Saturday, August 29, 2009


And so here we are. Survivors. Four years later, it seems hard to believe that four years ago today our lives were torn apart. Prior to August 29, 2005 when I didn't use words like "the storm" "the new normal" pre-k", I was an idealist that believed the national media told the truth, that our government existed to fight for us when we could not fight for ourselves, and that God was in everything. In the days following Katrina, all of that changed and I had never felt so alone. Abandoned by the people charged with telling America the truth about who we really are and where we live, abandoned by a government that chose to deal with the cost of replacing New Orleans rather than the cost of protecting it, and abandoned by a God that I would pray to every night asking for a better tomorrow. Yet, I would wake to a worse version of the day before. I was so bitter and so angry at everyone and everything. I began to believe that, aside from your closest and most trusted family and friends, no one was going to change your course in life aside from yourself. That no prayer said loud enough was going to rebuild our city and rebuild our broken hearts. That if you wanted something done, you could only rely on you. That our country would without question rebuild the streets, homes, schools, and churches of Iraq for trillions of dollars, but they would question spending just one here on our own soil to do the same. We are people too. We are Americans. Why did no one seem to care?

But the thing is, I think I was so blinded by the anger and resentment that had built in my heart that I did not see all of the caring that was happening around me. That while we cannot rely on our government to rebuild our city, we can rely on the generousity and goodness of the people of this country to do so. Our city could not rebuild alone, and thanks to the kindness of others, we have not had to. I wish it did not take me so long to realize this. We have been truly touched by each and every person who has come to our dear city to help bring it back to life. When we no longer had the strength to fight for ourselves, you came to our rescue and fought for us. You have shown me that the American spirit is alive and well. That in this country, you would be willing to open your arms and your homes to us. You would house us, feed us, clothe us, and you would ask for nothing in return. That in this country, a group of college kids would be willing to spend their spring break building homes for people they may never meet. That in this country four years can go by and you have not forgotten us. There is God in that. Finally being able to see that has brought me a kind of peace I have not know for a long time. Four years in fact.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fridays Five Favorite Things - New Orleans

I remember like it just happened learning of the levee break that would be the start of a new life for anyone who has ever called themself a New Orleanian. My friend Lucy is a newscaster in New Orleans and was in a helicopter flying over the city. She had been texting me to keep me up to date with the latest happenings in and around the city. It was just before lunchtime and we were with a group of friends (some old and some who just like us were taken in by the Kopieczek family) when I saw the red light on my phone turn on indicating I had a new message. It read - "17th street Canal levee broken. Lakeview gone. Expect 15-20 feet of water." I relayed the message to my family in a brief private moment so that the four of us could mourn alone. My sister said "I wish we had just stayed and drowned." Hearing that now does not make sense, but at the time, I think for everyone who had spent a lifetime in the invisible walls of our home, we truly could not imagine a life outside of them. Where would we go, what would we do, who would we be. In an instant, it was as though someone had stripped us of our indentity and told us to start over. I remember telling my mom that afternoon that I wish I was from Boise and had never even been to New Orleans on vacation. I wish I had never even heard of such a place. Maybe then it wouldn't hurt to much. It had truly manifested into a physical, not just emotional pain. I realized in the days that followed the initial shock of it all, that I would rather know the pain we felt watching our dear city under seige, than to never have known the love we have for it as well. I have said before that New Orleans is not where I am from, rather it is who I am. I think that in that spirit I will share with you my five favorite things about the place I call home.
  1. The accent - I grew up going to a daycare called Buster Bear. At Buster Bear, we had made friends with two children whose father's name was John (traditional pronunciation). Here's the thing about him, until I was about 12 I thought his name was Mista Jawn. That's how everybody said it. The day I realized his name was John and not Jawn was like the day I found out the Easter Bunny didn't actually exist. The accent here is thick and can sometimes be abrasive, but at the end of the day, there is nothing more New Orleans than someone asking "where y'at" when like would like to know where you are.
  2. The food - it's hard to imagine a place more defined by food than New Orleans. There is a great book called Gumbo Tales: Finding Your Place at the New Orleans table. It is an amazing depiction of the importance of food culture in New Orleans. Dining in New Orleans is a ritual. Red beans and rice on Mondays. Fried catfish and seafood gumbo on Fridays. And crawfish boils during Lent. We cook because we love to eat, and we love to eat because we love to share our history and our stories with a circle of friends. the New Orleans table is there for anyone who is looking to find it.
  3. The culture - when you grow up in a place like New Orleans, you do not realize it is different. You think that everyone has off of school for Mardi Gras and that everyone knows how to peel a crawfish. And when you learn they don't you think that they are the ones who are strange. We are from a place where we consider the unusual an everyday part of life.
  4. The people - we have learned that you can't count out the people of New Orleans. We are fiercely loyal almost to a fault. We are prideful of what we do best - share everything we know and love with those who are interesting in appreciating it. We will take you into our hearts and teach you all there is to know and love about our dear city because it's the only thing most of us have ever known. And we will thank you everyday for wanting to learn about us and understand what would make us want to stay in New Orleans and fight for a better city.
  5. The spirit - it is everywhere. On one hand it is almost so tangible that you can cup your hand and hold a little bit of it. Yet, it is illusive and inexplicable. It is something you see, something you taste, and something you feel, but how do you describe it. I don't know how, to be honest. I just know that when you are born there, it is just in you. And when you visit, you will want to take it home with you. It is that spirit that we have kept alive four years later. Through our darkest hour our spirit never wavered. We knew that it might take time, but New Orleans would home again. We are New Orleans. And as long as the spirit of the city courses through our veins, New Orleans will be reborn.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Thought for Thursday

