Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homemade Pizza and Macaroni Casserole

Pizza

Ok, so fair warning. You need to make the pizza crust 24 hours in advance. I did not know this, and so we had to do some creative thinking to get the dough to rise fast enough for us to use it within an hour (but it still worked out great). We made two pizzas, one veggie and one with pepperoni (in order to appease Jessica and Chelsea who are apparently morally opposed to vegetables) and they both turned out great.

Ingredients
Crust (for 2 pizzas):
1 tsp of Active Dry or Instant Use
4 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of olive oil

Toppings:
(we just used a random assortment of vegetables)
1 eggplant
grape tomatoes
minced garlic (two cloves)
2 green peppers
1/2 red onion
mushrooms
pepperoni
cheese
pizza sauce (we just bought this pre-made, making your own pizza sauce is probably not really worth the trouble)

Instructions
Yeast...apparently this stuff can be dangerous according to my roommate. I didn't ask questions, but just be careful...

we chopped...

and sliced...

and sauteed...


and broiled...

and listened/danced to michael jackson :)

the dough :) turned out well despite the issues

adding the toppings

pepperoni for the meat lovers

finished product(s)

Making the Crust:
Sprinkle yeast onto 1.5 cup of warm water.
In a bowl combine flour and salt. Then with a mixer (on low) mix in the olive oil.
Next pour in the water/yeast mixture and mix until combined (after this I ended up having to add some more flour because it was a little to soggy. If it sticks to your hands a lot when your kneading it, chances are you might need to add some flour).
Ok, now is the part where you wait...for 24 hours. Cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator. You can always wait longer (or even shorter, but that's when you have to get creative) if you prefer.

Making the Pizza:
First preheat the oven broiler.
Then, we cut up the eggplant (as thinly as you can) and tomatoes (length ways in half).
Place the eggplant into a strainer and sprinkle salt over it (make sure it's all coated) and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Then rinse the eggplant off and put it along with the tomatoes on a cookie sheet, drizzled it with olive oil, add the minced garlic, and broil it. Do 3 minutes, then take it out, turn everything over, and do it for another 3 minutes on that side.

If you're good at multi tasking (or as in my case if you have help) you can simultaneously cut the onion, green pepper (both long ways) and the mushrooms (I bought the mushrooms pre-sliced...easier that way) and sautee them in a pan with some olive oil. I also added some Mrs. Dash spice to give it some flavor.

Pre-heat the oven to 500.

Then on a cookie sheet, spread out the dough (remember the crust makes two pizzas so divide it up and use two cookie sheets, or you can use some giant pan that probably exists somewhere out there but I don't own). Then add the sauce, and cheese on top (I just used HEB's Pizza cheese) and then the vegetables and pepperonis.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and then enjoy! We really loved it, especially us vegetable fans :)

Macaroni Casserole

Just to warn you, this is in no way, shape or form healthy and honestly there is probably no way to make it healthy. I did my best with using whole grain pasta and light sour cream but when you put this much cheese and butter into one dish, you just have to be prepared to not eat the next day to make up for it (or run it off, but not 30 minutes immediately following - more about that in the next post but let me just warn you it's a bad idea...). While it is not healthy it is one of the most delicious things you will ever eat and it's the way I was able to convince my roommates to all have dinner together.

Ingredients:

1 box of Kraft Macaroni (not the instant king but the kind you make on the stove) - you will also need the ingredients that go along with making this i.e. butter and milk
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 cup of (shredded) cheddar cheese
1 pkg. of ranch dressing mix
bread crumbs (optional) - and thanks to Sarah for the great idea :)

finishing up the macaroni

mixing everything together

baking
Pre-heat the oven to 350.
Then make the macaroni according to the box.
After that just mix the rest of the ingredients in with the macaroni.
Put it in a baking pan, sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and then put it into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

Super easy but unfortunately I can't make it very often so that my roommates and I don't die a premature death...

Friday, February 26, 2010

In the news...

Crazy. This is what you miss out on when you don't watch the news.

