Monthly Archives: May 2011

fishing.

This is the conversation that happened between my Mom, Dad, Brother and I on our way home from church this past Sunday. Only our family. And maybe I’m the only one who will find this humorous.

Mom: So Grandpa e-mailed me a link for the two of you, it’s some dating site that Glenn Beck recommended or maybe it was Rush Limbaugh

Me: Yes, those are two people I would definitely take dating advice from.

Zach: Yeah, not really looking to meet anyone right now. It will happen when it happens.

Dad: Exactly, but maybe you should consider fishing in some other ponds Zach.

Zach: Dad I’m not gay.

Dad: That’s not what I meant.

Me: You fish in cesspools Zach.

Zach: SEXPOOLS?!

Me: No C-E-S-S-P-O-O-L-S

Zach: What is that?

Dad: It’s just dirty, smelly, scummy water

Zach: I don’t fish in dirty waters.

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Peace Found

I went into my trip to Tijuana with big expectations.

Expectations of finding some answers to my life’s current questions. I felt an undeniable pull to Tijuana to find these answers. Everything about the trip description spoke to me. Working with a women’s shelter, learning about human trafficking, and the timing was right on. 5 months almost to the day since my world was turned upside-down I left for this journey.

I can’t say any revelations have been received.  I still don’t really know the direction of my life. If I will go back to school. If I will pursue other new avenues. But I can say this much. Monday sitting in my cubicle settling into my daily routine of checking e-mails and working on my to-do list I felt this overwhelming sense of peace.

I continued to feel this feeling of peace throughout my day. After work. Grocery shopping. Cooking Dinner. Cleaning my apartment.

My life is going to be ok. It may not be what I had originally planned, and things may unfold slower than I would like, but I am grateful for this wild and crazy life of mine.

I will continue to share more about my Tijuana journey, as I decide how best to write about it.

This song may be a little cheesy but I totally relate to some of the verses.

“For the first time, in such a long long time. I know. I’ll be ok”

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What’s Cookin’: Mini Cheesecakes

It started with a tub of blueberry cream cheese. It came with a bucket of bagels I purchased from Einstein’s. I knew I would never finish this cream cheese before the expiration date. Why? Because though I love me some blueberries, I don’t particularly like blueberry cream cheese on my bagels. It’s just a little too sweet and all together too much.

So what do you do with cream cheese you’re not going to eat? Make mini cheesecakes of course!  I had to add some plain cream cheese to this recipe because there was not enough blueberry to complete the recipe. But they turned out delicious with a light blueberry flavor that was not too overpowering. AND I got to use my new hand-mixer.

This recipe is simple and I found it on allrecipes.com

Mini Cheesecakes

  • 12 vanilla wafers
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line muffin tins with 12 paper baking cups. Place a vanilla wafer in each one.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice, and sugar. Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  4. Fill each baking cup 2/3 full with cream cheese mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Add a slice of strawberry on top.. YUM!

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Tijuana Tid Bits

Just because the news says Tijuana is scary does not mean it actually is.

Beans can be eaten at every meal including breakfast.

Tortillas are best warm and homemade.

Meeting people where they are may be harder than setting expectations but it’s more rewarding.

Just because you’re close to California, does not guarantee beautiful weather everyday.

Humans are resilient, as long as you choose to be.

I can understand Spanish better than I can speak it. My language skills may well be use it or loose it.

I will be looking up recipes for chilaquiles.

If you wait until you’re fully healed and together to do something, you’ll never do anything.

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the final countdown

I leave for Tijuana. Soon. Very Soon. I probably should not be blogging because I need to finish packing and making sure that I have everything and I need to pick up my my apartment, take out the trash and give Rita my basil plant to watch while I am gone.

All in good time.

Sunscreen, my sleeping bag and and a few clothing items have made it into my pack so if I am really pressed for time I should be all covered. Just kidding.

A whole week outside this country. Away from work. Away from family, friends and creature comforts. This is what I know thus far.

My cell phone probably won’t work. My dear father suggested that I go the the Sprint Store to get an international plan for the month. I don’t want to. I don’t care if my phone does not work. And in all honesty at the rate my crap-berry is going I’m not convinced it can handle and international signal.  Sorry Mom and Dad. Don’t worry I am sure one day the parenting gods will bless me with a child as stubborn and willful as I am. That’s how it works right?

I will be eating the best tortillas of my life.

The 5 day forecast is telling me we will be having weather in the 60’s.

In thinking about this trip I have to admit that though the mission part is extremely near and dear to my heart, this trip is also a cathartic healing journey. At least that is what I’m hoping for. Love you all and I look forward to sharing my experience with you.

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my social skills.

I was at a recent gathering and we were playing a game. A simple game of answering questions printed on small pink cards.

the question: “If your life was a reality show what would the title be?”

Girl One: Single and Fabulous

Girl Two: Single in the City

Girl Three: Fashionably Fabulous

Me: Hot Mess 101

And the room went quiet. Perhaps I need to work on my social skills.

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What’s Cookin’: Stuffed Artichokes

I’m not entirely sure I like artichokes, but I don’t dislike them either. I do enjoy spinach artichoke dip with gobs and gobs of cheese. I don’t think I’ve ever had artichokes any other way. So when I sat this recipe I was intrigued, plus I already had all the ingredients….all I needed to buy was an artichoke.I only made one and it was plenty for two to share as a little appetizer.  I didn’t feel like making clarified butter so I didn’t, but I think I will try this recipe again.

(per usual I started eating before I thought to take a photo, so one of the artichoke and one of all the leaves I had already eaten)

Stuffed Artichokes

Source: How Sweet Eats

4 artichokes

1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

3 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut stems off of artichokes. Place upside down in a large pot and fill with water. Boil for 20 minutes. Artichokes should be submerged in water, so you may need to place a bowl or other object on top.

Remove artichokes from pot. Let drain upside down for 10 minutes. Cut off the top 1/2-1 inch of artichoke. Trim remaining leaf tips if sharp.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/8 cup butter. Add chopped garlic, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and any other fresh herbs or seasons you desire. Stir until mixture comes together. It will most likely be dry, so add the remaining oil and butter. Add in the parmesan cheese, a squirt of freshly squeezed lemon juiced, and stir until lightly golden brown.

Pull apart artichoke leaves and spoon mixture evenly inside. Place artichokes in a baking dish and add 1 inch of water to the bottom.

Bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Place foil over the artichokes and bake another 25 minutes.

Serve with clarified butter and a dish to discard leaves.

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