Thursday, June 28, 2012

New favorite fish recipe

The best thing about cooking tilapia for dinner is it takes so little time, but still tastes like a "real" dinner.

I let a recent meal at Carrabba's inspire this dinner:  Almond Crusted Tilapia with Pan-seared Summer Vegetables


2 tilapia filets, frozen
1/4 c. egg whites
1/2 c. almond meal (ground blanched almonds)
Crushed red pepper, garlic salt, pepper, and basil to taste
1 T. butter

1 small summer squash
1 small zucchini
1 T. olive oil
2 t. minced garlic
Salt, pepper, and thyme to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Place frozen tilapia filets in bowl of cool water to thaw.  Julienne summer squash and zucchini.

2. Melt butter in large flat-bottomed skillet.  Allow butter to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Mix almond meal and spices in flat-bottomed dish; put egg whites in separate flat-bottomed dish.  

3. Dip tilapia filets one at a time into egg whites, flipping once to coat.  Repeat with almond meal spice mixture.  Use fingertips to help almond meal mixture adhere evenly to the fish if necessary. 

4. Add fish to skillet.  Cook until medium golden brown, then flip (flip only once so fish remains intact).  Reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork.

5.  Once fish is in skillet, add olive oil and garlic to a separate medium skillet over medium high heat.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

6. Add summer squash, zucchini, and spices.  Stir often to prevent burning, but encourage browning.  Vegetables are done when fork tender and medium brown in some places.  Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan if desired.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The color of light

This morning I was up just in time to see the sun rise. I hurriedly took the dog out, brewed a cup, and found a seat on the roof to take in the beauty. And I reflected (I couldn't help it).

I sat there thinking that all we know we have learned from the Lord's creation, the earth.

I thought about the people who discovered the origin of color.

I looked at the clouds before me. Moments ago they were orange-y pink with morning glow. Now they are white with fresh blue behind. They are the clouds of day. The clouds remain, but their appearance is all new.

The people who discovered the origin of color must have sat here on a morning like this. They saw clouds and horizon change before their eyes. The only thing different was the change in light.

Then, in evening twilight they witnessed the glory again. The sky transformed minute by minute from regular blue to red orange bursting, then softened twilight followed soon by dark of night. Finally the stars, light punctuated. The ending always: Light again. Fading, then gone, then accentuated trinkets high.

Light changed everything. Light transformed the whole world. What you knew in one moment was changed in the next. And the day after it would repeat, with ever so slight differences from the day before.

Light. The light of the world. He changes things. The Light of the World brings color. He is color. Without him is darkness. But with him is glorious light.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Extraordinary arrangement

I made it back to Korea. It's good to be back to my apartment, my dog, this little corner of the earth that I currently call home. I didn't exactly miss it, but I have a feeling it will still be pretty hard to leave when our assignment ends a year from now.

Husband is still on temporary duty to Alaska. He has been making the most of his weekends when he has them by spending a lot of time in Denali National Park. He has hiked a few times. He's also seen sled dogs and moose.

This weekend he had something I'm pretty sure he will consider among the amazing experiences of his life. He and some buddies bought tickets aboard a small ski plane (not sure if that is the right term). They flew around Denali on Saturday and landed on a glacier. They got to walk around the glacier, and even saw an avalanche! I cannot even imagine seeing an avalanche -wow! He took over 300 pictures and videos! I will share more photos when he gets back.

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things here. I have been thinking about my priorities and the scripture: "He who loses his life will gain it."

I've been thinking about how to do this. I've been praying about how to do this, and the answer is the same as always:
"Live for others.
Live for relationship.
Live for love, real Love."

And how to really love? This sounds extraordinary, and I feel so ordinary. How, God?
"The ordinary is okay.
I made the ordinary just as much as the extraordinary.
The extraordinary life is made up of ordinary pieces put into an extraordinary arrangement."

I think about the things that amaze me: mountains, beaches, people. A mountain is just a heap of dirt and rocks, but God has put them together so beautifully. A beach is just sand, water, and sun, but orchestrated so perfectly. People are made of many of the same substances, yet combine to form incredible creatures.

The brilliance of God's design is making the ordinary extraordinary, using weakness to show his strength.

I don't need to craft a life of glory. I need only to give glory to The One who crafted life.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

So long south korea

It's time to say goodbye to the rice paddies for a while (I wonder how much they will have grown when I get back!) and hello to the U.S. of A. I am so excited to go on this trip to visit friends and family! I am surprised how sad I am to leave Charlie-dog. Hopefully he won't be too mad that I left him at the Resort a la Kennel for so long.

I'm sure I will have plenty of pictures and stories to share when I get back. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Mallipo Beach

We continued our wonderful Memorial Day weekend by spending Monday at Mallipo Beach in Taean Haean National Park on the west coast of Korea.  

It was a pretty typical Korean day:  Hazy.  

The temperature was lovely in the 70s.  The water was frigid though!  We didn't actually swim -partly because they don't really do that in Korea.  They stay out of the sun, and don't usually get in the water past their knees (aside from a few teenagers we saw dragging their friends into the waves).  We were in the sun -no umbrellas or long sleeves for us- and I'm sure we'll break out of the no swimming mold when it gets a bit warmer, but for now, in this small way we blended in with the natives:)

A friend of ours was telling a story of him and his (American) girlfriend going to the beach.  She was, um, scorned (I don't recall exactly what happened) for swimming in a bikini, and he had the Coast Guard called on him twice for going in water deeper than he is tall.

No scorning or Coast Guard calls for us, so I think we had a pretty good day.  We went with three friends and our friends' dogs (Charlie was at the kennel due to canceling our plans to go to Busan, but not being able to cancel the kennel without penalty-and we didn't even know if the beach would allow dogs.  Next time we will bring him for sure!).  We mostly played frisbee, catch with the dogs, and explored the tiny sand crabs and these strange straw-like things (plant?  animal?) coming up from the sand.  It was a great trip!

Monday night we came home to a big mess strewn all over the apartment.  Husband smiled at me, glad that this mess was indicative of a wonderful, fun, and relaxing weekend.  You could see evidence of all the good times we had.  We threw our mess on the floor, quickly changed, and headed out for sushi!  The mess can wait!!
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