type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: July 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foody Friday - What'd you cook last week?

Foody Friday! I miss you all.

So totally not a creative theme, I know. But I have to catch up with all of you Fellow Foodys. What's your best meal from the last several weeks?

This is one I cooked for a gathering of not-so-adventuresome family members. Not that they would EVER complain about anything that was made for them, but I just tend to make more, you know... odd-type food. So I was hoping to find something that was creative without being too weird.

Here's what I found:



8 ounces penne pasta
4 links spicy chicken andouille sausage (we used a pound of Kielbasa)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup white wine
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, undrained
3 cups torn arugula leaves (you could easily sub spinach or another green)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

DIRECTIONS
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown. Cool and slice.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the garlic 1 minute, until lightly browned. Mix in sausage, pesto, and white wine. Cook and stir until heated through. Mix in beans with liquid and arugula, and cook until arugula is wilted. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook until heated through. Toss with pasta, season with salt and pepper, and top with goat cheese to serve.

It was good. I took a picture of some of our family eating it:



Oh, but I guess it was so good, nobody has ANY left on their plates! And, doesn't Grandma look amazing?!

And I'm not kidding, every single person licked their plate clean. And it was easy. And it uses pesto.

You must make this.

I hope you join in and add your link below! Happy Foody Friday!



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Messy Messy

You may have noticed a lot of talk on this blog lately about birthdays. July hosts 3 out of 5 birthdays in my family. Plus, 4 others in our extended family.

That's 7 birthdays in one month.

I think Minnesotans get bored in October.

Anyway.

My two sweet girls are still young enough to want to share a birthday party. They were so excited about it.

So they came up with the idea to have a "Messy Party". You know, where they get to do messy things, and Mommy won't freak. out. Mommy will actually plan these messy things for them to do.

I am not a good craft mom. I fully admit it. I'd rather get on a bike and go for a ride, or sit and read a book, or dig in the dirt, than plan a craft.

Actually, I'd rather be hung upside down by my toenails than plan a craft.

So obviously, painting is a huge novelty to Corene and Ava. Crafts just don't happen in our house.

Aided by the internet (in .31 seconds, Google found 265,000 websites under the search "messy kids party"). There were lots of ideas to choose from.
We planned the messy party to beat all messy parties.

There were signs of warning.
"Messy Art" shirts were donned.

It is oh so appropriate that by total chance, Taz ended up with the only shirt that said "Messy Messy".
Hand prints and foot prints were painted Shaving cream and food coloring (who knew this would be such a hit?).

And, two, yes, two cakes. It is a really good idea, in theory, to let each of your children have their own cake, so they get to have something at the party that is their own.

Making two cakes completely took over my weekend, but who can resist creating midget barbie (who I performed major limb removal on to make the cake work, may she RIP) and a horse cake, complete with licorice reins and jellybean nose?




And then, the activity that brought out my inner OCD. 4 pounds of spaghetti, cooked, cooled, and tossed with oil. And dumped in here:


Is this not a kids' paradise?

I was enjoying myself fully until the fun play was suddenly transformed into a lively food fight. And then somehow there was shaving cream in the mix again. And all I could do was laugh. Seriously, WHEN do kids get to be this crazy and not get in trouble for it?

Check out this video. It's only 4 seconds long, but it shows just a glimpse of the fun madness that had been taking place.
After you watch it the first time, watch it again and look at Corene in the background with her pants around her ankles.
And, while you're at it, note that at the beginning of this "game", there was 4 pounds of spaghetti IN the baby pool. There looks to be maybe 1 pound in the pool now. You figure out where the other 3 pounds went. And who cleaned it up.






I promise that I did not spike the punch. It was juice and sparkling water. Promise.

It was so very fun to watch them be so filled with delight at the novelty of getting messy.

Speaking of delight.
But we are never doing this again.

It's your turn.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Corene


Firstborn child. Oh so like her daddy.

Black and white thinker. Rule follower. Bossy Natural leader.


Impossibly sensitive, yet outrageously wild at times. Prone to anxiety.


