Life was Just Happening, Part 1

Hello!

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m behind on posting blog-able events.  Here is an attempt at catching up – at least a bit!

A couple of weeks ago, my roomies and I woke up early (well, for a Saturday, at least), packed up a cooler full of lunch, jackets, bocci ball, and a frisbee and hit the road.  Destination: Fort Casey.  One roomie had never been there, and the other hadn’t been in years, so we decided that for and end-of-the-year celebration/quality time session, we just had to go!  And of course, copious amounts of photos were taken.

As soon as we were ready, we hopped in my car and thus begins our epic adventure.

We were seriously excited.  Obviously.

Our first stop?  The ferry.

Again, there was some serious excitement amongst the ranks!

And before we knew it…we had arrived at the highly anticipated destination: Fort Casey!  Our first item of business?  Explore the bunkers and guns.

For the record, you’re never too old to play in the bunkers.  Basically, it’s a playground for adults big kids. Point proven #1.

Point proven #2!

After exploring for a bit, we went to a particular part of the bunker that has AMAZING acoustics.  It makes even the smallest voice sound big – so imagine four voices…in harmony!  We sang as many songs as we could remember — and even had a passerby add his bass voice to our rendition of Amazing Grace.  Proof that you don’t always have to be in a church service to worship God!

But all that singing sure did make us hungry…

So we set up our picnic.  And got comfy 🙂

But Marisa and I had a surprise.  We decided that our roomies are SO great that they needed some awards.  So we put our heads together and invented some pretty snazzy certificates.

Yes, that does say “Brown Trout Wrangler Award”.  And yes, that’s a plunger.

Here is one of several awarded to Nikki.  Others included “Late Night Champ”, “Spunktastic Quirkny”, and “Best Listener”.

And here is what happens when you’re laughing hysterically and a sudden gust of wind comes up…and you’re STILL laughing hysterically as you dive for the awards shouting, “SAVE THE CERTIFICATES!!!!!!!”  I love these girls.

After lunch, comical games of frisbee, and many many rounds of bocci, we decided to take a walk to explore another set of bunkers.

We saw this little feller along the way.

And then we arrived at our destination.  But now the question was…how do we get down there?  The answer?

Uh…very carefully?

You got this, Nikki!

Like a champ!

We came upon these stairs with an open door.  Where would they go?  Into the depths of the hill?  Would it be creepy?  Would it be an adventure?

Who knew it would just be an old bathroom.  Ha!

After thoroughly creeping ourselves out/getting adrenaline rushes in the depths of the bunkers, we decided to mosey on back to the main part of the fort for more singing and some beach time.

Are they just the greatest??

Marisa tried waving at the ferry.  Who knows if they actually saw us though…

Marisa also snapped this prime shot.  I seriously giggle every, and I mean EVERY time I see it!

In case you ever wondered…yep, this is how cool my roomies are.

No explanation needed.

Photo credit: Elizabeth.  Caption Credit: Nikki.  So much love/loveliness.

Here is proof that even big kids get tired after playing all day!

But what an excellent day it was.  I can think of few things better than spending the day with wonderful, Godly women, exploring, adventuring, sharing a meal, and rejoicing in the God-painted beauty of the creation and people around us.

As captioned by Elizabeth, and quoted from Switchfoot:

Part 2 is coming your way soon – until then, “may the peace of the Lord be with you.”

Blessings,

Beth

 

 

A Saturday Tea

I just love this time of year – the sun shows its face a bit more often, and we pull out our spring clothes – lighter and brighter colors, flowy fabrics, and short sleeves.  It just makes anything you do that much more enjoyable!  Even cleaning becomes fun! 😉

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going out in the sun and wearing some bright-colored, spring clothes to have tea and lunch with a few dear ladies – Marisa, Jocelyn (Marisa’s mom) and Sherry, three of the sweetest ladies you’ll ever meet.

