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What I eat

There is honestly no reason why anyone should want to read about what I eat, but it’s fun to write about sooooo…

I developed a love for cooking and baking in high school but my eating and cooking habits have definitely changed since coming to school. When you’re the one buying the groceries and doing all of the cooking/cleaning after a full day, you’re much less likely to try that new recipe from Ina Garten (who I adore. Luv her and always will) And the convenience of New York and all of it’s plentiful food options make cooking seem hard to justify after a long day. So here is what I seem to be unable to turn down:

1. Pret a Manger. Why do I freaking love this place? I’m not sure, maybe it’s there balsamic chicken avocado sandwich? Their “cup of goodness”? (plain yogurt, granola, cinnamon, and apples) Of maybe it’s because they have the best iced coffee and barbeque chips (my favorite afternoon snack last year) Yeah, it’s a little overpriced but I just can’t get enough.

2. Chipotle burrito bowls with brown rice, chicken, black beans, peppers and onions, corn salsa, pico de gallo, cheese, and lettuce. Amen.

3. Bagels with cream cheese from anywhere. MMMM.

4. I just discovered a chinese place near my apartment that has platters for $6. Huge containers of sesame chicken for $6? HELLO.

5. Salad from the salad bar in my school’s cafeteria. Again, why? I don’t know. This is nothing extravagant. I could easily buy the ingredients at the store and make a salad at home. But it just doesn’t taste the same. I pack mine full of veggies, chicken, cranberries, and the sesame ginger dressing. I am more than willing to shell out 6 bucks for this salad that I could literally get anywhere that offers a salad bar. I mean, 6 bucks adds up when you’re doing this twice a week! What am I doing..

As you can tell, when I do get food out it’s usually for convenience not the experience. Although I do have some favorite New York spots for an actual meal:

1. Shake Shack: Mmmmm. I could always eat a shack burger. It’s just so good.

2. Grey Dog: My favorite coffee shop/cafe near Union Square. Free refills on coffee and really, really great chocolate chip cookies.

3. Mad Dog and Beans: Mexican food on Stone Street. Best when warm outside to enjoy the outdoor seating on Stone.

And I cook too! Here are my staples:

1. Beans and rice and chicken. So cheap and easy and I top it with avocado and salsa, and pretend I’m at Chipotle.

2. Rice with chicken and stir-fry veggies with soy sauce.

3. Spaghetti and meat sauce made with ground turkey or ground beef, whatever is cheaper that week

4. Avocados with salt and crackers……when I don’t want to cook

5. White chicken chili. My favorite recipe. 4 ingredients, 1 pot of delicious goodness.

And when I am home, than I am able to experiment with new recipes. Because my mom’s pantry and fridge are full beyond my comprehension and I have the time to play around like I used to so much in high school. Can’t wait for Christmas break, where I can bake cookies just because I want to, and actually cook without having to go to the store to buy eggs. Because we always have eggs, and other essentials. Amen.

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Back to New York

Fall break has come and gone, and I’ve returned to my old friend, Amtrak, for my venture back into the city. Break was so sweet and good, albeit short. I went to camp over the weekend and worked a retreat with several good friends from the summer. I had no idea how healing it would be to be back there, even if it was for less than 48 hours. I left everything behind, King’s, the house, schoolwork that is seriously piling up right now, and just served. I swept floors and prepped tables for meals, I sat up in the freefall tower with my good friend, Caitlin, for three hours, I sat on the dock Sunday morning and had a much needed quiet time. It was truly life-giving.

I only had a short time of home, but that was nice and restful too. But the rest of October is looking more and more formidable. I have quizzes, papers, presentations, and midterms ahead of me. I can’t think about it too much without wanting to throw up. But once I get through November, things will be ok, right? Right.

I know everything will get done, but it has been stressful. I want to relish fall, and enjoy the semester, but I can’t help but look forward to Christmas break. I mean, three weeks without anything planned or anything due? Glory.

New York is a funny place, It’s the place people with dreams and ambitions go to see those dreams come true. Every opportunity seems to be here, with every career and lifestyle offered. Maybe some people come here and have those dreams come true, or maybe new dreams pop up. Maybe some people fall in love with the city, and end up never leaving. But I have found for myself, and quite a few other people at my school, that New York has proved to us that we could be perfectly content living in a small town and living a quiet life. New York tires you, it hardens you in some ways. It can also be pretty magical, but those magical moments are not daily life in the city. For most of us, New York is a season in our lives, and we will move onto a new season once we graduate or maybe a few years after. The glitz and glamor of the city fades, and the desire for prestige and success does as well. Or at least, it has for me. All I want to do once I graduate is be a missionary, or work for a missions organization. Maybe a church. Than I want to be a mom. That’s it. So, no thank you for the networking opportunities, or the promise that “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”. New York, I will always have a place in my heart for you, but it’s for the people here, not the city. The city can be grand, but the city is broken. Lord, the city needs you.

