Thursday, July 29, 2010

Comfort Food That's Easy

So, I am missing my mom right now. We usually talked every single day, and with her in another state (caring for an aging surviving parent) we just don't stay in touch so well. I was craving a memory and decided on stroganoff. My mom made this wonderful dish, with rice and always had dill pickles, and peperoncinis on the side. I didn't have the time to cook up the rice, so I did egg noodles, which my husband prefers over rice.

Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 (16 ounce) package wide egg noodles
  • 1 lb ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 C finely chopped onion
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
1.In a large, heavy skillet, brown ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, and garlic. Drain well. Reduce heat to medium low and add soup, milk, cream cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in sour cream and reduce to low.

2.Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until done. Drain.

3.Return noodles to pot. Gently stir in ground beef/sauce mix and serve immediately. I eat mine with a pickle and peperoncinis. Also, having the sauce over rice is wonderful too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Founders of the Feminist Movement

"Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women."
-- Alice Paul: The author of the original Equal Rights Amendment (1923) and early feminist

I can hear a collective gasp from the so called feminists of today. Yes. The ones who fought for our rights as women today, were vehemently against abortion. I will further rankle you  who claim to be for women's rights (yet do so little!) by saying, that the feminists of the 60's did more to destroy female power and strength, than further it. Dare to read on? Do you have the strength of character to face the falsehood that is today's feminist movement?

Susan B. Anthony, in her publication The Revolution, wrote:

"Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!"
Yes, Susan B. Anthony, beloved matriarch of the feminist movement, and revered by modern feminists, was anti-abortion. Oh, there are plenty of lies amidst the feminists of today, that she wasn't. However, if you look to her publications, it is quite clear that she was. Read, "The Truth About Susan B. Anthony" for an enlightened look at this feminist icon.

Who are some of the prominent women of the feminist movement?
  • Jane Addams, 1860-1935
  • Louisa May Alcott, 1832-1888
  • Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906
  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, 1821-1910
  • Pearl S. Buck, 1892-1973
  • Dorothy Day, 1897-1980
  • Matilda Joslyn Gage, 1826-1898
  • Angelina Weld Grimke, 1880-1958
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, 1917-1977
  • Dr. Charlotte Denman Lozier, 1844-1870
  • Sarah F. Norton and Eliza Bisbee Duffey
  • Breda O'Brien 1962- 
  • Graciela Olivarez, 1928-1987
  • Alice Stokes Paul, 1885-1977
  • Susan LaFlesche Picotte, 1865-1915
  • Cicely Saunders, 1918-2005
  • Dr. Juliet Stillman Severance
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815-1902
  • Lois Weber 1879-1939
  • Frances Willard, 1839-1898
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797
All of them, spoke out/continue to speak out, AGAINST abortion and fought/fight for the rights of unborn babies as well as women's rights. It is also worth noting, that Hypocrites (c. 450 BC) condemned the practice (I mention him only because he is lauded as one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine and the father of medicine.)
"Abortion is a reflection that we have failed women—and women have settled for less.
We insist on a world in which women have access to all nonviolent options, which is hardly an anti-woman perspective.... Pro-life feminists demand that society support the unique life-giving capacity of women, so that no woman feels she has no choice other than abortion." -- "Pro Woman Answers to Pro Choice Questions"
I am a feminist. I believe in the power and strength of a woman, and I am Pro-Life! Women deserve better than what the pro-choice  movement offers. I proudly declare my stance against willful infanticide.

For more information, please visit Feminists for Life: Women Deserve Better

"May peace begin in the womb...

 ....and spread throughout the world."

Hopeful Author

My first artistic leanings, began when I was very young, but of course, telling stories is the talent of many children. I drew comic strips and created story books both writing the story line and drawing the art. I still have some of my early scratchings and cringe a little at what I found funny, but it's good to look back and see how my art has developed.

Cheerios was running a contest for unpublished authors and the winner would have their book published especially to be placed in boxes of Cheerios. The project is called "Spoonfuls of Stories" and I just squeaked an entry in. I have my fingers crossed, hoping they like my story. Wouldn't it be neat to win?