Drought unveils once flooded town

Thu Feb 25, 6:18AM PT - Reuters 1:55 | 182152 views

A village emerges from the depths of a Venezuelan dam as an extreme dryspell drains reservoirs and forces Venezuelans to ration power and water.


Click here to watch the video.

T-Pain??!!


I not advocating drinking, but I am a firm believer in T-Pain's auto tune...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow Day

So, despite "global warming" and all that, it snowed here, in south Texas. Needless to say this doesn't happen very often, so my friends and I all went out to enjoy it as much as we could since it will probably be the only time this year (and quite possibly the only time in 10 years). Although, it is the second year in a row, and it's February and is usually already 90 degrees outside so who knows.

And all I have to say is Jessica and I try to warn everyone about global freezing, maybe now they'll pay attention...

Also, due to the fact that this was a special occasion, and the fact that I have recently misplaced my memory card, I pulled out my fancy schmancy film camera that I haven't used in way too long, and took lots of pictures of our winter wonderland.

the park, and what I assume as someone's attempt at a snowman

Julie and Angela and the dogs (they hated the snow. Not the girls, but the dogs)

after I took this the resident told me pictures cost $5

the playground covered in snow

Johann the dog

Erin and I (photo courtesy of Julie)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

delicious hamburgers :)

Two cooking blogs in the same day! I've been kind of a slacker with cooking the past two weeks from being pretty busy (or at least real cooking that doesn't include baked goods), so I've been eating out a lot. But now that things have slowed down a bit (i.e. no more marathon training...) I'm back in the kitchen. While we were in Austin, we ate at a place called Elevation Burger, and all this week I was craving their hamburgers. Unfortunately they're only located in Austin (and soon to be Dallas), so I had to make some hamburgers myself. This was my first attempt at making my own hamburgers, and as Chelsea put it, "once again dominating in the kitchen."

1 lb of hamburger meat
1 egg
a package of ranch dressing mix
seasoned salt
garlic powder

First I put the hamburger meat in a bowl and mixed the egg in with it. We did this with the meat for the baozi and it turned out really well so I figured I would do the same thing with the hamburgers. Then I added about half of the ranch package and the other seasonings and cooked it in a pan (unfortunately I don't know how to use a grill). On my hamburger I put some chipolte mustard that I bought at HEB and it definitely added a little kick to it and was really good. I'm not a huge fan of mustard, and by that I actually mean I kind of hate it, but this didn't have that overwhelming mustard flavor so it was good.

Again, no pictures due to my missing camera/memory card :( but hamburgers aren't too different from each other so you're really not missing anything.

Carne Guisada

I love carne guisada. If a Mexican restaurant has it, I order it. The only problem is, is that there is a place in Lake Jackson that makes the best carne guisada I've ever had, and nothing has really ever measured up. I was having a craving this week, so I decided I would just try and make it myself. I have to say it was a great success. Sarah and Kristin loved it. Sarah even said it was better than Chuy's where we ate this past week in Austin (and Sarah judges how good a Mexican restaurant is based on their carne guisada, so when she said she loved it, I was quite proud). It was also super easy, because I used a crock pot, so if you need something that doesn't take a lot of effort, this is a good option. I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures but I can't seem to find my memory card, or my other camera, so I was out of luck (don't worry I'll go on a mad search tonight while I clean so hopefully I can have pictures up in future posts).

1 pot roast (I've used beef tips before, which is probably how it's usually made, but I thought I try something a little different)
1 can of carne guisada sauce from HEB (obviously I was feeling lazy and didn't feel like making the sauce myself - and for coming in a can, it was excellent)
potatoes - I used two small golden potatoes, but you can use more if you like, but I felt it was a good amount
Tony Sacharies spice
Seasoned Salt
Garlic Powder
1 Crock pot

Around 10 AM I put the roast in the crock pot and covered it in the spices. I don't have a measurement, I just added as much as I wanted. Then pour in the sauce and let it cook there all day. Around 6 I peeled and cut the potatoes and put it in the crock pot. I should have put them in earlier because they weren't as soft as I wanted, but they were still cooked when I took everything out at 7ish. Then put it in a tortilla and eat it! Like I said, easy and delicious.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I don't even know what to name this, but...

so...apparently this is somewhere in Houston. I was looking over Google-reader and one of the blogs I read had this as the subject of the blog. Needless to say, I must find it.

this woman is about to enter a public toilet...again, this is in Houston

and this is the view from the inside, crazy!

