Dominican Republic Mission Trip

Hi Friend!

It’s hard to believe that one month ago today I was in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country with crystal blue oceans and grand county mountain views. Between img_2961all it’s beauty, you’ll find extreme poverty. During our trip, we were able to build 6 outhouses, provide 4 floors in homes, fund and help build a Church wall, funded a new roof for another Church, and because Pastor Pedro did not think we had worked enough, we helped with the outside wall of the 3rd floor addition at the mission house. It wasn’t all work, we had some time to play at two different waterfalls. The cold water felt great on a very hot day, well after your body got used to the water. While we provided a lot of material things, the main objective was to provide the local Churches the tools that they needed to save souls for Christ. If we don’t reach them then who will?

Voodoo Temple in Batey #9

Voodoo Temple in Batey #9

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CHEESY GARLIC PARMESAN SPINACH SPAGHETTI SQUASH

I’m scrolling through facebook and I came across a video picture of a delicious looking spaghetti squash.  It’s been about a month or so since I’ve made some and so I quickly used the save feature to make sure that I did not loose this recipe.lnd_40e6475c-3d5e-44e9-86fb-5f9a822c1829

Spaghetti Squash is a good choice for me to make me feel like I’m getting pasta. Also, it’s great because my wife can eat her gluten free pasta without either of us filling guilty or unsatisfied.

I put the items on our grocery list this week and this afternoon I gave the recipe a try.

This is one recipe that makes you feel like your having a cheat meal without cheating.

 

Two notes:

  • I don’t know if I let the squash cook too long, but it was a little watery at the bottom. It was fine when I mixed it all up, but I would recommend to either add a little salt and pepper to the squash before it goes into the oven or over compensating the salt and pepper in the spinach mixture.
  • There are so many more proteins and vegetables that would go with this recipe. Next time, I’ll  be sure to play around with the ingredients.

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash

prep: 10 mins

cook: 60 mins

total: 1 hour10 mins

author: jenn laughlin – peas and crayons

yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2.5 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive or avocado oil
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 TBSP cream cheese (optional but deeeelish!)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • grated or sliced mozzarella for topping, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. For easy cutting, feel free to stick each squash in the microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften it up just a tad. The knife slides through way easier this way! Smaller squash will need about 3-4 minutes while larger ones will be good to go at 5 min.
  3. Next grab a lipped baking sheet or a rimmed baking dish.
  4. Rub the cut side of the squash with a teeny bit of olive oil.
  5. Place inside a baking dish or atop rimmed baking sheet and roast face-down for about 40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your squash, and larger squash will need to roast a bit longer to tenderize. Once ready, the once rock-hard exterior of the squash will be visibly softened with a tender interior.
  6. The squash can be roasted and stored in the fridge for a few days if you’d like to meal prep and plan ahead for a speedier dinner.
  7. While the squash roasts, start on the sauce.
  8. In a medium pot or skillet, bring a drizzle of olive oil to medium-high heat and sauté garlic until fragrant.
  9. Next add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add your cream, cream cheese (totally optional but totally tasty) and parmesan cheese and stir well.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
  11. Once squash is done roasting, allow to cool until easily handled or pop on an oven mit and use a fork to separate and fluff the strands of spaghetti squash.
  12. Pour your sauce over each squash boat, stir to mix, and top with a little mozzarella cheese and additional parm cheese, if desired.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees F for around 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  14. For a golden cheesy topping, flip your oven to broil on high for just a minute or two until lightly browned. Dive in while it’s HOT!

Source: http://peasandcrayons.com/2016/09/cheesy-garlic-parmesan-spinach-spaghetti-squash.html

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2 Week Countdown

Hi Friend,

It’s hard to believe that at this time, just two weeks from now, our team will be making our way to the Dominican Republic. There is still a lot to get done, but I’m happy to report that I’ve made some great progress.

I’m happy to share a praise report! After a roller coaster ride that last few weeks trying to get my immunizations updated and required prescriptions, it’s all handled. Thanks to my awesome PA Kari and her staff at the Veranda, I was able to get my shots in office or a prescription so, that I could get it from my pharmacy. A big thanks to U-Save-It Pharmacy, especially the Northwest and Dawson Road locations for taking great care of me.

It’s a busy June, so I’ve made my packing list and I’ve been slowly starting over the last couple of weekends to get things together. I try to be an early packer. I work in a very busy and fast pace environment so, most the time that only leaves me the weekends to get everything together. Also, there is nothing more that raises the excitement level as when you can start packing.

There are two things that you can specifically pray for at this time.

  • Pray for the team as we prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for the trip.
  • Food is a concern for me at this time. Pray that I will have the right kinds of food to eat.

Kenyon

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Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole

It’s chickenlnd_4f78736a-d42d-4901-bc31-88547856c9e6 week and I wanted to jazz it up some so, I found a recipe on Pinterest that I just had to try. Bacon, Ranch, Cheese, and Chicken sounded like it would be awesome. It was!

Not only was it delicious, it was very easy to make. Since I used fresh broccoli, all I had to do was to cook and cube the chicken and then combine all the ingredients per the directions. I popped it in the oven and cleaned the kitchen while it was in the oven.

