Sunday, January 31, 2010


Ok, so I definitely didn't cook.

Had a headache...for like the last 3 days.

Today I kicked it by taking an Advil and having a cup of coffee...together. Like, I washed the Advil down with the coffee.

It worked.

Quite well.

I'm now feeling better and am looking forward to the fact that I start work tomorrow at 9am instead of 8. Yay! An extra hour to sleep. ahhh. Love it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Just May Use that New Dutch Oven...

Trying to think of what to cook this weekend. Since working takes up just about my whole day...and we will be moving so that I have a 20 min. commute, it looks like there is little to no chance I will be doing "elaborate" homemade meals each day. I was never drawn to books like "Rachel Ray's 30 minute Meals" because I LIKE to getting it done in 30 minutes wasn't what I wanted. (Granted...there IS a limit. I'm not a fan of ALL day meals and obviously by what I just said I DON'T have kids, haha.) But, a couple of hours on a meal is okay to me usually. It's probably the same as those who like to create projects like, say a quilt. I just get to eat mine in the end! looks like this will have to be a weekend "craft". Oh well, that's ok. So...looks like 30 minute meals will be right up my alley! :)
So, this weekend I'm thinking....
Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon (my dad cooked with her back in the day when he was head chef at Old Port Inn..."Save the liver".)

Anyways,, "Aunt-In-Law"...she's Jason's aunt, recently made this recipe and said that it was sooooo incredibly good. So...since meat freaks me out...I'm ready to conquer my fear (meat itself doesn't freak me out, but cooking with it does! It's expensive so when you ruin've wasted a bit of money. I usually get anxiety when I have to cook it...haha)

Haven't decided what else. Maybe make some homemade bread???? Yeah. I'm thinking some rolls. We'll see what happens.

Anyways, as I mentioned...we're moving. To Morro Bay. Good-bye SLO Town. Hello Beach Town....where I can surf, run on the beach, and sit in my jacuzzi bath tub (yes, it has jets) with our beautiful view of Morro Rock. Oh...and we have a garage with a washer and dryer. Man, this week was GOOD. :) We are feeling a TON unworthy of all this incredible blessing.

*Ok, so a note on the apt. Basically we looked at it when we first moved back from Chile. It's not a normal apt. It was a big house that they split up into two units. The apt/studio doesn't share any walls...or anything. We are upstairs over our garage even. The entrances to each house are actually on different streets so it feels like a regular house. Anyways, it was all inclusive and sounded nice so we went and looked at it. When we got there it took all that I had not to GUSH over it. Basically, they offered it dirt cheap because she wanted to get a wide variety of people. She really wanted to give it to someone who would love it and take care of it. It's fully furnished (quite tastefully), has a flat screen TV mounted on the wall, cable, Internet, a jacuzzi tub, huge closets, a dishwasher, garage, it's own fenced yard, deck, w&d....the list goes on. It's also less than a mile from Jason's school with a nice little path along the beach that takes him there.

I figured though that we wouldn't get it. We weren't really ready for it. We needed two incomes and we just had mine. We turned in the application anyways and waited a couple of weeks. Didn't hear anything so kinda forgot about it. Then, two days before Jason's interview she basically called and said that if he gets the job...we can have it! Well, he got the job and that day we called her. We can move in on Mon! Yay! Thank you Jesus! We really didn't NEED something that nice's a perfect location and we are really, really, REALLY thankful for it! And that was a REALLY big side note! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

tHaNk thE LoRD!!!!

Well, I am here to tell you that after a looooooooong drawn out process (like about a month) my fabulously awesome husband just got offered a job at Morro Bay High School! He excepted of course! :)

Basically a couple of weeks after we returned from Chile we saw a job post for an ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructor Aid at Morro Bay High. Basically, he would be aiding and helping teach the Spanish speaking kids at the high school. The original job post was pretty minimal. Decent pay but about 15-20 hours a week. Since it's right in line with Jason's field of work he decided to go for it and supplement it with something else. extensive application, a Spanish fluency test, and two interviews later Jason was offered the job about an hour after his interview by the principal at the school. The best part is that it looks like it may be more like 32 hours/week with some bennys! Meaning, with the pay being decent, he doesn't need to get another job! We'll be just fine.

I think we just feel a little overwhelmed at such a blessing. God is so so SO good. We both got good jobs "relatively" fast! We were definitely nervous coming back with everyone talking about how bad the California economy was. But...we just tried to trust the Lord and waited to see what happened.

Praise the Lord. What great news and I am SOOO proud of that handsome man I call my husband! Yay Jason! Congrats!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Subconscious Tendencies :)

Today I realized that when I'm stressed...I bake.
Jason casually mentioned, "It's funny, I exercise, and you bake."

