Photography by. Bernadette Mira
Assisted by. Garrett Hagen
When I was a young girl I was constantly dancing. I started dancing to keep the traumatic experiences that I was enduring when I was 6 to about 10 years old at bay. I could express my feelings that way without turning it out on myself. All I wanted to do was dance. There was never a moment that I wasn’t thinking about it. While ‘studying’ at school, I would be creating new dance combos in my head. Then as soon as I would get home from school, I would turn on the stereo and dance in the living room until most of my family members came home and there wasn’t enough room to do double turns and leaps. After dinner, I would then head to actual dance classes till about the late evening. Even though I needed that support from my parents to understand what I was going through, dance was the only thing that I could rely on. It helped me get through the most painful moments. I would dance while tears were streaming down my face and afterwards I can honestly say that I felt refreshed and felt like I was doing something for myself.
There became a point where dancing was put on hold and unfortunately I never seriously got back into it like when I was at 17. So, after years of almost zero physically activity, I found another passion. It’s been about a year and half now that I started doing kickboxing. I never thought that I would find something else that would make me feel the way that I did when I was dancing. Not only does it make me feel great from just the aspect from working out, but I feel like I have family there.
It’s almost like a slap in the face to the people who weren’t there for me when I was younger. I have that now and I’m grateful for that. If I’m down, people notice and they care to ask. The teachers are remarkable and they care immensely about what they’re doing. The past year and a half, I’ve been in and out of kickboxing from getting sick or hurt, which ALWAYS is a bummer during the down times that I’m out, but I’m always coming back to that space when I recover. I found my family and I’m not going to let that go.
1 medium onion finely diced
4 large garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp. of olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper to season
1 to 1 1/2 pound of ‘good’ ground beef
1 tbsp. of tomato paste
1 can of puree tomatoes
1/2 cup of water (if needed for sauce)
1/2 tsp. of dried basil
2 tbsp. of dried oregano and fresh oregano to top
1 tsp. of dried thyme
1 tsp. of red pepper flakes
(More kosher salt and black pepper to taste)
1/2 a packet of spaghetti
- For Sauce: In a dutch oven or large skillet, saute onion and garlic on medium heat with 2 tbsp. of olive oil until soft. Season with kosher salt.
- Then add 1-1 1/2 pound of ground beef and cook until brown on medium-high heat with the onions and garlic. Season with black pepper and kosher salt.
- Once brown, add 1 tbsp. of tomato paste and stir into the meat until combined.
- Then add one can of puree tomatoes (if there isn’t enough sauce add 1/2 cup of water to the mix and boil off till the mixture has reduced, for about 15-20 minutes)
- While the sauce is boiling off add the seasonings. Basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper, kosher salt and pepper for taste.
- While the sauce is cooking on medium-high heat periodically stir so it doesn’t stick to the pan and or dutch oven.
- For Spaghetti: For my spaghetti, I add enough water until it fills the pot half way. I then add a dash of kosher salt and about 1-2 tsp. of olive oil. I then bring the water to a boil and add the spaghetti. I like to cook my pasta till al dente, about 15-18 minutes.
- Once draining the spaghetti and the sauce has reduced/seasoned to your liking, grab yourself a big plate and dig in. Be sure to add some fresh oregano and parmesan cheese to top it off! Enjoy!