This casserole can be made in advance and refrigerated for a day or two before you bake it. Also, it taste just as good once it’s re-heated in the microwave. It’s got my stamp of approval. I would never thought that this casserole is low carb, grain free, sugar free, and gluten free.

Ingredients:

1.5 lb. cooked chicken, cubed

1-1.5 lb. fresh broccoli, steamed and drained (or frozen broccoli, thawed and drained) (or vegetable of your choice like cauliflower or spinach)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. minced onion

1/2 tsp. dill

1 tsp. parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup + 2 tsp. bacon crumbles

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

4 oz. sour cream

4 oz. mayo

8 oz. shredded cheddar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 if baking immediately. Or you can prep ahead and keep in the refrigerator for a day or two.
  2. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and spices in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the chicken, broccoli, 3/4 of the cheese, and the 1/4 cup bacon crumbles and mix well.
  4. Dump into a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese and 2 T. bacon crumbles on top. Bake until hot about 35 minutes.

Recipe found at joyfilledeats.com

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DR Mission Trip Update

Wow, has the time flown by. It seems like yesterday that I made the decision to go on this trip and now we are almost a month before the trip.  I thought that I would drop by and give you a quick update.

This week’s mission has been all about immunizations. What I thought was going to be an easy task has proved me wrong. It’s been almost 11 years since my last missions trip. The travel center that I have used previously has closed and since my records are so old they are not on our state’s immunizations website. This has caused some setbacks this week, but the good news is that I have an appointment with my regular doctor on Tuesday. Please pray that we can get these straighten out within the next week.

By the end of next week, I should hopefully have more information on our travel plans, itinerary, packing list, and any other needs for the trip.

How can you help?

Most importantly, I need your prayers that God will work in and through me during the trip.

Secondly, purchasing a T-Shirt or Ladies Tank. (Pre-Orders Only. All profits go directly to my trip.) The deadline to place and pay for your order is 5/21/17.

Third, any financial support you can give will be greatly appreciated. The deadline for tax deductible gifts has passed, however I can still accept non tax deductible gifts. This money would be used towards immunizations and associated travel cost.

To sign-up for any of these options: Click Here

 

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Portabella Mushroom Pizza

lnd_6697ccf9-0dbe-4297-a67b-9c0cd39a37aaSomeone I know, (I’ll protect the guilty and no it was not Cynthia) mentioned the word pizza and suggested that I could just eat the toppings. If I’m going to order pizza, I’m going to eat the crust and all the toppings. Now, I’m really craving a pizza so, my challenge this weekend was to answer the craving, but stay within my lifestyle.

I recalled a picture that I had seen a while back where a portabella mushroom was used instead of a pizza crust. While I was at Sam’s Club, I found a pre-packaged pack of 4 portabella caps for almost $5.00. The one downside that I learned about these was that I could not see what the bottom of the caps looked like and therefore some of the flat caps did not hold all the toppings as well. Also, I’m starting to think that I might have an issue with lactose so, I picked up an expensive bag of Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreads from Publix. I should have paid more attention to the ingredients as it’s not as great as I thought. Regular Mozzarella might have been a better option. At Walmart, I found a White Pizza Sauce that was only 1 carb per serving.

For the toppings you can get as simple or complex as you would like. I stuck with the basics of cheese, spinach, and grilled chicken.img_2716

The recipe is really simple!

Ingredients

  • Portabella Mushrooms or Mushroom Caps
  • Your favorite pizza toppings

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Remove stems from caps if required.
  3. Wash mushroom per directions or liking
  4. Place mushroom caps on a cookie sheet, smooth side down. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and soak up any excess moisture inside the mushroom caps with a paper towel.
  6. Add desired amount of pizza sauce (around 2 Tbsp.)
  7. Add desired amount of toppings of your choosing.
  8. Return the mushrooms to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Serve Hot.
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Bunless Bacon, Egg & Cheese

I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and I just had to try it. It was awesome, and I did not even follow the directions!

For starters, I did not have the two mason jar lids, but I did have a small skillet that holds one egg. I cooked each egg separately. No avocado, but I had some guac already in the fridge. Also, I used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon and I cooked it in the microwave per the instructions on the package.

Ingredients gallery-1487976815-delish-bunless-bacon-egg-and-cheese-pin-1

2 Eggs

2 tbsp. water

1/2 avocado, lightly mashed

2 slices cooked bacon

1/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium nonstick pan, place two mason jar lids (centers removed). Spray the entire pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Crack eggs into the centers of the lids and lightly whisk with a fork to break up yolk.
  2. Pour water around the lids and cover the pan. Cook, letting the eggs steam, until the whites are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove lid and top one eggs with cheddar. Cook until the cheese is slightly melty, about 1 minute more.
  3. Invert the egg bun without the cheese onto the plate. Top with mashed avocado and cooked bacon. Top with the cheesy egg bun, cheese side-down. Eat with fork and knife.

For a how to video or more information:

http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a51637/bunless-bacon-egg-and-cheese-recipe/

Photo Credit: Delish.com

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