Holder of a tender spirit. Giver of the best hugs.


Organized. A sorter, a list maker, an organizational giant (This is the one trait she did not, repeat did not get from her dad. Well, she didn't get it from me, either, truth be told).


An incredible sense of humor. Joy that bubbles over.


Sweet child, it took me 5 years to "get" you. OK, OK, I still don't totally "get" you. But... I do. For a whole year now, I really can see underneath your utterly complex make-up.


It took me 5 years to throw away the box I was trying to stuff you in. To ignore the parental legalism that was swimming in my head. To look at you as the young lady the Creator of the Universe had molded with His very hand.


It has allowed you to blossom and grow instead of be stifled by that box that you just didn't fit in.


I thank God every day for you. I thank Him that He's pricked your heart with such a love for Him already.


And, I thank Him for the relationship that He's given to us. For the times you intertwine your fingers together behind my neck and whisper "I love you" in my ear. And for the times we talk and journal through your feelings, and you go from despondent to joyful in a matter of minutes.


I love you, sweet Corene. Happy Birthday, big girl.





Pesto

OK, so I was GOING to call Dawn, Jenna, et al. when I needed someone to split the pine nuts with, but I was too lazy. Blogging about it was so much easier! And, who to my wondering eyes did appear to split my pine nuts? Yes, that would be Auntie Dawn and neighborly Jenna.

I really should use my phone more often.

OK, so pesto:

This is my winter/don't have any basil/pine nuts/etc pesto:

I've gotten it at Super Target.

Or, if you want the really good stuff, here's the recipe:

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
3 medium sized garlic cloves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (Lance, you can use walnuts instead!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

I put the basil and garlic in the food processor and whiz it up until it's all very finely chopped, and then add the oil.

Then I add the cheese, pine nuts, and s/p. Whiz some more until it looks like the "right" consistency.

Serve over pasta. And this makes a lot, probably 2 meals worth.

The BEST thing is to combine fresh summer tomatoes, penne pasta, spinach, and pesto.

THAT says summer to me.

AND... We'll do Foody Friday this week! Yippee!!

So, theme... theme... hmm... how about the BEST thing you've made in the last 3 weeks.

Mine to share actually contains homemade pesto. It's a cowinky-dink.

Still working on the actual real post with a point.

What was I saying?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Got Basil?

Anyone out there (that lives locally) want to split a gigantor sized bag of pine nuts with me from Costco?

We have basil coming out of our ears and I am so in the mood for pesto. Costco pine nuts are SO cheap, but it's enough for like 10 batches of pesto.

Anyone? I *think* it's like $8 for the bag, and it's a very large bag. So $4 if we split it.

First comment gets it :)

And, I AM working on a real, actual post. With words. And pictures. And a point. And maybe even some spiritual significance.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I promise, the moment she got off, she wanted to do it again.

Click on the picture.
You must look at these overjoyed faces in more detail.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In the throes of Summer...

And I just can't do Foody Friday every week... I'm Foody-Burned-Out.

Don't worry, I'll do it again in August... maybe not every week though. Unless someone else has a hankering to host it...

So.

Just one more thing before I'm off again to frolic in the sun.

Sugar is evil.

I believe that it is a product of the fall. Yes I do. I know that it tastes good. I know that it is so very yummy.

However.

A)It is addictive.
B)It is bad for you.
C)It makes your children into monsters.

Monsters, I say. Monsters who do not have the capability of ceasing their hyena-like laughter or running around like crazy folk.

Even worse than good old fashioned sugar is the stuff they put in grape pop. What is that stuff, anyway? It absorbs into a 4 year old's bloodstream in .04 seconds from swallowing. Not to mention that the stuff tastes nasty.

And it stains.

I'm off to soak a dress in oxi-clean. And read books to my monsters.

And give a good dose of Benadryl.

Kidding.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A wee break from Foody Friday

It's my party, and I don't feel like doing Foody Friday this week.

It's too hot.

Even my eyelashes are hot.

So.

