Monday, November 28, 2011

Britain's Saddest City?

 So Tim shared this article with me today called, Welcome to Aberdeen, Britain's Saddest City.  Nice. Read it if you get a chance. It's crazy! I have to admit after reading it I was kind of depressed. I mean I knew the dark winter would be hard due to the fact that we are so far North, but I didn't think about all of the problems they say that could bring: sleepiness, lack of motivation, depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder), weight gain, higher prices for heat and lights etc. etc.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, on the Winter Solstice, when the earth is tilted at its' maximum degree away from the sun, there are only 6 hours and 40min of daylight!

To flesh that out for you, that means on December 22  the sun will not even begin to rise until 8:47am and will be completely set by 3:27pm! Wow - talk about a "short day".  I'm already having a hard time getting my booty out of bed at 7am when Madison wakes up because it is PITCH DARK out - weird. On the up side, the girls are taking longer naps because by the end of their nap time - yup - you guessed it - it's dark again!

But the weird thing is that on the Summer Solstice, when the earth is tilted at it's maximum degree towards the sun, there are 17 hours, 55 min of daylight!  So that means on June 22nd, the sun will rise at 4:12am and set at 10:08pm! Weird. And because of the angle the sun is in the sky, it seems so much brighter as it's just about always right in your eyes -haha! The little things I didn't think of before we moved here!

So we have quite the adjustment to make with seasons here. To be completely honest, I'm kind of dreading December, January and February. We have no visitors and it's going to be cold and dark.
 If you think about us, pray that we can keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ's faithful love for us. For in Him there is no shadow of changing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

 White Chicken Chili, crispy bread

(one of our all time favorite soups!)
1 T. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2-4 oz. Cans Chopped Green Chili Peppers
4-6 Cooked, boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cut into bit-zis pieces
3-10oz. cans Chicken Broth
5-6 cans great northern beens(or any white bean you like)
2t. ground Cumin
2t. Dried Oregano
1 t. Salt
1-2t. Cayenne Pepper(this is what makes it SPICY)
2c. Sour Cream (I use light)
1c. Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half (in the UK Double cream or single cream),
Monterey Jack Cheese
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
2. Add onions and garlic, and sauté for 10 minutes or until onion are tender
3. Add chicken, broth, chili peppers, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper
4. Bring to a boil
5. Reduce heat to low and add beans. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until heated thoroughly
6. Before you serve, mix together sour cream and whipping cream until well blended
7. Mix into chili and simmer until heated through again.
Pour into individual bowls and top with shredded cheese.

Yield: Approx 8 servings

Chicken Oriental Salad 
*Mandarin Oranges
*Almond slices
*Wonton strips
*Grilled chicken

Toss all of the items above and drizzle the below dressing on top
Oriental dressing:
1/3 cup oil
¼ cup sugar
1 season packet from “Oriental Ramen Noodles”
3 T. Red Wine Vinegar
    Whisk all ingredients together 
 Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes 
 I found this one on Pioneer Woman and it looks so yummy! To be honest, I'm not sure if It's meant to me a main meal or not. It kind of looks like it would make an amazing appetizer. But I'm going to add garlic pasta to the side and call it a main dish :)

I'm linked up with Orgjunkie

Thanksgiving in Scotland

We had a low key, relaxed day spent with family and some of our new friends here in Aberdeen. It started out with some cooking...
Madison Smashing sweet potatoes for the best ever Sweet Potato Casserole

Rose got in on the action

"The Turkey!" 21 Pounder - my biggest yet. I was nervous, but Martha  Stewart's recipe helped a ton!

Sweet Potato Casserole and Coffee cake- Thanks mom for the best recipes!

We lazied around and had appetizers during the afternoon while the turkey cooked. We also watched "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" - which is surprisingly historic. I forgot about that. I liked it! Oh and we watched "Garfield a Thanksgiving Special" -so fun!

Sparkling grape juice - fun that the girls could even get in on :)

The finished turkey! People said it was flavorful and tender. I was so grateful. It was a butter  herb recipe  where you rub the butter under and on top of the skin. I had never done that before. In fact, after I finished the butter part, I told Tim I would never do it again. But after we tasted it, we decided that I should :)

Aberdeen Student fellowship Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration

Kid's table

Maddy and her friend Luke

Rose and her friend Ian

Baby Lizzie and her Grandma

The guys always seem to find one another to talk theology with

The spread!

The turkey Maddy and I made together. She came up with all of the names to thank God for on each feather.  I was so proud of her. 

We decorated for Christmas! We just did a little tree up on a bookshelf this year to keep Rose out of it and save money. I actually love the simplicity of it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday


 Baked Chicken

From : Barefoot Contessa’s Cookbook

My friend Joy here in Scotland so kindly brought us this amazing chicken when we first moved and had no food in our pantry :) We loved it so much I got the recipe! It's so easy - even I can do it!

