The Occasional Recipe Post: Pico de Gallo

The fun part of writing a cookbook is finding out the correct spellings to words you’ve been saying for years. Turns out it’s “de Gallo” and not “de Gailo”- who knew? My guess is all of my inlaws and everyone that took Spanish instead of French in high school or Dutch in college. Well, aren’t you the smarty pants, with your good life decisions and all!

We all probably know what Pico is, but the trick is all about ratios of ingredients. The biggest tip? Make your pico look like the Mexican flag, minus the eagle, snake, and cactus. I mean, alright, I guess that looks more like the Italian flag, but how odd would that be? What I mean by that is you want almost equal parts green, red, and white to make a good pico.*

And the best peppers for this are serrano peppers, though I’ll admit they do have a serious design flaw: they can be brutally hot to mild as bell peppers.  I’ve spent some uncomfortable minutes of my life with my head under a faucet from mistakely taking too big of a test bite- but how else could you possibly determine how much pepper to add, and how finely to mince it? Rub it in your eye? So yes, they are tricky, but I’m also convinced these are the only peppers for the job.


3-4 medium to large tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
¾ white onion, diced
Juice of 2 limes
Serrano Pepper- from ½ to 2 peppers depending on hotness- seeded and minced (finer for hotter peppers, larger pieces for milder ones)
Fine sea salt or table salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, and adjust amounts if more or less of 1 ingredient needed- remember, the Mexican flag is what you’re looking for. Stir well to distribute minced Serrano peppers. Refrigerate for an hour or two for best results, stirring again right before serving.
*If you are not a fan of cilantro you can change your ratios to reflect the Lebanese flag. You weirdo.

Interview with my five year old… about me

noelle's interview

Interviewing a five year old about her Mom is just the greatest thing ever. This was from my daughter’s school last year… and I love it!

*Yup totally 25. Thanks, kid!

*Takes a village to cover these roots these days… but yeah, still blonde-ish.

*For work- I sell construction materials. Sometimes I bring customers cupcakes. Sometimes I don’t get to all my planned stops and have cupcakes at the end of the day. Those occasional leftover cupcakes are the only thing my daughter sees from my job… therefore that makes me a cupcake delivery person! I wonder what she thinks the hardhat in the car is for?

*My favorite hobby IS sleeping. Nailed it.

*Fly that nerd-flag for Mommy!

*See? My family thinks I’m funny.

*And I’ll keep hugging you and your sister forever, little one. Never fear.

Talking in My Sleep


So, turns out I have had somniloquy, also known as sleep talking, on and off for… pretty much ever. (And how cool is the word somniloquy? Right up there with slumber and credenza.)

I’ve been doing it since I was quite young. I remember the look on my Mom’s face when she tried to wake me up once when I was in high school and I angrily tried to convince her about something having to do with the baseboards… that I was totally calling sparrows. There was angry and emphatic pointing accompanying this as well. Come to think about it that’s not a good example- that’s one of the times I STARTED talking in my sleep and then quasi-woke up in the middle of it. I got told to go back to sleep. Immediately.

A better example is from the night before I was supposed to give a presentation on yellow roses. My husband (hot ass boyfriend at the time) shook me awake… after I’d given the entire presentation in my sleep. I’d like to think it was interesting enough that he waited till the end to wake me and not that he was frozen in horror because it was some horrifyingly surreal Dahli shit at 2am. He married me after that, but then he used to like Dahli too… My husband says it’s usually work related and surprising how clear and conversational it is- so this isn’t incoherent mumbling we’re talking about.

How do I feel about it? Shrugging acceptance? What are you gonna do, you know? I have as little control over it as I do over the fact that my mouth falls open the second I fall asleep on a plane. Actually, I DO have more control over the sleep talking- because it only seems to happen when I’m stressed and over tired. The gape mouthed horror in seat 23D… nothing I can do about that chick.

