that love and charity should know no boundaries.

As I watch my daughter grow and play daily, I am reminded that she is incredibly lucky to have such a loving family and to have the basics that many children in other parts of the world lack. Ewan and Charlie met children in Mongolia who live in the heating systems underground, abandoned or lost from their families, and the only thing that keeps them fed and clothed are charities like UNICEF. We've all seen pictures of kids who live in Africa who are nothing but skin and bones due to malnourishment and the effects of AIDS. And having relatives who have adopted and have been foster parents, my heart breaks to think of all of the children who are unwanted and unloved in this world or the children who die from starvation and neglect. If it's terrible that these things should happen to an adult, it should be a crime that it happens to children.

Michael and I have been talking recently about getting more involved in charity organizations like UNICEF and adopting or fostering kids when our financial situation is better and we're a bit older. But after reading this blog entry tonight, I feel that maybe we should start here in our hometown and offer our support to the many charities in Austin. After our best friends endured the nightmare of having their youngest in the hospital for two weeks with no clue as to why he was experiencing the ills he endured, I feel like doing something for an organization like Ronald McDonald House. I may not have a lot of extra time or a lot of extra cash, but I can definitely pick up a few choice items to be donated to the RMH for those families that are staying there and trying to live as best they can with the grief and uncertainty they go through.

While I will never tell someone they need to donate their time or money to a specific cause, I will urge you all to think about how we can give back to our communities and encourage the spirit of love and humanity in a time when we seem to be bereft of it. Regardless of party, religion, race, sexual orientation, creed, etc we are all human and we all share this one earth. I have not yet come across a religion or school of thought that doesn't tout the benefits of helping each other (and I hope I never do). When the world seems to crash down around our ears, giving back and reaching out a hand, even if reluctantly, can be immensely healing and the effects are astounding. Even if all you do is smile at a complete stranger, I urge you to stop and think about how you can give back and in a sense, pay it forward. Corny as it sounds, we can only change our world for the better if we're willing to get out there and do something. So start small, or start big, and feel the joy in giving and helping!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought her back...if there is one thing my child does not lack it is curiosity! Last night she was fit to burst she was so full of curiosity, so I just let her run around and get into everything that she wanted to. Within safe boundaries of course! One of the things she found was an old pair of my eyeglasses. They're meant to be my backup glasses but my prescription has gotten so terrible over the last two years that they're really a moot point now. I really need to either have them retrofitted with new lenses or donate them, but I'll make that decision when I go for my yearly eye check soon. In the meantime however, they're so weak that Billa had a great time running around with them on. I was working a facelift for the family blog and she kept coming over to me every few minutes to have them put BACK on her face. Too funny. Even funnier though is that she actually put them away when she was done. No exaggeration! Here are some pictures of our studious one:

Happy Friday,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Memoriam: Sara Medina-Pape

I learned late Sunday night that one of my professors passed away after a long battle with cancer. Sara was a dear friend and mentor, and she will be dearly missed. She was an inspiration in that she always managed to have a smile on her face despite the tough times she endured and she never had a mean thing to say about anyone, even when they treated her terribly. Her obituary is below and I don't really have anymore to add. I am glad to know she is no longer in pain and that she is free to ride in peace Sara!