We convened at Three Cups of Tea, a cute little tea shop in Bothell.  It’s such a sweet little place – lots of bright colors, flowers everywhere, and perfectly portioned light entrées.  It really is the perfect place for such a lunch time meeting as this.

Each tea-drinker receives a unique and lovely teacup and a personal tea pot.  I loved the delicate flowers and gold edging on my cup!  If only I could take it home… 😉

Before we knew it, lunch arrived.  I chose a half turkey-cranberry sandwich with a side salad.  This sandwich was a perfect choice!  It had a nice, light amount of turkey, which contrasted nicely with the cranberry-cream cheese spread.  The lettuce provided a nice crunch against the soft, pillowy croissant style bread.  Yum!

Marisa and Jocelyn both decided on the individual-sized quiche.  It looked pretty tasty to me, and both ladies quite enjoyed their choice!

Sherry opted for the curried chicken sandwich with chicken noodle soup.  Despite my lack of curry-love, this sandwich looked pretty tasty.

Look at this adorable heart-shaped scone!  So precious – especially when it’s served with jam, lemon curd and clotted cream in a heart-shaped dish!

The obligatory photo of me eating…did I mention that sandwich was tasty!?  I think my favorite part of this photo, however, is the elderly fellow in the background.  He looks like he’s thinking “Oooooh, is that my lunch coming?”  Love it.

Here’s evidence of Marisa getting a bit silly with the camera.  Because I obviously wasn’t being silly at all!

Now, aside from being insanely cute and having delicious food, Three Cups of Tea has a special spot in our hearts.  Two years ago, the four of us ladies came here for a little brunch get-together.  At the end of that meal, we took photos of each other from across the table.

Here is Sherry and Jocelyn then:

And here they are now:

As lovely as ever!

And now for the children then…

And here we are now:

How time flies!  We almost look like grownups!  But not quite.

I just love spending time with these ladies.  They are undoubtedly my Seattle family!  And with graduation quickly approaching – Marisa’s next weekend and mine in a few months – lunch dates like this become even sweeter and more precious than before.

What joy!

This Saturday (as in yesterday) my roomies and I spent the day adventuring together on Whidbey – I promise, there shall be a full recap!  Once I get my photos organized… 😉

Take care!

Blessings

Beth

Evening – the Event, Not the Time of Day

Hello friends!  Goodness, time flies when you’re a busy college kid.

I don’t know about you, but I had a jam-packed and FUN weekend!  I almost feel like I need a weekend from my weekend, but that’s beside the point.  There is WAY too much to put into one blog post, though, so I’ll start with Friday night.

Every spring, here at Northwest, we have an event called “Evening”.  Basically, think “prom-minus-the-dancing”.  We all dress up, go out to dinner, then meet at a fancy venue where our student committee provides dessert and coffee etc, along with some entertainment.  This year, we heard an improv group…they were alright.  But the real fun of Evening is getting all fancied up and seeing your school friends outside of school.  Are you ready for some pics?  Aaaaaaaand go!

We often go in groups to Evening rather than with one “date”.  My group consisted of (from L to R) Melissa, Marisa and Elizabeth, and….

…Ron, our fearless driver…and my date!

The weather could not have been more perfect!

Ivar’s on the Seattle waterfront was our dinner choice – and a tasty choice it turned out to be!

Oh, and by the way...ED wasn’t invited.  No sir.

Here is my dinner: I started off with a sourdough roll – soft, warm, and basically dinner roll perfection.  And they even gave us SOFT butter!  Next, Ron and I split an appetizer of crab cakes.  They were served with a tangy tomato relish (maybe with balsamic?) and a spicy aioli.  For my entree, I had grilled lingcod with  fresh asparagus and VERY garlicky yukon gold potatoes.  My tummy was full, but it all tasted super good!

 

A sunset of dreams.

And lovely, squinty eyes. 🙂  We were probably laughing.

