Black Bean Tacos

1 can black beans, drained
¼ of a red onion, chopped
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. paprika
1/8 cup cilantro
½ of a lg. tomato, diced
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste
Corn tortillas
Mix all but the last 3 ingredients together in a bowl. Heat olive oil in a lg. skillet over med. heat. Place a tortilla in the oil, and add about ¼ cup of the bean mixture on one half. Sprinkle w/ a sm. amount of cheese. Let the tortilla cook open-faced until the bottom starts to brown. When this occurs, fold the tortilla in half (pressing on it gently w/ a spatula). If needed, the tortilla can be gently flipped over to cook more evenly. Cook the remainder of the tortillas in the same fashion, until all of the bean mixture is utilized. The tacos can be served w/ salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Sister, Sister

Judging by Facebook, yesterday was National Siblings Day. I didn’t miss the announcement, as many were posting pictures with their own siblings. Still, I deliberately neglected to post my picture.
I do have a sister, only 2 years younger than me. And, we are on speaking terms. There is no big conflict between us; we just have never really been close.
From the beginning, it was apparent (to many) that the two of us were night and day. Miranda, a girly girl from the start, wanted to wear dresses and play with dolls. She had a sunny personality and was naïve to any of life’s troubles. I, on the other hand, was a tomboy from the start. I begged for trucks, wore my hair short, and dressed in overalls. I always saw things the way that they were, even from a young age. My personality showed it, as I held little back and recognized the negativity that existed around us.
Sure, Miranda and I played together. We lived together so there was little other option. But, we fought all the time. Our personalities clashed so harshly that it was difficult to see eye-to-eye.
As we grew up, the two of us went through our changes…but our viewpoints on life still contrasted drastically. Our priorities are still night and day, and we live completely different lifestyles. We do not speak often, and it’s awkward when we do. We are involved in each other’s lives for family get-togethers, holidays, and celebrations, but we still are not companions.
Viewing pictures of others’ siblings with them on Facebook brings much of this to light, that I have known from childhood: Siblings can be raised together from the start and even be 100% blood related, but that does not make a lasting relationship eminent. Siblings can speak, but still not be friends. My sister and I are in that category. I love her, as a sister. But, if I had met her in any other situation…We would not be associating. It sounds crude, but that’s the truth. How many of you out there have that sibling, or even a family member? Someone who is your polar opposite, but you have no choice but to mingle with them…

Journaling Exercise

**I found this exercise on Pinterest and thought that it would be a quick way to catch up with the blogging. Enjoy a short glimpse of me, and have a good night!

1. Thinking: I write so much better when I am alone, in turmoil, and in need of release. It is my explosion of thoughts that I crave, when my head is so full of life’s ups and downs that it cannot contain itself anymore.
2. Enjoying: Those moments with a soft, purring kitty on my lap are priceless. Sitting here on the couch, I have become a sort of “nest” for my oldest cat, Cody. It’s quite soothing.
3. Feeling: Alone. I find myself feeling more and more this way, as everyone else seems to have their purpose to attend to. I am just that woman on the side lines who aids in everyone’s dreams.
4. Wearing: Pajamas, of course! I find myself looking forward to pj time each night, as it signals relaxation and comfort.
5. Needing: Peace. Peace with myself, peace for this family, peace with the world…less stress, I suppose.
6. Wanting: How about plastic surgery? Yep, I most definitely want that! Two big babies, two c-sections, and the little bit of breastfeeding that I did do has more than taken its toll on this body!
7. Listening: To the washer and my husband working. The washer runs endlessly, and it seems that my husband is having an affair with his work.
8. Making: I’m making a record of my thoughts as we speak. They may not be the most in-depth thoughts, but they’re a good exercise for me tonight. A way to keep my mind of things…but put it on them as well. Does that make any sense?
9. Eating: I indulged too much today so I am happy with just my drink tonight! Haha
10. Drinking: A mixed drink. It helps me to write and to clear my thoughts.

Gluten Free Fruit Swirl Coffee Cake

4 eggs
¾ cup milk
1 stick melted butter
2 tsps. vanilla
1 box (3 cups) gluten free Bisquick mix
2/3 cup sugar
1 can (21 oz.) any flavor fruit pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsps. milk
Preheat oven to 375°. Beat together first 6 cake ingredients. Spread about 2/3 of the batter in a greased 9×13” baking pan. Spread pie filling over the batter, and drop the remaining batter by spoonfuls onto the filling. Bake for about 20 min., or until golden brown. In a sm. bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake.

One Dish Chicken and Rice Bake

1 can (18.5 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
 ¾ cup instant rice
 ¼ tsp. paprika
 ¼ tsp. pepper
 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
 Additional paprika and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375°. In a greased 2 qt. baking dish, mix first 4 ingredients. Place chicken on top, and sprinkle w/ additional paprika and pepper. Cover and bake for about 45 min., or until chicken is cooked through.