You can see out, which is a little creepy, but I still want to find it none-the-less.

How to Date an Olympian

So again, another blog post in honor of the Olympics. Maybe you are not the Olympic athlete type. Maybe you don't have to desire to work for years and years at your sport or maybe you just don't have what it takes to win gold. If you do, then read here for my post on how to become an Olympian. If not though, but you still love the Olympics and want to be involved, you can always go for the second option of dating an Olympian. This still requires a lot of effort and dedication, but if you are up for the challenge, here is my best advice on how to do it.

1. Choose a sport. This is an important first step depending on what time of physique you like. For example, marathon runners will probably be a lot leaner so that they can run 26.2 miles at a 5 minute pace. Basketball players are really tall, so if you're 5' then that may not be a good choice for you. It might also be good to choose a sport that you are interested in. If you're going to date this person, you'll have to watch them compete (and if you really don't like curling, it might get old) and it also provides a common interest.

2. Choose an athlete. Now after you have chosen the sport, you must choose the person you would like to date. There are two options: either pick someone really famous and the best at their sport, or someone not so famous. The reason for choosing someone famous is obvious. They are the best well known and have a lot of money and you could travel all over the world watching them compete, etc. etc. etc. There is a downside to the most well known ones though: they are much harder to get. If you're not really up for the challenge of pursuing a very famous person and getting them to notice you, then you might want to go for someone less well-known. The less famous ones are always looking for/needing groupies anyways to help boost their celebrity status, and there is always potential for them to become more famous later on down the road if they're young enough. Also with the less famous people you won't have to worry as much about paparazzi and being involved in scandals.


3. Find out about him/her. Another important step. You have to find out background info to know their likes/dislikes so you know how to woo them and so you can focus on the things that you have in common when you meet them. Also, to demonstrate your dedication, after you find out what they like you could get a tattoo of something related to that topic. This will give them the idea that this is an interest you share (or maybe a tattoo of their flag in order to show interest in their home-country).

4. Find a convenient place to run into him/her. This could be a little bit difficult, but thanks to the internet you could find out their hometown or where they train and basic info like that, so make sure to fix your hair and do some push-ups to look toned or something and stuff of the like so that you can catch their eye.

5. Get him/her to like you. This is where knowing about them comes in handy. If you know their interests, you can capitalize on that knowledge by talking about things they are interested in and invite them to do things they will like. Really, this is kind of an obscure point, but you just have to modify this according to your specific Olympian. Also, be creative. Plan fun and surprising things to do. You have to keep him/her interested and you don't want to lose them to someone else who is more interesting.

6. Believe in yourself. Getting your Olympian of choice to notice you and want to be in a relationship with might be difficult, but don't give up! Be persistent, but not too stalker-ish (they may like the attention but you don't want to freak them out).

7. Believe in them. This is the most important step after you get together. Your Olympian will always be training hard and have many successes and failures. In order to keep this relationship going strong, you are going to have to be very supportive or else they might leave you for someone else who will support them.

8. Get married (or break-up, there are only 2 options here).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to Become an Olympian

The winter Olympics are upon us. I know I am a big fan of ice skating, despite the fact that everyone seems to be falling (clearly the rink is rigged). My roommate Sarah was very inspired and decided to look up on how to become an Olympian. Thanks to ehow.com, all you have to do is follow these 8 simple steps to accomplish your dreams and be a famous Olympian:

Apollo Ohno
  1. Step1

    Pick a sport. You have two paths--go with a sport you know and like, or pick an obscure one. A familiar sport may seem like an obvious choice, but think carefully--popular sports have millions of dedicated participants, and competition is stiff. Less wellknown options, such as short-track speed skating, luge, bobsledding and pentathlon, have fewer competitors.