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Recently

Trying to pick this up again. It’s been way, way too long to actually write a sufficient recap. So , I’m not going to.

Recently:

Eating: Kale. Trendy? Yes. But for reason. It is so good sauteed in a pan with some olive oil and salt. I’ve also been loving Trader Joes Cookie Butter on toast, avocadoes (still), and Korean Ginseng Tea, which a friend introduced me to and is my new favorite tea. Carol Anne and I went to BareBurger in Brooklyn the other day (recommended by my BRO) and split an elk burger and a bison burger. It was so good.

Listening to: Rend Collective Experiment. Their lyrics make me want to cry sometimes, they are so true and heartfelt. Mumford still, Ben Rector’s new album, and Michael Buble.

Watching: Movies with friends. No tv shows currently.

Reading: Lots and lots for school. Trying to find joy in it. Reading can really be a discipline sometimes. I also finished Mindy Kaling’s book recently, which was very entertaining, but also a bit sad. When people so flippantly reject the gospel or Christ, it hurts my heart. I would like to read Fey’s Bossypants next.

Dreaming of: Traveling to Ireland or Italy, or someplace like that.

Holding onto: Psalm 23. He leads me by still waters. So little in my life feels still right now, so I find that so comforting!

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Eleven ‘o clock thoughts

I cannot, and will not give up country music just because I live in the city. When I’m studying at night, or walking to the grocery store, hearing a little Jason Aldean just feels right. When I’m home, ESPECIALLY if it’s summer, country is probably what I’m listening to in the car. If you just accept that it’s going to a little ridiculous, and a little redneck, it’s so fun! So fun. I like lots of other kinds of music too, but I just….I just won’t stop listening to Hunter Hayes. I mean, have you heard him?? Please.

I have caught the Downton Abbey Fever, and I never want to be cured. Matthew Crawley, Grandmother, Branson (love him, just wish he wasn’t a communist), even Mary! But not Edith. I just can’t love Edith.

I will have oatmeal, with banana and peanut butter tomorrow for breakfast. It is decided.

This quote makes me so happy: “Christ dazzles me and stirs within me such feeling of amazement that I can never get over Him.” A. W Tozer I think it makes me happy because when I first read it, I just said “YES”

Random, I know. But it’s late.

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Why am I Jane Bennet? Why am I not Lizzy?

I guess my blog name may not make sense to those who aren’t my roommates. I feel that  I should try to explain the origins behind it. I love the story of Pride and Prejudice. I know that’s not uncommon for a girl, but I’ve read the book two times and seen the movie about 22 times and I have never stopped loving the characters . Mr. Collins’ awkwardness, Mrs. Bennet’s dramatics, and Mr. Darcy’s mysterious ways. It’s a fantastic story. The main character, Lizzy Bennet is spunky, smart, quick with her words, and quick to make them heard. Lizzy always knows what to say, and is happy to share her opinion when wanted, or even when it’s not. I don’t mean to make her seem annoying, because Lizzy is wonderful. The fact that Jane Austen was able to make a opinionated young women likeable in her era is really amazing, and today we love her for her sarcastic wit, and loyalty to her family and sisters. But when my roommates and I were discussing which Jane Austen character we were most like, I knew that I was not Lizzy. Although we all dream of meeting a Mr. Darcy, I could not identify with her. My roommates then began to explain why I was most like Jane Bennet, and it made complete sense. Jane is quiet, sometimes timid, and a very private person. Jane does not wear her heart on her sleeve, and only confides in a select few. Yep. That’s me. I hope I don’t seem cold, but I totally admit that I’m guarded. I love to hear what is going on in other people’s lives, but have a harder time opening up myself. Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley, a kinder, slightly less witty version of Mr. Darcy. This is, I admit, where Jane and I differ. I like funny. I like wit. But, Mr. Bingley is sincere and that I like. He is also slightly awkward, and awkwardness has been deemed my love language by a friend. I don’t deny it. So maybe I actually do want a Mr. Bingley. In any case, I find it flattering to be compared to Jane. She has a quiet strength, and is a true lady. So, when trying to decide what to call the blog, our Jane Austen conversation came to mind, and this seemed to fit.

