Posts Tagged ‘NCC’

Jared and I had dinner at our sister and brother-in-law’s place this week (corned beef and cabbage for an early St. Patty’s day celebration – yum!). My sis Jessica was telling me all about her adventures learning to cook since she got married this past August. When Jared and I got married four years ago (next week!) I didn’t really know how to cook other than the typical choices of baked chicken and mashed potatoes, spaghetti, stir-fry, etc. I slowly learned what flavors tasted good together and how to multitask in the kitchen.

My love for all things culinary dates back to my childhood, however. I can remember being in elementary school and conducting my own “cooking shows” in our kitchen – I would mix together a ridiculous combination of spices and liquids in a large bowl, all while carefully narrating my steps to my “audience.” (Thank goodness no one ever ate it!) I also used to love watching Great Chefs and being mesmerized to see different courses from around the world made right in my living room.

I don’t even need to mention Rachael Ray and 30-Minute Meals. I used to watch her almost every weeknight in high school. Her cookbook was one of the first I ever received 🙂 I still watch her show sometimes while I’m cooking – even if I’m not making the same dish she is.

In 2006, I was cast in my church‘s production of Godspell. I had a great time singing, dancing, and performing again. When it was over, however, I was bored! I had been so used to being busy that I needed an activity to fill my time. Ever since, I’ve renewed my love for cooking. I go through phrases where I cook more or cook less, but I always have found it to be a stress reliever. And I love experimenting with new ingredients and flavors.

I’m not sure where the journey will end. Maybe I’ll go to culinary school. Maybe I’ll own a restaurant. Maybe Jared and I will drop everything and move to Paris and eat and drink for a living a la Julia Child. Whatever it is, I’m enjoying learning along the way.

One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it can’t be fixed. (Julia Child, My Life in France)


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Observing the Sabbath

We started a new sermon series this week at NCC, called “Ritual.” Each week the sermon will focus on something that is considered a ritual in Christianity – this week was the Sabbath (you can listen to the podcast or watch the video here). Pastor Heather had a great message about resting in the Lord and what it means to observe the sabbath – it doesn’t necessarily have to be on Sunday and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean you sleep all day. It really inspired me to be more intentional about my time and how I spend it.

Why am I writing about this on a food blog, you ask? Because Heather encouraged us to think about what fills us with joy, what we look forward to doing, what pleases God. And one quote Heather said really stuck with me:

Maybe [the Sabbath] means cooking a meal and sharing it with your friends and family.

I love cooking – for my husband, for our friends, for our family. It brings me joy. And I love writing about cooking, too. So I’m thinking that I’m going to start spending more time cooking, blogging, learning more about food, and sharing it with others. This will never replace my time with God, but it can be a new outlet for my creativity – and believe it or not, it relaxes me. (Well, except for the dishes part :)) I’m not sure where this will lead, but I’m willing to take steps to start the journey.


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My church, National Community Church, is trying something new this summer with our small group system. For six weeks, all small groups will be doing the same sermon-based curriculum. As NCCers like to say, “Everything is an experiment.” Each group will be based on a neighborhood – geographical location, workplace,  or special interest – we’re calling it A18: Neighborhoods (based on Acts 1:8).

I will be leading a small group – conveniently called Aspiring Gourmets 🙂 – with my dear friend Jenn (creator of the amazing spinach and artichoke dip) based on one of my favorite hobbies, cooking! We will be cooking and eating dinner together before delving into the bible study. I have wanted to do some type of cooking group for some time and I felt like now is as good a time as any to try. We will be using this blog to post recipes and information about the group, which will be starting in June.

Stay tuned for more info, and let me know if you’re interested in joining! In the meantime, check out this post from NCC discipleship pastor Heather Zempel about the A18 experiment, or visit the website.

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