Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yummy Yummy Chicken in Wine

Today I found out that the job I was accepted to interview for requires me to work on Sunday. Needless to say, I turned it down, but it left me pretty sad. I was disappointed and needed to channel that energy somewhere. So I painted my room, the first coat at least, and then I cooked an amazing dinner. I'm just so proud of my work :)

As you know, I love food and have been discovering more and more how much I love it. I engaged all 5 senses today while cooking and that's the way it should be. Though I wasn't sure what I wanted to cook tonight, I decided to poke around the internet and see what kind of french foods tickled my taste buds.

(Here are my ingredients and then all of them cooking)

I clicked on a link that said entrees and voila... Coq Au Vin caught my interest. It consists of chicken thighs and legs combined with onions, blanched bacon (Yes... I did blanch something for the first time today and was amazed), parsley, thyme, salt + pepper, chicken stock and red wine. When I first began this adventure I needed to blanch the bacon to rid it of saltiness. Mostly the bacon is browned and the grease is used for cooking. Next the chicken and onions are browned for about 10 mins, and once browned well on all sides, I added the chicken stock and red wine. Oh yeah, and right before that the garlic, parsley and thyme are added for more aromas and flavor :) I let this cook for about 20 minutes meanwhile cutting potatoes to prepare them for boiling and chopping mushrooms for the last and final step... sauce. Once the chicken was done I strained everything from the pan, leaving just the wine sauce and added the chopped mushrooms. I reduced this then added everything to the pan again.

Served over potatoes or noodles, this tastes delicious. Go ahead, give it a try. It only took me about 2 hours haha.

(Finished Product)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life... A Precious Breath from God

To have and to hold
... From this day forward...
For better or for worse
... For Richer, For poorer...
In Sickness and in Health
...To love and to cherish...
Till death do us part

Today I saw something beautiful. No, it was not the kind of beauty which is in the eye of the beholder, but the kind of beauty that God has presented to us through His s
on the Christ child. The kind of beauty that was meant to be; a marriage that exemplifies Gods unconditional, never ending love for His children. I saw one of the deepest loves I have ever seen in a marriage, and it wasn't at a wedding, nor home nor at a friends house, but I saw it in public. Let me share this story with you.

I was at work today at the bookstore waiting for the next customer to come up so I could help him make a purchase. A male customer came up to the bookseller next to me as she began to ring up his items, and as this happened I was greeted by a silky eyed, red-haired, elderly woman at my register. She began talking to me saying something along the lines of, "Hi, yes today it's fun and the party is starting. They all say the kids will be fine and I act like a baby sometimes (laughs)." Well, it wasn't long before I realized that this woman, being elderly, probably had Alzheimers and just seemed to be a little lost in her sweet mind. She continued talking to me, and
laughing with me and telling me some random, discombobulated information. Then she started singing, and though I wouldn't encourage her to try out for American Idol, I witnessed a beautiful love. The man that was being checked out at the register beside me was her husband; he was a husband who loved his wife so much, more than I've ever seen. He came closer to me and said, "When I'm out with my wife, I don't plan time." This was as the woman went to all the customers in line and shook their hands saying how nice it was to see them again and how she couldn't wait to see them again. Her husband finally called her over to himself with so much love, respect and patience in his eyes, heart and soul. As the wife went over there, she stopped at my register and shook my hand and left me with these words,

"Enjoy that good birthday cake."

I'll never forget it. I'll never forget seeing the love in that husbands eyes for his wife. He was not ashamed or embarrassed. He did not apologize for her... just loved her for who she really was in that very moment. Though she was different, He mentioned how she was still that same 27 year old woman he married 50ish years ago. It was the most beautiful love I have ever seen.

So what does it take for us to love? Love is not conditional, it is constant and it does not change. We can offer love through patience and must do this. Our Heavenly Father has done this through his son Christ Jesus. This has been an example to me and I hope to many how to love for better or worse, richer poorer, sickness and health, to love and cherish and till death do us part. So. let us love, because God has first loved us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just Do Something

My dear friend Larinda has gifted me with a wonderful short read called "Just Do Something" written by pastor and author Kevin DeYoung. If you're looking for a short read that's inspiring, encouraging and yet gives a good kick in the butt, I would suggest this one to you. The subtitle of the book is:

"How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc."

