Last week Paige and I stumbled across the national spelling bee on ESPN 2.  Talk about incredible. I’m not quite sure how one prepares for this type of competition. In the movie” Akeelah and the Bee”, the jump rope trick seemed to be very effective for little Akeelah in her preparation for a national spelling bee. However, at this real life competition I saw no jumping of rope.  I must say  the movie didn’t really capture the intensity of this competition. It was very golf like….. Sage Steele (one of my favorite ESPN personalities)  and another analyst whispering their commentary from a booth far from the stage. The judges were all clever and animated with their witty responses to the student’s questions on word origination. Children on stage sweating bullets “writing” the word out on the palm of their hands. Silence from the audience allowing for concentration as well as suspense. Parents and coaches looking on and wringing their hands out of anxiety. Honestly, I was getting stressed out just watching it on television.  Some serious stuff and I see why this competition is shown on ESPN. It was just as exciting as any sporting event. Watching the final, solidified why the “Bee” should be broadcast on a channel devoted to competition.

And the 2013 winner

spelling bee winner


Arvind Mahankali

the winning word “knaidel” with a German origin…..

While being interviewed following the “Bee” Arvind was asked what he would do for his summer now that he won and he responded “study physics”…..Wow, can’t say that’s topping my daughters bucket list for the summer.

So speaking of summer, this is my new favorite pasta salad for you all of your entertaining needs and it’s delicious…

Southwest Pasta Salad

Pasta salad 008


– 1 jalapeno pepper

– 1 poblano pepper

– 2 red onion

– 6 cloves of crushed garlic

–  1 yellow pepper

– 1 red pepper

– olive oil

-salt and pepper

– 1 to 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise

-1 can of black beans (drained and rinse)

– 1 can of sweet corn (drained)

– 1 lb of spaghetti


1. In large stock pot, cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Rinse and place in large bowl.

2.  Chop jalapeno, poblano, and 1 red onion.  Remove seeds from peppers. In large skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and begin to saute jalapeno, poblano, and onion. Mid-way through sauteing, add garlic. Saute until onions are clear. Cool. In medium bowl, mix with mayonnaise as dressing for the salad.

3. While sauteing vegetables, chop second red onion, yellow and red peppers. Drain beans and rinse. Drain corn.

4. Mix mayonnaise mixture to the spaghetti. Add chopped onions, peppers, corn, and black beans to the spaghetti. Refrigerate.

Remember….Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen on Game Day!!!