Saturday, April 30, 2011

Food Plan

So I ended up going grocery shopping today instead of tomorrow, because tomorrow is Booth grad, and a couple of my friends are graduating! =) So I didn't get a chance to really make a menu before shopping, so I will do my best to make one now with what I've got... I'm also going to add in my weekday lunches to planning, since I tend to portion out my leftovers, so it will help me keep track of which leftovers will be eaten when.

Here's some of my pics from last week! =)

Salmon, steamed veggies marinated in Italian dressing, and cajun couscous: I baked the salmon with mirin, which is like a clear sweet version of teriyaki, but with 9.5% alcohol. But the alcohol gets cooked out as it cooks, so relax... =P

Honey lentils: these actually reminded me a lot of chili, but they were definitely really good! =)

Sweet and Sour Chicken: one word: delicious!

Greek Quinoa Salad: I found this recipe in the Metro newspaper, and since I had all the ingredients except for the cucumber, I decided to give it a try. It was pretty good, I'll definitely make this again! =) Recipe posted below.

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Dinner: Zesty Spinach Soup (that didn't end up getting made last week)

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Lunch: Leftover salmon, veggies, and couscous
Dinner: Leftover sweet and sour chicken

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Lunch: Leftover sweet and sour chicken
Dinner: Leftover Greek quinoa salad

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Lunch: Leftover Greek quinoa salad
Dinner: Leftover honey lentils

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Lunch: Soup
Dinner: Apple Puff Pancake

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Lunch: Soup
Dinner: Zucchini-Potato Pancakes (didn't get made last week)

Breakfast: French Toast
Dinner: Leftover pancakes

Greek Quinoa Salad
1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups veggie broth
1 container grape tomatoes, halved
1 sweet yellow pepper, chopped (I only had green, so that's what I used)
1/2 cup English cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
Crumbled feta cheese

Place quinoa in mesh sieve and rinse well under running water; drain and set aside.

In pot, bring broth to a boil and add quinoa. Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Fluff with fork into bowl. Add tomatoes, pepper, cucumber and parsley.

In bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and garlic. Drizzle over quinoa and vegetables. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

'Twas a busy weekend! Or so it seemed... Friday I slept in, then Alisha came over for a bit before we headed to Weetamah for the Good Friday service.

Saturday we went to Brandy's and helped prep her living room to paint her wall, then went with her to go pick up the paint. We went to the Forks to get me some Triops (yippee!!! =D) and spaghetti, then we went back to my place and had spaghetti and sauce for dinner.

Sunday Alisha and I went to Weston for the Sonrise service at 8:30, and (of course) the 11:00 service, where Alisha joined the worship team with Curtis' guitar (yay Leesha!). Afterwards, Alisha and I each went home.

Today I went to my mom's for lunch, then we did our grocery shopping at Bulk Barn and Superstore. Then she came over for dinner. I was going to have honey lentils with her, but I had forgotten that she's on a 17-day diet where she needs to eat only certain foods each day. Today was fish, and so I opted for salmon. It turned out really well actually! =D I just put some of my mirin sauce on it, wrapped it in foil and popped it in the oven to bake, and ohhhhhh man was it ever delicious!!! =D Mom also brought some steamed veggies that she had marinating in Italian dressing, they were pretty good actually! =)

Doesn't sound like a busy weekend eh? Lol well it wasn't really... But it my spare time at home, I stitched. A lot. I have 5 weeks to finish up this project I'm currently working on, which shouldn't be a problem now since I got a lot of work done on it this weekend... Then I have one more project I need to get done for someone else, then that's it for projects to make for others! So I think I'll take a break from it for a while lol...

So seeing as how I had to change up today's menu, I kinda had to do a bit of rearranging for the rest of the week:

Breakfast: Cream of Wheat
Dinner: Baked salmon with mirin, marinated steamed veggies (Mom brought them), and cajun whole wheat couscous
I also made Honey Lentils for lunches, though I'm not sure I'll need it...

