Monday, December 17, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of David's number one requests for dinner... Chicken Enchiladas. We're having them tonight, and I feel like they're just too good not to share with others. So, if you can't come over and actually enjoy them with us, maybe you can make them for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 green bell pepper (diced)
1/3 yellow/white onion (diced)
1 Rotisserie Chicken (pull the meat off the bones and chop up into small pieces)
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1 bag shredded cheese (or shred your own if you have time!)
1 10oz can of Rotel (drained)
1 10oz can of enchilada sauce
8-10 whole wheat tortillas

Toppings:
Shredded lettuce
Tomatoes
Your favorite salsa

Directions:
Okay, so what I do is ...
Saute garlic, onion, and bell pepper for about 5 minutes over medium heat. While that's working, throw chopped chicken and yogurt into a big bowl and mix together. Add a handful of shredded cheese (or more if you like your's cheesier) and the drained Rotel and mix with yogurt/chicken. When the garlic/onion/pepper is done, throw that into the bowl too and mix. Next, spray a 9x13 baking dish with your Pam. Spoon your chicken mixture into one of your tortillas (you can get at least 2 good spoonfuls into each tortilla... I've been known to stuff 2.5-3 spoonfuls on occasion), roll tortilla up real tight, and lay onto baking dish with the fold down on the bottom. Fill up all of your tortillas. Next, cover your tortillas, evenly, with the rest of your shredded cheese. Finally, evenly coat the rolled up tortillas with your enchilada sauce. Bake enchiladas for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Once done, give them a couple minutes before you dish them out. They're really hot! Top with your favorite tex-mex toppings! We usually go for shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and our favorite salsa. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lamb & Fresh Rosemary

Over the weekend, I found this recipe, via Pinterest from DiabeticLiving.com, for Tuscan Lamb Chop Skillet

My mother, Janet, loves to embrace every opportunity to encourage the attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman into me, my sister, and our girlfriends. We would always giggle as mom would pick up some exotic espresso blend from the store, for example, and quip, "Proverbs 31 woman!" My mom was referring to, "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." (Proverbs 31:14) While we giggled at first, it has become a beautiful example to all of us to not only try new foods and flavors, but to choose good quality foods and take pride in bringing them into our home to prepare for our families. 

On Monday David needed a break after he finished his first law school final, (Yay!!) so he offered to accompany me to the grocery store. I love it when David comes with me because he knows where everything is. 

I miss the quaintness of Trader Joe's in Atlanta. I never needed a list, I knew where everything was, and you couldn't beat the prices. But, there is no Trader Joe's here, so I deal with it, make a list, and clip coupons. We do have a lovely little farmer's market down the street that I try to get most of my produce from. This week we were thrilled to see they had fresh rosemary (which I needed for the lamb) and were impressed that they came from the cashier's grandpa's garden. 


We love supporting local business, and since Arkansas is such an agricultural state, we love that we have a farmer's market so close where can buy food grown here. 

After we stopped into the farmer's market, we went across the street to Kroger. I was absolutely tickled to find the BIGGEST apples in the produce department. 


HUGE! As mentioned in previous posts, my family has spent several holidays in Orlando, FL. The holiday season and these apples took me right back to Downtown Disney and Universal Studios! Both destinations always have the yummiest chocolate/caramel covered apples, which are also quite large. I was so tempted to buy a couple to bring home and attempt covering with caramel and chocolate... But, I'm trying to stick to what's on my list these days to help stay on budget, and caramel/chocolate covered apples definitely weren't on my list. 

So, on to the meat department! 

While David perused the fish selection I started hunting for lamb. I knew Kroger had some because I'd seen a coupon for it. Finally, I found some little lamb chops just as David came walking up with some fresh tilapia. He looked at them and asked, "Why are we having lamb, again?"

I said, "I'm being a Proverbs 31 woman."

He smiled, took the lamb, and placed it in our cart along with the tilapia. 

We finished shopping, and managed to only make one extra purchase which hadn't been specified on my list (Dr. Scholl's inserts for my shoes for NYC- love them!).

...

I really don't have enough experience under my belt to just adapt a recipe or play with it as I'm cooking. It's best for me to just follow the recipe exactly as it is and modify it next time. David, as usual, took charge of cooking the meat, while I handled salad and the tomato/bean/rosemary stewed side. 



We were so pleased with how it turned out!


I will make the tomato/bean/rosemary part again, but the lamb could easily be replaced with something less expensive. 

Regardless, we had fun together making something new with ingredients we don't usually cook with (lamb and fresh rosemary). 

...

There are so many studies on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. After all, "bringing her food from afar" is definitely NOT the only thing she does or is. 

But, I love that this passage refers to food as part of what she does because food is a part of any person's day every day. And, I've learned that when you're a wife it's important to have food available that your family likes and is good for them. 

When I was single, I could get away with just having tomato soup, hummus, and cereal on hand. But, it's different when you have a family. I love that while we giggled as young girls as my mom picked out strange looking fruit or cooked up a new kind of sausage, all the while quoting Proverbs 31, our mother was instilling that foundation in us as future wives and mothers. 

So, no matter what kind of budget you're on, I encourage you young wives, moms, and yes you too single gals, embrace this part of the Proverbs 31 woman. Pick out something new to make in your home instead of the usual every day. Your husband and family (and roommates) will appreciate the gesture as you communicate effort and caring, even if they giggle.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Organizing

I love being naturally organized. Everything has "a place." Whether it's a spatula or a dirty sock or a pillow... Or my laptop when it's charged versus when it's charging... I think being organized can be an incredible quality in a person. It can help you get multiple things accomplished within a short amount of time. You spend less time looking for things.  Often, you spend less time having to make up for mistakes, because the organization helped you avoid making one. 

