29 July 2010

Food for [wifely] thought

"I want to take such good care of my husband that whatever he is doing, he can do it better, because he has me."
-Jackie Kennedy

26 July 2010

Like drilling rock

"There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges."
-Ernest Hemingway

25 July 2010

How we amused ourselves in Boston.

Jared and I went on a missions trip to Boston-- well, actually Haverhill, which is not Boston at all-- July 10th through 17th. Twenty-four people from CrossWay went to help King of Grace Church in Haverhill with their VBS, plus do some other outreaches and evangelism in the community. It was fun. It was tiring. It was unforgettable. Most of us were under the age of 20; the energy level (not to mention the noise and silliness level) reflected that. We made new friends at King of Grace and learned a lot about dealing with kids, presenting the Gospel clearly, and (literally) jumping out of our comfort zones.

Some of my favorite parts about the week:
-navigational errors, which provided unplanned sight-seeing in the Bronx, around various highway exits, and on Bear Mountain
-visiting Newburyport, now on the short list of Places I Want to Live, Please
-listening to little kids talk about God
-singing insanely catchy VBS songs at every hour of day and night
-being the only married couple on the trip and therefore making things awkward for all the teenagers
-eating a lot of ice cream
-wearing a sailor hat every day
-all the other members of the team, who astounded me with how hard they worked and how excited they were to share the Gospel!

07 July 2010

Artful Recipes

They Draw and Cook is my new favorite blog discovery. It's a collection (updated daily) of "illustrated recipes."

I think it's a brilliant concept. And fun to boot.

p.s. I do not apologize for the recent flurry of food-related posts.

Eat yo' broccoli

I've always liked broccoli (except when overcooked to grayness). Broccoli soup, broccoli and rice, broccoli and ricotta cannelloni. I'll take it all.

Sometimes you're just serving broccoli as a side, "the vegetable" in the classic meat-starch-vegetable trio, but you'd still like to do something interesting. Try these. Neither recipe provides exact measurements; they are more like flavor combination suggestions than blueprints.

Roasted Broccoli

fresh broccoli florets, washed
olive oil
several minced garlic cloves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In medium mixing bowl, toss broccoli florets with a bit of olive oil (not so much that they're dripping oil, because that will just end up smoking in the hot oven).
Add minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
Spread broccoli in single layer in large flat baking dish. Roast 10-15 minutes, until tender on the inside and crisp on the edges.
To serve, you can drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top. Roasted broccoli is, incidentally, very good on pizza.

Thai Broccoli Stir-Fry

a couple tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
hot chili peppers, seeds removed and minced very finely (I used 5 or 6 cups of broccoli last time and put in two chili peppers--the type I have are Super Chili, fairly hot though nowhere near Bird's Eye or Habanero--and it was pretty spicy)
fresh broccoli florets, washed
minced fresh basil
soy sauce

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add minced chili peppers and saute for a few minutes.
Add broccoli; stir to coat thoroughly with oil and chili.
Increase to medium-high heat and stir-fry for 6-9 minutes, until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender.
Add basil (be generous) and soy sauce to taste. Toss to coat.

05 July 2010


Ahem. If I may toot my own horn for a moment: my apple pie is delicious; my key lime pie is perfectly smooth and tart; and my quiches always turn out really well. Not gonna lie.

But . . . here's where humility hits. The crust has never, ever been worthy of the filling.

As someone who loves pie about 300% more than cake, this has been a repeated source of frustration. It's annoying to make something I like so very much, and have the bottom half turn out merely mediocre, usually tending towards toughness. Boo.

Smitten Kitchen to the rescue! (Again.) Looky here: a simple recipe and excellent instructions. If you're scared of rolling out pie crust, Deb even has a tutorial on that.

Tonight, I used 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in addition to the water, and one cup of the flour was whole wheat. Otherwise, all according to the recipe. And it was great. Flakey, buttery, not tough at all.

(Practice helps too. The more often you make pie crust, the more confident you become. This usually means that you'll move more quickly and stop handling the dough so much, which equals flakier crust.)

P.S. Tonight's crust was for quiche. I have updated the recipe I posted earlier, by the way, so you may want to check that out.

02 July 2010

Temperance and sneaky idols

I'm planning C.S. Lewis curriculum at the moment. (Yes, I'm teaching a class on C.S. Lewis in the fall. My job is that awesome.) In the midst of reviewing Mere Christianity I came across this gem of a paragraph:

One great piece of mischief has been done by the modern restriction of the word Temperance to the question of drink. It helps people to forget that you can be just as intemperate about lots of other things. A man who makes his golf or his motor-bicycle the centre of his life, or a woman who devotes all her thoughts to clothes or bridge or her dog, is being just as 'intemperate' as someone who gets drunk every evening. Of course, it does not show on the outside so easily: bridge-mania or golf-mania do not make you fall down in the middle of the road. But God is not deceived by externals.

An idol may not be-- in fact is probably not-- externally obvious.

Some amusement for your weekend

1) Don't you wish all environmental do-gooding was this delicious?

2) Funniest video ever. This made me double over laughing, especially the ornamental turtle. (HT: The Blazing Center)

3) And finally, go read this hilarious comic on Wondermark. If you love science/math/engineering, or if you hate science/math/engineering, or if you've ever listened to college students of different majors argue over which is superior, you'll laugh at this.

01 July 2010

"First Impressions . . ."

A chart of well-known classic book titles, along with their original working titles. Apparently some authors tend to change their minds. :)

HT: automatism