In losing, sometimes you gain

Over the last two years I have lost so much to breast cancer.  I don’t write this in self pity or pity from others…I write this in my own self truth and acknowledgement.

I have kept tally on my wins and losses as well as Cancers wins and losses.

Let me say….. I am ahead in the game…but not by much.  I know this.  I am grateful.     But … I do realize even though I am ahead…Cancer has taken its stabs and cut deep. It is a dangerous and formidable adversary.   Ultimately, I have survived.  I am thankful….to my family and friends who have held me up, supported me, encouraged me and believed in me.  You all keep me a step ahead.  I admit, do self destructive things…knowingly.  And then I come around and get my act together and press on. I just wanted to say to those of you out there struggling to survive, to find reason to live and go on…you can do it…but there are days during and after that are hard.  It is hard to look at Cancer and know it took its toll…it got its licks in and they are there. You win, but robbed you of things you don’t want to admit to yourself or others.  Not out of shame, self pity, or embarrassment.  Just it is what it is or was what it was.  It is ok.  Take a breath, find peace.  You will.

And after all this, I know ultimately I win, I won….and yet I have lost. It reminds me that I have to keep my game face on and know the battle is always there in some form or fashion….but how I live day to day will determine how well I survive and stay one step ahead….so adjust your crown and walk away knowing you are the queen and this match, baby, this match… you are on top.

Yum and relaxation…

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Well, been one of those days … and lucky me…I typically don’t like Australian wine…however, this was on sale fo $3.88 a bottle…(don’t judge me, I’m just happened on a good deal). I love this one. Especially the Shiraz, Shiraz-Merlot, and this one. Try it. COLD!! yes, cold.

And happens to pair well with the Poblano peppers dish…ijs…LOL

I like this chilled….even though you don’t typically chill red wine…it is super yum cold.

Cheers!!

Caldo de Res

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This is a FABULOUS flavorful Mexican soup. It has super easy ingredients but takes a couple hours to make….BUT- don’t shy away from it. I make it on a lazy Sunday and catch up on my recorded shows from the previous week while I cook. Easy right? Just try it…I think you will like it. It is easy to make, lots of flavor, cheap ingredients, and relatively healthy.

4 Beef Short Ribs
1 corn on the cob, cut into 4 pieces (if it isn’t the season for fresh, use frozen niblets thawed)
1 small onion, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 celery ribs, chopped into chunks
1 large or 2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
2-3 small wedges of cabbage
2 small summer squash, chopped in chunks
2 packets sazon (optional)
salt
garlic powder (optional)
Adobo (optional)
Tajin (optional)
limes
jalapeno

Fill Large pot about 2/3 full of water. Drop in beef short ribs. Bring pot to a boil. Skim scum that forms off top of soup with large spoon and discard. Turn heat down to bubble but not a full rolling boil. Cover with lid slightly ajar for 50 min.

you can now pick what shows to catch up on, get on the treadmill for 35 min, whatever you want.

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Add corn on the cob pieces to the water with the ribs. Replace the lid slightly ajar and continue heating at a bubble for 15 min.

If you use frozen corn, you can throw it in frozen or thawed. Time to start watching your shows. But set the timer on you oven so you don’t forget…15 min!!

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Add Celery. Cover with lid ajar and cook 15 min. Set your timer and resume watching show.

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While the celery is cooking, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to saucepan and use med-med high heat. Cook onions for about 1-2 min. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook another 1-2 min. Add about 1/4 cup of chopped Cilantro. Sauté together another couple minutes or so.

Add the onion, tomato, cilantro mix to the soup pot.

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At this point you can add a bit of salt but not to much…better to add later than have to take away. If you want, you can add the optional seasonings listed. I suggest you do. Although the soup still tastes great just adding salt, I like it more flavorful so I add a couple generous shakes of the garlic powder and adobo. I also add two packets of the sazon and add a light shake or two of Tajin (find these in the “ethnic” aisle at the grocery store or your local Mexican grocery store.). . I also squeeze the juice of half a lime into the soup as well.

*NOTE- if your water is getting low in the soup, you can add 2-3 cups to the pot to bring it back up to the original amount. Also, if you didn’t want to use a lot of seasoning, I think this would be good with beef broth instead of water…just a thought.

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Add the carrots and cover with lid ajar, again, and set timer for what? 15 min. LOL

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Add cabbage wedges, cover with lid ajar, cook 15 min.

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Add potatoes. I peel mine but you can just scrub them really well and cut up into chunks and add. However you prefer. Gently push them into the soup so they can cook nicely.
Cover again and cook 15 min.

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Add the squash. I used one zucchini and one yellow squash. Use two of each or one and one, whatever you want. I like to use one and one for two reasons- variety and color. But, get what is in season, cheap, or tasty.

Cook for another 10 min. or so until fork tender. I don’t cover just cook…but I do try to gently push the squash down into the soup so it can cook nicely.

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Ladle into bowls. Make sure to get a yummy piece of everything.

Serve with some chopped cilantro on top and lime wedges to squeeze into the bowl. Also, sliced jalapeno is good to spice it up as well. you can through those in the soup pot but I let everyone put it in on the side…adjust their own heat. No matter how you do it–it is YUMMM!
You can also serve with warm tortillas or toasted French bread.

I like to serve with a small cup saucer plate so you can take you corn cob out of the soup to cool a little …makes it easier to eat. OR just leave it…once you eat the soup then eat the corn cob and short rib. This is a perfect SLURPY soup….just eat and ENJOY!

My daughter likes to add extra tajin to the soup at the end in her bowl. If you aren’t familiar with Tajin or Adobo..they are great go to seasonings at our house. My kids love to put Adobo on grilled/sautéed Asparagus and Portobello mushrooms, sautéed squash and zucchini, steaks. Tajin has a tangy lime flavor- My youngest likes it on pretty much everything…potatoes, steak, popcorn, steamed broccoli, and baked kale…. anything.

Wrapped in Blue Ribbons

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When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight ~Khalil Gibran

Today my heart is heavy and wrapped in blue ribbons.

My longime sister friend of over 20 yrs lost her courageous battle with colon cancer yesterday. It was only one year ago that she was diagnosed. She fought hard through the pain and remained steadfast in her faith and love of God.

She was an amazing woman….brilliant nurse, loving mother, dedicated wife, helping hand, a gentle soul. I am truly blessed to have had the privilage to call her my friend. God has called another Angel home. Fly free Michelle VanCamp McCarthy, be received and wrapped in His arms of love; your fight is over and it is time to walk in His grace, love and comfort. I love you and you will never be forgotten, forever etched in my heart.