Wednesday, December 29, 2010

9 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby's salivary glands have been working since she was in utero, but you may notice that she's started to drool. She's also putting everything in her mouth and producing more saliva than she can swallow. This doesn't mean that your baby's teething just yet, though — that probably won't happen for another two weeks, at least. The vast majority of babies sprout their first tooth between 4 and 7 months of age. If your baby's an early developer, you may see her first white cap, usually one of the bottom two middle teeth, as early as 3 months. (And in rare cases, a baby's first tooth is visible at birth!) Many parents permanently affix a bib to their baby about now to catch the drool. Just remember to take it off when your baby sleeps to prevent strangulation. The good news is that your baby's drool coats toys and other objects with disease-preventing proteins. That's fortunate — since she'll continue to explore anything she can get her hands on.

If your baby's sleeping through the night (five or six hours at a stretch), you're one of the lucky few. Most 10-week-old babies still wake up in the middle of the night. But even babies who aren't sleeping through the night at this stage should be sleeping and staying awake for longer intervals instead of cycling back and forth so much. Your baby will most likely have two to four long sleep periods and as many as ten hours of awake time in 24 hours. An interesting note: Whether your baby is a night owl or a morning lark, a long sleeper or short sleeper, she'll probably stay that way throughout childhood.

Your baby is learning how to rock and roll — well, maybe just roll. At this age, she'll probably be able to move from her side to her back and her back to her side. The complete roll over won't come for another month or so, though, because she needs stronger neck and arm muscles for that maneuver. Your baby's increasing mobility means that you must keep a hand on her during diaper changes. Never leave your baby unattended on a bed or any other elevated surface now that she can move around.

This week we had our two month doctor's appointment.  Noah is up to 11 lbs, and 22 inches long (he was 7 lbs 8 oz at birth, and 20.75 inches long).  Our doctor said that Noah is a little smaller than the average baby, but that the rate at which he is growing since his last visit is right on track with where he is supposed to be.  He is still sleeping through the night consistently, and usually goes down around 9 or 10 pm and gets up at 4 or 5 for his first feeding and diaper change.  Then, if we don't have anything to do early that morning, we sometimes go back to bed until around 8 or 9 am.  After that he continues to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours all day long, and takes a few naps throughout the day.  He is definitely awake more and more as each week goes on, and he is getting increasingly more alert.  Now I can see him watching me from several feet away.  He is starting to be more and more fun also.  He goes through longer and more frequent periods of happiness where he will smile and make noises at us for up to a half an hour straight.  We recently borrowed a swing from Jeremy's cousin (that we get to keep until she has her baby in March) and Noah is loving sitting in the swing while listening to the compilation of classical music it plays.  Although  Noah loves to sleep on his belly (during the day while I am awake and watching him), he doesn't seem to be too fond of mat time.  We can squeeze in a few minutes before he turns into a complete fussy baby.  For the most part when Noah fusses it can be easily cured by walking him through the house and constantly moving while he stares around at his surroundings in awe.  He also doesn't like to lay down much anymore (unless he is sleeping) and would much rather be sitting up where he can see what is going on around him.  I am in awe at how much he changes each day, and how he keeps getting more fun and more cute each day, although I don't think that either of those are possible cause he is so great just the way he is.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Baked Brie

Sweet and Spicy Baked Brie

Since brie is a little more expensive then "every day cheese" I tend to save it for special occasions.  This is a nice elegant appetizer that can be thrown together with very minimal effort.  I like to serve this with a more gourmet cracker, like a rice cracker which has a nice lightness and crispness.  Apple slices would also be delicious for dipping in the cheese.  Any other jam/ jelly (or even honey) could be substituted for the pepper jelly, and dried cranberries/ cherries could be added for a tart kick.

- 5 oz wheel of brie
-few tablespoons pepper jelly (I like jalapeno pepper jelly for a bit of a kick, but red pepper jelly would be fine for a more mild dish)
-few tablespoons chopped pecans

Place brie in baking dish.  Top with pepper jelly.  Top with pecans.  Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes, until center oozes out upon cutting.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas pics

Here are a few pics from our Christmas and Christmas Eve. We got to spend time with Jeremy's parents and sister, my mom, and some extended cousins and friends of the family.

