We Leave with Nothing but Love

Soup can go with Pizza
January 17, 2011, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Food

Last week I had frozen two pizzas to use at a later time. Tonight, although I was already making soup, it was definitely pizza night. The two young sons had over-napped and were moody and out of it. They would not accept anything else. But who could blame them? That pizza is killer.

I looked up zone diet recipes that are quick and delicious, and found this amazing chicken- rice soup:

Props to AllRecipes.com, but here is my improved adaptation:

  • Two quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 c chopped carrots
  • 2/3 c chopped green onions
  • 1/2 c green bell pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 c all- purpose flour
  • 10.75 oz can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 3 cups of cooked white rice (1 c dry white rice with 2 c water)
  • 2 c cooked chicken (bite-sized or smaller)

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the first 6 ingredients, and bring to a boil.

In a larger saucepan, melt the butter and mix in flour until creamy and smooth. Pour in the broth mix and heat for a couple minutes.

Lastly, pour in cream of chicken soup, white wine, cooked rice, and chicken. Be sure to mix well, as the cream of chicken can quickly lump together. This delicious soup has a nice combination of flavors, and stays warm and servable for a while. After serving with homemade pineapple-chicken pizza on the side, there will be enough soup to add as a side to lunches and dinners for the rest of the week.

Here are some helpful websites if you are looking for easy zone diet meals:


Melting the Stress away
January 15, 2011, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Food, Living

Today I made the easiest, most delicious dinner sanwich of all time. Since I moved to LA for college, I have bee a fan of the sandwich melt shop, Philippes. They have many healthy options, but all are filling and delicious.

The family I cook for is working on balancing out their carbs and proteins. The dad actually has ADHD, and he also gets extraordinarily tired when he has too many carbs. According to the Zone diet that they want to follow, they are having me make food that has about 9 carbs for every 7 proteins. Woops, I am pretty sure I personally have a carb fetish and would prefer to dominate the carbs at all times. The pizza and enchiladas both overpower the carbs and minimize the proteins…

Here’s the good news, for all sandwich-loving zone-dieters: this French dip sandwich has about 39 carbs and 31 protein!

I got these sandwich rolls from the bakery section of Albertsons. They were light and delicious!

  • Use three slices of meat (roast beef, turkey, or lamb)
  • 1 slice of provologne cheese, cut in half
  • 1 can of  beef consomme
  • Mustard of choice (optional)

Slice the bread rolls in half, and place them in the broiler with the cheese on top. Be careful about the rolls- they could be done toasting in all o f 30 seconds.

In a medium sauce pan, heat the beef consomme over the stove, and add one can full of water. Once the consomme is hot, place the meat slices in the mixture. Place the meat on the cheesey bread, add mustard if you like. We kept a little bowl of dip on the side to dip the sandwich in as we ate.

With a bowl of fruit salad on the side, this is the most ideal 10-minute meal for a Friday evening. 39 carbs, 31 proteins and all the week’s stress just melts away with the provologne.

Lesson of the week:

The dad asked me what I have learned so far as their cook. The biggest thing I have been learning, aside from all the theological and ecclesiological discussions with him, is timing. This is my third part-time job, and I need to be done cooking within an hour to get to my second one on time. Also, after preparing for class and searching for full-time accounting jobs, I don’t have the energy for anything more. Being in a new house with new rules and interests has been a adaptation challenge, and definitely slowed me down. I need to balance grocery-shopping, recipe-hunting, and diet-following every evening, or else fall down a slippery slope of time loss. Now that it is the weekend, I will just add a few minutes of recipe research, and the week should be golden.

Enchiladas, Ideally
January 13, 2011, 3:05 am
Filed under: Crochet, Food

This week, the family experienced a few little hiccups: both sons, ages 2 and 4, are sick and on antibiotics. Well, the sons got the antibiotics, but the dad didn’t. So I have an unheard-of cold coming on, but still pretending to be fine. With all three of these part-time jobs in full swing, how can I afford the down-time? Furthermore, the dad left to go study, but came back in just  a few minutes because he accidentally drove over his laptop.

