Brief Update

It's been a while since I've posted more personal entries, so I thought I'd update really quickly. Work has been going rather well. Right now we are in the midst of a crazy time with several patients starting a time-intensive protocol all in the same month. So far we haven't felt too hurried or stressed. Please pray that the next few weeks go well--they will be the busiest of the lot and we are a little worried!

We're heading to Chattanooga in a few weeks (once work slows down!) in order to check out a residency program there. Stuart is really interested in it and wants to spend the day there getting a feel for the program. We're excited about the much needed vacation, and both of us are excited about the possibility of being in Chattanooga. (It's a close second to moving back to Atlanta). We both love the town and miss it a lot, it's close to family and friends, and the program looks promising. It will be only a small chance of getting into this program, but we will have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for us.

Also, it's my 25th birthday today! Happy birthday to me! (And I'm a wee bit surprised Ashley didn't hijack my blog :-).)

beth's signature

Recipe Swap: Champagne Chicken


Here is my favorite Fancy-Schmancy meal, courtesy of Southern Living. I think I first served this dish for Valentine's Day a few years back, and both of us fell in love with it. It's rather time-consuming, but worth the effort. I buy the cheap ($3) bottle of champagne from the grocery store to keep the cost down. I must say that you really should use the shallots--they add such a delicate richness that can't be duplicated by subbing onions or garlic. For those unfamiliar with them, they look like large cloves of garlic with a purpley skin. They aren't much more expensive than garlic. It's also best to use heavy whipping cream instead of subbing half-and-half, since the cream helps to thicken up the sauce.

This dish is best served over orzo pasta (my favorite) or rice. I like to serve roasted asparagus as a side.

Champagne Chicken and Mushrooms


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots (about 3 medium)
2 (3.5-ounce) packages white mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Champagne or sparkling wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture; place on a wire rack. Let stand 15 minutes. Dredge chicken in flour mixture again; return to rack.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken, in batches, 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken to a plate.

Add shallots to skillet; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes or until golden brown. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Stir in Champagne and thyme; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned particles from bottom of skillet. Reduce heat, and return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until done.

Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Stir cream into mushroom mixture. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce immediately over chicken.


Makes 6 servings

beth's signature

Sunday Pondering: Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter! I've decided to go ahead and post on our Easter service today, since it was such a beautiful celebration of our Saviour's love for us. Today the sermon was on John 20:1-18; the passage focused in on the viewpoint of Mary Magdalene, the first witness of Easter.

Our pastor started with an interesting analogy. Pigeons walk the way the do because they cannot focus their vision while moving, so they must stop, readjust, then move again. We, like pigeons, get so caught up in our little worlds that we must stop to refocus ourselves. The cross and resurrection is the truth in which we must fix our gaze.

Next, he discussed John's account of the resurrection. Many have argued that the gospels have been fabricated; that the entirety of Christianity is just a myth conjured up by Jesus' followers. The pastor pointed out that John's account makes this seem very unlikely. Mary was a woman, therefore a second-class citizen in the ancient world. Women couldn't even testify in a court of law during that time. Someone fabricating a story would most certainly use a man as the first witness to the Resurrection. Second, Mary was formerly demon-possessed. And lastly, she was from Magdala, a town with a notorious reputation in the Jewish community. All of these things would make her a horrible choice to be the first witness in a fable. It would not give a false story any credibility. John writes from the viewpoint of Mary of Magdala, because it is the truth.

Our faith is based on actual truth, not on whatever viewpoint works for you. Jesus made the radical statement: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me." Jesus' death and resurrection is the truth that sets us free. Without our Saviour's act of grace, we would be ensnared in our sin.

Call to Worship from 1 Corinthians 15

Minister: Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
People: The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
(with great voice) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Minister: Christ is risen!
People: (Louder still) He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

If you have a Sunday Pondering, leave a link here!

beth's signature

Lucy the Plant

beth's signature

Recipe Swap: Family Favorites!


This was really hard to think of a great recipe for this category. Most of our family favorites don't really please the palate of little kids. (like our favorite Indian curry recipe. Too spicy!) Not that I've tested this, mind you, since we don't yet have kids, but most of our favorites seem to be more adult-pleasing. I found this recipe in my box and thought it would be perfect. It's on our rotation frequently (not as much as curry, though! Yum!) and we both love it. Plus, I think the kiddos would appreciate this too.

So without further ado:
Baked Ziti

• 1 pound dry ziti pasta
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 pound Italian sausage or lean ground beef
• 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
• 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups sour cream
• 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Serve with a salad and garlic bread.

beth's signature

Sunday Ponderings: Psalm 100

I'll be posting my thoughts after my afternoon nap, but feel free to post your own in the meantime!

beth's signature

It's Spring!

