Coconut Curry Noodles to burn your face off…at least we thought so!

We’ve had colds all weekend. Bummer, right? We missed church yesterday and everything (except Hubby…) I hear the guy who taught my Sunday School Class used a ton of media and brought his HUGE flat screen TV for videos. I am shooting daggers at him in my mind for trying to upstage me. I know where you LIVE!!!

Just kidding, I hear he did an awesome job. Commendations all around.

But I’m not bringing in our (tiny) flat screen TV for videos. I have two little kids to haul to church, I ain’t hauling a 26inch TV too. (Okay, maybe I’m just a little jealous….)

 

Back to the story.

I was pretty much flat out yesterday, but today was a little better. Mostly thanks to a good nights sleep (thank you children’s Tylenol) and copious amounts of water. I felt up to making this Coconut Curry Soup. Luckily it was spicy enough to clear any nasal passage.

 

Coconut Curry Noodles

Ingredients:

1 Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips

2 or 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin strips

1 head of Broccoli, sliced

1 Head of baby Bok Choy

1/2 cup Curry paste (see recipe below)

1 can lite coconut milk

2 cup chicken broth

Tofu

Noodles of choice or rice

Cilantro

soy sauce (or fish sauce…I’m told fish sauce is more authentic, but it is also horrendously expensive in the armpit of Montana), to taste

Earlier in the day, press your tofu (I use a paper towel, a plate and a can of whatever I have around, beans, tomatoes, whatever.) then cube it and let it marinate in the coconut milk and about half the curry paste. Let it marinate for about 30mins or so…

 

Step One: Cook noodles according to the package directions. I just used thin whole wheat noodles. You could also just use rice. Basmati would be nice!

 

Step Two: Drizzle a bit of olive oil into your pan and empty the other half the curry paste into the pan. Mix them up and let those two really get to know each other.

 

Step Three: Add 2 cups chicken broth Add the carrots and broccoli and bring to a boil.  Cover and let cook…but only for like a minute. Nobody likes mushy carrots.

 

Step Four: Add the can of coconut milk (and tofu/curry paste) and the peppers and bok choy.

 

Step Five: Add about 1/4 cup of soy sauce into the mix. In a bowl, put a decent helping of noodles (or rice). Then ladle on some of that delicious sauce and veggies right over the noodles. Top with cilantro. Add more soy sauce if desired. Serve with yogurt to help your trembling digestive system.

By the way, I really liked the tofu in this recipe. I will have to use it in curries more often.

Curry Paste Recipe:

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup garlic, minced

1/2 small onion

1/4 cup curry powder

1/4 cup cayenne pepper (SERIOUSLY, I WILL CUT THIS DOWN TO 1 TBSP NEXT TIME)

Put all ingredients in the food processor and zoom it a couple of times. Then add a little bit of water or oil, enough to make a paste. (I used a little bit of both) This will make about twice as much curry paste as you will need, so save half in the fridge or chuck the other half in the freezer for another day.

It was so spicy we could only take bites between huge gulps of milk. Next time I will go easy on the cayenne. My digestive system already hates me and we just finished dinner half an hour ago…..

Also, this Curry paste recipe is more of an Indian Curry paste, so it made it taste a little more southern Indian than actual Thai. We didn’t care. It had FANTASTIC flavor, minus the extra burn. I think I will serve the left overs with Rice and a healthy dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

The really scary thing is, no matter how spicy this was for us, my old roommate from India would have taken one bite and say, “Hm, this is mild”. Once she made a curry that was so spicy you teared up just being in the room where she was making it. My Taiwanese roommate had to leave because she was crying so hard she couldn’t see.

My Indian roommate is the reason I now get heartburn…Well that and pregnancy.

 

 

Women in the Priesthood

I didn’t think this blog would turn out, well, as serious as it did. It gets its title from the stuff I cook on and in my stove  and what I am cooking in my brain. Somehow it spills out onto the page and I have said something I didn’t even start out to say. But it needs to be said.

