Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Better For Ya Fried Chicken

Just a quick tip for all the fried chicken lovin' American mama's out there ('cause I heard it was more popular down there than up here in Canada....is that true?)

Nate Berkus featured chef Rocco DiSpirito this morning who shared this wonderful "healthy" fried chicken tip:

The amount of fat absorbed by deep-frying is a function of time (...and also temperature of the oil....but we'll focus on time)


In a deep frying pan or dutch oven, POACH your chicken first.  Put an inch or so of water, chicken broth (I usually add some white wine) to the bottom of your pan and bring the liquid up to a simmer.  Add your chicken and cover.  Let cook for 10-15 minutes. Always use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken reaches 180F. That way you know it's cooked through.

Now that your chicken is cooked, you can use your favorite ingredients for breading and then pop into the deep fryer for 10-15 seconds. Just enough time to crisp up the outside!

Check out Rocco's Flash Fried Chicken Carnitas using this method.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Via Dolorosa

Down the Via Dolorosa
In Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street.
But the crowds pressed in to see
The man condemned to die
On Calvary

He was bleeding from a beating
There were stripes upon his back
And he wore a crown of thorns
Upon his head
But he bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried
Out for his death.

Down the Via Dolorosa
Called the Way of Suffering
Like a lamb, came the Messiah
Christ the King.
And he chose to walk that road
Out of his love
For you and
For me.
Down the Via Dolorosa
All the way
To Calvary

The blood that would cleanse
The souls of all men
Made its way to the heart
Of Jerusalem!

Down the Via Dolorosa

Called the Way of Suffering
Like a lamb, came the Messiah
Christ the King.
And he chose to walk that road
Out of his love
For you and
For me.

Down the Via Dolorosa
All the way
To Calvary

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paska - Mennonite Easter Bread

As a kid, Easter meant paska.  One week of fluffy, lemony bread, slathered in icing and sprinkles, spread with....spread! Can't have paska without paska spread! (if you say "spread" too many times it starts sounding funny....)

For the record, Easter also is a time to recognize the amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us by taking our sins upon himself. He was perfect, sinless, unblemished. He chose to endure scorn, shame and pain. For me. For you. Can you imagine? God loves YOU so much that he gave up his only son to die on a cross FOR YOU. It blows my mind every time. If you want to know more I'd be so happy to share with you!

Back to the recipe! 

Paska - Mennonite Easter Bread
- makes 6 loaves

***disclaimer: this is a very "involved" recipe but sooooo worth the effort

1 cup  lukewarm water
2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp  sugar

Combine in a small bowl and set aside.

2 cups milk
1 cup butter/shortning
2 cups sugar

Heat milk in microwave until just before boiling point.  Cut butter into pieces and melt into hot milk.  Add sugar and stir.  Place this mixture in your bread bowl.

10 egg yolks
5 egg whites (set aside)
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp  salt

Add yolks, lemon and salt to milk mixture. Beat 5 egg whites and set aside. Put the other 5 in the fridge...for something else. I'm never sure what to do with them.

12 cups flour, separated

Add 6 cups flour and yeast mixture to bowl and mix well.  Fold in the 5 beaten egg whites.  Slowly add the remaining 6 cups of flour and knead well.  The dough will be fairly soft and you'll probably need to grease your hands while kneading. Cover and rise 45 min.  Punch down and rise again 45 min.  Punch down, form 6 loaves and place in greased bread pans.  Cover and rise 45 min.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place a baking sheet with water on the bottom rack of oven and arrange loaves on top rack. Tent loaves with foil to prevent over-browning.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Loaves will not sound hollow like regular bread when down.  If necessary, slice one loaf down the middle to check. You don't want to dry this bread out!

When loaves are mostly cooled, ice with a regular butter/sugar/milk/vanilla icing. And don't forget the sprinkles!  We slice ours and eat it with paska spread. It's a little bit...different...but don't chicken out. It's sooooo gooood. Some families just eat it toasted with butter - no icing, no spread....but that's just boring!

