Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sad News.

It seems that the death of Cyd Mizell, who was kidnapped weeks ago in Afghanistan, has been confirmed by the organization she worked for. They state on their website they have received news of her "apparent death". Click here for the website. Sad news for those who loved her and have prayed for her over the past few weeks...but glorious news for Cyd - who is now eternally with the Father. Please continue to pray for her family and friends. May they be overwhelmed with the peace of Jesus and the comfort only God can provide.
My Soup Kitchen.

So, since living in the VERY cold Midwest, I have added lots of soup recipes to my collection...it's sort of becoming a soup kitchen. Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and have rarely blogged about my favorite recipes, here are a few of my all-time fav soup recipes. Most of these came from Epicurious - my favorite recipe website. Enjoy!

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder

1 small head broccoli (1/2 lb)
1 large boiling potato (1/2 lb)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
l large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

Discard tough lower third of broccoli stem. Peel remaining stem and finely chop. Cut remaining broccoli into very small (1-inch) florets. Cook florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, then drain. Reserve 3 cups cooking water for chowder. (Reserving the water helps to retain the nutrients.)

Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper.

Purée about 2 cups of chowder in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pot. Add florets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serves: 6

Tomato Basil Cream Soup - as good as La Madeleine!

4 tomatoes - seeded & diced
4 c. of tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 c. cream
2 tblsp. butter

Put tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Put the tomato mixture in a blender and puree with the basil (remember to remove the center piece from the lid and cover with a towel - to allow the steam to escape). Return puree to stock pot.

Place the pot over medium heat and stir in the cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. DO NOT boil.
Serves: 4

Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup

8 c. chicken broth (6 15.5 oz cans or 4 chicken bouillon cubes plus water)
1 c. chopped onion
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken tenders, cubed
2 c. yolk-free noodles (No Yolks Brand), uncooked
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Lightly spray a large soup pot with cooking spray. Pour 2 tablespoons of chicken broth into pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper and cook 3-5 minutes, just until tender-crisp. Pour remaining chicken broth into pot; increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Add chicken pieces, noodles, pepper, and garlic powder to pot; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. Serves: 6

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We're Back.

We had a fabulous time in Hawaii! Jason and I enjoyed the time in Maui to relax and enjoy a break. The time in Oahu was much busier, but we loved hanging out with Jason's friend Pagnarith from Cambodia. This was his first trip to America, so it was fun to hear his perspective of things. Jason and Pagnarith's presentation was very well received at the conference, and they were even recognized by an internationally-known doctor who specializes in treating kids in resource-poor areas. He thought the work in Cambodia was done so well, he offered to help Pagnarith and Jason publish some of their findings. It was a huge encouragement to Pagnarith, above all, because he lives and works in Cambodia every day. The battle with serious disease and poverty there is overwhelming at times, but it was awesome to see such a young Cambodian doctor be recognized for the difference he is making. He is a truly amazing person and we were grateful to share in his success at the conference.

Enjoy the pictures!

Jason and Pagnarith after parasailing in Honolulu. Too bad I couldn't get a close up of them on the parachute, but the speed boat didn't seem like the best place for a pregnant lady.

Pagnarith and Jason listening to other presentations at the conference...looking very smart.

"Our" poster displaying the research and findings. We label it "ours" because Pagnarith and Jason did the work and I designed the poster. What a team!

On the first night of the conference, there was a big welcome bash in Waikiki. Basically, a big fancy party on the beach with tons of food and entertainment. Pagnarith said, "I've only seen this kind of fancy party on TV! I feel like a movie star." Frankly, Pagnarith, us too. =) We don't hang out at parties like that very often either.

Mine and Jason's feet in the black sand on Maui.

We went whale watching and saw lots of whales! They were so quick, but I happened to catch a tail in this picture.

Self-portrait on the black cliffs of Maui.

Beautiful views on the road to Hana...

The Maui countryside.

Friday, February 15, 2008


There is nothing to report about Cyd's kidnapping. Investigators in Afghanistan have no clues about her disappearance and no one has claimed responsibility for her kidnapping...Please continue to pray for Cyd. Pray that God will give her great strength and peace. Pray also for her family who is grieving the absence of the woman they dearly love. May Jesus Himself be their rock, comforter, friend, and Peace.