What do you do when you don't feel like cooking? Favorite place to go? Order pizza?

Leave a comment and do tell. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Va-va-vacation

Last weekend, Matt and I had the. most. amazing. little getaway. Ever. Ever.

We spent 2. whole. nights. away.

My mom is the most awesome woman. She braved 3 kids for 2 days, so we could recharge.

The first night we stayed at this Bed and Breakfast:


See the tallest part? The tower? That was part of our room. It was so. cool.

This was our view:


Friday night, we just happened to have one of the most killer thunderstorms of the season with lots of lightning. So, of course, we were in the tower, watching the huge wall cloud approach us,


when the sirens started to wail. Being that we are incredibly intelligent individuals, we decided to exit the tower, which I am guessing could be blown off rather quickly in a tornado. Just a thought.

I headed down to the lobby to socialize with the innkeepers, and make sure we didn't need to take it seriously, while Matt checked the radar on the inn's computer (because it is physically painful for Matt to abstain from radar during any sort of storm).

After the sirens stopped, we headed back up, up, up to the tower and watched the lightning. Which was impressive. Really impressive.

Of all the nights for an awesome storm, we're at the top of a hill in a 4th floor tower! And, since I'm a novice but wanna-be photographer with a pretty nice camera, I lugged it up there and took some pictures!



How cool is that?? I'm totally hooked. On trying to photograph lightning. I got me some serious adrenaline rushes.

I also looked like a bonafide geek holding that camera to my eye for 45 minutes and having a complete spasm every time I saw a flash. I don't care, though... Matt is enough of a weather nerd that he didn't even laugh at me. Add that to the list of reasons I love my husband.

The next day, we went canoeing on the river, which was supposed to be easy and relaxing. When you canoe on a river, if you feel like not paddling, you're supposed to still go forward, because of the current.

Not so this day. We had wind in the 20-35mph range. Blowing directly in our faces.

So, you know that rule about going forward no matter what you do? Nope. If we stopped paddling, we went backwards. That is not the way it is supposed to be, folks.

We got a workout.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures. With the wind being the way it was, we had to weigh our chances of having the aforementioned nice camera stolen out of the car vs. the chance of our canoe being blown over and losing the camera in the river. We chose to leave it in the car, and thankfully neither event occurred.

If I had taken pictures, they would be these:

1)A very very young fawn drinking from the river along a smaller, calmer, quieter inlet off the main river. The fawn had no fear. We were within 15 feet of it and it just stood there looking at us for quite some time.

2)Ocean-like waves breaking about every 5 feet.

Ok, maybe not ocean-like. But it felt like it. There were whitecaps, ok? It was really windy.

My arms still hurt. My... umm... sitting bones... still hurt. The smart people brought little chairs to sit in. I don't fall into that category, unfortunately, and I didn't even sit on a towel. I sat on a piece of metal. Ouch.

All in all, we had a marvelous time. It was so awesome to just be Jenny. And it was great to call Matt, well... Matt.

Imagine that. Me calling him "Matt". The truth is, I call him "Daddy" a lot.

Like calling down the street where he's talking to the neighbor, when it's time for dinner, "DADDY!".

Seriously. Embarrassing.

I'm working on breaking the habit.

"Hi, I'm Jenny and I call my husband "Daddy"."

This trip was the first step to recovery.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ava


My dear, sweet, spunky Ava -

What a bright light you are to our family! You're 4 years old! I don't know what Daddy and I would do without you. You are charming, you are talkative, you are so so very naughty.

Yes, that's right, I said naughty. You push buttons and boundaries as if it is a commandment in the Bible.

You are emotional, sensitive, dare I say Melancholy? You come by that honestly, both Mommy and Daddy are a bit melancholy. We love that about you. I love that you cry when you see others hurting. I love that you have so many feelings in your little heart.

God has given you a unique and beautiful spirit, made in His image. You are beautiful. You are loved, albeit imperfectly by us, you are loved perfectly by God.

You make us laugh. Laugh so hard our tummies hurt. You have a way of saying things that just sends me into a complete giggle-fest. I love being your Mommy!

