Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 25, 2013

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 323.8 • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 25.9 g • Carb: 44.1 g • Fiber: 6.3 g 

282 Calories, 8g fat, 26 carbs, 0g fiber, 299mg sodium
All - American Chili and Cornbread
Chili Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup + 1 T cheese- 375 Calories, 12g fat, 33.7 carbs, 8.2 g fiber
* You can use any white fish. I am using cod since it's on sale this week. 
233 Calories,  8g fat,  31g protein, 7g carbs,  0g fiber,  511mg Sodium

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eagerly Awaiting EASTER!

I recently read a portion of Noel Piper's book, Treasuring God in our Traditions and was inspired to do more with the girls in anticipation of Easter. We count down a full month before Christmas, but we often don't do anything for Easter until the day of (maybe an egg hunt the day before-ha!) I'm not at all opposed to having an Easter Egg hunt. It's all good fun.

But as my kids grow up, I want to spend more time talking about the gospel ~the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. These are some of the core components of our faith.

I decided to do a combination of things that I have heard and read. Noel shares the great idea of doing Lenten Lights with your children. It's basically a series of small devotionals using candles. If you have older children, she suggests doing a devotional each Sunday of lent, but if you have younger children and want to do daily devotionals during Holy Week, she suggests starting on the Saturday before Palm Sunday and doing a devotional each night.

This is her description of the candles. I love it!

The Symbolism of the Seven Candles
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). But for a while it seemed as if the darkness was overcoming—for a long while.
Your seven candles symbolize the Light of the World—the Light that was God’s glory and that illuminated God for us—the Light that, in the end, seemed to have been darkened. As we move through the season preceding Easter, the candles are snuffed out one by one, until all are dark on Good Friday, when Jesus died and the earth was covered with shadow. Darkness apparently had won. The Light of the World had been extinguished. It was finished.
But NO! Easter brings resurrection! Life! Return from death! The Light has won and all the candles burn as we praise him—the Light of the World, the Bright Morning Star, the Glory of God.
I just used birthday candles that I stuck into Styrofoam because it's all I had ;) 
We are basically going to do the candles along with resurrection eggs since the kids are so little. I'll probably step it up to the full devotional next year. But I like the visual of the eggs for a 2 and a 4 year old. 

On the blog Sugar Lander, I found this simple post on DYI Resurrection Eggs. Thank you Casey!
Here's Casey's picture of hers.
I have 10 eggs and 9 candles and only 9 days until Easter, so I did two eggs on the first night. It's as flexible as you want it to be. So honestly start whenever you are able - even if its just a few days before Easter. Something is better than nothing, right?!
The girls loved seeing what was inside!
Tim explaining the story of Easter.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... 
1 Peter 1:3 

Monday, March 18, 2013

{Menu Plan Monday} + Recipe Reviews!

Chicken Cordon Bleu
 We have a house guest this week and he is making this for us! 
Yay for a night off cooking!

I haven't made this one in so long, mainly because I have been really trying to eat healthy! But we DO have a guest this week, so this one needs to be on the menu. It's been so cold and windy and comfort food like this is just what the doctor ordered ;)

377 Calories, 10.6g fat, 23.9g protein, 43g carbs, 4.8g fiber, 650mg sodium
* I will be using fresh mozzarella instead of burrata cheese since I couldn't find it anywhere ;)
415 Calories, 17.1g fat, 13.5g protein, 51.4g carbs, 4.8g fiber, 593mg sodium

Basic Beef Stew, crispy bread
Again -this is guest worthy and I can't wait to share it!
Serving size: 1 cup - 303 Calories, 9.8g fat, 26.8 Carbs , Fiber 2.3g, 494mg sodium

Recipe Reviews: 

Turkey Meatloaf - Tim 7/10, Julie 9/10 - healthy and tasty, can't beat that! Ease to make -8.5/10
SO easy! But the cooking time (in loaf form) is 1hr 15 min. I did not read that ahead of time, so I was crunched for time and just spread it into a 9x13 pan and it cooked in about 35 min ;) It's a GO!

Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes  Tim - 8.5/10, Julie 9/10, Ease to make 9/10 - While I used these as a side dish, you could easily add chicken, bacon or ham and make it a main dish! They were SO yummy and lower calorie because it mixed cauliflower into the filling and you couldn't even tell! It's a GO!

Irish Soda Bread - Tim 7/10, Julie 8/10, Ease to make 9.5/10 - SUCH an easy bread to make! It's kind of a mix between a biscuit and sourdough consistency. It tastes and looks so great for a quick bread! It's a GO!

Baked Chicken Parmesan - Tim 8.5/10, Julie 9/10, Ease to make 8.5/10 - I really loved her technique in making this. You brush a bit of melted butter onto the raw chicken breast and then dip it into bread crumbs and parmesan and then pop it in the oven to bake it. It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside - not to mention - easy and healthy! It's a GO!

Croque Madame Sandwich - Tim -10/10, Julie 9.5/10, Ease to make 8.5/10. Oh my! This was amazing! You need to find the correct and nice cheese though to make it right! Tim and I were both surprised how filling and satisfying it was! We kept saying how fantastic it was after every bite.
It's a GO!

Penne with Asparagus and Balsamic Butter - Tim 8/10, Julie 9/10, Ease to Make 9/10. I added grilled chicken to make it more of a meal, but this was easy and so buttery and tasty! Lip smacking good in my humble opinion ;) It's a GO!