Being that I'm out of college and searching for a job, well honestly sometimes I've just been waiting for the right moment. I know God will guide me, but my intelligent brain has also been given to me by Him to think and to make decisions. This book is a great and easy read for any college grad or anyone making life changing decisions for that matter. The book reminds us that the will of God is to remain in Him, to live righteous and holy lives, loving the Lord out God with all we have first and our neighbor as ourself. The rest, God has promised He will provide for us. He does love us after all.

Do it. Read it. I dare you. Tell me what you think :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today it Happened

I'm going to tell you something quirky about myself.

Whenever I hear a repeated noise such as a clock ticking, a finger tapping, a person breathing, chewing or walking I tend to make a beat out of it in my head. I have always done this since I could remember. On some occasions it drove me crazy listening to my clock tick at night because I just couldn't fall asleep. The many combinations of beats I could make kept me going. I do this when I'm walking too, and sometimes I match my steps with my breathing patterns. Call me strange, abnormal weird or cool, but it's just a quirk of mine.

Well, Today is happened! Something I always do while driving in the rain and simultaneously playing music is trying to match the movement of my windshield wipers to the beat of the song perfectly. Today IT HAPPENED :) This will most likely never happen again, but for today, the motion matched the beat for the entire song. I was so happy; I feel almost that I have accomplished something.

The next thing I desire to see is turn signals from 2 different cars blink at the exact time. When this happens I'll be sure to mark that day too.

Au revoir :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Monday... the day after Sunday which is the day I picked up five newspapers just practically spewing out coupons, comics and all the articles you could imagine. But, beneath the discounts and catchy phrases I headed for one section alone...


I lied on the floor of my living room, newspapers sprawled all around me like walls that no one could pass through, and the search began. With my green highlighter and bold black pen in hand I read carefully through the size 4 font to find the jobs that interested me. Looking all through those classifieds can be as the sea; my emotions go high and low like the tide as I find things I like and then read about opportunities I am not yet qualified for, or am I. You see, that's the tricky thing, we tend to second guess our own abilities and skills, rethinking what we have written on submitted applications and replaying our interview conversations over and over in our minds. Our conclusion... we always could have done better.

So... at the end of the search I've applied to four different positions today, hoping to hear back from at least one of them to boost my confidence, but sometimes that doesn't happen and I need to keep pressing on. Tonight, after mental exhaustion from trying to write the perfect cover letters I watched the movie Julie and Julia, a delightful end to the evening. What a better way than to watch someone cook who's excellent at it and has fun with it. I LOVE FOOD TOO :) I've been inspired by my dear friend Jessica whom I love very much.

And now, before I sleep, I talk with a friend on the phone and gear up for the day tomorrow.
Goodnight beautiful day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I want to puke

You've seen them. They're growing in popularity. They're in malls, on expensive street sidewalks and come in all shapes and colors. Yep... DOG STROLLERS. I cannot stand those things. When did a dog stop being a dog and become a child? Some of these strollers look nicer than baby strollers and I'm sure they are much more expensive. PLEASE... by all means have some dogs, they are so fun and can be beautiful, but please don't treat them like human beings. If you would like to take care of kids, have your own, adopt or get involved with local youth organizations such as church youth groups, juvenile detention centers, the Y, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and there are so many more. Social services are always looking for volunteers to help. People are worth it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Winter is good for cooking

One thing I learned about myself at L'Abri is that I love food and I love to cook. It's something I've never really put the effort and time into, but seeing as how you can be creative with cooking makes it so much more fun. I know there will be times I fail and other times I surprise myself and today, I hope is one of those surprising days. My friend Kris just went to France this past semester for a study abroad program and we decided that it would be fun to cook some food for our friends tonight. He'll be making crepes with, well I'm not sure what the filling will be yet, but I'm sure it will be great. I have prepared some chicken and vegetables. I skinned and cleaned the chicken (organic raised) and, they placed it in a medium sized roaster pan, massaging the chicken in olive oil, salt and pepper, then squeezing fresh lemon on it. To finish it off, I stuff it with rosemary and garlic. I'll roast it at about 370 for about an hour flipping it several times. The vegetables are carrots and cauliflower paired with lemons and garlic. They were cut into bite sized pieces and turned with olive oil, salt and pepper. Those will also go into the oven for about 20 mins at 400 degrees. I hope it turns out. I love experimenting, but I'm just not sure how much people enjoy being the test dummies. I'll update you readers :)