Showing posts from April, 2009

Textured and Bright Chicken Pot Pie

For some unknown reason, I had it in my head that I really wanted to make pot pie this week. I'm really not sure where this desire came from. It certainly seems like more of a winter dish, and we have been having some really beautiful days lately. I ended up making 4 pot pies - two that I took to some new moms, and two that I kept for us. We ate one this week, and one I froze so Jeff won't starve when I'm in North Carolina next week.

They turned out really well, so I thought I'd share the recipe here. Since we got cable and have been watching cooking shows more, I find myself being a little more adventurous with the cooking. They always talk about how some dishes need "texture" and "brightness" - texture I certainly understand, though I don't exactly know how food can be "bright." But I do notice that everyone always add some lemon juice for "brightness," hence its addition here.

Chicken Pot Pie
For the Filling:
1 whole chicken
2 …


This whole infertility thing sometimes (ok, more than sometimes) makes me a little crazy.

Since the miscarriage 6 weeks ago, I find myself often thinking about what exactly we did that month, trying to replicate exactly the circumstances that led to the pregnancy. I catch myself thinking that if 2 months ago I wore a purple shirt and coughed three times on the fifth day of my cycle while facing southeast, then that's what I need to do again this month. I have this compulsion to do everything exactly the same way, as if it is those circumstances that somehow led to getting pregnant.

Which is really just crazy. I don't believe in luck. Or talismans. Or coincidences. I believe in a loving God who directs all things for my good. It wasn't some strange conglomeration of my actions that allowed me to get pregnant. It was the powerful hand of God.
It also wasn't something I did that caused the miscarriage. It wasn't me forgetting to take my vitamin that day, or the run I wen…

The winner is....

I ran in a 5K run this morning. I was post-call, but since I was on with the intern who ALWAYS seems to have easy calls, I was hoping I'd get some sleep. I did - my pager was completely silent from 11:30 until 7:15 this morning when I decided to get up. (Woohoo!)

So I went to the race, mostly just wanting to put in a decent time (i.e. less that 30 minutes). I actually ended up running the best time for a 5K I've ever run (25:50) and was pretty happy. This was not a huge race - just a little local thing to support our free medical clinic.

Still, imagine my surprise when they were calling out the age group winners and for the female 25-29 they called out... ABNEY TELL! Apparently I need to write my name more neatly. But unlike last time I "won" my age group, this time I was really racing as me! I am now the proud owner of a beautiful blue first place ribbon (think elementary school field day awards) and.... a koozie! [photos to follow]

Overall, it was one of the funnest …

Seven...Eight... Quick Take in Photos

Last week I only could do 6, so this week I'll do 8 to make up for it.

1. I love irises. Especially when they bloom in my front yard. I also love my macro lens, which lets me get very close and still take great photos. (Thank you, Mom and Dad!)

2. I have wonderful friends.

3. I love this kid. Since all my nephews and my niece live far away, she helps me use my aunt quotient.

4. Jeff loves Corrie, too. He's going to be such a great dad some day. Here he is helping her wash her hands.
5. This guy already is a great dad. Corrie loves her papa. I cannot wait until their second baby comes.
6. I work with a great group of doctors. Like these three interns, Chelsea, Karissa, and Laura Lee, who is getting married and moving away. I'm trying not to think about that yet.
7. It is incredibly hard to photograph an 18 month old. They do not stop moving. It becomes even harder when you like to take manual photos and have to use a slow shutter speed. Some part of them is always blurry. 8. Toil…

Fondue works for me.

I love making fondue. In medical school, my roommate and I would chance we got.... have fondue parties where we'd eat chocolate fondue and watch Gilmore Girls. These days, in that I've seen every episode of the Gilmore Girls, I only make it on special occasions - like, say, a weddingshower. It was a big hit at the party!

I can make a mean fondue, if I do say so myself. My chocolate fondue is delicious, but the cheese fondue I made last week was also really good. Fondue is a lot of fun, especially for a party, and could be a great way to get kids to eat veggies. Anything is more fun when you can dip it in cheese. So here are my fondue recipes. Enjoy!

