Monday, January 23, 2012

two great tastes...

I had a fantastic evening in the kitchen.  It was pizza night.  I was completely in the mood for barbecue pork pizza.  I had everything I needed except the barbecue sauce.  And with the truck having work done, I was without a vehicle to pick up the sauce at the store.  It took a while to find a recipe that was possible with the ingredients I already had in the house.  Apparently Worcestershire sauce and molasses are very popular ingredients....I'll pick some up the next time I'm a the store, but there are some recipes that do not call for either. 

The one I used was super quick and easy and as the page recommends I would spice it up next time...with some fresh ginger and perhaps some other tasty hints.  Here's a shot of Grandma's Mama's Mama Sauce:

I did add the last of some chipotle pomegranate sauce I had in the fridge, just for fun :)  
Here's a link to the page where I found the simple sauce:  best bbq sauce recipes

I had in my mind that fried onions would be good on this pizza, so I sliced some onions, dipped them in milk and drudged them in flour and fried them in canola oil.  

(Eat your heart out, French's)  I will now make my own onions for green bean casserole.  

So, I made a 1/2 whole wheat crust pizza topped with the barbecue sauce, some leftover smoked pork tenderloin, mozzarella cheese, fried onions and bacon, of course. 


Finished product:

A delicious dinner has been had....and there are leftovers for tomorrow. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

weekend highlights.

Celebrated my first year anniversary of ministry and service at Trinity by attending the same event that began my call to ministry in this place: The Harrisburg YouthQuake.  I have many things to reflect upon...and that will come after a good night's sleep, but in the mean time, here are some highlights.

Somersault. (just one.)
Highs & Lows.
Anniversary cards & greetings.
Taco salad.
Engaging presentations.
Generous adult volunteers.
Wax lips.
Toe socks & flip-flops.
Times to admit our weaknesses.
30 minutes on the elliptical. 
Inspired adult leaders.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Energetic youth.
Repeated opportunities to be our undignified selves.
Being remind that we are loved and we are never alone. 

Praying for the youth and leaders that were quaking this weekend as we all return home back into the ordinary days filled with unexpected moments.  May each moment reveal God's grace in our lives.  

Until tomorrow . . .  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

ordinary turned extraordinary.

So the highlights of relaxation over the past few days definitely include brining & smoking salmon :)

There was some tasty dry rub on two racks of ribs:

And two tenderloins that were also cozy on the smoker...

And while the BBQ was doing its thing, there was a pot on the stove at a gentle boil:

This first shot was when we were making the wort.  

Soon this will be found in bottles:

I can't wait to try it.  

I do have to say, too, that there have been moments of respite each day, even in the midst of a busy schedule, that have allowed me to stop and breathe.  
When I sit down and end up with a purring cat curled up on my lap - it's very relaxing and nap inducing.  

The amazing moment from today, however, came as I was preaching at our contemporary service tonight.  I was talking about how we, as ordinary, regular people are called to take part in God's amazing mission to love and bless and save the whole world.  I said, who teaches our Sunday School?  We have one right here tonight...
And a young woman, who graduated last year from a special education school and who is unable to read, but is a volunteer with the 3 and 4 year old Sunday School class, said me.  And I said, yeah, ordinary people, like you and like me.  
And I said, well, who greets people for worship?  And the young lady said, my papaw did this morning.  I said, does he have special powers to greet?  And she said, yes!  I said, yeah, God gives each of us the gifts and talents we need to be a part of God's mission.  I felt like I was preaching to the choir....that this young woman is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through her words and actions...and sees others doing it as well.  I tell ya, in the midst of asking if we are all called to share the good news of Jesus, and hearing this young woman say yes, was the gospel moment I didn't know that I needed today.  That, who am I to be a part of this amazing mission when there are others around me living out their call so boldly.  Yet in that same moment, I was/am so thankful to be serving in this congregation and in this community...being nourished and fed in bread and wine and in the fellowship and companionship in the body of Christ. 

Until the next grace filled moment . . .

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

what happened yesterday?

As I look back on yesterday...I'm not really sure what I did to relax....and that's not a good thing. 
My colleague and I have been talking about how we're both really tired this week...we just feel that this week, things just keep coming.  I guess it was good yesterday to have a later start to the day, so I got a nice run in at the beginning of the day. 
I did spend some time in the afternoon getting caught up with my words with friends games....and while I perused facebook for a while the cat was napping on my lap.  Perhaps she was trying to show me how to relax. 
I purposely worked on a bunch of thank you notes for the folks who helped with the major renovations on my house so tonight I could really relax. 

Today, I made it out for a nice walk after work...even though it was sprinkling just a bit.  I had some fun in the kitchen making a pot of chili and some cornbread....and getting caught up on yesterday's Daily Show & Colbert Report.  I've also enjoyed some guilty pleasure tv watching:  which includes Toddlers & Tiaras (just this once, not a fave) and now I'm flipping between Hoarding: Buried Alive and Top Chef: Texas. 

