Monday, December 20, 2010


Goodbye blogspot.
Hello tumblr.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Been reflecting this morning. . .
thinking back from where I've came
remembering the good times and the bad
thinking about the future
dreaming of doors opening
realizing how simple it all is
listening to iTunes on shuffle this morning
reading through old blogs
thinking about this holiday season
a couple of blogs I wrote back in the day
reminded me of the important things
I love giving gifts...
I hate spending money on myself...
I'm just not good at it (which I think is a good quality of mine)
but this year... we're probably the brokest (yea that's not a word I know) we've ever been
so much that there will be no gift giving....
but lots of time spent
and maybe making mix cds...
i've been missing my family pretty bad lately...still.
But we get to see them this weekend...
reuniting in the lovely Bend, Oregon for 3 nights/4days
it will be glorious...
I don't care if we even leave the house..
just want to spend time hanging around the kitchen with them
sitting by the fire
my family...they're amazing.
I think there will be some exciting things to blog about in the future (and no, I am not pregnant!)...
I just feel like good stuff is going to happen.
love you all.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Ok...I'm really going to try to do this blogging about cooking thing again... just for you, Ninja ;)
This week..I didn't really cook much, still being as frugal as possible until Jeremy gets home from tour, and therefore, gets paid. So this week's exciting cooking adventure didn't happen until Friday night, when my friends, Laura and Kaysha, invited me over for dinner. These girls are great, and so much fun to be in their tiny little kitchen with. Well, the kitchen isn't that small, but the lack of counter space makes it seem like we're always in each others' way....but I kind of like that.
Anyway, I asked Laura if I could do anything to help, as the only thing that was cooking, was the rice in the rice cooker (way to go, Kaysha! :) And her response was that I could get the chicken cooking. Done. On a whim, Laura (the ever talented and daring baker among us) decided to make these home-made dumplings, filled with her (amazing!) home-made applesauce....So, I was more than willing to help her with cooking dinner...
So, I got the chicken nice and browned and then asked Laura if I could do anything else. Sure, saute the garlic and shallots until they're crispy. Okay, I can do that. Next, deglaze the pan with some chicken stock. Yep, can do that too. Now, add some heavy cream. Done. Next, some freshly minced tarragon and how about some lemon zest. Done and done. Time to eat.
Essentially, I cooked a delicious dinner, Tarragon Chicken. I teased Laura about inviting me over for dinner and then making me cook...but I enjoyed EVERY minute of are my reasons why...
(for those of you that think I'm an amazing cook...I'm not that amazing...)
-I follow recipes
-I occasionally mix things up a bit, but normally not after following the recipe, strictly, the first time
-I felt empowered (such a strange word to use....)
-I felt creative
-I felt natural, it was one of the best meals I've had in a long time......Laura, thank you for making me make dinner ;)
so let's see...a recipe...
saute your chicken in some olive oil until browned and cooked through... and don't forget to season with salt and pepper (this was the only time I used S&P too...and it was the best sauce I think I've ever had)
-I left the chicken in the pan while I made the sauce (in the same pan), but you could remove it after cooking and then add back in after you've completed the sauce
-add a couple cloves minced garlic and 1 shallot thinly sliced (two of my favorite vegetables) and cook till crisp, but not burnt (you shouldn't have to add any extra oil..)
-deglaze the pan with a cup or so of chicken stock, scraping up all those browned-goodness-crumbs on the bottom of the pan
-sprinkle some flour over the surface (or you could mix it in with the cream if you're afraid of lumps...but I didn't have any) and whisk until you get a creamy consistency (I guess you could actually add the flour in after you've cooked the shallots & garlic, that's how most recipes go...but the flour was an after thought, to ensure an extra creamy sauce..)
-once the flour is incorporated, stir in a cup of heavy cream (you could use 1/2&1/2 of even regular milk..but really? ... c'mon, you deserve a rich, creamy sauce every once in a while) and cook until sauce has thickened up nicely.
-add a little lemon zest and then squeeze 1/2 a lemon into the sauce and stir....
-add a couple tbs. of freshly minced tarragon
and wha-la...dinner is done. I highly recommend serving over rice or maybe a smaller pasta, as you don't want to lose any of the sauce on your plate, and that way, you don't have to be rude and lick your plate.
So there ya go...please make this some won't regret it. Oh, and as always, this meal is best when shared.


