Sunday, March 25, 2012

True Mexican Cooking

Last night, my coworker Adam and his wife Dulce invited some of us over for a Mexican cooking night.  Adam worked in our Oaxaca office for 7 years and just recently returned to Portland with Dulce, who who born and raised in Mexico. So this was was legit Mexican food!

We started with homemade guacamole and salsa.  We used a pestle and mortar to grind the garlic, salt, serrano peppers, avacados and lime (strictly in that order) for the guacamole and we roasted fresh tomatoes and tomatillas for the red and green salsas.  So delicious!

Dulce taught Megan and I how to make fresh corn sopes (kind of like thick tortillas) which we topped with mashed potatoes and ground beef and fried to make garnaches.  They were somewhat like small tostadas, but not so crispy.  With all of the fresh toppings, they were quite tasty!

Thanks, Adam and Dulce for having us over and teaching us the true ways of Mexican cooking.  We'll have you over soon for some good ol' Southern cooking!

roasting the tomatoes

making guac with the pestle and mortar

West and Adam hard at work in the kitchen

fresh lime margarita

we ran out of glasses, so Megan got a margarita in a sippy cup

Dulce and Adam teaching us the Mexican cooking ways

garnaches - muy bueno!

Soy Chai Tea Latte
Speaking of delicious treats that my coworkers have taught me... Bill, our VP of International Programs, has gotten me hooked on his afternoon drink of choice.  Bill let me taste his soy chai tea latte a while back and I've been thinking about it ever since.  So a couple of weeks ago, I asked him for a personal tutorial.  And this guy has his latte down to a T (pun intended).  Let me share this delicious little recipe with you...

Steep one bag earl grey and one bag of any black tea in a large mug half full of hot water for 2 minutes.  Heat half a mug of soy milk in the microwave for 1 minute.  Combine the tea and milk (add a pump of vanilla syrup if you like a sweeter drink) and enjoy!  I seriously look forward to this every afternoon and it's a good way to cut back on coffee.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rock with a Liturgical Beat

Saturday night, several of us went to our coworker/friend Mike's concert. This was not a normal concert, though. This show integrated great rock songs into a liturgical worship service - see this article in the Willamette Week. Saturday's alternative liturgy featured songs by the artist Radiohead. I knew a couple of Radiohead songs that were played on the radio in the late 90s/early 2000s (such as High and Dry), but Mike gave me a list of songs to study the week before the show so that I could be familiar with the tunes and lyrics.

I have to say, this show was incredible! The above article quotes the organizer of this show as saying, "God types see God everywhere." Which is so true. I often find myself listening to "alternative" main stream music and finding the lyrics to have spiritual connotations.

The show began with a choral version of the song Creep (see video below) followed by some of the following readings and songs:
Reading: scripture from Ezekiel 34; "a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone" - Henry David Thoreau; "if you are neutral in situtations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppresor." - Desmond Tutu
Song: Fake Plastic Trees (see Mike's rendition here)
Reading: Luke 4:1-13 (The Temptation of Jesus)
Song: You and Whose Army
Reading: Matthew 25:31-46; stats about Oregon being the #1 hungriest state in the country (this show helped raise money for a local food bank)
Song: High and Dry
Reading: Mark 14:43-51 (The Betrayal of Jesus)
Song: Karma Police
Reading: Mark 15:21-37 (The Crucifixion of Jesus)
Song: How to Disappear Completely, Pyramid Song
Reading: they read the "song" Fitter Happier on Radiohead's album OK Computer - so interesting
Song: Videotape; Born Again

The service ended with a reading from the well-known Lorica of St. Patrick:
"Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right,
Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length,
Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me."

Monday, March 5, 2012

11 Things to Know at 25(ish)

So I realized that today, March 5th, marks my half birthday.  Your half birthday is very important when you're still in the single digits.  Don't you remember correcting your mom when she would say, "You're just 5 years old..." and you would roll your eyes, put your hand on your scrawny waist, pop your hip, flip your curly pigtails and say (with a lisp), "I'm 5 and a half, mother!"

Well, that extra half year isn't so important as we get older; in fact most people try to deny that they are in fact getting older every day.  We know more than we did when we were 5 (and a half), but we haven't quite figured it all out yet.  My friend Megan sent me this article writen by Shauna Niequist, author of Cold Tangerines which I've previously referenced.  Read up, 20-somethings (and everyone else looking to be a "real adult")... this is wise advice and a great perspective on life.