Evening took place at the Experience Music Project (EMP) at the Seattle Center.  And I can’t go to the Seattle Center without snapping a shot of our dear Space Needle!

The EMP is an interactive museum, mostly of the history of Rock n’ Roll.  This tower-like structure of guitars is one of the most popular highlights.

Here is the “interactive” part of the EMP at its finest!  There are several rooms in which to “jam”…they have some combo of drums, guitar, bass and keyboard.  We like to pretend we’re rock stars, obviously!

As this year’s Yearbook Editor, Marisa had to give a short speech – an introduction to the yearbook, basically.  She rocked it!

Melissa threw caution to the wind and volunteered to be part of the improv show – she succeeded in entertaining us!

Here’s me with the date!

And just in case you ever wondered, me and Beyonce (also known as Michelle) frequently sit together in chapel and make music jokes.  Uh-huh!  And she’s pretty stinkin’ awesome!

All of the roomies – together in our finery!  I simply adore each of these girls.  They are all beautiful (beautiful) gifts from God, willing to help me as they can on my journey, because they love.  Ohhhh I love these girls!

Stay tuned for the rest of my weekend!  It was jam-packed, let me tell ya!

Blessings,

Beth

A Lovely Easter Weekend

I hope you all had a great Easter, filled with sunshine, loved ones, and the Joy of our risen Savior!  I certainly did 🙂

My Easter loveliness wasn’t limited to Sunday – nope, it began on Saturday with a trip to meet my roommate’s (Nikki) grandma.  The day could not have been better for a drive – warm, soft breeze and SUNSHINE!! 

We were treated to this breathtaking view.  I mean!  And check out the PERFECT placement of that little tuft of cloud on top.

But the main event – the thing we were most excited for – was meeting Nikki’s grandma, most commonly known as Lightbulb.

And you can see where she gets the nickname!  This woman just sparkles!  She is so full of joy and happiness – I found myself just smiling the whole time I was with her.  She has so many stories, ranging from growing up on a farm in Montana and learning how to track animals to surviving the Great Depression.  Talking about enriching conversation!  Oh, and she thoroughly enjoyed the green tea frape and cake pop we brought her.  Yes, she is that hip.

After our wonderful visit, we headed to Nikki’s house to have a delicious dinner (courtesy of her sweet mom) and watch the movie, “One Fine Day”.

I was too busy having fun to remember to snap a shot of dinner, but here’s the picture from the Taste of Home website!

source

Let me tell ya…these were SO tasty!  Rich, slightly spicy, soft…basically, comfort food wrapped up in a neat little tortilla package.  And what college kid doesn’t like a home cooked meal?  Yeah, I don’t know either.  Thank you, Debbie and Rick!!

And then came Sunday.

It was the perfect sun-shiney weather that we always hope for on Easter.

First up, church!  The stage was set for a string ensemble, and was complete with a Cross.

After the service, it was time to head to Marisa’s house for Easter dinner – and some serious traditions.

The table was beautifully set.

Each place setting held a festive napkin and a special Easter Petit Four.

And Joce kept busy in the kitchen!  Let me just say…this lady knows how to cook. 🙂

What do we do while waiting for dinner time?  Take pictures, of course!

A lovely bunch of ladies, wouldn’t you say?

Need I say more?  Didn’t think so.

And then…the dinner bell sounded.  Or maybe my tummy just grumbled loudly.  At any rate, the time for food had arrived!

Asparagus, yams, green been casserole, ham, rolls, and the scalloped potatoes were on there way….

And naturally, I had salad!

Oh, and then there was dessert.

Are you drooling?  ‘Cause this molten chocolate cake could make anyone drool!  Fresh from the oven, these cute little cakes are slightly crispy on the outside but warm and gooey on the inside.  Strawberries (or any berry) makes the perfect accompaniment, especially with a dollop of whipped cream.  So.GOOD!

I also tasted the strawberry shortcake, which was the perfect blend of sweet and buttery.

And who says we’re too old for jello eggs?  Not I!