Being organized to the extent to which I am means I'm a natural planner. As per my last post, we're going out of town soon. And, before we go to NYC we will be in Atlanta for Christmas. I already have all our presents bought, most are wrapped, the only ones to be mailed have been mailed. I have all my pressing Atlanta appointments scheduled and confirmed. I've RSVP'd to all the events we'll be attending. I know when Sperry is getting groomed before we leave...

There's just so much to get done, thank goodness I'm naturally so organized, right?

However, last night I realized a major downside to being as organized as I am. Since it comes so natural to me, it was apparently easy for The Enemy to camouflage lies and fear into my organizational process with out my realizing it. 

And last night, at about midnight, I broke into uncontrollable sobs. I could hardly breathe. I couldn't even open my eyes...

As I was falling asleep, a question had popped into my head... I think, it was actually a little bomb that Satan had placed inside my thoughts hoping it would explode.. And it almost did. 

The question was, what's my plan if something happens to David? What's my plan if the worst should happen? If I lost my job, if David was hurt or (Heaven forbid) died? If we had young children when this horrible thing happened? What would I do? And, I started to organize it.. But I couldn't. 

And then, every single one of my weaknesses came into the forefront of my mind convincing me that I wouldn't be able to figure it out now, or if this terrible circumstance occurred, then. And, what was even more paralyzing was the reality of it. It happens. Young women with children do loose their jobs and their husbands. I've seen it. 

So, there I am. Sobbing, gripped with fear and anxiety. 

I think it's absolutely amazing how the Lord can speak to you through your spouse. 

And, in the midst of David speaking truth to me last night as I cried, God reminded me that I have never had control over anything that has happened to me. I've never even had control over the good things! They were not a result of my gifts or efforts. They were fully encompassed by God's hands. 

I immediately went back, just for a second, to Kenya. That moment in the van when I thought it was all over. That moment when I realized I was about to leave this Earth and go to Heaven. I had no control there. Absolutely no control. But, God delivered me and my team. He already figured it out... How and why we were going to be released by our carjackers. It wasn't up to me to go through that process, then in that moment, all that was up to me was to trust in the sovereignty of my Lord, even when the outcome was bleak. 

I've had a couple girlfriends recently miscarry pregnancies, and the verse that's come to my head over and over again when I think about them is Job 1:21. "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." 

And, David, unknowing that I had been clinging to the hope in this verse as my friends have gone through these hardships, last night reminded me of Job. God took everything away from him, and even then Job still trusted in God. And, furthermore, he was blessed for it. So, David's reminder was, "Lindsay, you will always trust that God will take care of you. You always have. And He always will. And you know that He will exceed your expectations. All you will be able to say is, 'Wow, God did this.'"

I guess Satan forgot, my husband is a warrior in the Lord's army. Those kinds of bombs don't really phase him.. He's like a bomb tech. : ) 

So, I share this tender moment with you in hopes that it will be encouraging. In case, you too have a tendency to try to figure things out on your own. 

Even though my hope was already in Christ, a little question was quickly consuming me as I tried to control the answer. I need to remember to go first to God with even the little questions and not let Satan use one of my gifts against me. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Anniversary Planning

Christmas music, hot tea, twinkle lights... 74 degree weather ... For me it's the perfect start to the Christmas season! David, on the other hand, totally disagrees and wishes will all his might it would just turn cold and spit out a couple snowflakes. 

Maybe that's why for our upcoming two year wedding anniversary he was so excited to book a trip to a very, very cold place... 

New York City! 

For those of you who don't know, David and I were married on New Year's Eve almost two years ago. We had a beautiful wedding with many of our dearest friends and family from all over the globe there. I would highly recommend to anyone who hasn't set their hearts on any particular time of year to get married to consider the he holiday season. It's so magical already. When you throw a wedding into the mix, it's just surreal. (I wish you could see me as I'm typing this. I'm beaming!)

Now that I have more flexibility with my work schedule, the possibility of taking a trip over the holidays became a reality for us, and therefore we have the opportunity to go somewhere for our anniversary. We looked at a lot of different places, mostly cruises and Caribbean destinations (because, let's face it, I like to be warm!) When David mentioned New York City, I didn't know how to process it!

I joke that growing up my family always vacationed to warm places because we hate being cold, but I'm actually quite serious. Countless winter holidays were spent south of our home state of Georgia. Some of my favorite holiday memories are touring a banana plantation in Jamaica, Downtown Disney on New Year's Eve, or Busch Gardens just days before Christmas. Again, warm places...

So, New York City?? On New Year's Eve? And to top that, staying in Times Square?? I was befuddled. But, David was confident. And quickly, I began to catch the adventure of it. How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to do something so... well, outrageous? 

Most people never do. 

The practical side of me tried to reason with my adventuresome side. But then, a side of me that is continuing to develop, the side of me that considers every aspect of my marriage and new family unit, quietly said, "Go on an adventure, like none you've ever been on, or might never have the opportunity to go on again... with your husband."

So, we decided the Caribbean will always be there, but New Year's Eve in Times Square for your anniversary, that's maybe once in a lifetime.

So, we're going. And, I'm reading a travel guide and asking several friends their tips for exploring this big city that I've never been to before. A city that I only know through the movies and a couple sitcoms.  If you have any pizza joints, coffee houses, or tips to exploring the city.. Please let me know.  : )