Monday, June 28, 2010

Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice

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After finishing undergrad, I took a job in Miami. Being the only gal born in the US of A in my office, I earned the nickname “Corn Girl”. I’ve been called worse. Yee Haw!

Miami is such a wonderful melting pot of different people, especially Caribbean and Latin American cultures. I never realized how under exposed I was when it came to food until I moved down there.

One of my favorite dishes that they serve nearly everywhere and with nearly everything down there is Black Beans and Rice or Frijoles Negroes. YUM!

Now, I don’t claim to be even 0.0001% Cuban, but I have tried to recreate the flavors of this wonderful dish. My version is simple and vegetarian minus the broth. Most Cubans prepare the beans with some sort of cured pork, which I also love. They also start with dry beans and let them cook, usually in a pressure cooker, almost all day.

For your average gringa, this version will hopefully still hit the spot. We enjoyed this dish along side my Mojo Marinated Chicken tonight…YUM! I’ll post on recipe for that soon, but for now…

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Sabby’s Quick Black Beans and Rice

  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 can chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • dash or two of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

In a medium saucepan, sauté green pepper and onion. Once those are soft, add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT the vinegar. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover pan and let cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and cook an addition 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

Blessed with Grace

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kid Incident – When Poison Control Should Have Been On Speed Dial

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I told you that I’d finally have an incident to pin on my oldest, Lanham.  Although he’s never been quite as mischievous as his younger brother, he has had his memorable moments.

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Most notable…Eating ANYTHING and  EVERYTHING that looked remotely edible during his early toddler years.  I’m proud of my best eater…he asks for broccoli every night and thinks that cottage cheese is fab.  He likes to drink water because he says “it’s healthy, right mommy?” 

Little did I know, that he would try to eat truly EVERYTHING!

One day when he was about 3, I picked him up from daycare and the teacher said that Lanham had tried to eat some Play-Doh.  Don’t worry she said, we got it out of his mouth before he swallowed any of it. 

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Really?  Are you sure about that?  The next day, Lanham is in the bathroom and asks for my “assistance”…a.k.a. wiping duty. 

A quick peek in the bowl (you all know you look too!) and I let out an “Ack!”.  Not a Wow!…an ACK! 

His latest “creation” was neon green.  I was like, “what the??”.  Guess they weren’t too swift about getting the Play-Doh out of his mouth after all.  Luckily the stuff is non-toxic.  Whew!

Then there was the time that he came upstairs from playing in the basement, crying, mumbling something about yucky candy.  Huh?  What candy???  We don’t keep candy in the basement!!

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Then I was greeted by my youngster and his sobbing pasty white covered face. 

Toothpaste?  Nope.  Not minty fresh

Rabies?  Nope.  Not foamy enough.

Me: “Lanham, what’s all over your face?”

Lanham:  “I tWied the candy…<sob>…I don’t wike it…Is Yucky!”

Oh, yes, of course.

Chalk.

Apparently he thought they were candy sticks and decided to try them out.  Then he was severely disappointed with its not-so-sugary taste.  I ran downstairs to find two half eaten pieces of white chalk…and a box that was again labeled “non-toxic”.  Whew!

There were several other future foodie adventures with Lanham, but he finally learned his lesson…or maybe not.  The other night he tried (and failed!) to eat raw steak because: he knew it was steak.  He likes steak. Steak is fantastic!  Why not eat the steak while its sitting on the counter while the grill was heating up?  Ewwwww! 

Oh well, we try. 

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You Capture – Get Low

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We’ve been enjoying moments of summer sunshine around here lately…in between some very wet storms that is.  I used some of our sunny time yesterday to work on this week’s You Capture assignment:  Get Down Low

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I’ve read it time and time again…get down on their level.  SO TRUE! 

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Once again…shadowy eyes.  Sometimes the right time for the kiddos to actually like photography isn’t the best time to take pics…a little bright out there yesterday afternoon.

My little hambone.  I like these shots so much, I tried them in sepia too.

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And added a few precious more…  IMG_1057-3

If you’re wondering about the next one…IMG_1058 (2)-4…he’s showing me it “owie” from his bug bite a few days ago for the 100th time.  ;)

Head on over to Beth’s blog, I Should Be Folding Laundry, for more amazing captures!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Earth Box Update!

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I meant to do posts on my little Earth Box garden every other week, but…the weather has been warm, the oldest is out of school and we’ve been enjoying life. Sue me…I’m a summer lovin’ gal.

Today, I went out onto the deck to check out my “little” green beauties and realized WHOA…they’re HUGE! I have to share.

Let’s take a short walk down gardening memory lane…

In just over a month my plants that started out like this:

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And then began spouting up like this:

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Even after caging them up, they were unstoppable!

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And this is what they looked like this afternoon…

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Isn’t gardening amazing? Three out of the four plants are loaded with blossoms.

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The Grape Tomato plant has many of these:

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And I found three of these little guys on the “Superfantastic” plant.

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Woo hoo! Summer is here…not officially, but this screams summertime to me.