Today is August 27th. For most people, unless it's your birthday or anniversary, it's just any old day in the peak of the hottest time of year. For me, it is the day we said goodbye to the New Orleans we always knew. It was on August 27, 2005, that after a long morning of volunteering in City Park with my accounting firm, Mark and I decided we should get a head start on evacuating just in case more people decided to leave on Sunday. At the time we decided to leave, we weren't really even worried about this storm they called Katrina. In fact, I sort of chuckled to myself when my friend and co-worker (who being from California was petrified of hurricanes) wasted no time and told us as we were packing up our volunteer supplies, that he was heading to Houston, he'd see us at work on Monday. Since you know how this story ends, it's not hard to realize that Monday never came. That was the last time I saw Kris - he didn't return to New Orleans.
A little shaken by his decision to leave, I think everyone else there that morning started thinking "Gosh, maybe we should go too??" So we went to the grocery (Robert's in Lakeview) and picked up water, flashlights, and snack foods, and we readied ourselves to head to New Iberia, LA where we figured we'd party for a couple of days with our gracious hosts, the Pellerins. We stopped by the house my parents had just purchased and tried to talk them into evacuating with us, but they were comfortable in just going to stay at a hotel downtown if things got too bad.

We straightened up the house a little. We put my wedding dress "high" on top of a dresser about six feet tall, and we pulled my VW Passat (my first car and graduation gift from my parents) a little further up in the driveway just in case there was street flooding. After all, my Uncle Sam's house had been through Betsy and it didn't flood, so we didn't have anything to worry about. Why take two cars - it only clutters the roads - that's what I told Mark that day. Just as we were about to leave, I joked with Mark "what if this was the big one?" I ran back in the house and grabbed our wedding albums and all of my handbags. Ha - if it does come and we don't have jobs, I could sell them off one by one I teased Mark.

We chatted and laughed as we drove through the streets of Lakeview and off on our little weekend getaway. I didn't look around. I didn't stop to cherish the memories I had made on the streets and in the homes of that quaint piece of heaven we call Lakeview. I didn't even notice driving by the home I had grown up in that my parents had just sold. I just sat in the car as my world went by and I didn't even see it.

And in the gut wrenching days that followed August 29th as we realized that our sweet Lakeview had been filled like a bowl with ten feet of water, I wished I had taken the time to really look around. I wished I had not taken for granted that the places I loved would be there when tomorrow came. And although four years later, Lakeview is on the mend, it is a different place. The streets that you knew like the back of your hand are lined with different homes. The pecan tree in the backyard of the house I grew up in that still had Mardi Gras beads in it from a game we played at my 8th birthday party called "throwing Mardi Gras beads into the pecan tree" is gone, as is the home itself. If I could only see it one more time. Just to really take it in. I would do anything for that.