More than anything else, Daddy and I pray that you will grow up to be a little girl who is passionate about your Savior. That you will feel the pain of someone who does not know Him, and reach out in love. That is my prayer for you.

As you enter this big new age of 4, may God bless you. May God etch His life in your heart, may he soften you to love Him.

Bring it on, age 4. Spunk, naughtiness, boundary-pushing, and tears. Hugs, kisses, smiles, belly laughs, wide-eyed learning, and love.

Happy Birthday, Ava-Beva. I love you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Foody Friday - Everything tastes better outside


My number one, most favorite food to eat outside is bacon and eggs on a camping trip. Oh, me oh my. That is the best tasting food evah.

You wake up too early, covered in dirt and sweat and smoke. You make yourself a little big pot of percolator coffee, and sit by the fire and enjoy the dawn. Then kick up dust on your way to the showers, where you take the single most satisfying shower that you've ever had in your life. Mosey your way back to your campsite, where you hear and smell... bacon sizzling.

Oh, my, where is my tent. I'm leaving.

It's really all about the food, in my humble opinion. I'm not a huge camper, in fact I married into the camping loving family, but I really do love it. As long as there's good food. There must be good food.

A few years back, We went camping with Jenna's clan, and we ate really well. We were not the smoothest of campers. Actually, we were fairly pathetic. However. We ate excellent food.

Soup is generally not a summer food in my family, but when you camp, it gets chilly. Here's a great camping soup, that uses mostly canned items.

Fiesta Chicken Soup

1 32oz box chicken broth
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 can ranch style beans (we've just used black beans, don't know what ranch-style is)
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
2 chicken boullion cubes (easy to throw in a baggie)
1 can white chunk chicken, drained (I think we might have omitted this, can't remember...)
8oz Velveeta light cheese

In a large pot on a camping stove, or in a dutch oven on a tripod over your campfire, combine all ingredients except Velveeta, until heated through. Cut Velveeta into cubes and add to soup, sturring until cheese is melted and soup is hot.

I need to give you one more recipe, one I've not tried but it's in my camping cookbook and it sounds SO good! And would be appropriate on the grill in your backyard, as well.

Beer Can Chicken

1 (4-5 lb) whole chicken
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp paprika
1 (12oz) can beer

Preheat grill or place grilling grate over campfire.
Remove and discard fat from inside the body cavity of the chicken. Remove giblets and rinse chicken, inside and out, under cool running water.
Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine kosher salt, sugar, pepper and paprika. Mix well.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the rub inside the body cavity and spread the remaining rub over the outside of the chicken.
Open beer can and, using a can opener, poke 6 or 7 holes in the top of the can. Drink or pour out 1" of beer from the can. Holding the chicken upright, insert beer fan into body cavity of chicken. Cover tips of chicken legs with aluminum foil and stand chicken up on beer can over center of hot grate. Spread out legs of chicken to form a tripod. Cook chicken until meat is tender, about 2 hours, and internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 degrees.
Carefully remove can from chicken, being careful not to spill the hot beer.
To serve, carve chicken from the bone.

note: if you do this camping, you can prepare seasoning at home and pack in an airtight container until ready to prepare recipe.

Do share your favorite recipes that you eat outside!

We love new people, so if you are new, please join in!



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it

It's summer. We are SOOOOOO off-schedule, it's not even funny.

Actually, it IS funny. And fun.

The kids go to bed by 10pm, we all wake up sometime around 8am. Sometimes 9. And then we lay in bed, all 5 of us and laugh and talk. It's some of my favorite times.

And it's times like this that I'm thankful for a husband with a musician/realtor schedule, whatever that is. He works odd hours, and sometimes long hours, and we miss him for dinner more often, but he's around for morning cuddle time.

Maybe I should be embarrassed that I'm still in bed at 8 or 9. But it's only a season, and I'm determined to enjoy it instead of think about what I could/should be doing instead. It's been special.