  2. Step2

    Evaluate your physique and choose a sport that suits it. No matter how dedicated you are, unless you have the physical makeup for extreme endurance, you'll never be an Olympic marathoner. And if you're tall and over the age of 16, kiss gymnastics goodbye. Consult a sports physiologist to establish your specific attributes.

  3. Step3

    Spend years and years working at your sport. Develop all aspects of fitness, strength and endurance. Incorporate crosstraining into your regime to prevent boredom and injury.

Lyndsey Vonn
  1. Step4

    Believe in yourself. Have your mental game ready, be tough in every aspect, refuse to give up.

  2. Step5

    Attend a sports academy. These schools provide intensive training in the sport of your choice at the high-school level. The experience, exposure and coaching that you get will qualify you for a college that excels in your sport.

  3. Step6

    Work with excellent coaches to develop your skills. Hire a sports psychologist to help you set and reach goals. Hire a private coach if needed. See 16 Set Goals.

Evan Lysacek
  1. Step7

    Make the national team in your sport and train year-round (there is no off-season for an Olympian). Be able to perform well under incredible pressure and fend off all other competitors until you make the Olympic team.

  2. Step8

    Change your citizenship. It may be much easier to qualify for a spot on the Pakistani sailing team than on the U.S. team. Some countries ask for proof of ancestry, such as a grandparent born in the country.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I love...

In honor of Valentine's Day (yes I know I'm a couple days late, but I did run a marathon on Sunday).

I love:

God
family
friends and roommates
painting
Feb, 15 - the day when all Valentine's candy is on sale :)
playing piano
China
running
music in general
Apples to Apples
Meg-mosas ;)
laughing
the Shalom Shack and all of its residents
the Walton House and all of its residents
Johann the dog
laughter
my Logos group, they're awesome
the Word
cooking and baking
Christmas lights
alone time
dancing
the color red
Steel Magnolias
C.S. Lewis
Rachmaninoff
Salsa
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
the Aggies
Blogging!
The Office
Soccer
Flowers
Sleepless in Seattle
An Affair to Remember
Candles
Target
down blankets
Michael Jackson's amazing dance skills
pictures
Paula Dean
Symphony Brownies
Facebook
British accents
running
Sushi
coupons
Super Nintendo
Adidas running shoes
I Love Lucy
Pride & Prejudice
garlic mashed potatoes
San Fransisco
Peppermint Mochas
Burt's Bees
snail mail
feta cheese
Sweet Eugenes

...and the list goes on, but those are a lot of things that I really appreciate having in my life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

something I've never done before: run a marathon

So, the day has come and went. On February 14, 2010, I ran a marathon. Quite an exciting Valentine's Day for sure. It was great. It was also very hard/painful. I have been training for four long months to get to this point, and the day finally arrived. I can hardly believe it really happened (other than the fact that my knee is killing me, every muscle in my lower body hurts, and I no longer have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning). Here's how it all went down:

First, me and 5 of my friend drove to Austin on Saturday morning. We left later than planned, but we still got there at a good time for lunch. Maestro (my GPS - yes it has a name...) took us quite a weird way to get to Chuy's, the Tex-Mex place we decided to get lunch, and once we got there we still couldn't find it. Luckily Joann had some friends that went to UT so they helped us out and turns out it was in the back of the shopping center. After some delicious Carne Guisada, we headed back to downtown to get to the expo so us runners could check in and pick up our registration packets. Every runner got a new backpack and we capitalized on all the discounts that were being offered. I got some new running shoes that I would be needing after the run the next day (at a very discounted price!) and got to learn about sheddable clothing (not worth it...a waste of $15). After that we headed to meet our drivers at the nearby Whataburger and then headed off to do some shopping. Joann's friends knew where to take us (and I'm sure those guys were super excited about checking out the boutiques...) and we got some cute accessories (all we could afford at those places).