So I guess my thought for this Thursday August 27th is not to walk aimlessly through your day. Enjoy every minute of it. Truly appreciate everything you see today that is something so normal you'd only know you missed it if it was gone tomorrow. Really see your world and all of the people and places in it.

Long Live Lakeview!

Trendy Wednesday - Riding Boots

From the very first episode of Mad Men, I have envied the style of the women from the late 50s and early 60s. Betty Draper (the wife of the lead character Don Draper) is the epitome of fashion perfection. Although I love her beautiful gowns, and adorable day dresses, it is her outfits she wears when she is horseback riding that I find most elegant. I love the fitted blouse she wears neatly under a perfectly made grey plaid blazer. Her riding pants are tapered in just such a way that they fit just right tucked into her beautiful black riding boots. Perhaps it is my obsession with this show that I have taken on a new obsession - finding the perfect black riding boots. Of course, I have no intention on actually wearing them to ride horses. To be quite honest, horses kind of scare me. When I am around them, I have a constant fear that they will get spooked and run me over. No, my interest in these boots is purely superficial.

I have had a hard time finding just the right pair. That's not entirely true, I have found several pairs that I absolutely love, but I might be required to sell a kidney in order to buy them. Burberry, Ralph Lauren, BCBG, and Frye all have boots that are elegant, not too trendy, and tapered at the ankle (no cankles for me, please). However, none of them are under $450. So they're all out. I have run a million searches from, to, to all in search of the perfect black boot. I think I might have finally found the answer. Thoughts??

These are the BCBG ones I really want...

These are the Steven by Steve Madden ones I might actually get...

It's amazing when a tv show has the ability to move from following trends to being the place we go to see trends start. Sex and the City did it, and I think Mad Men is doing it now. And I have to say as much as I like Carrie Bradshaw, I think I'll have an easier time pulling off Betty Draper.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Cheeseburger Pie

I think sometimes city life tends to pull you in a million directions to the point where your circle of friends stays fairly constant and fairly small. It is one of the things about Beaufort that I find most charming. You are away from the hustle and bustle of constant fundraisers and work parties, gallery openings and restaurant launches. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of fun and often glamorous things going on in the lowcountry, but some of the best times I have had here have been sitting on the back porch at our friend's family farm talking and drinking beer over a slow cooked pig. It was just good times with good friends. And I think that's what makes Beaufort so special. Everyone here realizes that it's the people who make the place.

There is this great tradition here in Beaufort where the friends of girls who have just recently had a baby organize a meal sign up. And I don't mean just a few close friends - I mean a list of girls a page long volunteer to make the new parents' lives just a little bit easier. I just don't know if this happens everywhere. I think it's one of those small town things that Beaufort does so well. I have to say the first time I signed on for this job, I was very nervous. I wanted to make a meal that would taste as good re-heated as it would have if the family was eating right out of my kitchen. It had to be something that was homey and comforting so that they didn't feel like they were eating out each and every night. And I needed to make something that was as tasty for mom as it was filling for dad. Overwhelming, right!

After a lot of thought, I realized that I had just the right dish - cheeseburger pie. For my wedding shower, my sister had everyone bring a copy of their favorite recipe. She put them neatly in a little recipe box. It was one of my most used and cherished wedding presents. After we lost the box in the storm, Stephanie surprised me at Christmas with a newer, thicker, better version of the cookbook. I use it so often, and this is one of my favorites from the collection!

Cheeseburger Pie

1 set of two Pillsbury deep dish pie shells
1 lb of ground beef
1 onion, small dices
1 green bell pepper, small dices
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or to taste - I like a little extra in mine)
1 bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. In a skillet, brown beef, remove and drain pan with the exception of a little oil to cook in

  3. Saute onions and peppers until they are soft (5-8 minutes)

  4. Add beef and cream of mushroom soup to mixture

  5. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper

  6. Mix in about a quarter of a bag of cheese and stir until blended

  7. Poke the bottom of the first pie shell with a fork to avoid bubbles when cooking

  8. Add beef mixture to pie shell

  9. Sprinkle cheese over the beef mixture

  10. Place the second pie shell over the top of the first and pinch around the edges

  11. Cut three slits diagonally across the pie shell to let steam release

  12. Cook until shell is golden brown (cover the pie with foil if the top shell is browning too much but the bottom needs longer in the oven)

Hint - If you received your post baby pie without a top layer it's likely because I let the second shell sit out too long and it wasn't firm enough for me to handle. I suggest letting it sit on the counter while you prep the pie. By the time you go to add it on, it should be soft enough to remove. Flip the foil container over and slowly pull the sides of the pie away until you are able to remove the whole pie shell.

