meal plan 02

Posted: January 20th, 2014

meal plan 2

I’m sorry for my kind of unexpected sabbatical.  I hope I’ll be back to posting regularly in a couple of weeks.  But in the meantime…

I really wanted to get this to you sooner, but, well life.  So here we go: a generally easy meal plan.  There is nothing here that is too complicated; even if a meal takes over an hour to put together, a lot of that time is waiting for chicken in the oven or for farro to simmer on the stove.

meal plan 02
meal plan 02 recipes

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cinnamon sugar palmiers

Posted: December 22nd, 2013

cinnamon sugar palmiers

This season of life is absolutely crazy, and as a result there is probably not going to be a lot of cooking coming out of my kitchen over the next several weeks.  So let me introduce you to the absolutely easiest Christmas cookie recipe ever, with three total ingredients (ok, four if you count a pinch of salt), no stirring or mixing, and hardly any measuring. Read more »

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mustard roasted potatoes

Posted: December 12th, 2013

mustard roasted potatoes

I really have very little I want to say today, but that’s the way with it, huh?  You just keep typing.  You just keep going.  And sometimes the words come and sometimes they don’t.

There is so much going on in life right now, what with Christmas and all.  But very little of that translates into something that works here.  It’s all just busy busy busy in the best way.  We’ve been going to parties, which is never exactly my favorite thing, but I’ve done well and generally enjoyed them.  I’ve been wrapping lots of gifts, which is my favorite thing and I think my favorite spiritual practice of Christmas, too. Read more »

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what i’ve been reading: fall 2013

Posted: December 10th, 2013

Torn by Justin Lee

{Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee}

Torn is written by Justin Lee, founder of the Gay Christian Network, who grew up in a conservative Christian home and church and was just sure that we was not gay, even though it turns out he was.  In Torn, Lee tells the story of his journey from being known as “God Boy” at school, to admitting he was gay, to trying to make himself straight, to finally accepting that he could not change who he was.  But within his personal story is of course the bigger story of the church and how unaccepting (or accepting) it is of gays and lesbians.  Lee has done his research, and he has several chapters dealing with everything from “ex-gay ministries” to breakdowns of Bible passages that are often used when discussing the “gays vs. christians” issue.  I think this is one of the most important books I’ve read all year.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

{The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri}

In my opinion, Jhumpa Lahiri can do no wrong.  Ever since I read her first story collection for my First Year Composition Class in college, I have been hooked.  I think I have read all of her previous books twice, going through them slowly and just marveling at the art of it all.  And The Lowland is no exception (although I haven’t read it twice yet.)

All the reviews I’ve read describe The Lowland as the story of two brothers, but really it is the story of one brother (Subhash) and the absence of another brother (Udayan).  It is the story about what a family does when it loses someone in a violent way, and how some people handle it well and other people handle it in destructive ways.  And it is about how life and family continues and how the world goes on around us and keeps evolving and changing, even when monumental things happen within our private lives.

And the ending…the ending just blew me away.  Not because anything particularly spectacular happens, but because it is some of the most true writing I have read and such a beautiful way to tie together a heavy story.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

{The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid}

I’ve heard so many great things about this book, and while I felt it was a bit slower than I expected, the ending just makes it all work.  It’s a short read, and when you get to the last page, even if you pretty much had it figured out, your jaw still drops.  The Reluctant Fundamentalist is the story of Changez, a Pakistani student in America.  He is telling the story of his time in America, and how much he loves it, to an acquaintance at a restaurant and we learn how 9/11 and the aftermath was a turning point in his life.  This is a book that challenges stereotypes, something I think it is so important for us to do in our post 9/11 worldLove thy Rival by Chad Gibbs

{Love Thy Rival by Chad Gibbs}

I think Chad Gibbs just needs to keep writing books, mostly because  in years that I read a book by him, Auburn has a fantastic football season (I read God and Football in 2010).  But also he needs to keep writing books because they are hilarious.  In Love Thy Rival, Gibbs travels to major sports rivalries around the world (and some minor ones too) and asks people about the rivalry.  If you love a team that is a part of a big rivalry, you will get this book.  Also, I finished reading this book the morning of the Iron Bowl, and look where that got us.  War Eagle!  (Oh, I should point out that Chad Gibbs is also a huge Auburn fan, if that makes me biased towards how he writes about sports at all.)

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cauliflower gratin with roasted chestnuts + advent

Posted: December 5th, 2013

cauliflower gratin with roasted chestnuts and herb bread crumbs

Can we talk about Advent?  I have no idea what your faith is like, what your religion is, how you feel about the general universe, etc.  So all I can do is offer up my feelings about some of these topics from time to time, and today I feel like I need to talk about Advent, the time we wait for Christmas to come, and remember what it was (and is) like to wait for Jesus, for God to redeem the world.

Growing up we lit our Advent candles every Sunday night.  We all had a part: My mom would read a couple of paragraphs about waiting for Christmas, my dad would read the Bible, I would play the piano for us to sing a song together, my brother would ask the question “Why do we light the first/second/third/fourth candle?”  And then we would blow out the candles, which became a production when my brother was in elementary school and could not attempt to blow out his candle without breaking into laughter.  And I have to say (and I think my mom would be happy to know this) that out of all the things going on during Christmas-time, the tradition of those Advent nights stick out to me. Read more »

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