Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Avocado Salsa

First off... how in the world is it July already!? When did that happen? And where did the month of June go?  Although I'm not complaining... July will bring the end of school, my mom, sister-in-law, and friends visiting Korea... and hopefully some more beach time :)

July also brings a lot more summery foods and Jon and I've been grilling and making kabobs, turkey burgers, and smores like no other.

One particularly delicious dish I've been mixing up is my version of salsa with some avocado mixed in. I'm not sure if that makes it a guacamole, but it's a chunky guacamole...either way it's light, zesty, and great on just about anything.

Avocado Salsa
(although I'm sure there is an actual name, and I'm also sure that many people already make something super similar or the exact same as this)

1 cubed ripe Avocado
1/2 of a tomato (we aren't huge tomato if you like it add more)
1 bell pepper of your choice ... we added in some yellow to spruce it up!
1/2-1 onion (we really like onion...but others may not)

Add to your taste
lime juice/lemon juice ( i prefer the lime)
salt and pepper

There you have it. Super easy. Super delicious. Super summery. Yes... it is super duper.

And it's even more super duper a top a salad, taco, fajita, chips, or here a delicious turkey burger...


And really enjoy the last day of June! I know we did in Korea land :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday's Meditation: Pipe Dreams

I have a lot of dreams or goals that I'd love to accomplish in my life.

First of which is figuring out what flower this is!!! Seriously... it was gorgeous and on a tree in our neighbors yard. I WANT these flowers. I NEED these flowers. and I MUST have them.

I also have dreams of having kids, staying at home with them, traveling, and just having a lovely long life with my husband.

And most recently I'm coming closer and closer to reaching my dream of grad school for psychology. It's been a goal I've had for years. And I'm so close to getting there, and yet I've found a new dream creeping up on me.

As many of you know, I really enjoy working out, exercising, and being healthy in general. I spend the majority of my free time at school looking up fitness tools, and researching different theories, aspects of training... etc.

Really I love it.

I enjoy watching the biggest loser, I enjoy reading fitness blogs, and weight loss blogs. I love to see people transform and I thrive and feel proud of complete strangers when I see the whole process of their weight loss or reaching their fitness goals.

So, even though it may just be a pipe dream, I really want to be a personal trainer. That, or teach some sort of fitness class at a club. And quite frankly I think that psychology fits in perfectly with this dream.

I have always love helping people with issues in their lives. I enjoy helping others find clarity and peace in their lives. And I think that being a personal trainer would just emphasize that in a different way. I'd be physically seeing those changes and people dealing with those issues.  There is just so much more to fitness and weight loss than the actual weight. So much of it is emotional and mental and the fact that people just have to work through issues. And that's where I come in :)

I'm not sure if this will every happen, or if it's just something I'll always think about. But right now I'm strongly considering looking into it while we are out in CO. It could be the perfect part- time job I would need while getting my Masters.

In other fitness dream news... I finally finished P90X... woo hoo!!!! And of course now I'm on to the next insane schedule :)

Oh and if you know what flowers these are ... please let me know. I'm dying here!

Something to think about: What are some dreams or goals you've had? What would you like to accomplish in life?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Five Fingers

About two weeks ago I wrote about my break-up with running.  The break-up had occurred a few weeks before I wrote that post, so it's definitely been awhile since I had gone on a jog. But I broke the streak this past wednesday with a 5k... and it was FUN!! I just focused on the scenery around me, enjoyed the feeling of running, and started to pay attention to my form.

In the book Born to Run it really talked a lot about how our form as runner's isn't all that great. We tend to strike on our heels, which is good for walking... but not so much for running. So I was really paying attention to striking the ground on the balls of my feet and kicking my heels up... and low and behold I picked up the pace... by about 45 seconds for the last 1.5 miles, and it didn't wind me as much as it would've before! I was PUMPED! And honestly it did feel good to run, but I'm still going to give it some time before I go full fledged.

Another idea that was presented in the book and seemingly everywhere in the running world is the concept of barefoot running, or minimal footwear running. Because I enjoy running, and I enjoy testing out theories I thought it be a fun little experiment to try.

