Saturday, August 7, 2010

A time for change

Now is a time of change. It's scary and sad but leaves me feeling hopeful. I'm where I've been afraid to be, my Grandparent's house. It's been almost eight years of fear and sadness being here in the house, a haven of cold air and soft pink carpet. The aura of a home whose family has moved and shifted and in essence left it behind. There are still lots of love and laughter here but the hole left by my Grandma feels evident. It feels like she is on vacation and even though we all have aged and moved on I feel her loss like a brick on my chest, like her presence or lack thereof is a white elephant in the room.

My grandfather has moved on. He has a new wife, Emily, and at times I feel conflicted. I like her a lot; she makes my grandpa happy and for that I am so grateful. She brings a youthfulness and vitality to him that suits him well. It's been a long road to get to this place of acceptance but I am happy to be here now. I am facing the fact that even if my grandpa has moved on and found love outside of my grandma, it doesn't change the life, love and family that they created. It just expanded it an a different way. I have to realign my thinking from one of replacing my grandma to one of making a new friend.

Today, I had the opportunity to hang out with Emily and talk to her and learn about her family and life before US. She taught me how to turn leftover barbacoa with the addition of simple vegetables into machaca, delicious comfort food. She also taught me how to make homemade salsa. It was to die for and so sinfully simple that I will never buy salsa again. Ok well maybe Chachie's mango salsa. I guess food really is a great unifier and a true means of healing.

So without further ado, please make and enjoy Emily's machaca.

Since this is more an art than science, you will need to use as much vegetables as you see fit. The amount listed below were added to about 1/2 a gallon ziplock bag of barbecued shredded beef, I.e. Barbacoa.

2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tomatoes diced
1 green bell pepper
1 Anaheim chili de-seeded
1 onion large dice
2 tbl spoons canola oil

Sauté all the vegetables except the tomatoes in canola oil over medium high heat for between 2-5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add the barbacoa and mix with the sweated veggies. Cover and steam for a few
minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and add a small palm of cumin, approximately a teaspoon. Add a cup of liquid, we used water but a stock or other liquid would work. Adjust seasoning and continent to cook. Once the veggies are tender and the meat is warm and steamed through you are done. Heat up your tortillas, fill with the machaca and eat. You can mix leftover machaca with eggs and cook for breakfast. So so good.

I'll be back later with the salsa recipe. Time to go visit my family. It's a trying time for my family with my two Uncle's being sick. Please pray for us or toss a kind thought our way.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


Saturday mornings almost always start off the same way. Vincent and Lucy attack at between 6:00 and 7:00 am, starving for their sweet potato & fish food and ready for a romp outside. If we are lucky, after they have had their fill we can sneak back into bed for a early morning nap or some quiet cuddles in bed watching Revision3 on our media center. Revision3 is awesome to say the least. It is internet television with amazing, intelligent and interesting shows for everyone. I personally love lounging in bed with Josh and the puppies and watching Diggnation and Food Mob.

This Saturday we were trying to figure out what to eat for our lazy Saturday breakfast. Josh tossed around ancient grains French toast and mega veggie omelets. Nothing quite hit the spot. Thank God we decided to watch Food Nation while we tried to crave something to eat. We had been a bit behind and finally got around to the scrambled eggs episode. Now, I know scrambled eggs seemed easy and boring but I like the chef, Niall, so much that we decided to watch it anyways. I was so glad we did. We immediately got up and Josh, the tremendously talented breakfast chef he is, made the best scrambled eggs ever. I recommend this very simple and delicious recipe, it's more of a technique, to anyone. I will admit it was a little nerve wrecking following Niall's instructions because the eggs do kinda seem undercooked but they aren't. They are perfectly set and amazing. Please do yourself a favor and watch, make and eat these eggs.

I'm back! - Time to change directions.

Yikes! Being gainfully employed sure does take up a lot of time. I've come to the conclusion that it's better to combine my blogs rather than letting this one sit idly by waiting for the odd occasion that calls for a bacon cake. There is a part of me that misses being able to cook and dream up meals with carefree abandon. I also feel this pressure and need to start adding the recipes that I've doctored and created which will hopefully be passed down to my own family. So that said, I still plan on eating my inheritance but also want to create inheritances to be eaten...pretty cheese laden clogged artery pasta inheritances with bacon and love are just dying to come out. Two in particular...

The first one was inspired by the fantastic dinner Josh took me to at Arrivederci Ristorante to celebrate the escrow closing on our house a few weeks ago. I had the most delicious pasta ever. It was simple, smokey, creamy, and perfect. We have kinda been obsessing about it since. It doesn't even have a name. It was just listed as Gemelli Pasta del Giorno - smoked mozzarella cream sauce, wilted spinach and sun dried tomatoes. So that will be posted soon. I promise. I also have a special Kitchen Sink Beer Mac and Cheese that I whipped up and have been meaning to post. I get asked about it all the time so I think it's finally ready to be shared.

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