New Year, New Blog Post

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post. Ha ha! *cough* Sorry. That is going to change! The last year has been full of many changes. My computer died. I switched jobs and apartments. Went from regular internet access to buying coffee and borrowing a friends computer when I desperately needed to email anything longer than a paragraph. (Smart phones are only good for so much.) I just bought a new (refurbished) computer and my friend and I are sharing internet…one of the many perks of living next door to one of your best friends!

This year contained several other significant changes. Like I said, I changed jobs. I found my perfect play job! I get to cook at a place where I have the opportunity to spend my free time hiking during the summer and snowboarding or snowshoeing during the winter. Pretty much perfect! My co-workers aren’t half bad either. Actually, they’re pretty awesome 🙂

Other changes… One of my best friends had a BABY and I moved next door to her and her adorable little son. It’s so much fun! Because my work takes me out of town all the time it is incredible to know I’m coming home to two people who are always excited to see me.

Work has been crazy busy this year and since two of my jobs take me out of town pretty often, I haven’t been able to make it to my home church regularly. That’s been the hardest part of my “perfect job”. Thankfully, when I’m traveling for my catering job, I am able to go to my parents church or some other church in the area where I’m working! I’m pretty sure I’ve been to my parents church more often during the last few months than I have to my own church. I’m extremely thankful for a church family that calls to check up on me when they haven’t seen me in a while! I’ll be there this Sunday!

Here’s to friends, and church family, and family family. Here’s to change, and new beginnings, and fresh starts. Here’s to a whole new year!

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Bragging Rights & Chicken Curry Salad

I need to brag a little bit.

Recently I made all of the judge food for our Regional speech and debate tournament (about 120 people, 3 meals a day, 4 days). I had some excellent helpers! (See picture.) I couldn’t have done it without them.

Now the part that I’m bragging about is this… One day for lunch I made four salads. Southwest Quinoa, Chicken Penne Thyme, Greek Orzo and Chicken Curry. Everyone LOVED them! Everyone. I’ve received e-mails saying how great the salads were! (Everyone except some guy who wanted some meat. Beef to be exact. Chicken wasn’t cutting it!)

I love it when I can make people so happy that they won’t stop talking about it.

I thought I would share one of the salad recipes with you!

Chicken Curry Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Salad:

  • 4 cups diced chicken
  • 1 granny smith apple – diced small
  • 2 cups celery – chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup red onion – finely diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Optional – sliced grapes or chopped walnuts

 

Instructions

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste, taste, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (It should be bold in flavor and taste slightly stronger than you want the salad to taste.)
  2. Add salad ingredients and combine well.
  3. Taste again and adjust seasonings if needed.
  4. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve as a sandwich or wrap filling or an it’s own. Enjoy!

 

Overdue Book (Review)

I was going to review this book last year and didn’t. It is now technically “out of date” but I’m going to review it anyways!

Knock ‘Em Dead – The Ultimate Job Search Guide (2011) by Martin Yate   

Although my procrastination means that there is already a newer version of this book out – I feel that it is still very relevant to today’s job hunters.
With five sections covering everything from productive resume writing to networking, the interview to closing the deal – this book covers it all! Written in an interesting and easy to read style, Mr. Yate takes a look at the most effective methods to use when looking for a job as well as what the interviewer sees and is looking for during the brief time you have to make an impression.
This book is great for today’s job market! Because more people are hanging onto their jobs longer and employers are more willing to cut costs by working with less – good jobs seem to be harder to find. It is more important then ever to be able to “sell” yourself and your skills and this book gives you the tools to do that!
This 25th Anniversary Edition of Knock ‘Em Dead even contains a brief summery of each of the thirty fastest-growing occupations in the current job market.
Whether you are fresh out of high school looking for your first job or have many years of experience under your belt and are trying to land a better one – this is a great book for you!

*I received this book for free from booksneeze.com. I was not obligated to write a good review – just my honest opinion.* 

Business Flier – What do you think?

She Cooks!
Local Lynden gal available as an experienced personal chef for
In-home meal preparation
Menu planning
Kitchen helper
Meals for new parents
Special occasion dinners

I love helping people eat the way they need to,
in order to live the life they want to!

Experienced with special diets, allergy and health restrictions including gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets.

I can plan and prepare anything you need from breakfast foods to snacks to lunches, dinners, freezer meals and beyond!

Affordable, experienced, reliable!