Around 6 we headed to my grandparent's house, where we would be spending the night, for dinner. My parents drove in to help host/cook dinner/watch me run. We had a ton of food and carbo-loaded as much as we could with lasagna, spaghetti, and garlic bread :) After dinner we hung out for a while with my family (and opened some late Christmas gifts - Christmas all over again in February is great!) and then attempted to get to bed early so that we could wake up super early for the last time for the marathon. We finally all made it into bed around 10 PM and that night was filled with tossing and turning and waking up every 30 minutes to go to the bathroom thanks to all that water I drank the day before.

Then 4:15 came too soon. I slept hardly any and pulling myself out of bed was extremely difficult, so I hit my snooze button once, but really couldn't fall asleep. I reminded myself that I would be able to sleep in the next day and tore myself out of bed and headed downstairs for breakfast. My parents and grandparents were so great to wake up even earlier than I did to finish making breakfast (most of it was made the day before - smart people). Jessica ended up getting sick the night before, so she stayed in bed and ended up not running her half-marathon. After eating as much as we could for that early in the morning, we all headed back upstairs to put on our running gear and jackets to keep warm and at 5:00 headed off to downtown. It was so excited finally being there, and seeing other people and knowing that soon we would all be running together. My parents dropped us off as close to the start at they could get and then went to go park with Erin and Sarah in another car doing the same. Then us runners headed to the start line to check everything out, make a last minute bathroom stop (still an hour and a half before the race) and check in our sweatshirts and stuff so we wouldn't have to run with them. As we were wandering around we saw a Starbucks and after getting everything done we ran in there to try and stay warm (since we no longer had our jackets) and wait for everyone to come and join us there. 7 o'clock was quickly approaching so after everyone came and met up with us as well as some last minute photos we headed outside to get warmed up and another bathroom stop.

Fireworks (or maybe giant sparkler-like things) signified the start of the race and we were off. Well, we were sort-of off. It took us a couple minutes to get up to the start line due to the crowd (14,000 people ran the race). It was pretty indescribable. I really needed a camera to capture everything that was going on. Even at 7 AM on a Sunday people were out cheering us on, bands had set up along the side of the race to play us on towards the finish, and it was mass chaos at the beginning with so many people. It wasn't until the marathoners and half-marathoners split that I felt I actually had room to run without trying to make my way around people and avoid bumping into everyone. People were dressed up like Cupid, Leprechauns, Braveheart and I'm sure there were others. Couples were wearing cute, matching, homemade shirts in honor of Valentine's Day and the list just goes on. We started off in downtown and made a loop back around and then through some neighborhoods where families were outside sitting in lawn chairs to cheer us on and to hand out water and oreos :) as well as free beer and mimosas (don't worry George I didn't drink any) and all kinds of things. Joann, Alisha and I ran together until about mile 8 and then it was time for them to speed up a little while I continued at my same pace since I was no where near being close to finished. About half way my knee started really bothering me. It was definitely a bummer since I hadn't really been having a lot of problems with it, but I decided that anything short of dying I would finish the race.

Miles 15-20 were the hardest. My knee was hurting, the hills sucked and I still had a long way to go. There were points (especially when going up hills) where I was pretty sure I could walk faster than I was attempting to run. Luckily I had lots of people around running with me as well as Michael Jackson, the Ting Tings (along with others) to carry me through. When I reached Mile 21, I finally got excited again. For a while I was asking myself why I decided to do this. But with only 5 miles left, I kept telling myself that after 20 miles, 5 was really nothing. Those last 5 still seemed long. We were still running through neighborhoods and it seemed endless, but then I saw the UT clock tower. My final destination was on the other side of it, so again I was motivated to keep going.

