Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

I found myself with a bag of string cheese that my two year old refused to eat and after seeing an idea on pinterest to use egg roll wrappers and turn them into baked mozzarella sticks I was inspired.

These were just ok... didn't quite satisfy my fried mozzarella stick craving, but for less calories and ease of preparation a good, healthy, substitute.

I followed this method.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

::this week::

This is Jeremy's last week at his job.  He'll (we'll) be in full-time ministry as of next week.  I'm so excited to see him do what he was clearly created to do.  God has used him so much, in so many people's lives over the last many months, I can only imagine how much this will increase as he has a lot more time to devote to ministry.

This is my first week of only watching 1 kid in addition to Noah, and it has been a nice break so far.

Transition has been the ongoing theme in our house recently... potty training, big boy bed, watching a new baby, no longer watching the same 1 year old who I've watched the last year, J's last day at the office, and then his upcoming trip to India (our first time apart for more than 1 night EVER!), our new baby due in May.

praising:  some new unexpected provision for our ministry/ family... we still need more, but God has been so faithful at providing.  the grace of others, and God!

praying:  for wisdom and patience in parenting... it has been a rough 2 weeks with our stubborn 2 year old.  for Noah to have a teachable and obedient heart.

thankful for:  nice weather.  lots of time recently to catch up with friends.  some new hand me down clothes for Noah.  friends.  community.  this city.  a gift card to Whole Foods.  a date night with my love this Saturday.  this beautiful city.

reading:  1 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Letters from a Skeptic

cooking:  fish tacos, salad with cilantro lime dressing, quick refried beans, lemon bars, pumpkin cream cheese bars, applesauce muffins, BBQ and Thai chicken pizza, Thai tilapia red curry, chicken satay

doing: a few dinners/ coffee/ walk dates with friends.  sorting clothes... Noah's old clothes for Elisha, maternity clothes, some new hand me downs for Noah that are too big and need to be stored. ladies Bible study through the Psalms.

pondering:  Matthew 8:13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. -I want to be constantly believing God for BIG things and not limiting Him with my faith..

blessed by:1 Chronicles 16:23-25  Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.

challenged by: Psalm 19:14  May the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

23 weeks

Here is what is going on with our little mango this week, according to;

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you'll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods.
Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.

As for me, no real changes this week.  We have finalized the name though, and he will be Elisha Samuel Mangerchine.  Named after two great prophets, just like his daddy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

::this week::

praising:  some quick answers to prayer requests for some of the ladies in our community group over the last week.

praying:  friends and family.  our city.

thankful for:  grace.  a break in the rainy/ grey weather for some sunshine.

reading:  Jeremiah, 2 Kings, Momentum

cooking:  spicy chicken enchiladas, guacamole salad, fish tacos, refried black beans, BBQ and buffalo chicken pizza. banana peanut butter chocolate chip muffins, warm sesame slaw, huevos rancheros, made over ramen noodles, creamy parmesan Italian salad dressing, pasta and sauce with baked mozzarella sticks, garlic noodles

doing:  hosting multiple friends over for dinner.

pondering:   Matthew 8:13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed. And the servant was healed at that very moment. -thinking about what I am believing God for and adjusting to expect BIG things... the miraculous

2 Kings 20: God's answer to Hezekiah's prayer... God adding 15 years to his life.  not showing my treasures to everyone... especially my enemies.  after Hez. opened up and showed his treasuries to the men from babylon, they later used that against him and carried off all of his stuff into captivity.

2 Kings 21: was it "good" for Hezekiah to petition God to lived longer?  had he not lived the extra 15 years his son Manasseh would never have been born, who ended up being evil an king.  should Hezekiah have accepted God's original message in 2 Kings 20 that his sickness would end in death?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Creamy Parmesan Italian Dressing

Creamy Parmesan Italian Dressing

At first I didn't love this dressing, but as the days went on I grew to enjoy it more and more, and really came to like it, especially when paired with something briny, like olives and pepperoncini peppers.  I served this dressing with a salad of spinach (although romaine would have been my preference here), tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, sliced red onions, kalmatta olives, and pepperoncini peppers to round out an Italian meal.

-1 c light mayo
-1/2 c red wine vinegar
-1/2 c olive oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
-1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk together ingredients.  Chill at least 2 hours prior to serving.  Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made these Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins I thought they turned out great, and Noah LOVED them.  The few changes I made were;

-I used salted butter because that's all I had, and then eliminated the salt
-used all whole wheat flour instead of a combination of white and whole wheat

Friday, January 18, 2013

Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

I made these gyros with tzatziki sauce.  I served them with hummus and tabbouleh and it was one of my favorite meals that I've ever made.  The changes I made were to;

-use beef instead of lamb, but a combination of each would be great
-1 Tbsp oregano to the meat mixture
-add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the tzatziki sauce
-next time I'd reduce the garlic in the tzatziki sauce to 1 clove, because it was way too strong for us (and we LOVE garlic)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

22 weeks

Here is what is going on with our spaghetti squash this week according to;

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. 

