What I’m Into May 2013


I’ve been lurking around Leigh Kramer‘s blog for the past few months and I’ve really been enjoying browsing through her monthly What I’m Into link-ups and getting ideas, so I thought I’d try contributing one myself this month.  May has been a lovely month, quite possibly my favourite since we’ve moved to Ontario (mostly because my sister came for a visit–yay!)  Anyway, in no particular order, here’s some of what I’ve been into over the past month:


Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

I picked up a copy of this after seeing multiple recommendations from various bloggers I respect.  It was pretty good (I gave it a solid three stars on Goodreads). I gave her recipe for Dark Chocolate Toffee with Sea Salt a try and it was lovely.

Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns

I loved this book.  The chapter on New Testament use of the Old Testament was especially helpful.  I also loved his thoughts on the relationship between science and the Scriptures.

“It is a fundamental misunderstanding of Genesis to expect it to answer questions generated by a modern worldview, such as whether the days were literal or figurative, or whether the days of creation can be lined up with modern science, or whether the flood was local or universal. The question that Genesis is prepared to answer is whether Yahweh, the God of Israel, is worthy of worship. And that point is made not by allowing the ancient Israelites to catch a glimpse of a spherical earth or a heliocentric universe. It is wholly incomprehensible to think that thousands of years ago God would have felt constrained to speak in a way that would be meaningful only to Westerners several thousand years later. To do so borders on modern Western arrogance.”

What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell

This one wasn’t bad.  I gave it two stars on Goodreads, but that was because Rob Bell’s writing style drives me up the wall rather than because I had any major issues with the content.  My favourite chapter was the one on the God who is ahead of us, but on the topic I’d sooner recommend the work of William Webb in Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals.  To his credit, Bell does give Webb a shout-out.

Eat With Joy by Rachel Marie Stone

I loved this book.  It inspires me to eat and to purchase and prepare food in ways that are more nourishing, more pleasurable, more communal, more creative, more just, and more sustainable.  It’s the sort of book that could easily be judgemental, but it totally isn’t.  Stone simply encourages her readers to start where they are.  Never eat meals as a family?  Start with one or two family meals a week.  Never buy fair trade?  Start with one or two items.  And always remember that the relationship and community-building aspect of food is most important and so an occasional meal eaten joyfully with loved ones at McDonalds is better than an organic salad eaten alone in bitterness. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves food (or loves to hate it.  This is for you too).

Rapture Ready by Daniel Radosh

I’ve been pretty immersed in Christian pop culture my entire life, so the only part of Radosh’s book that took me by surprise was his chapter on Christian pro wrestling.  I had no idea that was a thing, but I should have known.  I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud over the course of the book, but I do appreciate that Radosh didn’t set out simply to mock or caricature his subjects, but to understand them.  Radosh is a secular Jew, and anyone who expects a conversion to evangelicalism at the end will be sorely disappointed, but I think most evangelicals will benefit from the self-reflection this book prompts.


Star Trek: Into Darkness (which was all right, but why can’t every sci-fi franchise have the same calibre of female characters as Joss Whedon. Uhura had the one great scene with the Klingons, but otherwise was simply Spock’s girlfriend, and don’t even get me started on Carol Marcus)

Voyage of the Dawntreader (which was a rewatch, and I’d forgotten that they mangled the scene where Aslan turns dragon-Eustace back into a boy.  It made me sad all over again.)

Wreck-It Ralph (which was adorable, plus it had Alan Tudyk.)

TV Shows:

Parks and Recreation: I love it!  We’ve gone through the first four seasons just this month.

Once Upon a Time: The new Peter Pan looks interesting, but my favourite part of fairy tales is the happily ever after so I keep wanting Kitsis and Horowitz to wrap this show up already.

Big Bang Theory: It’s been more of the same, mostly, but I’ll keep watching for Sheldon.

Community: I’m sad it’s over, but at least it’s on Netflix.  Hopefully there’ll be a movie.

Diff*rent Strokes: Gary Coleman as 8-year-old Arnold Jackson is the most adorable thing I have ever seen.  I may, however, grow disillusioned with the show as Arnold ages.

Arrested Development: We’re only about 5 episodes into the new season.  In other words, it’s not nearly as compelling as Parks & Rec.


All Sons & Daughters, all the time.  Seriously, they are wonderful.