Orange and Soy Glazed Salmon - Tim 7/10, Julie 7.5/10, Ease to Make 8/10 - This was just meh to me. It had good flavors, but didn't really stand out to me as a keeper.  NO GO.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 11/2013

Turkey Meatloaf, roasted brussels sprouts and bread

Chicken Fajitas, Guacamole, Chips

Baked Chicken, broccoli and cheese twice baked potatoes
Servings: 8 • Size: 1/2 loaded potato • Old Pts: 3 pts • Weight Watchers Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 146.5 • Fat: 3.5 g • Protein: 8 g • Carb: 23 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 1.5 g
Sodium: 152.5 mg (without the salt)

(Serving size: 1 1/2 cups, 326 calories, 13.49 g fat, 26 carbs, 6.8 fiber)
Servings: 8  Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts 
Calories: 224.5 • Fat: 8.6 g • Protein: 25 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 1.5 g
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

#015 You Might Live in Scotland If...

... on today ~ March 10, 2013, it is Mother's Day. 

... but you will not experience Daylight Savings Time
 until March 31st (Easter Sunday).

Whereas in the U.S. ~ Mother's Day will be on May 12th...

...and they moved their clocks forward today!

I found the following information in an interesting post about Daylight Savings Time across the globe. 

Daylight Saving Time statistics for 2013

Daylight Saving Time observance?CountExample
Countries and territories which do not observe DST at all159China
Countries and territories where at least one location observe DST79United States
–Countries and territories where all locations observe DST some part of the year68Germany
–Countries and territories where many, but not all locations observe DST part of the year10United States
–Countries and territories where at least one location observe DST all year2Macquarie Island
–Countries and territories where all locations observe DST all year1Falkland Islands

Friday, March 08, 2013

#014 You Might Live in Scotland If...

...Your Milk containers looks like this

L to R: 6 pint, 4 pint, 2pint, 1pint

Instead of like they do in the States...


Half Gallon

* And a side note- the milk here tastes SO much better. To be honest i'm not exactly sure why. I think it has to do with the higher food standards and what they allow/don't allow. 
 But it just tastes more like - well - MILK! I grew up on a farm with FRESH milk - so I was so impressed with my first taste of milk here in the UK. In fact I find all of the dairy tastes better - especially the cheddar cheese and yogurt! Yum!
Ok - you can come visit us now ;)

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Scripture Memory ~ Peace

‎"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. 

Not as the world gives do I give to you. 

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

John 14:27

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Aberdeen Update ~ March 2013

It's hard to believe that we have been living abroad for a YEAR AND A HALF now! Time has just flown by. I can honestly say that we are loving our life here in Aberdeen. God has been so gracious to provide for our needs, not only physically, but spiritually and relationally as well!
Hiking at Crathes Castle nearby hour house

Love my little ladies!
I have several groups of community that I draw strength and encouragement from. First, I am part of a lovely group of ladies that I have come to know and love well through the University of Aberdeen. We do playgroups, bible studies, baby showers, Thanksgiving, Easter Egg hunts etc. together. It's so nice!

As well, we have  a solid church family in Trinity Church. I am teaching Sunday School every other week and Tim has been helping to set up for the morning service as well as preaching from time to time. The girls have little Scottish and English friends and enjoy their Sunday School classes! We are so thankful for this local body of Christ that has been such an enormous encouragement to our faith as we have been here.
These two looks so alike to me!
Now that Maddy is in our local nursery (preschool), I am getting connected well to our little community of Ferryhill. Just about everyone walks their child the 15 minutes to and from school each morning, so we get to say hello and chat as we walk or before and after school. We all live right in that small neighborhood and often see one another at the park or the local store.  I'm enjoying getting to know the other mums and learning about the Scottish culture ;)

We are thankfully beginning to emerge from the darkness that is the Scottish Winter! The sun rises earlier and sets a bit later and there have been less cloudy days. I am feeling the energy and life course back into my veins again! Praising the Lord for that.

Well, here is the latest Aberdeen Update Tim wrote for our supporters. I thought some of  you might light to take a look at it as well.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Menu Plan Monday + Croque Madame Sandwich!

Spaghetti Squash with Cheese, Grilled Chicken and Salad
Servings: 7  • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 165 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 10 g • Carb: 16 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 6.5 g
 278.5 mg (without salt)

I wanted to make this recipe because I was dreaming the other day about when Tim and I went to Paris for a few days and I had this amazing sandwich at Le Saint Severin after a friend recommended it! I figured I should try my hand at making it! This is the picture of the one I had :)

Such a cute little cafe

I'm going to try Jamie Oliver's recipe and see how it compares! And because of the calorie count, I plan on only eating half a sandwich and a big salad ;) The salad that came with mine at Le Saint Severin had this amazing vinaigrette on it that paired so well with the sandwich, so I'm going to try to hunt that recipe down as well!
Per serving 789 cals, 47.8g fat (26.6g saturated), 40.1g protein, 47.9g carbs, 9g sugars
Lemon Dill Salmon and Salad 
(320 calories a filet) 

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup and crispy bread 
(275 Calories a Bowl)

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs and sweet potato fries 
321 Calories, 11g fat, 28g protein, 0.6 fiber, 676mg sodium

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