Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Borscht (beet soup)

I have been asked to share a recipe from my collection that is truly Russian. You don't get much more Russian than Borscht (beet soup). This particular recipe is from a lady who I met back during my time in Bible college. I usually leave out the meat as many people do but I am copying it here exactly as it was shared. Borscht is not a quick meal but very delicious soup that can be stored in the fridge and eaten over several days.

1-1 1/2 lb. roast or stew meat (can be made with or without)
1-2 chopped carrots
1 chopped onion
1 grated beet (2 if small)
1/2 head of cabbage, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (I omit)
2 potatoes, 1 whole and 1 cubed
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
3-4 bay leaves (I omit)
beef bullion for more flavor, if desired

Boil meat about 2 1/2 hours (add salt). After one hour, add a whole potato. Drain off fat as meat cooks. In a skillet, fry chopped onion in plenty of oil. Add chopped carrots and grated beets. Add tomato paste. Cook the mixture for a while.Remove meat from broth and cut up into small pieces. Mash the whole potato and put back in broth. Bring broth to a boil and add cabbage, potatoes,and green pepper. Add tomato paste mixture. Put in bay leaves and chopped parsley a little later. Add meat chunks last. You may need to add water as you see fit. If desired, add a tablespoon of sour cream to each bowl when ready to eat. Borscht is usually served with black (rye) bread but we like it with good ol' American garlic bread. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Caramel Cream Pie

This past week, one of our own BMW ladies posted this photo for a Caramel Cream Pie she made for their Easter celebration on her field. Of course, the photo and the words...caramel...cream...pie, really got our attention and we just had to have the recipe to share with everyone here on the BMW blog.

Crumb crust: 
250g (8 oz) plain sweet biscuits (cookies for you Americans) 
125g (4 oz) butter 
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions for crumb crust: 
Crush biscuits finely. Combine biscuit crumbs, melted butter and cinnamon in a bowl. Press biscuit mixture over base and sides of a greased 20cm (8 in) springform pan or pie dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Caramel Filling:
2/3 cup custard powder
2 cups cream (I use the artificial stuff here that's sweetened vegetable fat since I can't get real cream)
1 cup of milk 
1 tsp vanilla 
125g (4 oz) butter 
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, lightly packed (raw sugar works as well if you can't get brown, it just doesn't get the same colour) 
1 cup of cream, extra for whipping and putting on top 
2 tablespoons bottled caramel topping**
(I am including a good homemade caramel sauce recipe in case you can not purchase bottled caramel topping where you are in the world.)

Caramel sauce recipe: 
**I double this to have enough to equal 2 cups (16 oz)
150 grams sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
120 grams heavy cream (at least 33%)
pinch of salt

Directions for filling: 
Place custard powder in saucepan, gradually whisk in cream, milk and vanilla. Stir over low heat until custard boils and thickens, reduce heat, simmer gently 1 minute. Melt butter in separate saucepan, add brown sugar, stir until dissolves, then bring mixture to the boil. Quickly stir into custard mixture. Return to heat, stir until brown sugar and custard are combined. Cool slightly, pour into crumb crust, refrigerate until firm. Spread with the extra whipped cream, drizzle caramel topping over and swirl sauce through cream with a knife for marbled effect.

It looks like it would be a really rich but delicious! Let us know if you give this recipe a try!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Funfetti Cupcake Recipe

Sometimes you just need to bake some cupcakes!

I found this fun recipe online to bake for my Sunday School kids and it is still a favorite of theirs. It is better than adding some sprinkles to a regular white cake recipe and baking them as cupcakes. This batter has a really good vanilla flavor. There is also a separate cake recipe which differs a little so this recipe is better to be used specifically for cupcakes. The recipe uses a chocolate frosting but I prefer to use a standard vanilla buttercream frosting instead.


1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sprinkles


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) or electric handheld mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, slowly pour in the butter and then the vanilla. While mixing, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix the batter. Gently fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles.

Divide the batter evenly in the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I watch them and cook for about 19 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (taken from Betty Crocker site)


3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk


1. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
2. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Old thrifted frames to new colorful ones!

Hi there Ladies,

My name is Sandy and I'm a missionary wife here in Bolivia! We've been here 4 years now and we are going back for the first time on our furlough very soon. Miracle Whip, oh how we've missed you! 

I'm going to be doing tiny little DIY posts on this blog for you all.  I love doing these kind of projects around my house! When its actually one I can do because I can find what I need for the project. That has been kind of challenging for me, figuring it all out and translating it from American Pinterest users that have Walmart and Home Depo available... to me with only small limited hardware stores to get my materials from. I know it will be different for each country and the terminology definitely  too. My advice? Keep your eyes wide open. You never know when you'll see something useful. And when you don't see it- show them a picture or describe describe describe!! 

For this post I had a box of miss matched photo frames I purchased from a  retiring missionary, and left over chalk paint from some other projects. Yesterday, while the kiddos were blissfully napping,  I decided to tackle that box and see what I could come up with.

Here is the recipe. 

OH I just LOVE the gold-ish detail on this particular frame!

The foreign field load down:

 They sell a pretty limited color scheme in colors for latex here (no paint swatches to take to the nice store person who can then mix the beautiful paint color for me.) So, I just bought liquid water base tint to get the colors I wanted. Be patient and don't conform until you've gotten the color you want! Google is amazing for figuring out what primary colors it will take to get you the color you want.

