Creative Cooking

>> Sunday, January 22, 2012

I have been known as a teenager to cook for my siblings while my mother was working as a nutritionist for a major hospital in New York. From then my training began in being creative and making the mundane into extraordinary and a very little into a feast.

I've failed a few times but picked back up my wooden spoon and kept trying, turning water into sugar water and food coloring (most of the times there was no lemons). In college my roommates always made me cook. One is still a very good friend who still goes around telling everyone, "I remember when there was three items in the refrigerator and she would return from cooking with a five course meal and I would say, where did you get that? There was nothing there when I looked".

My secret? Cook with what you have, literally. I made this tonight:

Simple, yes but deliciouso. I was tired of red sauce so I made my own white sauce. I also added the things my family loves such as small pieces of carrots, sausage, onion, and egg whites. I forgot to add fresh corn. Now the secret really is in the sauce. So what I had in my fridge was:

-Sour cream and onion dip
-Blue cheese salad dressing
-Add powdered onion and/or powdered garlic
-Water for stretching the sauce
-Milk for stretching the sauce and simmering
-Parmesan cheese (optional)
(I have no measurements except to use according to your own taste).

Tips: It's important to put salt in the water for boiling pasta. It will improve the taste of the dish. Cook or saute' most of the ingredients separately and put together and simmer in a little milk depending on how moist you want it. Cook pasta close to done then add everything else to simmer with a cover. (No soggy pasta). Top with Parmesan cheese.

As I get other off the wall ideas, I'll let you know.


I Hope You Dance-Lee Ann Womack

>> Sunday, January 15, 2012

This is what I hope for you this new year of 2012; a classic by Lee Ann Womack. When things get tough and confusing, when things seem to have no meaning and you feel no one is supporting you, when you don't want to try anymore and you feel misunderstood, when something unexpected happens and you think you're close to the edge, when you have tried your hardest and you think you have no more strength, when your hope is fading and you feel you are just coasting through life-Dance.


My Highlights of 2011

>> Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Highlights of 2011

1) I was jobless in the beginning of January after moving to Virginia 6 months prior.

2) My husband and I started the year rocky to the point of what felt like Emotional death.

3) My kids were thriving in their new school and kept me having well needed laughs.

4) I was still jobless and decided......I now have time to do what I have always wanted to do and start my own Foundation.

5) I worked out for three consecutive months.

6) I saved up enough money to visit my family in New York with my children.

7) My husband initiated and asked the head of his company if I could go along with him to Myrtle Beach, on his work project for the week. It was a second honeymoon and a MUCH needed vacation for us and I had some alone time on the beach.

8) The children made a plan for how they wanted to spend their summer and my husband and I were able to check off 3/4 ths of their summer plans that were accomplished.

9) I cried almost everyday from not working.

10) My Foundation was approved and registered with the State of Virginia.

11) I fasted and prayed for 30 days of liquids only. It ended on a Saturday.

12) That following Wednesday (three days later) I received a phone call for a job offer in my field for Counseling/Therapy.

13) I had a Blog Party in celebration of my blog (LEA) for its two year anniversary.

14) We all went to New York to visit my family for Thanksgiving.

15) I love my work.

16) I celebrated my 2nd anniversary Blog Party for my humanitarian giving blog/foundation.

17) We celebrated Christmas with my husband's family in Virginia.

18) For Christmas my husband and I made an agreement to buy our kids and family/close friends gifts. Our gifts will come in the new year (when there are greater deals :) Until then, I gave him "Married Coupons" and I requested a "Love Letter", of which I received this week. Long time in coming but it was beautiful and at least I got it, right?

19) I still love my job.

*Lesson's learned last year: Cry when you need to cry; when things do not work out as planned, create another plan; be creative with the things you love to do most; do some humanitarian giving; spend time with you family, no matter what, because you need to be around them; Sometimes when things get rocky in your relationship, one of you has to make a drastic move towards positivity; stay spiritual, it's positive energy; remember in good times and bad to try to be consistent on meeting the needs of your children, they are covertly helping you as well; lastly, don't give up on your spouse.