Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekly Trivia

I thought it might be fun to try a weekly trivia "contest". 

So, here are the rules...Every week I will post a new photo with instructions on what I am looking for. You facebook me a message and tell me the answer. The next week I will post the first correct answer with name (unless you wish to remain anonymous) and some funny answers. There are no prizes, just the satisfaction of knowing you got the correct answer! 

What do the "C" and "F" stand for?

Look for the answer and new picture next Thursday...happy guessing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Is It Worth It?

You would not believe that the day this picture was taken I, rather all of us, were having a rather rough time of it. We all have those days, be it in a place you already know or overseas. I have once again have been on an emotional rollercoster this last week and its not over yet. A week ago tomorrow we moved into our house and its been slow going getting settled. Here is a bit of our journey...
The mess you are looking at is our bedroom and study area, the steps lead into the bathroom. I feel rather ashamed to show you a messy house, but this is how its going to be for a little while. We did get a few things unpacked only to have it rain one night and discover some leaks. We have since moved things so its still messy. We are also experincing some warmer weather which is causing the floors of our house to condensate very badly! So now things are even more messy and have to be kept off the floor as much as possible. We are hoping the condensation is from the ground warming and that all the wettness shall too pass. In the mean time everything is wet, our clothes, the books, the bathroom, the towels. It feels like we are camping...
Jon and the kids were putting books on the shelves. This picture was taken when it was cold, hence Jades hat. This is the kids room, the room extends about another two feet to the left and Jon is sitting at the wall. The room is small but they both love having their books, toys and new bunkbeds. 
And of course I can't forget to mention Brewster who is very much Jamens dog... 
and Jons... 
and Jades... 
Of course he likes me too. Brewster is loved by us all and in the middle of crazy times it seems he makes the mood lighter by his happy bark and need for play. Jamen is very excited to have this puppy in his life, its so fun to watch them play together.

I will post more pictures soon of the rest of the house and maybe I can make a video. In the mean time I wanted to say that all we are facing is worth it to carry the Good News to those who have not heard! I have struggled today as we face wetness everywhere, not being able to find things, cranky kids, leanring my way around yet another part of the city, no hot water in the kitchen and my ideal of what I want go by the wayside. And then I was remined that, Jesus had hard times, Paul struggled and said we would stuggle. I knew these hard times where coming and that soon the honeymoon would be over. This is real, I am living in a place that I don't understand why things are done, I don't undstand simple things spoken to me and many things are new and a little harder then what I would consider normal. However when some friends went to a funeral the other day of an unsaved friend who was killed in a car accident and I was struck with the realization this is why we have come, to share with the lost. Yes I want a home that is like what I'm use too, yes, I want to have the best for my kids so that they are not lacking, but do I want more what God would teach me and how he would use me, Jon and the kids to reach others? My answer is yes, a thousand times yes. Am I ready to face more hard times or things that I feel I don't deserve or give up little dreams of having this or that, no, not really but the Lord is teaching and growing me in all of this, yes and I pray He will continue to do so.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Cookies and Avacado's

Today I thought I'd share a little more on some new foods we've been trying here in Paraguay. One of our new dishes is homemade refried beans (click on beans to get the recipe) with a simple guacamole to go with it. I also make a fresh tomato, cilantro, onion and garlic salsa to go with it and we eat our beans over rice. I should also note that the refied bean recipes makes a ton! I did half the recipe and we ate it for 5 meals. This a great recipe for freezing or for a large crowd. Also, I don't think this would be considered a tradional food in any way shape or form but its taking advantage of the foods that are available and cheap.
Here is the guacamole recipe...

Simple Guacamole

2 avocados
1 juicy lime
1/4 cup of finely diced fresh cilantro
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and put through a garlic press
For optional spice: Cayenne powder, crushed red pepper flakes, crushed chipotle flakes, or 1/4 of diced peppers (for a milder pepper use anaheim).
1) Cut the avocados in half and seed. Scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl. Smash with a fork.
2) Add the cilantro and garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze about 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice into your guacamole and add the optional pepper of choice (start small). Mix.
3) Taste test and adjust with salt, lime juice, or peppers.
Serve right away or sprinkle more lime juice over the top ( to prevent browning) and place in the refrigerator for several hours.

Here are my 2 avacados, its actually just one big one. I didn't know there were different kinds that grew so big! I only need one for this recipe. 
Then my fresh cilantro, which is really easy to come by here and my lemon. The recipe calls for a lime but I use a small lemon and it works great. I'm also not sure if they have limes here, the lemons look like limes but taste like a cross between the two.   
Here is the avacado mashed (I used a potato masher), with half of the lemon squeezed over it. 
Here it is all ready to go, I squeezed the other half of the lemon over it before putting it in the frigde. I made the guacamole this morning, so it should be perfect for dinner tonight. I don't add the salt or anything else, until after its sat for a while. Also, the other spices mentioned in the recipe I can't find here, so all I add is salt if needed. 
Had to have a picture of the kids, they were coloring and doing stickers this morning. 
Jamen made a silly face

The other recipe I wanted to share with you all is a cookie recipe called Alfojores. Its shortbread like cookie filled with dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is pretty big thing here, they eat it on bread, make ice cream with it and other sweet treats. You can find dulce de leche ice cream in the state, I think Breyers makes it and a few other brands. As for finding dulce de leche, you might find it near the sweetened condensed milk or near the mexican/asia food, depending on the store. I have seen these cookies here and people know what they are. Not sure if you would call it traditional but they are readily available.
So to make Alfojores you will need the following...
3 egg yolks
4 TB soft butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
2 TB rice flour (or regular all-purpose flour)
pinch of baking soda and a pinch of salt
Dulce de leche
Cream together egg yolks, butter and sugar. Then add flours, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combinded. Form into a ball and place in fridge for 15-20 min until well chilled. After chilling, flour counter and roll dough into 1/2" thickness. Cut into 2" circles. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 320 for 5-10 min until hardly brown. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool. When cool fill with dulce de leche.  
I think you are supose to roll the edges in coconut but I skip this step, because Jon's not huge fan of coconut.
Well, enjoy the recipes, let me know if you liked them:-)