Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stuff Wrapped in Meat

You know, the way I cook is so not consistent with my personality. I'm so OCD, follow the rules, do things the way they are supposed to be done, but when I cook, all that goes out the window. I see a recipe, get the basic gist, & do my thing. I don't like measuring. I love creating my own spice blends. I can't tell write them down, I just keeping adding whatever it needs until it smells right. I rarely follow a recipe exactly how it's written. Weird. That being said, every time I give you a recipe, I probably did it a little differently, but I know people prefer to see numbers rather than "add pepper till you think there is enough."

The other night I made prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. I had never tried it before, & it was yummy. Here is the recipe I based it off of. Basically, cook your asparagus in boiling water for about 4 minutes, let them cool, then wrap a slice of prosciutto around 3 or 4 asparagus. Top with bread crumbs, put on a greased pan, & roast in the oven, on 400, for about 10 minutes. They are very good, but prosciutto is expensive (I got 8 slices for $3.50) so I definitely won't fix it often.

Last night I made Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps. This recipe is not mine, but I can't remember where I found it.

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 (1-lb) package sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut chicken breasts into strips. Wrap each chicken strip with bacon and secure with a tooth pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder; dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

With it I served one of my favorite sides, thin green beans in a honey butter sauce with cracked black pepper. AND, the Pillsbury biscuits that come frozen in a bag... we highly recommend them. They are kind of like KFC biscuits. SO GOOD.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Free chicken!

KFC is giving away one piece of grilled chicken per person today. I picked one up this afternoon & it was yummy! Get one for dinner!

I do have more to update you with but my head hurts & I'm sleepy so I'll do it another time. :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book Review: Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey

I have been reading this book since summer (obviously taking my time). God had shown me that He wanted to use me to intercede for others in prayer, & He taught me a lot through this book.

Yancey discusses several different aspects of prayer, such as "Why Pray," "Does Prayer Change God," "Unanswered Prayer," & "Prayer & Physical Healing." He has lots of stories & perspectives of other people regarding prayer in their lives, & did a lot of research about the history of prayer in the church. I like that he always brought it back to the fact that prayer is really just conversing with God, the Creator, the Giver & Sustainer of life.

I have never felt like my prayer life was what God wanted it to be, & I was encouraged by this book & I think it gave me a better picture of prayer in my life. Of course since I took nearly a year to read it, I can't remember a lot of specifics about it, but I did like it, & if the subject of prayer interests you, I would suggest reading it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Food & Jesus

I really love food. You probably know that. Unfortunately, I love it so much that it really is a struggle to me. God has revealed that to me several times in my life so far. I also struggle with keeping myself at a healthy weight (as in, I gain weight easily, but I have not been overweight for almost 6 years) so oftentimes, when I am failing in the food area, I notice because I am gaining weight (even tho I work out at least 4 times a week).

A lot of people don't understand having a spiritual struggle with food so I'll try to explain. My flesh often desires unhealthy food, or more food than I need, or food just because it tastes good even though I'm not hungry & don't need it, & I sin when I indulge my flesh by allowing myself to have those things when I know I shouldn't. I'm not saying all unhealthy things are bad (at least not in moderation) but when something has control over you, besides Jesus, it is sin. It is really hard for me to say no to a cookie when I want it.

I mentioned God has revealed this to me before, yet it's still a problem. In the past I would realize food had control over me, so I'd make a plan, or RULES - only one sweet a week, count calories, etc. I'd do okay for a while then I'd fail, & stop altogether.

This time, a few weeks ago, I can't say what happened differently, but I realized that I couldn't make rules, or bind myself to calorie limits, in order to have self-control over food. God showed me that I needed to pray before I ate. Not "thank You Lord for this food" prayers but, "God, I'm hungry, what do you want me to eat?" prayers. & that I needed to hear the Holy Spirit tell me when to stop eating (instead of waiting until I'm stuffed), & stop. & for the past 2 1/2 weeks, my eating habits have changed. I don't plan ahead for my meals or snacks (except dinner), but in the moment, I ask God what to eat (& it's amazing how He does NOT say, "chips" or "tater tots").

He gave me a desire for oatmeal. I have NEVER liked oatmeal. I tried liking it for a week in college & it did not work. But I have eaten it almost every day for the past couple of weeks! I now eat what will benefit my body, not necessarily what I "feel like" eating. Yes, I have had freedom to eat a cookie now & then (about one, once a week) or maybe dessert at Life Group, BUT I have also had the discipline to say no when I did not feel that freedom.

My body has felt better. I haven't had stomachaches (which I get fairly often), except when I have failed to ask God before I ate & I indulged (then repented). AND, I have even lost a couple of pounds! I don't say this to suggest some kind of "God diet," but to say, God knows what our bodies need. If we ask Him & obey, He will show us how to take care of ourselves as His temple. That's what He desires! & He desires for us to be so in accordance with His Spirit that we obey in every little thing, even what we eat.

