March 14, 2015

Mango Coconut Ice Cream (Dairy free)

Being off of Facebook for a while means *cough* that I spend more time on my other social media.  As I scroll through my Pinterest feed I keep coming across these alternative ice cream recipes.  I guess ice cream is just so good that even sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo -you name it- people must have their own version.  And that's fine with me. :)  I've tried the banana ice cream a number of times with varying degrees of success.  The raw cashew version looked great, but who keeps raw cashews in stock?!  So when I came across this delightful looking coconut milk recipe I bookmarked it right away.  Coconut milk is almost always in our pantry.

This morning I was sick of being sick and decided that ice cream was in order, except I didn't want to eat dairy products that would make me more congested or something with lots of processed sugar that would hurt my immune system.  Enter coconut milk ice cream!

I adapted from this recipe by Hannah of Immer Wachsen.  I used one can of coconut cream (just the fat part), about a 1/5 cup of honey, and half of a fresh, ripe mango.  I blended it for about 5 seconds, then put half in an ice cube tray and half in the bottom of a bread pan so I could test the different freezing methods.  I blended it up in our personal serve ninja cup because this small of a recipe doesn't make that much.  I ended up liking the bread pan version better, just so you know.  It was easier to manipulate.

And the taste?  Perfect.  My mom (who can't eat dairy) said it tasted like butter - in the best way possible!  It is so rich that the portions you see here were plenty.  It's a one-scoop wonder. :-) Dad and Emmy were the only other ones home at the time and both thought is was great.

The mango added the perfect amount of tangy with the sweet of the honey and exotic of the coconut. Definitely trying this one again sometime!

March 12, 2015

Taekwondo - Security in Structure

A couple weeks ago, on February 17, Emily and I walked tentatively into a classroom swarming with white uniforms.  We had decided to join Taekwondo.  I'm not sure what made me want to.  Maybe it was just a weird hodgepodge of superhero movies, Asian cultures, self-defense, and wanting to be part of a team again.  Whatever the reason, there we were.  Timidly following the movements of people half our height and frantically trying to remember positions, numbers, and commands in Korean.
Think about this for a moment.  With few exceptions, I'm the tallest and oldest person in the group, but I know less than Master Kim's three-year-old daughter.  I stick out like a sore thumb and am constantly being shown up by 12 year-olds.  I'm the only female adult.  I'm an introvert.  I don't ever yell -- not when I'm excited and certainly not when I'm angry.  I tend to think of myself as rather feminine (I wouldn't go so far as to say docile though; stubbornness runs deep in our family. :).  Why in the world am I starting Martial Arts?  I should be the last person to volunteer for this, but here I am. And I love it.

Levels are very obvious in Taekwondo.  Everyone wears a white dobok, but your belt color is your level.  Newbies get white belts with their uniform.  When you pass the first test you get a yellow belt, and then an orange belt all the way till you are a black belt of the 9th degree.  Beginners also stand at the back.  This is so they can observe and follow the high belts in front of them.  I stand at the very back and I have a very white belt. ;)  Instead of being embarrassed though, I am learning humility and I go to the 10 year-old green belt for help with my form and the 12 year-old orange belt for help with the korean words.  I can learn something from everyone.  Even the little three year-old to goofs off in class I learn about the rules from.

Maybe this is just me being sick of my own disrespectful culture, but I love following orders.  I love that we have to say "sir."  I love that we bow to our master, to each other, and every time we enter and leave our "dojang."  I love learning the polite way to say hello and thank you in Korean.

We help each other and sometimes end up laughing because things are just so confusing.  There are a couple older dad and grandpa black belts who always greet me by name and encourage me to keep coming.  They help me with kicking technique.  Even our Master is very friendly and always willing to help you do your best if you're willing to focus and learn.  I have been pursuing my Bachelor's degree at home by myself for almost 2.5 years now.  I have no face to face interaction with professors or classmates, and only two of my classes have involved recorded videos of any kind.  Yes, I'm an introvert, but there is something about having peers and working together towards a goal that is inspiring and invigorating.  I didn't know how much I needed this till my third week at Taekwondo.  Emily and I had our uniforms.  We got our names written on them (phonetically in Korean) so Master Kim knows our names.  We were part of a group of 25 students all doing the exact same motions at the same time.  That was way cool, guys.

At first you just go through the motions, but as you learn you build on your flexibility, speed and power and you sweat.  Big time.

There's this thing called a kihap.  Theoretically it is your energy, or inner power.  Basically it is a unique exhale that connects your muscles so that you have stronger movements.  In practice it is a yell.  You must do it for every action.  There is some fear involved because there is the chance that people might make fun of your sound or something.  I don't make loud sounds or ever really let loose with my voice.  I don't scream when I'm scared or angry.  I never used to raise my voice at all.  I had such trouble learning to project in speech, drama, and choir.  So, now I have to find my kihap and use it in class.  Master Kim can tell that I'm holding back and he pushed me to just let go.  When I finally did I broke the board with my side-kick.  So, yeah, there is something to it. :-)  I'm slowly learning to let go.  Thanks TKD.

-Splits by the end of the year
-green belt by the end of the year
-learn the Korean terms!

March 9, 2015

3 Things

  • Are you a hipster?  This article on the subject articulates some of the thoughts I have been having about the trend as a whole.  In a nutshell: What's the point?
  • I haven't read this magazine in years, but I stumbled upon it again recently and read the whole thing this morning.  I highly recommend it for all my girl friends: Set Apart Girl Feb/Mar
  • It is Finished by Jimmy Needham:
Going through my journals and reading is such a good reminder of God's faithfulness to me.  I realized on my last perusal that basically all my entries are prayers consisting of rhetorical questions:
"How can I become (with the other saints? local saints?  unsure of context) that "dwelling place for God" in/by the Spirit?  Eph 2:22 I long to KNOW him.  After all, he is the one I'm living for, the one I will die for, and the only one in heaven for me.  forever.  Shouldn't I be, like, spending time with Him and getting to know Him?  Talking with him, and reading the "letter" he's sent me?  Because I love him, shouldn't I do what he says? (obidience of faith?) Shouldn't I strive to know what it REALLY means because I know him and want to honor what he has told me?"
This entry from over a year ago is a fairly typical sample.  God has spoken to me more through my act of journaling than any other spiritual discipline, except perhaps prayer (but the two normally happen in tandem).  If you're a linguistic processor I highly recommend it. :)