Monday, April 7, 2014

Life These Days

It has been a while since my last post. I am sorry! We have settled into a new routine since we are both working now. At the end of February I started working for a small, local, Christian school for about 25 hours a week.
I do yard duty (watching the kids play), the after-school program, and office work. It has been quite an adventure this past month. Between juggling the random art projects I am constantly starting, the cookbook I am writing, the piles of laundry that are ever growing, and now work, it has been a crazy month. Despite the sometimes hectic schedules, our friendships here are growing! Here are some of our favorite weekday activities,

1) We have a bi-weekly game night with two other couples which is always the highlight of the week. We always eat dinner together and then play games until past midnight. Most of our games have been zombie themed, and one even had a soundtrack for while we played (it wasn't very good). On New Years we played games until midnight and shot off black powder (it lights up like fireworks).

The Brothers
2) Emad has been helping out at the youth group on Wednesdays. The kids LOVE playing dodgeball for HOURS. It is very therapeutic to run around throwing dodge balls at kids after a long day of work.

3) My friend Becky and I go walking around town a couple times a week. I always get a kick out of how many people wave at us as they drive by. If we are on a small neighborhood road, people wave to be kind. If we are on a "big" street, people wave that know us (mainly just her though).

Additionally, Emad's brothers and their wives came up to visit over this past weekend. We had so much fun! Having family and friends visit us is one of our favorite things in the whole world. We love to show new visitors around town; highlighting the grocery stores, Kmart, and the lake.
The hardest thing about moving away has been missing our family and friends from home. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to transition into life in Lakeport. Here are some fun, random pictures of what we do to keep busy:

Hiking at Anderson Marsh State Park
Day Trip to SF
A trip to SF is not complete without a bread bowl. 
We try to make it back to SoCal as often as we can. And, nothing is better than playing with these two (and the turtle)!

Waiting for turkeys cross the road...
I love cold mornings by the fire. 
And, dinner by the fire!
I got a sewing machine for my birthday!!

Emad mending clothes on my old sewing machine!

Dinner for Two for Emad's Birthday


Emad's Birthday Cake 
A birthday is not complete without a trip to the laundromat.
Some days I am so tired in the morning that I drop the bucket of coffee on the floor.
When there are no clouds, the sky is absolutely BLUE! 

Thrift store fabric is my new obsession!

With my new sewing machine I updated my bedroom's curtains to keep the light out better. 

I finally started working on my project chair. Unfortunately, it is still not finished. 
Emad loves Taco Night!! 

Happy Spring flowers!

Deer are everywhere here!!

My "new" pressure cooker

I love eating lunch at the lake with my duck friends.

Sunrise is beautiful over the mountains.

Local produce from the community coop.

Sandboxes are so fun!! Especially when they become rivers.

One of the joys of living in lake county: being this close to an arrest.

REAL Butter is way better than any else in the world!

We are so happy that these cuties have adopted us!

My most recent project: updating a metal shelf for the dinning room. 

My garage lizard friend.


One of my new projects is painting on fabric. I am not sure what this will become.
I hand sewed hearts on a pillow for valentines day.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blessings

This week I was reminded of how much God had blessed me! I have been looking for a job since moving to Lake County. Every job that I found wasn't quite right for one reason or another. Then when I least expected it, I was interviewed, offered a job, and started to train all this past week! It has been a whirlwind of a week. Every aspect of this job is exactly what I have been looking for: part-time, Christian company, in town, etc. I wish I could say that I have learned that God is in control, he knows what we need, and his timing and plan are perfect. Yet, every time that I experience God's blessings, I am floored by them. I am so thankful for the past 5 months at home being a housewife, but I am looking forward to serving my community.

AND...I can't wait to see this little face in 2 weeks!!! :)



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Week's Recipe: Balsamic Salmon and Pesto Fettucini

It has been a while since my last blog post. Since then I have been writing my book, doing laundry in the bathtub, cooking dinners, and living life. I also celebrated my birthday this past weekend!

Birthday Drink & Ice Cream Sunday!

Last night's dinner was so good and healthy, that I just have to share the recipe! I have been looking for a good Salmon recipe and I am so happy that I stumbled across this one yesterday. I made Balsamic-glazed Salmon and Asparagus (from www.bcliving.ca) and added some mushrooms to the recipe. On the side I made a simple Pesto Fettucini. I had also made some fresh bread yesterday, so I cut it into bite sized chunks and served it with olive oil and balsamic.