Finally, after a long somewhere between 4 and 5 hours, I hit Congress street. It was a downhill treck to and around the congress building as fast as I could after already running 25 miles to the finish line, and then I was done. It was totally surreal. Like I said before I can hardly believe I did it. After 4 months of training it was over before lunch. I was completely exhausted, starving, thirsty, in pain, and even a little sunburned because the sun finally decided to come out for the first time in 2010. Despite all of these things I would do it again in a second. Well, maybe not that soon. I'm still suffering from the after effects of running for such a long distance (I'm pretty sure I have tendinitis...awesome...or something similar in my knee), but I would do it again. Now after completely my first marathon I feel better prepared for the next one, whenever that may be. I know what to do better, and also know I definitely need a partner to run with me the whole way for miles 15-20 when I have almost run out of hope and for the four months worth of training beforehand.

So all in all it was a lot of fun and I'm really glad I did it and I highly recommend it. Enjoy the pictures :)

Pre-race - they forgot to put my name on the bib :(

runners - it was way crowded

Erin, Joel and Sarah who came to watch walked out to mile 8 capture the moment. Joann, Alisha and I run on by.

after the race

I'm not drinking pepsi I promise...it was powerade

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Love Butterscotch Cookie

Recently I found this great website called bakerella.com. I was very excited when I found it because I love to bake. This cookie is definitely very good. I've already made it twice. Once for my Logos group and once just because. It doesn't take that long to make either, although it did take me longer to bake it than the recipe said. I probably ended up baking it closer to 15 minutes than 10. Enjoy!

mmm...Nestle Chocolate and Butterscoth chips :)

the rest of the ingredients (minus the crackers)

mix it all together

time to bake it :)

add the ganache and M&Ms and ta da!

Cookie
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butterscotch morsels

Ganache
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

heart-shaped cookie pan (about 11 inches wide)
M&M’s

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cover heart-shaped cookie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • For the cookies, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and the sugars using a mixer until fluffy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Stir in the butterscotch morsels.
  • Transfer cookie dough to the pan and spread out evely until the bottom of the pan is covered.
  • Bake for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove and cool.
  • While the cookie is baking, you can make the ganache.
  • Heat cream and butter in a saucepan until melted and remove before it starts to boil.
  • Place chocolate morsels in a small bowl and pour cream on top. Let sit for a few seconds and stir until completely incorporated and smooth.
  • Let cool and spread on top of cookie with an offset spatula.
  • To decorate like the photo, you’ll need 85 M&M’s (red or pink or whatever) for the letters. Place candies on the ganache, using the photo as a guide. Use extra M&M’s for the border.

P.S. the heart-shaped cookie pan is also conveniently made to fit one package of refrigerated cookie dough if you so desire. And, if you can’t find a cookie heart pan, just use a regular pan and spread the cookie dough out. Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to adjust your baking times.

Try and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Something I've never done before: gone to a Chinese Church

So February is a great month because I'm going to be doing two things that I've never done before. This is the first one and it was great. I love China and Chinese people, and I love Jesus, so these two things went well together. Here's how it all went down.

One day Angela was at Target and met two Chinese girls. She got their info and asked them if they wanted to hang out on Friday night. They said that they couldn't hang out on Friday because they had church (not a bad reason) and then they invited her to come with them. Knowing that I also love China and Chinese people, she invited me to come along with her, which of course I did.

As I have said before, I love China and Chinese people. I think it's amazing how God has created each culture differently and uniquely and at the same time in His image. Whenever I have been in China, the people are so kind and hospitable and just want to help you. They are more of a community based society than individualistic like here in the US and I think it's such a great picture of who God is.

The first time I went to China, I was walking around with one of the guys that went with me, and by walking I meant wandering because we were totally lost. We ran into some guys who noticed us carrying our map with lost looks on our faces and came over to try to help us. Then they brought their friend who knew a couple words in English to try to communicate with us, and then he was practically pushing us into his car so that he could take us where we needed to go. We had no idea who these guys were and they didn't know us, yet they were so willing to help us despite that. It's beautiful. God loves us and while we were still sinners sent Christ to die for us. Maybe giving complete strangers a ride in freezing weather isn't quite the same, but they still showed us love and kindness and had a servant's heart, asking for nothing in return.

