Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recipe of the week

It is Thanksgiving, which means of course that I am not at school to do the recipe of the week. But does that stop me? No!

Well ok, I didn't make up this recipe on my own, but I did make it today and take pictures of it (and eat it) so I thought I'd share it.

 Gingerbread pancakes!!!

So here's the recipe, which I got from a magazine a few years ago:
2 cups baking mix
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup molasses

Mix the baking mix (or you can just put in your own flour/salt baking powder, etc.) with the ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium sized bowl. Beat the egg, milk and molasses in a separate bowl. Then of course, you just put the two of them together, because pancakes are so fun and easy to make! However, these do seem really runny at first, but the batter does get thicker upon standing a little bit. Still, I would leave out a little bit of the milk and maybe mix in a little extra flour. I like my pancakes nice and thick, especially these, because they taste like gingerbread cookies.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Create Something Beautiful

A year ago I discovered this fascinating Facebook page:

This October they came out with a book that I just finished looking through. The pages are full of intriguing photos, funny stories and thought provoking quotations. Out of the 400 images and quotations, one of them stuck with me:

"It seems that a lot of people my age try to be interesting by having problems or starting conflicts. I'd rather be interesting because I created something beautiful."


How true this is, that we do expect our struggles and our issues to make us interesting, to make us worth talking to. I have noticed this in my own life, that when I'm feeling bad about myself, I want someone to notice and comfort me. And then I want to remain in my struggles so that I will always have a reason for people to feel sorry for me. It's like I have no value and people won't take me seriously if I have not experienced several weighty situations that have lasting effects on my present life.

But that is not how God called us to live.

God called us to set aside our struggles, to "throw all our anxieties on him." But we hold on to them. We hold on to them because we do not realize that our value is in him. We hold on to them because we want attention. We hold on to them because we want to be taken seriously. But seriously, God can set us free.

God does not want us to live tangled up in the past. And I doubt that, if we do escape this charade, we would want to either. So let us stop wallowing in our woes. And let us create something beautiful.

** Some other of my favorite quotations from the book:

A girl is explaining her tattoo: "It's French for 'Army of Shadows'...I was going through a really tough time in my life, and it felt like a whole army was after me. But when I started feeling better, I realized it was nothing but an army of shadows."

"When my husband was dying, I said: 'Moe, how am I supposed to live without you?' He told me: 'Take the love you have for me and spread it around.'"

Some lines from a "Book of Spells"
The spell to make strangers wish you a 'happy birthday': Make a sign that says "It's my birthday," and wear it around your neck.
The spell to make objects move through the air: Make sure there is a nice person in close proximity, both to you and the object you desire. Then simply stretch your arm out toard the object and in less than a minute, it will float magically into your hand."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week

Behold the Incredible Edible Egg!!!
This is no cottage cheese filled omelet, this is pure delicious flavor wrapped in an egg. And then wrapped in a wrap. Which broke and spilled some on the plate, thus the disorganized scene above. But who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes delicious! For I must warn you, while it is cooking, the above concoction does look a little...mmm...unappetizing. But I assure you, it is delicious.

Start out like any old omelet, cooking your toppings a little in the frying pan. I chose black olives and pepperoni, because I personally love black olives and will put them in anything, and because the pepperoni adds a nice spicy kick to this flavor packed dish. Does that sound a little cliche`? I'm sorry, but this stuff is seriously flavorful! Because...wait for it...we're not just going to cook cheese into the eggs this time (and it's just classic cheddar, not cottage cheese), but we're also going to add something with lots of flavor. It is also what accounts for the weird, slightly disturbing texture of the eggs. But ignore that. Are you still waiting for it?

It's salsa!

Yes, cook salsa right into the eggs. So after the toppings (or fillings, really) have cooked for a minute or two, add the salsa and let that cover them and disperse it's flavor everywhere. Then add some cheese.
And after that has melted a little and covered everything, throw in some eggs and let them bring the whole menagerie together. It's super yummy because the eggs are just bursting with flavor (too cheesy? That's ok, they are cheesy) and the consistency is somewhat moist. Sometimes plain scrambled eggs are just dull and dry, but these are NOT! Clearly I am quite taken by this recipe. I do believe it is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in Baldwin. That and the apple cobbler they sometimes have.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Life Happens Unexpectedly

I had no idea last Saturday was going to be so exciting.

 For one thing, I was photographing the men's soccer game for The Sojourn, and it wasn't until just before the last goal that the editor in chief, who was filming the game, clued me in on the historical significance of what I was witnessing. If we won (which we did!), this would be the first time in history that the Wildcats won the Crossroads League and moved on to the NAIA tournament (which they are!). It was so much fun when all of the fans ran out onto the field to congratulate the team and celebrate the victory.

 But more excitingly, before I went to the game I ran into some friends. I ran into some friends who have been engaged for several months, but haven't been able to take engagement photos yet. I ran into them after they had decided that today was a really good day to take pictures, and had prayed to run into a photographer to take their engagement pictures. So a couple hours later, out we go to take some photos! It was so fun, and such a blessing to be an answer to their prayers! :) Sometimes God just does really cool things like that.

Janelle & me at the end of the shoot!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Answering the 'Why?' Question

Why do I work in the photo lab? It's not really a difficult question; I'm sure any educated person could come up with numerous reasons for said job. But, I would like to share one particular instance of creation that would not have happened had I not been working in the lab this year.