Balsamic Salmon with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 wild salmon fillets

  1. Place asparagus and mushrooms in a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with oil. Toss to coat. Cover with foil and bake approximately 10 minutes at 350° F. 
  2. Mix honey, vinegar and mustard in separate bowl. Pour over salmon to marinate. 
  3. Remove asparagus and mushrooms from oven and move to one side of pan. 
  4. Increase oven temperature to 375° F. 
  5. Place salmon on free side. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until tender and cooked through, not dry. Note: I had thick fillets so it took them 30-40 minutes to cook. Check the fish often for doneness. When it is ready it should flake easily with a fork. 


Pesto Fettucini

Ingredients
  • 1/2 jar pesto
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 box fettucini 
  1. Prepare fettucini according to box's directions. Drain the pasta.
  2. In the hot pot, add the pesto and garlic. Then, return the pasta to the pot and toss to coat.

Have you found any good recipes recently that you want to share? I would love to hear from you if you have any good recipes that you would like me to try. I am also looking for recipes to add to my cookbook. I would love to hear from you!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Paleo. Lifestyle or Fad?


When I started conceptualizing my cookbook, I had intentions of adding a section on Paleo, or the Paleolithic Diet. In the Paleo Diet, your diet is restricted to a very specific set of lean meats, vegetables, some fruits, seeds, and nuts (excluding peanuts). If you follow the diet religiously then you cut out dairy, wheat, grains of any kind (including rice and oats), legumes (including peas, beans, and peanuts), potatoes, sugar, processed foods, alcohol, coffee, and tea. Wow! Although  I knew that it was a "Fad Diet", I was unaware of how unbalanced the diet was. Because of this reason, I am excluding it from my book. Sorry to any of you who follow the Paleo diet and are disappointed.

One thing that my dear friend and licensed dietitian taught me in life is to always balance my diet (unless you have an allergy or intolerance). According to Time Magazine's article, The Paleo Diet Craze: What's Right and Wrong About Eating Like Cavemen

"U.S. News, in its 2014 rankings of 'Best Diets Overall,' announced that the Paleo diet was at the very bottom, tied at No. 31 with the Dukan diet. “Experts took issue with the diet on every measure,” the magazine scolded...Any diet that restricts certain food groups and emphasizes others isn’t balanced, these experts say, and there isn’t strong science to prove that Paleo-eaters live longer, or are healthier than those who don’t follow the diet."

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cookbook Adventures


How does one begin to write a cookbook? My process involves lots of sitting on the floor with all my books and notes scattered around me.

One of my biggest challenges right now is coming up with a list of enough recipes. Once I finalize my recipes I will start cooking and documenting them. I have never been much of a recipe follower, so it will be interesting to see if I can document exactly how I cook. Perhaps I will have to have more people over to eat all of the yummy food that I will be cooking!

This past week my dear friend Laura and her boyfriend Patrick stayed with us for one night and 2 yummy meals. I was very proud of Laura for making homemade lasagna for the first time. Way to go Laura!



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to The Elias Adventures! I took off writing for a couple weeks because of the holidays and how busy I was with my family here. But, now that I am back I have big news! I am going to begin the adventure of putting together my own cookbook.

When I was told by my Gastro doctor that I could no longer have dairy, it felt like a death sentence. But, over the past year I have learned to love the dairy free lifestyle. I know that many of you reading this have your own dietary restrictions and struggle with making food that fits within your restrictions and is still delicious.

My goal is to write a cookbook for those of you who are Paleo, Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free. Not all recipes will be all of the above, but they will all be very clearly marked if they have any of those above ingredients. My new challenge will be finding a bunch of yummy recipes that fit those restrictions. So, if any of you have recipes that you would like to submit (even if they are not any of the restrictions above) I would love to hear from you! I look forward to creating and sharing my collaborative cookbook!

Note:
If you send a recipe, please include your full name and email address.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Family Vacations

Every year my whole family takes a trek to a new destination for a family vacation. As we have gotten older the trips the evolved to fit what we enjoy doing. When we were kids we would take the RV across the country to unknown places like Missouri. As we got older my parents realized that we might enjoy Hawaii more, so we went there. Last year, the family had grown substantially so we had to rent a huge house in Palm Springs where we relaxed by the golf course and woke up late. I love our family's vacation tradition, but I think that this year's vacation takes the cake for funny vacations. My whole family (minus my brother who will be leaving for college), all 11 of us will be staying at my house for a weekend. My house is definitely not Hawaii or Palm Springs. My house has two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms (one shower), and exactly 11 chairs. I am so blessed to be able to host so many people and I can not wait for them all to get here. But, I am sure that it will make for some funny stories!!