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti and sauce

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Zucchini-Potato Pancakes

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Leftovers

Breakfast: Pancakes with any berries left from the week
Dinner: Leftovers

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Start Again

I've really been slipping in my eating habits again. Skipping meals, junk food, all that jazz... So I'm gonna start making weekly meal plans again to get myself on track, as well to help with weekly grocery shopping. I've been going every Sunday afternoon with my mom, so hopefully by planning my meals, I can make a list based on that, and therefore won't buy so much stuff that I have to figure out what to do with it by the end of the week/before it goes bad. And because I've been going through some recipe books tonight, I'm going to start with tomorrow, and through til next Saturday.

Also, I've started using my Crockpot, yay! Oh man, what a great device! I haven't yet cooked anything during a work day, because I'm gone for at least 10 hours because I commute by bus rather than car, and I don't trust my food not to burn. But, I did make oatmeal once (didn't care for it, I'd rather just cook it in a pot...), Quebecois Chicken, and something else that I'm completely blanking on at the moment... But I do intend to use it some more this week! =)

A note: when I say cereal and berries, it's more like a bowl of berries with a bit of cereal and milk. Usually it's a banana, 4-5 strawberries, a few blueberries, a few raspberries, and a few blackberries, but it really depends on which berries are available at the grocery store each week.

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Leftover chicken and rice

Breakfast: French toast
Dinner: Spaghetti and home-made sauce

Breakfast: Apple cinnamon oatmeal
Dinner: Stir-fry (recipe below)

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Honey Lentils
Will also make Zesty Spinach Soup for lunches throughout the week (recipe below)

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken (recipe below)

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Steak, seasoned potatoes, green beans, and mushrooms

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Leftovers

Breakfast: Cereal and berries
Dinner: Zucchini-Potato Pancakes (recipe below)

Breakfast: Pancakes with any berries left from the week
Dinner: Leftovers

7 oz Chow Mein noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
4 cups bean sprouts, washed and drained
1 tbsp soy sauce
2.5 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1/2 cup cooked chicken (optional)

Put noodles in 8 cups of lightly salted boiling water. Boil and 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not over cook. Drain and set aside.

Heat the wok or skillet over high heat. When smoke arises add vegetable oil. Cook onion until transparent. Add bean sprouts, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil; stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add noodles and meat to the mix in the wok. Continue to stir fry and mix thoroughly over medium high heat for 3 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

Zesty Spinach Soup
This is from my "Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast: Weeknight Meals" book.
2 tsp olive oil
1.5 cups chopped onion (1 small)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup (1/2") diced potato
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (6oz) pkg fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sour cream, divided
1 tsp grated lemon rind

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and next 3 ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until potato is very tender, stirring occasionally. Add spinach; cover and cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.

Place half of soup and 1/4 cup sour cream in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining soup and 1/4 sup sour cream.

Serve with a dollop of additional sour cream, if desired, and 1/4 tsp lemon rind.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Sweet and Sour Chicken
This is from my "Company's Coming: Practical Gourmet: Inviting Asian Flavours" book.
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, patted dry, cut into 1" pieces
3 cups cooking oil
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup thinly sliced red pepper
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/3 cup chopped green onion (1" pieces)
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large resealable freezer bag. Add chicken and toss until coated.

Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shallow-fry for 3 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Combine next 5 ingredients and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add cooking oil. Add remaining 4 ingredients and stir fry for 2 minutes until red pepper is tender-crisp. Stir in vinegar mixture until thickened. Add chicken and stir until coated.

Serve with rice.
Yield: about 4 cups

Zucchini-Potato Pancakes
This is from my "Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast: Weeknight Meals" book.
2 cups shredded potatoes
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 small)
1/4 cup panko crumbs
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
Cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; heavily coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/5 cup potato mixture into 2 (5") circles in pan. Cook 5 minutes; turn and cook 4 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove pancakes from pan, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture.

Serve with sunny-side up egg, and salsa and sour cream, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pancake and 1 egg)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I had this really close friend a couple years ago. I hadn't known her for very long, but we grew pretty close during her time in Winnipeg. She has now moved away, and though there was distance, we still maintained our friendship over Facebook.

Except it seemed right around the time when I came out about being bisexual, I was deleted from her friends list. I thought to myself that it might have just been a glitch, cuz that's happened to me before, where friends were randomly deleted off my list without either of us doing it. So I re-added her.

At first it took a looooong time for her to reply, so I thought that maybe she didn't see it, since it was right around when Facebook layouts changed. So I cancelled the request and re-sent it. She accepted.

