After a period in relative hibernation, percolating (while co-writing a screenplay, based on my e-Book How Abella Found Her Voice) I’m bursting at the seams to collaborate and come out in the world again.

So, here’s some news!

As always, I’m teaching voice and piano students in my home studio and – since January 31st – also at Wilsonville Arts Academy Tuesdays and Thursdays when my husband has massage clients at home. Please come see me there if your schedule doesn’t jive with my private practice. It’s a great company I enjoy being a part of.

Teachers and administrators, look for a new and improved SPEAK UP! workshop for teens coming this fall. The most rewarding feedback I’ve consistently received from this workshop is that it gives students more confidence.  

Students learn to:

*Control their breath and posture to reduce anxiety and increase confidence

*Be mindful and identify authentic gifts and strengths

*Feel more comfortable speaking up and being heard

We bring the curriculum, energy and expertise; you take a break or participate!

This class gave me more confidence. – Caleb E., Student

This is fascinating, and I can see it having a big impact on our kids and how they operate through life. – Colleen G., Teacher

And…finally…my favorite new easy dinner idea. Many of you know I love to cook, although admitedly not as often these days. Above is a photo of the little patio garden I’m nurturing in the back yard: a Moreton hybrid tomato plant, cherry tomato plant gifted by my neighbor Liz, basil, thyme, parsley and oregano.

One morning a few weeks ago I took a couple of chicken breasts out of the freezer, having no idea what I was going to do with them for dinner. George and I both love Mexican food, so I Googled ‘easy mexican chicken’ and found this recipe which morphed into what will now be a regular menu item at Casa Handke Meredith.

Easy and Tasty Mexican Chicken

-4 chicken breast fillets

-Taco seasoning

-Salsa or picante sauce

-Grated cheese

-Optional jalapeno pepper slices and/or fresh herbs such as oregano

Slice one or two chicken breasts into thin fillets. Rub with taco seasoning (I get mine from Savory Spice Shop Let set until room temperature before cooking.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Heat pan coated with cooking spray and cook chicken on both sides until browned. Transfer to baking dish and top with approximately a cup salsa or picante sauce (I like Pace medium picante sauce) and approximately a cup grated cheese, cheddar or Mexican blend. Add fresh or canned jalapeno slices and herbs if desired. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted.

Cuban Island Seasoned Black Beans

I always have canned black beans in the pantry. They are so versatile, healthy and easy to cook with. For this recipe, slightly drain the beans before putting them in a pot and season liberally with Savory Spice Shop’s Cuban Island Spice, or your seasoning of choice. You can add fresh cilantro, other herbs, corn, onion, chopped jalapeno peppers, whatever you like. Heat until cooked through.

Spanish Rice

Use your package of choice! No, I don’t make it from scratch. My absolute new favorite is Zatarains which includes one can of diced tomatoes.

Include a salad or cole slaw, perhaps some warmed corn or flour tortillas, Mexican sour cream, and…there you have it. Enjoy!

After she is tragically orphaned, young Abella loses the ability to speak her truth and express herself. She is sent to live with a reclusive uncle she’s never met, and her only friend is her horse. Abella endures heartbreak, loneliness and questions who she truly is inside. Eventually, she meets friends and animals who help her not only regain her voice, but also uncover her strength and purpose. Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here:

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,