Recipes from my Sabbatical

Happy Friday, everyone!  Well, my word for the year is “GROW”, and I’m really making progress on that front.  The radio silence around here recently is due to some unexpected professional changes.  Change=growth, right?  Suffice it to say, I have a new job!  I’m at the same organization, and I am really excited about this new position.

In the interim, I had some time off.  It was harder than I expected.  I’ve never been one to turn my nose up at alone time, but after about the first two weeks even my introspective self was ready for some human interaction.  Some of the lovely souls in my life who are stay-at-home moms were kind enough to grant me some afternoons accompanying them on afternoon walks and preschool pick ups.  That was nice.  It’s still so weird to see friends that I knew as teenagers being moms.  It’s a GOOD weird, though.  I mean, just look at these cuties!photo (1)photo (2)


I got to visit Husband at work for the first time.  We work in different parts of the city, so having lunch with him was not normally an option.  It was great fun letting him show me around and introduce me to his coworkers.  He was a student when we got married, so this was my first time seeing him in his professional environment.  It suits him.  🙂

I didn’t feel inspired to write during this transition.  I like to process things internally before I’m comfortable enough to put them out in the open.  My other favorite form of creative expression is cooking, so I dove into that wholeheartedly.  I always dream about being able to make more things from scratch.  I cook quite a bit, mostly quick and simple things during the week.  I love recipes that use a lot of fresh ingredients, but they can be more time consuming.  So, I used this sudden surplus of free time to take on some new dishes.  Here are three of my favorites.

Pickles – Rachael Ray

Husband loves pickles, and I was craving some homemade ones.  I chose a recipe that would allow me to consume them more immediately than most pickle recipes.  In the end, they just tasted like slightly flavored cucumbers until I added more vinegar and allowed them to sit in the fridge for a few days.  Good things are worth waiting for.  Lesson learned.

Crispy Curry Chicken Tenders- Tasty Kitchen

I’m from the South, but I had actually never made fried chicken.  As a working woman, I just didn’t feel like I had time.  It seemed a bit intimidating.  They turned out great!  I love the curry in this, because it’s subtle.  You can’t quite tell what it is when blended with the other flavors, but it gives this traditional dish an extra oomph, if you will.  I love yogurt, and she incorporates it into the batter AND the delicious dipping sauce that pairs with the chicken.

Hummus – Ina Garten

I recently discovered tahini.  I’ve made hummus before, but a friend told me she always makes hers with tahini paste–which is ground sesame seeds.  The first thing I tried to make with it was chocolate chip cookies.  They were different…maybe a bit of an acquired taste, but they all got eaten.  This hummus recipe from my beloved Barefoot Contessa worked well.  The tahini paste gave it a bit more bite, and I used less garlic than she calls for because wow.

I started my first post-grad school job midway through 2010, and I had not taken a break from work since then.  So, though it was unexpected, I am grateful to have had some time off.  I am also glad to be working again now.  God provides.  My next post will be the long-awaited (by me, anyway) Part 2 of my post on being a connector.  Stay tuned, friends!




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