 1 whole chicken
 1 bunch fresh thyme
 1 lemon
 1 whole head clove of garlic
 3 T. melted butter

1. Place chicken in sink, rise with water and clean out insides of chicken (giblets) if any J
2. Stuff cavity of chicken
   a. with ½ bunch of thyme
   b. lemon sliced in half-add both halves,
   c. take garlic head and slice off of top 1/3 -add to chicken cavity
   d. sprinkle liberally inside with salt and pepper

3. Place stuffed chicken in 8x8 or small glass pan-legs up (if you have kitchen string, tie legs together, to keep moist)
4. Brush melted butter over entire chicken-yes, fat is good.
5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
6. Place in preheated oven (425 degrees)
7. Cook for 1 ½ hours
8. ENJOY with bar b que sauce! (use leftover chicken for chimichangas, chicken salad, taco salad, bar b que sandwiches, curry chicken-which we like a lot, on pizza, use chicken bones to make homemade stock…)


 Meatball Sandwiches

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 cup spaghetti sauce or marinara, plus 2 tablespoons for meatballs
3 tablespoons chopped parsley1 loaf Italian bread or 4 large sub rolls

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine beef, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, pepper, paprika and 2 tablespoons sauce in bowl. Shape meat mixture into 12 equal meatballs. Place on a jelly-roll pan.
Bake in preheated 350° oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
Heat the 1 cup sauce in a saucepan; stir in parsley. Divide bread crosswise into four portions; split each. Spoon meatballs and sauce into bread.
Serves 4.


 Thanksgiving Celebration with Divinity students and their families.
 I'm making one of the turkeys, using one of Martha Stewart's Recipes (roast turkey with herb butter) and  Mom Baylor's sweet potato casserole (per Tim's request :)

I'm linked up to Organzingjunkie

Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week's planning went well, but again, I have a few recipes left over due to busy schedules and changes in plans. I think I've decided to do what orgjunkie does and just meal plan Monday - Friday. That way I have two slush days to move around and do what I want with. That doesn't mean I'm going to eat those exact meals on those days, I usually look at the plan and make what we feel like that night anyways. This way I have some wiggle room for leftovers(a lot of the recipes make way more than we can eat in one night and i hate to waste it) or if we end up being out and about or someone invites us over ;)

So I guess you live and learn, right? We'll see how this works. I never said this was full-proof :)



I have to admit, I kind of keep putting this off because I'm a tad skeptical of how good it will be. But I AM going to try it this week. I bet it's going to be great. 



I'm linking up with Orgjunkie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Advent Calendar Giveaway!

A friend of mine clued me into this Advent Calendar giveaway at-

Check it out - you just might win (but I kinda hope I do :) - Let me know if you get it though and I swear I'll rejoice with you ;)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

ok - well, last week ended up being a little crazier than we though it would be, so I have a few repeat meals this week. I hate to let food go to waste! Hope you had a good week. Anyone else meal planning with me? Any good recipes or strategies you use in planning?




Ok, so before you judge me for making this again so soon, a friend is having a baby (*Wink *Wink Emily!) so I always bring a new mom this wonderfully creamy comfort food! And Tim made me promise to make our family some as well :) Oh and I forgot to say that if I am trying to save money or don't have the second kind of cheese on hand, I will use all white sharp cheddar and that tastes fabulous!

Breakfast for dinner: french toast, bacon and eggs


Our dear friends the Barkers arrive in Scotland on this night for a visit! Woohoo!

Now, little disclaimer here - I don't use a whole chicken like he does,  I uses chicken tenders because it's so much easier to make and to eat! I also usually cut recipe and marinating time in half .  I can't make this meal alone though. Tim always helps me. You really need one person manning the waffle iron while the other does the chicken.  It's AMAZING though!

I'm linking up to Orgjunkie

Friday, November 04, 2011

Maddy Says

Madison is only 2 months away from turning THREE and her personality is really showing. She is a hoot and is always cracking us up. I want to remember some of those hilarious conversation that every mom has with her toddler. Here are a few of her recents.

* Since about summer time, Maddy has developed these imaginary friends (Ariel and Eric, Dora and Diego, and the "Thing"(from this book she read recently). Well, it didn't bother me at first because it was just cute imaginary play, but recently she has been having me do things for them and it's driving me crazy! She'll say things like, "Mom, Diego really wants you to wash his face, get him dressed or get him a cookie(I think she's hoping to get two for herself ;) Like I don't have enough work to do with 2 REAL kids!
It can get kind of embarrassing when we're in public too.
*One day we were out for a walk and a man with a dog walked by and Maddy got to pet the dog and then she yelled, "Mom, Dora wants to pet him too!" I tried to ignore here but she kept getting louder. So I kinda pretended Rose was Dora and then quickly got out of there - ha! How terrible am I?!

*After we had recently had a conversation about the fact that Jesus is everywhere and he is always with us...Maddy(on the tire swing) - "mom, mom, Jesus is sitting right across from me right there. Mom, Mom! You need to stop; Jesus' belly is getting sick because we going too fast!" Oh boy. We have a little more teaching to do on this topic :)

*After a man at the park said Madison could not pet his dog, "Mom, why can't I pet that dog?"
Me - because he might be mean and he could bite you.
Maddy- and he would bite my hand like this (putting whole hand in her mouth) and he would bit my hand off, and I would have to get a new one!  And I would be so sad because I can't  pic up candy any more!!!" (Yes, because picking up candy is the most important thing you do with your hands all day :)

*Maddy - "mom I have a boo boo on my eye, can I have a bandaid on it?"
Me - "no, we can't put bandaids on your eye because you can't see and it will get stuck to our eyelashes."
Maddy - "Then my lashes be gone and I say( yelling at the top of her lungs), "Momma Momma Momma, where my lashes go? (in sad voice) we can't get new lashes!"

*When she was coloring in her coloring book, "Mom I'm doing my work home." haha! We were recently with her cousins who had to do their Homework after school :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Trick or Treat Fun!

Our first time making Rice Krispy treats together!

We made pumpkin treats!

I had fun making faces!

Rosie was a little dancer!

Maddy was a Fairy Princess! 

The whole AWF group! We all walked together.

Really nice night for it!

Maddy and her new friend Abigail holding hands! THAT does a mother's heart good :)