Mommy, Watch Your Mouth!

I knew this day would come. Today was that day when my lack of restraint, patience and overall personal editing was held up to my face like a mirror.

When Greg and I picked Liv up from school today, she was sitting quietly and playing Lego’s with a friend.
We were greeted by Miss Kelsey, one of Livia’s sweet teachers who proceeded to tell me my daughter was “funny” today.

“Livia was playing earlier with the Lego’s and knocked over one of her lego towers.”
She (Livia) then yelled out “SON OF A BITCH!”
Greg just looked at my with a look that says “This is all on you.”

Miss Kelsey replied “Livia! What did you say?”
To which Livia replied “SHIT!”
To which Miss Kelsey replied, “Livia! What did you say?”
To which Livia responded, “Darn-it?”

“Ok. That’s what I thought you said.”

So part of my giggled just a little bit on the inside. I mean come on. It is kinda funny.
At least she didn’t drop the F-bomb.
But then the responsible parent kicks in and thinks “I really need to watch what I say around this kid.”
Ya, good luck with that.

My mirror has cracks.

The Hubris of Youth

I remember when I was 18, self-righteous, full of hypocrisy and thought I had the full story and knew everything.
Yep, those were the days when you feel immortal and that nothing you say and do will ever come back to haunt you.
And then you grow up and get a little “life dirt” on you and realize that you really don’t know everything; that you didn’t have the full story; that life is full of lessons – really hard lessons that you will hopefully not have to keep learning.
You regret decisions you made and things you said.
You realize that throwing stones from a glass house is not the best approach.

And, if and when you have children, you realize that your parents are very fallible human beings, just like you; that having kids is the best and most difficult thing you will ever do; that you have to suddenly redefine who you are and sacrifice in ways that you truly have no perspective of until you have children. Not always easy, but certainly the point of why we are here.
We don’t always get it right, but we try. It’s personal evolution.
One may not agree with the choices ones parents make, but until you have your own, your perspective will always be narrow.
It’s a very hard thing to distill and work through. It’s a life-long effort.
Avoidance does nothing but prolong the inevitable. You don’t ever get off that easy.

Age and experience, if nothing else, provides perspective.
Let’s talk in 20 years…

The Pull

This is why I avoid it. The minor fall and the major lift….the goosebumps, the song, the music.

I hear my daughter laughing in the other room and my guitar calling out to me. Such a perfect metaphor of my life as I now know it.
I love my life. I do, but I do miss music. I miss that release.

Ya, this sounds like drama, but…. I twists me into a knot sometimes.
I miss it so much.
How can you have both? I have convinced myself you can’t. So I just bury it. I push it down. I avoid it. And then, in a moment of weakness, I seek it out and then I fight to put Pandora back in the box.

Time to put Liv down. Back to reality.

Smothered Chile Rellenos

I was visiting my family in Southern Utah last week and while I was there, my step-mom sent me home with a TON of veggies from her garden, including some Anaheim peppers.

Typically I make a really easy version of a chile relleno by just making a small slit in the top of a fresh chile and then stuffing it with a cream cheese, shredded Mexican cheese, chicken and chile mixture. Then I wrap in in foil and throw in on the grill.

This version is more authentic. It’s more work, but really worth it.
These peppers are roasted, peeled and then stuffed with pepper jack cheese. Then I dredge them in a little flour and dip them in a very light batter. They are then fried and placed in a yummy Mexican tomato sauce.

So here goes.

Mexican Tomato Sauce

  • 1 can (14.5 Ounce) whole tomatoes with juice, (break up when adding)
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (16 Ounce) red enchilada sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ a yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeño, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican leaf oregano, (crush with hands when adding)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • A good hand full of cilantro roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a deep, skillet heat oil over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and jalapeño until onions are transparent. Add the oregano, cumin, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and cilantro. Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.

If you want a smooth sauce, you can puree it using an immersion stick blender or just a regular old blender.
If using the old school blender method, place the sauce back in the pot and keep covered over a low heat.
We will be adding the fried rellenos to the sauce pot.


  • 6 to 12 Anaheim or poblano peppers, roasted, peel and seeds removed, if you like
  • Pepper jack cheese, cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick, long piece ( Try to keep them the same length as your pepper – Approximately 3″ to 4″ long)
  • Flour for dredging
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Char the flesh of the peppers over a gas flame, under a broiler or on a grill. Cook, turning frequently, until the skins are blistered all over. Take care not to overcook and burn right through the pepper. Put peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sweat for about 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Rub off as much skin as possible and cut a slit along the side of each pepper, keeping the stems and tip intact. Carefully remove the seeds and inner membranes, but do not rinse with water.

Stuff the cheese inside the chile. Take care to not mangle the chile too much. You want it to be as intact as possible.
You can use toothpicks to close the chile around the cheese if needed.

This is what they should look like when you are done roasting, peeling and stuffing them.

Place them in the fridge to chill out while you prepare the batter.

1 egg per chile (this is true if using a Poblano, but if you are using an Anaheim, you can half it)
2 tsp of flour for every 4 eggs
1 tsp of water for every 4 eggs

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then beat the yolks with the flour and water.

Fold the yolk mixture into the whites.

Lightly dust the stuffed peppers with flour and dip in the egg batter. The key is a thin coating of batter

Putting It All Together
Heat 1-inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot. Around 375 degrees.

Pick the chile up by its stem and dip into the egg batter, making sure they are well covered, tap off excess.

Fry until evenly browned, about 3 minutes each side. The egg burns easily so take care not to cook too long.

Drain the excess oil off on paper towels and then place the cooked relleno into the sauce.
Repeat with the remaining chiles. You can cook several at a time, but do not overcrowd the pan as the oil temperature will drop, resulting in a soggy, oily crust…gross!

Once you have added all the peppers to the sauce, coat each one evenly, cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Serve with beans and rice and garnish with a little shredded pepper jack and sour cream.

We liked them!

A couple of things I do that you can also do or not do.
I like to cut back on the Kosher salt and season with the granulated Mexican chicken broth by Knorr.

You have probably seen it a million times in the Hispanic section of your grocery.
This stuff rocks as a flavor enhancer, but be careful as it’s very salty.

I happened to have some leftover tomato juice in the fridge and I added a couple of “glugs” (real precise) to my tomato sauce because I wanted it more “saucy.”
If you don’t want it more “saucy,” don’t worry about it. If it’s too thick, you can thin it with chicken stock, wine, beer, water…. you get the point right?

Download the recipe here: Smothered Chile Rellenos


I am definitely getting further from personal goals. My health is taking a back seat. I am to tired and stressed out to work out but I need to work out to fight the stress.

I know one this is for sure, I can’t keep this up and I can’t keep getting fatter.
Something’s gotta give.