You know what else we’re not too old for?

Microwaving peeps.  And peep jousting.  Traditioooonnnnn, tradition! ……TRADITION!  Sorry…Fiddler on the Roof moment…. 😀

We were like children, watching, waiting to see who’s peep would poke the other first.  Laugh, but don’t judge – it’s Easter tradition!

I ended my day at Marisa’s with our other tradition – playing “The Phantom of the Opera” on piano while the other ladies sing…which I don’t have a photo of.  But believe me, it happened, and it was joyful!

With all that delicious food, you might be wondering how everything went from an Eating Disorder perspective.  Check back soon for how I coped with a weekend of delicious (but challenging) eats!

And to close, let this, the Joy of Easter, lift your spirits on this Monday!

Christ is risen from the dead

trampling over death by death

Come awake come awake!

Come and rise up from the grave!

Blessings,

Beth

Kitchen Teamwork

Hey, guess what!  IT’S THE WEEKEND!!!!

This week has been quite busy, but…we’re one week closer to the end of the semester.  This is a bitter sweet thing.  Sweet because, uh, hello?  Who DOESN’T have some a TON of joy over being done with classes?  But it’s bitter because I’ve been blessed with the greatest roomies a girl could ask for.  Why is that?  Because in my time of need – in the time when my eating disorder returned with a vengeance – they jumped on board and buckled their seat belts. They could easily have wished me well and hoping that everything turns out…somehow.  But they didn’t do that at all.  Not only are they supportive and kind, they’re joining the fight in the heat of my Eating Disorder battle, doing what they can to help me snuff out Ed.  They’re holding me accountable to eating enough, and seeking out information to better help me.  They’re cooking and eating meals with me.  They model what normal, everyday eating looks like.  They model finding joy in food.  And it’s a beautiful and delightful blessing.

A few days ago, I told you about how I would be cooking and eating dinner with a roommate as often as possible.  Well, after two weeks of working with this system, I am pleased to say that it’s going well, I’m eating better, and we’re enjoying cooking together!  Mostly, I cook with Elizabeth, which is a blessing in many many ways, but one that’s particularly wonderful?  We have very similar tastes!  No conflict over leaving the peppers out of the casserole…no worries about offending the other because “I don’t like super spicy!”  It just works, and it’s delightful!

Last week, I didn’t document our nummy eats, but here is what we made:

Source

Spicy Tomato and Turkey Soup with Ditalini, from Iowa Girl Eats, was our first kitchen project.  Except we skipped the “spicy” part, and we didn’t use ditalini, but the idea was the same!  Super easy and bursting with flavor, this soup is filling without weighing you down.  The base is simply chicken broth and tomato sauce – carrots, onion, beans and turkey, along with pasta give it some staying power.  And of course, a salad rounds it out nicely.

Source

Next up, Chicken Paprika from Eat Live Run!  The recipe also includes directions for homemade dumplings but…we weren’t quite that motivated 😉  But I promise, whole wheat penne certainly does the trick!  Otherwise, we stuck pretty close to the recipe, the only exception being the substitution of Greek yogurt for sour cream.  It mostly worked, but the texture was a bit different.  But that smokey, rich paprika flavor still came through, and the creamy sauce infused the chicken with great flavor.

  This week, I remembered to wrangle my camera to the kitchen and document a bit of our dinner-time delectables.

Our first item of business?

Guys, this recipe is easy, tasty, cheap, filling…what more could a college kid ask for?  And it supplied leftovers for one night, plus one more serving for the freezer!