On Monday, I did all the grocery shopping, and cooked about 10 chicken breasts to prepare for the week. This would be enough chicken for for 4 salads with chicken, 2 pineapple chicken pizzas, and 8 chicken enchiladas.

Yesterday, while baking a pre-made chicken pot pie, I put together the enchiladas for today:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and pour half a can of tomato (or enchilada) sauce over the bottom of the baking pan.

Then mix all the inside ingredients together:

  • 2 cans of 14 oz cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup cheese of choice
  • 14 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 c green onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of chopped or shredded chicken
  • 6 jalapeno pepper slices, chopped

Heat up 10 corn tortillas. Fill each tortilla with some of the mixture, and roll. Place the tortillas open-end-down side-by-side in the disch. spread about 1 cup of tomato (enchilada) sauce over the top of the enchiladas, along with green salsa or other sauce of choice. sprinkle cheese over the top.

Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture looks bubbly and the cheese is melted. Now, these are titled “enchilada” in the official recipe, but they are more like a Taco Bell, saucy version of enchiladas. I will update once I get the full Mexican delicious flare.

On another note, I have been making these new headbands over the past week. They have no name, and one day I will write out the pattern:

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The New Cook in Town
January 7, 2011, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Food, Living

This is the first of hundreds of recipes I plan to share. I have started cooking for a family too busy to cook, but too health- and wallet- conscious to keep eating out every night. Grocery shopping and trying new recipes are a couple hobbies I enjoy but can’t afford to do on my own yet. Now I get paid to practice both every day!

To practice on my own, I made a meal for my apartment. I found a curry season packet at Raph’s, so I made curry chicken and rice with potatoes and bell peppers:

First of all, I always boil chicken in water to defrost and tenderize it. The recipe was very simply explained on the curry seasoning packet, but I used coconut milk instead of water and added some potatoes for texture. With brown rice, this made a filling, delicious meal for my roommates and me!

Then, crepes for dessert:

I got the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vanilla-Crepes/Detail.aspx.

All you need is milk, egg yolks, vanilla, flour, sugar, salt, adn butter. We spread nutella inside, and sprinkled powdered sugar on top. Very simple and delicious!

Day 1 of cooking on the job for the family, I made a simple chicken Parmesan recipe, to make a  Parmesan chicken salad:

  • 10 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese
  • 2 packets dry Italian salad dressing mix
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400, and just mix together the garlic, Italian mix, and cheese in a medium-sized bowl. Dip each defrosted chicken breast in oil, and press into the cheese mix. Bake the chicken on a greased pan for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Day 2, made pineapple pizza and used some of the leftover chicken from the night before.

The crust was very quick and easy to make: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Pizza-Crust/Detail.aspx

I added a lot of spices to the crust, and after laying out the crust on the pizza stone, i brushed oil with garlic powder over the surface. I also sprinkled some extra salt over the crust to keep the flavors interesting. The pineapple contrasted the parmesan chicken flavor perfectly! Add salad to the meal, and it’s pretty decent!

More to come. I plan to make some of these desserts for the family as well:

Fine print
December 28, 2010, 12:41 am
Filed under: Family, Living, Music | Tags: , , ,

It’s only in the tiny posted date that the difference of numbers is revealed. These three months have beheld more significance than those hidden numbers could ever know.

I have not changed much, from the person I was in springtime. Although, I have become more passionate about adoption, and I have a car. Also, I have beaten the highest records for two different tetris games.

Why was Christmas this year so ungratifying? Those horror stories about families at Christmastime seemed to have foretold this year’s Christmas for my family. The kind of drama that makes a total straightedge pull out the bottle!

Goals for the rest of this winter break:

  • Biking and swimming nonstop
  • Job-searching like hell is chasing my bank account
  • Create and give: music, arts, and time
  • Sell crocheted goods
  • Spend time with Jesus
  • Continue to forget what is behind, and press on toward the goal of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus, in every task and opportunity

I now end with a MeWithoutYou lyrical experience:

Why burn poor and lonely under a bowl or under a lampshade

Or on the shelf beside the bed

Where at night you lay turning like a door on its hinges?

