Thursday, 1 December 2011


Tonight I am missing being in my own house...making it all christmasy...having our first Christmas together at 602 3rd Ave East...

It's weird not being in my house...I never thought I'd say this, but I am totally missing my cozy cedar living room....the big drafty windows, and all that made home home...

I attemped to drum up some Christmas spirit by digging all my christmas stuff out of the C-cans and bringing it to the rental house, but now I am totally not "feeling" it...can we just skip christmas this year...pleeeeaaaasssseeee?

I know this sounds awfully pathetic. I am not looking for sympathy. Rather, I am just being real and honest with myself. I've put on a pretty brave face in this whole ordeal. But tonight I am taking a little moment to grieve my first house. To try to come to terms with all the dreams that I had for our little house. To try not to think about what Christmas morning will be like this year...not at home. To not have a HOME to wake up in and for Mav to go to the Chirstmas tree in the morning and open gifts...I'm sure we will celebrate the day just fine with family...but it won't be at home...

Christmas is a hard time for me. Truth be told I wish we could skip it every year. I don't deal well with gift giving or's an extremely awkward ritual for me. This year I convinced at least the adults in my life to choose things for each other from charity gift cataloges. I hope we are able to follow through. I just get so up tight about spending what I don't have on things that I am not convinced that other people even want or need. ...I literally have a box full of unopened Christmas gifts from yesteryear, just random things that I don't know what to do with. And like the gifts, still in their boxes, I really don't know what to DO with Christmas, and so I wish every year that I could just leave it in the box. Skip it. Deal with it some other time.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post I am reading Francis Chan's "Forgotten God". I just finished the second and third chapters of the book where he deals with the ideas of fear in association with the Holy Spirit, and also with the theology surrounding the Holy Spirit.  I feel like I have the same uneasy awkwardness about accepting the Holy Spirit to lead and work and be a part of my life, in the same ways that I such an "ick-factor" when it comes to gifts. The Holy Spirit is a GIFT. I don't do well with GIFTS!!! I think one of my biggest fears is what am I going to have to give to get this gift. What sort of a "deal" am I getting myself into if I choose to accept the Holy Spirit. Eeeeep! I'm getting anxious just writing these things down. Funny thing is though, in my head I know the gift of the Holy Spirit is FREE. It's not some shady deal. It's not some charismatic weird-o stuff. It's just a gift.

So whether or not I put up a tree this year, or even acknowledge the holiday season, I am going to spend some time reconciling my ideologies towards gifts...and the Holy Spirit. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Some pictures!

Mavric's Owl!!

This fall we took a sunny Sunday afternoon and did some family pictures! I wanted to see if I could figure out how to add photos to my blog! And I did it!

This has to be one of my favorite pictures! It captures perfectly how both my boys felt about being drug out to do photos...something that I love to do...and they put up with but not without protest!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Well this is Embarassing!

So since June I have been MIA in the blogging world as I FORGOT my password!! How do you FORGET your password...but I did, and then refused to take the 4 minutes it would take to recover it...THEN I forgot my USERNAME...yup, that's right, I forgot my name...well I sat down today and decided to figure it out without calling my husband to the rescue and I surprised myself at how easy it was to recover all the information that I had forgotten! So now I am back to the world of blogging after a 4.5 month break.

My (monetary and materialistic) world has been turned on its head in the last 4.5 months. Details of this will come in bits and quips throughout this blog, but the gist is this: On July 18, 2011 Frank and I lost our house in plow wind. We had been in the middle of re-shingling our house and had the shingles off the south side of the roof. Though the roof was tarped, pollyed, and strapped it was no match for the storm. The water damage was so extensive that the entire house was gutted. The integrity of the structure was then brought into question due to pre-existing code violations that were uncovered during the gut. An engineer was brought in and it was determined that the most financially feasible option would be to demolish the structure. The loss of the house is not covered by insurance, only the damage to the house due to the water. We are displaced (though the house we are displace in is beautiful!). We are rattled (though we have peace that things will work out). We are in over our heads (though we have faith and certainty in what we can't see). 

In the next couple of weeks I want to read through a book, that I think will bring encouragement to Frank and I in this crazy time in our lives. It is called Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Like forgetting my username and password...I feel like I have been forgetting God in all of this chaos, sure I have been praying cracking my Bible from time to time over the past 4 months...but have a really been keying into the Holy Spirit? Have I really been seeking out the big answers to the big questions that situation like this might bring to surface? No. I know I haven't. Like refusing to recover my password and username, I have been refusing to recover the Holy Spirit. He hasn't gone anywhere, like my blog and my gmail account, but He has been sitting dormant. Hopefully I can change that! (and get back to blogging!)

