Search This Blog

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Salsa on a Saturday! HECK YEAH!

Feelin' a little low this Saturday? Go al fresco on your family, grill up some of your favorite fish or pork (or whatever, really) and try a spoonful of this for a change of heart:

Gotta love me some pineapple, so here's the deal. Pineapple works really well as a sweet component to many savory dishes. One of my favorites is in the form of a salsa or warm compote. Today, let's talk salsa.

Now, they say salsa originated from the Inca people. Salsa (combination of chilies, tomatoes and other spices) can be traced to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. The Spaniards first encountered tomatoes after their conquest of Mexico in 1519-1521, which marked the beginning of the history of Salsa sauce. Aztec lords combined tomatoes with chili peppers, ground squash seeds and consumed them mainly as a condiment served on turkey, venison, lobster, and fish. This combination was subsequently called salsa by Alonso de Molina in 1571. (I'm no History buff, so always make sure to do your own historical research instead of quoting me or my sources.)

I say, toss the tomatoes and use fresh pineapple instead for a twist! No freshies around? Try the canned instead! And to live on the edge, grill slabs of fresh pineapple first, THEN use it for salsa! YUM!

What you'll need:

2 cups of finely diced pineapple (chunkier is ok too!)
1/4 cup diced scallions
1/4 cup finely diced red onions
the juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste
cumin to taste
dash of OJ
sprinkle with chopped loose leaf parsley 

What you'll do:

Mix the heck outta your ingredients. So much of making salsa comes from the heart, so be sure to taste your way through this recipe. Some love more lime or more sweetness. Make it yours!

Cover and let sit in the fridge for as long as you can (at least 2 hrs if possible). Pull out of the fridge at least 15 min before serving. Stir to ensure all of those juices combine to create the perfect balance of sweet, savory goodness. Make sure to taste it before hand to see if you need to touch up anywhere, such as salt, lime, or more. Voila! Now you have the perfect accoutrement to your entree highlight. Bon appetit!

Is competition bad for your kid's health?

Competition is to self-esteem as sugar is to teeth.

Really? On this day, the first day Son goes to his first State tournament, really? That's what Alfie Kohn summarized in The Case Against Competition.

It got me thinking about competition and my kids. Was it really too much to ask them to become good people after all of this liberal competition once adolescence was over?

Kohn argues that for one to win, another must lose. Kohn also argues that only the winners are the ones who find competition healthy. Seems a little black and white, Kohn, doesn't it? A little ying and yang, yes and no, ahem - win and loss?

I was one of those kids who played for a school who's team sports always, and I mean ALWAYS, failed. In a AA school, somehow we were always 2nd to crap. (Crap being an even smaller town whose school age girls who used chewing tobacco.) However, even through all of that failure, each one of us excelled at something. Sometimes it was computer science, writing, or political science. Sometimes it was at an individual sport - perhaps Track or Cross Country. Maybe one of us could really hunt like the big guys. But we did excel, nonetheless.

Now this phenomenon is not based on some hippie belief that each of us have our own beauty. We are, today, bonafide successful human beings! I do accept that some of us are not quite, what I would call, successful nor human. But that has very little correlation with competition.

"Competition is a recipe for hostility. By definition, not everyone can win a contest. If one child wins, another cannot. This means that each child comes to regard others as obstacles to his or her own success. Forget fractions or home runs; this is the real lesson our children learn in a competitive environment."

Oh for god's sake. Seriously? I really find this offensive. And I use this article as an example of the millions out there that share the same sentiment. O.M.G.!  I'm more of a leaner of a winner and a finisher, not loser, myself. I lean towards finding ways to finish a task off gracefully and with class, whether or not it blows anyone's mind. So what if you didn't get first? Did you have the courage to try? Did you finish with your head held high and with a smile on your face? Good! Great job!

Turns out, there's a pile of Healthy Competition articles out there as well. Here's a simple, lovely one.

So when you encourage your child to win, do it with grace, folks. Be the role model that does exactly that, model a fine example for your child to emulate. Don't make competition look like the bad guy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Get Your Kids and GO GREEN This Summer!

Kids, sports, outside, travel - how in the heck do I be kind to the Earth again - go green? Really? I find myself driving more than sleeping, and my kids eat alllll day! And then I feel this guilt factor while I'm doing the dance! UGH!

