Monday, November 30, 2009

Curried Squash & Spinach with Brown Rice

To me the most fun thing about this recipe is that I didn't have to go to the store - everything was in my kitchen!  And it's from a brand new cooking magazine I recently subscribed to - Clean Eating.  I used acorn squash, but I'm sure butternut would be yummy too, as well as any other dark leafy green.  I also added a can of chickpeas to the broth for extra protein.  It was definitely a hearty meal.  (Sorry, no pictures yet again)

1 cup brown rice
1 1/2 lb squash, seeded, stemmed, & diced into 3/4-inch pieces...about 6 cups
6 oz. spinach (about 10 cups loosely packed)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
3/4  tsp turmeric, ground
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp safflower, sunflower, or peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

-Prepare rice

-While rice is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine broth, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, and cayenne. set aside.

-When rice is about 10 minutes from being done, in a large skillet or saucepan with a tight fitting lid, warm oil over medium heat.  Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add broth mixture, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce to low, cover and cook until squash is tender.

-Remove lid and add spinach, 1 handful at a time, stirring after each addition until wilted.  Serve curried squash-spinach mixture over rice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Even though getting out the door on time was a little rough this morning, once I did, I was happy to be on the road to clinic.  I still absolutely love it.  The kids are so much fun and I am truly enjoying getting to know each of their personalities.

Yesterday I saw how speech therapy goes beyond the /s/'s and /r/'s.  I sat in IEP (Individualized Education Plan for children receiving services) meetings all day. (The meetings are held annually to talk about the child's goals, progress, services, and what needs to happen for the child to succeed.  Parents, principal, psychologist, and any special service as well as regular ed. teacher participates)

It was a humbling experience for me.  So often I get caught up on, "these crazy parents, don't they know any better - no wonder their kid is in special ed.!" And - These poor kids, they have no love at home.  When in reality, these parents are doing the best that they can with what they've got.  I met three women who truly love their children with all of their hearts.  The first mother works during the day and her husband works at night so someone can be home when the boys get home.  But, when she gets home, her husband has already left for work.  The second mother is recently divorced and trying to make sense of her new life of being a single parent while still trying to provide for her sons.  The third mother has 4 sons, one (the one the meeting was held for) was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the beginning of last year.  He had surgery back in April, during surgery, he suffered a stroke.  Since April, he has been receiving chemo.  Her husband also has cancer and is in & out of the hospital.  She shared that their marriage is on the brink of collapsing.

All of these mothers needed a compassionate listening ear.  I was reminded that everyone has a story.  I could have judged these mothers for not going over their sons' homework with them, or not providing whatever, I, the 22 year old inexperienced girl, thought should be provided.  If I had given a judgemental air, chances are they wouldn't have been on the same page as me; I would have gotten no where.

I learned that in order to succeed in this career, I must have a heart.  Yes, the meetings could have been described as long and boring, but it also gave me a chance to see a little more into these little guys' lives.  I know there will be times when I will forget this lesson, but I hope to remember to listen with my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

butternut squash risotto

In an effort to kick ennui in you know where, I have decided to try out a new recipe each week.  Tonight, I made butternut squash risotto to compliment salmon & a green salad.  It's so yummy and creamy, despite there being no cream. Definitely a recipe I will make again as a festive side dish.

 The recipe called for parsley, but I'm not particularly fond of it, so I left it out, seemed just fine to me! I also roasted the squash today during my lunch break, to help cut down prep time this evening. I also roasted the squash at 450 instead of 400  Enjoy

Squash Risotto
from Bowl Food, Kay Scarlett
Serves 4-6

1 1/4 lbs. squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Toss the cubes of squash in 2 tablespoons of the oil, place in a baking dish, and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and golden.  Turn the squash pieces halfway through the cooking time.

Heat the stock and 3 cups of water in a saucepan, cover, and keep at a low simmer.

Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, and rosemary, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is cooked but not browned.  Add the rice and stir to coat.  Stir in the wine for 2-3 minutes or until absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup stock, stirring constantly over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly for 20 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper and stir in the squash, butter, Parmesan, and parsley.  Serve immediately.

Sorry there is no picture this week...Hopefully next week!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


My greatest fear is that all I could be and all I would be will get lost in time.  For the first time in my life I realize that right now, I can be selfish. I can be irresponsible. But can I do it without negative feelings?

Monday, November 9, 2009

burnt out.

I have hit a wall. I am exhausted. I am tired of everything...I'm tired of school, work, tutoring...etc... Earlier today I was yearning for my PUC days. I think the reason why I have become so tired is because everything in my life is so routine...or at least planned. Nothing seems to be spontaneous anymore, but there seems to be no room for spontaneity - my days are filled to the brim...It seems a little ridiculous to "plan" spontaneity in. And then when I think of what happened this weekend - my brother spontaneously surprising me - I wonder if that is really my problem at all... What I do know is - I want out of Loma Linda as soon as possible!