And a cracker and butter topping?  Can’t be beat.  Even if it’s a little soggy, it tastes good!  Would you like to know how to make it?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

The Goods

~ 3 cups cooked chicken breasts (We used 3 from a bag)

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz plain yogurt (not Greek)

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 onion, chopped

~15 ritz crackers, crushed

a dollop of butter

The Method

1. Cook chicken breasts with onion in some olive oil, then dice the chicken

2. Mix soup, yogurt, and poppy seeds

3. Combine soup mixture and chicken; pour into a lightly greased baking pan

4. Melt butter, crush crackers, then combine; sprinkle over chicken mixture

5. Bake in 350* oven uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and crackers are crunchy

6. Serve with rice and a green veggie

Salad was my side of choice – topped with ranch, tomato and avocado.  Delish!

Now, I do have one more recipe from this week, but I think I’ll hold off until the next post – I don’t want to overwhelm!

I know this post sounds quite upbeat, and while I do feel VERY good about this new, more aggressive approach, there are certainly challenging times.  Like when that Ed voice tells me there’s too much on my plate.  Or when I see my dear cooking partner (Elizabeth) pour more olive oil in the pan than I would have.  Or when Elizabeth unexpectedly butters my bread, and puts more butter on it than I would have.  But guess what.  The “too much” food on my plate gives me more energy.  The oil and butter taste good.  I’m getting better nutrition than I did on my own.  And cooking with someone else is WAY less stressful and WAY more fun!!  I’m a blessed gal.

And I will enjoy the food set before me!

One more recipe, coming your way soon!

Blessings,

Beth

A Weekend Adventure

Well hello!  I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post!  Let me tell ya, I was up to HERE in homework.  So much reading.  SOOOO much reading!  But the good news is, I survived, got it all done, and had a good weekend to boot!  But this post isn’t about this last weekend…it’s about the weekend before.  Tricky, I know.

Part of the birthday gift for my roomie was a “surprise adventure trip” and we chose last weekend to adventure.  Marisa had no clue where we were going…only that she should wear layers and good shoes, and that we needed to leave at about 10:15 am.  Yay surprises!!!!!

So after getting some cash and some gas, we were off to our first stop: the ferry.

And now we know that our general destination is Whidbey Island.  Hooray!

Notice the sky: it’s blue.  Not gray, blue.  And there are no clouds.  And if we looked the other way, we’d see the sun.  Basically, God blessed us immensely with BEAUTIFUL weather!

The weather…I just can’t get over it!  We could have stood for hours just looking at the beauty and soaking up those rays! 🙂

After disembarking the ferry, our next stop was in Langley – a lovely little cafe called The Braeburn

This place…ADORABLE!  Delicate plates line the walls, and local artists’ prints (and originals?) are featured and for sale.  There’s an apple theme (refer to the name…) and every table has a little tub of apple butter.  SUCH a lovely place!  I would highly recommend it.

The spring-like weather must have affected my tastes, ’cause I craved fresh and light food.  Soft mozzarella, juicy tomato and fresh basil were accented by a balsamic mayo, all held together by a (locally made) light white bread.  The salad was pretty basic, but it completed the meal perfectly…so tasty!

Marisa felt a breakfast vibe, and went for the eggs benedict, which came with rosemary potatoes.  If you’re looking for a meal to stick to your ribs, this would do the trick!  I was fortunate enough to sample some of the potatoes, and man.  Let me tell ya…AH-mazing!  Salty, buttery, and perfectly seasoned.

After our delightful lunch, we were reading to head to our intended destination: Fort Casey!  Fort Casey features Admiralty Head Lighthouse, as well as trails, breathtaking views, rocky beaches, and, everyone’s favorite, WWII bunkers!

Take a look in Marisa’s sunglasses….totally accidental, but no complaints here!!

The bunkers are legit.  They didn’t see any battle, of course, but they’re well equipped, and perfect for fun!  Although I’ll admit…the darkness from the solid cement and no windows does get SUPER a mite creepy.  But we found a room with perfect acoustics, and sang eerie, pentatonic-scale songs, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  It was like being a kid again!

We wandered down to the beach and just sat on a log for a moment, enjoying the view.

And I couldn’t go all the way to Fort Casey without snapping a shot of my favorite lighthouse!

