Taco Sunday

A few years ago, “Taco Sundays” were a regular thing in my world. My family (mom, dad and brother) would walk next door to Granny and Grandaddy’s house for the best hard-shell tacos this side of Texas. Granny would be standing there at the stove, frying shells and filling them with spiced beef and Grandaddy would be setting the table and getting everyone’s drinks for them as soon as you walked in the door. Over the years, the table-setting of five would expand and shrink as my brother and I grew older. We’d bring our friends, our SOs and, eventually,  a baby popped into the picture (my nephew). Imagine trying to have a conversation over the sound of a bubbly baby in an Exersaucer bounce. It didn’t matter though, because our attention was on him anyways. Who can ignore a happy baby? And now we have two (my niece)! Anyways, things have changed with time and we’re not all able to gather around the same table to enjoy Granny’s tacos and stories and Grandaddy’s wacky sayings, and Taco Sundays have been sorely missed. My husband was graced with the experience, also. So, we’ve decided to keep the tradition, the family, the friends, the memories alive in our home – a Wilson home. Here’s to the good times had and the welcoming of many more!

We plan to try new  taco variations over time. I’ll post as they come!

Taco

 

Connecting to an Unexpected Home

I met Tanna, the subject of this video, for the first time while I was searching for willing subjects for my photojournalism composition project. Upon our first meet, (sorry we barged in on your study time), I got a little peek into her life and personality. She was an archaeology graduate student writing her thesis on a Buddhist monastery in Batesville, MS. Later, after she accepted the star role in my final photojournalism project, I began to fill in more pieces to Tanna’s life and her connection with Buddhism. More importantly, I found her love of culture was just as strong as my love of culture, and we were both intrigued on how newcomers interacted with different cultures. When we went to the monastery, a place she had grown to love, a place she could call “home,” she walked me through every detail. The people were kind. The buffet of vegan food was unexpectedly scrumptious. The whole experience was amazing!! Thank you, Tanna, for guiding me through a new culture and for helping me have a wonderful experience. It was so much fun!

Hope y’all enjoy the video!

P.S. I’ve been thinking of more content to put up and it is in the works. Blog post blast happening soon!

Keep close,

Kristen

So stirs the night

The moon obnoxiously stares in a mad, glowing fury as the night awakens with the bark of the bullfrog. Slim, everlasting fingers of a beaten and battered willow yearn to reach the barren bank as if to meet a comforting friend there at the water’s edge.  Bubbles stir in the brook as a wandering wolf stops to take a few laps from the cool, black water. Howls echo against the trees, placing a sadness on the scene. With that, the wind bursts by with a shrilling whistle, shushing the night’s life and sending everyone back to the shadows.

Oh, Joy.

Sunken eyes pierced through the lens of her oversized dark frames

Surrounded by wiry, unkempt, gray tresses

As her long, bony fingers stirred the brew of our

Childhood imaginations.

The brew foretold of mystery and evil

Unlike her name…

Joy.

I Remember

I remember the end of the world

Chaotic “hours” where only minutes passed

Clenching carpet, struggling breaths

The phone calls that brought no relief

I remember spilling secrets

Guilty of spreading their venom

Seeing them cover up their heart’s ache

Learning to bottle up what hurt most

I remember my friends

Willing to take me in

Knowing when something was wrong

Begging me to speak

I remember not being able to forget

The terrible truth behind every lie

Hope, loss, and no family

Wondering if I was a burden

I remember when God stepped in

Picking up what fell to pieces

Lighting up the darkness

Sticking my family back together

I remember my doubts

Not letting my hopes rise high

Still struggling with the memories

Offering myself only one way to run

I remember living life and letting go.

Kristen Stephens

(Aug. 20, 2009)

Low-carb frenzy: chips, double-duty dip and muffins!

Are ya looking for a low-carb or carb-less snack?

If you’ve ever been on keto (ketogenesis for those of you not familiar), you might feel that your fridge is full of eggs and bacon, meat patties and cheese. Day after day, you have patties and cheese for lunch, patties and cheese for dinner, SPINACH and more patties with cheese. That kind of meal plan gets sad really fast. Well, I went exploring, and no, it wasn’t hard. It was Google, haha. I subscribed to and bookmarked a few sites: /r/ketorecipes, bodybuilding forums and even started browsing keto on Pinterest. Since then, I’ve tried and succeeded, and sometimes, like a wiggly kitten prepping for his biggest jump, I tried and barely missed the edge of the table. Here though, I’ll only share my successes and spare you the almost-had-its.

It was a good day when I stumbled upon keto pepperoni chips. First, let me ask, do you know how to punch buttons on a microwave? Had to make sure you weren’t like this guy. All you have to do is lay out pepperonis on a plate, sprinkle them with olive oil and pop them in the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. It’s probably the hardest thing to screw up, so if they’re crisp you did it right. I like them better than normal potato chips. Now go buy this low-carb dip and you’ve just made one great tasting snack!

DSC_0654Before microwaved, with oil drizzle.DSC_0719

Or you could make this dip that I made. It’s sausage dip, only I didn’t have any Rotel on hand. So you’ll need:

1 1/2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese

1 lb. of hot breakfast sausage

Chili powder or cayenne pepper to taste

DSC_0708

Brown and drain the sausage. Mix it with the cream cheese. Add your preferred seasonings. And voilà! You’ve made sausage dip. For the sake of an even better dip, I’ll make sure I have that can of Rotel on me next time. But this dip served a double-duty purpose, because if that wasn’t so hard, try spreading the dip over flaxseed buns or make these sausage flaxseed muffins!

Sausage Flaxseed Muffins

¾ cup milled flaxseed 
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1.5 tsp Splenda or other artificial sweetener
⅕ cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Dollops of the sausage dip

DSC_0677DSC_0688 DSC_0697

Set your oven to 350 degrees and put in liners for a 6-cup muffin pan (I forgot my liners, so I sprayed it heavily with Pam). Mix the dry ingredients together first. Then, add the water, oil and eggs. Fill the muffin cups up half way, and drop in a dollop of the sausage dip for each muffin, hiding the dollop within the flaxseed mixture. Cook for 15-17 minutes. There you have it! Grab one on your way to school or work, and you’ll be off to a good start!

I’ll bring you more recipes and other posts the more trials and successes I have! :) Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a great keto brownie, GET AT ME. Also, if you want me to try a recipe, send it my way. I like food, and I don’t afraid of anything.

Thanks and keep close!

Be the change: Awareness

What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?

I’m sure there’s a piece in each of us that yearns to give back to the land and loved ones we’ve encountered in our lives. Within these margins, I want to play show-and-tell, whether it be by how-tos or bringing awareness to other cultures and ideas. Not only do I want this to document growth, how far I’ve come and the challenges I take on and push through, but the goal for this little space is to highlight other cultures around our area and get insight from them, to be a listen and learn experience…one that hopefully inspires others.