Sara Medina-Pape passed away on Friday, September 18th. She is preceded in death by her beloved father, Dr. Miguel A. Medina; and grandparents, Vera Word, Luz Medina and Margaret and Orrin Bounds. She is survived by her devoted family: husband, Brian Pape; children, Ian and Natalie; mother, Johnnie Medina; sister, Amy Repp; and brother, Paul Bounds; as well as numerous extended family members. Born in Milan, Italy in 1953, she spent her childhood in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a MFA degree in Theatre Arts. A world traveler, she worked in a Kenyan safari camp and lived in London and Lima, Peru. She began her career at St. Edward's University in 1990 in the theatre costume shop and later, as an assistant professor of costume design, her award-winning creations for the Mary Moody Northen Theatre garnered much praise. Her movie credits include costumes for the first Coen Bros. film, "Blood Simple." Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000, she met the challenge with unflappable determination and continued to live life to its fullest. Under the auspices of St. Ed's, she spent three summers in Uganda helping the Sisters of the Holy Cross teach women to sew, read and write. At various times the journey was shared by her son, husband and mother, as well as her students. Stateside, she organized the sale of Ugandan crafts, which provided the rural villagers with much-needed income. Many happy times were spent at the family's Hill Country ranch and with the horses at Rio Vista Farm in Austin. She loved her horses, Chester, Nathan and Normandy, a passion shared by her daughter. Sara's family expresses particular appreciation for the care she received from Dr. William Strodel of the Geisinger Medical Center, Dr. Lon Smith of South Texas Oncology, Dr. Laurence Tokaz of Texas Oncology, Drs. Sant Chawla and Amor Srikureja of the Sarcoma Oncology Center and Dr. Azim Shekarchi of Austin Regional Clinic. Services will be held on the St. Edward's campus on Saturday, September 26 at 10:00 a.m. in the Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation ( and/or the SEUganda Project (

Recipe thuRsday: Olympic Pizza

If you're looking for something fast, tasty, and versatile, this dish is for you! I tore this out of a Cooking Light years ago and it has become one of our favorites. I usually stock the items in my pantry and then pick up or make a focaccia when we're ready to make it. This dish is vegetarian and you could probably make it vegan if you had to by subbing the feta for dairy free and you can reduce the fat by using low-fat feta cheese. Use it as an appetizer or serve it as a main dish.

Olympic Pizza
1 focaccia loaf
1 jar of roasted red bell peppers, diced
1 TBSP non-pareil capers
1/2 of a red onion, diced or sliced
1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup of tomato paste
oregano and basil to taste
3 cloves of minced garlic

1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice the focaccia in half like a hamburger bun.
2. Spread the tomato paste on both halves and sprinkle with oregano and basil to your liking. Top that with the garlic.
3. Add the onions and bell peppers, then top with the cheese. Sprinkle the capers on top of the cheese.
4. Bake in the oven for ten minutes. Then turn on the broiler for two minutes, being careful not to let it burn.
5. Pull it out and let it cool for a couple of minutes and enjoy!

Bon apetit,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Po Po Popo Face has got to go...

Popo, Paci, Bubba, Mimi, has so many names and right now, it is the bane of my existence. We are now officially on Day 2 of Restricted Bubba use and I gotta tell you, I am gonna toot my own horn here! At Sybilla's 12 month checkup I had sworn that I wasn't going to buy anymore pacis, but seven months later, the old ones were looking pretty nasty, so I bought one last package. I even said as much to Sybilla. But I knew deep inside that I shouldn't have bought them. Not because I couldn't afford them, but because the Bubba habit had gotten out of hand.

Sybilla had actually been doing really well for a bit using only when she was in the car or going to bed/nap. But as time went on and she started teething molars and gaining an independent streak, we got lazy and started letting her have it whenever she wanted. And it probably would have been fine except that all of the Billa Babble that she had learned was now getting muffled or thrown to the wayside altogether. We've gotten tired of hearing her shriek, grunt, grumble, and whine from behind the pacifier and getting her to tell us what she wants now could be considered an Olympic sport. Her sign for "please" is actually "more" and no matter how much we bribe, cajole, plead, beg, order, yell, etc, she won't actually say the damned word. GRRRRR!

The camel's back broke yesterday and in a fit of massive irritation, I took it from her. She was not pleased with me and let me have the full brunt of her displeasure. I ignored it and blogged instead, although it was really really really hard. She didn't get it back until bedtime and this morning, I endured seven minutes of crying and pleas for "Bub-ba!" in the car on our way to school. Thank God it wasn't a minute longer or I *might* have given in! It can be very disconcerting to drive in the rain with an unhappy child...

Daycare lady doesn't allow the kids to suck on their pacifiers at school while they're awake, but she lets them bring them in and use them during naptime if mom and dad are ok with it. I did not leave Bubba with Billa today, so there was no option to use it. I instead kept it in my purse, just in case, but as it was, Michael picked Sybilla up from school so again there was no option to use it. PHEW! She didn't get it at all when she got home and we did have a fit just before dinnertime where she begged us for it and then cried the biggest ol' crocodile tears you ever saw, but we held firm. As soon as we announced it was bedtime, she asked for it, and we gave it to her...once she was laying down in bed.

