September 26, 2011

Eating Pizza: my second job

You may or may not already know this about me, but I work two jobs.  I work full-time during the day behind a desk (and occasionally in the car), but once the clock strikes 5pm, I trade in my high heels for my apron.  (Actually, I trade them for sweatpants, but an apron is such a prettier picture. Yeah, let's stick with apron.)

Anyway, on the nights and/or weeks that I don't plan our meals well, you can imagine that I am left scrambling to throw together something for dinner that is both flavorful and has some variety (and is somewhat healthful). Tacos and spaghetti get pretty old in a hurry.

New stream of thought: I like pizza. Scratch that, I LOVE pizza.  Throw anything on a crust and I'm a happy girl. Also, I love garlic.  That's all.

Merging the two streams of thought: Tonight was one such night.  I hadn't planned anything for dinner, and we just happened to have some pizza fixin's on hand. *Cue the "Hallelujah Chorus.*  So we made this beauty.
Garlic Pesto Chicken Pizza

1 easy-peasy pizza crust
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Pesto to taste (which, for us, means a LOT)
Mozzarella
Feta
Purple Onions (adds color ...and shock value when my mom reads this and finds that I voluntarily put onions on something)

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  While oven is preheating, place pizza stone in said oven.
-Cube Chicken
-Note how nasty raw chicken feels
-Saute chicken in EVOO/ Salt & Pepper so it is no longer raw and nasty

-Roll out dough to desired consistency/thickness
-Top with pesto, mozzarella, chicken, mozzarella, feta, and purple onions
-Marvel at how much cheese you put on

-Transfer to pizza stone
-Cook for 12 minutes
-Clean drool off oven window

-ENJOY!!


and you wonder why they haven't asked me to write a cookbook yet.........


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September 23, 2011

Friday's Letter

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Dear Fall,
Welcome home!  The calendar told me that you'd be here today; and you're right on time!  Though I really do love all the seasons, you are slowly captivating my heart with your perfect temperatures, rich smells, and out-of-this-world colors.  Not to mention the fact that my scarves are rejoicing to be awakened after their summer hibernation.   My oven is aching to cook up a batch of molasses cookies, and the leaves are starting to turn.  Fall, you have my heart, let's run away together.  Also, your arrival means that Christmas is a mere 92 days away!!

Bring it.

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September 20, 2011

1000 Gifts: 1-20

-The first installment of 1000 Gifts-
While it is important to focus on the gifts for which we are thankful, I don't want to cheapen them by putting them in this list.  Regardless, it is my desire to discipline myself to focus on the blessings with which we have been so richly showered.  And so, here are the first 20 gifts... 980 to go!   :)

 1  Thai food with friends
 2  Quiet nights at home with my love
 3  Coming home to clean laundry and clean dishes
 4  Homemade Pasta with out-of-town friends
 5  Deep conversations on a roadtrip
 6  Long walks with my mother-in-law
 7  Settlers of Catan
 8  Morning cuddles with my love
 9  God's faithfulness displayed in everyday ways
 10  A wok in which to make my Chicken Pad Thai
 11  Basil
 12  My students
 13  Date night with my true love
 14  Our Country, Our Freedom, Our Military
 15  The ability to run
 16  A thoughtful phone call from my dad - precisely as I was feeling homesick
 17  The kind of discouragement that brings me to the end of me, and all I have is Him
 18  A good book
 19  A spontaneous lunch with my truest love
 20  Rain (remind me of this again in February or March)

Thankful for all of His blessings... in the good times and the more trying times.

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September 19, 2011

365 Days of Blogging

It’s amazing how much can happen in a year, isn’t it?  One year ago, we had been married for just over two months, I had been working at my new job for less than one.  We were settling in to life in Oregon and settling in with a routine.  I had just left for my first official recruiting trip and my first night away from my new husband.
Roadtrippin'
What began as a creative outlet and a way to keep family and friends back home up to date on the goings-on of the newly-formed Boboth family, has taken on a life of its own and turned into so much more.