As I'm pumpin' out my cookies I say, "What?"

He replies, "Well, when I get stressed, I go ride or exercise. When you get stressed, you bake."

After he said this I did a mental flashback of the last year of "most stressful moments". Yep. I baked during each time. In Chile. In the States. I baked when I had a stressful day. I baked today because I had a stressful day.

Never realized it. But it seems to be true. I guess it could be worse...I could throw things. I could scream and yell. Instead...I bake sweets. Hmmm. Seems like in 10 years or so (once my metabolism slows down) the exercising tendency would be a bit better for the figure. But who REALLY cares about what your figure looks like when there is a nice warm batch of cookies sitting on the counter? Not I and not you! Quit pretending! :)

So, now I want to know...WHY? Why do I do this? Maybe it's the control factor. When things seem out of control I CAN control something by baking. "That combined with this over here makes something yummy." Simple as that! It's certainly a subconscious thing whatever it is. Or maybe there's just something nice about turning the oven on and filling the house with yummy smells. The most likely reason though is really, who's NOT happier after eating their weight in cookie dough? I mean, not that I DID that. No, no sir!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Before I go to work...

...take a look at this! Such a cool recipe for something I didn't even REALIZE could be made from scratch! I really want the book that this lady got this recipe from. Anyways, here it is if you're interested. It's an AWESOME recipe for homemade bouillon. I use bouillon a lot becuase well, I'm too lazy to make my own stock...and it's easy to just have in your cupboard. You can use 1 tsp for every 1 cup of liquid in your recipe. You can use it in soups, risottos, and all kinds of things. You can freeze it too and it doesn't solidify becuase of the salt! awesome...

Homemade Bouillon
This recipe requires a food processor. An 8-cup / 2 liter / 2 quart model was used, and needed every cubic inch of it. The best approach if you are tight for space in your food processor is to add a few of the ingredients, then pulse a few times. The ingredients collapse and free up more space for the next few ingredients. If you don't find yourself using much bouillon, a half batch would probably be fine for you!

5 ounces / 150 g leeks, sliced and well-washed
7 ounces / 200g fennel bulb, chopped
7 ounces / 200g carrot, well scrubbed and chopped
3.5 ounces / 100 g celery
3.5 ounces / 100g celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 ounce / 30g sun-dried tomatoes
3.5 ounces / 100g shallots, peeled
3 medium garlic cloves
9 ounces / 250g fine grain sea salt
1.5 ounces / 40 g flat-leaf parsley, loosely chopped
2 ounces / 60g cilantro (coriander), loosely chopped

Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse about twenty times. Add the next four ingredients, and pulse again. Add the salt, pulse some more. Then add the parsley and cilantro. You may need to scoop some of the chopped vegetables on top of the herbs, so they get chopped. Mine tended to want to stay on top of everything else, initially escaping the blades.
You should end up with a moist, loose paste of sorts. Keep 1/4th of it in a jar in the refrigerator for easy access in the coming days, and freeze the remaining 3/4 for use in the next month.

Makes roughly 3 1/2 cups

And now I need to put on some makeup, blowdry my hair, and go to work. See you on the other side...aka THE WEEKEND! woohoo

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I made...

...homemade PASTA! Yep. Actually, I made ravioli's with a butternut squash filing. I would like to say that the meal was beautiful and worth taking a picture of wasn't exactly. The meal was yummy! VERY yummy! My salad of arugula lettuce with roasted carrots, parsnips, and shallots topped with sliced almonds and a shallot vinaigrette WAS beautiful and delicious (I will toot my own horn here in that I followed a recipe well, and will toot Martha Stewart's horn just a little know, since she (or her corporation) created the recipes.) The raviolis were also delicious but...Pretty? Not even slightly. You see. Apparently uncooked, fresh pasta sticks when piled on top of each other. (I read later that you are supposed to lie them in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered in flour. I REALLY need to start reading the WHOLE recipe before hand! lol) Anyways, ravioli's are made on the finest setting on the pasta roller and thus rip very easily. My little raviolis were so pretty, all prepared and stacked high on the plate. Then everything went wrong.

The water was boiling and Jason was being a stud husband and helping me cook by dropping my butternut squash creations into the water. He tried to pick the first one up off the plate and said, "Um, I think they are sticking together!" Well, he was right. The top raviolis were sticking to the bottom ones which were completely ripping open the raviolis...where all the squash filling was. Eventually in pure frustration I grabbed a knife and started hacking up the mass of raviolis. hahaha. Good times. Jason was trying to make me leave the kitchen because he was afraid that at any moment I would have an "Anna Cooking Meltdown". I have no idea why!?! haha. I mean it's not like I have ever flung an uncooked pie crust that was falling apart all over the kitchen in a giant hissy fit... Or jumped up and down crying like a little 2 year old when the chocolate I was melting over the stove was starting to burn (dumb paper-thin pots in Chile!) I don't have a clue why he would want me to leave the kitchen. :)

Well, I'm happy to say that I didn't throw a hissy fit but just said things that wreaked with sarcasm like, "Wow, that's awesome" and "Gosh, don't you love it when you spend 2 hours on something and have it become ruined in a 5 minute period!" BUT folks, I'm here to tell you that though it wasn't beautiful, it was dang good. All we did was top it with some melted butter, shavings of Parmesan, and some sage. I have never had homemade pasta and I LOVED it. It was delish.