If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It's perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you'd rather they didn't. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate.

What's important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby's growth is on track. You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby.  

At least half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There's no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.

All is well with me and baby.  No weight gain this week (or last), still at 10 lbs total weight gain.  Still feeling good, exercising, eating healthy, and feeling comfortable.  I'm happy with my weight gain at this point in my pregnancy, but not quite as happy with my size... I feel like my belly is gigantic already, and I still have 4 months to go.  That is ridiculous.  I've heard that you may show/ expand more quickly on your second pregnancy, but I wasn't quite ready for all of this.  Glad that most of the expanding so far has been limited solely to my tummy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

::this week::

praising:  30-50% size reduction in all of the tumors in the guy Jeremy prayed for last week... still believing God for 100% healing (you can read the guy's account of the story at his blog). also seeing an increase in a friend's eye that we prayed for a month or two ago that has been slowly, over time, going from 90% blockage, and is now down to 5% blockage.

praying:  for the needs and requests of friends and family.  for revival in our city... nation... world.

thankful for:  all of the people the Lord has led to give to our ministry.  a friend who not only pays for, but shops for our groceries... such a blessing! stickers... and their ability to entertain a busy 2 year old for 30-60 minutes while I cook dinner.

cooking:  ham and black eyed pea soup, hummus, tabbouleh, ground beef gyros with tzatziki, baked mozzarella sticks, baked chicken taquitos, garlic noodles, mashed white beans, applesauce muffins,
greek salad, spinach mozzarella breakfast casserole

reading:  Jeremiah, 2 Kings, Momentum

challenged by:  Jeremiah 15:19 This is how the Lord responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! 

doing:  a few coffee/ walk dates with friends.  a girls night for the ladies in our community group.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baked Chicken Taquitos

I made these  Creamy Chicken Taquitos.  The changes I made were to;

-add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp cayenne to the filling
-omit the onion powder
-add some sauteed fresh spinach to the filling
-use whole wheat corn tortillas
-use neufatchel cream cheese
-increase cumin to 1 tsp
-used the regular salsa I had on hand
-used all cheddar cheese because that's what I had

We loved these and they turned out great, we will definitely be eating them again.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

21 weeks

Here is what is going on with our little carrot this week according to;

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.
You're probably feeling pretty comfortable these days. You're not too big yet, and the usual discomforts associated with early pregnancy are, for the most part, gone. If you're feeling good, relax and enjoy it while you can — the third trimester may bring with it a new crop of complaints.
That's not to say you won't have some minor glitches to deal with now. For example, increased oil production may contribute to the development (or worsening) of acne. If that's the case, be diligent about washing well with a gentle soap or cleanser twice a day, and make sure that any moisturizer or make-up you use is oil-free. Don't take any oral acne medications — some are very hazardous during pregnancy — or use any topical acne products without first checking with your practitioner. 
You're also more prone to varicose veins now. As your pregnancy progresses, there's increasing pressure on the veins in your legs; higher progesterone levels, which may cause the walls of your veins to relax, can make the problem worse. You're more likely to get varicose veins if other family members have them. Also, they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you age. To help prevent or minimize varicose veins, exercise daily, prop up your feet and legs whenever possible, sleep on your left side, and wear maternity support hose.
You may also notice so-called spider veins (a group of tiny blood vessels near the surface of your skin), particularly on your ankles, legs, or face. They may have a spider- or sunburst-like pattern with little branches radiating out from the center, they may look like the branches of a tree, or they may be a group of separate thin lines with no particular pattern. Though they may be a bit unsightly, spider veins don't cause discomfort and usually disappear after delivery.
As for me, feeling good.  Pretty comfortable and in the swing of things.  No new cravings... still eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and turned off to most sweets.  I feel like I really look pregnant now, and not just frumpy and like I'm letting myself go.  I can feel him move a lot, especially when I lay down in bed in the evening.  No new changes or complications... pretty much smooth sailing right now.  This really is my fave part of pregnancy... no longer sick, starting to show, but not as huge as a house or having hot flashes yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Crab and Asparagus Quiche

I made this crab and asparagus quiche.  The changes I made were to;

  • use fat-free half and half instead of regular
  • add 2 diced scallions to the asparagus layer
  • use part-skim mozzarella instead of swiss because that's what I had on hand
  • add 1/4 tsp pepper to the egg mixture
This was delicious, perfect for a breakfast, brunch, lunch, or light dinner!  I did have too much topping/ filling for my pie shell, so next time I'd reduce the half and half down to 1 cup.

