My name is Aris. Aris is pronounced (heiress) and I'm not sure what the meaning is. Several years ago, when I was asked what my name meant, I replied that Aris was a Greek Sexx Goddess (what can I say I'm a romance writer). Unfortunately, my husband happened to be near, he looked over at me, rolled his eyes, and said very loudly "I wish". I've moved on to another story, which happens to be true. I was born in the seventies to a pair of hippies, real hippies. Having said that, I think I got off lucky with the name Aris. It could have been much worse, Fruit Stand or something like that. So, Aris it is.
boys are, scary, too cool, easily embarrassed, unpredictable, and just plain
odd. Now imagine being trapped in a car with one for 9 hours. Terrifying huh? Yesterday,
that was my reality as my son and I set out on a special vacation—just the two
first two hours were so much fun. We were singing, talking, and joking. The third
hour things began to change…
are some of my son’s comments…I’m sure they will paint a better picture than I
you just got blown off by a grandma in a Prius…maybe you need to pick up the
don’t sing like that again—a piece of me just died.”
stop at every In-N-Out Burger we see and eat there.”
your hands at 10 and 2”
you could have a pet tiger or lion which one would you choose?”
you know if we used the bathroom at Starbucks we have to spend a minimum of $3
there. If we go to McDonald’s we only have to buy a french fry?” (what does
this even mean? Honestly, I have no clue to what he was even talking about)
are some of the comments I remembered…shortly after I slipped into survival
mode and tune him out. It was either that or choke him out…
arrived at our destination, beautiful Dana Point, Ca. We have come to have fun and soak up so sun!
I’m going to be super busy today and I don't want to worry about dinner tonight so I just fixed this amazing chili and put it in my slow cooker to cook all day. It makes the house smell so good.
It’s my basic chili recipe—I love this chili “as is” but it can also be doctored up. “As is” it’s thick and full of flavor. Half my family is vegetarian and the other half eats meat. So I usually brown some organic hamburger (about a 1lb or so) and add it to their bowl when serving.
cooking spray 1½ teaspoons olive oil ¾ pound onions, peeled and finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ¼ cup chili powder (yes, I thought this was a lot too—but it’s not ;o) ) 2 teaspoons oregano 2 teaspoons cumin ½ tablespoon paprika ½ red pepper, cored, seeded, chopped ½ green pepper, cored, seeded, chopped ½ yellow pepper, cored, seeded, chopped 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, juices drained, separated 1 can (3 ounces) tomato paste 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 cans (15–16 ounces each) beans, drained, rinsed and drained again (i.e. black beans, pinto beans and/or red kidney beans)
Sauté onions and garlic until soft in olive oil. Stir in salt and pepper, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika; cook over low heat until spices are fragrant. Transfer meat mixture to slow cooker. Add red, green, and yellow peppers. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine vinegar. Cover and cook on low/medium for 4 to 6 hours.
I usually make cornbread from scratch however, today I’m feeling lazy so I am serving this chili with Trader Joe’s pre-made cornbread. It’s a little sweet and goes perfect with this recipe.
I’m participating in a post over at, Read, Write, Blog. Hop on over and check it out.
If you could wish to meet any author who would it be and why? (And what would you chat about?!)
I’m going to add an additional question:
If you could be dropped into any book as a character who would you be and why?
Without a doubt I’d love to meet the lovely Judith McNaught simply because she is why I write.
I discovered her on long hot summer night, when I was 16. I was staying over at a friend’s house. It was late and I was having trouble sleeping so I went down the hall to their bookshelf and I picked out a book. It was a romance novel, Once and Alwaysby Judith McNaught. That night I didn’t sleep a wink as I fell in love with the genre, the author, the characters, and the hero.
Most fans of Judith McNaught think Whitney My Love is her best book…not this fan…nope…I think Once and Always wins by a long shot! For me Once and Always is like a first crush—it’s special, exciting and irreplaceable. Nothing will ever measure up.
If we actually had a moment to chat I think I'd ask her the usual writer questions, where do you get your inspiration, how many hours a day do you write, what is your favorite book you’ve written…etc. However, I think I’d enjoy more getting to know her on a personal level.
SinceOnce and Always is my most favorite book I’d love to be Victoria because I MUST HAVE Jason! After all he was the first hero I ever fell in love with!
There is something about a Do Not Disturb sign that grabs me. To me, the phrase “Do not disturb” has so many connotations and I can’t help but wonder what’s happening on the others side of the door. I know it’s the writer in me that wants to create a story that warrants the use of such a sign…
Here is the sign that should be hung on my office door!
I love grilled polenta and asparagus. Add a side salad and it’s a meal for me. I buy the polenta in the tube from Trader Joes.
1 tube polenta, prepared, store bought
1 cup of fresh basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the basil leaves and oil in a blender, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Cut the polenta into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the polenta rounds on both sides until nicely marked, about 7 to 10 minutes a side. Try not to move them too much because they will break and fall apart.
For the Asparagus all you have to do is drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill alongside the polenta. I like it to get a little black and crispy.
We have been invited to a barbeque at a huge ranch out in the country. I fixed my family’s favorite salad. I only make it a few times a year because it’s not the healthiest salad. But it is sooo yummy. Once you start eating it you can’t stop!
Grape Cream Cheese Salad
4 pounds seedless grapes (I used red, green, and black)