Now I've actually been wanting to try this since last summer, but 1) running barefoot in korea would not be good. There is glass EVERYWHERE and I know I would slice up my feet real fast. 2) I was going to grab some vibram five fingers, but just decided not too. And I regret that decision every day.

However, Amanda and Ian's mom bought them some last year and Amanda has been gracious enough to let me try hers out.

The Verdict: I LOVE them. I enjoy being barefoot, quite frankly shoes and socks are the bane of my existence...but these actually felt like my bare feet.. with just a little padding.

I've borrowed them a few times for some walks and even tried out a little run in them.

Everyone says to start slow, and I'm happy I did. I didn't have any soreness the next day, but I could still feel that I'd worked the muscles in my feet.  New theories are showing that by putting our feet in shoes it's like putting them in a cast. The muscles atrophy, and they aren't as strong. Which is why a lot of times people have so many issues with their feet! To me it makes sense. Shoes do all the work for us and our feet aren't "worked". The Vibrams... work your feet.

Plus they're fun :) And it's a way for me to spice up running and working some more muscles that haven't been worked in a long time!

What do you think? Would you give "barefoot" running/walking a try?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Korea Vs. Argentina

Last week I wrote about the Korea game we hit up at the high school. Welllllll tonight Korea plays Uruguay and if they win, and we perchance happen to win again Ghana... we will play each other. Which could get interesting.

Anyway, I shared why I thought Argentina won , but what I didn't get to share was our experience at the game. The students were funny and everyone was all riled up!

The crowd getting ready for the fight!

They had plastic bags on their heads... please don't ask why. I still have yet to try and figure out the way Korean students think... and I don't know that I ever will.

And yes... they also put on make -up they're comfortable with their masculinity.

Now it's game time. Soon after they turned off all the lights. It was pretty fun watching it on the big screen.

Korea Scores!!! In overtime of the first half. It was a great way to end the first half! And everyone went WILD! The lights were still off so you couldn't see the excitement but they were pretty pumped!

Taking a break at the half. Ian with his manly students.

Then there was this guy. Just meandered up to the stage and started beating on the drum. The REST OF THE GAME. It seriously felt like I was being led into battle. All I could imagine was Lord of the Rings, and I was just waiting for the Orcs to come out and attack. It was honestly stressful to hear the drums for over 45 minutes straight... apparently I wouldn't do well in a battle.

Unfortunately, Korea didn't do so great. A 4-1 loss took it's toll on everyone.

And this is how they dealt with their pain.  I have to say, before we took this picture, in the dark. The boy with his leg over the other one was on his back, with the other boy laying on top of him. And he had his legs around the boy on top of him. 

Awkward... yes.  Typical of Korea... yes.

And there you have it folks. An interesting way to spend the evening :)

Have any of you been watching the World Cup??

Friday, June 25, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Every Friday night is pizza night at the Stainbrook household. And I'm not just talking about Jon's and my household. Although I'm not sure if it's every Friday night for the others in the Stainbrook family, it's safe to say that pizza is the dominant food choice for this family :) And I'm totally ok with that.

It proves to be a bit of an issue on the islands as there is no option for pizza other than what we can make for ourselves. (or the really weird frozen pizza they have with individually wrapped pieces that are not good... even a little bit).

We've become quite the homemade pizza connesuirs. We used to make a little bit more of a complex pizza dough that required rising and quite a few ingredients... and then I came across this delicious no-rise pizza dough. I love that I can make it and it's done in just a few minutes.

No- Rise Pizza Dough
1 pkg. yeast ( 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. Salt * I actually don't add this*
2 cups flour * I substitute one of these cups for whole wheat flour*
  I also add in
1/4 c. wheat germ
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

Put the yeast in and then poor the warm water over it and let it sit for about 5  minutes.

Then stir in the rest of the ingredients until it makes a solid ball of dough.

theeeeeeeeee heeeeeeen....
it's time to knead the dough on a floured surface.

Hello there gorgeous. I seriously love kneading the dough. hands down favorite part of the whole ordeal.
There's just something about working the dough with your hands... I LOVE it... yes I'm kind of weird, and I don't care.