Paska Spread

1 lb  DRY cottage cheese (one regular size tub)
1/2 cup   sugar
3 Tbsp   softened butter
2 hard boiled egg yolks
1 Tbsp  lemon juice
1 tsp    vanilla

Combine the cottage cheese, sugar, butter and yolks in a food processor.  Add lemon juice and vanilla while mixing. Enjoy!

Do you have something special that you make every Easter?

**EDIT: I'm linkin this great recipe up to Donna's Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Wordless Thursday Morning?

We found these beauties while walking on the property of an old insane asylum where the Thompson River meets Kamloops Lake. What a story they tell!

I'm not a mom (yet!) but I'm linkin this up to 5 minutes for Mom's Wordless Wednesday....except it's Thursday morning.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Forgiveness and Unresolved Hurt

Hubs and I are doing a 7 week marriage course called.....The Marriage Course ...go figure. The difference between this and other seminars is that each couple sits at their own little table so you can discuss each topic and questionairre in privacy.  Three cheers for not having to air the dirty laundry! Oh and we also get coffee and dessert EACH WEEK!

This course is specifically designed to get you and your spouse talking about some things that you may have never talked about. Heck, we thought we wouldn't have much to say.....turns out we were wrong! Communication is a beautiful thing.

Last nights' segment was on The Power of Forgiveness and identify unresolved hurt. My love and I found it especially...helpful?...so I'd like to share with you some exercises to help open the lines of communication.

Have you ever stopped to think about how past hurts are coloring your relationship today? You may not even realize just how much an unresolved hurt influences the way you deal with conflict in your day-to-day life.  It's possible that it may even stem from a previous relationsip.

Do you have a quick temper? Impatient or intolerant? Have you found yourself escaping to work or other activities rather than spending time with your spouse? Is your sleep disturbed? Is your sex drive low? Do you feel like a robot, just going through the motions?

These are all possible symptoms of unresolved hurt in our relationships, and there are many more.

The first step is to IDENTIFY those hurts. Take some time to sit down with your spouse, grab a coffee and two notebooks....and some tissues. 
  1. try to identify ways you may have hurt your partner.  Be honest with yourself and take care not to make excuses or point blame.
  2. now list ways that your partner has hurt you. It may be recent or it may be something that happened a long time ago. Think back to your dating relationship even.  It may be one incident or something that occurs over and over again. Again, be honest with yourself and identify the feelings associated with the hurt. Use "I" sentences.
  3. when you are finished, exchange lists and read how your spouse feels he/she has hurt you and the ways you have hurt your spouse.
  4. take turns "clarifying" each others hurts. Ask for more detail and really try to understand your partner. Do not try and interpret what they have written or try and defend yourself.
Step two is to APOLOGIZE.  It is so important for us to take responsibility for our transgressions against our spouse....even if we still don't quite understand why.  When we confess to God and receive forgiveness from Him, He enables us to see the effects of our actions.

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Philippians 3:13

Step three is FORGIVE.

 Forgiveness is a choice. Not a feeling. It is not demanding a change before forgiving someone. It is not pretending it doesn't matter. It is not thinking that time alone will heal the hurt.  It won't.  You have to CHOOSE to forgive. You may have to forgive someone many times - even for the same thing.  It is a process.

"Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times seven.'"  Matthew 18:21-22
    Something that really struck me was that "forgiveness is releasing the other person into God's hands, leaving the consequences to Him."  If we continue to hold the transgression in our hearts, we are the ones that will be ensnared by resentment and bitterness.  We have been forgiven by God therefore we must forgive one another.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.....Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:31-32

My love realized that he hadn't forgiven me for my past. I realized that I react to my love's advances negatively in part because of experiences I had in a previous relationship. It was a tearful night.  You might be surprised at what comes bubbling up from the depths.