So at this point, we are very proud of ourselves for sticking to our guns and not giving in. We shall see what the future holds, but for now the battle has begun!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Malachi!

This Sunday we went to New Braunfels to help celebrate the birthday of my cousin's son, Malachi. I hadn't seen these relatives in a while so it was a real treat to catch up with my uncle John, my aunt Amparo, and their sons (my cousins) Michael, David, and Panch!

Sybilla herself had a great time playing with Malachi and his little sister Zoe, both of whom I was meeting for the first time too! Michael and his wife Heather went all out and we enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs, veggie crudites, chips, drinks, and cake. They'd set up a bubble machine (I know what I need to buy now!), a wading pool with floating toys, kiddie croquet, bean bag toss, and bins full of rice and kitchen toys which the kids adored (gotta employ that idea too!). They also had a pinata which Billa enjoyed thoroughly; in fact it was almost disturbing how she and her cousin Zoe delighted in whacking at the thing when they got a chance. Billa also showed off her party trick, which is her "scared" or "shocked" face. She knows she gets a good laugh out of everybody when she does it too and everyone enjoyed it. Here are some pictures from our adventure:

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Bubble machine!

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Eating bubbles

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Chilling on the hammock with Daddy

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The face - just add trembling and you now have the coolest party trick of the year

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My cousin Michael wraps a blind fold around Malachi

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Billa gives Spongebob a piece of her mind

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Spanking Spongebob on his Squarepants

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Zoe gives it a go too...look at that face! So delightful..and delighted

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But I want cake Mama! Why does he have cake?

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Malachi makes a wish!

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Finally having our cake and eating it too

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Billa Bluebeard eats some cheese...the alternative to more cake ;o)

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Zoe thoroughly enjoys her cake too...and yes, she had blue boogers afterwards, lol!

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Zoe, Malachi, and Billa unwrapping and playing with Malachi's new toys

Have a great week,
Kelly et al

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Yargh Mateys!

Avast ye swabs! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Below be some illustrated parchments of that scurvy sea dog Captain Bilge Rat Billa. She's a fierce-some pirate princess, she be. Striking terror into the hearts of lily-livered scalawags across the seven seas, she takes no prisoners. She'd maroon even her own mudder just to get to buried treasure, she's that cruel. Witness her terrorizing below:
Don't be fooled by the charming mug on this scalawag...

She'll keel-haul you the minute she can!

Just look what she does to her own mudder!

Whar be the treasure, mama!?

Off to sail the seven seas


Yo ho ho and bottle of rum...
Marooned Mama et al

*Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sweater Time

I've spent the day working from home in order to take it easy. Michael was sick earlier this week and yesterday it felt like the same thing was going to happen to me, so I've been at home napping on and off and doing what I need to do for work in between. The patio door has been open all day and I've been listening to the wind blowing, the leaves rustling, the neighbor's cat yowling, and feeling autumn creep into my bones. At this moment, I am actually cold enough that I have pulled a fuzzy brown sweater out of the closet to wrap myself in, whether from an early autumnal chill or illness, I can't decide. Either way, it's official: fall has arrived.

This is my favorite season. I can't pinpoint exactly why but I love the colors, the smells, the sounds, the feeling of fall. Some of my favorite memories involve cool evenings with the windows and doors throw wide open, warm fires lit to fight off the chill, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting from the kitchen, long walks home from class in October. As I lay on the couch taking in all of these things, I am keenly aware of something pulling at my soul. I sometimes wonder why I am so drawn to fall. I get these pangs of longing for something, and try as I might, I can't quite place my finger on it or put words to it. I strive to capture every feeling and emotion as autumn sets in and I fill myself full of them until I am fit to burst.

Fall marks the beginning of a busy season for me, what with the holidays approaching and baking to be done. The hundred degree heat is replaced by 60's and 70's and the cool weather wardrobe makes it appearance, and with the days shortening I have to work harder and more efficiently to get everything done before daylight fades. But I love and embrace it, just as my sweater hugs my body.