If you decide to make this for someone, complete everything but the step required to bake the pie. You can make a card for the person congratulating their new arrival and include in the card the steps they need to take to bake the pie (preheat oven temp, length of cooking time, and foil tip).

This is such a yummy meal, and it is one that is easy to make for a large group or for delivery. I hope that all you girls living outside of Beaufort read this and think "we should start a food sign up here!" It really is such a great thing to do for your friends. And you get to have a peak at all the little ones too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trendy Wednesday - The Snuggie

So I know you've all seen the Snuggie infomercials. You know, the blanket that has arms and keeps you warm while you read a book, change the channel via remote, or tailgate. This product has one of the funniest infomercials of all time! Perhaps that's why I know several people who have given them as "gag" gifts. I say "gag" in quotes because everybody always says there a gag gift, but secretly both parties involved really want one. I mean who doesn't want to be snug as a bug in a run while lying in bed with all of your actual blankets surrounding you. There's something very American about creating a product in a new-fangled way that serves the same purpose as things we already own. My brother-in-law gave snuggies to all of the usher's in his wedding. I could see the look of envy on Mark's face when they opened their gifts. He had to have one, but should he dare admit it? If you buy one for yourself, how do you claim that owning one is just a joke?

Well, as of Monday night Mark has become the proud owner of a Snuggie! I surprised him with a very fancy Saints version. I saw the link for the Saints Snuggie on one of my favorite daily internet pit stops Here you can learn about what linebacker will make it through the September 5th cuts, what player we should have picked up off of waivers, whether or not Brett Favre should still be playing football. All very important things, but none really appropriate for Wednesday's style section of this blog. But every once in a while, you can come across a hidden gem. A post buried in the depths of football x's and o's that includes a link to a great piece of Saints merchandise history. Last year it was the Saints DirectTV remote (a stocking stuffer of mine last year). I have a feeling this year it will be the Saints Snuggie - even if one reader wrote "what are you, too lazy to turn your around?" Anybody who could write that about such an amazing example of American innovation surely must be a Falcon's fan. And they don't count anyway.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Orleas does have four seasons

I know you're thinking that New Orleans certainly doesn't enjoy more than two weeks of either fall or spring, but before you disregard this entry, you have to understand we really do have four seasons - Shrimp, Crawfish, Carnival, and my favorite, football.

Shrimp and crawfish might run together for some people, but for non-shrimp eaters (I know it's a cardinal sin to admit this) like me, it's good to keep them separated. Shrimp is of course one of Louisiana's most prized exports. For more information on how important buying local shrimp is to the Louisiana economy, you can visit to learn all about the White Boot Brigade's efforts to keep shrimp prices high so that the local shrimp markets continue to thrive. The father of a friend of mine is a shrimper and I can tell you it is truly a labor of love. And in an effort to be a better New Orleanian, I am eating one shrimp each time I am somewhere that they are serving them or when Mark orders them. I am determined to love them!

Crawfish season has been one of the things I have missed most while not living in NOLA. There is something about the smell of a boil that melts my heart. Of course everyone loves a good boil because you can't get anything that tastes more like New Orleans than crawfish, onions, garlic (gawlic if you're my Dad!), sausage, lemon all stewed together in a hot vat of boiling Zatairan's crab boil, but I think the real reason the crawish boil resonates in New Orleans is that it is a celebration of food marked with everyone you love sitting around a communal table laughing and joking and telling stories. It's the perfect event to sum up the essence of everything that is New Orleans - good food, good people, good times.

