Adventures in Food: Green Salsa

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I’m not exactly a huge fan of spicy food. In face, I have a very low tolerance for such things, much to the chagrin of the Fella. He can have gallons of hot sauce, all of the spicy pepper flakes, buffalo chicken to his face and be happy as a clam. I try a tiny bit of hot sauce on something and need 3 glasses of milk. So part of my goals for the summer, aside from not getting sunburned and no ticks please, is to up my spicy food intake by playing with some recipes.
It’s easy to start off with salsa, since all you have to do is put all the ingredients in a blender. My brother and I bought a really sick one at the end of last summer, so this recipe literally took me about 5 minutes.blenderNinja! Very worth it!
I found this recipe for “Guacamole Salsa“, but I like calling it Green Salsa because it’s not the same texture, consistancy, or taste as guacamole. Plus, I like using the Chipotle recipe for guacamole. It’s delicious.
This recipe calls for tomatillos (AKA tomate verde) instead of tomatoes, which I’m fine with because I don’t like tomatoes. The tomatillo is meatier, and has an almost citrus flavor. It tastes fresh, and works really well with the avocado.
Here’s the recipe I used:

  • 1 lb. tomatillos (or more if you want it thinner)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro
  • 1 thick slice of onion
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • A few shakes of Cumin

ingredientsI added the cumin and an extra clove of garlic because, garlic, and put everything in the blender. I took the advice of the original recipe, remembering the put the avocado in “last” (first, since my blender gets turned upside down to blend everything) and the tomatillos in “first”. I had to pack in the tomatillos a few at a time because I don’t have the biggest blender, but once everything started getting liquefied I fit all of the ingredients in no problem.chipThis stuff is not super spicy, but you can add more spice, or maybe more avocado if you want thicker texture. It tastes fresh, with a little kick to it, and the texture is thick enough that you can get a good amount on the chip without dripping some on your shirt. That’s a win in my book! Plus, the color is awesome!
These photos are of a small bowl I had for myself, but there’s a big container of it in my fridge right now waiting to be demolished by the rest of the family.salsadirty

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Some Thoughts on the Glory of Single-dom

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max2Being single can be like being on vacation.
For instance, you can create rules and boundaries in your life and only have to answer to yourself. Better yet, you can change or break the rules however you like. If you decide that you don’t drink on week nights but have a particularly awful day on Tuesday and want to shotgun a glass of wine as soon as you get home, you can do it and call it a freebie. The only person who has to deal with your behavior is you.
You can be utterly selfish. This even extends to relationships in certain phases, because until there’s a ring on it there’s still that room in your life to say “that’s where I do what I do and you don’t have a say in it”. You get to say no to plans because you want a pedicure. You get to dole out your time with friends like a miser or lavish attention in unexpected ways. You can put all of your time and money into your favorite hobby, be it learning how to basket weave, playing a certain game, or constructing life size clay creatures from fantasy novels. You get to have your thing that makes you happy and no one gets to take that away from you.
You can have weird rituals.  You can spend two hours perfecting your makeup.  You can wake up later and skip the shower.  If you’re a slob that keeps piles of clothes instead of a hamper you have a completely organized floor. If you can’t go to bed without having cleaned the house with everything in it’s place you can call it a perfectly normal night.
When you’re single you can do things like treat yourself to an adventure, be it driving across a few states to see a friend or taking yourself to the movies. It’s a little scary, but it’s exhilarating to experience something all by yourself. You can focus on the parts of a movie that speak to you, or the joys of a long drive that make you feel more like yourself.
One thing that I sometimes miss about being single is being able to romanticize what a relationship would be like. I think we all have done it, looking forward to that magical moment when your eyes meet across the room, the butterflies will be fluttering in your tummy as that person starts talking to you, and you find yourself swept off your feet with the initial request to spend time together. I used to imagine beautiful dates planned and sweet conversations with compliments about parts of me that I didn’t know could be seen as beautiful to another human being.
Of course, it is usually based on the romantic things I’ve seen in movies, TV shows, and heard in love songs. One of the reasons I actually love the movie “They Came Together” (which my boyfriend calls one of the worst movies he’s ever been forced to watch, right up there with the time I made him watch “Pride and Prejudice”) is that it mocks the entire romantic comedy genre in the best way ever. It gives the characters the qualities and story lines that we see in every Rom-Com, making the entire movie a mockery of what Hollywood has sugar coated and force fed us since we were in the uterus.
Now that I’m on the other side, in a relationship, I occasionally fantasize about the romantic ideas like I used to, but I don’t get too far into them. I’m happy with the Fella that I have, and dreaming about what he could be like if he changed feels wrong. I know what kind of person he is and what kind of person I am. Of course, as a woman, I want to be romanced and wooed and pursued. But it doesn’t all come about in the same ways. Our romantic moments are usually surrounded by goofy moments, loud moments, nerdy moments, serious moments, angry moments, stupid moments, stinky moments, and more. I wouldn’t trade the reality of talking with our mouths full about what the correct answer is in “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” for the daydream of what Hollywood deems romantic. dirty

