My Journey in the Far North

thoughts, inspiration, devotions and recipes from my journey in the far north

New Adventures, New Chapter, New Blog July 21, 2011

Filed under: Scenic Routes,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 9:12 pm

The last time I blogged, I mentioned the possibility of renaming my blog and I’ve decided to move over to my other blog called Blue Crocus

Since I’m no longer living in the far north or remotely near the north and soon moving south by the coast, I really wanted to end one chapter and begin fresh with a new chapter and new adventure.

On Blue Crocus, you’ll find similar things, recipes (to come), thoughts, my new adventures and photos.  In addition, you’ll find some of my knitting projects.

This will be my last blog on My Journey in the Far North…what a great journey it was.  Info will still be up as long as I keep it…so it won’t go away just yet.

I hope you will follow me over on Blue Crocus!


A New Chapter is on the Horizon July 15, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Scenic Routes,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 7:46 am

This week I received great news. 

I will be moving down to SB in the next couple of weeks to start at WC (place will be not be named).  So exciting.  Even my new co-workers are excited that I’m joining them. 

And, now I’m a little nervous…all kinds of thoughts are running around in my head.  Thoughts span from excitement…

…on Saturdays, I’m going to do this…farmer’s market…beach…ride my bike…use my camera…find some vegan friendly eating spots…

…to realistic and grown up concerns like…

…ok, what will I do if I can’t find a place to live…groceries, where/how will get them by bike? bus?carpool?…making new friends…finding a church. 

All those things shaping into my new chapter!

I was wrong in blog posts past about being in pause and about how difficult it has been (no doubt it has been emotionally).  The was I see it is that my life has been on pause, but living has not, and I’ve made a number of friends here as well as spending lots of time with my mom, grandma and my aunt and uncle…time well spent.

I’ve been thinking about changing the title of my blog since I am no longer living in the far north or even in the north…I need to figure out how this can be done without losing any content and need to come up with a great title. So thinking caps on…go!

Now that the pause button is slowly being lifted, I am thankful for the time to pause but even more thankful for the ability to see the new chapter on the horizon.


Happy 4th of July! July 4, 2011

Cashew Cream Tart with a ‘Raw Crust’ and seasonal berries

We are heading for a HOT day today in Fresno!  And, at the moment I’m hiding indoors until I go to work at my part time job…time and half…yes, please!

This morning I made some things to contribute to the 4th of July/My mom’s Birthday party Party at my aunt’s house this afternoon. 

First, I made a ‘raw’ tart using 2 cups of raw almonds and 20 dates (finely chopped) for the crust and a cashew cream using soaked raw cashews, dates, some water and vanilla, pureed until smooth.  I topped the tart with blueberries and slices of strawberries…red, white and blue!

The cream filling recipe is from here.

And, I also made a couscous and quinoa tabbouleh salad, very similar to the salads I’ve made in the past.  I’ve used this recipe as the base for several of the salads I’ve made before.  What I like to do is add quinoa and mix it up using either bulgur wheat or couscous.  No matter what you use or not use, it’s a great recipe to adapt and can be used as a base to create your own original salad.

My adaptions to the original recipe for today’s salad include:

Doubling the batch

Using 1 cup couscous instead of bulgur (place in a bowl and top with 1 3/4 cups boiling water, cover and let water absorb couscous)

Using 1 cup of quinoa (rinse well, boil with 2 cups of water until all water is absorbed)

Using parsley AND cilantro

Couscous and Quinoa Salad with Cranberries

What are you preparing for 4th of July?  Or, what do you like to bring to parties?


Rustic Peach and Blackberry Galette June 16, 2011

Filed under: Food,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 1:19 pm
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To be honest, I really wasn’t going to post a recipe today because I already posted something today.  In fact, this recipe isn’t even mine.  But, I wanted to show you how the Rustic Peach Galettes turned out and tell you that you must try this recipe.  Follow this link for Chef Chloe’s recipe for Rustic Peach Galette.  (Just FYI, I made two galettes. The recipe only is for one galette so increase the recipe accordingly if you are making more than one galette.)

It’s really easy, especially if you forgo the homemade pastry and opt for the pastry that’s already rolled into a circle and all you have to do is unroll it and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment and available at your local grocery store, like I did.  Also, since it’s summer (and really hot right now in California), be sure to bake in the morning so that your house stays cool in the afternoon.

Try it this weekend or in weeks to come because I think this is a perfect summer dessert!  As you can see I added blackberries to the peaches, so you aren’t really limited to just peaches.  Consider other fruit options and combinations like strawberries, raspberries, apricots…with or without ice cream (or for me the dairy- free alternative…coconut or almond milk ice cream.) 

I can’t wait to have a piece tonite!!