The best part is that my meal tonight had almost no preservatives in it or processed sugars. Nada! All fresh veggies, roasted squash, homemade pasta with nothing but flour, egg, and salt, some butter. Good stuff. I'm determined to stick to whole foods and less processed sugars. We won't be perfect because I am married to a man who has the world's biggest sweet tooth but I'd like our meals to at least be cooked with that goal in mind. Oh, and the "Martha" pics of what I made are at the top. My salad looked like that (except I omitted the beets). My raviolis were supposed to look like that!

And...I'm ready to try it again...but maybe with a ricotta filling, or spinach filling...and I will not be stacking them on top of each other any time soon! Oh, and I'm SO wanting the pasta maker attachment for my kitchenaid. It would have made the whole process way easier! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do you have One?

I have a "Bucket List". I've always had a mental "bucket list" but seeing the movie caused Jason and I to write them all down. (Where ARE those things?) My bucket list is a bit long (call me ambitious). It ranges from the plausible (have children, see the Grand Canyon and Northern Lights) to "live in an unreached tribe and teach". Some things I have already done like, "get married," and "live in another country." Because I also have "become fluent in another language" we need to live in another country again! :) In the last year I have added, "become a master at cooking," and "make my own cheese" (how do you like that last one? hehe). Other such things are...

-road bike from California to North Carolina
-road trip to the tip of South America
-run a marathon
-open our own language school (can you guess what country???)
-adopt from a country we are living in
-get my Master's in Philosophy
-drink espresso from Italy

Being ambitious is fun! :0) I know that some of these things will never happen, but I'm kind of a dreamer. I think I got it from my father! hehe

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


So, this is a post to tell you that....


Remember all those conversations we had when we moved to California. The one's that started out with you saying how unattractive our city of Fayetteville was. And remember how persistent I was in defending my little stomping grounds. Well, I ventured onto Google and realized that if you enter in the address of the place than it takes you directly to a picture of it. Then you can navigate all around, shot by shot. It's creepy...but cool. So, I just navigated myself all around our neighborhood and part of the city and realized that, yes, Fayetteville is ugly. Well, maybe not ugly. It just lacks uniqueness, quaintness, and architectural beauty. haha. But I do like the pine trees! :)

So, if you want to see a somewhat recent picture of your house in NC (DO you still own it) enter the address in Google! It's cool! :) I even looked at our old house on Durant Dr. and Fort Bragg Dr...even saw the YMCA and my old junior high! Pretty cool.

Monday, January 11, 2010

noT mUch haPpening...

Well, as the title suggests...there isn't a whole lot happening. Jason is studying his brains out for the GRE. He is literally one of the most disciplined people I know (though he would deny this fact completely). I'm seriously in awe sometimes. When in college my grades actually improved by meeting him. Most people when they add a relationship to the plate in college have their grades drop. Nope. Not me. See, the thing is...I didn't study before I met him. Ok, I mean I did for tests but really....I STRIVED to study the very least amount I could and still do OK. Sometimes it worked...sometimes it didn't. Jason on the other hand was so diligent to study. There were a lot of times when we were dating where he would only hang out with me if we studied. Usually, I lasted about half the time he would and then would practically beg him to do something else...anything else. was more studying then I would have done on my own! hehe. So, that's a tangent if you couldn't tell. So, Jason is studying for the GRE. :)

On another note...I'm working...and I like it! yep. Working is always good. Working produces money. Money produces rent, food, and etc. Rent, food, and etc. produces....mmm. Not sure. Independence? yep. Independence is good. We are still looking for a house. Trying not to be picky knowing that this will be our home for about half a year but we also don't want to live in a dump. So, that's where we are at. Jason is studying because he is diligent (and he needs it for Grad school). I am working because I like it and we need money. And money is good because we need to pay rent, food, and etc. And that likely the lamest blog post yet! lol. oh well. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Very "wordy" Blog post!

First off...does anybody know what twitter is? I keep hearing it but I have no idea what the point of it is or what it's for? I mean, I know it's online...haha, but that's about all.

And now...onward.

