Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Salmon and Prayer


A couple of nights ago I cooked the first of the salmon we caught in Alaska. I'm just learning to like the taste of salmon, but, by golly, I stood in 39-degree water to catch those suckers, so I'm gonna eat 'em!

They are Sockeye, or Red Salmon. And they are really red, even after you cook them!

I decided to cook it very simply the first time so I'd know what I'd be dealing with for the next 30 pounds or so. (That's right, people, I have LOTS of salmon in my freezer.)  I just drizzled it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and baked it. It was pretty good. I look forward to trying different recipes for marinades and glazes, and to breaking out the cedar planks I bought.

I also steamed some corn. Don't look too closely or you'll see that I'm not exactly a perfectionist about removing all the silks. Extra fiber, I say!

Add a green salad and fruit, and that was dinner.

Something tells me that I (and the friends we traveled with) will have a bit of expertise with the cooking of salmon after a few months!

... and Prayer

We met for our second week of Bible study tonight. This week's study had a lot to do with prayer, something I am very undisciplined about. We were also challenged to figure out what breaks our hearts, and how that will impact our lives.

Nehemiah was living a nice life, with a great job. He had the respect and trust of the king. But he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were in shambles and his people, the Israelites, were in great distress. He took a huge risk and asked the king to be sent to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls.

His heart was broken for someone else, and he did something about it. But only after months of prayer, so he would know exactly what to do. There is so much for me to learn there.

I know that not nearly enough things break my heart. I'll be praying that God reveals His heart to me during this study. I'll also be praying that I take the time to be still long enough to notice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nehemiah - The Beginning

Tonight was the first night of our summer Bible study. It's 7 weeks with 5 great ladies in Kelly Minter's Nehemiah study. That much, I expected. What surprised me was the direction I think the study will take.

The brief introductory video focused on the first four verses and Nehemiah's compassion for his people. Hmmm. All I know about Nehemiah is he had something to do with building a wall. That sounds manly and strong. I didn't anticipate compassion and weeping. (No offense to all those strong, manly, compassionate men out there!)

We were challenged to make ourselves available to God and to ask HIm for hearts like His. I hate to admit that I think this is going to be hard for me. I like my life. I like a hefty measure of control. I like to think my view of the world is the right one.

I truly think I trust that God's plan is the best one for me.  Until I consider that I might not like what He has in store. It might involve something hard. Something messy. Drama. Dirt. It might reveal my fear of being vulnerable or maybe worse, of looking foolish.

I believe that the greatest growth comes in the valleys. But oh, how I love the mountaintops. Or at least the nice big middle ground that lies in between.

It looks like I'm in for an interesting summer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Alaska The Beautiful

Last week we were in Alaska. It was incredibly beautiful!

First we flew to Anchorage and spent some time there. SInce we didn't have anything planned for Sunday, we went on a hike just outside of town. (That's what happens when boys plan the activities!)

The next day, on the way to Seward, we stopped at Potter Marsh Boardwalk.

The next day we hiked up to Exit Glacier.  We hiked a shorter, steeper alternate trial than usual since the trail the guides will take through the summer was still covered in ice. It was beautiful, it was physically taxing, a few times it was terrifying.  But I'm here to tell about it. Here we are at the top!

On Tuesday, we took a wildlife cruise that went all the way to Holgate Glacier.

We saw humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, and plain old mountain goats. (That's the description the boat captain gave us when we asked her what type of mountain goats they were).

We saw bald eagles, puffins, and pigeon guillemots. We had Dall's porpoise running ahead of our boat, bow riding.

Somehow the only animal pictures I got were of the sea otters.  They're SO cute!

Here we are in front of the glacier.

On Wednesday, we went fly fishing (out of Cooper Landing in the Kenai River) for sockeye/red salmon. I caught my limit (3) by noon, and sat out the afternoon in the boat rather than in the 39-degree river water.  Hopefully one of my friends got a picture of me on their cell phone since none of us brought our cameras.

Here's our little cabin in Cooper Landing.

Finally, on the day we were leaving, we stopped by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.  We saw some cool animals.

So. Bottom line. If you ever have the chance to go to Alaska, and especially if you can travel with your dearest friends, RUN, don't walk!

Beef Pie and Salad

Tonight's dinner entree came from the SkinnyTaste website again. I know, it's repetitive, but there are so many good recipes on the site. Besides, I chose the meals and shopped for groceries before starting this blog!

And, I actually took a few pictures this time....

Beef Pie, Salad with Vinaigrette, and Fruit

The beef pie recipe can be found on the SkinnyTaste website, or by clicking on this link: Shepard's Pie Lightened Up

I only made a couple of adjustments. I halved the recipe since I'm only cooking for two. Also, I had some beef tips in the freezer, so I used those instead of the ground beef. (I've made it with the ground beef before, though, and it's delicious).

Once the pie was in the oven, I cut up fruit for a simple side. I had fruit left from last night, so I cut up a nectarine, some pineapple and strawberries, and topped it with blueberries.

Then I got the salad ready. I've developed my own little go-to vinaigrette recipe. It's the perfect amount for a salad for two:

2 tbl red wine vinegar
1 tbl Dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
splash soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

I make the dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl, then add chopped Romaine hearts and chopped tomatoes.

This makes a small amount of dressing, but since there is so little oil compared to the vinegar and mustard, it's very strong.

If you decide to try this menu some time, I hope you love it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I'm a 40-something wife of 20+ years. I work outside the home, and enjoy cooking (and eating), traveling, reading mysteries, and learning new things. I want to be more healthy, both physically and spiritually. Join me on my journey!