Monday, January 16, 2012

Down TIME!

This little old lady is finally taking a break. We got a lovely opportunity to visit with some friends in Mexico and then at the last minute some friends in California. So we jumped at the chance. However, the first three days on this lovely break, I am catching up on sleep and lots of it. When you are self employed, it is always difficult to get away, and you never can get completely away as long as you have a cell phone. But I was determined to get a break, so last week, I pushed and pushed myself to get as much done as humanly possible, and now I'm more or less paying the piper. I can barely move. But it's ok, I don't have to. I look out my window and it's quiet, and it's sunny. I'm breathing and trying to stop having worry dreams. Yes, the minute I get away, my lovely brain goes into overdrive trying to decide if I'm allowed to relax. It tries to think of all the horrible things that could happen while I'm gone. That's where the wine comes in. The more wine, the less my mind cares. LOL right? Well we'll see how it's going in a couple more days. Maybe my brain will let go after a bit. Maybe today, some yoga.
Look at that. Breathe. Let go.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Food Blog

So, I kept thinking about the spaghetti posting last night and realized it wasn't what I wanted to do with this blog. So I am spinning off (like a sitcom hunh?) a food/creative blog for that sort of thing. It's called
I will post appropriately food and creative stuff there and continue to do my kvetching and discovering on this site.
Thanks for reading!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Awesome, Simple Spaghetti w/meat sauce

OK, so my first attempt to write about food and recipes, and I've already screwed up. I forgot to take pictures of the dinner. So the above picture looks like my spaghetti, but isn't. I'll add my pictures next time.
I am Italian. OK, not really, I'm actually 1/2 German and 1/2 Sicilian. But Italian is what I look, and it's easier to explain.
In my family making red sauce is an art form. The irony, though, is no one does it the same way, but we all adopt some of the stuff our mom taught us, and then we change it up.
I think my sister has mastered it, so I have adopted her strategies, mom's strategies and added my own twists.
I truly love meatballs myself, but my daughter has lately taken to meat sauce, so I've come up with a really good meat sauce that doesn't take too long.
Meatballs are another art form, and I will address them in a different entry.
Mama Lisa's Meat Sauce 
1 lb. ground beef, I use 85/15 
1/2 lb. Mild Italian Sausage
1 Walla Walla or Vidalia onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
A couple of cans of diced tomatoes
A couple of cans of tomato sauce
(both of these can be less or more depending on your tastes)
A Tablespoon or two of Garlic Powder
A Tablespoon or two of dried Basil
Grated Parmesan cheese in the can and fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Brown the ground beef and Italian sausage at Med High
2. Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft
3. Add the garlic and cook a couple minutes until brown but not burned
4. Add the tomatoes and sauce, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper and canned grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
5. Stir and let come just to a boil
6. Simmer anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours, I usually do about an hour.

This sauce always tastes better when it's reheated, so I will save even the smallest amount and add it to a new batch to kind of season the new batch.

Make any kind of noodles you like and put the fresh Parmesan on top....MMMMMMM.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heavenly new year...

As I just wrote that title, I realized I didn't mean it in just one way.
The past few days, I have heard dozens of people everywhere I've gone talk about how they couldn't be happier to see 2011 out the door... and don't let it hit you in the butt as you leave...
Joy. It's something that has been lacking for many of us in the past few years.
The reasons are numerous.
Financially -- we have all been suffering. As a result, many of us, myself included, have lost some good friends. Some people drowned in this sorrow and just couldn't bear to face another day, so they didn't. Others of us, just put our heads down and barreled ahead. People have suffered the feelings of shame and futility when they couldn't make their house payments any longer and when they couldn't buy their children the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed. It's been hard, sad and yes depressing.
Most of us who are alive today did not live through the Great Depression, but our parents and grandparents did. We heard stories of it. I grew up with a mom who was a food hoarder and a dad who buys every small luxury device that he can. Both survivors of Depression era parents and habits.
I inherited and have both these traits. I hoard food and small appliances.
I've always known why.
And not to be the endlessly annoying Pollyanna, but coming through these past few years, and still being alive, still with food on the table -- gives me hope.
2012 feels like a page turned. Everyone is pulsing with a bit more energy and yes... joy.
Hope runs through our bodies like a current. I have this feeling that if we all held hands around the world, the energy in our bodies would light up the sky. This energy is powerful and palpable.
Don't waste it. Use it. Let's really start again. Let's take advantage of this moment and take some chances, step out of our comfort zones and wallow in this sense of joy.
Or at the very least, smile at the next person you see. :~)