Hope you are all enjoying this time of year…get on outside and blow the stink of ya’ (direct quote from my dad!)



DIY Day @ ASPTL

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday To Our Big Boy!

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Today is Lanham’s 7th birthday…man, how time flies.

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He’s my first born.

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He came into the world early…

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…and looked like a wrinkly old man for a long time.

He was and still is, my little sweetie pie. Cautious and bright, he was a wonderful first time mommy kid.

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Now, he’s taller, but still skinny. An awesome Big Brother.

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Funny, witty and a little tender hearted. The sweetest little man I know.

His favorite song.

Happy 7th Birthday Lanham! My little dreamer…we all shine on.

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We love you so much!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tutorial: Master Bath Mirror Update

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Finally got around to the step by step for my big mirror redo!  Enjoy!

Step 1: Measure the mirror.  My mirror is pretty much covers the entire wall above the vanity.  So I decided to make my frame the exact size of the mirror, attaching it directly to the glass.  I also accounted for where the top piece of molding would be in relation to the light fixture.

Step 2:  Choose your molding.   Although I’ve never made a miter cut before, there has to be a first time for everything, right?  We went with primed MDF casing.  It came in 8 foot lengths, but I know it also comes in random lengths at some stores as well.  In that case, you can have the store cut it for you and you will have less waste.  I had to purchase (3) 8 foot pieces at about $6/each.

Presentation1 As mentioned in my previous post, I originally chose the same molding and corner pieces used in Rhoda’s transformation.  However, my mirror has an irritating piece of track at the bottom.  The regular door casing worked better for us because you have the ability to play with the angles a bit to account for the extra space that the track creates.  (I promise that this will make more sense while doing the project than when you’re reading it.)

Step 3:  Making the cuts.  MDF cuts very easily with a miter box.  It helps to draw out the frame on paper before making the cuts.  That way you know what angles you need to make for each side. IMG_8936

Step 4:  Painting the molding.  I chose Behr’s Dark Truffle, a deep brown color that compliments our wall color.  Since the color was so deep, I had to do two coats.

IMG_8943 Don’t forget to paint the back…you will see it in the reflection of the mirror once it’s attached.  Painting of fingers, however, is completely optional.

Step 5:  Attaching the mirror.  As suggested in other wonderful mirror redo’s (Rhoda and Maryann), I attempted to use a high heat hot glue gun.  However, in the end, I found it easier to use Clear Liquid Nails.  Using the hot glue was just too fast paced for me.  It began to dry before I could get it in place or I put it up so fast that I didn’t get it up straight. 

TIP:  If you need to remove any pieces of molding, take a long piece of dental floss and run it behind the molding. 

The Liquid Nails gave me a time to play with the placement a little.  However, I did use painters tape to keep the molding in place overnight while the glue completely set up. 

I applied a decent amount of the Liquid Nails to each piece of molding, being sure not to get too close to the inner edge.  It will reflect in the mirror and nobody wants to see your DIY magic revealed!!! ;) 

Step 6:  Touchups and DONE!  The next day I filled the small gaps on all four corners where the molding meets up with caulk.  Be sure to use the paintable caulk!!  After that dried, I touched up the caulked areas with my Behr paint and called it a day.

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A BIG thanks to Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality, Maryann’s @ Domestically Speaking and Sausha @ {show & tell} .  These gals were wonderful at responding to my questions and have great tutorials on framing mirrors.  Please check out all three of their wonderful mirror redo projects!

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Friday, June 11, 2010

And The Winner is…

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The random number generator picked JESS from The Old Nichols Farm for my CSN Gift Certificate Giveaway!  Woo hoo Jess!!  Hope you’re able to put this toward that duvet you mentioned!

Thanks to all of you that played along and for reading my little bloggy blog.  <mwah!>

Happy Friday!!!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You Capture – Fun!!

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We visited my brother, his girlfriend and another wonderful family in St. Louis this past weekend…a TON-O-FUN!! 

One of the places we visited was City Park downtown…a great place to get fun shots of all the kiddos.

First up…The Dude rockin’ his new trunks.

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Next…my skinny boys having a blast.

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And last, but not least. 

My favorite shot of the weekend…Gabe, son to my friends Lori and Pete, getting it good in the face!

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(FYI:  Settings for all three shots were :ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/4000)

Definitely a FUN weekend!

 

Head on over to Beth’s blog, I Should Be Folding Laundry, for more amazing captures!

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Master Bath Mirror Reveal

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I’ve finally finished our “little” and “simple” mirror update!!


Ta Da!!!



Why is it so hard to get good bathroom pictures? Hopefully you can get the idea.

So, it wasn’t as easy as I had originally planned it to be, but now the guest bathroom mirror should be a cinch after completing the first mirror…and learning a TON along the way.

I love how this turned out and will be sure to write up all the how-to’s (and what not to do’s!) in the near future. Oh and I’m also tackling that oak-a-licious vanity soon as well. Stay tuned!



Don't forget about my CSN GIVEAWAY below!!!

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