 

 

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Amtrak, we meet again.

Christmas break has come to an end, and it was a much needed time of rest and relaxation. Where I was able to wake up in the morning and come quietly downstairs, make a cup of coffee, and enjoy the stillness of our home in the early hours of the day. Where I was able to see friends from as old as elementary school, and as recent as this summer. The Christmas season during college is a bit strange. Part of me anxiously wishes I could be a child again, and relive all of the Christmas traditions I grew up with. But in reality, for most of the month of December, I feel as though I am consumed with deadlines, papers, and finals. And once I’m done, I feel as though I have to cram in as much Christmas festivities as possible in the following days. But the break was still a good one, and as I mentioned already, much needed. And now, my old friend Amtrak and I have been reunited. New York, I’m coming back. Let’s get along these next few months. How does that sound?

I really am excited for the new semester. I always like fresh starts. I am excited to see my friends again, to return to the city. I’ve been away long enough to miss it. I know that I am called to live in Manhattan, and that there is work to do there. I pray for the strength and joy needed sometimes to live there. I look forward to going to church tomorrow. I have missed my NY church.

Currently:

Eating: I’m still obsessed with avocados. I also made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday, partly because I wanted to avoid packing. I used this recipe http://bakingbites.com/2013/01/whole-wheat-dark-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-with-dried-cranberries/ but left out the cranberries. They are delightful! I’ll be eating mostly produce, rice, and beans this coming week. A wee bit of a detox from the break.

Reading: Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas, a biography of William Wilberforce. It’s wonderful.

Listening to: Les Mis soundtrack. Isn’t everybody?

Holding on to this: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

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Lots of different things.

Holidays: There are fewer things more surprising than how fast time goes by. It is November 10th, and I have only five weeks left in the semester. I just cannot believe how quickly the year has passed. I go home in just 10 days for Thanksgiving break and I am so excited. Seeing family, and being at home for the holiday will be so nice, but I am also just looking forward to being by myself, in my room, or out on a walk. In New York, there are few places where you can actually be truly alone. To be honest, I can’t even think of one place. As good as community is, solitude and quiet are just as necessary. I’m even looking forward to the bus ride home. It will be a bit of a long drive, and I plan to read, and watch a movie. That sounds downright luxurious right now. 2 papers, 3 quizzes, and 2 exams stand in my way of this glorious break.

Food: I am currently partaking in the Daniel Diet with my roommate, Rosalind. The diet is based off of scripture in the book of Daniel, but I can’t say we’re doing it because of religious purposes. We simply both wanted to clean up our diet, especially before the holidays, when we knew we wouldn’t be eating as cleanly as we should. I am all for enjoying the holidays, and I don’t worry too much as too what I’m eating. But the idea of a period before the holidays where I could detox a bit sounded great. So we began the 21 day cycle at the beginning of the month. The diet requires you to cut out meat, dairy, bread, and all processed foods. Thankfully, we are not forcing ourselves to follow it to a T. For example, the diet says to cut out coffee……um, no. We also agreed that if we were with a group, we wouldn’t worry about following it strictly. Last night we were both at Wendy’s with girls from school, and we both enjoyed Frostys with them. No problem. I have been successful though in not eating any bread, and almost no meat or dairy. I will be returning back to a more flexible diet on the 20th, and I plan to celebrate with Chick-Fil-A.

Because I haven’t had dessert in over a week, (try it, it’s harder than it sounds) I think I have been more interested in baking and cooking (naturally). I’ve been looking at all kinds of recipes on Pinterest, and different food blogs. Here are some recipes that I plan to make after the 20th:

Chai Spiced Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting. A slice with a cup of coffee sound perfect right now.

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chai-banana-bread-plus-egglands-best-giveaway-and-recipe-contest/

Apple Skillet Cake. I really want to make this for our Thanksgiving dessert!

http://joythebaker.com/2012/11/cinnamon-sugar-apple-skillet-cake/

These cookies are really all I want right now.

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2012/11/cookie-monster-cranberry-orange-rugelach.html?ref=search

Currently:

Eating: I have been loving apples, squash, beans, rice, and avocados lately. And coffee, naturally.

Music: Ed Sheeran, Mumford, Charlie Brown Christmas, and the occasional T-swift song.

Verses: Really, all of Hebrews and 1 Peter.

Ta ta for now!

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