Jeremy's sister lisa, diving into the loot

me in what seems like my usual position these days... nursing our son

silly face

my mom and Noah

Jeremy's parents

Handmade Christmas

For the first time ever we didn't buy a single gift for Christmas. I've always enjoyed doing some homemade items, but our budget this year required that we only do homemade items. With a newborn around I kept it simple and just did a few small items. It was quite refreshing this year to not have the pressure of shopping or worrying about how much to spend on items. Here's a glimpse at a few of the goodies that I came up with;

a soft ball for my niece... I made this out of 3 different fabrics that I got for $0.50 each (for about a yard of each) from a yard sale about 5 months ago, and I had gotten a big bag of stuffing from a different yard sale for $1
rose earrings for some family and friends
a car cozy for my nephew, with a road to drive on and pockets to hold his cars... this is made entirely out of our old clothes... the tan on the front was from a pair of maternity capris, the black was from an old t shirt, the blue from an old pain of work pants, and the denim from an old pair of Jeremy's jeans
some homemade granola

In addition to these items, we also gave some family cookbooks (like this one from last year), and of course plenty of pictures of our little one.

Merry Christmas!  May your day be filled with love, laughter, and the presence of our Savior!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

8 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby can tell the difference between familiar voices and other sounds, and he's becoming a better listener. He can also show you that he's in tune with his environment. Notice how he looks to see where certain noises are coming from.  An ongoing conversation (although seemingly one-sided) can help your baby develop his sense of place. He may even watch your mouth as you talk, fascinated by how it all works. You'll be amazed by his ability to communicate with a growing repertory of coos (musical, vowel-like sounds), smiles, and unique cries to express his different needs.

Noah is getting bigger by the day.  I'm now putting him in 3 month and 3-6 month clothes, even though he's only two months old.  He's not outgrowing them in width, he's still a fairly thin little guy, but he's growing like a weed in length while he bulks up slowly.  Neither Jeremy nor I are tall, so I'm not sure where his height is coming from.  Each week he starts being awake more and more... in general he sleeps most of the morning (in between feedings), and then is awake most of the afternoon and evening.  Right now his fussy time is mostly between 5 and 8 pm.  He just wants to be held and moved around during this time, rather than sitting alone (unfortunately this just happens to fall around the time that I make dinner and that we try to sit down and eat).  We can see his eyes focusing on things a lot, especially us, or the mobiles in his bedroom.  He loves to go for walks, either in the stroller or the Baby Bjorn carrier.  For the most part he's sleeping straight through from 9 pm to 5 am now, with a middle of the night feeding every few days.  He's especially happy right when he's done eating and will sit and grin and "talk" to me for about 30 minutes. He loves to look around the room and in general prefers sitting up and facing out to laying down, or being held facing me. 


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

be the change...

Often in Christian culture we use the saying "be the change that you want to see".  Meaning, rather than sitting around complaining about the way things are, do something about it.  This can be difficult, because it's easy to feel that I'm so small that I can't make a difference, or sometimes I feel that I just don't know where to start.  It's easy to be overwhelmed by issues like poverty and violence, and the lack of unity among the Church.  I could go deeper into this (and probably will in another post soon), but today I'm pondering this "be the change..." phrase in relation to my home/ family life.

I'm taking inventory of my life, my values, and the messages that I'm sending with my actions.  I'm looking to see where my actions don't line up with my values... if my time, energy, and resources are being used wisely, or if they are being squandered.  I'm pondering the values that I want to be instilled in Noah, and evaluating on if that is what is being modeled by my example.  I want him to learn from watching me, I want to model the values that are important, I want him to learn through doing things with me, and not just by me telling him what is important and "good" to do.

As a result I feel a call to action, to "being the change".  I want to pray more, laugh more, read more, stop to cherish each moment, play more, connect more, create more, and have more deep conversations.  I want to limit my time in front of the TV, or on the internet and really engage in living, serving, loving, and connecting with others.  I want Noah to grow up knowing that the Lord is the center of my life, and not just hearing me say those cliche words.  I want us to take lots of time to create, play, explore nature, and snuggle.  I want us to take time to be still and reflective.  I want all of our days to be led by the Holy Spirit... to have constant communion and communication with Him... to be aware of how He is working in, through, and around us, and to experience Him.

So today, I'm moving towards being the change that I want to see in my family, in my son, in the next generation...

What changes do you want to see?  How can you take the first step?


