On My Nightstand:
I just finished Richard Foster's "Life with God", and I truly can't say enough good things about it. It was as challenging as it was encouraging. There were so many passages I wanted to highlight, and I may have to purchase a copy of my own so I can do just that. I look forward to reading more of his books, particularly "Streams of Living Water" and "Celebration of Discipline".
In the meantime, I've finally begun reading N. T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope". Already I'm finding it both beautifully hopeful and deeply illuminative.
Want to Read:
I am looking forward to reading Rachel Held Evans' newly-released book "A Year of Biblical Womanhood", because as Rachel says, how can we hold valid conversations on the book if we refuse to read it first? The topics raised are too important to ignore. It may be easier to simply write her off as a "liberal nut" or dismiss her as having "no love or reverence for the Bible", but taking up the challenge of engaging these ideas is more productive than attempting to discredit her without first sincerely hearing what she has to say.
On the screen:
Same old, same old. I am still loving Once Upon a Time. So far Season 2 has been just as intriguing as the first season was. We've also worked our way through the first six seasons of Doctor Who and are eagerly awaiting the next episode in Season 7. In the meantime, we've been occupying ourselves with another watch through of the one and only season of Firefly. Good stuff, good stuff.
In My Kitchen:
Our oven has been out of commission for the past three and a half weeks. (You hear that, landlord of ours? Three and a half weeks. And counting.) Fortunately the stove top still works, but it's our crock pot that has really come through for us. Even so, it's getting really old not having a functioning oven. I miss cookies! And banana bread! And muffins! And baked dinners!
In other words, having no oven should be doing wonders for my waistline.
As we wait for our oven to be fixed, I've found a few delicious new ovenless recipes. Our favourite stove top one has been this savoury beef and broccoli stir-fry. As for the crock pot, it's been home to this chicken coconut curry three times since our oven bit the dust. This stuff is delicious. Fight-with-the-husband-over-the-leftovers delicious. I did make a couple of changes though. I put the chicken in raw rather than browning the pieces first. I added a can of chickpeas and three sliced carrots in place of the potatoes and onions. I used a full can of tomato paste and added a tsp of cinnamon. I put everything except the coconut milk in the crock pot and cooked on low for four hours. Then I added the coconut milk along with 1.5 Tbsp of cornstarch and cooked on high for one hour. Served over rice with some naan and plain Greek yogurt, this meal is pretty much perfect.
Finally, I cannot get over this delicious chicken stew with butternut squash & quinoa. Since I'm all about convenience in this particular season of my life, I simplified the recipe a bit, which makes it even better in my books. I used 1 litre of butternut squash soup as a base, omitted the chunks of butternut squash, and used some pre-shredded chicken I had stored in the freezer from a previous meal. Served with biscuits or crusty bread, this makes a beautifully filling fall dinner. It's a perfect guest recipe too, which I'm always on the lookout for. As if all that weren't enough, simply replace the chicken stock with veggie stock and the shredded chicken with chickpeas, and you've got yourself a recipe you can even serve your vegetarian guests. It just gets better and better.
And now I'm salivating. Moving on.
In My Ears:
Guys. The cuteness. The boy just made his very first mixed CD last week, and he's so proud of it. He plays it all day long and already has the order and corresponding track numbers memorized.
He spent an evening at my computer, browsing through my iTunes songs and choosing the ones he wanted. I put them into his own playlist and then burned the CD for him. It starts off with The Purple People Eater, moves into bagpipes, then continues on with a few Christmas carols. He's got some Brooke Fraser, some folk music, some hymns, even a Great Big Sea song. Makes his momma proud, that boy does.
Here's what I'm loving on Pinterest lately:
The boys and I did this fun little project last week. Easy but fascinating, it was the perfect project for little people! I'll be blogging about it soon over at The Hippie Housewife Homeschools, just as soon as I, you know, find time.
These salted caramel shortbread cookies are going on my Christmas cookie list this year. To the recipients, you're welcome.
This summery picnic quilt immediately jumped to the top of my long list of Quilts I Must Make Some Year. I figure if I start thinking about it now, maybe I'll have it done by summer 2014. Maybe.
What I'm Looking Forward to in November:
Christmas music! (What? November's not too early, right?)
Actually, our November calendar is eerily empty right now. I know it won't stay that way - it never does - but for now I'll pretend that November is going to be nice and relaxing. Maybe I'll even get some sewing and knitting done! Goodness knows I've got enough planned projects to keep me busy for years to come.
Well, friends, that is What I've Been Into this past month. What about you?