And then I figure out a few weeks ago that I have again been deleted. So now I'm only making assumptions, but I'm thinking it's because she does not approve of my sexuality. Which I'm totally fine with, I don't expect everyone to be okay with it, as I've said before in previous posts.

But then why would she add me just to delete me again?

Why could she not message me and at least give me some of her thoughts?

Of course, I am only making assumptions... I'm debating sending her a Facebook message, seeing if I can get her to talk to me, to tell me herself why she doesn't want to be my friend anymore, but I don't want to come across as bitter or angry or anything, though I am hurt and I do want to be open and honest.



So.... I did message her after all, and it turned out to be a completely different reason all together that she deleted me... So I'm working things out with her, so here goes... =)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Power of Words

My friend Alison posted this today, and I thought I'd share it with you all.

Going Shopping

I do this ALL the time!!!!! =D

Reverse Psychology?

Bahahaha this actually works?????

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I finished this book a few days ago but haven't had the chance to blog about it... So here goes! =)

This was a GREAT book, there were so many parts that really stuck out to me, lots of different quotes!

The first is about circumstances around Jesus' conception. Yancey writes, "The God who roared, who could order armies and empires about like pawns on a chessboard, this God emerged in Palestine as a baby who could not speak or eat solid food or control his own bladder, who depended on a teenager for shelter, food, and love."

I don't know if that scares you as much as it scares me. Imagine: Mary would've been just a young teenager when she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Could you picture this in our day in age? I know that teenage pregnancies are super high, and a lot of these babies end up with FASD, or are born with addictions, if they're even carried to term at all. Many of them are given up at birth, sent away to be adopted.

That's not to say that all teenage pregnancies end up bad. I know quite a few people who were teenage parents and they made things work well.

I don't know about you, but my teenage years were pretty rough... I couldn't imagine being prenant on top of all that, never mind being pregnant with the Messiah!

Moving on, cuz there's lots...

"Jesus' audacious claims about himself pose what may be the central problem of all history, the dividing point between Christianity and other religions. Although Muslims and, increasingly, Jews respect Jesus as a great teacher and prophet, no Muslim can imagine Mohammed claiming to be Allah any more than a Jew can imagine Moses claiming to be Yahweh. Likewise, Hindus believe in many incarnations but not one Incarnation, while Buddhists have no categories in which to conceive of a sovereign God becoming a human being. Jesus' entire life stands or falls on his claim to be God. I cannot trust his promised forgiveness unless he has the authority to back up suc an offer. I cannot trust his words about the other side ("I go to prepare a place for you...") unless I believe what he said about having come from the Father and returning to the Father. Most important, unless he was in some way God, I must view the cross as an act of divine cruelty rather than sacrificial love."

Comparing Christianity with other religions. No other religion has had its deity be born as a man, never mind that deity accepting death then being resurrected to save his people. That is the uniqueness of Christianity.

Side note: Yancey talks about how there are many different movies about Jesus' life, but they all tend to portray Jesus as a Mr. Rogers type character - "sweet and inoffensive." But he talkas about a BBC production called "Son of Man," where the Roman soldiers act more realistically: "Roman soldiers have just invaded a Galilean village to exact vengeance for some trespass against the empire. They have strung up Jewish men of fighting age, shoved their hysterical wives to the ground, even speared babies. Into that tumultuous scene of blood and tears strides Jesus with eyes ablaze." I want to see this movie.

Yancey also talk about the famous painting "Head of Christ" by Warner Sallman. Yeah, you know the one I'm talking about:

This picture is everywhere, apparently printed more than 500 million times according to the publishers! I love what Jason Boyett has to say about it: "Unfortunately, the image is probably wrong. I'm not a trained anthropologist, but Sallman's Jesus - with his shiny brushed hair, neatly trimmed beard, limpid upturned eyes, plucked eyebrows, delicate nose and fine anglo cheekbones - doesn't strike me as very authentic. Jewish carpenters just weren't that pretty. Don't let the manly beard fool you: Sallman turned Jesus into a woman." He goes on to list some good and bad points: "Good: there is great value in servanthood and humility, and it's appropriate to associate those divine qualities with Jesus. Bad: proper hair care is not a divine quality. And good luck getting this meet and mild parsy to whip moneychangers out of the temple or to endure the blood and guts of the cross."

