Friday, July 27, 2007

Adventures in Cooking

Admittedly, I am not a fantastic cook, and I am more than FAR from being a great baker. In fact, I rarely bake; it scares me. This summer, I decided that I would make at least one new recipe each week to broaden my horizons. I scoured all of my cookbooks, categorized recipes by protein, and made lists of recipes that sounded good. Slowly, I've been making my way through the lists.

This week, I attempted two new recipes. Thursday, I made whole wheat crepes for dinner. I love breakfast for dinner! I've made crepes before, but this was a new recipe, including using ricotta cheese as filling. Needless to say, the crepes themselves were a disaster. They didn't flip well (I need to learn to flip things without a spatula like I see all the t.v. chefs do!). By the time I was finished, I had about a million crepe pieces piled on the plate. We made do. Another brilliant meal by me!

Then, last night, I made a Chocolate Covered Mango and Vanilla Ice Cream Bombe. Boy was that an adventure! It included pureeing mango to blend with ice cream, five hours of freezer time (running up and down stairs to get to the deep freezer in between layering ingredients), and one frantic call to a dear friend (Em C.) asking how to fix my clumpy, separated ganache (put it in the blender!). Coincidentally, Em was making the SAME dessert last night! Bet hers wasn't such an adventure! =/ And here were my final and exhausting results:

The second picture doesn't quite capture the layers. My knife was no longer clean during cutting, so the layers ran together. But, if you click on the above link, you'll see what it should look like ala Take Home Chef.

Not gorgeous, but delicious. Next time, I am going to try different ice cream flavors.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday's Terribles

Often, off-brand products are just as good (if not better, in my opinion) as name-brand products. With that thought in mind, I bought Suave's "Exhale Inspiring" Lime Verbena body wash, hoping it would live up to Bath and Body Works. Unfortunately, it does not even come close. I think the Coconut must be the key ingredient.

Has anyone found a great knock-off product??

Friday, July 13, 2007


Monday, I went to a plastic surgeon....No, not to remove my cellulite or rid myself of unsightly stretch marks (I am doomed during pregnancy!). I was having the mole on my face biopsied. We decided at my last visit to leave the mole and biopsy it first. If the results of the biopsy came back with negative results, then we'd proceed with removal. The surgeon stated that there would be a noticeable scar if I had the mole removed. My face is definitely not a place I want a scar. Besides, I've had the mole since childhood and barely notice it.

The biopsy procedure last less than half an hour, I got three stitches and nearly passed out. The doctor bandaged me up well, and told me to let the band aids fall off naturally. So I had no idea what was under the bandage. He said to come back on Tuesday to discuss the results of the biopsy and have the stitches taken out. Today, the edges of the band aids were coming loose, so I pulled them off. To my surprise, my mole is GONE! I had to go find Miguel. "Look, it's GONE!! He didn't just biopsy it, he whacked it off!" Miguel replied, "Well, sue him for malpractice!" What a go-getter husband =)

I do have the three stitches, but the mole, at least from my perspective, is definitely gone. Shocking.


I am looking to sell a few items of clothing-my wedding dress and a leather coat that I no longer wear. I know through e-bay I'd get about $10 for each, if that. So, I'd like to consign them both instead. Does anyone know of a good consignment shop in the Harford County/Baltimore area?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

8 Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. I LOVE working out at the gym.

2. I am cheap and freak out when we spend money while on vacation.

3. I am supervising the building of our new deck (translation: I am watching while Miguel works!).

4. I love to take baths with Coconut Lime Verbena bubble bath.

5. I really hate my job.

6. I would love to go to law school for child/family law.

7. I would love to live in Lancaster County on lots of land and have a pig.

8. I stopped sleeping with my stuffed animal raccoon the day before I got married.

Friends: Repost on your blog, please!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer Salad

Here is a recipe for an incredible (and healthy) summer salad. I had it at a luncheon, and wasn't quite sure what the dressing was, so came up with my own. This is super hearty because of the chicken and pine nuts. I used it at dinner as the main course, and it was MORE than enough to satisfy us.

Lettuce (I used a combination of green leaf and spinach, but you can use whatever you'd like)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/4 C. pine nuts
1/8 C. craisins
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
Feta (I used reduced fat)

Wash and chop/tear lettuce. Add chicken, apple, craisins, pine nuts, and feta.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry basalmic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Put all ingredients into a jar with a tight lid. Shake until well combined.

Pour dressing over salad, and toss gently to coat.

Serves 6+ I added more lettuce and was able to get another meal out of it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

point of view

Yesterday, Miguel and I spend several hours, and several trips, trying to buy a grill....that's a story for another time. As we were waiting for an employee to load our grill, an older woman approached the store. She had no teeth, scraggly hair, and a large purse over her shoulder. Instead of walking into the store, she headed for the ash tray bins. I though to myself that she must want a quick smoke break before heading in to buy construction materials. However, instead of pulling a cigarette out of her purse, she began to pick half-smoked butts out of the ash trays. She fingered through them, making sure she found "good" ones. I quickly alerted Miguel to this gross misconduct and snickered under my breath. "How disgusting. What a sad addict she must be." As we pulled away, Miguel suggested that perhaps she wasn't an addict but merely too poor to buy cigarettes. At that though, I was convicted. I had judged this woman because of her "sub-human" conduct, but didn't even think to offer to buy her a pack of cigarettes. I do not condone the habit, yet I could have met this woman's needs in a very practical way. Instead, I sat judging and laughing.

Today, as I shared the story with my sister, she relayed a similar story she'd heard on the radio. A man felt called to reach a desperately poor neighborhood in Philly. He knocked on a woman's door and was greeted by a cigarette and a naked baby. He quickly defended his visit by saying he wanted to share Jesus. She shut the door on him. Convicted by the Holy Spirit, he went back with a carton of cigarettes and some diapers. Nothing earth-shattering or super-spiritual. But he was able to meet the woman's physical needs and ended up meeting her spiritual needs as well. Incredible.

Needless to say, I often view people from a merely human standpoint. I do not think of their spiritual needs. Yesterday, I could have served that woman, and perhaps been given a divine opportunity to serve her spiritually as well. My point-of-view drastically needs to be altered. What opportunities is God providing for you to meet the practical (and spiritual) needs of others?