Hold Your Tongue

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tumblr_n4598kth4T1sa2ghlo1_250tumblr_n4598kth4T1sa2ghlo2_250 I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, what goals I might have for myself. The first thought was to start working out, but I quickly put that to rest by remembering that I won’t. I have made lists before of the things I want to do for the year, all kinds of goals that are big and small and most of them never get spoken of or thought of again. But one thing is on my mind for this year, and it’s a thorn in my side I hope I don’t ignore.
The first realization I had of needing to work on this particular thing was during a conversation with my friend/coworker. She mentioned that she couldn’t get a sleeve of tattoos because at her wedding she would wear a strapless dress and her boyfriend’s family is super conservative. I was incredulous.
I can’t imagine you marrying him when you only ever talk crap about him!
She told me point blank that that’s what you do with your girlfriends; you talk crap about your boyfriend.
We never talk about the good things because no one cares, it’s fun to talk about how stupid they are.
I immediately told her a story about how adorable my boyfriend had been a few days before, to balance it out.
I then went on with work and realized that I do talk crap more often than mentioning the positive things in my relationship, and in many parts of my life. And I realized that it’s not a small issue, it’s a heart issue. What people say effects others and themselves in ways that they don’t expect, and I’m sure that what I say out loud can be detrimental to my own positive view of my relationships and my life.
I started to think about it again after a conversation with my mom about how Jesus told people how serious blasphemy is.

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31&32)

If you need to know everything about this passage and what it means exactly I highly recommend this article which explains much of the intricacies of the passage. In context, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees that were telling people that he was able to perform miracles not because of the Holy Spirit, but because he was possessed by Satan. Even in the bible, people have problems with talking crap when they should keep their mouths shut.
I started thinking about blasphemy and about how the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God would make him feel. The fact of the matter is that we all know what it’s like to have someone talk badly about us behind our backs. Only the blissfully ignorant miss out on the heartbreak of knowing that someone you care about has decided to say something insulting about you to someone else. But God doesn’t even have the chance to turn his back before we start saying whatever we want to about him, good or bad. The creator of the world, the omniscient and all-powerful God, he hears every evil word that comes out of our mouths.
When I was thinking about this I had a very specific memory come up that is the only way I could relate in my own small human way.
I was having dinner with a boyfriend, and we were talking about our relationship. We had been together a few months. He explained to me that if I had told him the night before that I loved him that he would have broken up with me on the spot. I asked why, and he replied,
Because I don’t love you.
From there, every time he did anything careless, inconsiderate, rude, selfish, or stupid I just wanted to say,
I already know you don’t love me, you don’t have to keep trying to prove it.
It stuck with me. It’s still stuck with me. It’s not the kind of thing that I can hear and forget. It’s not the kind of thing I could imagine saying to someone, ever, and yet it’s something I was told to my face. I don’t know if the moment will ever leave my memory or my heart, of knowing that no matter how nice he was to me, how sweet or kind or funny or committed, he still doesn’t love me.
And yet, Jesus says that every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, even what we say against the Son of God himself. God can hear us say the worst things, worse than I don’t love you, and still has so much room for forgiveness that he will be able to listen to our intercessor (Jesus) and choose to forget what we have said, what we have done.
My goal for this year is to practice biting my tongue when it comes to talking crap and to remember that if God can choose to forget our sins that I have plenty of room in my heart, that Christ renews daily, to forgive what others might say about or towards me.
Have you discovered any particular places in your heart that God wants you to work on this year? Or have you made a list of goals, like I usually fail to complete? Did you decide on straight up resolutions? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!
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Adventures in Food: Breakfast

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Having three days off in a row can be really annoying. Having three days off in a row when you’re sick and lost your voice, on the other hand, is a blessing in disguise. I sound ridiculous and feel run down, absolutely exhausted and sick. Thankfully, today I managed to get myself together enough to put together a post!
I don’t like eggs. It’s a texture thing. I don’t like them without eating them with something else. It has to always be on toast, or in a sandwich. So when I found a few different recipes that included breakfast food on croissant dough, I said to myself, “yes, please!” I sort of made this up as I went along, but basically the ingredients are:
01

  • 1 roll of croissants
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 sausage links (I used an apple chicken flavor)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • A few table spoons of butter for the frying of the eggs and sausage, and some salt and pepper to taste.