First on your left side, then on your right side.. then your left side again.

Why burn poor and lonely?

Tell all the stones we’re gonna make a building…

We’ll be cut into shape and set into place

Or if you’d rather be a window, I’ll gladly be the frame,

Reflecting any kind words, we’ll let in all their blame…

And ruin our reputation all the same.

Se never mind our plan making, we’ll start living…

Anyway, aren’t you unbearably sad?

Then why burn so poor and lonely?

We’ll be like torches!

We’ll be like torches!

We’ll be like torches… OH!!

We’ll be torchest together… TORCHES TOGETHER

We’ll be like torches… with whatever respect our tattered dignity demands,

Torches together, hand in hand

Why pluck one string… what good is just one note?

Oh, one string sounds fine, I guess… but we were once ‘one notes’,

We were lonely wheat quietly ground into grain…

What light and momentary pain!

So why the safe distance, this curious look?

Why tear out the single pages when you can throw away the book?

Why pluck one string when you can strum the guitar?

Strum the guitar!

Strum the guitar… with no beginning, with no end.

Take down the guitar and strum the guitar!

Strum the guitar if you’re afraid.

And I’m afraid and everyone’s afraid and everyone knows it,

But we don’t have to be afraid anymore.

You played the flute, but no one was dancing,

You sang a sad song.. but none of us cried.

you played the flute, but no one was dancing,

And you sang a sad song… you sang such a sad song.

What a glorious feeling

Day #13 Without Coffee. Numbers.
September 11, 2010, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It has been a strange, long road without coffee for these two weeks. I think it has been a lapse of habit I won’t remember well, simply because so many other strange events have taken place. I am very much looking forward to my next strong cup.

Tomorrow, after nine days without talking to my boyfriend, and 14 days without heavy caffeine, I will wake up early to continue working out a lot of struggles that have come up in my 3-month relationship. May I know love more than ever before, and show it as much as possible in a Skype conversation.

This week, I have been to San Diego to see friends and family for a crazy day and a half, I have worked many hours and slept many hours, in order to try to shake off this sickness that has haunted me for over 3 weeks now. I have spent a day with a very sick, very on-fire Christian lady. I have prepared for new missions teams to embark this winter. I have encountered much awkwardness, and simultaneous improvement with my coworkers and supervisors. I have rescued a dog. I have intruded in the home of the lost dog, since no one was answering the phone or the door, and the door was unlocked. I have been shopping and driving for hours for a staff retreat. I have had a staff retreat, had some heart-to-hearts with coworkers, and had an escort to scare off the loonies on Skid row. I have been yelled at and cussed out for strolling along Skid row. I found out my sister is having a baby girl in February, her first daughter, and my second niece. I have walked out of  a mission on Skid row and watched a couple of African American drag queens having a shallow conversation as they walk down San Pedro Street. I have showed up for a dinner a whole day early. And I have determined that my week was full of plenty of things besides homework, so it is now time to sit and enjoy my education before I sleep and have more dialog tomorrow. Hopefully it will be just a good, honest conversation.

Much Ado about Love
September 6, 2010, 7:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So obviously there are several ways to describe love. What of it? There are really only a few people that we will always love, that will actually always be in our hearts. Why care much about loving buddies, and what does it really mean to connect God’s love with the love we have for our friends?

Jesus said once that His disciples would be known by the love that they show. He said that the two greatest things to understand would be to love God first, and then to love others more than we love ourselves. That is the economy of God’s law for our era. No matter if God seems distant and ambiguous in this culture. Love is something to pursue. Right?

He then said that there is no greater love than his who would lay down his life for his friend. Sacrifice. How much vulnerability does this kind of love require? Do you have to be transparent about your love for God if you were to love others? And how hard is it to start being more vulnerable with people enough to admit mistakes, and to pray with them?

Coming from the mind of a lifelong, committed Christian, this is easy for me to spill out. By God’s grace, I have convictions about what love should look like as it progresses in a positive way for any connection between people or groups. But for someone who has much more intense experience with darkness and grossness and doubt, how does that conviction begin? What does vulnerability look like when it first begins to take place? What is my role in this?