Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cry out in the Desert

Friends. Pray with me? 
The past week or so has been an absolute roller coaster of events and emotions. Highest of highs and lowest of lows. I'm feeling incredibly broken and am clinging to the truth of scripture.

I'm singing and praying the Desert Song by Hillsong on repeat:
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
This is my prayer in the fire
And weakness or trial or pain
There is faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me lord through the flames

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and he is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on his promise I'll stand

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and he is here

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and he is here

And this is my prayer in the harvest
And favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I received I will sow
We serve a victorious God. He is better than life. He conquers our fears and our emotions. He is good. 

Blog Friends-- Can you be praying for me? That I can KNOW the truth that God is in complete control. That He has my best in mind. That His will for my life in this season will be made clear. That I can listen for his voice. I'm trying to figure out what to do on the job front -- I have a few offers and am having conflicting emotions about where to go/what to do.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

foodie allergies...what to do?

Time at home and moving has meant lots of high qual bonding time con mi MADRE. She has some not so fun dietary restrictions that have opened my eyes to the challenges that people with food allergies face every time they want to cook or eat out at a restaurant. I've been attempting to bake things that my mom can eat. My mom's food qualms: Gluten, Dairy and Soy.

One cookie success:
Power / Energy Cookies (adapted from another recipe that still had dairy in it):

1 cup applesauce (previous recipe had 1.5 cups of butter or margarine, I subbed 1C applesauce and 1/2C canola oil to be sure to stay gluten dairy AND soy free--if you don't have allergies, butter away in place of the applesauce and oil!)
1/2 cup canola oil 
1 cup brown sugar 
2/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs 
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose wheat flour (I used gluten free flour mix)
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthum gum (only needed if you're using GF flour mix, this is what makes it stick together)
2 cups oats (if you're making these GF, make sure to get GF oats!)
1/2 cup coconut
3/4-1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup of dried fruit (I used craisins)
1 cup of chocolate chips (for gluten free/dairy free, be sure to get GFDF chocolate chips)
Start with applesauce and oil in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in sugars, add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Add flour, then baking powder, xanthum gum and soda.
Blend until all flour is moistened.
Add oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate chips and stir.
Drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 F for approximately for 15 minutes.
Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and cooling rack for 20 minutes more.
YUM. Very hearty. Non allergen people liked them too! Lots of room for alterations (take out coconut, more nuts, vary what fruit to add etc). 
Hey you blog readers-do you have any recipes you think would be good to try gluten free/dairy free? Let me know--I'm thinking of even trying to make that banana cake from a few posts ago into a GFDF masterpiece. Ha. THAT could be challenging!

Another success was by the FABULOUS Chef Kevin from the Hyatt - he made a farewell dinner for us when my mom was in town to help me move. It was AMAZING. My mom has mentioned at least 5 or 6 times and told a bunch of her friends how great the meal was (so Kevin-if you opened a restaurant in Ames, Iowa, my mother alone could fill the tables with her friends!). How wonderful it was not to have to worry about her allergies since he had them taken care of. What we had was a 5 course foodie fest that was gluten, dairy and soy free. It was super. Kevin is proof that yes, it CAN be done: Gluten Free Dairy Free food can taste good AND still have normal textures. A pork taco with mango salsa; potato cake with carmelized onions, spinach, mandarin oranges and smoked salmon; chili seared scallops with watermelon arugula salad; venison with fresh lentils and some awesome kind of cherries; lastly three fresh sorbets. HOLY CRAP. 
A few envy worthy pics from the night:

Monday, July 12, 2010


Two crazy ladies (if you didn't know...that me on the left and my mom on the right): 
One movie that served as our inspiration:
Google search for "julia child boeuf bourguignon":
Drool worthy smells all day long:
So stinking good. We may just have to introduce "Julia Child Appreciation Night" once a week! 

Reading Rainbow

What have I been doing for the last week? We took a family vacation to Innsbrook, Missouri via It was GREAT!

Reading. Resting. Playing Cards. Eating (probably too much of this). Sitting by the lake. Swimming. Enjoying Family. Applying for jobs.

I thought I'd take you on a tour of the literary adventure I went on during my vacation. I can't help but sing:
  1. Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins- found in the Young Adult section, these fast paced adventure books are reminiscent of The Giver in that they are quick reads with more insight than most adult fiction. Very enjoyable and easy to read. I'm eagerly awaiting the third book that comes out in August! 
  2. Brain Surgeon by Keith Black - A biography about a neurosurgeon. I love hearing stories/watching movies etc about medicine (admitted Grey's Anatomy lover, old school ER and Rescue 911 watcher)-so this was the inside track. I got to go inside the operating room with Dr Black and hear the stories of patients that had great successes and great heartaches. This book made me want to read more biographies/autobiographies. Bonus-it's pretty short. Quick read.
  3. Suddenly by Barbara Delinsky - Fiction novel about a small town doctor and her practice. Things run amuck in the town-the story of her dealing with tragedy and life in general. It was okay. Fine to read once, not dying to ever read it again. 
  4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Thank you to Elora and my sister Ellen for recommending this! Great read-the pace is pleasant as it takes you through three different narrators' versions of the life in Jackson, MS during the civil rights era. Highly recommended. 
  5. The Crazy School by Cornelia Read - Bleck. Nothing special. I had to finish it because of my unwritten "I'm over halfway done with it darnit" rule. Over dramatized and hokey. Don't bother. I do have to give credit to whoever designed the jacket and the synopsis--it got me hooked! 
  6. World Without End by Ken Follett - sequel to Pillars of the Earth. I LOVE THESE BOOKS. They take you on a beautiful journey through decades of family drama and strife. On top of that, Follett paints pictures with words of the architecture that both books are based around. Based on his magnificent and detailed descriptions, I figured out that one of the cathedrals I visited when I lived in the UK was one of two that the author based his fictional "Kingsbridge Cathedral" on. Both of these books have some graphic descriptions/scenes, but overall I think they are important for the tone of the book and complete character development. 
  7. Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford - stand alone novel based on WW1. Classic story of boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy goes to war, girl falls in love with new boy while boy 1 is gone etc. Enjoyable, but not particularly memorable. 
Vacation was great. Anyone have book recommendations for me? Sell me on your favorites! I have a lot of time on my hands.