Matt and I were talking this morning during said cuddle time and one of us made a comment about rich people having servants. So the inevitable question arose. It's a question that I hear at the very least 37 times each and every day. "What does _(fill in the blank)_ mean?"

"What's a servant, Mom?"

"Well, it's someone who serves you. Someone who does things for you."

"Someone who cooks, maybe, and cleans your house." Matt clarified.

"Ohhhhh. Uh-huh. (In ALL sincerity) So you (gestures to Matt and I) are our servants!"

I laughed until my stomach hurt and I had snot coming out my nose.

I realized later that I never told her why we were laughing so hard.

I never told her that I wasn't her servant.

I just laughed and snorted and finally left the room and went and made some coffee.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, honey. You're older than me.

Matt and I met in High School. Or, actually, Jr. High. Although I don't really think that counts. I never actually talked to him in Jr. High, I don't think. And don't you have to talk to somebody to have it count as meeting them?

The first actual real interaction between us was in 9th grade. It was, shall we say... less than romantic.

Matt was a very serious musician, even back then. And I was a musician who had fallen off the band wagon -very literally. I quit band as we entered high school because I was too. cool. Band just wasn't up there on the cool meter.

I was in choir. Now, that. That was cool.

We were both involved in CYT, our local Christian Youth Theater. In 9th grade, they were doing a production of The Wizard of Oz, and all of my friends were in it. I wanted to be in it SO bad, but my parents wouldn't let me because my grades weren't good enough. I was SO upset.

BUT then the glorious call came. From Matt. He had heard that I played the flute, and he was organizing a little pit "orchestra" to accompany the musical. Would I play flute in the pit?

Several factors worked in my favor here:

1)My mom was bummed that I had quit band. She knew I was talented and really wished I would have continued to play my flute. She saw this as an opportunity to get me interested in it again (which TOTALLY worked, BTW).

2)ALL my friends were in this play, and having a social life WAS my life. If I could play, I could have a life again.

3)Matt was desperate. They REALLY needed a flute player.

My mom agreed to let me play. Oh, yay, I say, that day.

During the rehearsals, there were many many times where the pit orchestra needed to practice (Imagine that? They needed to practice at a rehearsal??!! Whatevah)and... Jenny was... nowhere to be found... I was off... talking to my friends!! Shocker, I know. Matt would have to go track me down and drag me off to the rehearsal.

I went home and told my mom, "ALL Matt EVER wants to do is PRACTICE!! He is SO BOSSY!"

Matt went home and told his mom, "ALL Jenny EVER wants to do is talk to her FRIENDS! She is such a FLAKE!"

Can't you see the love story in the making??

HA! They say opposites attract. We're pretty much totally opposite in personality.


He is THE most hard working man I know (affectionately known in our friend/family circles as the Energizer Bunny). He is diligent and dedicated, sometimes to a fault. (At least to this happy-go-lucky girl!! Ha.) He loves our children in such a way that I get teary just watching them with him. He's really amazing.

In 10 million years I never would have thought that bossy boy would some day be my sweet, amazing husband. He's changed so much, and yet, somehow, he hasn't.

His hair for sure hasn't changed. He really should offer to give some of his hair follicles to balding men.

I love you, Matt. Happy Birthday.

(You're older than me now)

(For 4 more months)

(haha haha haha)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Theme

Food that tastes good outside.

OK, OK. I know, I know. Every single food tastes good outside. All of it. Food.

I know. It so does.

Except for maybe Clam Chowder.

But I want food that tastes really good outside. Either this kind of outside:


Or this kind of outside:


What do you eat outside?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And then He provided... again.

I love talking to people with a strong faith talk about different things that God has provided for them when resources were slim and needs were high.

Like the story from Great Grandpa: They needed wood to keep their cabin warm, and they had no wood. A prayer was prayed asking for a miracle. Minutes later, there was a knock at the door, and when they opened the door, nobody was there... except a pile of wood. It was snowing, and there were no footprints anywhere around the door or the pile of wood. An absolute miracle.

If you were in that situation, would you have prayed for a miracle, and believed God would provide?