I have met new people, been encouraged by the responses of our readers, been challenged, been loved-on, and been extremely humbled.   I am thankful for this place wherein I can write, think aloud, and share; and I never cease to be amazed that people keep coming back to read.

What a fun year it has been! 

In celebration of these 365 days of travelling, cooking, loving, and self-centered ruminating, here are some highlights of the year:
            -Over 300,000 total views
-Readership in 10 different countries (Including Germany, Malaysia, UK, Taiwan, Ecuador, Slovenia, and Ireland)
-153 posts
-Top 5 Most Read Posts:
            -Baby News!
            -on heartache…
            -Best Surprise EVER!
            -IT’S A GIRL!!!
(If you noticed, two out of the five were about my niece... I don't know who was more excited, me or you!)


Thank you for coming along for this chapter... we are excited to see what lies ahead!




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September 18, 2011

Dessert for Breakfast

Just about a year ago, our church made a location transition.  We now share a building with another church.  It has truly been a blessing to have this new building; however, it has required that we move from our former service time in the morning to a 3pm service.  Having attended church in the morning for my whole life, I'm finding that I am still trying to grow accustomed to church in the afternoon.

All this to say, there are some benefits of having our Sunday mornings at home.  The Mr. - in particular - enjoys catching the morning football games er, a few extra moments to study.  I enjoy the fact that we can have a real breakfast on Sunday mornings.

This morning, however, we had dessert for breakfast.  Truly.  I found this recipe awhile back and decided that there was no time like the present to try it out.   Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.  From RecipeGirl.  Behold. 



Ingredients:

PANCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg, just until batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).
2. In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside. You don't want this to remain super-liquidy. It's best if it becomes a consistency similar to toothpaste.
3. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.
4. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Scoop about 1/3 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggie of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. (Note: leave yourself some margin for piping, because if the filling slides off the pancake, the sugar burns.  And it stinks.) When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.
5. When ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze onto the top of each pancake.




This recipe was absolutely worthwhile and the Mr. loved it, though it may have been a heart attack waiting to happen... Oopsie.

And now, I'm going to go for a run.  And then, can I get some help squeeezing into my church clothes??! Yikes.
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September 13, 2011

on the kind of mother I want to be...

*No, this is not an announcement of any sort.  That is all.*

I want to be the kind of mother who chooses not to be inconvenienced by her children; rather, seeks out opportunities to teach and love.

I want to be the kind of mother who disciplines her children with wisdom and justice - discerning the difference between sinful behavior and immature ignorance.

I want to be the kind of mother who is compassionate when appropriate, but strict when necessary.

I want to be the kind of mother who is able to strike the perfect balance between mom and friend.

I want to be the kind of mother whose children never have to wonder if they're loved.

I want to be the kind of parent who makes time for regular one-on-one dates with her kids.

I want to be the kind of mother who - after an orthodontist appointment - doesn't take her child back to school immediately... just to spend a little extra time together.


I want to be the kind of mother who - when any of her kids call - stops whatever she is doing to talk.

I want to be the kind of mother who laughs with my children.

I want to be the kind of mother who is her children's biggest fan - regardless of their ability or lack thereof.

I want to be the kind of mother who teaches her children about the Lord - not just by what she says - but by the way she lives her life.


I want to be the kind of mother who has beautiful hands.  Not because they are regularly manicured and perfectly soft; but because they have changed millions of diapers, bandaged countless wounds, done load after load of laundry, washed a lifetime's worth of dishes, and - most of all - because they naturally clasp together after years and years of constant prayer for her children.
My mom and her girls
I want to be all of these things, because this is the kind of mother that I have.  All of those little (or not so little) sacrifices, all of the little "nothings" that meant everything to me... should God so bless us, I want that for my children.

From time to time, I find myself saying or doing something "just like Mom did."  And, while the Mr. and I always get a good laugh about the fact that I'm turning into my mother... I hope - with all my heart - that I am.