I challenge you to work through this exercise with your partner...even if you think there couldn't possibly be anything to talk about. Take time together. Pray together. Forgive together. Grow together.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Morning Reflections

The Simple Women's Daybook is a wonderful way to start your day out on the right foot - with a thankful and grateful heart.  We are so blessed to live freely in this beautiful province.

Outside my window: Mostly blue and sunny out today - teasing that summer is just around the corner.  The sun has been a little late in showing itself this spring so I'm hoping this a sign that it's here to stay!

I am thankful for: Time spent with my hubby, his friends and sister-in-law up in God's beautiful creation all weekend.  Even though I was bummed to have to pull out my snow pants once again, there's nothing like being on a snowmobile in untouched powder on top of the world.

Some plans for the week:
  • Get organized. Period.  Somehow even just a weekend away from home throws off my housekeeping groove.
  • Do some Easter baking.  Get ready for another tasty traditional Mennonite Easter recipe!
  • We have another couple moving in with us April 30th so I need to start making room for them... especially in the bathroom.  I haven't had to share my bathroom with another woman in 5 years (PRAY FOR ME...please?)

I am hoping: that the Canucks win the Stanley Cup! Wooooooooo!


I am hearing: nothing but the rattle of my computer under the desk. I think we often forget how important it is to have moments of silence in our lives. I can hear the Holy Spirit's whispering better when I'm still and silent.

I am praying for:
  • my friend S - that she would continue to battle the negative thoughts and anxiety that threatens her relationship with her children.
  • my dearest - that he would be strong and arm himself against the devil's schemes - one day at a time. With God all things are possible.
  • myself - that I would continue to learn how to be a submissive wife - not as a door mat but as a strong, smart, independant woman who loves and supports her husband.
From the kitchen: ummm....gotta be able to see the countertops before I can start on anything!  I will be making Paska this week - traditional Mennonite Easter bread. I might also make some Plumi Moos....we'll see.

Some pictures from our weekend of backcountry snowmobiling at GRIZZLY LODGE :
(Check out the link if you have a moment.  It's a beautiful lodge in the Shuswap area of BC and if you're into snowmobiling it's definitely worth the drive! Oh yeah and did I mention I grew up with the chef's daughter? You will NEVER eat so well in your life...I promise!)

On top of the world

Can you see the red roof in the middle of the picture? That's Grizzly Lodge!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back on the Bandwagon with delicious Orange Scones

Whoa! It's been a while!

Due to minor....umm...edit.... MAJOR computer difficulties, I have been AWOL from blogland for a number of months. I must admit though, our computer has been up and running for a while now.  I wasn't happy with the amount of time I was spending online - blog about this - work on blog layout- check out blog after blog after blog after blog.  You know the routine.

I am back now - tenatively.  This blog isn't going to be a daily poster - just a place where I can jot down some thoughts, share a recipe or what we've been working on in this old house. I don't want it to rule my life.

With that said, I'd like to bestow on you a delicious new recipe I tried this morning.

It's just a basic scone recipe that I dressed a up a little with some orange juice and rind.

My version went something like this:

3 cups   flour                                  1 tsp      salt
1/2 cup  white sugar                       3/4 cup  cold butter**
5 tsp     baking powder                   1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup  orange juice                       1 Tbsp grated orange rind

** TIP: If you freeze the butter beforehand, you can grate it into the dry ingredients which makes it much easier to cut in.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter with knives or pastry ...cutter inner?....(that can't be right).... until crumbles.  Add orange rind and stir.  In a one cup measure, beat egg.  Add orange juice to make 3/4 cup approximately and add milk to make one cup of liquid. The measures will vary with the volume of egg.

Stir liquid into dry ingredients, a little at a time until moistened.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to pull the dough together.  Roll dough out into 1/2 inch thick circle.  Cut into 8 wedges and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Alternatively, I used a clean, empty soup tin to cut circles (more like biscuits than scones).  I got just less than 2 dozen out of a single recipe.

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

These were perfect for our ladies bible study brunch.  The hint of orange takes them straight from tea-time to brunch-time!


I'm linking this yummy recipe to :