It's sweater weather at last!

Recipe thuRsday: Quinoa and Black Beans

This dish came about as part of a quest to cut down on our grocery costs and eat a bit healthier. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and beans are both very high in protein, so this can serve as a main meal as it is filling. If you've never eaten/bought/heard of quinoa, you are in for a treat! It has a very unique, almost crunchy texture with a slight nutty flavor. It's a grain that has been around for thousand of years and originates from South America. Besides being high in protein, quinoa also contains several different amino acids making it a complete protein (very unusual for a grain). It is gluten-free and easy to digest and was one of Sybilla's first foods! Most quinoa sold in North America is pre-washed, so you don't have to worry about the bitter saponins that naturally coat the grains. I find it at my local grocery store in the rice aisle near the cous cous. It retails for about $4-$6 and has many uses!

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Quinoa and Black Beans
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced (we prefer red but other colors work great too)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you want, but that's usually plenty!)
S&P to taste
1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 bag of frozen corn (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and saute the onions and bell peppers for about 3 minutes. Throw in the garlic and saute all of it for about another minute.
2. Add the quinoa grains and move them around a bit in the pan before adding the broth and spices. This will allow the grains to toast ever so slightly, opening up the flavors.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Prepare the other parts of your dinner as needed.
4. Add in the black beans (and corn if you're using it) and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and toss in the cilantro. Move to serving dish and enjoy!

All told, it takes about 10 minutes to chop and prep everything and then 30 minutes total to cook. If you're like me and do your grocery shopping on the weekend, you can prechop and measure everything ahead of time to save you the prep time during the week. This dish also makes quite a few servings, as it's so filling. I'd say anywhere from 6-10 depending on how much you serve or whether it's playing the lead or supporting actor.

Bon apetit!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

Can you believe the weather we've been having?! Ah-MAZE-ing! It's rained now for several days straight, and while it provided a minor inconvenience, it was an answer to many prayers and most welcome here in Central Texas. We need a lot more rain to end the drought but the drenching we got this weekend was much appreciated. Thank you Upstairs for listening...please send more! The temps have also been so refreshing after three months of triple digit heat, it actually feels like fall is on it's way, which is my favorite season of all. I love the cooler temps, the sweaters, the shorter days, and the cuisine.

And speaking of fall cuisine, I busted out the springform pans to make some pumpkin cheesecakes this weekend. Michael's childhood best friend Sonia was in town visiting and she'd never met me or Billa. She requested pumpkin pie, but I'm never one to settle for ho-hum, hence the pumpkin cheesecake. We stopped by her mother's house Sunday afternoon for tea and cheesecake (such a lovely notion...I wish I had more tea time dates!) and Billa and the cheesecake were a hit. Here are some of the pictures from our lovely visit:

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Sybilla with Sonia and her Mom, Florencia

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Michael and Sonia, friends forever!

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Billa's shocked/scared face. I have to get a video of it, but it's hysterical because she trembles when she does it too!

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Playing in the very full pool at Zeti and Tata's...true waterbaby at heart!

We also visited with Michael's dad and stepmom a bit, and Kellie and Anthony as well. We were also supposed to visit our friend John and Julia for their football extravaganza, but Billa was not feeling well at all when we were supposed to go and an unhappy baby makes for an unhappy party. Oh, and my brother Philip also stopped by briefly on Saturday night to say hello and visit for a bit.

It was a lovely weekend visiting with friends and family and now that the weather is turning nicer, we will definitely be making more and more trips out on the weekend, perhaps maybe to the Renaissance Festival in October or to San Antonio for a visit to the zoo and botanical gardens (thanks Anna for the idea!). Fall is here, lovelies and we couldn't be more happy!

Love to you all,

Friday, September 11, 2009


It's hard to believe it was eight years ago the twin towers fell. I can still see the images from the TV and magazines clearly in my head and I hope that we never have to experience something like that ever again. While the shock from that event has been replaced by shock at other events more current, the memory of the pain and fear has not. I recently read a book that mentioned an emerging medical technology in which people might be able to have painful memories erased. I think that technology certainly has it's place, but I don't think this is a memory Americans should ever forget. Painful as they may be, these memories are what shape us and our future. I hope that the 2,998 souls who were lost that fateful day have found peace on the other side. May your legacy be bright and positive.