Once lunch is packed for tomorrow and the running clothes are clean for tomorrow's run...then it's off to bed. 

Until tomorrow . . . .

Monday, January 9, 2012

ribs and a walk.

So yesterday was a full day. 
At the end of our confirmation class, we walked over to an older member's home to sing happy birthday to her.  We sing happy birthday to folks in worship the week of their birthday.  First of all, she lost her husband passed away two months ago and she hadn't made it to worship yesterday morning because she had to put her cat down.  (how sad.) So, we walked to her house and sang happy birthday.  What a great way for the youth to be the body of Christ in the community. 

My respite came after contemporary worship when my boyfriend and I were invited out to dinner with my colleague and his family.  We enjoyed a tasty dinner and a walk to and from the restaurant. 

Today's moment of rest came this afternoon.  I went for a nice walk, it was a bit chilly, but it was great to just get out of the office and move. 

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring, I guess I never really do....but I'm sure it will provide an opportunity for rest.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, January 7, 2012

beer and truffles

Today's moment of relaxation is brought to you by the Craft Ale House .

I enjoyed a tasty Flemish Sour Ale from Monks It was a favorite stomping ground for a bunch of us while in seminary in Philly.  It was wonderful to have a really tasty brew.  That was paired with a tasty spinach dip with a toasted baguette.  After that I thoroughly enjoyed a pizza with wild mushrooms and truffles....topped with arugula.  Super yum!  I had a tasty Bells Winter White Ale along side of it.

Let me just say that the very relaxing evening followed some shopping and a walk along the trail because it was 60º today. And while the beer and the food were both amazing, the company was the best part. I'm so lucky to have an amazing man with whom I can share many adventures, be myself and just have fun. 

All in all a great day...but a most relaxing and enjoyable evening.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, January 6, 2012

a nap.

I had a great 6 mile run this afternoon and when I got home I figured I'd have some lunch and watch a movie. 

Well I was half right...I did have some lunch, but then instead of enjoying Muppet Treasure Island, I ended up napping with the cat.  I guess that was my resting time for the day.  Which is good, because we had 5th quarter tonight at church after the girl's basketball game.  It was good to be rested up before hanging out with several hundred high schoolers. 

So now it's off to bed.

Until tomorrow . . . or later today . . .

Thursday, January 5, 2012

just the cheese and me.

Well, I had a wonderful evening in the kitchen.  Thanks to the The Pioneer Woman I was successful in my first attempt at homemade macaroni and cheese.  I love to cook.  Being in the kitchen, with a recipe and some tunes and I'm a happy girl.  It's a simple thing.  I offered to help with the dinner after the funeral at church tomorrow (since it's the second funeral dinner this week) and the coordinator said, how about macaroni and cheese?  I said, okay!
So today, I hunted online and found The Pioneer Woman's site and the recipe (that's linked above) made me fall in love.  I felt as if the mac and cheese was speaking to me through her pictures.  My pictures are not as beautiful as hers...but will give you a glimpse of my wonderful evening.

I can say that I prepped all the ingredients first, so I was able to just follow the recipe and not scrounge for ingredients while the water was boiling or the roux was thickening.

I made a successful roux....and adding whole milk to the mixture make a super thick base for the cheese sauce.  I grated sharp cheddar and colby jack and snacked on a bit of it as I cooked.  I've tried a cheesy mac (a la Rachael Ray) but had problems seeing it thicken, but this time I went with butter and whole milk and full fat cheese.....and it has made all the difference.

I knew it was a good sign when I was ready to pour the mac & cheese into the baking dish, the theme from Rocky came up on the iPod shuffle....

I covered it with some more shredded colby jack and popped it in the oven.

When it came out it was bubbling around the edges...and it. was. awesome.

I took a bit of video and you could almost hear the bubbling....
But here's the final product:

I am certain that I will make this dish again.  I think because of the whole milk and tasty cheese, I could get away with a whole grain pasta, which would make the dish a bit healthier.  I would also like to add in some bacon.  In a different attempt, I would go with a different cheese and add some seafood...perhaps crab?  There's plenty of time to play and plenty of tummies ready to eat some tasty pasta and cheese and ??????

I'm thankful for my time in the kitchen was a beautiful break from work, from cleaning, from everything....a true moment of respite in my day.   

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a restful beginning.

