Daniel Fast Lettuce Wraps

I really like the lettuce wraps at PF Changs..if you’ve never had them you should try them! I decided I would make lettuce wraps while fasting. I think they turned out ok but if I made them again I wouldn’t use any onion and I would probably put more cajun spices in there (i’m obsessed, I know). This recipe is supposed to be for one person but there was plenty of filling left over.

Makes 2-4 lettuce wraps (depending on how much filling you put in each one)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup prepared quinoa

1/2 cup veggie crumble

1/2 bell pepper, chopped into small matchstick pieces

1/2 onion (optional), chopped into small skinny pieces

1-2 tsp olive oil

Cajun spices, or any other spices you want to use

Salsa

Directions:

Get your lettuce ready. Saute the chopped onion and pepper in some olive oil until they’re soft. Pour the quinoa and veggie crumble into the pan and saute until the crumble is cooked. Remove everything from the pan and put in a bowl. Spoon the mixture into the lettuce, add some salsa, roll up and eat!

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I have nothing to talk about but Christmas!

So I haven’t posted in a while…and I don’t know that I have anything interesting to post.

I really only have one more day on my Daniel Fast and I’ve hardly posted any of the recipes I’ve made or talked about the fast at all! I’ll do that in the next couple of days.

I’ve been so busy and sick. The past 3 weeks have been pretty miserable. I dealt with a week of migraines, then a week of a bad cold, and then yesterday my tummy started to not feel good. I spent all today on the couch feeling miserable. Yep…feel sorry for me ;) What else have I been up to the past couple of weeks?

  • I accidentally used wax paper instead of parchment paper. Even though they look similar, they don’t yield similar results. Just trust me on that one.
  • I got an account on Pinterest and spent a lot of today “pinning” Christmas pictures.
  • I counted down the days until Christmas (106) and started planning all my crafts and baking!
  • I wrote essays and did math problems and took pictures and did portfolio entries and wrote more papers and read a lot poems and short stories and books.
  • I cleaned my room and then it got messy again.

Yeah..it hasn’t been that exciting. So I’ll talk about something that is a little bit more exciting: baking! I have a lot of things I want to try to:

  • Find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have a lot of different ones to try and I am determined to find the best one! I think I’ll do this over a weekend and have a big taste testing party!
  • Make bread. And bagels. And tortillas. These are 3 things I LOVE to eat but have never made. I think it’d be kinda tricky but I wanna try!
  • I don’t like peanut butter cookies. Yeah I know…I love peanut butter soso much but I’ve never had a peanut butter cookie I was crazy about. I want to try out some peanut butter cookie recipes and perhaps make my own to see if I can find one that I like!
  • Make more fall-type recipes like pumpkin muffins….mmm :)

And so much more! So yeah that’s pretty much all I have to say for now. Sorry if it wasn’t very interesting.

Here’s a picture of Christmas tree…are you as excited about Christmas as I am???

Probably not…that’d be really difficult to top :D

Potato Wedges and Veggies

Hello! It’s been a while since we spoke last! How ya been?

Good? Well I’m glad to hear it! How have I been? Oh so nice of you to ask! I’ve been doing pretty well although the past week and a half have been a little rough! Why you ask? Gosh you are so considerate! Well I haven’t been feeling very good. I had several days with really bad migraines which was just blaaahh. But I upped my dosage on one of my medicines and have been doing well since then! But then my darling youngest sister started Kindergarten (I can’t believe she’s so old!) and those Kindergarten germs got her sick aaaaand then she got me sick. So I’m still recovering from a really bad cold.

I also haven’t posted because school has been crazy. I have had so much work to do and it’s been pretty overwhelming. I think I’m getting the hang of it though and I’ve done well on my tests and stuff so far! The whole college application thing is really freaking me out! I should just get it over with…in all my spare time…ha. ha.

I have been cooking a lot the past week and a half because of the Daniel Fast. I don’t know why I haven’t been taking pictures of the meals I make! I’ll be better about that. The fast has been going fine. I feel like I haven’t gotten much out of it but I blame not feeling good. However I have invented several new recipes that I love! And they’re really healthy. The first week of the fast was super easy. I was like “hey! I could eat like this all the time!” but right now I just want a huge bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup made with angel hair pasta. Mmm….pasta.

Anyways….one of the things I’ve made is potato wedges with Cajun spices. I put Cajun spices on everything because I like them and also because I don’t know what other spices to use. Along with the potato wedges I had tomato and cucumber slices and some sauteed peppers (seasoned with Cajun spices of course :P  )

I’m planning on writing a post more about the Daniel fast soon, including what kinds of foods you can eat and some more recipes. Hope you are all doing fantastically!