Woke up this morning with a smile on my face...
(despite the fact that I woke up to the sound of my neighbors' little kids singing in the shower, at the top of their lungs...)
seeing the pink and orange horizon, as I woke up on Jeremy's side of the bed, was just what I needed this a.m.
One thing I love about living in our place...having our bedroom on the second floor, allows me to sleep with the blinds open, so I can awake to the glimpses of the sun making it's appearance.
I think that extra hour of sleep was rather nice as well...
(despite the fact that I still woke up countless times during the night, hopefully, that will end as soon as Jeremy is home..)

I had a good week. I have some really great friends up here. Great women in my life that are such a joy in my life to be around. For the earlier part of Jeremy being gone on tour, I felt like I was in the wrong place. I was feeling sorry for myself and staying in...not wanting to impose on anybodies lives up here. I was feeling like we'd made the wrong decision in picking up and moving to Idaho. I was feeling like maybe we'd moved for all the wrong reasons.....
but then....I started hanging out with our friends up here, again. And I was reminded that yea...this is where we're supposed to be right now. It's amazing to think that we've been here almost half a year (okay, not until December). . . and how much I've changed. Or should I say, how much I am like my old self nowadays.
the Amy that....
talked with Jesus every day
was able to just hang out with no stresses
made people laugh
wrote in her journal on a semi-regular basis
was able to find joy in the mundane things of life
dreamed, constantly
wasn't so caught up in work, to actually enjoy life.
this book I've been reading (Forgotten God-by Francis Chan) has been just what I needed in my life right now (in addition to once again reading my Bible daily). I am such an independent person with so much of my life...that it has slowly invaded my faith in God. Yes, I know that God is always in control, but being able to lay down "my" control...that's another thing.'s a funny thing to think about sometimes....
I mean, really, what is so attractive about control?
Yet, I was always trying to have control over....
-the next 5 years
-my marriage
-daily life
-my faith
Yet, in trying to have control over my life, I have lost a certain part of my faith. .. that is a vital part of continuing my relationship with Jesus...and not only continuing, but growing... developing.

"I think we could all agree that living 'according to our sinful flesh' is not what is intended for us as children of God. Yet even so, we often choose to face life's issues and circumstances in exactly the same way as someone without the Spirit of God. We worry, strive, and grieve no differently than unbelievers. While it is true that we are humans like everyone else, it is also true that we are humans with the Spirit of God dwelling in us. Yet, whether consciously or not, we essentially say to God, 'I know You raised Christ from the dead; but the fact is my problems are just too much for You and I need to deal with them by myself.'"

I'm over living my life that way. I'm over dealing with problems on my own. I'm over having control.
I'm ready to trust again. I'm ready to believe in the power of God. I'm ready to recognize the Spirit of God moving in my life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


something I've been chewing on out of a book I'm reading...

"I think the fear of God failing us leads us to 'cover for God.' This means we ask less, expect less, and are satisfied with less because we are afraid to ask for or expect more. We even convince ourselves that we don't want more---that we have all the 'God' we need or could want. I can't imagine how much it pains God to see His children hold back from relationship with the Holy Spirit out of fear that He won't come through. How much it grieves him to watch His children ignore the promises He's mad throughout Scriptures due to fear that those promises won't be kept! Empowering His children with the strength of the Holy Spirit is something the Father wants to do. It's not something we have to talk Him into. he genuinely wants to see us walk in His strength.
When Jesus was on earth, He said to His disciples, 'If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!' (Luke 11:13). God is a good Father who
wants to give good gifts to His children. Sometimes I forget this truth and beg as though He needs convincing. It's as ridiculous as if my kids thought they needed to beg me to hug them. It delights my heart to hug them.
Do you believe that God in heave gives His Spirit to those who ask? Do you
really believe it? This truth and what it means is so incredible that no one who actually believes it could then fail to ask for the Holy Spirit."

~Forgotten God~Francis Chan

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween! No dressing up for me this year....Oh wait, I normally don't dress up, that's right...but, I am wearing my black deep-V, does that count?
Just mixed up a batch of peanut butter cookie dough. Couldn't help but think of my mom, as I mixed with my old wooden spoon (remember when I blogged about it?, my favorite utensil...) and followed the recipe out of her old Betty Crocker cookbook. I love looking through this cookbook, noticing the pages with two decade old buttery fingerprints, a brownie batter smear here, a biscuit dough crumb there....
~I had a great childhood~
Anytime I make peanut butter cookies, I can't help but laugh, remembering the one time Jill & I were playing "kitchen"....she was the instructor and I was the student, naturally. Anyway, to make a long story short, instead of 1/4 tsp. of salt, I decided to add 1/4 cup of salt. Needless to say, the dog wouldn't even eat the dough (why we even tried to feed it to her?? Poor, Dusty..) and I failed "kitchen" miserably that day.
This got me thinking...
cooking and being in the kitchen
will always be homey to me.
Full of....
and of course....
delicious baked goods (typically from my mother or sister)
savory dishes
prepared, not out of feelings of responsibility
but out of desire and love.

