Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Healthy Frozen Treat

Have you ever tried to eat healthy? Have you ever tried to abstain from the fattening naughty treats that like to stick to us in all the wrong places? Yep, yep that's me.

Have you ever wanted to be healthy but find yourself bored with plain old fruits and vegetables and craving something more impressive for the palette? Yes please!

So I've been scouring Pinterest to find healthy and yummy options. This is one of my first attempts and I can say, Yum! Also it is very simple. Grab some granola, any kind you choose, and mix it with a little melted butter. Layer it in the botto, of a muffin tin.

Mix cool whip and about 1/3-1/2c of yogurt and a pinch of cinnamon. Layer on top.
Layer with your fruit of choice. I used strawberries that had been canned in water. Fresh is out of season :) Then freeze and prepare for yummy guilt free goodness.

According to my calculations, this dessert is approximately 178 calories. Enjoy!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Bench Creation

So for a year now I've been wanting a bench in our entry way. Then we wouldn't have to hop and limp to put our shoes on :) Nothing I had seen had been exactely what I wanted. So I had decided it was time to get creative. They sold tons of little benches here, but I knew I wanted to class it up a little. I finally got one of my to do list goals crossed off! I bought the bench. Then a few days later I rounded some fabric, foam and some tiny nails. Now I was ready to roll! Mistakes were made but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

I think many people use two layers of material or maybe even glue down the foam. I didn't do either, possibly a mistake. I definitely should have done the material a little loser. If it's too tight it kind of contorts the foam but as they say in Nepal, "Kay Garney" ( what can you do?").

So I cut the foam to fit. Then I cut the fabric to fit. Then went around tacking it in place with tiny nails.

Then we added some paint to the wood legs and took a picture with the cutest little boy I know :)

And that's it ladies and gentleman, my entryway bench. Now, hopefully soon I will have a coat rack to display!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lemon Pie.....and musings about my kitchen aid


Okay, so yes, I'm one of those people that likes just about everything lemon! Lemonade, strawberry lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon squares, lemon smoothies,lemon pound cake. You name it, I'm game. A couple years ago, I finally realized what an ice box pie was and mmmmmm was I glad. Not only is it yummy but it's quick, takes very few ingredients and doesn't require baking. Sounds like a perfect dessert to me.

Not only was I all revved up to make my yummy lemon pie but I just came into a used kitchen aid mixer! And the angels rejoice! I've always dreamed of owning one. If I had known what it was really like, I probably would have taken the plunge earlier! I'm in love! I look for any excuse to use it, when the electricity is on.

You can use any variation of crumb for this pie crust. It generally calls for a graham cracker crust but we don't have graham crackers here so I generally substitute some type of butter cookie for the crust. Here they sell these cookies that come in different flavors; butter, pistachio, etc. They are like a hard sugar cookie type. So today I decided to throw them in my kitchen aid mixer to see if it would blend them up for my crust. I admit there was still lumps but did I still enjoy trying something else in my mixer? Ohhh, yes indeedy. Then I whipped up my cool whip packet, condensed milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 20 tiny lemons the size of a quarter and it was ready to throw in the freezer. Mmmmm freezing now as we speak!



Friday, April 1, 2016

Yummy Shepherds Pie is Possible!


Growing up I remember looking forward to shepherds pie:) that.

This last week I found myself tuckered out and not in the mood for anything that included ground beef. Which is what I had thawed out. I scanned Pinterest. Blah.....blah....blah. Nothing seemed appealing.

Then I scrolled upon shepherds pie. For some strange reason I felt the urge to give it a try. And it was a crockpot recipe, even better!

We rushed in from church and scooped some on my picky, skinny, 3 yr olds plate. Who rarely gives compliments and even more rarely asks for seconds. She gives a yum and has 3 helpings!!! We rush to get the groceries in, babies and us in pajamas and finally get to sit down to see what the fuss is about. And to my utter surprise it was delish!

This was a pleasant surprise to my husband. Since on the way home, he asked what was for dinner. I replied, "shepherds pie, I've never like it. Hope it's ok....." Lol, he was a little nervous after that. But no fear, it was warm with ooey gooey comfort food goodness.