I have so been encouraged in this. Please pray for me! This is a lifetime deal where I will always need to seek the Spirit & obey regarding food. & it carries over to every other part of life! If we followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every area of our life, we'd be in good shape (figuratively speaking, altho I guess literally as well :-) ).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oven fries, a marinade, & roasted asparagus

I made oven fries this week & they are super yummy!

Slice baking potatoes (about 2 servings for 1 potato) to your desired size (I like them thin). Toss with extra virgin olive oil, seasoning salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, or whichever blend of spices you like. Bake them at 450 for 30 minutes.

Also, I made rack of lamb for Easter, & the marinade I used was really yummy, & I think it would be good on other types of meat too. Here is the link for the recipe for the lamb, & below is the recipe for the marinade:

2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of ground marjoram
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

I also made roasted asparagus to go alongside the lamb (& homemade bread & deviled eggs - YUM!!). Basically you drizzle the asparagus with EVOO then roast at 450 for about 10 minutes, then drizzle balsamic vinegar & sprinkle with salt. SO GOOD.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

High Maintenance Hair

When I was in elementary school, my hair was long & wavy, like mermaid hair. In junior high, my hair was frizzy (naturally). In high school, my hair was pretty straight (probably due to the fact that it was fried blonde every few weeks). In college, I stopped the haircolor & my hair started getting wavy again. I could use mousse & fix it wavy, or just blow dry it & it would look fairly straight.

Since graduating college, my hair has gotten much wavier. I used to use a Conair straightener but I finally had to succumb to the Chi due to my crazy waves. Now, I do like the fact that I can fix my hair wavy or I can completely straighten it. It's fun to have variety. However, I'm now annoyed that I can't just blow-dry my hair & go anymore. It just looks bad. So most days of the week it ends up pulled back (which is fine since I'm at home most days anyways).

I decided this week that curlers seemed like a good idea. I mean, the thought of being able to walk around & do whatever while my hair fixes itself is pretty appealing. I haven't owned curlers since high school, but now I do again. So, I used them today. You know the drill. Plug in & wait until that dot turns black before you put them in your hair. I'm convinced my dot is broken. I kept waiting for it to change, it didn't, so I figured a watched dot never blackens, so I left, only to return to a not-black dot. Anyways.

I'm not sure what to do now. My hair is... curly. Like, Texas curls curly. If I went out to the grocery store right now people would stare. Maybe not if I were a five-year old in a pageant, or a country music singer, but I'm neither.

I'm sure Josh will get a good chuckle or two out of it. But then I will need to figure out something before we leave the house tonight... hmm.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beautiful truth

I am doing a study of the book of Mark, & this week I happen to be studying Passover & the betrayal of Christ. The study led me to Exodus 12, reading about the first Passover. What amazing symbolism!

They were told to take an unblemished lamb to sacrifice & they were to take the blood of the lamb & put it on their doorposts, & God's wrath would pass over them. Passover celebrates the fact that God struck the firstborn of the Egyptians that night, but spared the Israelites. They then escaped the land of Egypt.

Jesus is our unblemished lamb! His blood is THE only reason we will be spared when God judges every man. When we respond to God's pursual of us (& He is pursuing every man, whether they realize it or not - 2 Peter 3:9) by accepting in our hearts & saying that Jesus is the Son of God who died as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, we are covered by the blood of Jesus, & God no longer sees our sins but we are made righteous in his sight; we are SAVED (Romans 10:9-10). What beautiful truth!!

Some prophecies from the Old Testament regarding Jesus & salvation:

"Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous & having salvation is He, humble & mounted on a donkey." Zechariah 9:9 (see John 12:14-15 for fulfillment of prophecy)

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 ** REALLY good stuff regarding Jesus' crucifixion

Isaiah 11:1-5

"Behold, the virgin shall conceive & bear a son, & shall call His name Immanuel [meaning 'God with us']." Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 9:6-7

These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Christ. & these are only a few of the things written about Him that came true. (see more prophecies here & lots more here.)

I just love it. I am so thankful for what Jesus did for me, for you. This is what I am celebrating this weekend of Easter.

What are you celebrating??

Monday, April 6, 2009

Look here to see how you can buy Dunkin Donuts coffee for almost half the price at Target!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

monsters & gummies & kleenexes

Josh & I saw "Monsters vs Aliens" in 3D this weekend with my parents at the IMAX in Austin. It is a really cute & funny movie! I highly recommend it. Also see it in 3D too if you can. A few times I guarded my face because I thought I was going to get hit by something coming out of the screen! It was crazy.

Did you know there are adult gummy vitamins?? YES! I bought them at Target & they are yummy so now I can get Josh to take his vitamins! You can also buy specific gummies for calcium, Omega-3s... one of the specific kinds looked yummy, I might need to buy it... I mean, I'm sure I need more of whatever it was...

After this past week I really don't understand how there is anything left in my skull. I have blown my nose so many times I must have killer abs by now. Allergies I guess. Poo.

I think that is all for now.