Monday, December 20, 2010

Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Mushrooms

These were delicious!  They could be a great quick and easy side dish alongside any meat.  The parmesan cheese isn't necessary, but I had some on hand that I wanted to use up.  A splash of lemon juice or wine would also add a great dimmension of flavor to this dish.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

- 16 oz button/ white mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed (any that were large I cut in half)
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp dried rosemary
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

In medium bowl, stir together olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic.  Toss with mushrooms.  Place mushrooms in greased baking dish.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  (Optional) Top with parmesan and continue to bake until cheese melts.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Linguine with Clam Sauce

Linguine with Clam Sauce

I've been wanting to try this dish for years, but for some reason have been putting it off.  I combined several different recipes until I came up with something that I thought would match our tastes.  This was delicious, super easy, and pretty inexpensive for a gourmet dinner.  If you would like to omit the white wine then substitute it with more reserved clam juice, although I loved the excuse to open a bottle of white wine for a treat.  Serve with crusty bread for soaking up the extra sauce.

-1 lb whole wheat linguine, cooked to al dente
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 Tbsp butter
-1 yellow onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-4 (6.5 oz) cans chopped clams, drained with juice reserved
-3/4 cup white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio since that's what I wanted to drink that evening)
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-fresh parsley, chopped
-3/4 cup heavy cream
-1/4 cup reserved clam juice
-salt and pepper to taste (since the clams and clam juice are so salty I didn't need to add any salt)
-parmesan cheese

Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and clams, cook 3 minutes.  Add wine, cook 3 minutes.  Reduce heat, add lemon, a handful of parsley, half and half, and clam juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 3 minutes.  Add extra clam juice if desired to thin sauce.  Add pasta to the sauce and toss to combine (letting the noodles finish cooking).  Top serving bowl (or individual bowls) with shredded parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.


Creole Okra and Tomatoes

Creole Okra and Tomatoes

This dish would still be authentic with or without the corn, depending on your preference.  Celery and/ or bell pepper could also be added along with the onion for extra flavor.

-1 yellow onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp dried thyme and/ or basil
-1 (15 oz) can of corn
-1 lb frozen sliced okra, thawed

Saute onion oven medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic, cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).  Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and thyme/ basil.  Stir well to combine, simmer 3 minutes.  Add okra and corn, cover and simmer until okra begins to soften (5-10 minutes).


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oven Fried Okra

Since I've been staying at home I've been able to enjoy lunches made up of all sorts of vegetables that I don't normally make (like okra, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts) because Jeremy doesn't like them. 

Oven Fried Okra

Instead of the combination, either all flour or all cornmeal could be used for the batter.  Serve this as is for a typical (but healthier) southern side dish, or serve it with ketchup for okra "fries".  Fresh, sliced okra could be used also, just increase the cooking time by about 5-10 minutes.  The cayenne gives the okra a nice kick, if you don't like spicy food reduce it by half.

-1 lb frozen sliced okra, thawed
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup cornmeal
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 eggs, beaten

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt and cayenne in medium sized bowl.  In batches, use a slotted spoon dip okra in eggs, and stir to coat well.  Transfer okra to flour mixture, tossing to coat.  Spread okra out on a greased baking sheet.  Spray the okra with cooking spray.  Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

7 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week, according to;

Reaching out: Your baby's hands should be mostly open now — ready to reach out to the world. In the early days of your baby's life, grabbing was mostly automatic and instinctual and she couldn't let go if she wanted to. Although she can't really grab objects just yet, she can hold things placed in her hands. And, once she wraps her hands around something, she might not let go so easily. She'll also begin to try and bat at objects, so keep potentially dangerous objects far from your little one's reach. This means not holding hot liquids or sharp objects while you're holding her.

Learning begins now: You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning: Your baby's brain will grow about 5 centimeters during her first three months! Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby — talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she's learning nonetheless. New textures for her hands to feel and new sights and sounds (all in moderation) are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding life.

Eyes can track objects: With both eyes now able to follow things consistently and well, your baby can track a moving object much better, something she may have been able to do for only brief periods since birth. The stores are packed with developmental toys, but you'll do just as well with everyday objects. Pass a rattle or a bright plastic ladle horizontally in front of her. Then try moving it up and down. This should attract your baby's attention, though she probably won't be able to smoothly follow things vertically for another three months and diagonally for another six months. You can also play eyes-to-eyes by moving very close to her face and slowly nodding your head from side to side. Often her eyes will lock onto yours.

