Monday, November 19, 2012


Be responsible for your own interior life. 


Renewal is not a passive 'vegging.'  To be renewed, change your activity. 

~Jill Briscoe

These themes roll around inside of me often.   As simple as they are...they struck me so profoundly this summer.  They seem to appear and reappear conversations, in writing, in sermons, and... from my yoga instructor.  Once an idea really strikes you though, I think it echoes all around obvious that you see it everywhere.

I think about these things often.  But maybe writing them down will bring me one step closer to actually practicing them daily.

Be faithful in little things, for in them your strength lies.  
~Mother Theresa

Monday, November 05, 2012


I'm treasuring these last few sunfilled afternoons.....before that long darkness comes.

It's my favorite time of day... when I'm home and it's sunny.  Afternoon light fills our house more than at any other time of day...the kitchen glows.  The light always seems to double the amount of energy I have left after work and running errands.  That's when I love my house the most.  Sunny afternoons.  (Especially when the house is clean and doesn't present an undending list...of laundry, dishes, cleaning etc....)

Today at 3:30, I was feeling extra content and happy, waiting for Maya to arrive home on the bus.  Sophie and I had filled our mid-day with productive and fun adventures, and we were about to go on our next adventure with Maya... riding our bikes to Maya's violin lesson together. AND to add to our Monday bliss, we were expecting a quick visit from my Aunt and Uncle later in the evening too.

But.... I still wasn't quite sure what our dinner would be.  Too often (since moving this summer...and then since school began,...this late afternoon dillema leads me to the freezer for an easy made-ahead meal...or to the phone to order pizza... or to make sandwiches or breakfast for dinner.)  Don't judge me.  Meal planning is not a skill I've mastered yet (but believe me, I've come a long way!).

But happily, today, I spotted the butternut squash sitting on my counter, looked up a few recipes for inspiration, checked the freezer and the pantry and found the motivation to make up my own dish of coconut curry chicken with squash.  (I make no claim of Indian authenticity, or culinary 'correctness'....since I made it up:) But at the first bite, I decided it was my favorite food....possibly the best meal I've ever made.  
It was one of those make-it-up-as-you-go-along meals that could go either way....  So I usually wait until after dinner to decide if it will go into the archives or not.  I was pretty confident about this one though, once the house started smelling like roasting garlic and curry.  
Ryan loved it too, though I'm not sure he would quite agree with my exaggerated claims above ALL other food I've prepared....or eaten, EVER. But it was good and it made the 'better-write-that-one-down' cut. So....

Curried Coconut Chicken with Butternut Squash

1/2 (or a whole) of a butternut squash (peeled and cut into cubes)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
16 oz. chicken broth
3--?? (depending on the desired number of servings) boneless chicken thighs
1 can of coconut milk
curry powder
garlic powder
brown sugar

Peel and slice squash (into small cubes)
Sautee minced garlic in butter briefly.
Add squash cubes and chicken broth to the garlic and butter.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer.

Season chicken thighs with curry, ginger, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, and salt and brown in butter or olive oil in a seperate pan.  
Add browned chicken to squash, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes (or until squash is soft and chicken is thoroughly cooked)
Add coconut milk and (about 2 tblsp.) brown sugar and gently stir.
Serve over basmati rice. 

Creamy and buttery and warm and slightly sweet and delicious.  I'm sure there are many other ingredients I could (or should) add or change next time....  I just used what I had in the house today.  And I don't want to forget the happy accident that happened this time.