This recipe is for one serving so take that into account if you want to make more! Chop up one small potato and toss with a tsp of olive oil and 1/2-1 tsp of Cajun spices, depending on how spicy you like things.

Spread the potatoes out on aluminum foil placed on a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. (Oh! Our oven got fixed!!!! It takes a bit longer to preheat but now it doesn’t just randomly shut off!) Bake the potatoes for like 10 minutes and then use a spatula to flip them over. Bake them for another…8 minutes? It really just depends on how big your pieces are and how accurate your oven is..just watch them :)

Cook up those bell peppers! I just used about 1/4 of a pepper for this since I was just making it for me. Chop up some other veggies that you like and put them all pretty like on a plate!

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

Potato

Veggies

Cajun Spices

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut up your potato into small, evenly sized pieces. Put them in a bowl and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2-1 tsp Cajun spices. Place potatoes on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and flip the potato pieces. Put them back in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy.

If you want to make the peppers just chop up a bell pepper into small pieces (I used 1/4 of a pepper). Put some olive oil in a skillet and throw the peppers in there along with some Cajun spices. Cook on high heat until blackened and soft.

Serve with other veggies you like!

**UPDATE** My parents actually made this for dinner and we had the potatoes along with sauteed portabella mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers. It was delicious!

La Sardina

Last week I had my first piano lesson. I was waiting for it to start so I picked up the Architectural Digest in the waiting room. I read about Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s house which was quite spectacular. Then I flipped to a part about film cameras. It showed several but one really caught my eye- it was a fisheye lomo camera. I wrote down the website and looked it up when I got home.

I was opened to the whole new world of lomography! It’s this whole community that’s devoted to film photography with lomo cameras! What is lomography? Check is out! So I was browsing the website and came across some really cute cameras that takes pretty awesome pictures! I registered for an account so I join the world of lomography and received Piggy Points! Apparently they equal money off for lomo products!

I was thinking that I might want to buy a lomo camera in the future but…impulse and common sense told me otherwise! You know the piggy points I mentioned? Well they gave me $20 off! Also, lomography is running a promo with free shipping! Ahh! So I could either buy this lovely La Sardina camera for $68 later, when I have more money in my bank account and have thought about it more, or I could buy it now, after having thought about it for a day but save $28!

I got this camera for $39! I was so excited! It arrived yesterday and I immediately took pictures of it! Haha. What’s so special about this camera? Well it takes lomo pictures, is small and compact, uses 35mm film, and has a super wide angle lens! It also has the ability to take multiple exposures, meaning that you can take 2 different pictures on the same frame and see what kind of crazy effect happens! Oh it also has a bulb setting and 3 different levels of flash strength!

And check it out! It’s designed to look like a sardine can. Ironic, since I hate seafood. BUT I love the ocean and the nautical colors.

I’m just going to ignore this squid thing on the back. Hehe :) So I’ve been researching film and I’m amazed at this whole world I’m missing out on! I’ve taken film photography before, with my mom’s Nikon, and worked in the dark room at my school, but I haven’t really experimented with types of film! I’ve found a type of color film that I think would be great, I just need to save up to buy some!

So here’s my cute little camera :) Just thought I’d share.

Daniel Fast

Today I am starting something called the Daniel Fast. This is a fast I’ve done twice before and just felt led to do it again. The fast traditionally lasts for 21 days and you eat only things from the earth basically- all fruits and vegetables, nuts, and unprocessed grains. You can have spices but not sugar or any sweeteners like honey. The fast is modeled after the one that Daniel (from the Bible) did. Daniel did this fast when he was taken into the Babylonian king’s palace:

“Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the place staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, ‘I’m afraid of what my master the king would do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!’ But Daniel appealed to the steward…’Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.’ ” And at the end of the 10 days, they were healthier and better nourished than the other men.

It’s a challenging fast to do because it’s a totally different way of eating and it’s hard to do when you’re eating with people not on the fast. I’m the only one in my family doing it but that’s fine with me :) I’m actually excited to experiment with making Daniel Fast meals. So here are my reasons for doing the fast:

1. Spiritual. Fasting has a way of re-focusing you and you can grow closer and more in tune with God. When you stop focusing on food, you have more time to devote to God and you remember to talk to Him.

2. I have a bad relationship with food. Even though it’s gotten better this past year, I still hate how stressed eating can make me feel. Sometimes I eat way too much because I’m upset or I don’t eat because I feel guilty. I don’t feel guilty when I eat on this fast mainly because it’s healthy. Especially since I’ve been back from Haiti, I hate that I have this horrible relationship with food because I am so blessed to have access to basically as much food as I could want. I hope that this fast will help me relax when it comes to eating.