PS - Please remind me of these lofty aspirations when - someday-  my 4-year-old is yelling & chasing the dog, my 2-year-old is permanently affixed to my leg, my newborn refuses to sleep, and I haven't showered in 3 days.  Please, remind me that I was once so ambitious.  




September 7, 2011

Tonight's Dinner [9-7]

I'm in trouble. Big trouble.  Like, I'm running a 10K on Sunday; and, instead of additional training today, I stayed home and cooked.  With garlic.  And part of me died and went to heaven. Seriously.

Tonight, I made Chicken Holy Basil.  The name of the recipe is actually quite accurate. Holy Basil.  This dish is truly divine.  Thanks to my sister-in-law and Martha, my life is forever changed.
It called for 10 cloves of garlic.  TEN!!!

Holy. Basil.
Holy. Basil.  Chiffonade.
Chicken. Amen.



 Ingredients
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce (Soy sauce or Worcestershire as a substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh holy basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Sticky or steamed jasmine rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Mince garlic.  Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is just golden, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add chicken; cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Add basil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Season with more pepper, if desired. Serve over rice. Garnish with basil.

Served  best with Merlot.
Recipe from Martha

And all my taste buds said, "Amen."

September 6, 2011

on worry... {Part 2}

and on God's perfect faithfulness...
Photo Credit
Before I start, read this first, if you haven't already... this'll all make more sense if you do.

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post on worry and my struggles with it.  After it posted, I received a considerable amount of feedback - making it one of the most-read posts to date.  Among the responses, I received an email from my former youth pastor's wife relating to my struggle and suggesting this helpful book.
Holy. Moly.
Talk about a life-changer!  As I've been reading through this book, I have become more and more convinced that the author must have a unique insight to my soul or something. (or maybe God knew that this was precisely what I needed to hear) Every single word addresses my frustrations, fears, and concerns.

Last night, I tossed and turned fitfully, praying for sleep to come. It didn't.  So, I got up, grabbed the book, and - despite the dim light of my bedside lamp - I read.  

Chapter 4 was - verbatim - what I had been wrestling with... and for all of you who responded, telling me that you struggle with the same thing, I thought I'd share a brief snippet of the wonders of this truth.

It all seems so easy: Stop, Refocus, and Practice.   

In the moment that you find yourself in that tailspin of worry, Stop.  Put your proverbial pencil down. Go no further.  Get a grip.  As the author so perfectly puts it, "You do NOT have to continue down the path controlled by emotions. After Christ saves us, we are no longer slaves to sin. We do not have to obey fear and anxiety as if they were our masters."  Sucker-punched. In the gut.

Once we have (by the grace of God) put a stop to the tailspin of emotion, we must refocus ourselves: reminding ourselves of the Truth that we know of God's faithfulness.  "Instead of envisioning the problem at hand (and the problems that could follow), we envision for a moment our God, beautiful in heaven, well aware of our needs, and powerfully able to provide for them. Instead of thinking through our options to fix our problem on our own, we meditate on God's supernatural ability to work out our problems in ways we cannot begin to imagine."  [Alsup 53]

And then, we must practice.  Nothing worth having comes easily, for the most part. I have learned am learning, daily, that this is NOT a once-and-done/fix-it-all method.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  It takes daily surrender.  It takes constant effort to live out 2 Corinthians 10:25, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." It takes self-control and discipline that only come from Him.

Today, I am praising the Lord for His faithfulness to provide an answer in an unexpected way.  I am praising the Lord for His faithfulness to pursue my heart despite my disobedience.  Today, I am praising the Lord that He is always at work to conform me to the likeness of His Son, for the glory of His Great Name.

I am a broken pot, in need of redemption.  Praise the One who redeems.

PS - After reading back through this post, it makes very little sense.  So, congratulations for reading the whole thing.  Also, buy the book. It is SO good so far.

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Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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