Carnival - It's in February and already I get excited thinking about Mardi Gras. It truly is a season. Although it officially begins on All Kings Day, Carnival preparation really begin the very day after the last season ended. There is so much to get done to woo another crowd of revelers. The float builders have to get to building, the parade theme selectors have to get creative, and the Muses have to decorate shoes! For as long as I can remember, I have loved everything about Mardi Gras. The sights, the sounds, the smells. Just the other day, a diesel moving truck drove past Mark and me when we were out walking and I swear it smelled like a truck parade. It felt like in that moment around the next corner would be a marching band or a flambeau. It is the most amazing thing to know that no one person makes Mardi Gras, but together we all do. From the marching bands who provide us the rhythm that serves as the soundtrack of our lives, to the riders who put everything they have into entertaining the crowd, to the revelers who brightly line the streets in anticipation of something that for a local kid is just a part of the usual but is anything but usual, to the flambeaus who wait in line for hours to receive their torch that guides the way down the avenue, to the police officers who work countless hours to make sure it all goes off without a hitch. We are all apart of the greatest free show on Earth.

Last, but never least - football!!!!!!!!! Mark and I watched the Saints pre-season game this weekend (confession - I watched it twice). Every year about this time, I totally buy into all of the Saints hype. Every year around this time, I begin planning our annual trip (that never comes) to the Superbowl. I am not kidding. Just the other day, I started trying to figure out how much we should be putting aside each month to make the trip down to Miami to watch our Saints play for the championship. Of course, come December I am usually crying on our couch because we have wasted yet another opportunity to reach the heights of greatness. But see, that's what keeps me coming back. It's that each year in August I can dissect a pre-season game and give you at least five reason why this really is The Year! Being a Saints fan is like being in an abusive relationship. It is a relationship scarred with utter disappointment and pain, but you keep coming back because every once in a while it is just so good. Here's to this year. Black and Gold Superbowl!

PS - Although it has been given a title that would make you think it belonged in this group, hurricane season has no place on this list. In fact, the name of this time of year should be more appropriately named Hell.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nightmare on Tchoupitoulas Street

Even though it's only August, Mardi Gras has been on my mind recently. I paid my final dues installment for the Krewe of Muses (I am of course biased, but it's the best darn parade!) a few weeks ago, and we got word that our throws order form should be arriving shortly. Not only that, but Jon Rivers featured Blaine Kern (the man who makes Mardi Gras) last night on her show How'd Ya Get So Rich. It made me so excited to be a part of such a great Krewe and to know that I'll be riding in the 10th anniversary parade!!!!!!! I am so excited today that I even called Commanders Palace this morning to book our annual Friday before Mardi Gras luncheon reservation. Unfortunately, they can't take one until the end of August, but I tried!

I have had several Muses nightmares this summer. They started in June and have been reappearing every so often since then. There was the time I forgot it was the day of the parade and had to be dropped off at the float right as we started rolling only to realize my beads were on a different float. There was the time that I dreamed we were decorating watermelons instead of shoes. Everybody had the most elaborate watermelons and because the Krewe forgot my order, I had to hand out plain green rotten ones. And also once when I realized my friend Sarah (my best riding buddy who is not riding this year and has our friend Jen as her sub) was actually riding, but she didn't want to be on my float so she lied and told me she was subbing. I spent the whole parade crying. What a nightmare!

Well, last night it happened again! This time, our flight got delayed so I was unable to load my extra throws myself. My dad volunteered to help do it for me. Thanks dream dad! The only thing is that when I got to the float, I realized that my dad had accidentally unloaded his groceries from his trunk instead of my beads. So I was sitting among bags of produce (specifically cauliflower from what I remember) and $1,400 of plastic and glitter coated shoes were sitting in his trunk. That was enough to jolt me out of my slumber!

I don't know what all these dreams mean. This will be my fifth ride, and I have never had them. Maybe it just means that the 10th anniversary parade will be so special, it'll be all I think about. If that's the case, February seems even further away! The good news is, I'll be decorating shoes and not watermelons, and my dad most certainly knows the difference between broccoli and beads. And I know for sure I'd never forget what day the parade is - February 11th. It's been on my calendar since last year!

