23 February 2012

on the Word and discernment.

i'll be teaching tonight at our monthly women's fellowship! please pray that the Lord speaks to each of our hearts and that the Word goes forth in power. xx

17 February 2012

10 February 2012

so send i you

Moses’ experience was of the type in which the certainty is brought home that God has been preparing you for something, and you realize that you have the power potentially to do what He wants. You can recall the perfect reality of the vision, the clear understanding of what God said to you then. You say - ‘I know He said it, I almost saw Him, it was so real. I know God called me to be a missionary - but it was a long time ago, and I suppose I was mistaken, for look at me now, something in an office.’ You know you were not mistaken. The call was right, but you were not ready for it. God has to season us, there has to be a time of humiliation before the vision is turned into verity. We have to learn not only how useless we are, but how marvellously mighty God is. ‘Many are called, but few prove the choice ones.’

Let God put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision He gave you. Don’t lose heart in the process.
Oswald Chambers, So Send I You

09 February 2012

dear summer..

the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

07 February 2012

they probably never told you

that the grocery store doesn't carry fresh red chili peppers. in fact, none of the grocery stores in my town do.

well, we made do without them. thai red curry with chicken, green pepper, and eggplant.

they also probably haven't told you that popovers are a good source of protein. just trust me on that one.

well, now you know.

03 February 2012

a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

carrying on with the photo theme, here are the fruits of my hands today.

i must confess that photo blogs are waaaaaaay more fun to look at than merely text blogs. i haven't found many really good writing blogs, sans photographie. so, if i am kidding myself into thinking that you adore my blog even when i write like 40 pages with zero capitalization [mostly] and no fun pictures, at least i sort of recognize that you probably would rather see pictures. i absolutely adore blogs that have really amazing photography, particularly film. it is so tempting to just scroll through page upon page of gorgeous photos, without even stopping to really appreciate any of them, or read what has been written. i, uh, kind of do that all the time.

so, while i do not aspire to call myself a photographer, i kind of sort of wish that i was legit at this sort of thing. maybe i should read my camera manual. i'd rather look at pictures.

on to today:

first i made some hash of red potatoes, baby bell peppers, and snap peas.
then i wilted some spinach and cilantro and topped it with a little parmesan, which melted oh so nicely.
a little freshly ground pepper and salt [have you had the crunchy chunky sea salt? oh my.]
a nicely chopped braeburn and some pomegranate tea topped it off.

i've been thinking about scones all day. so at work i decided to have a tea party when i came home.
[which means, in other words, i decided to make scones.]

i've made scones a few times before, but they always turned out too dry and too hard- even though i tried so hard not to overknead them! today i tried a new recipe from a Jane Austen recipe book i received for christmas [thanks s&m!!]. american [aka starbucks] scones are fairly rock hard and crumbly as pounded bones. i mean, they are great! but no such thing should be called a scone. the ones i tried in england this fall proved this point. 
scones are supposed to be soft and flaky and - would you believe it?? - moist! and they really ought to taste like butter. or cake. or butter cake.
these ones passed the test. thank you, jane austen cookbook.

i used coconut milk [left over from wagamama night!] instead of regular milk. it's creamier than 1%, and doesn't have an overly strong flavor.
they gained the family stamp of approval. and they were good even without clotted cream! [gasp]

pretty legit scone recipe
mix together:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
crumble in with fingertips:
1/4 cup butter
form a well in the center of flour mixture, and pour in:
1/2 cup milk [coconut milk]
stir gently until barely combined.
place dough on floured surface, and gently knead [for like 10 seconds?? mine hardly needed that]
cut dough in half, form two rounds about an inch high. cut the rounds into quarters.
place on a baking sheet, bake at 450F for about 10 minutes.
top with jam, nutella, clotted cream, etc, and enjoy with a big cup of Yorkshire with milk.
please be forewarned that they will disappear very quickly, because they are ever so tasty.

please make these for your loved ones soon! x

01 February 2012

tasty things.

today's lunch: summer rolls with crab stick, tangerine, and mae ploy sauce.
summer rolls were spinach, baby bell peppers, carrots, sugar snap peas, sauteed mushrooms, scrambled egg, and salad greens in a vietnamese rice wrapper.

tonight's dinner: Wagamama's yasai itameru
our tofu didn't really stay in its cubes, which was disappointing, and threw off the overall aesthetic. but it tasted pretty good.
in general, this was rice noodles with homemade coconut ginger sauce, topped with a stirfry of sweet potato, red onion, bok choy, scallions, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime. [ps, bok choy is legit]

tonight's dessert: banana katsu with hot fudge! gone before a picture could be taken.
it's panko-fried bananas with ice cream, with a coconutty twist!
basically, this is the best dessert ever. [we made seconds.. shh!]

last week's homemade naan, to go with tikka masala [whose picture, sadly, was not very nice!]
flour, yogurt, salt, and baking powder, cooked in an iron skillet and finished up in a really hot oven.
[and yes! that is a bread peel! we have a bread peel! life is so beautiful!]

a few weeks ago, michelle and i made lovely french chocolate macarons!
in case you didn't know, these macarons are made of ground almonds, so they are gluten free.
to the almonds you simply add pretty much everything else awesome in the baking world, bake, and devour.