So to all who fear the dreaded shepherds pie, give this recipe a whirl and see if you change your mind! I do apologize for the not so appealing pic but we just couldn't wait to take pics:)



Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Visit to the Hospital

It was a normal week day in Nepal. We had attempted to go out to eat but our car's battery was a little to tired from working so hard this winter:) So we decided to order in. We ordered a nice calzone, fish & chips and a salad. The food delivery system here named Foodmandu is an all time favorite at our house. They deliver food from proabably close to 100 restaurants in the city. It's an awesome convenience! So....we opened the food and dug in. Did I eat too much maybe:) As soon as I finished I got that feeling, "oh no, what have I done?" I felt super ucky. Which quickly turned to pain.


Since living in Nepal I have become associated with many types of stomach discomfort:) but this one was different. You have the oh so common crampy feeling which develops a close relationship between you and the "Loo" as the Brits call it. This can develop from many different sources, such as; water, dirty veggies, etc. We have become a little more accustomed to the climate and are quite careful so we haven't dealt with this too much, recently. You also have the chili burn:) We live in the land of spice! We are talking pump the food full of it and chomp on a green chili on th side, as a "accent" to that food. We do enjoy the spice but sometimes if you get a little to ambitious you will know the warm swirly feeling in your tummy. But this wasn't what I was feeling at all. It was a burning pain with no side effects.


After almost 24 hours I realized it wasn't going to pass. I headed to our very trust-worth clinic to see what may be the problem. It's always an ordeal to pack up kiddos and head to the doctor. I hate making that call. You feel you will go in and after all that they will roll their eyes and say, "You have gas, crazy lady.":) But despite that, we packed up the kids and took them to a friends with an emergency overnight bag and ended at the clinic. After a brief visit and ultra-sound it was concluded I had an acute appendicitis. What?! Now I'm wishing I had just had gas:)

I had never expected to have surgery in our little 3rd world country. There hasn't been too many good stories coming out of the hospitals by nationals or foreigners. So my plan was, Be healthy for life! Hah:) Within 3 hours I was diagnosed, transported to another local hospital and landed in the ER. I felt like I was on a movie, zooming through traffic in an ambulance. The overwhelming unlikely feeling I had was of calm and total lack of stress. Not what I had expected at all. I thought I would have been in a puddle of tears and hyperventilating. This day had not turned out as I expected!



They wheel me out of the ambulance to many curious eyes. The white lady had arrived at the hospital. It was due to be entertaining for sure. We settled in to a slightly curtained space in a row if ER patients. They took my vitals and began to prepare me for surgery. They attempted to convince us to do an epideral but we were pretty uncomfortable with that and with the Lords help we were able to convince them to do the general anesthetic. They then wanted us to present a large sum of money before they would do the surgery. It was night, all the banks were closed and the people in charge of speaking to our insurance company wouldn't be in for another day and a half because it was the weekend, and their card machines weren't working. None of these things are unusual but it was new lesson for us in third world practices. Thank God for our surgeon who demanded they let me into surgery without payment. Otherwise they would have held me until Sunday when the workers came in to deal with the insurance. He was our angel this night.

Quickly after, they wheeled me in and in no time the whole thing was over. After the sedation wore off I was in the ICU ward with constant attention by the nursing staff. I awoke and immediately knew I was going to be ok. Compared to the 2 C-sections I've had this felt worlds better. Cory was unable to stay the night because I was in ICU. He came back the next morning to check on me. I assured him I felt great and encouraged him to go ahead to church. The biggest blessing about the whole event was how our church did in the midst of it all. Cory told them he was on his way and that they could start an hour late.

As he came up the steps to the church he found a mountain of shoes outside the door. Which is always a good sign at Asian churches! He walked into find our song leader had started at the regular time and had led in speaking about some verses until Cory arrived. The crowd was full of unexpected visitors. Many due to Cory's recent visit to speak in a Buddhist high school at Christmas. He was so amazed and blessed to see the initiative and leadership these baby Christians all showed and how God took over and blessed immensely in our absence.

After a lil struggle with the billing department we got checked out less than 24 hours before we checked in. I feel good! Moving a little slow but amazed at Gods care of me and protection. Many thanks to everyone who sent up prayers for me. Praise the Lord, He is ever watchful and always in control.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BMW - January 28th post

Please pop over to the BMW to see the newest post.
BMW Thoughtul Thursday


After almost 10 years of marriage I have finally not only found a recipe to get my husband to eat spaghetti he actually for the first time EVER requested it for dinner!!!  Recipe coming soon.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Living in the land of substitutes

From the day we moved to our little 3rd world country it became obvious we wouldn't be able to rush to any supermarket and pick up every imaginable ingredient that you see on a Walmart shelf. Available ingredients are very basic and the extra special ingredients come on a varying basis. So....does that mean we eat simply? Do we eat a plate of rice, beans and chicken every night? No way! In my mind variety is the spice of life but how do you accomplish that in a land with limited resources.

