Monday, January 24, 2011

To beef or not to beef... that is the question...

The last couple of years I had practically quit eating beef. It is not that I didn't like beef but I began to dislike the flavor of what was available in the grocery stores, I was trying to watch what I ate, and I was just kind of grossed out by all the hormones and antibiotics that are used on the beef.

Well after a hiatus from beef I think I'm back! I recently found a great source of organic, grass-fed beef. Meet Rocky Mountain Organic Meats:

"Rocky Mountain Organic Meats offers the finest Certified Organic grass-fed beef and grass-fed lamb in the country. All of our meats are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished and come from the best cattle and sheep country the Rocky Mountains have to offer. Our livestock is raised the old-fashioned way; no steroids or growth hormones, no antibiotics and no grain. Our only additives are clean water, lush grasses and fresh air resulting in lean and delicious organic grass-fed beef and lamb. Only a leaner beef higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and raised the way nature intended is good enough for our family. Serve it to your family or friends and feel good again about eating beef."Last week I put in my order which promptly arrived in just 2 days. It was nicely packed and arrived frozen. I was excited about trying it out! My nieces who were visiting for the weekend gave the hamburger patties, beef breakfast sausage and the beef sticks rave reviews!
Last night I put the chuck roast in the dutch oven for a couple of hours then transferred it to the slow cooker. I woke this morning to the delicious aroma of pot roast! No need to worry about what to make for dinner tonight. (I used the Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast recipe here.)They offer great customer service too. When I contacted them about a question I had regarding my order I talk to Rod (the big guy himself)! He was quite friendly, courteous and answered all my questions. Thanks Rod and Alan! If you care about the beef you eat I encourage you to give them a try today!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beautiful beginnings and evocative endings...

This past week was filled with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I have enjoyed getting up just before dawn and watching the beginning of a new day. Each is different and filled with beautiful colors painted all over the sky by the Father of Lights. It is an inspiring way to begin and end your day! This week was also filled with new life. Wednesday evening we went to St. Jude to visit my friends Chrystal and Paul and their new handsome little boy Titus Avery. He was fast asleep and was looking quite cute as all his "Registrar Aunties" took turns holding him.

Friday was the second of three short Fridays at work. This time I spent my free half day having lunch with a dear friend, getting a pedicure and then going for a long walk at the Fullerton Arboretum. It is truly a blessing to enjoy such wonderful warm weather in the middle of January. There were not many flowers blooming since, after all, it is the middle of winter but one of the interesting things I enjoyed looking at were all the tree trunks. Each one is different, intricate, unique and beautiful in it's own way. The citrus trees were loaded with fruit and the long afternoon shadows made for an evocative walk.

Some things ended this week, some things just begun but through it all the Lord has a perfect plan. Trusting Him is where I need to chose to be and know I'm not alone.


Continue in the things that concern Him;
He will continue to take care of the things that concern you.
Continue to give Him all that is yours;
He will continue to give you all that is His.
Continue to wait upon Him;
He will continue to be faithful to you.
Continue to seek His highest;
He will continue to give you His best."

-Roy Lessin

Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!" Jeremiah 7:23 NLT

These are some thoughts I have been trying to keep in mind and close to my heart when things don't go as I had planned. When my fears and disappointment want to overwhelm me I know that I have a loving and faithful God who knows best.

Monday, January 10, 2011

An afternoon browsing through history

Another week is beginning and the year seems to be getting well on it's way. I'm still keeping up with my cooking calendar plan. This evening I had eggplant and green beans I had to use. I broiled a nice piece of salmon with balsamic vinegar to go along with the veggies. It was good!

Last Friday was the first in a series of three "short Fridays" at work. I wanted to do something with my free afternoon so on the spur of the moment I decided to go to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda. The tour began with a short film about his life and presidency. I am a bit ashamed to admit that there was so much I didn't know about Richard Nixon's life and political career. The displays were interesting and quite informative. How political campaigning has changed! Some of the displays even included some kitchy campaign jewelery! Can you imagine wearing some of it?
One display that was very interesting to me was the hall with life size sculptures of political figures from Nixon's era including Nikita Khrushchev who was 5'4" and Golda Meir who was just over 5 foot. Some how I always imagined they were taller than that!
Next I explored the gardens outside and the presidential helicopter. I got to go inside (no photos were allowed of the interior) and it was like a walk back into the 60's. The interior has not been altered since Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson and Ford used it. No frills just some upholstered seats in avocado green, burnt orange each equipped with their own individual ashtrays, okra gold carpeting which I'm sure were the top design colors of the day and of course the famous presidential red phone. There was not too much head room which made me think most of them might have had to duck as they walk around inside.
Then there was Nixon's actual birthplace. His father built the house from a kit. I was small but cozy inside. The guide showed us the bedroom and bed where he was born. They didn't have running water or electricity until later. One curious thing was the card in the kitchen window. It had numbers on it and you would place it in the window to let the ice man know how many pounds of ice to leave for the ice box. Times have sure changed!
It was an afternoon well spent! Now what shall I do for the next short Friday?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Getting organized...

Happy New Year! I was up bright and early the other morning and felt so fortunate to enjoy this beautiful sunrise from my window. As I reflect on the year that has just ended and the new one that is well on it's way I am reminded of God's wonderful faithfulness, provision and care. During the reading service on Sunday one of the verses that really stood out was Isaiah 51:16 "I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand, I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, You are my people."

I've also been thinking about what could be some good resolutions for this year. One that definitely comes to mind is being more organized. I got a good start during Christmas break and filed and got caught up on the stacks that had been staring at me from my desk. All are now neatly tucked away in the filing cabinet!

Another thing I'd like to improve is to be more organized with food and cooking. Last month I got an erasable whiteboard calendar as a white elephant gift. I'm using it to write out dinner ideas and make sure I use the fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge. So here is my plan... I wrote down my dinner ideas and what ingredients I had on hand. I'll let you know how it goes!

So let's see, if it's January 3 then it must be Tomato Basil Pasta! This is one of my very favorite and oh so easy recipes. I took some step by step pictures so you all can try it too. It's easy, delicious and ready in 30 minutes.
First add some whole wheat penne pasta to a pot of boiling water. Season lightly with a pinch or two of salt.
While the pasta is cooking peel 4 or 5 garlic cloves and chop them finely. Throw it in a skillet with some olive oil and saute taking care not to brown the garlic.Add the fresh chopped tomatoes (I peel mine just because I like them better that way).
Let cook for 5 min on medium heat until it starts to thicken. Season with salt to taste. Chop fresh basil and add to the sauce. Remove from heat. Pasta should be done by now. Drain it and return it to the pan.

Serve in a nice pasta bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan! Enjoy!