Wouldn't this be nice:

Big Sur...hopefully I get there sooner than Spring Break. I think a trip up the 101 would be fabulous.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Friday night I didn't have Bible Study with the Anchoring kids, so I could finally bring something to "Friday Night Dinner". I "brewed"(?) apple cider and made a yummy pumpkin bread pudding recipe that I found on Smitten Kitchen. It was basically baked pumpkin french toast. I went to Martha Green's and bought some yummy cinnamon swirl bread for it - delicious and so easy!!

As the evening started to wrap up, I tried to leave, but Merrilee insisted on showing me picture after picture of friends of hers on FB. Then, around 11:30, Tyler walked in! He had driven down from PUC to surprise me!

Sabbath, we went to lunch with our grandparents, aunt, and cousin. After lunch, Tyler and I went with our aunt & cousin back to our grandparents' property and hung out up there the rest of the day/night. It had been a very long time since I have laughed that much and that hard. It definitely felt like our childhood. After posting about adulthood, a good friend, Monika reminded me to play. Unadulterated play - tag, jumping, running, frisbee, act like a kid again, eat pizza and rootbeer floats....And that's kinda what I did this weekend. With Kinsey (4yrs), we built forts out of pillows, ate marshmallows, and danced around to our favorite songs. And we laughed. A lot.

I was really glad to have my brother around this weekend. We have become so much closer in the past 6 months. I felt honored that he chose to spend this weekend with me.

Happy New Week!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2007

I made a few of my own adaptations to this, using only milk and no cream (to me, it makes no difference to me in dishes like this, so I figure I’ll give my arteries a break), and doubling almost all of the spices. Oh, and I added bourbon, but you probably anticipated that.

1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Gourmet’s Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon, if using, in a bowl.

Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This past week I have realized that no matter how hard I try not to, I am growing up. It's happening whether I'm ready or not...and I'm starting to realize, I'm not ready to be an adult.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a wife....?

I have sort of had the past two days off. On Mondays I typically have class from 8:00-10:00am and then again at 3:00. I usually work during that time and study too. But this week because we had a test, I was out by 8:30. I went to the gym, ran errands, and came home and worked around the house. I felt like I was finally catching my breath! I also have a break between class & tutoring. During that time I normally go to my room and relax a bit or study, but because I lost the keys, I went to the craft store!

The fun didn't stop there, I normally have to work Wednesdays, but because it was canceled, I can do my fieldwork this Wednesday. Which means I had another free day! I slept in and worked some more around the house....I feel like that's all I've done the past 2 days and there is still so much more that needs to be done! Which is why I am thinking I need....a wife?

My mom sort of gave me the "ok" on transforming the office space into a crafting/reading nook. Here are some ideas I liked.

I love the pieces hanging from the top....I want to hang or pin up inspiration on the walls.

I am most likely going to put a table like this in the room.

I really like the crisp, clean, simple design of this room - it seems to put together both the reading nook as well as craft space.

The room is pretty small...It will need a new desk and some shelves to hold the supplies, as well as some sort of storage underneath the desk...I can't wait for my mom to get back so we can start with this!

Monday, November 2, 2009

new friends, blogs, and the bug.

This weekend was a busy, but good one. Family from Escondido were staying with me because they were playing in the football tournament. Saturday night I went to a Halloween party and had a blast! It was fun to reconnect with old friends. Hopefully I will be a better friend and keep the connection. Sunday was a full day - 8 hours of childcare, but it was good. I made a new friend! There is this really neat lady who works for me, and we became friends this weekend. I am really excited about this friendship, I have always wanted to be friends with people outside of my generation, but not because they are a friend's parent or parent's friend....but I connection all my own, and now I have it! A cousin of mine met an elderly man at a bookstore and they became friends. I always thought that was really cool.

I am addicted to blogs - friend's blogs, design blogs, home blogs, craft blogs, and cooking blogs.

Today's challenge was to do something creative and I couldn't think of anything, so I started searching craft blogs. I think I found my Christmas gift for this year...It looked pretty cute on one of the blogs, but I will have to play around with it and see if I like it. I also went to Hancock Fabrics to look around and get inspired....I am definitely inspired, I just don't know exactly how to do everything I want to.

If my mom doesn't come home soon, I am turning her office into a craft room....I've already designed it. When I have my own place, and not just renting with friends, I am totally going to have another room for crafting, and it will also have a little reading nook too. School is just getting in the way...I wish I could just spend the days reading, gardening, crafting, and cooking :)

I thought this was so neat. I love mixed media art. Ah, there is so much I want to play with. Happy November!