You learn the art of substitution.

So that you might better understand, I have taken pictures and will walk you through a holiday meal at our house.


It's New Year's Day and we are ready to celebrate with a meal of finger foods and yummy treats but how did this meal get to the table in a rustic area?

First we have pigs in a blanket. What do you do when you can't find refrigerated packs of weanies and canned crescent rolls?

First you substitute homemade rolls.

Then you substitute weanies you find in a can. And you find yourself some pretty yummy pigs in a blanket.

Next menu item-broccoli salad

What do you do when you don't have bacon that week and they don't sell cheddar?


This is a great trick! I have found if you cut up thick ham lunch meat in small pieces and fry it with some oil it crisps up and can almost not be differentiated from bacon! Bacon substitute chopped up ham lunch meat.

When no cheddar is on hand I use Gouda, a fresh cow cheese or our all time famous yak cheese:)

Next on the menu- cherry streudels

That do you do when there is no Philadelphia cream cheese or its $8, no canned crescent rolls or canned cherry pie filling?

First we substitute a locally imported cream cheese.

Then we take some of that big roll recipe for the pigs in a blanket and place them on the bottom of our streudels.

Then we take plain canned red cherries, pit them (using a straw is a great trick!) and boil them with some sugar, water and cornstarch! You have pie filling! Pour it over the top and bake.


What do you do when your gas for stovetop cooking is limited and your electricity is on a few hours and only one rack on your oven?


Oh yes! The best of all, you bust out the crockpot! Angels sing.....lights shine around and excitement fills the kitchen as Mommy begins experimenting with her new crockpot. For New Years it held a pot of chili! Subustituting canned pinto beans for black. I began thinking of this post as I made one dish and then realized living in a 3rd world is a constant game of substitutes. But it is a fun game that yields rewarding yummy treats and meals:)



Thursday, January 14, 2016

New blog contributor

I have begun writing for the BMW Baptist Missionary Wives blog. If you are interested you can see my first introduction post here.
Hello y'all - my introduction to the BMW

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Burger Improvements

With our limited amount of cooking gas supply right now we are always looking for ways to conserve. So we are thinking to grill once a week. And who doesn't love grilling! But to be honest I've never done it alone. And I didn't intent on doing it myself this chilly evening but the duty was laid upon me. Luckily, it all turned out very well! I was apprehensive but gave it a go! And what better to grill then burgers!


We do not live in a land overflowing with beef options:) And as you can see in the pic I actually grilled Ground water buffalo. You may see multiple cows resting in traffic but not many sitting on your plate. It is possible to find a really good steak but good burgers on the other a very hard find. Some seem to be boiled, others over-loaded with onions, some not beef at's a scary experiment!

So, our favorite burgers are generally made at home. Now they have been better then the restaurant options I knew they could be better. So I read a list of dos and donts about burger cooking from Pinterest and began tweaking that very night. And may I say....YUMMMMMM!

So, here our the tips I've learned about burger cooking overseas.

1. You need fat. For some reason hamburger meat they sell here is extremely lean! Doesn't exude any grease when cooking. Sounds healthy I know but doesn't make the tastiest burger. So, I've begun adding 1-2 T of pure butter to my meat.

3. Season at the right time. Don't add salt until right before you apply heat. It sucks the moisture out.

4. Ice Water. This sounds crazy I know but I read add 1-2T for every pound of meat. It replaces any moisture that is cooked out. Sounds crazy! But it works.

5. Add seasoning. My favorites: paprika, black pepper, season salt and garlic powder.

6. Grilling is always better!


7. Don't squash your burgers. While cooking many times we squish the patties to get some char or encourage it to cook but in reality is squishes out all your moisture.

8. Add good cheese. Good cheese is a rarity here so we had a mozzarella on top. But Gouda or cheddar would have been an improvement!

So all that ended in the best burgers we have ever had in Nepal!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Thought for the day

I would rather spend my life convincing people of Gods goodness, grace and blessings than always seeking for people to understand the trials that I face. At the end of my life which will I regret?