Moving on.

Yancey writes about how Jesus still called us to perfecction: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." But nobody - not even Mother Teresa, as Yancey points out - has ever completely fulfilled those commands. "We will never measure up."

But here's the cool part: Jesus forgave many people during his ministry: an adulterous woman, a thief on the cross, Peter who had denied him three times, Saul who became Paul, and list could go on. "There is only one way for any of us to resolve the tension between the high ideals of the gospel and the grim reality of ourselves: to accept that we will never measure up, but that we do not have to" (emphasis mine).


Walter Wink talks about the "turn the other cheek" verses. "Jesus is not just suggesting that we masochistically let people step all over us. Instead, Jesus is pointing us toward something that imaginatively disarms others." Think about it: if someone hit you, your reaction would either be to run away, or to fight back. Jesus is giving us a third option: if you stand there and look the person in the eye rather than cower or fight back, that person will find it harder and harder to hurt you. Jesus is telling us to "talk with them and woo them into our movement by our love."


Yancey paraphrases Jesus: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?"

So... I'm losing focus, so I will write out the rest of the quotes that impacted me

"Jesus' healings are not supernatural miracles in a natural world. They are the only truly 'natural' things in a world that is unnatural, demonized and wounded."

"Do you want to get well?" "What if 'getting well' spiritually meant a painful amputation of a beloved habit, the denial of a personal passion, or the death of a dream? Would you still want to be well? When the patient is our souls and not our bodies, everything changes. The issue is no longer 'Can Jesus heal?' but 'Do I want to get well?'" -Rick James

"I was absolutely thunderstruck by the extraordinary reality of the man I found in the Gospels. I discovered a man who was almost continually frustrated. His frustration leaps out of virtually every page: 'What do I have to say to you? How many times do I have to say it? What do I have to do to get through to you?' I also discovered a man who was frequently sad and sometimes depressed, frequently anxious and scared...A man who was terribly, terribly lonely, yet often desperately wanted to be alone. I discovered a man so incredibly real that no one could have made Him up."

I want to get the book "The Jesus I Never Knew," which is where these excerpts are taken from. I would really like to read the whole book. Perhaps that will be my next book purchase... =)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Beautiful" Bethany Dillon

Along with "Calmer of the Storm," this is the other song I've decided on doing at the Zimbabwe fundraiser at Booth next Saturday (PS YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME!!!!! =D) Absolutely beautiful song that has touched me personally, and I hope that by singing it next week it can touch someone else.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Calmer of the Storm" Downhere

This song has really been speaking to me as of late... So when my friend Sherrie asked me if I wanted to play a song or two at a music cafe fundraiser at Booth, this song immediately came to mind.

PS if you're in Winnipeg, you should totally come to the fundraiser! April 16th, 6-9pm, $10, Booth College chapel. The students are raising funds for their mission trip to Zimbabwe, pretty sweet! =)

Singing Horses

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Voice of Matthew

This was a cool book. All it was was the book of Matthew rewritten in today's language, with historical contexts included, linguistic additives to help make sense of passages, etc. It really reminded me of The Message, except that The Message sticks to just translating original texts, whereas The Voice includes explanations. Looking forward to reading The Voice of Mark! =)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Left Behind Series - Sequel "Kingdom Come"

This book is about life during the 1,000-year reign on Earth, before Christ brings a new Heaven and a new Earth, while Lucifer is in the bottomless pit before getting thrown into the lake of fire. Interesting book, to say the least, though I don't have much to say about it except GO READ IT YOURSELF!!! =P

So that's it! That's the end of the series! I am missing just one book (the prequel "The Rapture," which is the third and final prequel), but I have ordered it tonight and it should be here in a few weeks =)

So what's next? Well, I started "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters," but I went and bought a few books today at Hull's cuz it's their 72-hour sale, and these books were like 80% off! So they've been added to my book list, and I'm starting on "The Voice of Matthew."

