Posted: 1:30 pm Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
Once upon a time, I had a “Baby Delilah,” named by her birth mother in Ghana in honor of me, she was welcomed into my heart the day she was born and into my home a few years after.
Baby D was a healthy, active baby and toddler, meeting all her benchmarks on time or early until she was 2. At that time she was afflicted by a mysterious illness and became unable to walk or move, her eye drooped, she became lax and unresponsive. Rushed to the hospital, there was no answers.
About a year and a half later, and with some improvement in her health, we were able to get her to the states on a medical visa, and soon after she was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a condition very unusual in a child. (For more on this and a REMARKABLE story, please visit my recent BLOG post at Delilah.com)
Fast forward 5 years… “Junior” as she now wants to be called (because, “NOT a baby!”) has turned 8! With appropriate medications, treatment, and lifestyle modifications she is happy, healthy, and thriving!
We threw a princess birthday party for her at the house and had such fun! We CELEBRATE birthdays in my world. I feel it’s so important for people to feel celebrated, what better time than a birthday to show “We are blessed that you are here!“?
I also think it’s ridiculous to spend loads of money on party supplies and gifts. Just as I feel it’s also a day for the birthday girl or boy to give back to those who have blessed them with their love and friendship.
For Juniors party, she was large and in charge! She went to work sweeping and cleaning the house to make it tidy and presentable for her guests. She thought there should be some streamers, so streamers there were. She helped plan and prepare and went to bed exhausted and excited the night before.
The older girls and I stayed up creating crafts and games (necessary in my book for a successful birthday gathering) and we too went to bed exhausted and excited.
What a fun time it was! A table full of princesses who drank tea from china cups I bought at the thrift store, which later made great ice cream containers when cake was served. It was an afternoon of giggles, squeals, and laughter and everyone, celebrant and guests, felt very very special.
Savory Beef Strudel
My nephew, Dalton, is a 3rd year student at the University of Washington (yes, proud auntie!) After two years of dorm living, he’s now in an apartment and having to cook for himself.
Dalton likes GOOD food so my sis supplied him with a few cookbooks he’s tagged with all the recipes he wants to try. One or two Sundays per month they get together and whip up something neither of them have made before.
This is one dish that looked too too good not to share! Have it for a meal or serve as a heavy hors d’Oeuvre.
(It sounds a little complicated, but my sis says it’s really just savory ground beef in filo dough, don’t be intimidated and feel free to mix up your own tasty filling!)
Savory Beef Strudel
• 3 Tablespoons + 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
• 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 3 Tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
• 3 Tablespoons minced dill
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon allspice or ground nutmeg
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
• 12 sheets filo pastry
• (Now that I’ve typed all that out, I think any savory mixture would do!)
1. Place 3 T butter in a large frying pan, add chopped onion and cook over med-hi heat until onion is soft; 8-10 minutes.
2. Add all herbs, spices, and ground beef. Cook, stirring often, until ground beef is cooked through; about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to bowl and let cool slightly.
4. Add egg and bread crumbs, mix thoroughly.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. On a clean, dry surface, place the first sheet of filo pastry, long end facing you. Brush with melted butter. Lay a second pastry sheet on top of the first and repeat 5 more times until you have a stack of 6 pastry sheets.
7. Now take half the beef mixture and spread it over the top of the stack, leaving a border of approximately 1 inch all the way around.
8. Fold the sides then the ends of the sheet over onto the beef mixture, then with the end nearest you, carefully roll up like a jelly roll.
9. Repeat steps with remaining filo sheets, butter, and meat mixture.
10. Place side by side on a cookie sheet, brush tops with remaining butter, place in center rack of oven and bake until golden brown; about 40 minutes.
11. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, cut into 1″ slices on the diagonal.
12. Serve hot.
Pin-the-Princess on the Throne
Remember Pin-the-Tail on the Donkey? That ubiquitous party game we all played as children? Well, for a few decades now, our family has added a bit of a twist to the classic. At every birthday, depending on the theme, we Pin-the-Something on the Something…
Children, nieces, nephews, have pinned the spider in the web, pinned the flame on the dragon, pinned the honey bee on the hive… At Junior’s party we pinned the Princess on the Throne!
I drew a castle on a piece of tag board and Clara and Blessing helped me color and paint it. It had a throne in the center. We cut out images of Disney princesses and each of the party guests were given one then blind-folded. The object of course was to pin their princess as close to the throne as possible.
Cheap, easy, fun, and always matches the theme perfectly! Images are readily available on the internet. Try it!
My New Podcast Series
This is my newest venture and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
Each week I’m doing a podcast that gives me the time I always wish I had to to spend on a topic, a story, or a piece of wisdom that I’ve stumbled across.
I’m limited on the air to the time I have between the great music that we play to talk about any one topic. On my podcasts, however, we can go deep.
It’s a fun new thing I think all kinds of people will enjoy; those who listen nightly that want to hear a little bit more, those who can’t listen because my program isn’t aired where they live…
There are four different ways to access the podcasts:
iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, and Art19. You decide.
If your smart phone has a Podcast app, search “Delilah” and subscribe!
Podcasts and listening platforms can be found at Delilah.com
My youngest child is now 8! And my oldest 37! What was I thinking? That love is ageless, boundless, and I would be lost without them.
I would be lost without you too, my friends. Thank you for your trust, your loyalty, sharing your lives, your loves, and your losses. I am truly blessed!