Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vegetarian Spaetzle or Spaetzli as I call them

Last night I cooked dinner for some friends and I wanted to make them something authentic Swiss and delicious. Since they were not vegetarians I made them spaetzli and cream sauce with chicken. They loved it and it was a real hit.
But I also made a vegetarian spaetzli bake for Kasie and I and it was so great I thought I would share.

I started by making spaetzli (see below if you want to see how).
I layered the spaetzli in a casserole dish and topped with steamed broccoli, sliced tomatoes, caramelized onions and topped with Gruyere cheese.

Then I baked it at 400 for 20 minutes and voila...delicious!

How to make Spaetzle

Here is the recipe for Spaetzle that I use. It is from my good friend Sarah Frischknecht and it works every time.

Start by combining
2 eggs
2 cups of flouer
a sprinkle or two of nutmeg
a tsp of salt
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water

I just combine everything in my kitchen aid and let it do the job for me.

While doing that heat a large pot of salted water to a slow boil. Then get your spaetzle maker (this is the one that I have) and place it over the boiling pot. Take a cup full of batter and place it inside the square and move it back and forth over the pot. Repeat this a couple of times and then remove the spaetzle from the pot.
They take very little time and as soon as they float to the top they are done. I like to transfer them with a slotted spoon to a colander and let the excess water drain while I take the next batch of batter and repeat the process. They take very little time and as soon as they float to the top they are done. I like to transfer them with a slotted spoon to a colander and let the excess water drain while I take the next batch of batter and repeat the process.

This is what they look like when they are done. Try them out...they are so delicious.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Delicious and Nutritious

So some of you might know that I became a vegetarian last year. In fact it's been almost 9 months now and I can honestly say that I feel better than I have ever felt. I have also just recently learned that I am allergic to soy so it has been an adventure to cook vegetarian without the aid of soy "fake" meat or products.

Last week I attempted a Vegan Lentil "meat"loaf. If it sounds disgusting...well it was! I didn't take any pictures but I should have. I did, however, help to make some incredible enchiladas (my own creation) that I would love to share with all of you.

If you are counting your calories this is a great Mexican dish you can enjoy plenty of.

Vegetable Enchiladas

1/2 sweet potato
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 bag frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans or black beans drained and rinsed
chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
whole wheat tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce (try Trader Joe''s sooo good)
1 can chopped green chili (or the real thing if you are in NM)

Saute the onion, garlic and sweet potato (all three cut very small)in medium sauce pan
add diced tomatoes, beans and corn to pan. Simmer on medium heat and add chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until a thick consistency and most of the tomato juice has cooked out.

In a casserole dish prepare enchiladas with the filling. Once all the tortillas are filled top with enchilada sauce and can of green chili.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes

Serve with fresh salsa and enjoy!

The best don't need cheese or sour cream and you'll get plenty of healthy yummy veggies.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What number are you?

Thanks to Julie for having this on her blog. I can't believe how accurate this is.

You Are 4: The Individualist

You are sensitive and intuitive, with others and yourself.

You are creative and dreamy... plus dramatic and unpredictable.

You're emotionally honest, real, and easily hurt.

Totally expressive, others always know exactly how you feel.

At Your Best: You are inspired, artistic, and introspective. You know what you're thinking, and you can communicate it well.

At Your Worst: You are melancholy, alienated, and withdrawn.

Your Fixation: Envy

Your Primary Fear: To have no identity

Your Primary Desire: To find yourself

Other Number 4's: Alanis Morisette, Johnny Depp, J.D. Salinger, Jim Morrison, and Anne Rice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Country 'Tis of Thee

I have been rooted deeply in thought the last few days. I am in awe of the history that has un-folded before my eyes. I am inspired to thank the lord and to work harder yet to better this life for myself and all men alike.

I want to tie my thoughts together for you but also for myself, as a recording of a moment I will never forget!

Monday we celebrated the birthday of one of my heroes.
A man that transformed the landscape of this nation! “Through words he gave voice to the voiceless. Through deeds he gave courage to the faint of heart. By dint of vision, and determination, and most of all faith in the redeeming power of love, he endured the humiliation of arrest, the loneliness of a prison cell, the constant threats to his life, until he finally inspired a nation to transform itself, and begin to live up to the meaning of its creed.

Like Moses before him, he would never live to see the Promised Land. But from the mountain top, he pointed the way for us - a land no longer torn asunder with racial hatred and ethnic strife, a land that measured itself by how it treats the least of these, a land in which strength is defined not simply by the capacity to wage war but by the determination to forge peace - a land in which all of God's children might come together in a spirit of brotherhood”.

Yesterday was the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. I watched in silence and shed a few tears as the profound meaning started to set in. For so many, myself included, this event is the end of an era of intolerance and hate, the culmination of a movement to change the world and free a people. Many found themselves walking the same steps that Dr. King walked 40+ years ago. They found themselves gathered in the shadow of the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln and realized that their ancestors blood was not shed in vain.

On the steps of that memorial Dr. King spoke these words: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character… This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning 'My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

Just minutes after his swearing in took place our new President spoke these words:
“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
The time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness”.