Ephesians 5: 11-16

 11-16Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

   Wake up from your sleep,
   Climb out of your coffins;
   Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Faith and Food

Ok, no one told me that when you start to blog you start out with so many good intentions that all seem to get pushed to the side as life takes over. What with a wedding, camp around the corner, flash trips to Edmonton, and Mav cutting two teeth this has been a very busy couple of weeks. Too busy. I have had limited time to be creative in the kitchen, and also no time to blog.  

One of the things that I want to muse about in this Blog is the importance of Faith. I have some very strong person convictions when it comes to my own spirituality. I do not wish to impose these convictions on anyone, but can only hope to encourage people to find and connect with that part of themselves that craves for something bigger than themselves. Of course I am the biggest hypocrite of all time and wallow deep selfishness...but I think that my inner struggles of Faith and selflessness are a kin to my inner struggles with food. It has to do with hunger. And it has to do with a confusion of taste. Let me explain.

At the age of 7 I looked up to the stars one night, with little goose bumps all over my skin, hot tears pulling at the corners of eyes, and an overwhelming breathlessness at the realization of how small I was and how vast and beautiful HE was, I knew in my little heart that there was a God and that He loved me and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life following Him. I did not come from a religious home, at that point of my life I do not even know if my mother had ever even stepped inside a church in her life. But it had nothing to do with her. This decision was so intensely personal that it set me on a course that I am still following to this day, 21 years later. 

When you get to know Jesus, and encounter Him in a real and personal way, it is hard to describe...but it is kind of like the difference between living a life on junk food and then switching to healthy food. We all know how junk foods and highly processed foods and sugar and salt and all of that is harmful to our bodies. We all know too that eating a diet full of veggies, fruits, and whole grains with limited amounts of meat equals healthier stronger bodies. The same holds true in spirituality. When we fill our lives with selfish intent, thirst for consumerism, gobble up pride, heap on lust, and top off our spiritual menu with greed, we wind up empty, anxious, and sick...sometimes even to point of physical, psychological, and emotional illness.  Mind you, we wind up sick too when try to satisfy spiritual cravings with being good and doing good too. Somehow, whether we give into the ugly stuff or strive for the good, we are never enough. But when you open up your heart and mind to Christ things change on a spiritual level. I am not talking about the American Jesus, or the Evangelical Jesus, or the BFF Jesus...I'm talking about the real Jesus, and about actually picking up your Bible and finding Him in there. I'm talking about taking care of people who need you. I'm talking about adopting through His strength a selflessness that is evident and beneficial to anyone who crosses your path. So, today I am going to share a different's a recipe for life...

John 4:1-34
1  Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.t She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—
18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,t where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.

Guten Appetit!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Fries, Juice, and Maki!

I should be out painting, as Mavric is sleeping, but instead I am going to dodge the sun and blog for a bit! Yesterday was a fail as far as food was concerned, chicken nuggets and fries oh my! (In my defense though, the fries were homemade!) 

Homemade Fries
Fresh Potatoes (scrubbed with skin on sliced thick so they don't get all mushy and stick to the pan!)
Canola Oil (enough to coat)
Aunt Jemimah Pancake Mix (Just enough to coat)
And "Pomme Fritz Gewirtz" (It this lovely combo of curry and spices that German's love to put on their fries...not sure where you find it in Canada though! Frank and I brought some back last time we went over!) 
Toss and Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are soft and browning up a bit! (I like my fries a bit crispy so I leave them in for a bit longer than some people might!)

But enough about fries!! On Wednesday night we met with a friend of ours who is getting into Juice! I think it should be a reality TV show or something called Extreme Juicing...but I am totally hooked and looking for a Juicer of my own!!! He made Frank and I a lovely juice with spinach, carrots, apples, and was green, it was thick, and oh so delish!! I am not doing it justice by this little blurb, but seriously juicing has got to be one of the most amazing things that I have never had before! In a single glass you can pack in a lovely combo of flavours that have all your daily intake of fruit and veggies for the day! It is easy prep too, within about 5-10 minutes our friend had set up, juiced, and cleaned up a tasty liquid meal! It would have been enough on its own, but we took things a step further and made a batch of brown rice maki rolls to go with it! A twist on a summer dish, but soo yummy! And for those of you who think that maki rolls are intimidating they really aren't too scary! A little time consuming but once you get the hang of it, it doesn't take long at all to whip up a batch!