Even though this was the end of our Whidbey-exploring, the fun wasn’t over yet…we did still have another ferry ride, and plans for ice cream…

I saw this van behind us…and laughed for a long time!  They look all ready to head out……glad I’m in front of them 😉

One cool thing about being an adult?  I can eat ice cream at dinner time if I want to!

And so we did.

Two things:

#1. Ivar’s soft serve…SO good!  It’s thicker and creamier than Dairy Queen’s, and oh-so nummy.  But a word of caution…what I have there is the “child’s size”.  So order carefully!

#2. I realized a while ago that I don’t have any pictures of me eating.  Pictures of food?  Yes.  Pictures with food?  Yep!  Pictures eating food?  Nope.  So we were intentional to take pictures of me actually consuming food.  I think ice cream is a good first shot, yes?

That pretty much sums up the day!  A relaxing day spent with a lovely friend, enjoying God’s beautiful creation?  Blessings.

Take care, friends!

Beth

P.S. If you haven’t like Make Food Not [Body] War on Facebook yet, just click here

Twenty-Two Years

Hello, my friends!  This weekend, I had the privilege of celebrating my roomie’s 22nd birthday!  We enjoyed some delicious food, did some fun shopping, and all-in-all, had ourselves a lovely time.  What a blessing Marisa is to all of us! 🙂

Ready…set…PHOTO RECAP!

Our first stop: The British Pantry for some lunch!

This place is ADORABLE!  Our waitress was sweet and proper, with the most endearing and gentle British accent.

And then it was lunch time.  We each chose a meal, but sampled each other’s…that’s the way to be! 🙂


The Ploughman’s Plate included fruit and salad, as well as a cold pork pie, cheese, and a roll with chutney.  Delish!

Here’s my lunch!  This English cheese and tomato sandwich, with salad, was so simple, yet SO tasty.

eggs + cheese + toast & jam…need I say more?

While the fruit and quiche were very tasty, I think the scone with jam and cream made this meal!

Elizabeth’s gift to Marisa – an owl mug, named “Whobert” by the clerk at the store.

Please excuse our semi-blurry photo (and my silly expression).  There was much confusion over how my camera actually worked.  That sweet waitress! 🙂

Tea hat?  Hat cozy?  We may be in college, but we’re still kids!

We spent the afternoon spending gift cards from Christmas at the Mall.  Then, it was off to Pomegranate for dinner.  Remember this place from my Roommate Date night?  SO TASTY!

And then the food came.

!!!!!!


You can see how joyous of an occasion the food was found to be 🙂

And here’s my dinner!

The ravioli were served with a poached pear and Calvados Beurre Blanc sauce with walnuts.  I think the sauce is a reduction of white butter and some type of fruity liquor.  I think.  Whatever it was, the mapley-fruity-creamy flavor combined with the subtle walnut flavor…ah-mazing.

Rounded out by some veget-ables!

We had a lovely time, and were bid farewell by this little feller.

And then…dessert time had come upon us.

And presents.  Don’t forget presents!

At Marisa’s request, instead of cake we had chocolate fondue.  Ohhhh yeah!  For dipping, we enjoyed strawberries, bananas, pretzels, marshmallows, cream puffs and macarons.  Can we say delicious and worth-it sugar coma?!  And no, “macarons” is not a typo – “macarons” are little French cookies while “macaroons” are those tasty coconut cookies.

And now you’re educated 🙂

We didn’t have cake.  But we had cream puffs.  So we made lemonade out of our tasty little cream puff lemons 🙂  And it worked!

Here’s my first plate… 😀

Pictures are a mandatory part of celebrations such as this.  Fact!

Happy birthday, Marisa!!!!

And that sums up our lovely birthday celebration day!  Good food and excellent company…sounds like a lovely day to me 🙂

I’m hoping to try a new recipe tomorrow…not an original one, but it will certainly have a few tweaks of my own…crossing my fingers that it turns out!!

Blessings!

Beth