oh.. p.s., that soup I made yesterday, it's even better today.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Per request of my old roommate and long time friend, Ninja, I've decided that at least once a week, I would post something that I've cooked or baked that week....Sometimes I dream about being a foodie blogger..some days I think I could do it..some days I realize I'm not that good with my words. And..I totally forget to take pictures, which is really the whole point of a food blog lure readers in with tantalizing photos of a perfectly roasted turkey or a flawless cheesecake..
good thing there is the world wide web...otherwise you'd just have to imagine how yummy this soup was...
Now, Ninja and I are kind of in the same boat, both of our husbands are gone (granted, I think she wins, with having Kenny deployed in Iraq, while mine is playing music at a bar in So. Cal. tonight)..anyway, cooking for one can be quite depressing, full of salads and grilled cheese. Or you make a dish the way you would to serve 4-6 people, then you're eating that dish for the next 5 days. . .Good thing, Ninja and I are both good cooks, so we don't mind eating our delicious cooking for days on end (and we're both too frugally minded to even contemplate throwing out leftovers--especially homemade leftovers!
so, enough with the writing (see, I just blab..)
we'll call this Hearty Vegetable and Chicken Soup..the original recipe, I think I saw in an old Rachael Ray magazine of mine..and it was called Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup..but with the amount of veggies I put in mine, it only made sense to make veggies the star. I think the thing that puts this soup in a class above other Chicken & Vegetable soups, is that you roast the tomatoes...seriously, don't skip this step.
1 lb. plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
5-6 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 lb. potatoes (I used fingerling but yukon gold would be delicious too) peeled & chopped
1 zucchini halved, and sliced into moons (I used 1/2 a reg. zuc. and a yellow zuc. b/c that's what I had)
4 cups chicken broth (normally I have homemade, but this time I used a box Imagine Organic Free Range--which is my favorite boxed broth)
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and halved (I used frozen, b/c once again, it's what I had)
a handful of parsley, minced

First step.....
Heat your oven to 500, yes this is hot, but you're going to roast the tomatoes quick-style. Place the tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with evoo (extra virgin olive oil) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide those puppies into the oven for 20 minutes. *Around the 10 minute mark I noticed quite a bit of smoke coming from my oven...terrified that my smoke alarm was going off--note, it's not a bad thing for smoke alarms to go off, but this is the first time I've lived in a place that has sprinklers too--and I don't know HOW much smoke it takes to set those babies off* Anyway, the parchment just got a little charred is all and the tomatoes looked delicious. When they're done, put them in a bowl, with any juices that accumulated too.
Second step....
Did you chop all your veggies? You could totally do them now if you wanted, while the tomatoes are roasting. In the mean time, heat your soup pot over medium heat with 1 tbs. of evoo and add the chicken, cooking for 10 minutes, flipping just once. Oh yes, season with salt and pepper, I always figure that goes without saying.. and I imagine that the chicken would be just as good if you roasted it as well, I might try that next time. Anyway, once the chicken is done, set it on a plate and let it cool for at least 10 minutes, so it's cool enough to handle. I shred mine b/c I like the texture of that better in soup, as opposed to chopping it..but do whatever you'd like. That's the beauty of soups :)
Third step...
In the same pot you cooked your chicken in, heat another tbs. of evoo over medium and add your onion, cooking it till soft...about 5 minutes or so (at this point...I thought about putting in some garlic, because I tend to put garlic in everything, but decided against it, wanting all the other veggies' flavors to shine. So after the onion is soft, throw in the carrot, celery, and potatoes (oh yes, don't forget the salt and pepper back when you're cooking up the onions!) Now, you're probably wondering why I didn't just put the carrots and celery in at the same time as the onions, well, good question...going the traditional route of the mirepoix (the holy trinity of the culinary world), you get a lot of soft textures, and I wanted to have a little variance in my soup........
anyway..back to the soup.
So after you add the carrots and what not, go ahead and throw in your broth and cook for about 5 minutes, just simmering.
Fourth step...
Put in your green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes w/their juices, and let this simmer for about 10 minutes, until your potatoes are tender, and then add your shredded chicken (oh yea, I forgot to mention that step...shred your chicken once it's cool :) and your minced parsley.
Then I let it sit on medium low heat for another 10 minutes to let all the flavors blend. So there ya go..
The only thing I would say would make this better is.....
a crusty loaf of bread for dipping
a few friends to share
an apple pie for dessert