For the Plaster of Paris-  honestly if I translated that NO ONE would know what I was talking about here. (Um, quiero yeso de Paris.) Plaster, all the way from Paris. Yup. So, after a tiny bit of research and realizing what the constructions guys use here for plastering walls and ceilings which is Kal or Stucco, I figured that this plaster of paris thing wasn't going to be so hard to find after all!  So, since we are in the process of building our adobe house (VERY VERY VERY slow process) I just asked my hubby to bring me a few cups full as I needed it for different projects.  We can buy it by the kilo here at construction stores though. :)

I can't emphasize enough how necessary the Hot Water will be. Since I was using gritty construction Stucco I found that when I mixed the paint with hot water and then let it set a day, so that the water works on getting the sand size grains dissolved, that painting was much easier and the paint itself was much smoother! Making it possible to easily smooth down the dried surface with a Brillo pad instead of putting a lot of effort and arm grease into using sand paper. I've done it both ways now and letting the paint stand a day + Brillo pad is the way to go on this one ladies! Also, if you paint thickens up just thin it out with water - no problems.

What you'll need:
Paint Brush
Brillo Pads
A work surface you don't mind getting messy (washes away easily because it's water base) or a plastic shower curtain works too! Good excuse to go out and buy a nice new one by using your old one.

THIS is my awesome workshop! Which reminds me - we need to cut the grass...again. :( 
The mismatched frames and the green ones with their first coat of paint. The chalk on the wall is courtesy of my little daughter's visiting friends trying their own hand of "chalk paint." 

For prep you can either sand these down a tad or just dust them off like me. Chalk paint sticks to anything! In this case though, some of the frames had  gold paint on them already and I wanted that to show through when I scuffed them up a bit. 

I recommend doing 3-4 coats of paint. Allowing to dry 3/4 between each coat.
It took me an hour to do these.

Once they're good and crispy dry I took a Brillo Pad to them to smooth them out a bit and bring out the wood where I liked it most or where it happened to just sand away to the wood... and I just went with it.

Then I sealed it with wax. 

All I can find here is orange wood floor wax from the cleaning section of our little mini market and it works perfectly! The color will really come out at this point also. Being chalk paint it will dry a few shades lighter than the actual wet paint color you mixed. A few coats of wax should do it! 
If you want a little bit of a sheen just buff with a cloth.

And here they are!

Not sure what to do with that big brown frame yet, but I'm kind of leaning towards leaving that one wood. All I need are my black and white photos and this one's done! Oh, and our house to finish in a couple years so I can hang them up too. :) The anticipation is killing me, but I know it will be all the sweeter after having waited.
If you have ANY questions or comments I would be glad to help you out. And if that didn't just sound like customer service-  so so sorry! Haha- habits die hard!
Chau Chau!

Blue with the gold showing through.

Store your left over paint in a glass jar for later...nothing better than ready made paint for another project! 

P.S. I had previously mixed a bunch of the aqua color paint ( in January) so I had a lot of that left over...and just added more water to the mix and green tint to get that farmy green and lots more blue tint to get that ocean blue. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Wings Like a Dove" and a Back Like a Duck

Photo courtesy of: Matt Banks,

Just get me out of here!

Oh that I had wings like a dove! 
for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 
Lo, then would I wander far off, 
and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. 
(David, Psalm 55:6-8)

What missionary hasn’t felt this way?

Don’t you think it’s amazing that God gives us this glimpse into David’s life?

David had a problem, and he’s pretty transparent about it. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me (Psalm 55:4-5).

David is suffering. This is why: For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company (verses 12-14). A believing friend criticized him, a good friend, and the attack was a stab-in-the-back one that really hurt. David says, The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords (verse 21).

You can take a lot of criticism from the outside—you expect the world not always to like you. But when a Christian attacks—especially a friend—it hurts deeply.

Let’s examine how David, the man after God’s own heart, responded. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear (verses 16-19a). What a reaction! He went to the Lord with it. He got peace from God.

He didn’t go to others and blab, blab, blab about what so-and-so did to him. He left it with the Lord. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (verse 22).

Here are some more of David’s expressions of trust:

  • But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee (Psalm 5:11).
  • (Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.) O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me (Psalm 7:1).
  • And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee (Psalm 9:10).
  • Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them (Psalm 17:7).
  • The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Psalm 18:2).
  • O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me (Psalm 25:2).
  • (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness (Psalm 31:1).
  • And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him (Psalm 37:40).
  • What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me (Psalm 56:3-4).

The Bible is clear that God is the Judge and that He's the One who settles the score with wrongdoers. We can leave those criticisms that are difficult to bear with Him. The Lord will sustain us, and He will give us peace.

Photo courtesy of: Michael Elliott,

Some side lessons from Psalm 55:
  1. We don't ever want to be the “friend” that stabs her friends in the back.
  2. May all our words be characterized by wisdom and kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)
  3. When there’s a genuine issue, we kindly go to our friend and resolve the problem sweetly and thoroughly. (Matthew 18:15-17) Many times, our “big deals” are actually misunderstandings.
  4. If your personality clashes with another person’s, ask God for grace. He will give you the maturity to treat the individual who constantly rubs you wrong as nicely as you would treat anyone else.
  5. And, one more tip for the mission field: develop a “duck’s back.” Let the water run right off. Most criticisms are only rain on our parade. Let those drops of criticism slide right on down to the big pond. Forget them. Live happily anyhow. (Did you ever see a gloomy duck?)
So, when you, like the Psalmist David, want to sprout wings and fly away, remember this verse:

In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul,
Flee as a bird to your mountain?
(Psalm 11:1)

Sister, keep on keeping on! And, may God bless you!