Rise and Brine!

Hello, and Good Morning Friends!

This morning, I am up nice and early and I’m rearing and ready to go! I made my husband breakfast and coffee and helped him get out the door almost on time, and I put dishes away from last night and organized/straightened up the kitchen. I am in full Turkey Day mode and I have a lot to do for tomorrow! First thing’s first: to brine the turkey.

“What is a brine?” You may be asking. Well, simply put, it’s a bath of sorts for the turkey to soak in, consisting of a whole lot of kosher salt, herbs and spices, as well as anything else you might want to toss in, like lemons, onions, and garlic, and water/stock.

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What I’m Thankful for Being Without

The title of this post says a lot of things to different people. You might at first glance see it and assume I am writing about being thankful for something, and you’d be right. But if you think I am going to go off on a cliche tangent and start spewing all of the amazing blessings I have been given this year, you’re wrong. Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about something not many people think to talk about – and that, my friends, is the things I am thankful I don’t have. Weird, right? Read on.

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A Letter from a Sleep Trained Baby

I just read this online here, and I swear to you I cried actual tears after and during reading this. It literally broke my heart into pieces. This is why I don’t believe in letting a baby CIO or believe in this form of sleep training. I just can’t participate in allowing my sweet, precious baby to cry and to miss me – especially when I am right here. It’s just so sad. As far as I’m concerned, his need to be held and have my attention and to feel secure and safe in my arms is just as important as his need for food and to be changed.

I am not bashing those who do because every parent is different – but for me, this method does not and will not work. So, maybe this means I lose more sleep than those parents who have chosen to sleep train. And maybe it means my child will rely on me more often than those who self-soothe and whose parents are more of the cry-it-out type, and to me, that’s alright. I just cannot be the one to allow the precious miracle child I waited for so incredibly long – 7 years, to be exact – to cry because he misses me, because I missed him before I even knew him – and holding him as he sleeps really is my pleasure.

If I were to allow my child to cry while I sat by idly and did nothing, it would seriously bother me, very very badly. It would give me an anxiety attack because I know he needs me. As a mother, I promise my baby to always be available for him, as long as I am alive. I just don’t see it any other way. He is my everything. All of my children are. I would stop anything in a second for any one of them. They are my world! Read on to see for yourself just how touching this letter is, and why I just cannot allow myself to be ‘that’ mom.

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Lullabies? More Like Nightmares!

I was getting the baby to sleep this week when it dawned on me that I always sing him the same three songs. Twinkle Twinkle, Jesus Loves Me, and a song I made up just for him. Sure, I occasionally throw in the Stay Awake ala Julie Andrews from Mary Poppins, and Schlof Main Kind (a Yiddish lullaby I learned when I was very little), but when I thought of some of the songs I grew up with as a child, such as ‘Rockabye Baby’, and ‘Ring Around the Rosy’, and sang the words, I was astonished just how morbid those songs really are.

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How to Fight Lovingly In Front of the Kids

Today, I wanted to speak about something many parents – pretty much all of us, if we’re honest, have experienced: arguing. Not only arguing, but arguing in front of the children. I’d like to think we are all honest enough to admit and agree that while we wish it didn’t happen, it has and it does – at least for those of us who don’t sport a natural halo and wings and levitate off the ground on the daily.

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Recipe: Arroz Amarillo (Yellow Rice)

It took me many, many years to really grasp the concept of making GOOD rice. Authentic Mexican and Cuban restaurant quality rice was something I always wanted to achieve, yet I never truly understood or figured it out until I had spoken with a woman of Mexican heritage who taught me the right way – and I’ve never looked back! If you want great rice, give this recipe a try. The rinsing and frying method makes all the difference in the world when it comes to rice – no matter what style you desire to make.


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Recipe: Bistec de Palomilla, a Cuban Favorite

Good Morning, everyone!

This week has been exciting in terms of the different Spanish foods I’ve made for my family to try. I have had so much fun bringing the authentic flavors of Mexico, Cuba and Spain into my home. I’m sure I’ve gained at least 5 pounds with all I’ve eaten over this past week – plus, Amber made me a chocolate chip cheesecake and you can believe I ate probably 3/4 of the thing. So, so bad. But it tastes so, so good!


Today, I want to journey to Cuba with you for a few moments. Picture it: beautiful palm trees swaying in the warm breeze, mountainous terrain, smells of savory spices and meats wafting your way and pulling you in toward the direction of each and every open window in sight.

Ahh, Cuban food. It’s hugely popular in South Florida where I live. The first time I tried it, it was truly like Heaven in my mouth. Since then, I have developed my own variations of popular Cuban recipes that are nearly spot on with the authentic flavors of Cuban cuisine. If you’ve never tried it, today is your lucky day because I am going to enlighten you on a very popular, incredibly flavorful dish that is fairly easy to prepare in about 30 minutes.

Today, I want to share my recipe for Bistec de Palomilla with you. I developed this variation of my own Bistec recipe from many years’ worth of trying and testing different Bistec recipes. This recipe is of Cuban origin, and is quite popular in South Florida Cuban Cafeterias. The steak (bistec) is usually served with grilled/sauteed onions with a side of white rice and black beans. Not only am I going to give you my recipe for perfect, autentico Bistec, but you will also be let in on a little secret that literally took me years of practice to perfect: my rice. I’ve shared this recipe before on a cooking and chef community I’m a part of, and those who’ve tried it can’t deny the flavors are so absolutely amazing!I’ve gained the seal of approval from several Cuban women who read over my recipe and reviewed through trying it on their own.

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Spanish Food Challenge

Good Morning, all of my lovely friends!

It’s a very cool morning here in South West Florida, and the sun is barely just rising. I am sitting here at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee, of course, and waiting for the baby to wake up. He should be up anytime now.

I have challenged myself this week to cook as many Spanish recipes as I possibly can for fun. The night before last I made Carne Asada, white rice, homemade pinto beans and Picadillo for the kids. OhmyGosh, did it come out good!! Last night, I made Carne Asada again because my husband really liked it. And I had another steak I needed to use up. So, while it wasn’t done with the traditional flank steak like the night before, it came out great nonetheless.

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My Belly Feels Lonely.

I had just finished a bowl of Tortellini Primavera and got up to get one of my husband’s oversized sweaters because I realized I was freezing. I chose a cranberry colored thermal sweater that I used to love wearing when I was pregnant with Little Richi. I hadn’t worn this shirt since I was about seven months pregnant, so it was especially huge. I turned to look at myself in the mirror; a silhouetted image was all I could see more than anything as the only light shining through the room was a faint glow from the closet. The baby was asleep, so I kept the light low as I rummaged for said sweater and put it on.

When I looked at myself, I immediately did the hand-over-top-of-belly thing and the hand-under-bottom-of-belly thing all at once, and half smiled and frowned. No, it wasn’t the same. Not at all. Although I still have plenty of belly left to pretend, it’s just not the same as when he was in there. I realized at that moment I really miss being pregnant. I miss it so much.

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