Food and Drink:

I gave Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cheddar Dill Scones a try this month, and loved both enough to make multiple batches.  Also, now that it’s getting really hot outside, I’ve been rediscovering my love for self-serve frozen yogurt (who am I kidding, I can easily go for that all year) and iced tea.  I brew a fruity green tea and stick it in the fridge with some honey and lemon, and it’s delightfully refreshing.


This TED Talk by Jackson Katz on Violence and Silence is phenomenal

This blog post by Rachel Held Evans does a good job articulating why abortion is such a thorny issue for Christians who lean toward the left of the political spectrum. 

Just about every post on Justin Lee‘s Tumblr.  Justin is the founder of the Gay Christian Network, an organization which invites Christians on both sides of the issue to dialogue.  I really appreciate the spirit in which Justin contributes to the conversation.  His posts are always filled with grace and empathy.

This piece by Sean Palmer blows the myth that men can’t be nurturing fathers out of the water.

This collection of old-school Disney education and propaganda films on Buzzfeed is quite something.  My favourite is the one on menstruation.

And, speaking of Buzzfeed, check out this spot-on article from the Onion: Buzzfeed Writer Resigns in Disgrace After Plagiarizing “10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.” Like all good satire, it’s funny because it’s true, even if it isn’t factual.  However, I still love Buzzfeed and waste entirely too much of my time browsing it.


As I said, my sister flew in for a visit.  It was wonderful to be able to spend so much quality time with her. 

I also visited the Kitchener Farmer’s Market for the first time since I moved in September (I know, it’s shameful).  There were some great vendors, but others just left me puzzled.  Can anyone tell me why a farmer’s market in southern Ontario would sell bananas?

I caved and got a Goodreads account.  I now have 55 books on my to-read list, none of which are for my thesis.  I expect this list to continue growing at a much faster rate than my list of books I’ve read, because that’s how I roll.

Our small group was cancelled this week, so I had a chance to check out trivia night at the Grad House on campus.  I’m always up for competitive trivia, and it was an enjoyable evening.

Tonight Aaron and I have plans to go to the symphony with some friends, so I’ll be closing out the month with another new experience.  I’m looking forward to it.

For other What I’m Into posts, check out the monthly link-up at Leigh Kramer’s blog.

Four Cheese Macaroni


I’ve been on a hunt for good feta recipes lately, and this one is definitely a winner.  The recipe calls for macaroni, but obviously you can use any similarly sized pasta you choose.  I used small shells.  We made this casserole with Oktoberfest sausage, so it’s kind of a much better version of Kraft Dinner and hot dogs.

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups dried pasta, boiled in salted water and drained.
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (I used Garlic and Olive Oil Aylmer Accents)
  • 1 teaspoon each oregano, basil, and Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups each of grated mozzarella and cheddar
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

Mix the pasta, the tomatoes, the seasoning, and one cup each of cheddar and mozzarella in a casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese and bake 15-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Enjoy 🙂

Cheddar Dill Scones


I have made these scones entirely too often recently, since I’ve had a surplus of dill in the fridge.  I’d been anxious to try them ever since I saw the original recipe here, and they certainly did not disappoint.  I definitely recommend them for brunch, or even as substitutes for biscuits with soup.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups plus two teaspoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup minced dill
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar 
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix flour (reserving two teaspoons), baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Add butter and rub in until mixture is crumbly.  Beat together cream and 2 eggs, and stir until dough forms.  Knead in remaining flour, dill, and cheese. Roll into an 8 inch square and cut into 4 squares (for large scones) or 9 squares (for smaller scones) and cut each square in half diagonally.  Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with an egg wash made from the remaining egg and the water or milk.  Bake 20-25 minutes and then let cool slightly on a wire rack.  Enjoy with butter or plain (or with honey, as one of the people I served it to did.  Sweet and savoury can be a good combination.)

Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies



I found out when I logged in to post this recipe that I’ve had this blog for a year today. Fittingly, I’m back as I began–with an intriguing and delicious cookie recipe.  Joy the Baker’s Buttered Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies piqued my interest when I saw a link to them online, and they did not disappoint.  If you like sweet and salty together, and you don’t mind the texture of popcorn, definitely give these cookies a try.

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, popped, buttered, and salted.  (I used an air popper and butter and salted them myself, but you could also use a bag or so of microwave popcorn)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream butter and sugar, then add egg and vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients, then incorporate chocolate chips and popcorn.  Drop generous tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats.  Bake for 10-13 minutes.  Let cool on pan at least 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.