Monday, January 7, 2013

::this week::

praising:  a ministry opportunity for J... believing for complete healing for a guy with a rapidly fatal cancer.  God's work in the hearts of our community group... re-uniting us with Him and each other as we start out 2013.

praying:  that Noah and I don't get the stomach bug J is getting over.  with new zeal and vigor for friends, family, our city, our church, and the nations.

thankful for:  brothers and sisters in Christ... community... people who invest in us... some encouraging words from a few sweet ladies.  a new year, and the freshness that comes with it.  some flowers from my love.

reading:  2 Kings, Jeremiah, Momentum

cooking: jerk chicken with Jamaican red beans and ricegreen bean casserole, crab and asparagus quiche, smoothies, buffalo chicken quesadillas, mac and cheese, peanut butter banana muffins

creating:  nothing... take some time to catch up on to do lists and enjoy the kiddos

doing:  working on potty training... therefore staying home as much as possible to make the process easier until Noah is telling me himself when he needs to go.  a lunch date with a friend.  a few visits and play dates with other friends.  a coffee date with my love.

reflecting:  on my mission/ vision/ purpose...  where have I gotten off track?  how can I re-focus.  finding new refreshment in coming back to this and weeding out the things not in line with it.

spiritual gifts... this is something I have thought and studied a lot about over the past year, and my beliefs have changed a lot over that time period.  reaching a place of contentment with my gifts... no longer wishing I had other "more spiritual" gifts, but knowing who God has created me to be, yet continuing to pursue Him, allowing Him to work in and through me in new ways, maybe even by adding new gifts.  blessed by this quote by Smith Wigglesworth that is ministering to me through this process... "We may not possess all the gifts as abiding gifts, but as we are full of the Holy Spirit and divine anointing, it is possible, when there is a need, for God to make evident every gift of the Spirit through us as He may choose."

transparency/ vulnerability, and the link with those and community...I've been thinking about some of the great prophets/ kings/ disciples... I was struck with how the Bible contains their "success" stories, as well as struggles and failures... (David's sin, Solomon's marriages, Peter's denouncing Christ, Paul's thorn, Moses mistrust, Sarah's unbelief...). So grateful that God gave us a picture of some of the trials as well as the high points... so grateful to have friends to openly share, and be shared with.

seek Him, not things (even good, "spiritual" things")... while I was praying through the prayer requests, including my own, the Lord spoke to me. I was praying for specific things for myself and others... "good" things... like strength, time in the Word, peace, love, joy, patience, obedience, boldness, courage, etc. And that's when God spoke to me... He told me not to seek these ("good") things over Him. To not seek joy, peace, even love above relationship with Him, above Him as a person. This sounds so obvious, like pre-school Sunday school stuff, but sometimes I think it's easy to loose sight of the basics, and really, Christianity, and the Gospel are very basic. Basically He's impressing upon me that the ONLY thing worth pursuing is Him, relationship with Him (like Mary at Jesus' feet) and that all of these things will automatically come out of relationship with Him... they will be fruits of our submission to His Spirit after time spent in His presence.

blessed by:  Jeremiah 10:23  I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chile Cheddar Corn Pudding

Chile Cheddar Corn Pudding

This was my attempt to lighten up a corn pudding.  As is, I think this would be a great side to most meats, especially those with a Southwestern or Tex Mex influence.  To pair with a more Italian or French flavors I would probably eliminate the chiles, cilantro and cayenne, substitute parmesan for the cheddar , and add thyme. This was good, but could use a little more flavor (although that generally comes with added fat)... next time I might add a bit more butter or cheddar cheese for a little extra flavor.

-2 Tbsp butter
-1 onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 (7 oz) can chiles
-6 c corn kernels (fresh, thawed frozen, or canned)
-3/4 c cornmeal
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 1/4 c skim milk
-4 eggs
-1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion until softened, 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add chiles and corn, stirring well.  Remove from heat and stir in cornmeal, salt, pepper, cayenne, and sugar.  In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.  Stir cheese, and corn mixture into milk/ egg mixture.  Pour into a large greased casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the center is set and top begins to turn brown.  Cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

20 weeks

Here is what is going on with our little banana this week according to;

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)
He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).
Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you've likely gained around 10 pounds. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. (If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain a bit more; if you were overweight, perhaps a bit less.) Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen).
If you haven't already signed up for a childbirth education class, you may want to look into one, especially if you're a first-timer. A structured class will help prepare you and your partner for the rigors of labor and delivery. Most hospitals and birth centers offer classes, either as weekly meetings or as a single intensive, one-day session. Many communities have independent instructors as well. Ask your friends, family members, or caregiver for recommendations.During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta. Red meat is one of the best sources of iron for pregnant women. Poultry (especially the dark meat) also contains iron. Some common non-meat sources of iron include legumes, soy-based products, spinach, prune juice, raisins, and iron-fortified cereals.

As for me, doing good.  We found out last Friday that it's a BOY!  We are super excited for a little boy and Noah is excited to have a little brother.  We have the first name picked out (or given to us by the Lord) but we are still deciding on the middle name and keeping the name a secret as of now.  He was 10 oz at my appointment last Friday, and growing and developing right on schedule.

Much to my dismay, I have gained 10 lbs as of now, but that is much better than my last pregnancy where I had gained about 20 already.  This week was the first time that I woke up to a leg cramp in the middle of the night, and I'm sure there's more of that to come over the next few months.