Sunday, September 20, 2009

Five Years and Counting ~ Anniversary Dinner 2009

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marital bliss.  It seems like only yesterday we were planning our wedding, I can't believe it has been 5 years already!

We spent the day low key relaxing at home, it was raining here in South Florida, so it gave us an excuse to lazy around the house.  Of course like all special celebrations food was to be involved, but we had already decided that for this year's Anniversary we would stay in and have a home cooked meal, so it was ok to keep the day low key.

We did go out for a portion of our day so that we could attend church services (  We were blessed with a wonderful sermon from our teaching pastor John Maxwell on "Paying it Forward".  We know that we have MANY blessings in our lives (including that of our marriage) and are thankful for that!

After church it was time to get the final touches for our dinner then home to get things going.  On the menu was Flank Steak with Garlic Tomato Jam, and Arugula Salad; recipe presented on the Today show this week ~ a recipe I got from the Today Show: (all ingredient info is at the end of this blog).

First I prepared the garlic tomato jam; it had to cook down so it was going to take a bit longer than everything else.

Then I prepared the Arugula Salad; I varied the recipe by adding some spinach as well, but the ingredient that turned out to be key in the salad was the freshly grated parmesan cheese ~ YUMMY!

Then it was on to the steak, which I had marinated all day in a roasted garlic & herb marinade (store brought ~ another variant to the recipe as presented on the Today Show).  The steak smelled absolutely delicious while it was cooking (sorry, the aroma distracted me and I forgot to photograh it); and once topped with the garlic tomato jam it made for a deliciously looking professional presentation (ok, I will let you judge for yourselves).


Once everything was ready, and the table was set, it was time to dig into our special meal.

...and of course no special occasion meal is complete without a special dessert (thank goodness we left room for dessert).  Thanks to my beautiful sister Carmen, we indulged in red velvet cake ~ thanks Sis!

We ended the night with a movie.  It was a wonderful meal, and a wonderful anniversary!  I am thankful for this and all the blessings I have in my life.

Garlic tomato jam
• 6 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut in half crosswise (about 4 pounds, peeled seeded and fine diced)
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
• 5 garlic cloves, roasted until soft and pureed
• 1 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and minced
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Flank steak
• 1 1/4 pound flank steak
• Sea salt
• Fresh cracked black pepper
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

Arugula salad
• 1 bunch (about 5 1/2 cups) arugula
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
• 1 1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• Dash kosher salt
• Dash freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup Regianno-Parmesan cheese, sliced thin

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Celebration of Life!

For the past 16 years my family and I have taken on the challenge to raise funds in support of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its efforts to END BREAST CANCER FOREVER.  Last Sunday, September 13, 2009 our team The Pink Sisterhood met in Central Park to continue the tradition.

We have participated in this event in honor of three of my sisters (pictured right: Edna, Carmen and Vilma) who, until earlier this year, were all breast cancer survivors.  However in Februrary, my sister Edna went to be with the Lord.  She faced this battle for 28 years with grace and dignity. She inspired all of us to bring attention to this cause and to raise awareness that early detection is the best advocate in this battle.

So this year the event took on a special meaning.  We laced up our sneakers and walked in celebration of her life and of her years of survival, but we also walked to celebrate the continued survivorship of my sisters Carmen and Vilma, and for all of those who are part of this great SISTERHOOD.

We were joined in the park with lots of family and friends!

It was truly a day of CELEBRATION!

Our team was blessed to have been able to raise over $3000 towards the cause.

My siblings and I were so pleased to have such great support for our cause and our team.  We know that we are truly blessed with a wonderful and supportive family, as well as wonderful and supportive friends.

I want to take this time to personally thank ALL of you who participated and supported The Pink Sisterhood in the Komen New York City Race for the Cure®.

The race to end breast cancer is not over yet, and continued support is always appreciated.  If you wish to suppor the team please visit

Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't forget to take a moment... remember those lost, and the change that came to the United States of America eight years ago today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

From Pink @ Heart to Puerto Rican Chef in the house!

This morning I started my day with a splitting headache; to be exact, it was a continuation of how I started my weekend. It was no way to start off a 3 day weekend nor was it the way to start off a Sunday morning. The headache was enough to keep me from church, but thankfully my church offers an online campus, so it wasn't a total loss.

After getting a late start to my day, I decided cook. For most people this would not mean a major event, but for me ~ well not so simple. For me this meant grocery shopping for ingredients, you see to me Sunday dinners should be special, not your run of the mill ("typical") meal. So deciding to cook on this Sunday meant planning out a "not your everyday" recipe and a trip to the farmers market.

I had been mulling around with an idea to do my own "Julie & Julia" type cooking experiment, but with a Puerto Rican twist. So today I decided to test the waters of this potential experiment and make Sancocho. For those of you not familiar with it, Sancocho is Puerto Rican stew. I followed the recipe I found at, a website I recommend for all those who want to venture into authentic Puerto Rican cooking.

Puerto Rican cooking is something I grew up with, and my mother made it look easy! Over the years I have been adventurous, dabbling in a few of the more complicated Puerto Rican recipes, not just your regular rice and beans. The thing I cannot say about some of the recipes is that they are easy! ("Mom how did you do it?"). But now it was time to see how I faired at making sancocho.

First things first, the base of most Puerto Rican recipes is know as "sofrito". The sancocho recipe did not directly call for sofrito as a base, but I decided to start easy (and authentically) and make my own. I usually use the store brought frozen kind and have only occasionally made my own.
So I packed everything in to the blender... ...and viola! Sofrito!

Then it was on to the sancocho...
The link for the recipe I used is:

First I browned the meat with the base (yes, I admit it I used sofrito! It is how Mami does it.)
Then I added the tomatoes.

With a little help to peel and cut all the vegetables (that is a big job!!! Happy for the help)...
...the next step was to let it cook!

The end result... ...not bad if I do say so myself.

But I will leave the final verdict to the real judges...

...mmmmmmm, looks like it was a success!
So the experiment is off to a positive start!
Stay tuned for the dish!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

God's Chisel - The Skit Guys

My sister sent me this video. I enjoyed watching it, the message is great!

I hope those of you who may see this blog and view the video would be blessed.

God's Chisel - The Skit Guys

No one is perfect, and it is not easy to face our short falls. It is wonderful to know that God has made us each a masterpiece in his own sight; and that through God's amazing mercy and grace, given to us through the sacrifice of his son on the cross we are forgiven of our sins and short falls. What wonderful blessings we receive when we come to the Lord and put him first in all our needs, allowing him to mold us into his masterpieces.
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