Monthly Archives: January 2013

What’s for Dinner {in Des Moines}

What’s for Dinner {in Des Moines}

Glenn and I are out of town for a couple weeks so Cathy agreed to stand in on the menu posting. I know you’ll love her–I do! Read on…

Okay, so I’m pinch hitting this week for my best sister friend.  Here’s what we’re eating in Iowa:

Monday – spicy dr. pepper pulled pork from The Pioneer Woman
This stuff is amazing and it makes your house smell like heaven.  She makes hers into tacos, but I’m serving mine with cole slaw and corn muffins.

Tuesday – stuffed red peppers from Bobby Deen
In an effort to help my husband cut carbs, we’re trying this lightened up recipe from Paula Deen’s son. I’ll serve this with a big beautiful green salad with homemade dressing.  Yum!

Wednesday – chicken and mushroom marsala
This easy chicken dish will be next to a generous serving of roasted vegetables and potatoes

Chicken & Mushroom Marsala

3 whole boneless chicken breasts, halved
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, sliced thin
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

Discard all but 1 Tbsp. fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Simmer mushrooms sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Spoon mushroom sauce around chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday – tailgate chili from Allrecipes
I tweak this recipe a bit, but you get the general idea.  I have substituted pop for the beer and it still seems good. The longer this cooks, the better it tastes, so it’s perfect for my after-late-guitar-lesson Thursdays. We’ll just have lots of vegetable sticks and tortilla chips with it.  Oh, and don’t forget the sour cream and cheese for topping!


It’s Okay That It’s Hard

It’s Okay That It’s Hard

There are some big changes headed the Austins’ way. They are good changes and I am super excited about them. I’ve been feeling a little bit like I did on the first day of classes at Azusa Pacific. I was seventeen years old and a thousand miles from home, sitting in my dorm room on the second floor of Adams’ West. I remember sitting up that first morning as I prepared for my very first college class (which happened to be Badminton, fur real) and thinking, “That saying ‘this is the first day of the rest of your life’ is literally true today.” I felt the same way any number of times since that fateful morning at APU: my wedding day, first day in the classroom, starting at the church, moving to Bend, but this is a big one because it’s been a looooong time coming. It’s got me a bit anxious and a lot excited about the next few months, to see what the rest of my life will be.

Tomorrow morning Glenn and I leave for a business trip to New York. I’ve never been to New York so the traveler in me is thrilled. (Although did you know the Statue of Liberty is closed? Not even kidding.) We’ll be gone for a two-week training session for our next business project. Which is great. I love to travel. I love to go to school. (I know, there’s something wrong with me.) And I am shamefully excited about controlling the TV clicker myself in the evenings. So things are looking pretty rosy from my seat right now.

But I’m also kind of anxious. We have a routine that we’ve settled into, here in our household of four. Dad and I get up and sit and read and drink coffee in the mornings and that will likely change. I prepare meals with little regard for prep time and we eat whenever dinner is ready and that will likely change. I talk to Cathy on the phone for ridiculous amounts of time and that will likely change. I run in the middle of the day when it’s light and easy and that will have to change. And these changes, while not unreasonable or even demanding really, have me feeling a little uneasy. Did I mention I’m not a fan of change? What has me really anxious though is how quickly mom is changing these days. I worry about what I will miss during these two weeks away. Will she still know me when I get back? If things feel like they’re changing from day to day when I’m here, how will it feel to miss two weeks of days?!?

I started Ruthless Trust last night by Brennan Manning. (Love it already! I think I’ve underlined at least half of what I’ve read so far. Promise to post about it soon!) It’s got me thinking about the steps that brought us here: about belief and trust and other risky behaviors that Christ-followers learn to do. It reminded me of something Beth Moore said in her study, Believing God. She talked about the heroes of our faith that are listed in Hebrews 11, about how each one was listed not because of the great things they accomplished–buildings built, programs launched, riches banked–but because they believed what God said and acted on it. And here’s the thing that made me weep with relief: it wouldn’t have taken a bit of faith if it had been easy. If what God called them to was effortless and simple, following it wouldn’t have taken any belief. So you and I have permission for it to be hard when we walk by faith. So many times we think God’s will=easy and painless but that’s, well, delusional. I carried around so much guilt when we were getting ready to leave Bend–I didn’t want to leave but I felt like we were supposed to and the tension between those two convictions was tearing me apart. To read that it was okay, even right, that it was hard, was sweet release for me.

So I’m grabbing hold again. I am believing that God is who He says He is, that we have been seeking His will, that we’ve sought the advice of Godly people who know us well, and we’re moving forward. And it may will probably be hard. And that’s okay.