3. It’s healthy. Eating like this is seriously so good for you. Your body detoxes and gets rid of all the chemicals and crap that’s in the food you usually eat. When I’ve done this fast before, I’ve had a ton of energy and felt really good! So I’m looking forward to that.

4. I’m going to see if it helps my migraines at all. I don’t really think it’s going to…but I might as well try!

Here’s another verse I think of when fasting. “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.” -Matthew 6:16. I think this verse is so important. Fasting can be a great experience but not if you do it for the wrong reasons. I think to get attention or to be admired are wrong reasons. To fast because other people are doing it is a bad reason. To do it to lose weight is a bad reason. I think your #1 reason for fasting has to be God, to focus on Him and get your strength from Him.

I’ll be updating how the fast is going for the next few weeks :) and posting Daniel fast approved recipes!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday was a busy (but good) day! I was really tired because my friend Jessica and I had been to the Hillsong United concert the night before (more on that later :). School was pretty boring..the best part was working on our coil pots in AP Art History. I wish we could just do art projects in there all year! I got home and immediately left to take Celina to her acting lessons and I had my first piano lesson with a new teacher. The lesson went well but it’s going to be strange to have a piano teacher again! On our way home we stopped by Kroger to get a couple of things. When I got home I worked out and showered and then baked cookies as a birthday present for my boyfriend :) He sent me a link to these Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from Picky Palate a while ago so that’s what I decided to make!

Before I used to really enjoy baking cookies and it was what I made most frequently. Lately I just haven’t been in the mood to bake cookies but these super delicious over-the-top cookies reminded me how fun it is :)

First you have to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. Any cookie dough would work but I followed the Picky Palate recipe which was pretty basic but used a tablespoon of vanilla. I liked the extra vanilla in the dough- it added a nice flavor.

I think this picture speaks for itself. 2 chocolate chip cookies. 1 Oreo.

It’s hard to tell how big these cookies are (and the picture isn’t that good…) but they are enormous!

Yummy! Oh a miracle happened…the oven stayed on the whole time I was baking! I was so excited!

I was really bummed that we didn’t have milk! We only had almond milk…and it’s really not the same. We’ll have to buy some milk today so I can enjoy these cookies to the fullest!

These were so good! I had dinner at Carrabbas with my boyfriend and his parents. I gave him the cookies afterwards and he said they were really good! My family liked them too. Success all around!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Picky Palate.

Ingredients:

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

1 Cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

10 oz bag chocolate chips

1 package of Oreos…they HAVE to be double stuffed. It’s the law.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (and pray that it will stay heated). Cream together butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop (ice cream scoop) take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of the Oreo. Use your fingers to press the dough around the Oreo until you can’t see it anymore. Put the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes. I like to keep my chocolate chip cookies a little underbaked :) Take them out of the oven and stare and the amazing thing you’ve just created!

This makes 20-24 extremely large cookies! Make them today for someone you love and eat them with real milk! You know, the kind from the cows :)

365 Photo Challenge

My project for this next year is going to be the 365 photo challenge. Taking a picture every day for a year. That sounds pretty hard to me. But I think it’d be a really good thing. I love photography and this would force me to take pictures every day. To always be thinking about photos. I think it’s going to challenge me to see the world and document my life. Instead of 365 days, though, I think I’m going to do it a little differently. I’m going to start the challenge on the first day of my senior year- August 11, 2011 and finish it on the first day of college. I’m excited to start documenting my life and my world…as it undergoes many changes in this following year. I won’t be posting the pictures I take every day, maybe more like once a week. So yeah! I’m pretty excited about this idea :)

Ok so this paragraph above? I wrote it a couple weeks ago and was going to wait to publish this post until it was the first day of school. Well I forgot all about the post and the 365 challenge…whoops! I just realized today that I had forgotten about the post and the challenge! I was all upset until I realized that I have taken pictures (almost) every day since school started! Whew! So I will start the challenge officially now and I’ll post my daily pictures every week (possibly). I’m excited about this! I’m sure you are too :D Not all of my pictures will be good, I’ll be taking some with my phone I’m sure (ahhh! super envy for everyone who has instagram…)

I’ve been really inspired by some 365s I’ve seen on flickr…I think it’s going to start off rough (especially as I’m getting used to school and stuff) but I’m ready to start challenging myself with photography! Well that’s all for now :) School’s pretty ok…youth group kick off tonight!

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