Cheese fondue
1 clove garlic
2 c. white wine (this past week I used hard apple cider, but you could also use a mixture of broth and milk or apple juice if you wanted to leave out any alcohol.)
4 c. cheese, shredded (swiss, provolone, or cheddar work well. I used baby swiss.)
1 T. flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Venti Crappucino

This morning I got up early(ish) and came up to the library at Erskine to work on a little research. So far it is going splendidly. But just to help it go even splendidlier I walked next door to the gas station and got what I fondly call a crappucino. Technically, the auto-brew machine at the gas station calls it a "Banana-Nut Latte." Mmmmm, banana.

Its the kind of machine where you put your cup under the spout and push the button. At first it just looks like water coming out, but then after a second it turns dark, and you hold the button down until it is 2/3 full, the let off, and the hot sugary goodness keeps coming out for a few more seconds.

Whether or not there is actual "coffee" in this drink is somewhat of a mystery. But it tastes good, and costs 80 cents! 80 cents! An equivalent drink at Starbucks would cost four bucks. (if the 'bux could make anything that could be considered this drinks "equivalent") So now I'm sitting in the co…

Home Call.

The only thing worse than being called from the call room at the hospital to come to the ER for an admission at 5 am is being called at 5 am from your own toasty, comfie bed with good pillows to wake up, get dressed, drive to the ER, and do an admission.

I've decided there is almost no amount of money that makes me want to wake from a dead sleep and leave my wonderful bed to do an admission in the middle of the night. Quick Takes

1. I am finding it more and more difficult to answer graciously when people ask me when we're having children. My standard is "We'll see." It's short and does not really reveal any information, since I usually don't feel telling people I don't know the whole story. After everything that's happened, some days (like today) I just want to saw something snappy. Or start crying. Or both. Deep down, of course, I know that people do not mean anything by this seemingly innocent question, and I want desperately to be forgiving and understanding and not hold what they don't know against them. But it's not easy.

2. Yesterday, I booked our flights to California!! We'll be gone for almost 2 whole weeks, exploring much of the state and, most importantly, be away from the hospital. I can't wait.

3. Irises that we planted in our yard last year have sprouted and bloomed. Seeing those purple flowers around our mailbox gives my heart a little encouragemen…

Delicious Gluten-free Cake.

On Good Friday, we got together with some people from our church and had a Christian Seder. It was a neat experience, learning more about the Jewish customs surrounding Passover, and seeing the symbolism that was present at the Last Supper of Christ.

I was put in charge of dessert, and wanted to try to make something at least moderately authentic - i.e. no added flour or other leavening agents. Using my favorite new online recipe search engine, (it searches food blogs for recipes so you find some really interesting and creative dishes) I stumbled onto this recipe.

This cake was delicious - rich, soft, very chocolately with a nice orange flavor. And it has no flour or added fat. (It is made with ground nuts instead of flour, so the fat in it comes only from the eggs and the nuts.)

Flourless Chocolate-Orange Almond Cake1 1/4 cups whole almonds (6 to 7 ounces) (I actually used hazelnut instead - it was delicious.)
1 cup sugar, divided
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocol…

Easter photo.

In our Easter finest....


Here are some recent shower gifts I made. A friend, who loves horses and riding, is having a little boy in the next few weeks.

I really loved how these shoes turned out.

I found these sweet little buttons in some of the sewing things I got from my grandma. I loved this little detail.

Shower part 2.

And the food. I made a delicious appetizer. And yummy cheese fondue. The other hostess brought chocolate fondue. Plus there were chicken fingers, dips, veggies, cookies, fruit.... It was all tasty.

And this is a tiger float. (The bride is a huge Clemson fan.) Vanilla ice cream, orange soda, and purple sprinkles. It tasted like a creamsicle. Yum.

We played a great game, getting everyone to help Lesslie write her wedding vows, trying to use as many candy bar names in them as possible. (You are the Mars in my Milky Way. For 100,000, for poorer. In sadness and in Snickers. In sickness and in Heath. You get the idea. It was hysterical.)

A great night! But now I've got a bit of a tummy ache. Since the words "fondue" and "self control" cannot exist in the same universe.


Monday night, another resident and I hosted a wedding shower for a fellow resident who is getting married. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it went. Many of the residents or their wives came out.

I made a few decorations. Jeff hung the streamers.

More photos coming.....

Lucy Update...

For all our readers out there worried about our dog...

Our vet could not find anything specifically wrong. And, much like Jeff and I, she had a difficult time deciding which foot she was limping on. (It really is a lot harder that it seems.) She did think that maybe she had a bruise on her foot pad, possibly the result of a little too much running. I apparently had overworked the poor dog, seeing as we did put in 17 miles in 5 days. So she mandated a little training break, and gave us some medicine to make sure her foot didn't get infected.