Brown Rice Maki
What you need:
Short Grain Brown Rice
Sushi Rice Vinegar (gently mix this into the rice when its finished cooking and set it in the fridge to cool completely) 
Cool Crispy veggies sliced in long thin strips (my favorites are carrot, cucumber, and avacado)
Dried Seaweed sheets (cut in half)
Soy Sauce
Wasabi (I used the powered form this time and found that the paste is a little too potent for my liking, I prefer the pre-mixed paste)
Sliced Ginger in a Jar (Its pink!)
Now to put a roll together lay a sheet of seaweed shiny side down. Put 2-3 teaspoons of cooled rice on it and flatten the rice out to the edges with the back of a wet spoon, careful to leave a 1cm wide strip of seaweed without rice on it. Lay a few veggie in a thin line down the center of the rice and then with a bamboo sushie roller (or a piece of wax paper works in a pinch!) roll your maki roll up! (to help make the seam stick well, moisten the strip of seaweed that doesn't have rice on it) Set rolls seam side down on a plate and let rest as you roll, this will make it easier when you cut them! (I usually get eight pieces out of one roll!)

Well, on that note I hope you enjoy your long weekend! If you have time, make some maki! It's a great dish to bring to a pot luck, serve it up with wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger! I am keeping my fingers crossed that I may get a juicer this weekend and then will hopefully get to delight you all with many combos of fruit and veggie juices!!! I am soooo excited! Mav is awake now! 

Guten Appetit!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Supper Struggles!

So the crazy cycle started again with supper last night! It felt like a scene out of The Jungle Book, two vultures staring at our kitchen: "What do you wanna eat?" "I dunno, what do you wanna eat?" "I dunno, what do you wanna eat?" I was sorely tempted to buy a boxed pizza from Extra or Co-op, but remained firm in my convictions and started rummaging through the freezer and cupboards.

One thing that I have been trying to do lately is focus not so much on the quantity of food that we eat (though portion control is very important), but on the QUALITY of the food that we eat.  Making simple changes to our diet like switching brown rice for white rice and finding other sources of protein other than red meats like chicken, eggs, lentils, Greek yogurt, chick peas ect. I am also becoming quite intrigued with the idea of raw food diets, vegetarianism, and even exploring vegan trends. What these ideas or trends teach us is something that we have known all along: whole foods, dishes with very few ingredients, fish, rice, fresh veggies ect are what our bodies thrive on. If you look at the few indigenous people groups in the world right now you will notice that they have low to non-existent cancer rates and heart disease, they are lean and toned, strong and healthy. Flip through your Bible too and take a peek at Daniel and his buddies and their veggie strike...again, strong, healthy, smart.

I guess that I am just ranting a little, and voicing my concern about all the things in our society that taste sooooo good (or so we think) that we have forgotten how to like the truly good food in life. Food that you can pronounce all the ingredients on the label, or food that isn't even packaged at all! Our taste buds are so deceived that what we really should be craving to have a full and healthy and satisfying life, we no longer have a taste for! I guess for me this blog is my attempt to reclaim that taste and desire for what is good and pure and wholesome in our food!

So in all my rummaging I ended up putting on a pot of brown rice and steaming some spinach to go with it. I also found a bag of frozen mango pieces which I threw in the blender with a large cup of steeped organic green tea and honey. It wasn't a huge meal, but I could pronounce all of the ingredients. I felt satisfied and energized after eating. I didn't have to deal with eater's remorse, like I do when I cave and chuck a boxed pizza in the oven! 

Mango Green Tea
Frozen Mango Pieces
Large Cup of Steeped Green Tea (Organic is Best!)
Honey to Taste
Throw it all in a blender and then chill before enjoying!

Guten Appetit!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Summer on a Plate!

This is just a short note, an introduction, so to speak! I love food!!! My influences in the kitchen come from  varied sources, including learning to cook on a wood-stove at an early age, a two year stint in Germany, a job as an assistant head cook at a little German Delicacy Cafe in Canada, and couple of Head Cook Jobs at Camps and Retreat Centers! I also love to write and while I have been mulling over the idea of starting a blog I reached an epiphany the other day as I realized why not blog about food! I have been in such a rut of Kraft Dinner, Frozen Pizza, and Canned Soup that I have been going crazy and every night is a constant battle between me and my husband as we wrestle with the never ending question of,  "What to eat?". Hopefully, this will soon come to an end! 

The first meal I would like to share with you is "simply scrumptious"! Note that there are no quantities heehee some things are meant to be sacred!  Plus, if you are brave, just cook by feel and you will have no problem replicating most of the recipes that I share!

Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella in Milk, and Basil
What you need:
Firm Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella in Milk
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Sour Dough Baguette for dipping

I've had this now two days in row for really makes you feel wonderful to eat such a simple healthy its really pretty! A friend of mine commented that for someone who lived in Germany, I do Italy really well ;) I had to giggle because it was in Germany where I was first introduced to this taste sensation! Guten Appetit!