I believe to put my mind at ease, I might just decorate a show or two this weekend! Glitter glitter everywhere!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

tasty Tuesdays - room service

I'm posting from my phone at the mansion on forsyth park! How lavish. Mark had a drug rep dinner and they paid for his room, so I took the opportunity to come along and stay in this beautiful hotel. I have ordered room service and a girlie movie and settled in for the night. It got me thinking about my nannying days. I worked for a family as their traveling nanny and would often stay at these amazing places with the most glamorous room service menus. I remember feeling so grown up ordering from those menus. I don't know what it was. It just seemed like something fancy people did in movies. The best room service meal I ever had was at the Bacara Hotel in Santa Barbara. It was the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. Everything about it was more amazing than the next. One night when I was hanging out in the room, I ordered a risotto with smoked tomatoes and mushrooms. It was the first time I had ever eaten risotto and it couldn't have been more perfect. Cramy and firm but not undercooked. Seasoned well and the smoked tomatoes and mushrooms were amazing with the tanginess of the parmesan sprinkled on top. Mmm... I can almost taste it. I have tried many times to recreate the perfect risotto. And try as I may, mine is never quite as wonderful. Tomorrow when I get to a computer, I'll post one of my favorite risotto recipes. It might not be the bacara's but it sure is pretty yummy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trendy Wednesday - The Bumpit

Recently, I have seen a new application on facebook called "yearbook yourself" where you can convert a current picture of yourself into a yearbook photo from different decades. It's hysterical! Mostly because it's so funny to see what was the "cool" hairstyle during the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. It makes you think what our kids will think about us when they see our Rachel cuts from the early 90s!

It also got me thinking about my favorite current trend in hair - the poof (that's what we call it in our house). I LOVE a good poof. It is currently my most sported look. I like that it is a way to dress up my hair and at the same time it holds back my bangs which seem to never grow out. The first few times I wore the poof, Mark thought it was the funniest thing ever! And I have to admit, sometimes the poof got a little out of control. Once I even had two poofs, one right in the front for my bangs and one at the crown of my head for a little added volume. Mark appropriately titled this look - the camel.

This weekend at my sister in law's wedding, I had the honor of witnessing the creation of some of the best poofs (or bumpits as the Thompson girls like to say) I have ever seen. The bride wore one, her maids of honor had one, and so did I. They were fab! It's just so nice to get a little volume in an updo so that you don't look quite so severe.

The trouble with a poof/bumpit is consistency. Sometimes you put too much hair in. Sometimes they just aren't as voluminous as they should be. And sometimes it takes you so many times to get the teasing right that your arm muscles start to cramp up. Ouch! Problems solved - you can get the all in one poof creator appropriately called the "Bumpit." How exciting! Now we can all have the perfect poof!

It's just amazing what the world of tv infommercials can get you nowdays. It used to just be a chia pet. Now you can get the best hairdo ever.

PS - you have to find just the right bobby pins IMO. They have some that are perfectly curved to fit the crown of your head. I love them. No more straight pins that stick out funny!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Black Bean-Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Well, we just got back from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's wedding in Minneapolis. It was a great weekend which we treated as a mini-vacation. As such, we ate our way through the Twin Cities. We really had the most amazing meals. We started with breakfast at this great place called Hell's Kitchen. They had amazing homemade peanut butter. I had porridge for the first time - delish! It has cranberries and hazelnuts in it. We had lunch at a little bistro, and we had a wonderful dinner with some college friends. It didn't stop there! there was the bridal luncheon and the rehearsal dinner and of course the wedding itself. It was a feast! So upon our return, we felt a craving for a good salad. I wanted something healthy, but still fun and flavorful.

This black bean taco salad was the perfect fit. I added fiesta corn to the bean mixture which provided a nice crispness and great flavor and color. I love adding black beans to a salad - it helps fill you up. I went very light on the reduced fat taco seasoned cheese, and we just crunched up a few baked Tostitos scoops. I had wanted to get a rotisserie chicken and add it, but the store was out. So we sauteed some chicken cutlets marinated in garlic, a bit of olive oil, lime juice, and chipotle tabasco sauce.

I have to say it was a really great salad. And I liked that it had a very flavorful dressing that wasn't mayo-based. You could certainly add pickled jalepenos or roasted red peppers for additional color and spice.


4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups salad and 1 cup chips)
1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fat-free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.

Back in Business

Well, it's been awhile. For some reason, I haven't found the time to write lately. But, I am reenergized and ready to get back to it. I think I found I was getting behind, so I kept putting off writing my next entry. But no more procratisinating - I'm back in business.


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