The "The Voice" books are basically the books from the Bible, rewritten with added context. It's explained in the preface:

"To help the reader understand how the new rendering of a passage compares to the original manuscripts, several indicators are embedded within the text. Italic type indicates words not directly tied to a dynamic translation of the original language. Material delineated by a screened box or set apart in a box expands on the theme. This portion is not taken directly from the original language. To avoid the endless repetition of simple conjunctives, dialog is formatted as a screenplay. The speaker is indicated, the dialog is indented, and quotation marks are not used. This helps greatly in the public reading of Scripture. Sometimes the original text includes exposition that interrupts the dialog. This is shown either as a stage direction immediately following the speaker's name or as part of the narrative section that immediately precedes the speaker's name. The screenplay format clearly shows who is speaking."

The Voice is translated from original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic languages, but written in modern day style, such as The Message (Eugene Peterson). But it's still in Bible form, meaning there's chapters and verses, there's just added stuff and clarifications.

These three were the only ones I could find at Hull's, but I checked out Amazon when I got home and ordered all the rest that I could find (Luke, John, Acts, Romans, and Psalms). I'm very much looking forward to reading these, and will of course post updates as I finish them =)

Left Behind Series - #12 Glorious Appearing

There was so much in this book that impacted me!!! I don't want to get into too much detail (because I want you to go out and read the books for yourself!), but this is all based on the book of Revelation, so if you read that, you can pretty much figure out these books.

Anyways, we're at Armageddon. The HUGE army of Lucifer is prepared to battle Christ Jesus when he returns. Except when Jesus starts speaking, the Unity Army (as they're called in the book) dies as if they've been killed by a sword. It's explained the the Word of God is called the sword of the Spirit, and so by speaking Scripture (God's Word), it literally acts as a sword against the evil army.

The part that really got to me was when Jesus says this:

"I am the Lamb that was slain and yet who lives. I am the Shepherd who leads His sheep to living fountains of waters. I am the God who will wipe away every tear from your eyes. I am your Salvation and Strength. I am the Christ who has come for the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, the one who has been cast down."

Jesus is simply describing Himself. There's not much more to it. He has finally come to rid the world of Lucifer (at least for a time) and bring His children to Himself. And not just spiritually, but face to face. Face to face! Can you imagine that???

On the next page, it describes how Smitty and Kenny (four years old at this point) reacted when Jesus appeared in the clouds. With Him, He brought light that penetrated even the darkest of shadows. Smitty was holding Kenny - who was sleeping but had woken up from the light - and trying to kneel before Jesus, when Kenny told Smitty that he wanted to kneel too. The book says, "[Kenny] too knelt, first intertwining his tiny fingers as if to pray, then reaching out to Jesus. 'My Lord and my God,' [Smitty] said, and Kenny repeated him. 'Jesus!' Kenny cried, standing and waving. 'Jesus!'"

I can picture this: a four-year-old boy, born and raised during the Tribulation by Christ-following parents, finally getting to see Jesus, and SO excited that he just jumps and and starts waving to Jesus, trying to get His attention. Working in a daycare, I've had the chance to observe kids at this age, and I've seen them get really excited about seeing their parents coming to pick them up at the end of the day. For Kenny to be that excited to see Jesus, I just thought that is super cool =D

Another part that really impacted me was after Jesus had defeated Lucifer's army and was now calling His children to come to Him, saying, "Come to Me, My child, come unto Me, and I will give you rest." The book tells this part through Rayford's perspective, and it tells of Jesus being just as thrilled to see Rayford as Rayford was to see Him. But Rayford "was overcome with the shame of his sin. Unworthy. So unworthy. He slowed almost to a stop, fearing he would collapse in disgrace and humiliation."

Yet Jesus tells him, "No, no," and even leans forward, smiling, reaching for Rayford. Here comes a good part:

"[Rayford] dropped to his knees at Jesus' feet, sobbing, reminded of every sin and shortcoming of his entire life. Loving hands gathered him in, and he was drawn to Jesus' bosom. 'Rayford, Rayford, how I have looked forward to and longed for this day.'"

Can you imagine yourself in Rayford's shoes here? Finally getting to see your Saviour face to face, and realising just how unworthy you are to be there, yet He reaches out and carries you to Him. I get goosebumps when I think about this! I've often longed for the day I get to see Jesus face to face, sometimes so much it hurts. There's a song by Chris Rice called "Smile (Just Want to Be with You)" that I find perfectly captures that feeling:

But to think that Jesus feels the same way!!! Can you hear Jesus singing this song about seeing us? Blows my mind...

A Dramatic Reading