We also discovered that we have been bad dog parents, and allowed our pooch to get chubby. She had gained 5 lbs since her last check up, which is 10% of her body weight. We got a little lecture about not over-feeding and decided that maybe she'd had one too many table scraps.

As for her foot, she seems to be doing better. I even took her on a little jog (1.3 miles) this morning and she didn't seem to have any problems. Hopefully she'll…


I've been thinking about these following verses a lot lately, ever since Jeff read them to me the other day. In the midst of everything that has gone lately, I have just found this passage to be incredibly encouraging.

From Hebrews 12, starting in verse 4:
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the mo…

When the shoe is on the other paw.

A few days ago Aubrey wrote a helpful post for those of us who aren't always sure what type of things require an emergency room visit and what type don't. And although the post had a slightly scolding tone to it, nevertheless, it appears from the comments that it proved helpful. (Ken, a bill is in the mail.)

And to be honest, it is quite helpful having a doctor in the house. I myself, do not often know the answers to various medical questions, and having a live-in doc is quite the convenience.

But yesterday the shoe was on the other paw. The left paw. Aubrey took Lucy on her afternoon run, as is her custom. But Lucy had to bail out halfway through because of a limp. And woe was we. Without a live-in veterinarian in the house, we were on the phone with our vet (who lives down the street, and is a friend from church). We didn't know what to do. Should we take Lucy to the vet? Or was this the hangnail of the veterinary world, not worthy of a vet visit? My vote was h…

Fish Tacos work for me.

Of allthetastydinners I like to make, I think my favorite is probably fish tacos. We had it on Saturday for dinner, just before my ER shift, and I've eaten the leftovers every day since then. Since I feel this might be my personal culinary masterpiece, I thought I'd share the "recipe" here.

First of all, I make a homemade salsa with fruit. This time it was mango and pineapple, along with the usual tomatoes, peppers, onions, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, and fresh cilantro (out of our garden). I used maybe 3 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 1 onion, and 1 jalapeno.

For the fish, I use these frozen tilapia filets, (which thaw really fast) put them in a baking dish with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and more fresh cilantro. I bake it at 400F for about 10-15 mins.

I also like to make guacamole to have with it. (Of course this time, Jeff made the guacamole, because he's good like that.) I mash 2 avocados, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, a pinch of chili powder, a tablespoon…

In the ER.

I've been working in the ER a lot recently. It's mostly enjoyable and a good learning experience. But I certainly am sometimes left scratching my head as to why people decide to come to the ER.

Here are some good reasons to come:
1. You are in a car wreck, and have collapsed your lung and cannot breathe.
2. You have excruciating, crushing, left-sided chest pain that is associated with nausea and shortness of breath.
3. You fall and think you heard a cracking sound emanating from your left ankle.
4.Your 6 month child is breathing fast and looks like he is working extra hard to take a breath.

We in the ER can help fix these problems, and if you do not come in, there might be serious consequences.

Here are some bad reasons to come:
1. You are in a small fender-bender, but are not actually hurting anywhere, nor do you have any signs of injury.
2. You worked all day in the garden yesterday and have aching muscles, and some mild pain in your chest, worse when you move or lift your arms.

Easter Tree!

We got our Easter Tree up this weekend, and our house is now festive and Eastery. For those unfamiliar, our Easter Tree is a couple of blooming Dogwood branches decorated with Easter decorations. Cute things, like eggs, bunnys, and birdies.


There is perhaps nothing quite as nice as coming home to a house that smells like freshly baked bread.


Happier post.

I have not had much to write about over the last couple of days, but just couldn't stand for the sad post to be on top for any longer.

We really, really appreciate all the prayers going out for us. We certainly feel like God has been near, comforting us, encouraging us, and keeping us from sadness. I especially feel like all this could have been much worse. I'd say that I thought I was dealing with it well, except I do not ever deal well with trials, and so my only explanation for not dissolving every day into a pool of tears is that God is here with me, taking away all the sadness. I can rest knowing that God will use all of it to bring glory to his name.

Overall, I'd say in some ways we were actually encouraged last month, just to know that it is possible for me to get pregnant. And that maybe we won't have to pay a lot of money to have a baby.

I've been hearing this hymn play in my head a lot recently. I (sadly) don't spend lots of time these days memorizing sc…