Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa

I know this list of ingredients is long, but most if it consists of things you already have in your kitchen and none of the steps are at all difficult. It is soooooo worth it! Delicious, healthy and filling.
Thanks to Viance for the recipe.

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa

Honey Chipotle Chicken
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
3 T. adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle in adobo
2 T. honey
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. honey mustard
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 c. spring greens
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. torn fresh cilantro
4 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 T. olive oil
1/2 T. honey
Lime Quinoa
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 T. coconut oil
1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or sealed bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

After marinading, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side.
To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey just before serving. 

Lime Quinoa
Add the quinoa and stock to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil, lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Similar Interests

From Alex's letter to me:  Yesterday was quite chilly and windy, but other than that it's been nice cool fall weather. I am in the Furukawa closer to Sendai. What's unique? It's the first area I've served in that doesn't have a college, or at least a major college or branch location.

(He only sent 2 photos so I grabbed some of Japan from the internet just for fun.)

One thing that I am always grateful for is having something in common with a companion, and I have always been able to find at least one, and to be honest more, in every companion I've had so far. I am especially glad that all except one of my companions have liked playing piano, especially since they bring the lovely sound of hymns and primary songs into my life. For example, my companion is playing piano right now, and it's really good (he's been playing since middle school).
My ponderizing scripture this week is: John 15:2 "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." I chose this scripture, because it reminds me that when you are doing good in the sight of God, you are purged, given a chance to grow more, so that you can do more good.
The kanji of the week is: 冬 pronounced "phoo-you" and means winter.
 Monday: We got all the stuff we needed to do done, and most of the day was just relaxing, and my companion playing the piano. In the evening we had family home evening with the branch president and his family.
Tuesday: We went and had lunch with an investigator and her friend. We had a good talk about the purpose of missionaries, the church, an what we believe. After that we went to go visit a less active that lives far away. There was no one home when we first got there, but as we were walking away, she showed up, and we introduced ourselves to her and shared a quick scripture with her. After that we went to go visit another family, but they weren't home. Again, as we were leaving, one of the son's came and so we invited him to our halloween party we'll have this week. That's a good over view of that day,although we did do some planning for the party, and finding as well.
Taco rice that Alex's companion made for lunch. Does Alex ever cook????
Wednesday: we did quite a few things that day, although not much happened from them. We went to go find a place that we might be able to find people to talk to, but couldn't find the place. Eventually we found it, but since we didn't have any information on it, we didn't know that it wasn't happening that day. We also went asking about service, and found we can clean up a park near our apartment anytime we want, so we might do that soon. We tried to visit some people, but no one was home. We also had English class.
Thursday: Because of a Zone Conference the next day, we did weekly planning on this day. It was a really good weekly planning, and I look forward to this week. I think we also got closer as a companionship through it. We then had a lesson with our investigator Brother Chiba. It was a good lesson/meeting. We talked about how he came in contact with the missionaries, and why he still meets with missionaries. It was a really good talk, and we got to hear lots about his faith, and about his testimony. I look forward to working with him further. After that we went to Sendai for the Zone Conference the next day.

Friday: The meeting was long, but went by super quickly, and I learned a lot from it. I won't put any notes from it here, because there are too many, but I assure you that it was great. We also had a great lunch prepared by the local relief society, and afterwards to thank them sang "I am a Child of God" to them. I haven't had the chance to use sign language in a while, so I signed the song, and as I did a member noticed me and started signing along. After the song, she came up to me and talked for just a few moments about sign language, and it was a really cool experience. Other than that, the rest of the day was studies and travel.
Saturday: We went after studies to a festival they were having near a mall, but when we arrived, it wasn't what we expected. Arriving at the same time as us was an ambulance, and as we got to the event, we saw a man laying on the stage with paramedics doing CPR on him. They had a cover some people were holding to shield the scene from the children's eyes, but from where we were, we could see it. The man was apparently in an eating contest when we collapsed, but I don't know what caused
it. I pray that he's doing well now, or that he is accepting the gospel in the next life if that was God's will. It was not a very pleasant experience, and we didn't find anyone from there. We also went to lunch with a member, who payed for us. It was a really delicious restaurant, and I am very blessed to have liked the majority of food that I have tried since coming to Japan (except umeboshi, a pickled Japanese apricot). We also had a lesson with a less active, and at the same time a surprise visit from a different less active. It was a good lesson with both of them. After that we went around to a few places, and also made a pumpkin pie for the Halloween party.
Sunday: Sacrament is always great, and I love being able to partake of it every week. We also were able to have a good talk by the stake president, and great classes in the other two hours. After that we had lunch and then went to institute. We went over some of the Book of Mormon, and it was cool to study with members (namely the branch president and his wife). The rest of the day was studies and reporting on the week.
I hope you all had a great week, and that you enjoy your time here on Earth. It truly is a blessing! I love you all, and think of you often!
Elder ______

Sunday, October 25, 2015

3 Salt Lake City Parks in a 10 Minute Drive

I took my girls on a little park exploration on Saturday. We went to 3 different "parks", all unique for different reasons, and all within 10 minutes of each other. And all free. Of course, we walked around, took pictures and enjoyed the warm October day at each. 

Garden Park Ward                     1150 E. Yale Avenue
Gilgal Sculpture Garden            749 E. 500 S.
Liberty Park                               600 E. 900 S.

So the story of this day actually starts years ago when I saw a photo of this beautiful structure in front of what I thought was a pond online and all it said was Salt Lake City, with no address or name so that I could find it. I held that photo in my head, trying to search for it, but never finding it at any park I went to. Then last week, I saw a photo and realized immediately that it was the same structure I have been waiting to see in person and this time it had the name "Garden Park" with it. Again no address, but the name was enough for me to find the address online. And Saturday I finally saw it in person!

Unfortunately, though it took me years to find out where it was, many, many other people know all about it and it was crowded with 5 families taking photo there so it was difficult to get photos. I'll have to go back another day when it's a bit more empty to get better ones. 

This little garden park is actually in back of the historic LDS Garden Park ward building with the Red Butte Creek running through it. If you plan on visiting, there are rules for the days you may take photos, like no photos on Fridays and some other days, as a sign outside the park says. You can read the rules at Garden Park
 These 2 are from the front of the church

This is in back of the garden along the street

Our second stop was our first time at Gilgal Sculpture Garden, which is a smallish, very unique garden right in between two houses. We actually couldn't find it at first because I thought you could see sculptures from the road. But this is what you see. I was parked to the left of this so I couldn't see the signs. 

There are several sculptures there and many rocks engraven with quotes or scriptures. There are also different kinds of pretty flowers, at least for now. 

Then it took a couple of minutes to drive to Liberty Park. This is only my second time being there. Last time I went, it was a very hot summer day. I was there for a Pow Wow, which was great, but my youngest daughter got sick while we were there and we had to leave before I could explore and take photos of the park. It looks a bit different now in October with the fountains where the kids play having been drained and no kids rides running.

Chase Home -- Museum of Modern Folk Art in Liberty Park

 Can you spot little Spidey?

But there were lots of geese and ducks. We were lucky to catch the flowers on their last day. Someone who worked there told us that they were taking them out the next day. 

Unfortunately, we didn't go to Tracy Aviary, which is right there in Liberty Park. That will have to be for a different day and a different post.  

Utah Local: Rico Cocina y Tequila Bar

I wanted to find somewhere different to have dinner with my children, but it had to have food that all of them would eat. It's not easy ...