Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Missing Home

It's Tuesday's Around the World with Communal Global..I was going to show a pic of what my today looked like but instead I thought I would post what was on my mind. Home. I am missing home. It's hard sometimes to describe to other people what it feels like to be an Expat. So here goes..Take your house and everything in it and then go around and pick out everything that means something special to you and try and fit it into 4 suitcases..the rest you need to leave behind. Store away all your memories of your friends and family and every single crazy off the wall thing you have done with them and replay it over and over in your head while living in your new country..because sometimes thats the only thing that brings you comfort.

As you try to make new friends and navigate yourself in a new environment that doesn't always make sense you are the odd man out. Noone has any kind of history with you and what was funny back home, doesn't make sense to anyone in your new world. There is noone who knows what you did that one crazy night,or knows you like the back of their hand. Noone remembers seeing you as a child and watched you grow up or knowing exactly what you need without ever having said a word. Your comfort zone is shot now and you constantly wonder if anyone else is going to "get you". So today my friends I am missing every single person out there who remembers the glory days of Punky Brewster,Little House on The Prairie,the wonderful world of growing up in the 80's and 90's,the Aqua Net hair days and getting those bangs up as far as they could possibly go. I miss the sightes of Oregon and knowing where everything was and taking care of everything. I miss freedom,privacy,reeces peanut butter cups, and yes I even miss Wal-Mart. I miss everyone who has a history with me and not getting to see and chat with you on a daily basis. So thats my "Today" and not all todays like this are bad..they are few and far between now but Im always going to miss "Home".
  Link up and let us know what your today looks like!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Glazed Pork Chops

For the most part I am not a big pork eater. I'm not sure why that is because I do enjoy it when I have it. My problem is that sometimes it has a strong pork flavor and I don't like that. I'm weird though..I don't like fish if it has a strong fish taste either. They had a great deal on pork though so I picked some up.

This recipe comes from Budget Bytes and I spotted it while browing on Foodgawker..you seriously need to check that website out if you haven't done so yet! you'll never run out of ideas as to what to cook or bake again! The rub on this is so delicious! The ingredients are simple and you should have most of these ingredients in your cupboard. I went ahead and fried them in a nonstick electric skillet on low but you can transfer them into the oven to finish them off. Make sure you watch the temperature if cooking in a skillet or it will burn due to the brown sugar in the rub. A must also is that you drag the chops through the pan to catch all that wonderful galze on the bottom before serving!! Thanks Budget Bytes for a great recipe!

Glazed Pork chops
 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
4 Porkchops..bone in or boneless

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180. Combine spices in a bowl.
     Rub mixture onto porkchops. Cook chops on each side for 5 mins in a pan with some oil until browned. If using an oven safe pan transfer to oven and bake until done. You can also transfer to a baking dish or like me,cook them on low/medium heat until done. Mine were thin so it didn't take long.
  Drag the chops through the glaze before serving : )                                                       

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Welcome to Sunday's In My City hosted my Unknown Mami. Head on over there to see what she along with everyone who signed up is up to this weekend! See the photo up there? that was taken last year around this time. This is what it looks like now.
    We've gotten a ton of rain all at once..and we flooded. Our neighborhood flooded aswell..You can see the post HERE
                      This is how it should look right now.
                         Guess Mother Nature has other plans.
                          We drove along the back roads.
                                   Visited a small town.
            We drive here alot. The town is called Boekelo.
 On sundays everyone heads into their neighborhood cafe and has a drink and something to eat..and then they people watch. So there you have it..a not to exciting drive through my area :) I wish you all a wonderful week ahead! 
Unknown Mami
                                                                       

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I need an Ark!!!

I just want to point out that it's August..we should be getting tons of sun..instead we have this..massive flooding.
  The boys were sent home early from school today because the bathrooms were overflowing with water.
 It's starting to inch it's way closer to us..this is right outside my kitchen window. When I walk outside it smells like the ocean and it's super humid.
                     Walkin' on water...
   My beautiful butterfly bush is shot from all the rain.
          I give up! I want an Ark and I want out of here!                                  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ham Pot Pie