The story came about from silly monster names the kids and I came up with, as their alter egos. I then created a story around these two characters, with suggestions by them and then drew the monsters with the thought, that I would have one printed up when I eventually finished the illustrations. It was just for them. When I noticed the contest, I immediately remembered the story. It was only about 160 words and since the limit was 500, I thought I should add to it. I almost doubled the words and hope that it tickles the judges. I wrote it, with Dr. Seuss in mind. I'm sharing it with you now, and hope you can give me a friendly critique.

"Wiggidy-Woo & Buggidy-Boo"
written and illustrated by Laurie Bell

Wiggidy-Woo and Buggidy-Boo, two silly monsters are they.
They sneak and they snork, and they chew on their forks.
A monstrous couple, night and day!

One day, Woo said to Boo, "I think we two, should visit our friends of the North!"

So they boarded a plane, being careful to check, their baggage of monster stuff.

When they got to their destination, they were greeted with elation, by their friends:
Blik and Flik, Muck and Blek, The Goon Sisters and The Brothers Gore.
But the fun was short lived, as they wore out their welcome, because monsters don't make, good house guests.

So Wiggidy-Woo and Buggidy-Boo, returned home, after only four days.
When the memories would fade, at the pictures they would gaze, and remember their visit again.

Oh, the fun they did have, playing games and being bad, at the expense of all those around them!

They always would ponder, wonder and wander, in their thoughts, as to why the fun had to end.
They couldn't understand, how the mommies and dads, didn't want them around much, much longer!
"Could it be?" wondered Woo, "My peanut and jelly, fingerprints all over the walls?"
"Wouldn't be..." pondered Boo, "The toothpaste goobers, I drooled in the hair of the dolls?"

No, they didn't quite get it, the word "Etiquette", and how important it was to be polite. So they always had to find, new friends to visit, and never stayed the same place twice.
So, Look out!

Because Wiggidy-Woo and Buggidy-Boo, those silly, sneaky and snorking monsters, may someday soon... come... and visit you!
Then, what on EARTH would you do!?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And Now, For Something Sweet

I have been craving a cookie, but the classic chocolate chip wasn't going to do it, and I was tired of oatmeal so cookies of such weren't sounding appealing. I was restocking my baking supplies and picked up a vanilla butter and nut flavoring. It sounded yummy. I like adding vanilla and cinnamon to my pancake and waffle batter. So, this flavoring sounded like it would be a tasty change.

Well, on the back of the box was a recipe that sounded really delicious. So, I went ahead and made it and it turned out quite good. So, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

Butterscotch Chocolate Nut Cookies
  • 2 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 Cup butter
Heat in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla butter & nut flavoring
Beat the eggs lightly. Temper the eggs by adding some of the brown sugar mixture slowly to the eggs while whisking. Continue adding small amounts until the eggs are up to temp and then add to the saucepan and whip until well combined. Add flavoring.
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
Mix dry ingredients well. Slowly add to brown sugar mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased 13X9X2 inch pan.
  • 1-6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 Cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts, evenly over top of batter. Bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes. When done, cool on wire rack, cutting into bars while warm.

I like them still warm with a tall glass of cold milk. delish!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Molasses & Coffee Marinated Pork Chops

OH, heaven is the aroma of fresh roasted coffee. It makes my mouth water, and when Alton Brown did an episode of Good Eats that featured pork chop recipe with coffee as an ingredient, I just had to make them... but of course tweaking the recipe to make it my own. The coffee brings a dark richness to it, and the molasses is sweet and heavy. I wasn't able to grill it, but suspect that if I had, it would have been ten times better and that is unimaginable since it was finger licking good baked. Here is the recipe!...

