2012 is shaping up to be a year that I push myself in every area I’ve felt weak. And as random as the title of this post sounds, these are the three areas that I’m really pushing myself and our family.
I’m trying to cook more often. One of my goals for 2012 was to finally find my footing in the kitchen. I love to create but have never felt comfortable in that arena. Now that I’ve taken a vested interest in the foods we’re feeding ourselves (especially little Brady), I’m finding it more fun to discover fun recipes, plan meals for the week, grocery shop and finally learn the techniques I’ve put off forever (and by techniques, I mean really fancy things like how to cut/peel garlic… yes, I looked it up today online).
We are really cutting back on processed foods here. And in doing that, I decided I should try and make a few of our favorite “ready-made” foods myself. Tortilla chips and salsa are my absolute favorite food on the planet. I will give up chocolate, caffeine and red wine before I ever give up chips and salsa. So, yesterday, after scouring Pinterest for “the world’s greatest salsa recipe” I stumbled upon this. Aptly named, “The Best Salsa Ever” or “Roasted Red Pepper Salsa” I decided it HAD to be delicious. I saw that it required roasting 16 tomatoes and immediately knew this recipe was entirely too much for our little family. I cut the recipe in half and will, next time, cut it down to a quarter. It makes a TON of salsa. It was delicious, but VERY spicy. Normally I’m a fiend for spicy things, but the Serrano peppers (which, by the way, can be purchased at your grocery store or local farmer’s market — I’d never heard of them before and was worried about this) make it extra hot.
I also tried a yummy recipe that a friend posted on her blog (a must read) White Hot Inspiration. Cassie and I went to middle school together and she’s a pro in the kitchen – always whipping up delicious, beautiful dishes. Tonight we had her Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos – (DELICIOUS – even Bryan loved them) and we’ll be having her Sesame Noodles tomorrow night. Even Brady loved those burritos!
In shopping for all of these yummy meals, I decided to try shopping for all of our produce (since we’re going through a TON with the juicer) at our local farmer’s market rather than at Publix. I was BLOWN. AWAY. by the difference. Our farmer’s market had SO much to choose from and everything looked delicious. I left with a grocery cart FULL of produce (seriously… including 22 apples and 12 tomatoes) for only $29.
Bryan and I are testing out a cash-only philosophy this year (I could write a novel about this philosophy and a few others we put to the test beginning LAST year) and its really working wonders. It felt so good to hand over just $29 for all those yummy fruits, veggies and fresh herbs. The market even carries fresh baked cuban bread from Ybor City. Oh my goodness it is good.
My husband challenged me to do something I’ve wanted to do, but never had the guts to commit to, on Thursday night. He said to me… “You’re almost thirty years old. You have a faith as big as this room. Why have you never read the entire Bible.” (He has.) Well one things for sure, if you give me a challenge… well, lets just say it was overnighted and arrived on Saturday.
I’ve always had a wholehearted faith, but have never read all the books of the Bible. I’m actually really looking forward to doing this. I wasn’t raised in church every Sunday but grew up in a home that loved God and thanked him daily. My Grandmother taught me God. She taught me the roots of Christianity and grew, in me, a deep-set childlike faith. As I grew older, I grew more interested in the facts of the Bible (especially when the Da Vinci Code was written). I think God allows those seeds of doubt and question so that we will dive more into his Word. I bought book after book about religion and really began to piece together my Christian belief myself. Oddly enough, at the very basis of things, it was my Grandmother and The Da Vinci Code that led me to be baptized when I was in college (I’d been baptized as an infant, but decided I wanted to rededicate myself in 2004). Still, to this day, I’ve never learned the Bible. I’ve never read an entire book of the Bible. I’m really nervous about this for some reason – I suppose because I want to soak up every ounce I read… but I’m really excited to do this. Tomorrow’s agenda… off to the zoo with little B and our friends for the holiday!
Cheers to growth this year!