It's been cooler the last few days..well to be honest this whole month has been filled with cooler weather. I think it's safe to say that our summer like weather is long gone! I decided that although it felt odd to bring out some fall like weather recipes we were in need of one!
    Pot pie isn't something I make..mostly because of the pie crust thats involved. They do not sell ready made pie crusts here so I am on my own if I need to make one..and I have yet to make one. I stumbled upon this recipe back in January and bookmarked it. Growing up I always had those small pot pies that came in either turkey,chicken or beef. This pot pie puts those to shame. The filling is 100 times better and I love the biscuit topping..we all loved it(the boys asked to have the leftovers for lunch: ). The original recipe called for a pie crust but instead Stirring the Pot made a switch to biscuits. I'm so glad she did! They went perfect with this meal and I liked it much more than with a pie crust. I will be making this over and over again and switching the ham out for chicken and turkey. 

Here are some tips: The recipe calls to put the mixture into a 2 quart casserole. I highly suggest you put it into a 13x9 dish instead. There is alot of filling and I read from one other blogger who made this that her filling spilled all over the place. So I used the 13x9 and it worked perfectly. When chopping up your veggies make sure they aren't to thick or they won't soften in time. I noticed this myself when eating some of the potatoes. I bumped my potatoes up to 2 cups and used dried onions instead..about 1/4 cup.  

Thanks for a wonderful recipe Stirring the Pot!

Ham Pot Pie..serves 6-8

1 cup Diced Potatoes
1 cup Diced Onions
1 cup Diced Celery
1 cup Diced Carrots
1/3 cup Butter,melted
1/2 cup Flour
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Half and Half
1 tsp. Salt
Pepper to taste
4 cups Ham,cooked and chopped

Biscuits
2 cups Flour
1 TBL Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1/2 cup Butter,diced
1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
Extra cream for brushing on top

Pre heat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Saute onion,celery,carrots,and potatoes in butter for 10 mins.
  Add flour to sauteed mixture,stirring well. Cook for one minute stirring constantly. Combine broth and half and half. Gradually stir into veggie mixture.
   Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt and pepper,add ham and stir well. Pour into greased baking dish.
 To make biscuits, combine the flour,baking powder,salt and sugar in a bowl. You can either use an electrix mixer with the paddle attachment or your hand. If using an electric mixer add the butter and mix on low speed until butter is the size of peas. Add the half and half and combine on low speed. Mix in parsley. Dump dough onto floured surface,roll out to 3/8 inch thick;cut into 12 circles...OR don't roll it out and instead shape dough into 12 circles using your hand. If like me you are not using an electric mixer then just do it by hand..mix the butter in with the flour,baking powder,sugar and salt until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in everything else,mix and shape into 12 circles with your hands. Lay on top of the ham mixture.
   Brush the tops of the biscuits with milk or cream. Bake 30-40mins or until biscuits are cooked through and golden.
                                                                                                                 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alien Life

No need to search out alien life forms throughout the universe when they can be found in your backyard! Flies are sooo creepy cool looking! So..whats your "Today" look like? Communal Global wants to know : )
      Time to link up and share your Tuesdays with us! Simply share your own "today" (in a post on your own blog where you mention, and link back to Communal Global) then link up with us (at the bottom of this post) so we can come and visit your blog and see your unique (or wonderfully ordinary) "TODAY"! Oh, and while you're at it, feel free to add our button to your site (see the link that says "add us" in our header? Click that!) so more of your friends can share in the sharing! We can't wait to see your "Today."      

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Hi Everyone! If this is your first time here my name is Sonya and I'm an American living in The Netherlands. I live in a lovely city named Enschede. Unknown Mami allows me to link up with her and everyone else who wants to share their city with the rest of the world. If you like taking virtual tours then please head on over there! This week I'm bringing you butterflies and other nature shots. If you have been here on a regular basis then you already know that I have a thing for butterflies : )
 I have a thing for frogs too..but they are harder to photograph sometimes.
    I love thistles too..aren't they beautiful?
                      I love bees..I pretty much love all nature.
                              Pinecones are amazing too.
                                                                    
             But yeah...I love butterflies. Have a wonderful week ahead everyone! See you next sunday : )           

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Interview and My Giveaway Update

It's friday!! this our last weekend before school starts up again..YUCK! I wanted to stop in real quick and let you know that I did an interview for Clogs and Tulips: An American in Holland and you can read it HERE if you are interested. Also alot of you wanted updates on the winner of my first Giveaway and what she had gotten? Well Marla posted about it HERE and you can check out what I sent to her if interested. I will be having another giveaway towards christmas!! there are sooo many dutch goodies you need to try. Recipes will be back up and running this week. I have been enjoying my time off but will buckle down with a bunch of new things so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Road Not Taken...

