Posted in ¡que comida!, holidays on November 27, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Avena Navideña

Christmastime in Mexico means all variety of things “Navideño,”  from cinnamon-apple scented floor cleaner (a personal fave) to the cranberry-turkey panini navideño at Starbucks, and even a queso navideño (manchego with pecans – I was intrigued and had to buy it, though I’ve yet to bust open the package… thinking it would make a great queso fundido at a holiday party).

Prepping for Thanksgiving, I pulled a bag of cranberries out of the freezer to make cranberry sauce, but never got around to it as I came down with a sore throat and ended up spending the day in bed resting.

So Saturday morning, feeling recovered and holiday-inspired, I made a batch of avena navideña – cranberry-orange oatmeal – which tasted like a hot delicious bowl of Christmas morning.  We’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal lately and experimenting with flavors (piña colada being another recent fave).  Even Gabbi, who has not liked oatmeal since I’ve known him, has become a convert.

You can basically add the cranberries and orange to any oatmeal recipe you like, but here is my version (most measurements are approximate – aside from the oats and water, I really just throw everything else in):

In a saucepan, mix together and simmer over low heat:

1 c oats

2 c water

~2 tbsp freshly ground flaxseed

~2 tbsp wheat germ

~2-3 tbsp whey protein powder (vanilla flavor)

1 tbsp chia seeds

~½ c fresh cranberries and orange segments

juice from ½ orange

zest from 1 large orange

when thickened nicely and ready to eat, stir in:

2 tsp coconut oil

and top with toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and orange wedge to garnish

¡Buen Provecho y Feliz Navidad!





Honoring Mabel + Jeannette

Posted in family, love on November 2, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

So inspired by the amazing and beautiful altars constructed in Sayulita’s plaza and at CVIS this year – Maxxi & I made our own Dia de los Muertos altar to honor my wonderful Abuelas, Jeannette Stoops and Mabel Bischoff.  Our altar has my favorite framed photo of the two of them – from our wedding reception in Kentuckiana – and some things that they both loved.

Mabel drank sweet black tea, played penny poker with her best pal Irene, and smoked like a chimney.  I hated the cigarettes and would hide them on her – she was not pleased.  We’d watch Wheel of Fortune and Magnum P.I. and eat butterscotch ice cream and have sugar biscuits for breakfast.  One time my cousins Scott & Shannon & I collected a bunch of fire-flies in a mason jar and set them all loose in her bedroom.  Jeez, we sure gave her a hard time.

Jeannette was an avid reader and a marvelous cook.  Her love of cooking and baking passed on to my dad and in turn to me.  My favorite meal of hers was fried chicken, mashed potatoes with milk gravy, and baby peas.  She made the best buckwheat pancakes with homemade syrup for breakfast.  She always used these metal bookmarks that hold your book open for you so you can read with one hand. The Hershey’s Kisses are for her, and the red backdrop is for her mother, my Great-Grandmother, Ma-Maw Stammer, whose favorite was “any color, just so it’s red.”

You amazing ladies are missed every day.  Your spirit, your hearts, your love, and your souls live on in your many children and grandchildren who carry your traditions through our lives and manifest your beings within ourselves.



Posted in ¡que comida!, Gabbi, holidays, Maximo, milestones, school on October 28, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Today was the big day for the Halloween festivities at CVIS, Maxxi’s school.  The kids dressed in costume for the school day, had a morning desfile de disfraz (costume parade), and there was a carnival this evening, complete with bake sale, cake walk, and a super scary haunted house with plenty of gorey zombies and even a chainsaw (we skipped that attraction – Maxxi due to being 3, and us due to the immense waiting line to get in… I was bummed not to experience the horror first hand, but I am more horrified by standing in lines I suppose).

This year Maxxi dressed as Thor, God of Thunder.  My dad brought down his awesome costume, and we had given him a sweet nerf Thor’s hammer for his birthday which has since been a favorite toy.  Of course, after 2 months of having the hammer around, the night before dress-up day we go out to dinner and come home to find the hammer – the HAMMER! – destroyed by the dog.  Gabbi was the one to discover the disaster and when I came down from putting Maxxi to sleep, he was so heartbroken I thought maybe the cat had died.  No wait, he was more heartbroken than that.  Gabbi got busy making Maxxi the coolest “Capitan Mexico” shield and helmet (converting the previous iteration of Captain America shield & helmet that he made him last week), and I managed to rebuild the hammer using an ipod box and duct tape.  Whew – day saved by late-night craftiness.  Thor had his hammer, and a super rad Capitan Mexico costume for Friday show-and-tell.  Of course this hammer actually packs a punch vs. the nerf version – I was a little worried about sending him to school with an actual weapon, but I didn’t hear any reports of bludgeoning from the teacher (that would be “Miss America,” by the way) so I guess we’re all good.

I made what turned out to be a darn-tootin’ good Jesse (Toy Story) costume that was a big hit with the little ones.  Gab went as Green Lantern, Sayulita sector, but Maxxi commandeered his mask and ring mid-way through the night, becoming Green Thor of Asgaard sector.

I also made my first batch of school bake-sale cupcakes: white-as-a-ghost white chocolate mud cupcakes.  So yum.  I made these for Gabbi’s birthday (white chocolate being his fave) and they are delicious and quite easy.  Get the recipe here.   All in all, a great start to another halloween with our little king-of-costumes.

Before bedtime, I just had to coax Maxxi into his “Woody” PJs (and boots and hat) for a Woody’s Roundup cast reunion photo.

Buenas noches, vaquero, you inspire me so.

love, Mommy/Jesse/Lois Lane/Leia/Jane/D-rek/MJ/<insert future pretend counterpart names here>



Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Today was Maximo’s first sick day from pre-school.  My little rock-star played guitar and wrote this f***ing awesome song for me.

Doesn’t get much better than this…

Blast From El Past

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Back when I was a pup-ette, fuckin’ shit up at TESC (The Evergreen State College) in good ol’ Olympia, WA (yes, I am aware that “Hole” has a song about this… I like Rancid’s better, but I digress), I made a few films.  One of them got picked up by Frameline, the pre-eminent distributor of LGBT (don’t you just LOVE acronyms??? that’s: Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender) media, and also the good folks behind 35 years of the SF Gay & Lezzie Film Fest.  My little animated film “Adam” toured the world on the film fest circuit and still gets the occasional booking or school-library purchase.  Now, 15 years later, thanks to the glory of video streaming on the webs, and Frameline’s new “Voices” program, “Adam” is available for your online viewing pleasure, and for me to share with all of my new pals.

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La Paloma Blanca

Posted in family, Maximo, words on April 12, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Maxxi singing with his Nona, abuela-extraordinaire.

Come back soon, Nona, te extrañamos mucho!!

…and now for something completely different, equally awesome:

I ate the eyeball!

Posted in feeding, Maximo on March 26, 2011 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Ask my boy what he ate on our recent (amazing, fabulous, wonderful, dreamy) beach camping trip, and  he will give you his biggest grin, exclaiming proudly: “I ate the eyeball!” Yes, the fish eyeball;  and no, despite what the photo below would lead you to think, he was not drunk at the time.

That’s my boy – his papa’s son, through and through!