Our little guy is now finally big enough for his BumGenius cloth diapers and has been wearing those exclusively since Sunday.  For some strange reason I love the process of washing the stuffing his diapers... maybe it's the soft cuddly material, maybe it's how cute he looks in them, and maybe it's that I know that these are much better for his little tooshy than all of the chemicals in disposables.  We could still possible use an extra 2-4 cloth diapers, but we are doing well with what we have, I just need to throw in a load of diapers to wash every morning when I wake up so that we have enough for the day.  With the first load I just crossed my fingers and threw it in in hopes that the diapers would come out clean.  Much to my delight they have come out looking and smelling clean ever single wash.

I still don't know if we've gotten a full smile out of Noah, but we get a whole lot of smirks and grins, especially right after he's done eating and he's content with a full belly.  It seems this week that Noah is starting to sleep longer at night.  In all prior weeks he went about 3-4 hours a time at night before waking up to eat or to dirty his diaper.  The last two nights in a row he has slept for over 6 hours at a time each night... I LOVE it, I feel much more refreshed by the time we are getting up for a middle of the night feeding, and then I've only had to get up once per night, as opposed to twice as I was doing before.  He's also started enjoying listening to the music on his crib mobile while watching the lights and the the hanging animals spin.  It has almost stopped and eliminated his 1-2 hours of fussiness each night around 10 pm when he is put in his crib.  We keep wondering if his eyes are going to stay the pretty shade of blue that they currently are, or if they are going to change.  Our little man is starting to visibly put some weight on and is getting just a little bit thicker each week.  For about 2 weeks he's been too long for newborn clothes and has been wearing 0-3 month clothes, he's growing so quickly in length that I don't think those will fit him for that much longer, but 3-6 month clothes are still huge on him width wise since he's just not a chunky guy (yet anyway).  He's also holding his head up on his own a good bit now.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

weeks 1-6

I have the desire to do a weekly post with a picture of Noah and an update on how he's developing that week, kind of like I did each week with pregnancy.  I'm not sure if I'm up for the task of keeping up with it, but I'll give it a whirl and see how it goes.  Here's some catch up for weeks 1-6.

Here's how Noah has been developing according to (in italics).

Week 1: It's only been a week, but already your newborn knows she can rely on you. By now, she can recognize your voice. Hearing her parents' familiar voices helps her adjust to the strange new world outside the womb and lets her know that she's not alone. So the more you talk to her, the better. She can't understand your words, but your love comes through loud and clear.

At this point Noah pretty much slept all of the time, and almost never cried.  He was 7 lbs 8 oz at birth, 6 lbs 14 oz when we left the hospital, and back up to 7 lbs 1 oz at his one week doctor's appointment.

Week 2: This week, your baby can focus on objects 8 to 14 inches away--just about the distance between his eyes and yours during feedings. In fact, babies this age prefer faces to other objects. By looking at him during his meals, you'll encourage him to practice focusing. As you feed him, move your head slowly from side to side and see if his eyes follow you. This helps build his eye muscles and tracking skills.

At this point our little one was still sleeping most of the time, and still not really crying ever.  We were a little worried that he still looked so skinny, but his 2 week doctor's appointment revealed that he was still gaining weight, and was up to 7 lbs 5 oz.

Week 3: Though her movements are still random and jerky, your baby can control her body in one amazing way by this week. She can snuggle! As you hold her, watch how she adjusts her posture towards you. She finds your arms and even your scent calming and comforting. There couldn't be a more perfect and relaxing way for the two of you to bond.

Just after two weeks Noah's umbilical cord finally fell off and he got his first bath.  He wasn't too thrilled or impressed with it, but he didn't cry, which was a victory in my opinion for such a new experience.

Week 4: Have you noticed your baby using his vocal chords in ways other than crying? He may coo and make "ahh" sounds this week, especially when he sees mom or dad. Babies learn by mimicking--so replay his sounds back to him. He not only loves the attention, but he's also finding out that his voice has power: he calls, you appear!

Somewhere between weeks 3 and 4 Noah found his lungs and started being a lot more vocal, including several hours of screaming between 5 and 9 pm each evening.

Week 5: This week, your baby's movements are becoming smoother and more purposeful--those random, jerky motions are beginning to disappear. She's not ready for gym class, but try to give her time each day for using her body. You can give her a gentle mini-workout by slowly pulling her to a sitting position, or letting her "fly" by resting her tummy-down on your forearm. Always support her head.