So, when I woke up this morning...slightly on the sleepy side, I said to myself, "Self, today can be your 'rest' day from working out."  So, I reset the alarm and caught some more zzzzz's. 
I was tempted at one point to squeeze in a mile on the treadmill, but then I realized, I don't need to run a mile today.  Taking a day of rest after my sweet 3.8 mile trail run yesterday. 
I then had the opportunity to splurge at Shady Maple Smorgasbord....I had breakfast and lunch in one sitting.  Starting off with 'the works' omelet with a side of turkey bacon and a biscuit with butter. 
Round two: a pancake with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips...and this pancake was loaded with them.  The only thing I would add (if I go back again for breakfast) would be bananas.  Chocolate, peanut butter  & banana pancake = super delicious! 

I wasn't hungry until I got home from work, after 5:30, so I had a tasty chef's salad with a nice glass of Merlot, because sometimes, that's the way to help your mind let go of the day...
I could say that the honeymoon period is over.  I had an interesting interaction with a member today, and not to get into too much detail, it didn't go well.  There was frustration from the member about the church not being flexible.  The frustration on my part was that the it seemed to be my (the church's) fault that the person had to decided between the sporting event and the youth event.  I know that the top commodity for just about everyone right now is time.  But I have to ask myself, and those around me, if we are teaching and modeling good stewardship if we are allowing our youth to do so many things in a day or a weekend?  And how can I, as someone who cares for the youth I'm called to serve, help model healthy stewardship to the entire family? 

Growing edges, for sure....and an ongoing learning process for us all.

and now some Top Chef. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

making tracks

So my time of rest today came by attending a book study. 

There has been a group of women meeting the first Tuesday of the month for Bible Study.  The group had dwindled to 2 or 3 women a month and we wondered and talked and prayed about what to do in the future.  I'm thankful that one of the women was willing to lead a book study.  I am able to read, participate in the conversation, fellowship and enjoy the blessings of a group of women.  I'm looking forward to next month. 

I had the chance to get a handful of Christmas thank you notes written earlier, I'm chilling with The Biggest Loser and some tea before heading to bed. 

I did make it out to the trail this morning....even with the 26º temp and light dusting of snow.  Here's the pic from my truck after my 3.8 miles this morning. 

I loved seeing just one other set of human prints on the trail...and many other critter's tracks.  It was a nice break from the treadmill and my regular loop in the neighborhood. 

Until tomorrow and another opportunity for rest . . .

Monday, January 2, 2012

new numbers and single digits at that!!!

I hopped on the scale this morning and it was 150.0.

I'm pretty pleased.  This was my goal weight when I started the South Beach diet at the beginning of November.  The week prior to Christmas I was down to 147.  In the past two weeks I came up to 150.   I'm pretty stinkin happy to be where I'm at.  The balance of eating more veggies, and bringing in whole grains for my carb fixes is a good thing for me.  My hard work was well rewarded at the outlets today.  Two new pairs of size 8 and the other size 6.  I told my mom that I got new jeans today...and she said what size?  When I told her she said, "oh, f - woah, I almost said the F word." True, she nearly did.  She did say that I literally ran my ass off last month.  Very true. 

My resting time for today came after the shopping adventure.
I enjoyed a rerun of Project Runway and painted my nails with a latte and tasty muffin from panera.  I had time to write some thank you notes, which need to be done this week, but I figured taking some down time for myself today was a good thing.  Not to mention feeling pretty sassy with some fun, dark red nails. 

Off to bed so I'm ready for a trail run in the morning. 

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

and now...we rest.

Well, at some point last night I was asked, so, what are the next 30 days about? 

I always forget how quickly the next 30 days creep up. 
The last 30 days (being Advent into Christmas) were very busy.  I am happy to say that I completed the challenge on Daily Mile to run at least one mile a day from Thanksgiving Day until New Year's Eve.  I'm very pleased that I completed this challenge.  While I put on a few pounds over Christmas...and have yet to see the numbers on the scale tomorrow.  I know that daily exercise definitely helped keep off some of the sweet treats and savory carbs that I've ingested.  I'm also looking forward to bringing in cross training back into my workouts as a healthy break from running...and also taking a few rest days during the week.  It was great running everyday, but my legs (a few weeks in) started feeling tired.  So time for the muscles to rest and rebuild will be a good thing all around. 

The next month will be 30 days of REST.  Ah.....after the business of advent and a busy Christmas Eve...and a wonderful open house today, it's time to make sure that the next month allows at least some rest time during each day. 

Today, after the clean-up from the open house, I had the chance for a Sunday afternoon snooze on the sofa.  I can't remember the last time I took a nap, on a Sunday no less.  So the opportunity to just kip out for a while was a wonderful thing! 

Who knows how rest will come into play each day....I don't think a daily nap is realistic, but reading, music, a favorite tv show....could be times of rest for me in January. 

Here's hoping Marley can be an inspiration:

I hope to be posting more than just a few times a month.  I kept tabs on myself last month by posting my miles on daily mile.  I logged a total of 1289.97 miles this past year.  Woo hoo! 

Let's see how those numbers change in 2012. 

Until the next post . . .