I’ve never been a big participant in Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s a rough perspective or maybe I really am a hopeless romantic at heart. I genuinely believe that every day is Valentine’s Day, and I don’t believe that Hallmark or the calendar should dictate the day you’re supposed to honor your loved ones. Though I take that perspective seriously, since I met Phil I wont deny the fact that I do buy sappy cards, make an extra phone call to tell someone that they are loved, and enjoy an extra special dinner out with my husband. To me, as long as this trend continues throughout the year, not just February 14th, it is just another form of compassion for those around you. With that being said, I had a wonderful “Valentine’s” weekend. This was the first full weekend that Phil was home from the gulf so it was nice to take some time to just catch-up. On Saturday we decided to break in the new grill. Phil’s idea was, “what better way than with a steak?”Later on Saturday we went out to dinner with a couple from Phil’s work at an awesome sushi restaurant (if you know me I have become a bit of a sushi addict- I just can’t ever get enough!) and then went out dancing. I love to go dancing but we haven’t had a chance to for a little over a year, so that was so much fun! On Sunday because the weather was so phenomenal and warm, we went to the park for a picnic and then saw a movie. I knew that Phil had planned a special dinner so I was very excited, especially since I love surprises. We got dressed up in our finest and Phil surprised me with dinner at La Colombe D’Or. This is a mansion built in 1923 located in the Museum District. It was by far the fanciest and most delicious restaurant I have ever been to. It was an awesome dinner and I was really touched that Phil would take me there for dinner. For appetizers Phil ordered the lobster bisque and I had a fabulous salad with Texas goat cheese. For dinner Phil had the soft shell crab, lobster, and sea bass and I had the handmade linguini with lobster, crab, and crawfish. And since it was a super special place, we also ordered the cheesecake topped with scrumptious mixed berries. I highly recommend trying La Colombe D’Or for a special occasion; the food is delectable and the service is impeccable. http://www.lacolombedor.com/index.html
While we had a great weekend, our week was also fantastic. Wednesday was our first day teaching Doulos. Doulos is a young single adult ministry that Phil and I feel called to participate in this semester. We were really nervous about it, but we really didn’t have anything to worry about. I really think I should have learned that by now, but lucky the Lord is patient with me and just keeps teaching me that lesson over and over again. The study we’re using is "One-on-One with God" by Jerry and Marilyn Fine, focusing on discipleship and spiritual disciplines. It is extremely evident that everyone was hand-picked for this study, and I think even as facilitator’s Phil and I are going to be learning a lot about being disciple-makers.
As I’m sure you’re aware, Friday was the opening ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In honor of the devastation that has hit Haiti, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones rearranged “We are the World” with a group of various talented musicians from all genres. At the beginning of the opening ceremonies “We are the World 25 for Haiti” debuted. This was an awesome way to kick off the Olympic Games; a beautiful demonstration of the world coming together for a greater purpose: to embrace our differences instead of arguing over them. I always get emotional over the Olympics because I really find it a beautiful event: that the world despite all of its differences and disagreements can stop being about themselves and put their issues on hold to come together for a couple weeks every 2 years. That coupled with the video and the loss of the Georgian athlete had me in tears for the entire ceremony. It really is very beautiful and touching. Click here to check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glny4jSciVI
For the cookbook club this week, I made the Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce and Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes. I had to take the good with the bad with these 2 recipes. I’m not sure what happened in my kitchen, but we smelled burnt pancakes for the next few days. As a plus, I don’t think it was the pancake recipe, I’m pretty certain it was something I did so please don't let my experience hold you back. I was using my cast iron skillet for the first time, and I’m not sure if I lack experience with it or I had the stove too hot or something, but I burnt every single pancake. I couldn’t even dignify it with a picture of the finished product (too embarrassing). But here is a picture of them cooking: While the pancakes were subpar, I redeemed myself with the Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce. That was delicious! Since peaches aren’t in-season, I used 3 15-oz. canes of lite peaches in natural juice (not in the heavy syrup). I imagine that you could also use frozen peaches for this recipe though. I thought about adding oats next time, what do you think? The maple cream sauce really makes this dessert extra special though, so don’t skip on that. That’s about it for the Hawleys, have a great week!