Sunday, 26 June 2011

Guatemala Needs

In 3 weeks, my husband and I, along with three other fabulous women will be traveling to Guatemala to do 10 days of missions work. Our time there will be spent working with people in prison, working with women stuck in a lifestyle of prostitution, orphanages, and countless others.

We have been greatly blessed with people who have donated both their time and money to help us raise funds so we can go on the mission. 

Recently, we were given a list of items that our local host missionaries, Steve & Karla Stoffelson, would find useful for their ministry, for the local people they work with, as well as for themselves.


Please take a look at it. If you feel you would like to donate or purchase anything on this list that we could take with us, please let me know. Alternatively, if you aren't in the area, but would like to donate money for us to purchase items to give while we are down there, you can do so through Front & Center Ministries and get a tax receipt.

Here's the list:

Sound equipment
Musical instruments
Spanish study Bibles
Men’s clothing
-          Shirts small, med, large
-          Pants size 30-34
-          Shoes size 7-10
Bath/Pool Towels
Kitchen towels
Tooth brushes and tooth paste
Men’s deodorant
1 or 2L hot water heater
Electric Griddle (family size)
Pressure cooker 
Waffle maker
Plastic table cloths
Tupperware (plates, bowls, etc)
Small bathroom carpets (brown)
Long curtains (brown or beige)
Plastic flowers

Thanks for you love and support!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Sweet and Savoury Early Summer Eats

Summer is upon us, (though you wouldn't know it with today's cool weather) and the weekend is here. One thing I love about the weekend is making a mess in the kitchen whipping up some food items that I didn't have time to do during the busy work week. 

Today I will share with you 2 recipes that surprisingly turned out really well! I'm not a fan of following recipes to the "T', both because I usually don't have all the ingredients, or I think of some great additions and substitutions! My husband cautiously  humours me in trying my tasty creations, but he's a meat and potatoes guy and is usually just happy pouring bbq sauce over whatever food is on his plate! (I love him for it!)

This year, along with my parents, we are participating in a local CSA with Creekshore Farms. Last week's box of produce came with garlic scapes. 

I've never heard of garlic scapes before, but I have been determined to broaden my knowledge of such items and figure out how to use them creatively. I googled some recipes and found one that sounded just up my alley: Garlic Scape Basil Pesto. How could I resist! Especially since I've been wondering what to do with the large amount of basil that I've been growing in the garden this year! This recipe I actually stuck to pretty well...and other than adding a touch too much salt (recent bad habit) it was fabulous!!!


And after the savory's of course...time for dessert! I found the recipe for Vegan Pistachio Almond Ice Cream on a blog I follow. It sounded delicious! Since I found out I have milk, egg, and gluten intolerance... I enjoy recipe ideas that I know will keep me feeling fabulous after I eat them. 

I forgot to buy an avocado, so I substituted it with 1/2 of cup of chia pudding. (Which is 2 tablespoons of chia seed in 1/2 cup of milk). I wanted to make sure to keep that creamy consistency and the chia seeds certainly did the trick! I also couldn't find unshelled, unsalted pistachios so I de-shelled a bag full while watching Made of Honour. *sigh Patrick Dempsey*.  I also added in a small handful of unsweetened shredded coconut. 

 I was SO! !!!! impressed that it turned out as sweet as it did! I've portioned half out for a friend and the other half is just for me! Tomorrow is supposed to be a warmer day and I'm looking forward to enjoying a bowl full of my new creation!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Attention Niagara Residents: Buy Local!

This isn't a blog about "organic"...that'll come at a later date with my thoughts on the issue... this is about buying local!

It's that time of the year where fruit and veggie stands are filling up with produce and patrons all over the region!

I've started taking a look at the food I buy in terms of where it comes from. To be honest, the idea is relatively new to me. But as I've read more and more information and blogs about local produce, I've become more a of proponent for buying local. Have you ever taken a look at the labels at a grocery store? Why are our local chains buying strawberries and cherries during the middle of the Niagara season from the USA or other countries? No offense to our southern friends, but we have farmers, some of which are our neighbours, that are having a hard time staying afloat let alone turning a profit.

I've decided it's time I stopped turning a blind eye to the map of my produce. Yes, this means saying "no" to the shiny big strawberries from a greenhouse in California and favouring the smaller local and likely more expensive ones. Why? Because I value our farmlands.

Have you ever driven through Niagara on the Lake during blossom time? How can you not appreciate the beauty! What a sweet opportunity it is to go down the street and get fresh picked corn, peaches and produce that haven't ever seen the inside of a freezer truck in order to ripen!

I read a blog about chains not selling local produce for an appropriate amount here and it really made me think. What value do I put on local produce?

So here's the challenge: Drop by your local farmer's market on a Saturday morning before going to the grocery store. See what you can find there FIRST! It takes more time, but your efforts will not be in vain... you are helping your neighbours, your city, and yourself!

Farmers feed families.

For more info check out the following blogs:

Eating Niagara - A website devoted to local eating and agriculture in the Niagara Region
Creekshore Farms (where I get my Organic CSA from!)
Tree & Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm

Monday, 6 June 2011

Ageratum Giggles

In my flower pot making project, one of the plants I needed (according to the diagram) was "Ageratum." When I bought it, it really didn't look like much as it barely had any flowering growth on it.

As it continues to grow in a few hanging baskets, it has become one of my favourites. Every time I see it, it makes me smile. It's got these little light blue heads with little super soft hairs all over them. They are just funky. 
 That got me to wondering...I wonder if God kinda giggled when he created it. I mean, when you create an entire universe, you gotta get a bit funky with some of the flora and fauna, right? It's kind of like when you are decorating cookies, and it's all exciting at first, but around the 10th cookie, you start getting bored with the process and start making the christmas ball shaped cookies into orange christmas jack-o-lanterns....but I digress. I just imagine God shaping the little Ageratum and then calling some of the angels over and saying "Hey guys! Look at this one! Tee-hee!" (Yes, I know it's completely theologically incorrect, it's just how I see it playing out!)

I also think He probably did the same thing when he created this guy.