In my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have something called the Priesthood. We consider it the power of God on earth. All people, men, women and children are eligible to have the Priesthood in there lives. But there is a hitch that has caused some controversy in the past.

Men are actually the ordained (meaning they are appointed or conferred to an office) to hold the authority of the Priesthood, where as women have other responsibilities.

This means that men are responsible to give blessings, preform or oversee the performance of ordinances (like the Sacrament, which is kind of like Mass, baptism, as well as marriage in the temple and other ordinances preformed in the temple). They have the job of making sure the ordinances are done correctly and by worthy holders of the Priesthood. (You cannot use the priesthood if you are not worthy!!!) Check out this article about the Priesthood that comes straight from my church’s website.

Women have other responsibilities in the church, including providing valuable perspectives for the men. Women have been in charge of all kinds of things, mostly to do with food, clothing and other basic necessities. Their advice is also taken in many (if not ALL) major decisions made in the Church. Possibly including whether or not women are ordained to the priesthood.

Elder Neil L Anderson said, the last General Conference:

Twenty years ago in general conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard related a conversation he had with the general president of the Relief Society. There was a question raised about strengthening the worthiness of youth preparing to serve missions. Sister Elaine Jack said with a smile, “You know, Elder Ballard, the [women] of the Church may have some good suggestions … if they [are] asked. After all, … we are their mothers!”25

There is a protest that is going to happen where a VERY SMALL group of women from my church are going to petition the Prophet (or leader) of my church to allow the women to be ordained to the Priesthood, exactly like the men.

WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY WANT THAT?

Honestly, it would just mean that they get WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY more responsibilities and are under WAAAAAAAAYYYYY more pressure than they already are. It is considered the job of the women to teach children in the home about the gospel, to care for the home (with, of course, the help of the man), not to mention the callings (we are asked to help out in our church by being ‘called’. I teach the Sunday School (Gospel Doctrine) class to the adults every Sunday), helping the poor in the ward, visiting teaching, etc!!! The women are up to their eyeballs in work. We don’t need that extra job. It is the MEN’s job, and I am totally okay with that. I don’t need more to do than I already do!!!

Another complaint is from women who do not have a priesthood holder (aka a man who is active in our church) in their home, for whatever reason. That does NOT mean that they cannot have their priesthood in their home.

Elder Anderson also said:

“To receive the blessings, power, and promises of the priesthood in this life and the next is one of the great opportunities and responsibilities of mortality. As we are worthy, the ordinances of the priesthood enrich our lives on earth and prepare us for the magnificent promises of the world ahead. The Lord said, “In the ordinances … the power of godliness is manifest.”3

A man who holds the priesthood in our church, just administers the priesthood. He is NOT the priesthood. The Priesthood is the power of God and everyone can have that in their life regardless of gender, race or age.

I feel like these women are throwing giant tantrums over something that, in the end, isn’t very important. I am not less than a man. Neither am I better than a man. So why on EARTH would I want to throw a fit saying, “I want what you have AND what I have, because I am equal!!”

That doesn’t sound like equality. It sounds like these women want everything men have and more. Because they want to be BETTER. That is absolute nonsense. When you take away responsibilities from men, you belittle men. It makes them feel like they are not wanted/needed, because women can do it all.

I have had this happen to me: I was working for a company and I realized that they didn’t need me anymore. No one was utilizing my abilities, or honestly, paying much attention to me, so I honestly wasn’t surprised when I got a pink slip (part of this was my fault. I didn’t want to work anymore….that was about the time I started being a full-time stay at home mom) Why are we giving men the pink slip? Women are pushing them away and giving them little respect. How rude.

I have complete respect for Hubby and I have no desire to take away his responsibilities. It makes him a better person! It also (surprise, surprise) makes ME a better person! I don’t HAVE to do everything. And honestly that is a relief.

