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PJ and I have been dating for just over six months now, and we spend a lot of time together, but it’s mostly pretty jumbled. We meet after he gets off work at 10pm and spend time catching up on the latest episodes of the Office and Parks and Rec, and we go to church together on the weekends. But one ritual is quickly becoming one of my favorites: lunch.
I have a 30-minute break at work for lunch and since PJ lives five minutes away, I try to make it there as often as possible. Generally, he cooks for me and we sit and listen to This American Life or allow NPR or a favorite album to play in the background as we each take time sharing about our mornings. This lunchtime is a place for me to pause and rest in the comfort of his presence. It is a sanctuary in which I strive to retreat to daily. Here, over a quiet meal shared just between us two, I feel at peace.
I work full-time. I take classes full-time. My schedule is very busy between the two, and church, and the three blogs I run, and chores, and the friendships I strive to maintain. But in the mix, things seem to work, because of rituals like this. Our lunchtime together is a sort of calm within the whirlwind of my schedule and it saves me.

Sincerely,
Kendra Leigh

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Life here in Washington has been great and it’s so weird to say that I have just over a month left of my trip here. A few posts ago, I mentioned I was feeling pretty lonely, and I’m happy to announce that that is not the case anymore. I’ve been blessed with a great community group of college girls who have totally welcomed me into their lives. So far, we have done a bible study every Tuesday, gone an hour up north to the city of Anacortes, had a girls night out and a girls night in, and tonight will be ultimate frisbee (I’m still debating my attendance of this one.) In addition to all of those fun things, every week we get a “sister date.” We all write our names down and pull out two at a time and those two girls do something one-on-one during the week. It has been the perfect way to get to know multiple people pretty well.


I feel incredibly blessed.

Things are still going well with Donna, of course. The highlight of our week is usually Wednesday when I come home from work, we eat dinner together, then prepare our desserts which we enjoy as we watch American Idol. Except, this past week, we had an even better time than watching people’s dreams be crushed on national television. We lit one of her many oil lamps, turned out all the lights, and enjoyed dinner by the light of the fire. It was perfect. Donna thought it would be appropriate for eating old country style stew.


For another photo of our dinner click here.
Also, have you seen my new website, which I coded by hand?

I hope you are doing as well as I am!

God is good.

Sincerely,
Kendra Leigh

I think my new favorite thing is baking desserts inside other foods. After I made the pumpkin cupcake, I’ve been itching to try it again. Tonight, I went over to my parent’s house (it still feels weird to say that) and made these little guys with my mom for our 12 Days of Goodies at work tomorrow. It is a miniature key lime pie, baked inside a lime rind, topped with raspberry frosting, a raspberry and a mint leaf. I must come up with a simpler name for them.

Ingredients

For the mini-key-lime pie (adapted from this recipe): 

  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 20 limes
  • 3 large eggs
For the frosting (originally found here): 
  • 3 and 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Raspberries
Garnish: 
  • Approx. 1/4 c. of raspberries
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
Directions: 
1. Take three limes and shred the outsides until you have 2 teaspoons of zest.
2. Juice these limes, with a juicer if you have one, until you have 1/3 cup fresh lime juice.
3. Cut the remaining limes in half. Now, here comes the challenge– getting the lime out of the middle. What ended up working best for me was to cut the middle of the lime, where the individual lime slices were being held together, then flipping the lime inside-out, and peeling the pieces off one-by-one. This is challenging, and messy. But so worth it in the end.
4. Preheat oven to 350°
5. Set raspberries out to defrost while you work on the pies.
5. In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar, at a low or medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add your lime zest and juice, mixing at low speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just until yellow disappears after each addition.
6. Prepare your pan for the limes. If you have one of those nifty all-edges brownie pans, it would be perfect! But if you don’t, this will be a bit of a challenge. After some trial-and-error, my mom suggested we make ridges in our pan to hold the limes with aluminum foil. I found this to be the best method. Set in lime rinds and fill with batter, all the way to the top. (They don’t expand as much as a cupcake would)
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
8. While the mini pies are baking, crush your defrosted raspberries with a potato masher. Mix this in a bowl with the butter. It will get stuck in the whisks quite often. Simply use a rubber spatula to put the mix off of the whisks and start again. Once the mixture is well blended, add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, blending well.
9. Put the frosting in the refrigerator until the mini key lime pies are done.
10. Frost each little pie and garnish with a raspberry and mint leaf.
11. Enjoy!
We ended up with more batter than limes, so we made six regular cupcake-sized/shaped pies. You may need more limes if you want to ensure all of the batter is used in lime rinds. But these are super cute and wonderful too.
Sincerely,
Kendra Leigh

Today was the best Saturday I’ve had in a long time. I woke up all too early for it to be my day to sleep-in, but it ended up being worth it. I slept over at Kori‘s the night before, which of course meant I was up late. All us girls do is talk. After going to bed around 3 a.m., it is needless to say I was tired when my alarm set for 7:15 went off. Kori and I got ready and drove to Chad and Candace’s house where we met up with other friends to have crepes. Candace should be a professional crepe-maker. I’m serious. So delicious. I filled mine with strawberries and mini-chocolate chips and topped it with honey and powdered sugar, which I enjoyed with a cup of coffee on the side.

We then headed out for the day’s first big adventure: Tour de Fat. It was a three-mile bicycle ride throughout Tempe to promote the use of alternative transportation. I rode a tandem bike with my good friend Sarah. It was so hard at first, and Chad didn’t have much faith in me, but I’m proud to report that Sarah and I never fell. Not even once.

After the Tour de Fat, the next big event was the Arizona Taco Festival. I went with the same crew that accompanied me to Tour de Fat plus my friend, Shelby. I planned on eating two tacos. I ate five. Kind of. I made Shelby finish probably three of the tacos—I had to save room to keep trying more, duh! Lucky for Shelby and I, we found two tickets on the ground, which meant a soda for me and an extra taco for Shelby.

My vote for best taco was the beef taco from Chelsea’s Kitchen. They even made the tortillas right in front of you! Shelby votes for his pork taco from The Mission, which works out well because it is right next door to a coffee shop his buddy is about to open up, so I’m sure Shelby will practically live his life migrating between the two.

We ended the afternoon with coffee from Cartel. Well, Shelby got coffee. I had an iced chai (which, by the way, was the best iced chai I’ve ever had. Ever.) I didn’t even take a picture of it, that’s how excited I was to keep drinking it.

And now, I am at work. Which is hardly work because HELLO I can blog here.

I hope you have a fantastic Saturday evening and marvelous Sunday morning. Enjoy your weekend.

Sincerely,
Kendra Leigh

P.S. all photos were taken with my iPhone and edited with Instagram. Follow me! username: kendraworsnup

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