Check it out: Going GREEN in the Summer Heat

Should dose you with at least an idea or two for going green while having fun in the sun!

Peace Out!

Sunbleached and dehydrated: Help your kids beat the heat

Son came home from a day of practice and car wash fundraising today and I could've have sworn he looked like a wilted flower, the poor kid. Totally fried in just about every way.

So, in honor of this poor, sun-fried child, here's a great link so that you don't go frying your kids too! Take it from me, it's not worth the accidental laziness.

Happy sunny day!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Back versus Life, Part I

$5000! That's what we've raised to go to State and I say, WOOOO HOOOO!

Now, go find me some kid, any kid, to play on our team with a chiropractor parent so I can score a little chiropractic work. Just kidding.

Although at this point it's been happening for so long that I am sure you can find it in grade school textbooks everywhere, there's been this war going on between me and my back. Until recently the score had been : BACK: 5, ME: 0. Now, after review of the scoreboard, I was actually up by three months of pain free livin'. That is, until yesterday's dreadful arrival.

I'll be damned. My sciatica is back and hittin' harder than the damn thunderstorm that is now rocking the Valley here at home. Crap.

So hobble I will, both to and fro.
Hobble I will, off to State he will go.
Hobble I will, up hill both ways, also in the snow.
Hobble, I will, and man does this blow.

Ok, on to other important news. It's nearly August, and you know what that means!!!


I love my life!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Raising Money Sucks. New BBQs Rule.

Our All-Star team is going to State next weekend.  Crap.

I've hit up all of my business contacts and it's starting to get a little on the lean side over here...

Thus far, we've lost at least three families who'll be sending kids w/o parents (cheaper), and raised approx $1,000 - give or take. I've got a few friends who probably don't answer my calls anymore since they think I'll ask them for more money and I'm pretty sure I've lost a few prospective new friends just from hearing about my begging for cash.

Five days left of begging and then DONE until next season! YAY!

On to bigger and better news... we've acquired our new baby in the family. It's a rockin' 5 burner w/sear Gas Grill + a separate charcoal box smoker, both straight from heaven. I love you, Grill God. May you all be blessed always with yummy, grilled meat. Mmmmmmm.... It's a good day.

For fun and a bonafide droolin' with jealousy opportunity, see the new baby HERE! (I know it's no Ferrari, but she makes me happy nonetheless!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

A proud mom is a proud mom, no matter how you slice it

I was reading the Dad Gone Mad blog this morning and it sparked a little over-indulgent pride in my heart.

His blog rang true through and through. I am so in love and proud of my son. He, along with so many sons and daughters all over the world, has such a pure and amazing heart. He's so sweet, generous, and most often patient (sans the times with his little sister who makes the habit of bugging him incessantly). He is smart and rarely defiant and tender to all get out!

I love this little guy and if I'm really lucky and try very hard, someday I may be able to be just a little like him.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A cheesy break from the insanity

Wanna hear about a cool way to house that salad you want your kid to eat?

Check it out!

It all begins with Parmesan Cheese. For those who don't know, Parmesan cheese is made from cow's milk that has been combined with the whole milk from the morning milk plus the naturally skimmed milk from the previous evening.

This recipe is so easy, and so yummy to make, you'll wanna make it all the time!

What you'll need:

350 degree oven
baking sheet
cooking spray
one wedge of Parmesan cheese (grated)
small cups that would fit 1/2 cup of salad fixins'

What you'll do:

  • Spray the cooking sheet with the Cooking Spray liberally.
  • Spread the grated Parmesan into evenly spread piles of Parmesan. Remember, you are building the bottom and sides for your cup, so be liberal!
  • Create as many as you need and will comfortably fit on your baking sheet. This will spread a touch!
  • Slip into the oven, making sure to keep a close eye on them!
  • Once they've begun to bubble and brown to your liking, pull them out quick!
  • Spatula the suckers off of the sheet and immediately place the bottom of an upside down cup.
  • REMEMBER!!! These little piles of melted Parmesan cool quickly, so you will have to act fast. You can let the cups form naturally around the glass itself of guide them with the help of your hands!
  • Let cool for a few minutes and ENJOY!

  • TIPS:
    You can also use the stove top and a frying pan with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil.
    Try adding some dried herbs to your grated Parmesan before cooking.
    These cups are great for breakfast dishes and more, so get creative!
Just remember:
"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."
- Francis Bacon