Saturday, May 29, 2010

darn it

Our one and only car died yesterday. Completely. So much for a trip to Michigan we were supposed to start on Monday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A sad funny video

Scott, the pastor of First Methodist Church here in Cuthbert, told us about the video he saw recently and insisted we should see it, too. Now that I've seen it, I can't help sharing it.

It is funny, but it is also said, because I've seen this in real life in churches on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Scott, by the way, is as different from the pastor of this video, as you can be. He is definitely among 3 or 4 best pastors/preachers I've ever met. There is so much love, concern and sincerity in him, and he is a great speaker as well... When I listen to him at church I thank God that people like this exist.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Most Amazing Weekend, Part 1

Ever since October, when we found out that we were only 3 hours away from Panama City (the closest I've ever lived to a beach), I've been wanting to go back there even if just for a day trip. I really wanted us to go for the weekend after my birthday, but the money was really tight. Then a fellow blogger wrote about their wonderful trip to Panama City Beach, and by then I was absolutely dying to go. There was still the money issue though, so it looked like it will have to be a 1-day thing, if we got to go at all. And then, within 2 days I got 2 phone calls offering me small temp jobs this coming Friday and 3 days next week. It meant we could go and actually spend the night!! I told Shon in the morning, that I will call the Bed & Breakfast my friend was so taken with and see if they had rooms on the 22nd or the 29th. Well, it turned out the only time we could come was that very day! As soon as Shon's got off his Triumph, I asked him if he wanted to go now (I've already packed the bag!). On hearing yes, I called Penny and booked a room. By 5.30pm, we were there.

The B&B was cozy and private. Penny, the innkeeper, was very sweet. I definitely hope we will get to go there again some time.

One of the best things about the place - and the trip! - was the couple we met. What are the odds of diving into a 3-hour-long conversation with complete strangers you meet at the breakfast table in a small B&B in Florida? I say "diving" because the conversations were deep. It wasn't small talk! What are the odds of these people sharing the same views on things varying from Christian music to immigration laws to homeschooling? It was beautiful, and refreshing, and simply fun. We both hope we will stay in touch.

And then, of course, there was the beach. Shon isn't too much of a beach person. He is the mountain person. I always thought that I love the mountains and the beach equally. This time, however, I realized the it was not so. As much as I miss the mountains, as much as the Smokies make me want to cry, it is the ocean that keeps tugging at my heart. It's to the ocean that I always want to go to. Simply seeing the waves, smelling the ocean air, tasting the salt on my lips, and feeling the sand between my toes unties knots inside of me. It is a religious experience for me, too... It was so powerful to go to the beach at 6.30 in the morning, alone, and to be the re alone. Just me and the nature, and God, of course.                                                                                        

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fruit Pizza

  • 1 package refrigerated cookie dough 
  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 Tbsp of instant pudding (optional)
  • 12-16 strawberries, sliced or cut in half
  • 1 can (11oz) mandarin oranges, well drained
  • a square of dark chocolate or some semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp oil
Preheat oven to 450F. Shape cookie dough into a ball, place on a pizza sheet or a baking stone and roll into a large (about 12") circle. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are set. Do not overbake! The cookie should still be soft! Remove from oven, and cool 10 minutes before moving to a platter.
Combine cream cheese and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well. Whip the cream with instant pudding, and gently fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread the mixture over the cookie.
Arrange fruit over the cream cheese mixture. Place chocolate and oil in a small dish, and microwave for about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir well and drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

P.S. I made this "pizza" twice, and it was a hit both times. The original recipe asked for 1/4 of powdered sugar, but that was way too sweet for us. I don't really measure sugar for this recipe, I just add it a little at a time and taste for sweetness.

P.P.S. The recipe was adapted from "Fruit-Topped Triple Chocolate Pizza" recipe from The Pampered Chef recipe book.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mexican Baked Fish

I found this recipe on the package of frozen cod and it became one of our favorites. It is quick, easy, and inexpensive.

Frozen cod or tilapia fillet (cod works better for us)
Corn chips
Shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F.
I do not thaw the fish all the way - I just take it out of the freezer not long before I start cooking, put the pouches in a bowl under cold running water, and let it sit there while the oven is preheating.
Rinse the fillets in cold water and pat dry. Lightly grease a baking dish. Place the fillets in the dish, cover with salsa and cheese, and crumble corn chips on top.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until done.

We usually serve it with brown rice, sour cream, and avocado.