Re-entering slowly into the working world

Filed under: Locking In,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 10:32 am

This week begins my first week at my new part-time job.  The only job I have at the moment.  (Please note that I won’t be sharing where it is or where any additional jobs are for the sake of privacy/safety.)

Currently with this one job, I only have one scheduled shift a week (which I worked already) but I do have several opportunities for call in shifts.  So it’s a slow start for now.  I do, however, have a couple of other part-time opportunities heading my way which I’m extremely excited about.

Obviously, several part-time jobs isn’t the norm.  It’s certainly wasn’t what I was expecting when I returned from the UK.  Am I ok with it?  Yes.  This process has taught me patience.  It has reminded me of God’s provision and care. 

I still can’t stop thinking about the Habakkuk 2:3 verse I shared the last time.  It fits so perfectly to my situation.  Here it is again:

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place, it will not be delayed.”

I will continue to wait patiently for God’s plan and vision to be fulfilled in my life.  Things happen in His time, after all, it is His plan.


Lemon Coconut Cookies June 7, 2011

Filed under: Food,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 1:13 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I love coconut and I love lemon.  Mix both together and you’ll get these light, crunchy, yummy cookies.  Oh, and yes, they are vegan. 

Lemon Coconut Cookies

Lemon Coconut Cookies

1  1/4 cups Spelt flour (if you don’t have spelt flour, all-purpose flour is fine)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup coconut

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup white sugar

1 cup earth balance (soy free or whatever you prefer) vegan margarine

2-3 T lemon zest (or more as desired)

3 T fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup Lite Silken Tofu (firm), crumbled

Topping, mix these together in a bowl and set aside:

1/4 cup coconut

1/4 cup sugar


1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Sift flours, salt, coconut and baking soda together, set aside.

3. Beat margarine, sugar and lemon zest together until fluffy.

4.  Add crumbled silken tofu and lemon juice to margarine mixture.  Whip until well mixed.

5.  Add flour mix until well combine.  Add flour as necessary if batter is too soft. You want to be able to roll the dough into balls.

6.  Using a 1″ cookie scoop, scoop out cookies, and roll in topping (sugar and coconut that is set aside in a bowl).

7. Place on lined cookie sheet, and press down a little to flatten.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until done and lightly golden.  Take out of oven and let cookies cool on cookie rack (I take them off the cookie sheet immediately).

Makes approximately 36 cookies, if you don’t taste test.

Lemon and coconut…yummm…I wonder if Starbucks can make a lemon coconut creme frap…and if it’s any good.  Has anyone tried it?


Slowly, Steadily, Surely June 3, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 11:10 am
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“But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place, it will not be delayed.”  Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)

Found something totally relevant to me and my situation recently while getting caught up on viewer session 5 using notes from a friend in Aberdeen in the Esther study by Beth Moore.  It was about time and patience.

To quote Beth Moore, “Sometimes God forces the issue of time.  Amazingly, other times He seems to entrust it.” Beth focused on “reflecting on the importance of knowing”:

When it’s time.

When it’s time to wait.  (She notes that this includes being silent and learning to wait patiently.  How often are we impatient? Beth notes that our culture is turning us into impatient people.  So true…how often am I frustrated that something doesn’t download fast enough, not just on my computer but on my phone!!!)

When it’s time to wait for someone else’s time.

When the meantime is God-time.

And then, I read the verse reference from Habakkuk 2:3 my friend included and I was reminded…things take time…not my time…but His time.

There’s a lot of things lately that have made me think about time…a dwindling bank account…hearing about other people moving on with their lives, getting promotions, jobs, houses, cars, living life while I seem to be in…pause.  I’ve been here 4 months and nothing to really show for it (besides a garden, an amazing tan, a bunch of new photos taken on my grown up camera and marks in a new cookbook indicating my review of the recipes I tried).  I just hate being in pause.

Applying for jobs, interviewing and even going into second interviews only to not be chosen…hopes dashed.

I read this Habakkuk passage on Monday.  Then, I had a decision to make after a phone call offering me a part-time job, and another big decision after learning I didn’t get a job I had second-interviewed for.

After getting some wise counsel, I was reminded of the Habakkuk passage.  It seems the way that the job market is looking, traditional forms of employment are hard to find (one job as primary job) and there are many out there piecing together many to form one.  I realized that this is probably my situation as well, and I had to embrace it and thank God for it. 

And now, I have to believe that slowly, steadily, surely God is leading me toward His plan for me, even if it means embracing the untraditional view of employment with all kind of bits and pieces working together to make one.  I’m thanking God for the part-time job I start today and for the many other pieces that I believe God is sending my way.

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place, it will not be delayed.”  Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)

“But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.  They will fly high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

Gentle Savior lead me on!  (Check out this post to know what I’m referring to.)