So, Jason and I have been back from Chile for about a month. The month has completely flown by and has left both of us wondering, "what exactly have we been doing with our time?" The conclusion...we have no clue. I guess in the hustle and bustle of all things festive we kind of just lost track of time. Not sure. Jason has a few deadlines creeping up for grad school. It's weird to think that in 6-8 months we will, Lord willing, be living somewhere else. It's funny that I wasn't really nervous to move to Chile but am a little nervous to live in another city within my own country? Maybe that goes along the same lines as being more nervous to return to the States than I was to go to Chile (yes, this is true). We really could be moving anywhere this summer...San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona, etc. I guess we will have to see.

So, a confession on my part is that I seem to search and recognize the hand of God so readily and often abroad. When I return to the USA...I get caught up, I get smothered, distracted, and tempted. I want so badly to change this. It drives me crazy about myself (it happens each time I return to the USA). It's wrong because God is just as active here as He is abroad. The fault lies in me and the distractions I place between Him and my every day life. bah. It's frustrating at times. Pure honesty is that since we have been back I have read the Bible about 6 a MONTH! That's embarrassing. While in Chile it wasn't abnormal for me to read 2-3 times a day (granted I love to read and that was the only book in English that I had! hehe). Anyways, that being said, I miss Chile. I also recognize though that the Lord has us here in the USA for a reason. I don't want to pine for something that is not realistic, but embrace the time here and live it fully. So, I guess that's my mission for now. Push aside the things that aren't that important and focus on Christ in my life, and what Christ can do in other people's lives.

On another note...not sure who knows about Ravi Zacharias but...he's a genius. He is probably part of the reason why I became a Philosophy major. Never really thought about it but I'd say he definitely contributed to the decision. Anyways, Ravi...yes, I call him he's an old friend...Ravi is a brilliant man and I have read...welllll...a lot of his books. Not all of them but most. haha. Anyways, this October he is speaking at Berkeley. I have never had a chance to hear him speak but have always wanted to. So, I've decided that if I can convince Jason to go to grad school in San Francisco than I could easily go hear him speak. What a plan huh? Very unselfish... :) Ok, maybe that's not the best reason to pick a grad school. oh well! It was worth a try.

Oh, and one more thing. all his vocabulary wisdom, (studying for the GRE has helped with this considerably :)) informed me today that the word for when your pupil becomes larger in your eyeball is "dilate." Seriously, I thought it was "dialate." I'm pretty sure that most people pronounce it like "dialate" and not "dilate". Hmmm. Just something to think about! ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

OoOoh! I want it!

So, Jason and I were in Barnes and Noble looking for GRE books. I mozied on over to the cook book section to check out what they had. I came across a very large book called Larousse Gastronomique. It was big, looked official, and had a vaguely familiar name. I flipped it around...looked at the price $90. WOW. Seriously, I didn't know you COULD spend $90 on a book outside of a dumb university book that you get to sell back for $20.

Well, I'm ashamed to say that now that I have done some research online about it...I want it. haha. I will never spend $90 on it but one day...I will find it...and it will be cheaper. One day! And when that day comes I will cook some delectably delicious french yumminess, and it will be a good day :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

I must say that I have been at a loss for "blog worthy content". I'm not sure what to write about. Hmmm.

Well, here's a little about what's been going on since we have been back:

-We have been looking for jobs (oh joy :) )

-We have been looking for a CHEAP house to rent...which we need to find jobs for first.

-Signing up for health insurance, car insurance, car registration, and etc....can we say BORING!?

-Jason (and I as a cheering fan on the sidelines) have been searching and applying for grad schools. Crazy! There are so many out there. How do you choose? We don't want to go insanely in debt but we want a good school. *sigh*. So many choices, so many options. Yet I know that the Lord knows EXACTLY what school Jas should go to. I take comfort in that...and yet still worry too much about which one he should go to. haha. oh well.

-We have been thoroughly enjoying exercise on the great Central Coast. I mean, I miss Chile but I definitely enjoy the great outdoors here and I am taking full advantage of all that I can before we have to leave!

-I have been drinking a lot of coffee. yup. Life's good! :)

-We have been thinking about rekindling some activities that we haven't done in a while (yeah, did I mention I love the outdoors here?) even before we left for Chile. Jason gave me some money for Christmas to go experience the new and improved SLO-OP climbing gym. I'm super excited about that (we quit for a while because I mangled my ankle and then right after Jason hurt his shoulder...then we got married). Jason also invested with some Christmas money in a pair of new surf booties! woohoo. I think surfing some St. Anne's may be in store for us (you need booties because one, there's a rock reef under you in the water. Two, you walk out on a rock jetty that has a lot of creepy sea creatures on it and then jump off the end into the sounds way more hardcore than it is, haha!)

And that's all for now. You have been officially updated on Jason and Anna's life as of now!