Molasses and Coffee Marinated Pork Chops


  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used a horseradish Dijon)
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger  
  • 4 6-to-8-ounce bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick)


Combine the coffee, molasses, honey, vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the ginger, and pork chops in a 1-gallon zip-top bag; seal and shake to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Grilling Directions
(if you cannot grill, continue to "Baking Directions") Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove the pork from the bag. Pour the marinade into a saucepan; boil gently over medium-high heat, stirring, until reduced to 1/2 cup, 12 to 15 minutes.
Grill the pork chops for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°. Let rest for 5 minutes; serve with the glaze.

Baking Directions
Preheat oven to 425°. Remove pork from bag and place in a Pyrex baking dish with room so none of the pork chops overlap but fit as snuggly as possible. Pour the marinade into a saucepan; boil gently over medium-high heat, stirring, until reduced to 1/2 cup, 12 to 15 minutes.

Bake the pork chops for 20 to 30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve with the glaze.

Chad and I concluded that if you added maybe 1/4 cup soysauce (eliminating the addition of salt), a couple dashes toasted sesame oil and a little more ginger, it could really get a great asian flavor to it. It is very close to a teryaki flavor.

Not Crunchy... Maybe Al Dente?

So, I have been working my way towards doing things more naturally. Eating fresher foods, less processed. Using homeopathic remedies rather than running to a doctor who will only treat the symptoms with a chemical. I am reading and researching more than ever. There are so many things I want to take advantage of and go as green as the rest of the family can stand. It's a slow process, but at least I know I am progressing in the right direction and my family will be healthier for it. I can't always afford to buy the products I know will be better for us, but do what I can and hope it makes enough of a difference to be worthwhile.

I heard the term "crunchy momma" while pregnant with my third and loved it. Crunchy, referring to granola, which seems to be a light hearted poke at the stereotype that hippies love granola, thus, the lifestyle of the hippy. Natural and organic. I found a doula to help me have the most natural birth a diabetic woman who cannot avoid a hospital birth, can have (it was wonderful btw). I have tried to minimize the trauma my son's first year of life could hold by choosing to breastfeed for as long as my damaged body will let me, and delaying vaccines which we will then pick and choose, when he is 2 years old. Finding doctors who are open to chiropractic care and home remedies. I have really enjoyed the process.

So, today was a milestone for me. I never thought I could consider cloth diapers. The idea of dealing with poop, more than what a disposable provides seemed gag worthy. I imagined the hygiene factor of laundry and a container of poopy, wet cloth was so very unappealing to put it lightly. Still, I did research with this baby. I knew it would be more economical (and who isn't willing to get a little dirty to save money these days!?). I bookmarked some sites, but never went through with it. Then, the incident occurred. Something that never happened with my first two.

The first diaper change of the morning revealed a blister on my son's credentials that looked painful, though he was smiley and didn't seem to notice. I was so upset. The other day, I had to go to the store for diapers. I am trying really hard to keep our grocery costs down and diapers, as we all know, are expensive. I had a coupon from a mailer and that same diaper was also on sale. Not my usual choice (usually a natural diaper with no dyes or perfumes), but it was on sale. It was so smelly with perfumes, but with a chemical scent. It didn't feel right, but I thought it would be fine. I was wrong.

So, today, I purchased a Gdiaper starter kit. I won't go into all that is fabulous about this product, but if you want to know more, just click on the name and it will take you to their site. I can tell you that his personality changed within the first hour of donning the adorable orange diaper. I am using the disposable inserts that can be flushed, composted or just thrown away (they biodegrade very fast), during the late afternoon (Lachlan's schedule to poop). I'm not quite ready for the clean-up process entailed with solid waste. For the rest of the day, I am using terry cloth hand towels folded in fourths. The blister is almost gone and the day isn't even over yet. I have 7th Generation diapers on standby and so far, I am sold on the cloth diaper idea. Oh, and while purchasing the cloth diapers, I also bought Pacific Natural Foods Hemp Milk. Vanilla flavored. I am excited to see what baked goods will be like with this product. 

So, I am another step closer to crunchiness and it feels good.

Past Musings You Might Ponder

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