Friday, March 27, 2009

be glad

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Thursday, March 26, 2009

dark chocolate + coconut = brownie bliss

This is a recipe I adapted from the brownie recipe on the back of a Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking bar. It's like a Mounds brownie.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter and flour an 8" x 8" baking pan.

Melt 2/3 cup (4 oz) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup unsalted butter.

Let cool to room temperature.

Stir in 1 cup brown sugar, packed and 1 tsp vanilla.

Add 2 eggs, mix well.

Sift together:
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup & 2 Tbsp all purpose flour

Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut.

Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Try not to eat the whole thing at once.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Invincible Summer

In Florida, we don't see much change around us as the seasons go by, but I was in northern Virginia earlier this month and signs of spring were everywhere. It started with noisy birds at dawn. Little flowers coming up through the grass. Buds opening into new leaves and flowers on trees. A fresh scent in the air.

Watching all this brought to my mind Camus' statement, “In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.”

Then I started to wonder if I had an invisible summer within me, and what it might be.

One thing I know I can always count on is my family and friends. For love, encouragement and help you couldn't find any better support group.

But abundant love and kind intentions isn't enough to really be an invincible summer. My dearest ones are totally there for me the best they can be, but sometimes it just isn't what I need. All people have their own needs... they get busy... they don’t always understand...

Occasionally I think I know how Abraham Lincoln must have felt when he said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day."

My problems are nothing compared to what Lincoln faced, but I do know that when there's no where else to turn, we always have help through prayer.

No matter what might be going on around us, what might be disappointing, painful or troubling, there is a completely reliable source of help. We can find it in the midst of any winter, no matter how dark or cold. That is Jesus Christ. For love, mercy, kindness, wisdom, strength, peace, help, hope. He is the Invincible Summer. He is just a prayer away.

I love this hymn.

Where Can I Turn For Peace?

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

Emma Lou Thayne, b. 1924© 1973 IRI

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Very Tasty Curry

Several years ago a friend from Hong Kong showed me how she made curry. Joelle and I made it together recently and it was the best we'd ever made!

We used the list of ingredients from my friend's curry and added a few touches of our own. Here's what we did.

First we chopped
half an onion, a shallot,
half a yellow pepper and minced 3 cloves garlic. Then we heated olive oil in a large pot and sauteed them.

Then we chopped 3 chicken breasts and 6 or 7 small white potatoes into bite sized pieces and added them to the pot, and stirred it all for a few minutes.

Then we added enough water to cover the chicken and potatoes, and 3 tablespoons soup starter and brought to a simmer. (You can use bullion cubes or broth if you want to.)

When the potatoes and chicken were cooked, we added:
one can of coconut milk
one medium sized tomato, chopped
a half cup of frozen peas
one tablespoon thai curry paste
one teaspoon of yellow curry powder

And cooked this until it was all warm.

We served it over jasmine rice.


This is about four generous servings.