A ramble on spring:

The redbuds are showing their magenta-colored finest, and the azaleas are looking like little bushy puff balls of bloom. Spring is here! It's always much earlier here in Houston than I'm used to, and I feel like I should still be in winter mode. But it's gorgeous right now. Spring is the most beautiful season here, I think. Summer is just too hot, fall is cool and comfortable, but not pretty, and winter looks pretty dead (but not cold). Spring here reminds me most of home with all the flowers in bloom and the mild weather, just perfect for reading out on the balcony. :-)

beth's signature

Sunday Ponderings: Praise the Lord!

This week's "theme" in worship was praising the Lord. I've decided to do what Ashley did when she hosted "Sunday Ponderings", and that is to post about the service from the week before. I think it will be easier for me to get this post up for linking if I do it that way.

So I'll write about the pastor's sermon next week, and post a hymn from the service this week. Our first hymn was "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," which was written in 1680 by Joachim Neander. It was translated from the German in 1863.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

--Information from the Cyber Hymnal.

Do you have a Sunday Pondering? Feel free to share!

beth's signature

The Reason Why My Blogging Has Been Light This Week . . .

I've been spending most of my evenings the past week working on this baby dress for a dear church friend that is expecting in April. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out, especially since this was the most complicated project I've done to date.

Here is a view of the dress from the front. It took me about 2 weeks to finish the whole thing, with most of the work done the past few nights. I made the dress using the 6 month size, so that way my friend will have an outfit to look forward to. :-)

Here is a picture of the front. I still can't believe how straight I got the ribbon on there! The sleeves of the dress were my favorite part to sew. I love to do gathers, and it is surprisingly easy.

And here is a picture of the back. The buttons are adorable little rosettes, which go with the roses in the hem. I had to do the buttonholes by hand, as my sewing machine is broken and can only stitch in a straight line. :-(

So anyway, hopefully my posts will be a little more meaningful in the coming week, since I have now finished my project.

beth's signature

Recipe Swap: Yummy Fruit Dip


Here is the incredibly yummy fruit dip I alluded to last week. The dip itself is most definitely not healthy, but fruit helps to ease a guilty conscience. My favorite fruits to dip are strawberries, pineapple, apples, and grapes. This goes together so fast and easy, and I bet kids would love it too.

Lime Fruit Dip

6 oz. lime yogurt (I bet other flavors would be yummy, too, but I've never tried it.)
7 oz. marshmallow fluff
8 oz. cream cheese
Assorted fresh fruit

Blend together cream cheese and marshmallow fluff until smooth. Stir in yogurt. Serve with fresh fruit.

For more delicious recipes, visit Beth over at The Natural Mommy.

beth's signature

WFMW: Backwards Week

This week, Works-for-Me Wednesday is Backwards Week, which means we ask for advice instead of giving it. It's perfect timing this week, since I've got a bit of a dilemma. I'm making a baby dress for a friend expecting a girl this April, but my sewing machine doesn't do buttonholes. I'm wondering how to sew them by hand. Any tips or advice? (Oh, and what's the best method for hand sewing on a button as well?) Thanks!

For more Works-for-Me Wednesday, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

beth's signature

Meet and Greet Monday: The Perpetual Student

Here is a picture of my perpetual student at work. Isn't he cute? This photo was actually taken last year, when Hubby Dear was taking several clsses. He doesn't have so many classes now. He's doing rotations, which means he's in an actual hospital learning the practical side of medicine. He still studies all the time, though, and he's gone a lot more. :-(

For more Meet-and-Greet, visit The Natural Mommy.

beth's signature

Sunday Ponderings: Nothing New this Week

Just as soon as I start getting the "Sunday Ponderings" going, I have to miss church. Stu and I missed it today, since he was on call the night before and came home too late to get ready. I should have a new post next week! :-)

I haven't had a chance to get the button working, but I hope to have that up next week as well. (Ashley, I might need your help!) I'm looking forward to reading your posts this week!

beth's signature

A few things

I've spent the last half hour putting together the outline of posts for the coming week (a first for me!) in preparation for the busy week ahead. I'll be home, but I'll be working on an adorable dress for a friend about to have a baby. It's frilly and girly and the cutest thing in the world. Her baby shower is this coming weekend, so I'm hoping to finish it up during the evenings this week. I should still be posting regularly.

I spent the day puttering about the house, since my hubby is on call tonight. I made granola, worked on the baby dress, did dishes, found an amazing cheesecake recipe to make later, and read a lot. I didn't quite accomplish everything I set out to do, but at least I made some headway. The book reading took up a fair share of my time. :-)

It's so wonderful to have time to be productive and have time to reflect by myself during the quiet of the day. I guess that's the introvert in me! Really though, after a full week of work and being around people it's nice to have the quiet. Just the sound of the dishwasher running and a kitty at my feet is enough for me! :-)

beth's signature


Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.