Sunday, January 31, 2010

30 and counting on....sauce.

A recipe this week!  You deserve it!  Thank you for reading thus far.  I do so appreciate it. 

The recipe below is for a great alternative to Bolognese or any meat sauce.  Sure, sausage is tasty.  Sure, I wish there were vegetables that tasted like bacon.  But this sauce is a good substitute in terms of being filling and hearty without harming any animals in the process.  It's also a great short-cut meal.  It's all done in the food processor, which we like, right?   

Now that I think of it, pepper flake might be a good addition to the ingredient list.  Customize and feedback as you will!  Enjoy!


olive oil
1 med onion
3-5 cloves of garlic (as you like)
broccoli (about one cup raw)
carrots (a good handful of baby carrots or two grown-up carrots)
1 red or orange pepper
1 or 2 zuchini or yellow squash (optional - they're good for filler)
crimini/portobella mushrooms (one cup, also)
fresh basil
tomato sauce (2-4 cans depending on how sauce-y you like it. Last time I made this, I used Trader Joe's canned marinara in the big cans and it was hassle-free and good.)

Finely chop the onion. Put the vegetables, one at a time, separately, into the food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped - fine, but not too fine.  Chopping everything ahead of time makes this much easier, so get it out of the way. 

Put lots of olive oil in a big frying pan (more than you would normally use to sautee something) over medium heat. Saute the onion for 2 minutes or so, once it starts to turn translucent, add carrots, then peppers, then broccoli, then squash waiting about a minute or two between each ingredient. Mushrooms go in last. Saute until all ingredients are tender. Add sauce to coat. The less sauce, the more 'meaty' it seems, but add as you like it. Salt and pepper to taste. The last thing to add is fresh basil, chopped into ribbons.

Serve over spaghetti or your pasta of choice.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

30 and counting....

It has been a busy year, 2010.  In the last two weeks, I have shot a national commercial, performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (twice), been hired for a real-grown-up-9-5 job, stuck my toes in the waters of a new relationship, and said goodbye to my sister, who now officially resides on the opposite coast.  It seems to me that there would be something in there to write about.  It's just not that easy.  Life right now is a little like walking on the moon: so much uncharted territory. 

Below is what I could muster a few days ago.  I just can't seem to wrap it up.  It lacks a good last paragraph.  I think we are both too much at beginnings right now to bother with endings, so I am posting it anyway.  Endings to come when everything isn't

I think that by taking care of my sister, I thought that I was helping her to grow up.  I was giving her tools that I was sure she didn't have.  Ways to survive, ways to enjoy life, ways to make things easier for her by learning from my mistakes.  I wanted her to know three things: 

1.  How to cook for herself. 
2.  How to manage her finances. 
3.  That to err was the right of her 20's, and nothing but the dawn of her 30th birthday could take that away from her.

Truth be told, I think she could already cook.  She just let me 'teach' her things.  As for her finances, it's really our brother who handles that.  Him and Dave Ramsey.  Number 3, though, was definitely my territory.  I tried to teach her that a glass of wine will cure stress (more than one glass will cure just about anything).  I tried to show her that boys are idiots (sorry, boys) and that your 20's are for figuring out just what level of idiocy you can accept in another human being.  I tried to teach her that being scared never gets anybody anywhere.

As my Mom would say, "The thing of it is...." The thing of it is, I didn't actually teach her anything.  I simply postponed my own growing up by focusing on hers.  So now she gets to go her own way without my (often too loud) voice in her ear, and I have to face what I've been ignoring these last few years:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

30 and counting....on your forgiveness.

Well, I went and did it.  I promised a new blog every Sunday in 2010.  I resolved it, as a matter of fact.  But we all know what a new year means......

That's right:  high hopes and broken promises. 

I missed last week.  This week is a bit of a bust as well.  I'm here.  I'm writing.  I'm plugging away.  One Sunday done, one Sunday missed, and 50 more Sundays to go before the year is through.  New job, new home, good bye to my little sister, hello to my grown up life.  Please stay tuned.......

Sunday, January 3, 2010

30 and counting.....on becoming a runner.

Today, I went running.  I've never been a runner.  My best friends all run.  They run miles, they run marathons.  I have always been more casual about it.  I can run.  I just don't.  

My sister has this thing about how your life is your 'story'.  What kind of story do you want to tell?  What story suits you?  Are you aware of the story you're actually telling?  She read it in a book.  Unlike me, she is quiet about what she thinks most of the time.  So when she opened up about this notion of 'story', it stuck with me.  I never thought of it that way.  It's so simple.  Today, I thought, I'd like my story to be about a girl who runs.  So, I ran. 

At the Silver Lake Reservoir, you can run in one of two directions.  One way around, you go up the hill; one way around, you go down the hill.  I chose the path that leads up the hill and off I went. 

I smiled at other runners.  I dodged dogs and strollers.  I kept going when I wanted to stop and walk.  I sang tunelessly the way you do when you're wearing headphones and can't hear your own voice.  I felt the warm sun of Southern California in January.  I felt how happy putting one foot in front of the other could make me. 

I ran at the perfect pace and when I got to the hill, I pushed and pushed all the way up.  I made it to the top, and a memory struck me.  I remembered what it was like to run down big grassy hills in bare feet.  I remembered what it was like to take your foot of the brakes and just go because the worst that could happen is falling down and having to roll the rest of the way.  So, I turned around.  I let gravity take me.  I let my feet hit the pavement too hard, I let my body fall forward.  I stopped running uphill and remembered how good it felt to run down, to let the earth give you speed you'll never reach on your own.  It felt good.  It felt right.  It felt like the story of a girl who runs.