Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shell Shock

I'm sitting here in a little bit of shock. I think I just finished my portfolio. "Why do I only think this?", you ask. Well, for one it is very hard to believe that I am finished two days before it is due. For another thing, it has so consumed me for so many weeks that I feel like something is missing from my life. I have poured so much of myself into finishing this degree and this project that I am having trouble coming to terms with the fact that it is almost over. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to continue taking classes or anything, but it is hard to realize that I may be coming to the end of a journey. I have plenty more work to do this semester, but I am just going to take a few moments to rest and reflect on the fact that this journey is almost over and another one is about to begin. What that new one is, I'm not sure. I have a guess, but only God knows for sure where He is taking me. I am just willing to follow Him right now.

Here is a quote I put in my portfolio. I think it sums up the process completely. I found it with a picture I used for my cover.

"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
~ Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some New Recipes

I have been getting the Kraft weekly emails with recipe suggestions for a few weeks now. Since I have been avoiding working on homework today, I decided to open the email up and see what I could find. Well, I found two recipes that I decided to make today.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Prep Time:
5 min
Total Time:
25 min
4 servings, one sandwich each

What You Need

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 French bread baguette, 16 to 20-inches long (about 10 oz.)
4 KRAFT Singles

Make It

COOK chicken and onions in skillet on medium-high heat 8 min., stirring occasionally.

ADD barbecue sauce, water and sugar; stir. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Cook an additional 7 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF).

REMOVE chicken from skillet. Shred chicken with fork or chop into small pieces. Return to skillet; stir until evenly coated with sauce. Cut baguette crosswise into four pieces. Cut each piece lengthwise in half. Fill with chicken mixture and Singles.

* As always I didn't follow directions exactly. Apparently I have trouble with this. I also really like to use my crockpot. So, here is what I did. I put the chicken, water, some of the barbecue sauce and brown sugar into the crockpot. After letting it cook for a while, I shredded the chicken, added more barbecue sauce and some dried onion flakes (I didn't have an onion). I also didn't buy any French bread, so I used some hogie style rolls. I also used cheddar cheese because I like it better than Kraft singles.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mallow Bars

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mallow Bars
Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
38 min
32 servings

What You Need!

1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2/3 cup milk, divided
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1/2 cup PLANTERS Salted Peanuts
6 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped

Make It!

HEAT oven to 350°F. Mix dry cake mix, butter and 1/3 cup milk until blended; press 2/3 onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 12 to 14 min. or until center is almost set; cool 3 min. Meanwhile, mix peanut butter and remaining milk.

SPREAD peanut butter mixture onto crust; top with small spoonfuls of the marshmallow creme and remaining cake mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate; press gently into cake mixture.

BAKE 18 min. or just until center is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

* I was watching "That Thing You Do" while making this, so I made a few mistakes. Luckily for me, this was a very forgiving recipe and still turned out great. One thing that is important to remember is to wait for the crust to cool before putting on the peanutbutter. I forgot and it made it really hard to spread the peanutbutter. This is a very rich dessert, so make sure you have milk (if that is what you like) or water on hand to wash it down.

Now, maybe I should actually get some more work done. Jason has diagnosed me with a severe case of graduate school senioritis. I believe it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A New Journey

For the past 7 months or so, Jason has been doing sales for a local publication. It has been straight commission. That comes with pluses and minuses. There is virtually unlimited potential for making money. The problem most recently has been that the people that he has sold advertising for have not paid. This leaves us in a fairly sticky situation. Anyway, last week, Jason went to an interview at a company here locally. It is probably about 3 or 4 miles from our house. They were interviewing for a marketing assistant position. He went for a second interview yesterday. Well today, he got a call from the company. He didn't get the marketing position, but they decided to create a position for him working with the owner of the company. I am so excited for him. He should still be able to go to school, but he will not be working on commission any more which is excellent news for us.

I am almost finished with school myself. I have most of my portfolio completely done. There are still a few things that I need to work on, but it is more done than not. This is good, because in the next week I have two tests and a paper due besides my portfolio. I am so glad that I have been working on this for the last month or so. It has probably made it a little less stressful than if I had waited until the last few weeks. That would have been crazy.

Please keep praying for Jason's job. I know I am excited about the prospects.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Farmer's Market and French Bakery

This morning we woke up really early and went to the farmer's markets in Dallas and Marietta. The one in Dallas is really small and we only ended up buying some wildflower honey and some peach bread for Jason's breakfast. Then we went to the one on the square in Marietta. It is a lot larger which is good, but parking is always a problem. It was really crowded this morning too. I'm not sure if this is because we got there about thirty minutes after it opened or not. We got some tomatoes (my tomato plant only has marble sized tomatoes on it), two potatoes, some broccoli, and the best smelling cantaloupe ever. After the farmers market, we went to Douceur French Bakery. This is the second time I have been there and I really wish it was closer to my house. They have the prettiest cakes and pastries. We got an almond croissant, pain au chocolat, and a baguette. Last time we were there we got the yummiest fruit tart. Sometime we are going to go for breakfast or lunch. They have the best sounding food and I haven't had a croque monsieur in so long.

I am in my last semester of school. I am so ready to be done, but I think my professors are trying to see just how much I can handle in six weeks. In two weeks, I have to turn my portfolio in. I am a little nervous about this, but hopefully by then everything will be in excellent shape. So, since I am having to put nearly all of my focus on school right now, I doubt there will be any good recipes or anything from me for a while.