Then it's time to put it in the pan and spread it out. I of course did not take a picture of this part of the process... I struggle with taking pictures and baking at the same time. *that and my husband is OCD and won't let me touch the camera unless my hands have been washed 5 times, sanitized, and then bleached.*

I actually pre-bake the crust for about 8-10 minutes and then we load it up!

This was half way through the baking progress... we usually let it get nice and crispy brown. Oh the deliciousness.

If you're short on time and craving pizza, try this recipe. It's so quick and easy and tastes like the other one I used to make but without the extra 45 minutes of rise time.

What is your staple food? What MUST your family have for dinner at least once a week or every other week?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why I Love being a Teacher

As you all obviously know by now, teaching is not my passion in life. It's difficult for me to feel excited about a lesson. And as much as some of my students drive me up the wall,  there are some students that it will break my heart to never see again.

I know leaving after this contract will be difficult for me, leaving this school, these teachers, these students... it's a struggle for me to think that I'll probably never see them again.

Well, after the corn dog adventure the other day we found out the day after that it was our last day. And we were all a little upset about it. I then had to break the news that they wouldn't be seeing me again after September... it was so sad.. and touching to see how upset they were. They couldn't believe I was going. They then told me if I got bored in the U.S.A. to come back and move to Jaeun... cute... but probably not happenin' :)

Then they gave me these:

And that's an order!!!! :)

(sorry for the blurriness)

I  may not enjoy teaching, but at least with these students I feel that I made a difference and that we all really enjoyed that extra class. Even now as I re-read them my heart just breaks a little and tears come.
Can I just take these kids with me??

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deep Fried

I love corn dogs. Always have, always will. Especially at the Fair... there's just something so delicious about it. I will say, however, I never really cared to know how to make them myself. They were always a once every couple of month treat... so I didn't really need to know the inter-workings of corn dog making.

But, because I love my extra class, and because we'd had so much fun baking together before, and because it was one of our last days together I told them we could try to make corn dogs.

Apparently I believe that large pots of boiling oil around 13 year olds is a good idea... I believe Korea has changed me a bit. But learn how to make corn dogs... I did. And as usual we had a blast making them :)

Puttin' it all together for the dough.

The Oil set up

Gettin' the dogs ready :)

There is more than one way to eat with a chopstick

Checking to see if the oil is hot enough

So much oil it's out of control. I truthfully have no idea how people own a deep frier... and use it on a weekly basis. it's just soooooo much oil!

We then started to run out of time, so I had to start frying 2 at once... it was HOT!

Golden Brown drippin in oil... * I feel the need to mention that as I type this I'm watching The Biggest Loser... little bit of a clash there*

For a first time deep frier, I think I did pretty well.

I love this class... when we found out it was one of our last days we all got a little upset. They have been so fantastic and I'll miss them so much! Tomorrow I'll show you one more reason why they are absolutely fantastic :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday's Meditation: Two Years

Today, the longest day of the year, we are celebrating two years of wedded bliss.  Where that time has gone, I don't think we'll ever know, but it's gone by fast and for 98 % of the time it's been a blast :)

We always heard "Oh the first year is the toughest, it's such a struggle" and quite frankly we really didn't feel any of that. I mean it was difficult at times, but that was more due to the fact that we were living in another country trying to figure some stuff out.

Then we heard "Well, it's the second year. The first year you're still in "honeymoon" phase... trust me/us it gets a lot more difficult once you're facing all those realities"... whelp I have to say the second year has been even better than the first. I don't know if we just adjust to things really well or what but it hasn't felt like "work" or "really hard" like we'd been hearing, and for that I'm grateful.

I know that there will be hard times to come (trust me I'm not that naive to think it'll always be peachy keen) but I know that we'll handle those hard times and by the grace of God we'll make it through those times.  We've built such an amazing foundation away from friends and family and truly have been on our own in so many aspects, it's been challenging, great, a struggle, and amazing.

I'm so thankful for these past two years and cannot WAIT for the next couple of decades :) So here's Jon and I at some of our finer moments....

Just keepin' it real....