Warning: This Blog is not to be taken too seriously. Proceed with sarcasm

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Little Bit of Mexico

Well look who has been neglecting her new blog.... yep... big surprise!

We have had quite the busy schedule since my last post!
Guests from Oregon for Christmas, a 3 Day Youth Camp with over 50 teenagers, New Years Parties, Birthday Parties, and now we have another guest from Oregon, and will be welcoming a family on Friday that will be staying with us for a couple of weeks.
It's never really boring around here.

So, the family who visited us for Christmas seemed to really enjoy Mexico. They really enjoyed the food too :) And Kelli has asked me to post a few of the recipes that we made while they were here. They are mostly traditional Mexican recipes. Today we will start with Jamica, and Horchata- because they are easy, and I should be cooking dinner instead of Blogging- but it's always something, right? ....

Jamaica is a sweet tea drink made from dried Hibiscus flowers. It is very popular here, and very delicious and refreshing. The kids love it- and it has nutritional value {unlike Not-so-Kool-Aid}.

Easy Peasy. Here is the recipe for 1 gallon:

2 cups of dried hibiscus flowers
2 cups of sugar
1 gallon of water

Boil 1/2 gallon of water
add hibiscus flowers and continue to boil for 4 minutes.
turn off heat and let steep for 15 minutes
strain off liquid into gallon jar or pitcher
stir in sugar {to the jar of hot tea}.
add 1/2 gallon of cold water back to the pan with your flowers
squeeze out all of the tea you can from the flowers, then throw them in your compost.
add the cold water to your jar- and chill for a couple of hours
serve over ice!

Told you! It's fool proof!
You will now be hooked.

Next-- Horchata:

Horchata is a milky beverage made from soaked dry rice.
It is creamy, and cinnamony, and wonderful.

For one gallon:

1 cup of dry white rice
3 whole cinnamon sticks
zest of one lime
one can of evaporated milk
1-2 cups of sugar

In your blender, blend dry rice until powdery and smooth
In gallon size jar or pitcher, soak blended rice in 1/2 gallon of water, cinnamon sticks, and lime zest overnight
The next day, add sugar and stir until disolved
Add evaporated milk, and about 6 more cups of water {or to bring the quantity to one gallon}.
Stir well, then chill for a few hours.
Serve over ice!

There you have it!
Two traditional Mexican beverages, in less than an hour prep time, and probably like 5 bucks in ingredients!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Comfort Food

We had ham on Thanksgiving.

We ate it for days, and then it was gone.

I love ham.

So much so that I bought another one ..... just for me :-D

Now, what does one do with 11 lbs of ham?

{Besides eat it straight from the refrigerator}....

I am thinking of some new ways to throw ham into our meals, so stay tuned for what I concoct.

Today for lunch we had homemade Mac-N-Cheese {with ham}.

I started with a basic roux:

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a sauce pan.

Add 3 cups of milk.

Heat the milk, but make sure it doesn't boil!!

Add 2/3 cup of flour.

Whisk together.

Salt, pepper and garlic to taste.

I added a little salsa macha {stay tuned for that recipe someday soon...}

Stir in one cup of grated cheddar

One cup of grated Jack

1/2 cup of Queso Fresco, or Castillo.... or Feta if you can't find those.

Stir well, and then add 1/4 cup of parmesan

Meanwhile, boil pasta~ whatever you like.... doesn't have to be macaroni.

I made 500g of dry Penne' pasta. {That's like 4 cups}.

Mix cooked pasta into the pot where you made the cheese sauce and stir it all together.

Now chop up 2 cups of ham into little cubes, or bits, or whatever.

Mix it in with your pasta and cheese.

Throw the whole bit in a 13x9 casserole dish, and sprinkle some Parmesan over the top.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Serve piping hot.

We ate it with banana catsup.

Don't knock it 'til you try it....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Decking the "Halls"

New Stockings!! Reperposed from an old pillow sham that I picked up at Las Segundas last year.
The apliques are some scraps from some Christmas diaper covers I did a few years back.
{No- I didn't iron them..... ignore the wrinkles...}
Now I just have to decide what I want MY stocking to look like :)
I'm not one for matchy-matchy.

Salt dough ornaments:
2 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup cold water

This recipe can be air dried, or baked @ 200 for an hour or so {until hard}
Behold A Child Is Born.
I took tho photos and flipped them around, printed out "BEHOLD!" "A CHILD" "IS BORN"
at like 400 size font in various styles and had the kids watercolor over them.
Let them dry and put them in my frames.
I also found a photo from the Nativity movie. I put it into Photoshop and edited it to Chalk Drawing.
Our Nativity Scene has always been these tiny ceramic people that I painted a million years ago.
{so tiny that you can't even see them in the photo ;-)}
So I am going to be proweling around Downtown to see if I can find a hand widdled one.
I'll show you what I come up with when and if I do find something this year.
We always make paper snowflakes around here.
Even when it isn't Christmas.
It's just one of those things..... what is more fun for a 9 and 5 year old than cutting tiny bits of paper up?
This time we used scrapbook stock and made them giant.
Taiah made most of them :-)
I have had a shelf full of my empty Olive Oil, Honey, and Banana Catsup bottles sitting around for awhile. I was wandering around the feild last week and started noticing the smells of sage, and olive branches. I started clipping them and ended up with this ^^ :)
You use what you've got, right?

My house isn't very "Christmassy" yet. Nor will it be, by most standards.
It is still getting into the 80s here and sunny everyday. It doesn't feel like garland and wreaths to me. So I am improvising. The kids are counting down the days until Christmas, so we are crafting our way into a decorated house.
This is what we have so far.
I am thinking the next step will be dragging some sort of tree inside.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Food Post!!

The nights are nippy!