And I TOTALLY used to pretend I also had sleep walking in my youth. If I got caught up at night, I’d just mumble and shuffle back to my room and when Mom would tell me about it the next day I’d pretend I had no idea what she was talking about. Because I legitimately talked in my sleep the fact that I’d also be a sleepwalker seemed eminently plausible to her. So thanks, somniloquy- many an X-men was read by the light over the kitchen sink without fear because you provided me a solid alibi.

Oh! And I also still fall asleep holding books. As in… all the time. My husband has quite the collection of pictures of this. Sleep related fun!

Random Word Post: Checkpoint

I found a random word generator and only had to scroll through 18 words before I picked “checkpoint” as the word of the day. Some of the others I can remember were: bloke, dolphin, national, and solitary. Sounds like the makings of a Nicolas Cage movie, doesn’t it?



I go through checkpoints quite often. They are near, but not on the border- does everyone know that? The checkpoints are about 50 miles (total guess there. Could be 20, could be 70… I’m bad at measuring for belts too.) from the US Mexico border. So make note of that, paperwork lacking new immigrants!

So, in the past when I’ve gone through a checkpoint with my husband and family we get asked “US citizens? Where are you heading? Where did you visit? etc.” Really boring and soul killing stuff to have to ask every single car on an 8 hour shift, when you think about it. Poor Border Patrol agents… their lives are nowhere near as exciting as all the recruitment billboards make it seem. But in the past two years I’ve been going through them alone as I travel the border region for work. And, without exception, I just get waved through. Every time. And I am irate about this!

Does my British Isles ancestry make me seem non threatening? Ever heard of the IRA, fuckers? It makes me want to become a super villain (please note-I already have a long haired white cat so I’m all set) just to laugh maniacally at being so thoroughly discounted by multiple border guards in the past. And then I have to sigh and just accept the fact that I am no international woman of mystery over here… I am a middle aged mom of two with shoulder length hair who votes regularly and that the only things I do maniacally are weed my garden and listen to NPR. Oh wait- that’s manically- damn!

And every single time they wave me through I think: “I gotta start running coke.”

On Writing and New Challenges


You know, I started this blog to start writing- because the closest I will ever get to flying is when I’m typing away and the words are flowing… I need it. There is a part of my soul that has to write and is better for it when I do.

And yet… I’ve been putting already created content on here the vast majority of the time. Already written stories, recipes, articles, and anecdotes. Am I afraid of going to the well and finding it’s dry? Is that why I’m putting previously bottled content here? Perhaps it is. So I think a new regular feature is in order: Random Word Prompts. I like the reaching I have to do for the Random Picture Posts- so I’ll do the same with a random word generator. We’ll see how it goes- but that day is not today. Just know it’s coming…

Business Travel Children’s Stories: The Denver Bunnies in Bed

The Denver Bunnies in Bed


“Boy, this sure is weird snow, Creampuff.”

“I know, Sweetie Pie! It’s not cold on my paws, or wet… and it tastes TERRIBLE!”

Mom and Dad said: “Bunnies! Stop chewing on the blanket! This isn’t snow, it’s a bed- this is where you’re going to sleep from now on!”


“Uh, wait. Are you telling me I don’t have to sleep outside in the snow anymore?”


“And are you telling me I don’t have to shiver all night long and worry about being eaten by a bobcat or owl any more?”

“Yes bunnies, that is EXACTLY what we’re saying.”


“Hooray! Bunny Rabbit high five!”

“Time to go to sleep then! I think we’re going to like all this “bed” and “blanket” and “pillow” stuff a whole lot!”


“Ummm, bunnies? You’re doing it wrong…”


“Oh. Okay, so it’s supposed to be like this?”


“Nope, I like it better the other way. Good night, Creampuff!”

Creampuff said: “Dude. Not okay.”


“I’ll sleep waaaaay over here, Sweetie Pie, if you are going to sleep like that! Goodnight!”

And the little bunnies slept warm and safe for the first time ever.