Tonight we enjoyed one of my favorite meals: Chinese hot pot! It is basically a Chinese fondue with steaming broth and a variety of sauces. On a frosty night, there is nothing better than friends and family gathered around the tableside pots where the cherishing of flavors is only highlighted by the conversations that weave in and out of cooking and serving. Here are some of the goodies ladled out of our hot pot tonight: thinly sliced chicken and beef, shrimp, scallops, squid, tofu, portobello and enoki mushrooms, bean thread noodles, spinach, napa cabbage, fish and meat balls. Must-have sauces: Sha Cha sauce, hot bean sauce, peanut sauce, sriracha, Chinese black vinegar, and sweet soy sauce. Some more tips can be found here, and here. Though perhaps an acquired taste, hot pot just might become your new favorite way to spend a wintry evening. Our friends, Peter and Katy are […]
Christmas always turns out to be a bigger blessing than expected. Our family was showered with needs and wants and much love. Among our favorite gifts this year were: a new vacuum cleaner, espresso machine, wooden pretend kitchen for number two, LEGOS, and this DVD set. It’s unbelieveable how blessed we were by each of our loved ones! This year, many of my family received handmade gifts, most of which were purses, aprons, or tea cozies. The kids received blankets and some colored-pencil rolls . I think (and hope!) they were well received and loved. Much love was stitched into each piece. In fact, on my last project I managed to run the needle through my index finger for the first time. Blood, sweat, and a few tears. Note to self: Next time, don’t yank your finger out when you’ve run it into the sewing machine. Ouch. For my sister-in-law, […]
My heart is grateful today that He has allowed us to be a part of the Christmas story…the work of redemption. Wishing each of you a blessed Christmas, from our home to yours.
So I guess we go to Trader Joe’s a lot. Who am I kidding–we are addicts. We are walking Trader Joe’s infomercials. Our children know the staff by name. We love them; they love us. It’s quite lovely, actually. Every week’s trip is the same: The boys run happily into the store, stop to greet “Mr. Clinton” or “Miss Rebecca” at the front desk, pick up their choice of colored balloons, skip and hop their way to the daily beverage and food samplings, say hi to some more staff, begin their quest to find “Coco,” the coconut guy (who’s hidden location, once discovered, earns the children a prize from the treasure chest), and finally, proceed to the checkout line where the boys will continue to make conversation about the weather or ancient history with “Ms. Heather,” or whoever may be working that day. During all this frolicking is when their […]
I’ve been sewing….a lot. Sewing, ripping seams out, fixing broken needles, ripping more seams out, messing with the tension…and, ripping more seams out. For the amateur, self-taught seamstress, this often-times tedious pastime is a labor of love and not necessarily that of leisure (especially if there is no such thing as “free time” in one’s career as mom and wife.) Nonetheless, this year’s Christmas handiwork of choice is sewing. Lofty goals for gifts on a very basic, very dated sewing machine. Despite my efforts to adjust the machine properly, I found myself fighting continuously with inconsisitency and erratic stitching. Homemade should not be junky, but it should look homemade right? Well it’s gonna have to be this year as my propensity towards perfectionism is being buffered by an uncooperative mechanical elf. I rest on the hope that each of my loved ones knows my love for him or her apart […]
I’ve finally come up for air… Saturday night’s annual open house was great fun. We had 81 people not counting our family of five. A sea of great food and friends throughout our house. How thankful we are to have such faithful and endearing relationships year after year. I have to admit my photos aren’t much, and failed to capture the warmth and glow of the evening. It’s hard to be the historian and the host! Nevertheless, you can see the slideshow here. Fortunately, our memories serve as adequate scrapbooks that in the long run, keep only the best snapshots. Also, if you liked the granola recipe posted back in October, be sure to check out some updates to that recipe. I added dried apricots and fiddled with the consistency. You can’t go wrong either way, but I like the revised version better. Hope each of you are enjoying your […]
Contrary to the images of warmth, family, and laughter one might see on television ads around this time of year, the holidays are often a time of sadness for some people. I have, for most of my life, been one of those people. The pandemonium of finding the “perfect” gift, of expressing how you really feel, of coming together as a family, of spending within your means, of getting things out on time, of scheduling conflicts, of unmet expectations, of raising content (and not greedy) children—all seem directly opposed to the experience of Joy during the holiday season. Remembering that “Jesus is the reason for the season” doesn’t really work either, as it has become so cliche and cultural. That’s how I honestly feel. Every year I struggle at some point during the season with joy. How fitting, then, is it that during the Advent my husband has come to […]
It was an eventful day today. Most of the day was spent building a Curious George birthday cake for our friends’ little boy, who turned three yesterday. His mommy and daddy were planning a Curious George birthday party but were devastated last week with the loss of their little girl at 30 weeks in the womb. Our friends from church hosted the party today for them instead. It is a blessing to share in the lives of friends–in both easy times and the difficult. George is made of rice krispy treats, and the big yellow hat is a lemon cake filled with lemon curd and whipped cream. Despite many reconstructive surgeries, George still ended up looking like a hunchback… I stitched a colored pencil “roll” with a little blank journal for the birthday boy. It folds up neatly with velcro, and is the perfect size for a little boy on […]
Our ladies’ Bible Study at church just completed a study through Feminine Appeal, Seven Virtues of A Godly Wife and Mother, by Carolyn Mahaney. It was my second or third time through the book, but first time leading a group of mostly younger gals who have been married under five years. I think I can speak for us all when I say we were greatly encouraged and motivated to be more godly wives and mothers through this study. It amazes me how in every stage and role in marriage, we as wives continuously battle our flesh and natural tendencies in order to reap the rewards of a godward life. My husband and I will be celebrating ten years next summer, and while I feel more confident than I did in my twenties, I perpetually find myself revisiting the virtues found in Titus 2:3-5 with greater humility and desire for obedience. […]
If you are not familiar with eggs in a basket you are missing out. My kids love them for presentation, but I find them irresistible as a one-stop meal. This is a recipe for my grown up version. Made with sprouted grain bread, jumbo eggs, Tilamook cheddar, and fiery salsa, these stacks end up hearty, healthy, south of the border, and a wee bit sophisticated. Makes 1 serving: 2 slices sprouted wheat, or multi-grain bread 2 jumbo eggs 1 thick slice of cheddar cheese (pepper-jack would be excellent as well) a few spoonfuls of your favorite salsa Spray a nonstick pan with oil, and heat on med-high. Using a 2 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut a whole out of the center of each slice of bread. Place both slices of bread in pan. Crack eggs individually, and plop each one in a hole. Sprinkle with salt and […]
Not only did he manage to get quinoa and blueberry cream cheese all over his hair, Judah was able to balance his bowl perfectly on top of his head! He’s mighty proud of it too, you see? You think we ought to sign him up for the Chinese Acrobats?