As soon as that warm sun goes down, the temp drops into the 50s, and that means the temp in my house drops too.

So I do what any sensible person who lives in an unheated house would do:

I boil something :-)Nothing beats a gool hot bowl of Chick Soup.


Chop 2 cups of chicken thighs.

Chop two regular sized carrots.

Rinse and chop 2 cups of fresh spinach.

Slice and dice 1/2 cup of onion.

Mince 3 garlic cloves.

4 cups pasta.... whatever you like... penne, spiral, orzo, veggie, whatev.


Sea Salt {or Himalayan if you happen to have it}

Course ground black pepper.

Kirkland Salt Free Garlic Seasoning {If you don't have this- get it. You'll love it.}


Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large sauce pan { this is a one-dish meal}.

Add onion and garlic.

Cook until the house smells lovely.

Add chicken and cook until it starts to brown and stick to the pot.

Add about 10 cups of water.

Let boil for 5 minutes or so.

Add carrots, spinach, and seasonings {to taste}.

Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

At this point the broth should begin to get cloudy {cuz of the chicken broth...}

Add pasta and continue to let simmer for 10 minutes.

And Viola'! Dinner. In 25 minutes, and for like 5 bucks.

Plus your house is all warm and yummy smelling.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Cornucopia

It's hard to imagine that it is November.
The nights are getting chilly, and the days are sometimes cloudy-- but I am from Oregon, and in Oregon "sometimes cloudy" means September.
This is the basket that I carried in from the garden a couple of days ago:
Thats right: The Garden. In November. Tomatoes and Watermelon in November.

It is Thanksgiving Day today. The base is quiet. The boys are gone {Ryan and Asa had to drive to L.A. to pick up Nate who is currently in the air somewhere between Uganda and California.} We are planning a feast for Sunday when everyone can be together. What I am realizing about not having Thanksgiving ON Thanksgiving, is that I have more time to reflect on what I am thankful for. The things that God faithfully provides for us. The things that He lovingly teaches us. The desires that He puts in us, and the works that He finishes.

God gave me a desire to create. I make lots of stuff. I love making stuff. Everything from taking string and making it into a hat, to putting a seed in the ground and making it into a vegetable. Putting paint on a canvas and making a picture, or film in a camera and making a photo. Flour and eggs in a bowl and making a cake. Milk and steam in a pitcher and making a Latte'. Herbs in boiling water and making a remedy. I even made a couple of kids, and managed to keep them alive.

Now, I know there are those of you who just read that and thought: "Well.... YOU didn't exactly 'make' a vegetable, or a baby.... God made those things..."

Hold your horses.... I'm getting to that.....

But God..... God made me. He made everything. He began it all. How crazy to fathom that He was, and then He just decided to speak, and out came this. Before time began He had already completed it all. He had already made us, He had already fashioned everything that I would ever do {or "make" }, and He had already died and risen.

I am Thankful that God made things through me. That He chose to use my hands, my mind, my body to create things. If I can remember to praise Him for everything that I ever accomplish, to thank Him daily for everything that He uses me for, and to ask Him each day how to best glorify Him today..... wouldn't THAT be somethin'? If I could not only make everyday "Thanksgiving Day", but also "Glorify Him Day"-- wouldn't I save myself a lot of scraped knees? {Pride comes before distruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall, right?}

Thanks God for our bountiful garden! Thanks for using the people here at this base to minister around the world. Thanks for giving me talents, and children with talents. Thanks for providing for me always. Thanks for reminding me today that You are the Author and Finisher of our faith. And that You are seated at the right hand of the throne, and to You- I am already there with You.


<>< Shae

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Expression of Thanks

We live in Mexico. For those of you who don't know: Mexico happens to be in North America, therefore being included in the catagory "America"
The Americas were first explored by the Spanish {Columbus.... is this ringing a bell??}.
There is this little holiday in the USA which is a celebration in rememberence of the first settlers and their struggles when they arrived here. The actual celebration first took place about 400 years ago, and what most people don't realize is that they aren't actually celebrating the Settling of the colonies, but the THANKFULLNESS that the settlers had after they had lived through a very bruital winter in a foreign land. God provided for them, and they were Thankful.
Wouldn't it be cool if we could go back to celebrating {as a Nation} the original idea?
So many holidays in the USA have become nothing more than a reason to cook, eat, and shop.

We are going to celebrate with Thankfullness here in Mexico {a foreign land} this week.
We aren't able to have all of our "Family" here on Thursday- so we will express our Thanks to God on Sunday.
Shouldn't we all be doing that everyday anyhow?
* steps off of soapbox *

So.... the Blogger question of the week:
What is on our Menu??
Well..... Turkey is very expensive here. We found a couple of stores selling some for two bucks a pound. So we will try to import one from CA, but only if we can find an affordable one.
Otherwise we will figure out something else .... {any ideas Mem?? Cause I'm thinkin' Pork tacos ;) }

What I DO know we will have:

Because nothing happens here without it.

* FYI- The effects of Caffeine are reported to have been first discovered in the 9th Century in Ethiopia. *

What is on your menu this week?

What are your family traditions?

Leave me comments!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wool socks and Gorros

Fall is here.

Or.... summer is gone.....

Ya, Ya, Ya.... I'm probably just whining.

To those of you in Oregon, and anywhere else North of the Line,

It has been fall for awhile, and now it is feeling like winter.

But down here in Baja- the sun prefers to shine daily.

So you will find me here complaining about my 50 degree nights for the next few weeks.

Entonces, I have been parking it in my Mustard-ColoredChair

{You should be jealous, because She is lovely}.

Gorros {Beanies} are the creation of choice for right now.

They take me no time at all, and I can warm my ears in them.

With these concrete floors i am thinking that I should start weaving rag rugs though.....

I'll let you know if I get that crazy.