I'm pretty sure I could be content if my primary occupation in life would be chopping things. Maybe I should become a wood chopper. Maybe I am thinking on a slightly smaller scale.

Have you ever realized how delightful it is to chop things with a really, really sharp knife? Oh my. I could do it all day long. And I'm not even fast. So you see that my chopping adoration is not because I am good at it- it is purely because it is so fun.

There is some innate sense within me that demands I do things in the longest, most drawn out, detailed, all-or-nothing way. Like bread. I tell people I bake bread, and they come right back with, "Oh, so you have a breadmaker!" Uh... well, I am the breadmaker. See these two hands..? These hands were made to make bread. They get so happy when they make bread. Trust me. So I make bread that takes like 4 days to complete, and love every moment of that half a week which crawls by at a snail's pace. Ok, I kind of hate waiting. But it is worth it. Obvsies.

I get this sort of weird guilt complex when I make things that aren't from scratch. The other night, my brother and I made indian food. I bought tikka masala in a jar. I could have so easily made it. I did want to try the jar stuff, I guess. But we made naan from scratch. Mmm. Next time it'll all be from scratch. Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins!

This morning I was enlisted to help put together a catered lunch. I made the pasta salad. It was just a bunch of stuff thrown together, but it turned out all right. It is so much more fun to be involved with food service when you are actually somewhat involved with the food. It is still service, of course, but more exciting. Especially when your opinion matters.

I do not believe I shall ever own or operate a restaurant. I have been employed at a restaurant for 42% of my life. I've never worked full time.. but still. Forty-two percent of my life. I will never own a restaurant. People automatically assume that if a person likes to cook, they ought to start a restaurant. No way, man. Not this girl. Restaurants are cool and stuff, but never my own. Owning a restaurant can be compared to having a large ball and chain affixed to your ankle. So can owning a dairy farm. So can having pets. I would be fine with never experiencing any of those options. I could be very ok with being friends with someone who had an exceptionally cute bird who I sometimes saw. That could be ok. Or a goat farmer. That could also be ok. But friends. Not me. Just cause.

Anyway, back to chopping and kneading. You know how some people really don't care what their food tastes like? Like, they smother it in ketchup? When you chop it and knead it [gently, of course] yourself, you know what goes into your food. And that makes you appreciate it more, because it tastes better, because it IS better. Because no freezer section at a gargantuan food seller chopped your vegetables! Ha! You did! You may have even picked them from your garden before you chopped them. Oh my. Garden produce also gets me excited. Because seriously.. you planted a seed and watered it and the sun shone and the beanstalk arose! Mir-a-cu-lous.

This summer, we are pretty much plowing up our whole backyard and making The Biggest Garden Ever on a town lot. It is primarily because of our lack of trees. Our backyard was the best kind of shady around. Due to some fairly intense weather last summer, all but one of our big trees cracked/split/fell on the roof/were chopped down. We have one lone tree [and one lone stump, and a lot of mulch], whose lowest branches are higher than the chimneypiece. Hello, suntan city. And hello, garden. Can you envision it yet? Early morning rays of sunlight blasting through our backyard as we the chosen still-living-at-home ones toil and labor, under the tender shelter of large straw hats, to pick our rice from the paddies.. I mean weed the beans. Hello, glorious.

Wait a second.. where are the squirrels even living? All their habitats have been chopped down. CHOPPING you are so nice but so brutal. That is why you must chop with a very sharp knife. No chainsaws on my mushrooms, please. You know what I am going to watch soon on my brother's netflix account? The Imax movie about beavers. Talk about chopping pros!

So anyways, it's like 52 degrees outside. I have already spent a good portion of my day either chopping or thinking about chopping or writing about chopping, or testing a bit of what I chopped [summer rolls for lunch]. Tonight my brother [with whom I often cook exotic things] and I are making some [s]Wagamama. Which involves pretty much like 95% chopping, and the rest WOKing. Caaan't wait.