This won’t convince any of those women who part of the Ordain Women movement. I have tried to talk to a friend who was involved in this movement, and she wouldn’t listen. She had answers to all my questions. Unfortunately, she was still wrong (I would say that this is my opinion, but it is just truth). Please take a moment to consider that perhaps Heavenly Father (God) has a reason for the way He established His church, and that He did it for the benefit of all. Please trust what the leaders of our Church are saying to be the best thing for EVERYONE right now. Have a little faith in Men. They aren’t all bad. 🙂

Sugar Rush (and a relatively healthy, marginally sugar free brownie recipe)

So I have a confession to make.

And I don’t really do this lightly, I’m actually rather embarrassed to learn this:

I have a sugar problem.

The really funny thing is that I don’t even LIKE sugar. Not really.

But last week I started off the week horribly. At least in regards to Sugar. I made some cupcakes for Family night on Monday, and we had tons left over. I snarfed down 4-5 of those suckers a DAY until they were gone. Then I was jonesing for more so I sent Hubby to the store for Oreos. We polished off a family pack in about three days. I ate most of them.

The thing was, I COULDN’T STOP EATING IT. It wasn’t like, “oh this tastes good, I think I’ll have another” it was more like, “I am so sick right now, but I can’t stop eating these…” Which is a sign of a problem.

Finally a week ago Sunday, I cut myself off. I didn’t eat sugar for a few days and I had a horrible crash. I had HEADACHES, I was beyond reason CRANKY and I was doing a lot of symptoms of withdrawals.

Please note: I actually only have the vaguest idea of what a withdrawals looks like….I might not have a clue what I am talking about. Wait, I usually don’t have a clue what I’m talking about!

I’m back on the wagon. Only very small amounts of sugar right now and they have to be couched in something non-sugary. For example, I made a mug brownie the other day and I used un-sugared applesauce instead of the sugar and oil. Then I put in a couple of caramels (because it was a caramel brownie recipe) for a little added sweetness. I could handle that small amount of sugar, but anything purely sugar (like candy or Oreos) get me right back on the path to a sugar crash.

I also had to go on a diet. I gained a bit of weight with my sugar craze….Not just last week, this has kind of been going on for a while. Last week was just the climax.

Guess what?

I feel TONS better.

Sugar gives me a buzz that makes me cranky and sluggish later. Without it, I have tons of energy and I’m able to do an hour of Jillian Michel’s workout videos at 5:30 in the morning and not need a nap later in the day. Don’t get me wrong. I still eat sugar. But I have to be SUPER careful from here on out not to over do it. I have to stop before it becomes a problem.

Moderation in all things.

The funny thing is that this isn’t the first time this has happened. This is just the first time I realized that I had a serious problem with sugar. Maybe this time I will actually listen to what my body is telling me instead of ignoring it…..

Something else I noticed: When I eat super greasy or salty foods I am more likely to crave sugar after. I have tried to stop eating those as well, mostly because they make me feel like utter and complete CRAP after I eat them (not a complete ban,  same as the sugar…I really like Five Guys…Moderation, people, MODERATION) but if I do, I try to eat an apple or some other naturally sweet  fruit instead of straight sugar. That seems to help those salty/sweet cravings that hit occasionally.

Also, I have sworn off pop. I seriously can’t drink pop (or soda, depending on where you hail from) anymore. It just gives me an instant sugar buzz. This includes diet soda. That stuff just isn’t good for you…

Here is a (relatively) Healthy brownie recipe that uses Honey (which is WAAAAAAYYY more nutritious than granulated sugar and supposedly won’t give you a sugar crash) instead of sugar. Yes, I did add chocolate chips, but I would have done that if I had made brownies with full sugar and oil, so I like to think we are a little more healthy for eating brownies this way. I may or may not have put caramel on top too…We liked it!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Originally from: http://www.sparkpeople.com/, but I HEAVILY edited it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 2 small or medium bananas mashed

  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • ¾ cup honey (or 1 ½ cups sugar)

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In the blender, blend the applesauce, zucchini and bananas

Mix dry ingredients
Add the mix in the blender to the dry ingredients, as well as the vanilla and honey.

Mix well.

Add Chocolate Chips.

Spread evenly into a prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until brownies spring back when gently touched.