Or would you have fretted about how you had no wood? Check.

Recently, I have been asking my God to stretch my faith so that I would pray prayers like that one.

In our first year of marriage, when we were both still in college, I prayed specific prayers like that a LOT, because, well, the needs were HIGH. And the resources were LOW. Really low. Like our entire monthly budget back then was less than our current mortgage payment kind of low.

And God provided:

The money to buy a computer - boom. It was there.

Incredible health insurance at a very low cost - there is no way health plans like that even exist anymore. And little did we know, we'd be needing it for some rather extensive medical bills that year.

A computer chair we had prayed for - a broken but fixable chair showed up in the hallway.

And at the end of our first year of marriage, a place to live AND work - all in one, God provided an apartment manager position for us.

Not to mention that whole first year of marriage our entire budget was like the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. I remember we tried to sit down and make a budget, but whenever we did, we always ended up with more expenses than we did income. Writing out a budget never worked. But we always had enough money to pay our bills. I remember us scratching our heads and saying, "how has this been working??" We never ever, not once went in the red.

And it's almost like our faith didn't take any human faith. God gave it to us freely. It was a no-brainer. "Well, of course God will provide!" Like, duh! I really honestly do not remember ever being stressed about money at all back then.

Except for the time I forgot to deposit a check and I overdrafted our bank account and had to pay $25 for one overdraft. That was stressful. That was my entire week's budget for food!! I remember that SO clearly. Anyhoo.

Then we both graduated and were a double-income-no-kids family, with NO rent (we managed an apartment complex, Matt was starting to get music gigs, and I worked full-time), and we had plenty of money. Suddenly I wasn't praying for provision or miracles because God was providing the resources through our jobs. How easy it is to forget that the provision is still coming from God. We got into an easy, comfortable time.

Once we had a mortgage payment, and then kids, and I cut way back on my work hours, we were living mostly on Matt's self-employment income. Which you all know is rock-solid and never fluctuates (HA!). So the game of trusting and praying and fretting began again. It's a game we've played for 6 years.

Sometimes we're good at it, relying on the trust and prayer. Sometimes we're not so good at it, relying on the fretting.

What we're relying on the fretting to do, I do not know. Let me know if you come up with a good outcome of fretting. So far I haven't come up with anything.

Several weeks ago, Lysa TerKeurst had a great story on her blog about a huge prayer of faith, and the miraculous outcome. I felt a spark in my heart, a little poke of the Holy Spirit, saying "I have all of this waiting for you, and more... just trust me". It really inspired me to begin to pray, "What should I be trusting you for, Lord? What am I holding on to that is rightfully yours?"

So, can you believe that all of THAT was a prelude for my story? Congratulations if you got this far!

We're having a foreign exchange student stay with us beginning in a few weeks, and we needed to have a desk and a bed in her room. Neither of which we own. Neither of which we really have room in the budget for at the moment. I prayed about it. A simple, seemingly selfish, not at all "spiritual" prayer. "Lord, we need a desk and a bed. Will you help us find them inexpensively?"

So I was looking on Craigslist, and searched "desk". That's it. Talk about a broad search.

The first, most recent listing that came up had been posted only 10 minutes earlier. It was a posting for a "FREE retro 50's desk". The desk was in this person's alley waiting to be hauled away.

The address of the house was 3 blocks away from my house. 3 blocks. I couldn't believe it. Within 20 minutes, we had loaded a very functional, large desk into our van! 3 blocks away! And the price? FREE!

It gets better. While we were waiting to load up the car and go pick it up, I got a call from my friend Sarah, and upon telling her what we were doing, and mentioning that we were looking for a bed also, she said, "Oh! My mom has a twin size matress and box spring that she wants to get rid of. What do you need?"

"Uh... a twin size matress and box spring. How much does she want for them?"

"Nothing. She says it's free!"

Woo. Hoo. !!!!!

One "selfish" prayer. And a wee bit of faith.