First thing to do is prep the ingredients. Quarter the dough and press the divides together, sort of kneading it out like pizza, even folding over the edges for a little crust.02After prepping the dough I fried up the eggs, scrambling them in the pan. Season the eggs how you will, I used salt and pepper. I also shredded the cheddar cheese. Then I took the casing off the sausage, cus I think the sausage casing makes it yucky.03I chopped up the sausage pretty small, fried it up nice and crispy, and set up all the ingredients.04I used a big spoon and put two scoops each of the eggs and sausage on the dough, then topped it with the cheddar cheese.05I cooked them all for 12 minutes at 385. I would not suggest cooking on tin foil, I had a brain fart when I was prepping for this project and forgot how awful the dough sticks to it. 0607I will say that I really liked these, there was a good ratio of toppings, although you can always play around with what you’ve got available and add more. I even had the pickiest eater in the house, my little brother, eat one and he said he liked it!
Right out of the oven these breakfast munchies are delicious, but I’m also going to try them reheated in the microwave tomorrow morning.08dirty

Hard Things.

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I worked ten days in a row in the past two weeks. Would you like to know what I like about working ten days in a row? None of it.
Working that many days, no matter what the shift length, straight through is something that I call a hard thing to do. Another is to blog all the time when you’re working like a crazy person and attempting to remember what kids do on their weekends off.
anigif_enhanced-buzz-24257-1368233841-0It was a hard thing for me to overcome my fear of driving. I had to pray a lot about that, but eventually my hands stopped shaking when I would get out of the car. In fact, I now enjoy driving by myself with the system cranked so I can belt out my favorite teen pop songs from ten years ago. It even can relax me! What a turn this has all taken!
It’s also a hard thing for me to remember the rules of the road, also to not consider driving just a real life video game. I have to remind myself it’s not Mario Kart on a regular basis.
It’s a hard thing to have relationships. From friendships to family to significant others, it’s really hard to wake up every day and decided that you want to shower people with love when there are so many reasons not to. For instance, that person is behaving like a spoiled brat. Or, I don’t really feel like making that phone call right now cus I just got out of work and I’m tired. Or, I don’t want to spend my time with you right now because I want to be alone watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Or, I can’t figure out how to give you what you want so I’m going to ignore you until you pester me so much that we end up fighting. So many good reasons to just let relationships fail, but then I’d miss the wonderful benefits of having my good friends available for advice and laughter. I’d miss being able to be a part of a family that is messy and loud and loves each other hard. I’d even miss being able to put my heart on the line in a relationship that will require teamwork and dedication to fighting for each other.
It’s a hard thing to know people who have died. Remembering them is the quickest way to pull clouds over the sun. It’s a hard thing to live a life that celebrates who they were and what you have when you don’t feel like celebrating. Death impacts people in very distinct ways. It can make you wonder what the point is of continuing life, because to be honest when you lose someone just living day to day can be a hard thing to do.
Living through terrible illness can be the biggest hard things to do that ever was. I haven’t been through this kind of suffering, and I would never claim to understand the pain that it brings an individual. But where the media has recently been covering the topic because of one individual’s decision regarding her illness, I do have my own opinions on it.
Brittany Maynard made headlines because after being diagnosed with a highly malignant and aggressive form of brain tumor that would eventually kill her she decided to end her own life under Oregon’s so-called Death with Dignity law. I see mixed reviews on my Facebook feed, some of my friends are applauding her and some of my friends are… not.
One thing I’d like to make clear is that no matter what my opinion or your opinion is, it’s strictly that: an opinion. In the same way that I can offer my opinion on Kim Kardashian’s new magazine cover; it really won’t change what has already happened. Our opinions might give people a chance to think a little differently, to have the world open up a little more than it was before, but that is it.
I do not see myself ever supporting an act that allows someone to take his or her own life. I have had friends who have attempted to take their own lives out of mental anguish and even a friend who succeeded. In their minds the suffering that they were going through was so great that they decided to end the pain. Their hard things to do became too hard for them. I have also known strong and brave people who have gone through illnesses that tortured them to the core of their being until they died.
I think the reason I’m not into the death with dignity thing is because dignity isn’t something I deserve when I see myself in the light of certain truths. Whatever dignity I have won’t be credited to me, especially since if you know me you know I don’t have much of it at all. It will be all on the man who died on a cross in the most undignified manner that his people could think of, just to rise up again to receive more honor and glory than any person on earth could possibly dream of.
There are hard things to do in this world. We can hope that going through hard things can make us stronger and wiser than before, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it makes us selfish and bitter, without as much space in our hearts as we once had. What I desire, when it comes to my life, is that the hard things will point me back to Christ, who went through the hardest things for no reason other than His intense love for us. My hope, dignity, and strength that gets me through the hard things, it’s all in Him.
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