I wish my words could be as profoundly moving and inspiring as those of both these great men, these Heroes of mine. But simply put I am grateful to be part of this time, I am grateful to see us all usher in a new era of change and most of all to see a world that has finally crested the mountain of racial intolerance and hate. What a blessing it is to be alive to see this, what a blessing for my little sisters who have the world laid out at their feet and now see that Yes they can be anything they desire to be and that the color of their skin will no longer limit their opportunities.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Full Circle

I have debated with myself whether to write about this or not, but as it turns out I blog more for myself and this is big in Pam's world.
My freshman year of college, 1994, I left home for the first time and headed to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. For those of you who didn't know me back then (this includes me because I just recently learned who I am) I was painfully shy in most situations, had no self confidence and was certain that I would die on the spot if anyone paid any attention to me at all. The first day of classes was torture because as is common for most new situations I was asked to introduce myself to the teacher and to the class. And of course this happened in EVERY class. My heart would race, my palms would sweat and I was 100% certain that I would disintegrate into a pile of ashes the moment my name was called and all eyes shifted in my direction. I survived, obviously, but only because fate wanted to torture me another day. Well that's how I saw things back then. I made friends quickly. Although shy I was a very sweet girl that had a knack for making others feel good about themselves. And as the days and weeks went on I started to feel a little bit more at home. As the first semester gave way to a new year I found myself happy and actually dating a handsome man. I thought that I was standing at the threshold of a new life with new confidence and I was certain that I was finding myself.
What happened next took me on a completely different journey than the one I had bought a ticket for. It is still hard for me to say the word and it will be 14 years this spring. Rape - it is such a violent word and for so many years it had this cloud of shame floating all around it. In my head anyway it did. I spent years ignoring what happened because I had forgiven my rapists. I believed that if I forgave I would forget. But the truth is that I never forgave myself. In fact until recently I still believed it was my fault and so to forgive them was easy, to forgive myself took many years.
I used to be so proud of the fact that my rape didn't define me. I was proud that I had put it out of my mind as if it never happened and I was not one bit scarred by the incident. I would hear of other survivors who were never the same and who spoke of life as before and after as if two different experiences and two separate sets of rules applied. I didn't identify with that. I just thought I was over it. Even though I blamed myself I thought I was over it. But my life "after" continued on a downward spiral, I could never allow myself to succeed at anything. I was always the quickest to sabotage my own happiness. I made choices that I still don't understand and I hated myself for many years.
But now there is a new before and after. Now there is after I forgave myself. Now there is peace and hope and love.
As I get ready to head back to the place I was 14 years ago I am excited to stand at a new threshold. I look forward to walking the same sidewalks I did those few days after my rape when I carried a knife in my back pocket and was scared of my own shadow. I am finally come full circle. I have worked through the un-speak able hell that is rape and have come out the other side filled with love and forgiveness for myself!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Goodbye House...Hello Adventure

I bought my house almost two years ago. It was such a great experience to find a place, to pick the lot and to watch it being built. It was brand new and smelled so great and I loved my house so very much. Times change, lives change and now I am moving on. I have applied to the MBA program at NAU in Flagstaff, Az. I will start a 10 month full time program in June (assuming I'll get in). So I had to pack up my house and move my belonging into storage. My best friend, coincidentally, put an offer on a house today and will be the new owner of my fridge and washer and dryer and couches. I am so happy for her and I know she will have as great of an experience with her first home as I did with mine.

All though it is a sad feeling to say goodbye to my sweet little home, there is an excitement to the adventures that are yet to come...

Impromptu Garage Sale

As I started looking around at all the furniture I realized that I had no room for it all in storage and that come June (if I get in) I would no longer want to pay for storage at all. I realized what I needed was an impromptu garage sale. Now I don't know how silly I must have looked turning a red couch end over end out the front door and to the drive-way, but most likely just as crazy as I did dragging the desk (that thing was heavy) and the twin bed and mattress and TV out. I have never felt so empowered - women rock! I am now certain that we need no man to get the job done (except for the two day laborers I hired to load and un-load the truck).

I made a total of $45.00 and ended up giving away the couch, the desk, the baker shelf and three scooters that I had been saving for my future step children. But marriage not step kids...right? (wow that sounds much more bitter than I really am)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Birthday Weekend

My birthday is Dec. 27th but I got to celebrate a little later with my best friend when we went to Flagstaff for the weekend to ski. She surprised me with a little impromptu "cake" with candles and everything. It was one of the best birthdays ever!

She got it right too...29!

We explored a little of downtown Flagstaff and had dinner at a Pizza Place. The snow and the Christmas lights still twinkling made me feel as if the whole town was celebrating with me.

The next morning...hitting the slopes.

As I was heading up the lift to run a couple of black diamonds (yes ladies and gents...this Swiss girl can ski) the weather got progressively worse. Suddenly I was in a complete white-out. I could barely see 10 feet in front of me. It got a little scary as snowboarders and skiers all tried to navigate blindly down the slopes. But the adrenaline rush made it an incredible trip down the mountain. Kasie was waiting at the bottom for me with the camera in hand. Don't I look good! lol just kidding.

cold, cold, cold...

It was 24 degrees at the base and I was feeling it on my face. I must say my new jacket and ski pants (thanks mom for the birthday gift) were nice and warm but I didn't think to bring a full face know the kind that bank robbers wear?

Kasie and I having some lunch at the lodge. By this time she had hurt her knee and didn't mind sitting for a while. I, on the other hand, wanted to get on the hill.

I love this picture. I took it while we were riding on the lift.

Our view from the top of the bunny hill.