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost has always been a favorite of mine..are you statisfied with your road? Communal Global wants to see your "Today". Link on up with us,post a link back to Communal Global on your post and share with everyone what your today looks like.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Muffins/Biscuits

This is our last week of vacation! I wait all year for this and then it's gone in a blink of an eye. I guess thats what happend when summer vacation is only 6 weeks long. I don't look forward to the early mornings again!
  However making these babies in the morning is totally worth getting up for!
   Last week Cassie Craves had a few guest bloggers. One of them was Fake Ginger and she posted her recipe for cinnamon roll muffins. I decided to whip up a batch this morning and WOW are they fantastic! They are made very much like real cinnamon rolls but you skip the yeast part. This was my first attempt and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out.
  I'm happy to say they turned out beautifully! I seriously suck at measurments but managed to roll out a horrible looking rectangle. Fake Ginger says to use 3-3-1/2 cups flour. You don't want to use to much flour or they become to dense but you need to use enough to make sure that the dough doesn't stick when rolling it out. I used 3 cups of flour and started using the remaining 1/2 cup as I kneaded it and floured the surface. Remember these are BISCUITS not cinnamon rolls so don't send me an e-mail telling me they aren't altogether like cinnamon rolls..that would be because they are biscuit like people. I have read on other sites from commenters complaining the rolls were to biscuit like. I mean honestly. Give them a try, you won't be sorry! Thanks Cassie for having a guest blogger and thanks to Fake Ginger for posting the recipe!

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits..1 Dozen

1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Egg
3 to 3-1/2 cups Flour

Filling:
2 TBL Butter,Softened
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Icing:
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1-2 TBL Milk or Cream

Pre heat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. To make the rolls combine the brown sugar,baking soda, salt,vanilla and egg into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk and then the flour. Stir until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining 1/2 cup flour until the dough is no longer sticky(I used about 1/4 cups worth) knead for a minute of two.
    The dough will be nice and soft and not sticky. Roll the dough into a 12 inch by 24 inch rectangle. At first the dough will shrink back but keep rolling and it will start to stretch. Spread with butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
 (I went ahead and combined the brown sugar and cinnmon in a small bowl and then sprinkled it over the butter). Roll the dough into a log beginning with the wide side. Stretch the dough slightly..I made sure that when I stretched it that it reached 24 inches. Cut into 12 two inch pieces and put the pieces into either a muffin lined or greased 12 cup tin. 
     Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown. The tops will seriously rise so don't be alarmed
  Allow muffins to cool for 5 mins on a wire rack. Remove from muffin tins. I used cupcake liners and suggest that when you take them out of the tins that you also remove them from the liners. If you wait to long they tend to stick a bit to the paper. Drizzle with icing when cool..we couldn't wait that long.
                                                             
                                                                                                                    

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Wow it's sunday again! this week has gone by in a blur. Ever since I came back from vacation my brain has still been in the same mode. When the weather is nice I want to get out and enjoy..hence the lack of blogging : ) Head over to Unknown Mami and see what she and everyone else is up to this sunday! Here are some recap photos of what I've been seeing and doing!
   
  
    
      A truck! I always smile when I see these. They are very rare here and gas wise they are expensive to have..but I still love em :) reminds me of the U.S.
     
  A small town in Germany. I noticed no matter what the size of the town is, they always have a huge church right in the middle of it.
   Part of the town the church is in. Have a wonderful week everyone!                                            

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today I learned...

Today I learned that certain bees aren't really bees at all..but flies that are made to look like bees. I knew they had these but had never really paid enough attention to really figure it out for myself.
    Pretty cool eh? So whats your today look like? Communal Global wants to know. 
             Time to link up and share your Tuesdays with us! Simply share your own"today" (in a post on your own blog where you mention, and link back to communal global) then link up with us (at the bottom of this post) so we can come and visit your blog and see your unique (or wonderfully ordinary) "TODAY"! Oh, and while you're at it, feel free to add our button to your site (see the link that says "add us" in our header? Click that!) so more of your friends can share in the sharing! We can't wait to see your "Today."