Palladium Platinum is an old school method of printing photographs, and pretty much produces the most amazing prints you will ever lay eyes on. Seriously.

That being said, it is no wonder that when an IWU alum came in with one of my fellow students to print some palladiums while I was working one night, I wanted to print one too! Thankfully I had just taken this super awesome picture the other day, which looks absolutely perfect as a palladium!!!

Seriously, the scan does not do it justice. A palladium is the type of picture you just have to see in person and stare at for hours until your soul has been lost somewhere inside of it. Because you literally could stare at a good palladium print for hours.

Perhaps you can stare at a scan of a palladium print for a few seconds. It is not quite the same thing. But still, it's pretty darn cool.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recipe of the Week

 Pizza is a staple of many college students. At least, I live off of pizza. But you know, sometimes you just get bored of eating the same thing. So let me introduce you to something that is not the same. It's not pizza, but it is. Well, it's like the same ingredients of pizza but not in the form of pizza. Which is like the isotopes of carbolic molecules we talked about in chemistry class which are made up of all the same molecules, but in a different order, so are they really the same??? Oh the philosophical conundrums it brings up.

To ponder a question like that, your brain needs some good food. So why not meander on over to Baldwin (or your kitchen) and grill up a pizza sandwich?

Mine consists of pepperoni gathered from the pasta bar and black olives swiped off the salad bar. These toppings are stuffed between four slices of the Swiss cheese on the deli bar and grilled on the panini maker.

Also, to make it even better, you can get a bowl of sauce from the pasta station to dip your sandwich in. I just went with the basic marinara, but I suppose if you wanted the alfredo, that would be pretty delicious too!

On the topic of pizza, Charlee whipped up some cinnamon dessert pizza today, and we had the brilliant idea that said pizza would taste great in a bowl of ice cream. I was hoping for some French vanilla ice cream, which of course they did not have available today. However, cinnamon stick pizza dipped in melted snickerdoodle ice cream is absolutely delicious. Charlee may make fun of me for taking pictures of all my food, but see, that just gives the sandwich the time it needs to cool off a little and the ice cream just the right amount of time to melt over the dessert. It's a very well thought-out process, I assure you.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Do I Know of Holy?

When one spends time reading the Bible and going to church, one tends to grow into the philosophy that he/she knows God. That he/she understands who God is, what he stands for and how he works. That he becomes predictable.

Ladies and gentlemen, can I share, God is not predictable!

He's not a tame lion, after all, as C. S. Lewis would say.

Tonight I attended a service that was very much focused on being filled with the Holy Spirit. As in, spending at least an hour in praise and worship, but not even singing all of that time. The leader explained that they did not want to create a false sense of worship through singing; this was just raw Holy Spirit at work.

The speaker referred to the philosophy of the Holy Spirit being like the crazy uncle we put in the corner and pretend he's not there. And although I don't know anyone who would proudly admit to that, I think that is actually what we do.

Let's be honest, I was a little bit freaked out by the way I felt the Holy Spirit moving in me tonight. No, I did not fall over on the floor and start shaking, but I felt like that was a definite possibility. Because if one lets the Spirit take complete control over oneself, well, I mean, he's in control. He can do whatever crazy thing he wants. So if someone next to me does fall over and start shaking, can I shake my head and say, "That's not God. That's someone desperately in need of attention?"

Because I have come to learn that despite having grown up in church and Bible camp and VBS, I do not know everything about God. I do not know anything about God! One of my favorite songs is by Addison Road and says, "Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean...What do I know of holy?" Romans 11:33-34 says, "O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out. 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?'"

We are just too finite to understand God. How can we understand one so beyond who we are? We cannot define him. We cannot box him in. God works in ways we would never imagine, and as C. S. Lewis says, "Things never happen the same way twice." We just don't have time to get bored, or to sit down and write out a list of who God is. We can't set up a facebook page for him and define all of his likes and habits and relationships. He is way beyond that. Humans are way beyond that. You know that one person who you just never know what they are going to do? God is like that. You can't define him or predict him or grow bored of him.

So I pray that I can let God be God and do whatever the heck it is he is going to do now and the next moment and the one after that. And that I stop believing that he is not a part of those moments when he is most powerfully at work. And perhaps, if I shut my eyes and hold my breath, I can take a step into that ocean of which I am so afraid.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Recipe of the Week

What if soy just regular milk...introducing itself in Spanish???
I just love puns and cheesy jokes. I found this list the other day, and it's just so brilliant I thought I ought to share it:

But if you happen to come back to this page after being distracted by those clever puns, I'd like to share an idea from my bestest bestest friend, who is studying abroad in Thailand this semester. I got to skype her the other day, and she thought she would share some ideas for my recipe of the week. With all that amazing Thai food she is discovering over there, she must have some pretty exotic ideas, right? Well, here it is: warm soy milk.

Yep, that's it. Warm soy milk, with spices mixed in like cinnamon or vanilla. Of course in Baldwin, the soy milk is already flavored vanilla (and chocolate too!) but if they put out the cinnamon, you can certainly mix some in and heat it up in the microwave. Today was not one of those days when they put out cinnamon, however, so I tried to mix in some brown sugar. It just sank to the bottom. But I will say (today being doughnut day) that dunking a doughnut in warm soy milk and then in brown sugar is quite delicious!

Thanks Alyssa for sharing your idea!