And one morning, within 20 minutes of each other, God provided a desk. And a bed. Not inexpensively, as I had requested. Better than I had requested. FREE.

"...him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think..." Ephesians 3:20

I don't want to over-spiritualize this, either, because it's not about a desk and a bed. God is far more interested in what's going on in my heart than he is in a bed or a desk.

But that's kind of my point. I am reminded about both the awesome power AND the personal care that the God of the Universe has taken on ME, little old ME and my cares and requests.

I believe that God impressed on me to pray that prayer- SO that he could provide far more abundantly than all I asked or thought- in order that I would see Him and praise Him.

Because that's just what He's like.

So, I'm asking it again. "What should I be trusting you for, Lord?"

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Has anybody else's kids ever

eaten a half a lemon with a grapefruit spoon? No sugar?

All 3 of mine. Spoons in one hand. Lemons in the other.

Chowing down.

Saying "ooooooooh. mmmmmmmmm."

Must be the heat.

It's making them delirious.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Foody Friday - Salads/Greens



It's the 4th of July! We should have done Red, White, and Blue foods. I didn't even think of how it would be the 4th ON Foody Friday this week. So, This is NOT a political statement, just so you know :) Not "Green" on the 4th of July.

Happy Birthday, America! Eat some Greens!

This ain't yo mama's iceberg. How many of us grew up on iceburg lettuce? So funny how times change. My kids have never eaten iceburg, except maybe in a restaurant meal. Or occasionally I'll buy it to put on tacos or for asian lettuce wraps. But otherwise, it's romaine, red leaf, green leaf, or a boxed spring mix (affectionately called "twigs & sticks" at A Latte House).

I've mentioned this before, but we're splitting a CSA share this year with Sarah, and we're getting weekly bags of local, organic fresh-from-the-farm produce. It's all what's in season so far here, and this is Minnesota, where it's only been warm for about a month, so it's mainly been greens. And, may I say that fresh from the farm lettuce is BEAUTIFUL. I'm not kidding, I've never had such nice looking lettuce before in all my life.

Included in last week's bag was about a pound of arugula. Arugula has a very intense flavor, it is STRONG. And I had an entire BUNCH of arugula to use. I was a little nervous.

We used part of it as an arugula salad, which was good... here's the link to that recipe. It was ok, but the arugula was raw, so it had quite a bite to it.

What was amazing and spectacular and so delicious that everyone was oohing and aahing over it was this recipe below. I adapted this recipe to suit our tastes. Here's my version:

Goat Cheese and Arugula over Penne

INGREDIENTS

5 1/2 ounces goat cheese
4 cups coarsely chopped arugula, stems included
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces penne pasta

DIRECTIONS

Toast pine nuts at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
In a skillet, saute garlic in 2 T of oil. Turn off heat and immediately add arugula. Stir until wilted.
Crumble goat cheese into a large serving bowl. Add arugula/garlic mixture, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Drain pasta, and toss with goat cheese mixture.

YUMM-O. This was so good! It actually got groans out of Corene. She has my disease. The "food-tastes-so-good-it-hurts" disease.

Which is nice for me the chef, because Matt has a different kind of disease. It's the "doesn't-give-a-reaction-to-any-food-unless-it's-sushi" disease. Which is unfortunate, because I don't make sushi.

And at dinner, I'm always like "MMMMMMM. OOOOOOH, this is SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD"

And He says, "Yah. Good." in cave-man speak.

Enjoy!

Just a quick friendly rule to remind you of:

Make sure you link to your actual post, not your general blog url. This is so that in 2 months when I remember your fantastic sounding recipe for spinach quiche, and I click on the link, it will take me right to your post, not to your home page which I have to dig through to find the right post. I had to do that this week, I'm not naming any names, muahahaha, but it was annoying. :)


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Theme Schmeme

Greens.

Salads.

Dishes with cooked greens.

Dishes with raw greens.

a.k.a. Jenny got arugula in her CSA share and found an AWESOME recipe and can't wait to share it with you, so she's making it the theme for this week. Because she's in charge.

Etc.

Etc.