To all those who freely give their lives to serve our country as fire fighters, police officers, soldiers, thank you.

Gone but not forgotten...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recipe thuRsday: Pizza Bread

My friend Kellie got the idea for this recipe originally from Rachael Ray and used her own homemade sauce instead of Rachael's. If you have the sauce from last week already made, then this becomes a 30 minute meal. Actually, it's probably more like a 15 or 20 minute meal, but that's ok. Every parent is entitled to a fit of laziness every now and then and this fits the bill. You could even add vegetables to it if you wanted, although I recommend you add them under the cheese or mixed in with the sauce so they don't fall off!

* UPDATE: Kellie emailed me this morning with this little bit of info...very important! "You might want to add that the bread will toast better and more evenly if you brush it with a bit of olive oil. And the sauce needs to be thick and chunky." Thus spake Kellie. Enjoy!

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Pizza Bread
Olive oil
2-3 cups of homemade meat spaghetti sauce, thick and chunky
2-3 cups of grated mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
1 ciabatta loaf (a thick french bread loaf will work great too if you can't get ciabatta)
Parmesan cheese and Italian blend spices as desired

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Heat the sauce gently in the microwave if it's cold. It doesn't have to be piping hot, but warming it up while the bread toasts helps speed things up!
2. Slice the ciabatta in half from stem to stern (longways, like a giant hamburger bun) so that you end up with two flat halves. It should look like you can make a sammich from it.
3. Scoop out a little bit of the bread, but not too much. This is especially important if you are using a loaf that is really thick. The bits make nice snacking while you're waiting! Brush it lightly with some olive oil.
4. Bake the bread in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until it's toasted evenly and nicely.
5. Pull the bread out and spoon the sauce onto the pizza bread, dividing between the halves. You can put as much or as little as you like.
6. Sprinkle the cheese on top and then sprinkle parmesan and Italian herbs on top of that if you desire.
7. Pop the bread back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, then turn the oven on to broil and let the pizza bread sit under the coils for 2-3 minutes. DON'T walk away as the cheese melts and bubbles really quick and you could end up eating quite a bit of carbon!
8. Let stand for a few minutes while you set the table. Transfer the pizza bread to a cutting board and cut up into eights. Serve like normal pizza and revel in your well-earned laziness :o)

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pony Playtime with Papa and Mamo!

Hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day! I know we did. We got a lot of things done on Saturday and then spent Sunday being lazy until we got stir crazy and went to Lowe's and Target. On Labor Day we went to breakfast with Michael's mom at Kerbey Lane and then finished off a lovely morning at the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Naptime preceded a visit to my folks' house for an afternoon visit in which Billa got to play with the ponies!

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One pretty pony...

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Two pretty ponies...

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Three pretty ponies...

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Four pretty ponies all in a line and the prettiest of all was mine!

These ponies belonged to my mom when she was a kid, and I played with them for years when I was a kid. Billa discovered them in a box in the kitchen (a lot of remodeling and organizing has been happening at their house) and had quite a fun time lining up Papa Palomino, Morgan, and the rest of the gang. When she gets older, they too will sit on her shelves for her to play with!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recipe thuRsday: Spaghetti Sauce

We ain't Italian, but that doesn't mean we can't get in on the game too! This sauce is a staple in our household and we learned how to make it from our good friends Kellie & Anthony. And like all of the other things I cook, I've put my own twist on it. K&A like theirs more traditional and savory, we like ours spicy and slightly sweet. The nice thing about this is that is a one dish affair and it can be ready within 30 to 45 minutes. Of course, the longer you let it simmer over low heat the better it gets!