So being in a room full of Chinese people warms my heart and fills it with joy, and even more so than normal when we are all singing praises to the same God. One of the coolest moments of the night was during the worship time. Most of the songs I didn't know, but I did my best to practice reading Chinese and sing along. Then we sang Amazing Grace. A song I know very well and have sung since I was a kid. Now I don't know this song in Chinese, so I sang it in English while simultaneously everyone else (except Angela :) I'm pretty sure she was singing in English too) was singing in Chinese. And then I realized that this was what Heaven was going to be like (except way more people of course). One day every tribe, tongue and nation will be worshiping and praising God together. In every language! How cool is that. So once again God changed my life and with a song that I have sung a million times before. It was awesome.

The night was also very interesting in that, when it was time to study the Bible, we all broke up into smaller groups. Now, I know some Chinese, but I wasn't confident enough in it to try to go to one of the Chinese groups, but lucky enough they did have one group in English, which consisted of mostly middle schoolers. Talk about fun/interesting/crazy/way more tangents than I've ever had in my Logos group. 1. I'm glad I'm not in middle school any more. 2. Was I really like that when I was 13??? 3. Wow. Really that's all I can say. It was a lot of fun. Angela and I definitely got a lot of laughs (especially when Vicki said that David never needed to study or be worried about anything because he is Asian...and the poor 10 year old got to read all of the long verses with big words). So Chinese Church was great, and I'll definitely be going back.

I feel like this post was a little all over the place, but oh well. I'm definitely enjoying this "do something new every month" resolutions, and be sure to check back after Valentine's day for my 2nd new thing I'll be doing this month.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Where I Want to Travel: Iceland

So I've decided I'm going to use my blog as sort of a bucket list (along with all the other purposes it has). I have a bunch of things I want to do, and I'm afraid I will forget if it isn't written down somewhere. And maybe this way I get inspire some of my friends to do these things with me :)

Something I love to do is travel. I love new places and the idea of experiencing new cultures. Iceland is somewhere I have wanted to go for awhile now. I feel like people there are so lucky (at least during the summer) because it is so beautiful. When I see pictures of nature and scenery I am overcome with emotion and feel that in that moment I am even closer to appreciating the the creativeness and beauty of my God who created all things.

I have recently become slightly obsessed with blogging (not just writing them but finding new ones to read and look at). I now see what the hype is about. While I was doing this I stumbled upon a blogger from Iceland who has tons of pictures of Flickr. I'm slightly jealous of this person and am even more looking forward to traveling there someday.

So I want to go to Iceland, and here's a few reason's why:







All images courtesy of Alda Kalda

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Creamy Garlic Shimp Alfredo

I'm definitely behind on a lot of blogging. So many things happened and then I was sick and all I did was lay around and watch tv/sleep and nothing else. But before I got sick I tried out a new recipe and it was really good. I like fettuccine a lot and shrimp so this recipe worked out really well. And it made way more than enough for 4. I forgot pictures, but maybe I'll take one the next time I eat some of the leftovers.

13 oz. fresh fettuccine (great idea, but I just used a bag from HEB)
1 tbsp evoo
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
13. oz tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I just used a can of diced tomatoes and drained it)
1/4 cup white wine
1 & 1/4 cups whipping cream
2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails intact (I just used 1 lb because 2 seemed like a lot and shrimp isn't cheap)
1/4 cup loosely packed roughly chopped fresh basil (I was feeling lazy at the grocery store and decided that I would just use Italian seasoning that I already had at home, so I just added that in with the onions and stuff while it was cooking)

Cook the fettuccine in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, then return to the saucepan.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the onion and garlic, stirring for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and wine and cook for 3 minutes before adding the cream. Bring to a biol, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture slightly thickens. Stir in the shrimp then simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are curled and cooked through. Toss with the pasta, gently shir in the baisil, season, and serve immediately.

Serves 4