For more information please contact
Lorna Farris at 509-592-0697
E-mail: lornafarris@gmail.com

Qualifications and references available upon request

Tony O Rama Bars and Job Hunting

Job hunting makes me SCREAM! I’m just tired of filling out applications with all of the same information that’s on my resume, chatting with people that “ooh” and “aw” over my resume, and then never getting a job.
So what do I do? After another afternoon of filling out applications and turning them in – I drove to the downtown Bellingham Co-Op and continue my search (and blog writing) with the wonderful help of a gluten free Tony O Rama Bar! I don’t know why they call it that – it’s a coop thing.
This bar is like nothing I’ve ever had! I haven’t attempted to duplicate the wonderfulness yet – but I will.
The ingredients are simple: chocolate chips, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vegan (blegh) butter, coconut, brown sugar. It’s pretty much this slab of peanut buttery, coconuty heaven with another slab of coconut chocolaty goodness on top! Words can not describe. And the great thing about this bar is NO GLUTEN! So other than that 1/4 pound of sugar I just inhaled – there’s no guilt! Not that I usually have any type of guilt when I’m eating – but since Hannah and I ate most of a huge loaf of bread on the way home from the store yesterday, I’m working on cutting back on the wheat today 🙂
So the lesson to be learned here is: if life hands you something frustrating – chocolate, coconut and peanut butter will fix it!

The search continues…

I received another call today from Great Harvest – informing me that they decided to go with someone else. Not totally sure why I haven’t been able to get a job so far – but I guess I’ll just have to keep looking! Maybe the perfect job will jump out at me once I’m living in Lynden and am a bit more familiar with the town. I would love to find a job that I can walk or ride a bike to!
Oh – my move into the new place has been postponed a day (they need to paint and stuff) so I will be able to get in on Monday!

I added wheat back into my diet yesterday! Had a French Dip sandwich from Billy McHales. Also at a bunch of garlic bread today 🙂 So far haven’t noticed any adverse reactions. The garlic bread had some melted cheese on it so dairy was re-introduced today. No reactions from that either – although I wouldn’t really expect any from that little amount. I’m pretty sure I just need to reduce the amount of wheat and dairy in my diet because I will probably have an easier time with the whole staying in shape thing! Very happy to be eating bread again!

Bread and Bakeries

I’ve had two interviews at the Great Harvest Bread Company! The first was your basic interview – with lots of questions and four people sitting there staring at you. The second was this morning – starting at 7:15 and it consisted of me just hanging out in the bakery… pretending like I was competent and knew how to knead bread dough 🙂 Apparently they can’t decide between me and this other gal so they’re trying us both out… how do I “beat” someone I know nothing about?! It was fun though…fun people, fun to get my hands back in some dough and flour 🙂

Interesting experience too because the only real bakery experience was with the Moscow Food Co-Op – and even though there are plenty of similarities, there are also a few large differences. Mostly with the way the dough is shaped or kneaded. At the Coop we SHAPED our loaves… they really ended up looking like little bread loaves before they were even in the pan. We also folded most batches of dough part way through letting it rise… and we let the loaves proof or rise for a longer amount of time before actually going in the oven. The Coop was also trying to make “crusty artisan” type bread.
At Great Harvest the dough is pretty much kneaded into a smooth ball and then rolled into a log a little longer than the pan so that when it’s put in the pan the middle is kind of “perky”. As far as I can tell none of the doughs are folded. The rise and baking I’m not sure about yet – although they are much more careful about temperatures then the Coop… and they are making pretty much all soft loaves.

It’s just interesting to see the differences. One thing that will be huge (and hopefully not to hard to get used to, if I get this job) is the pace that Great Harvest keeps. Many more doughs a day – and I thought we were pretty steady for the little while I was there but apparently they normally go MUCH faster with less people. Well – we’ll see if a get a job offer… until then…

I am excited to try their Gluten-Free Bread sometime – job or no.

Speaking of bread… here is a wonderful Blue Cheese Spread that goes really fantastically with a lot of different breads!

Blue Cheese Spread

3 lb Cream Cheese – room temp
2 cups Walnut pieces – toasted
1 cup Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 bunch Green Onions – chopped
1.25 lb Blue Cheese Crumbles
1 bunch Parsley – chopped

Combine the first four ingredients and mix well. Add the last three ingredients and mix until incorporated. (I think the reason for this is so that those last three don’t completely disintegrate). After it’s all mixed – taste it and add a little more pepper or some salt if needed. Serve with bread or crostini or roast beef or whatever your taste buds tell you would taste good! Enjoy!

I love this spread so much because the blue cheese is really flavorful without being overwhelming. So yummy…