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
about 3 TBSP olive oil
1 pound of ground turkey or beef
1/2 of a yellow onion
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies - you can use regular diced tomatoes if you prefer more traditional (14.5 oz)
1 can of tomato paste (small can)
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
touch of brown sugar
Italian spices

1. Saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet for about 3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
2. Throw in the ground meat with some salt and pepper. Cook it until it's just barely brown.
3. Add the tomato paste in with the meat, and thoroughly mix it in. Then add the crushed tomatoes and Rotel and mix well.
4. Now we season! I use a tablespoon of a blend of spices called Anna's Herbs (found at Central Market) and mix everything together. If you don't have Anna's Herbs, you can mix in some crushed red pepper, parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, and garlic powder instead. Let the sauce cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes.
5. Once the ten minutes are up, add in the garlic and brown sugar. I do this because it allows the garlic flavor to open up more and because garlic can burn very quickly when sauteing, which in the words of the great Alton Brown "is not good eats!"
6. Let the dish simmer on low heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes before serving. During this time you can boil your spaghetti noodles and get the rest of dinner ready. The longer you cook it, the thicker the sauce will get and the flavors deepen with time.

TIP: To keep from crying when slicing onions, place them in the freezer or in ice cold water for about 15 minutes. When an onion is cut, it releases an enzyme that when it mixes with the liquid in your eyes, it essentially creates sulfuric acid. This causes your eyes to burn and the subsequent cry-fest. Freezing prevents the enzymes from flowing as freely, thereby greatly reducing the tears. You could also wear goggles to prevent the tears, but that would just look silly.

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Good to the last bite! And to quote a local BBQ joint: "It's so good, you just gotta get it all over ya!"

Next week I'll give you another recipe that involves using this sauce...two fer one, yippee!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today's Color is...YELLOW

When I was a kid, I was teased mercilessly for my name, my red hair, or my farm kid lifestyle. I was a very sensitive soul and very gullible (really, look it up in the dictionary. My name is first!) so I was an easy target for everyone. One of the names that I was called was "Yellow-bellied Kelly the Pirate." Thinking back on it now, I am mystified as to why I found that so offensive, especially considering that the kid who consistently used it against me was had no idea what "yellow-bellied" meant other than that it rhymed with Kelly and got a rise out of me every time.

Having a pirate-y name is not all that bad, although being yellow bellied might. I'd like to think that if I really were such a pirate, it would probably be because I ate this:

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Yeah, that was my daughter's dinner last night. And no, it was not intentional that everything about her dinner was yellow. That is the only plate with little compartments and it happens to be yellow. Mac and cheese and nuggets happen to be the staple "lazy dinner" in our home, meaning that it was on hand and didn't require a lot of effort to fix it. And every mother tries to make sure their child is getting some semblance of vegetable (although there really isn't a whole lot of nutritional value to corn, but that's another post).

It wasn't until I was about to serve it that I realized my monochromatic meal making misdemeanor, so I felt it worthy of a picture.

And an entire blog post.

You're welcome.

Nighty night,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Billa Babble: The Quick Brown Fox..Make that DOG...

Normally we feature a slew of words on Billa Babble, but this one deserves a post all to itself! The word is: DOG. What makes this one so special? Well, it's one of the few that Billa actually recognizes by sight and by sound. And by sound, I mean the sound that the animal makes! Every time she hears a dog bark, she yells out "Daw! Daw!" and then proceeds to bark. There's a particularly yappy dog on our floor that barks every time someone walks by, so we've been hearing lots of barking lately as a result from both parties.

What's also funny about this word is that she has been lately confusing Swiper the Fox from Dora the Explorer as a dog. If you're not familiar with Swiper, here's what the fellow looks like:

Swiper serves as the villain on the show and he has a very peculiar tsk, tsk noise that he makes just before he appears. Dora then prompts the viewer to keep an eye out for him and yell "Swiper!" when they see him. Well, Billa certainly comes from thespian stock because when she sees that darned fox, she gasps loudly and then yells "Daw! Daw! [gasp] DAW!" This may also be accompanied by jumping up and down and pointing at the TV screen. It took us a while to realize that she was actually calling the fox a dog. In fact, when I was googling "swiper the fox" to find a picture of the bad boy, as soon as she saw it, the histrionics began. I tried to capture it on film, but she stopped by the time I got the dang thing going. Oh well!

So that is this week's edition of Billa Babble!

Love to you all,


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