Around this time we realized that Noah sleeps much more peacefully on his belly than on his back (the recommended sleeping method these days).  At night we still swaddled him and put him on his back in the cradle in our room, but during the day when I could be around to keep a close eye on him, he would take most of his naps on his belly in our bed.  By this point his nightly screaming reduced from 3-4 hours, to 1-2 hours.

Week 6: It wasn't gas! At about this age, your baby will flash an adorable gummy grin that is his first genuine smile. How can you tell? His eyes will brighten and widen as he moves his mouth upwards. By smiling back and cooing to him, you'll do more than get another smile. You're teaching him that his actions cause a reaction--with pleasant results!

Not quite smiling yet, but flashing lots of smirks to mom and dad at this point.  Noticeably focusing his eyes a lot more at this point also, and would follow us or objects with his eyes, just a little delayed.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I made these maple roasted brussel sprouts, and I have to say that this was the best way that I've eaten brussel sprouts. EVER.  I reduced the olive oil down to 1 Tbsp and increased the maple syrup up to 4 Tbsp, but otherwise I prepared the recipe as is.  If you're a brussel sprout lover you have to try these, and maybe even if you're not... they have a nice sweetness and chewiness that may win over some skeptics. 

Do you love or hate brussel sprouts?

I've loved them ever since I was a kid and my mom made them frequently... I know, I was a VERY exotic eater for a child.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Handmade Christmas Cards

I love doing fun picture holiday cards and sending them to everyone that we know, but this year I kept it simple in order to respect our shrinking budget (now that I'm not working).  I put together these simple cards from scraps of scrapbooking paper that I had lying around, and sent them only to members of our immediate family.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but the inside of the cards included a small cluster of trees in the lower right hand corner also.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup

Creamy Potato Soup

A cool front moving, in and a cold overtaking our house makes for a big pot of soothing soup.  Jeremy loved this soup as is, but it was a little thick for my taste (too much like a big bowl of mashed potatoes), I'd add an extra cup of water next time if Jeremy hadn't made me promise to make it this same way always.

-4 carrots, diced
-2 ribs celery, diced
-1 yellow onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-5 cups chicken broth

- 5 medium to large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
-1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
-1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks

Saute carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds.  Add broth, potatoes, and spices. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender. Smash the potatoes in the pan, or puree with an immersion blender. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake

I got this recipes from my mother-in-law years ago, and it has been my go to chocolate cake recipe ever since.  It is one of my favorite cakes, and is definitely my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  It comes out unbelievably moist and chocolatey.  To frost it I just make the frosting/ icing recipe that is on the can of cocoa powder and smother it on top of the cooled cake.

-1 3/4 cups unsifted all purpose flour
-2 cups sugar
-3/4 cup cocoa
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 eggs
-1 cup milk
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 cup boiling water

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients except boiling water; beat at medium speed 2 minutes.  Remove from mixer; stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).  Pour into two greased and floured 9" pans, or 3 8" pans, or one 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes for layers, or 35-40 minutes from 13x9, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes on rack.  Remove from pans and cool completely.  Top with frosting.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheese Grits

Cheese Grits

Jeremy doesn't normally like grits, but he thought these were great.  It is a very versatile dish, you can serve it as a side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You could leave out the tomatoes with chiles, you could stir in cooked meat, or you could use a different type of cheese to change the flavor depending on what you will be serving these with.  These weren't quite as spicy as I would have liked so I added extra hot sauce to my bowl, next time I think I'd add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper into the mix prior to baking. 

-1 cup grits
-4 1/2 cups water
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of jack and cheddar, but pepper jack would be amazing here)
-1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
-1 egg, beaten

Bring water to a boil. Add grits and salt and stir, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in black pepper, garlic powder, tomatoes with chiles, and grated cheese. Drop in a couple of tablespoons of hot grits into beaten egg to temper, stirring constantly. Dump it all back into the pot and stir. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010



This is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that would be served with pita bread for soaking up the yummy sauce. This makes for a quick, easy, inexpensive yet flavor filled breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-1 green pepper, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup feta cheese
-fresh chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper until soft, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne. Saute 1 additional minute. Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper; stirring the spices into the mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Crack eggs of the top of the pan, cover and cook 5 minutes. Add feta cheese, cover and cook 5 more minutes. Top with cilantro or parsley and serve.