Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Favorite Recipes

I think going to a Seventh-Day-Adventist school is having a good influence on me. I love all their healthy recipes and I really like eating vegetarian-friendly food. Jon and I have almost completely cut out red meat (except when we go out to eat or when we go home). We also are more open to eating more vegetarian meals throughout the week.

Here are two of my new favorite recipes...

1. Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Don't run away from the word salad! This is so delicious, Jon and I ate a whole batch in only 3-4 days. You will be impressed by that when you see how much food this makes... It is totally delicious and completely healthy. The cilantro-lime dressing adds a real kick which made it a favorite for Jon. It also is easy, since it really is just chopping and throwing everything together. And it keeps well in the fridge.
Just an FYI- the directions have you use a complicated method for cooking the quinoa. I just followed the box directions and let it cool, then mixed it all together. It turned out great.

Here are the links:
Step-by-step Pictures

PS I didn't use the jalepenos or the cumin. It seems like you can add or take out just about whatever you like.

2. Whole Wheat Sticks
So this recipe is a little bit more of a treat/snack. My friend from the program made these for a group of us and apparently they are a favorite at the Loma-Linda Market. They are a cookie/bread texture and are totally yummy. It doesn't hurt that there is tons of whole wheat flour and very little sugar. It also makes a large batch so we have lots left over to last us at least the week.

Here you go:

Whole Wheat Sticks

(Like the ones at the Loma Linda Market)

4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup White Flour
1 Cup Kamut Flour (optional; you can substitute 1 additional cup of WW flour)
1 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 Cup Coconut flakes
1 ½ teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
¼ Cup White Sugar
¼ Cup Brown Sugar

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

⅔ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 ½ Cups Water
2 Teaspoons Almond Extract

Mix wet ingredients into a temporary emulsion and pour onto the dry ingredients. Knead
for five minutes and roll out onto cookie sheets. Dough should be ¼ - ½ inch thick. Use
a pizza cutter to cut into 1 inch wide sticks.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until they golden-brown.

PS I couldn't find plain coconut flakes so I used sweetened (oops, a little more sugar) but they still turned out tasty. Also, the dough is a little hard to work with since it is not refined white flour, but just put some muscle into it and trust that it will taste super yummy.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quick Update

Here is the latest on Jon and I.

Jon: currently studying like mad for the MCAT but it is starting to feel like it is paying off with some good scores. Jon is going to start a phlebotomy course at the end of this month that is 4 weeks long. We are crossing our fingers this leads to a good job, with good hours and fair pay.

Rachel: trying to get back into the swing of things with school. Classes are a bit crazy as usual. I am starting all my supervision for when I actually start meeting with clients. I may be a little over-excited because I signed myself up to do a lot of things, but I really couldn't be any happier. Foster homes, grief camp, and parenting courses, in addition to therapy? Sounds good to me.

Us: We made our home look cuter yesterday. We finally got an area rug for our colorless room, some pictures on the wall and a nice clock. We also made a yummy quiche, thanks to my mom's recipe, and homemade ice cream for some friends. Jon is the best, he is such a good sport with those sorts of things.

Life is happy at the Van Wickle home. I wish you the same.

New Years 2011

It is about time I write about Jon and my excellent New Years day adventures. New years eve was not all that exciting because Jon convinced me to go to sleep early in order to get up and get going quickly for New Years day.

Well, my birthday this present was a little bit of an IOU. Jon promised me he would take me to universal studios once our finances got in order. With Christmas and all the joy that came with it, we decided it would be alright to indulge in a little fun. I was so excited to go- Jon went quite a bit as a kid but I had never been.

This is the homemade IOU I got from Jon on my birthday- finally turning it in for use! Of course, since we got our tickets during Grinchmas we have season passes, hooray!

We went to get a bite to eat before we entered the park and ended up on the Hollywood walk of fame! This was totally unplanned but a treat for us since neither of us had been in that part of downtown Hollywood before.

We even ran into a statue of the world's tallest man, I couldn't resist a photo-op.

Once we got into the park it was all fun! There were hardly any lines that lasted more than a few minutes. The park got busier later in the day, but for the most part it was easy sailing. Jon was the best tour guide, he really knew the ins and outs of the park.

Jon's favorite part, and definitely one of the highlights for me, is the backlot tour. They have a portion now where you get to see all the cars from famous movies. I think Jon was in heaven. I even got a shot of the Delorian from Back to the Future, one of our favorites!

This is the Desperate Housewives street, Wisteria Lane. I had to take a picture of how bright Eva Longoria's house is! You can't really tell in the picture either, but it is a seriously intense shade of yellow. But of course you would never notice how bright those colors are in the show, you don't even question it. Also, all those flowers in their yards are fake. It was a trip.

Water world was an adventure, Jon was definitely excited for this part. It was kind of a cold day so we stayed clear of the splash zone.

We randomly ran into Jon's college roommate from UCSD and his girlfriend while we were there. It was nice to catch up and see them for a little bit.

The day was complete fun and I am so glad we got to go together. It was a perfect birthday present and great start to the new year. Happy 2011!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas 2010

Christmas was a little different this year since Jon had to work quite a bit during our normal school break. But we were soo glad to spend time with our families.

Christmas eve was a blast- keeping with tradition we went to church with the Van Wickle's, had a delicious dinner and got into the Chrismas spirit.

Christmas day at the Van Wickle's we went geocaching thanks to mom VW's latest toy. It was a total blast to go to the lake and other local areas to search (but it was mighty cold that day!).

Check out the cool hats cousin Kaitlin got the boys, I love them!

Our beautiful lake... and mom VW way out there searching haha

So sweet, love this pic!

We loved being with all the Tate's together for the afternoon. In the evening we got to see Tangled which was a totally cute family movie.

Since Jon and I are starving students I pinched our pennies this year and made some homemade gifts.

Homemade peppermint hot chocolate for the boys...

Personalized stationary for the girls... this is Jessica's

Christmas was a fun adventure, I was home, back and forth between Redlands and SB many times but I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with family.

Next years!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coming Soon...

Updates on Christmas, New Years, and other recent adventures. Along with a new blog header. But for now... the start of school is keeping me busy. Stay tuned for future blog posts.

Post Edit: Changing our blog header does not mean we are pregnant! It just means that it is no longer 2010. Oh boy, that is how rumors get started.