Feb 24, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken (or Turkey) Chili


I have made this chili many times for my family and friends and it's always well loved and the super easy recipe is often requested. 

 I have made this chili many times for my family and friends and it's always well loved and the super easy recipe is often requested. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

When our schedules are not hectic we love to have people over at our place. We especially love having friends from church during Sunday nights after the evening worship service. It's just a nice and perfect time to relax, enjoy each others company especially before we face the challenges in the real world the next day --- Monday! We enjoy some food and occasionally have some games that everyone can participate in. We don't do anything too formal or structured, the food is mostly the appetizer type - quick and easy in preparation. The point is to enjoy each other's company in a fuss-free environment.
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Feb 17, 2017

Cheese Tortellini Soup with White Beans and Kielbasa

In 30 minutes you can serve your family a hearty and delicious soup! Easy-peasy yumminess in a bowl!

In 30 minutes you can serve your family a hearty and delicious soup! Easy-peasy yumminess in a bowl!

I have been making quite a lot of soup this winter season. You may think, well, that's pretty normal for the cold season. Perhaps but it's not normal for me. Since the Philippines is a hot country with only two major seasons - wet and dry - which incidentally are both relatively warm (hot!) weather, you won't often find soup on a Filipino's daily menu. Besides that, soup, like tea, when served, is often associated with an ailment or being unwell as that's often what's given to anyone who has been afflicted with some illness in the Philippines. Having this background, you can imagine, I am not much of a soup person at all.
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Feb 11, 2017

Ultimate Slow Cooker Chocolate Rice Pudding (Champorado)


Sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and chocolate. This chocolate rice pudding is the ultimate breakfast sweet treat or when served with ice cream - a truly yummy dessert - Champorado!

Sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and chocolate. This chocolate rice pudding is the ultimate breakfast sweet treat or when served with ice cream - a truly yummy dessert - Champorado!

We had a lot of snow this past week and as I write it's still a few inches on the ground and according to the weather prediction there will be more dumping come Sunday afternoon! I can't really complain because this winter has been particularly mild and hasn't really snowed a lot until a few days ago. However, since the car was left on the driveway in the middle of the snow storm and the fact that our driveway inclines upwards towards the road - that meant we were stuck for the last couple of days at home.

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Feb 8, 2017

Travel Feature: Kruger National Park, South Africa

If you've never been to a real safari adventure, I hope this travel post will inspire you to do so in the future!


Nearly 10 years ago, hubby and I with our little William (just over 1 year old at that time) travelled to South Africa. Mark helped a church in Pretoria with some pulpit supply while they were looking for a new pastor. We stayed there for about six months. During our time, we made sure that we were able to visit the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa for some safari adventure. We only had a very limited time but we were amazed at the number of animals we saw along the way. Seeing them all in their natural environment was a testament to how beautiful God's creation truly was and still is. Enjoy the adventure! 



Kruger is huge.....it's roughly the size of Israel or Wales, about 350 kilometers long, if I remember correctly. It's an entire country on its own. You can enter Kruger through several gates.
We just entered the first gate we saw early in the afternoon on the day we travelled to Kruger. Our camp was still at least 200 kilometers away. When we reached the gate we were told flatly that we won't make it on time before the gate closes as it takes at least 4 more hours from the Kruger Gate to Satara Camp (roughly in the middle of Kruger Park). At that point we were facing the possibility of sleeping with the lions in the middle of nowhere if we didn't make it before the gate closes! We thought to ourselves - we better make it on time or else we'll be dinner!!




Of course, we couldn't hep but stop along the way as we saw the many glorious inhabitants of Kruger. Impala....one of the first animals we saw....pretty common in Kruger.




Despite the limited time, we had to stop to see this crocodile.




And there's another one....I didn't even realize this was the reason why people stopped, I thought it was the bird.




Our first giraffe....and more to come.




And another one.




The Impalas can be a traffic hazard.




A hornbill...I think. 



A kudu - a beautiful antelope but we did not like the steak we tried, it was a little tough for me!




Pit Stop. We were trying to beat the clock to make it on time but had to make a quick stop-over. 




And then the elephants came. Now, we. had to stop again. How could you not?


Wondering where these elephants were off to.



Beautiful watering hole. So amazing to see the animals.



Can you see the bathing hippo?


Buffalos, one of the Big Five. This is our second Big Five - first was the elephant. We were hoping for some lions, leopards, and rhinos to complete them all.


 Naturally, we stopped again to view the buffalos.

More giraffes on our way.


Well, despite lots of stops, so many animals to see....we made it just in time, before the gate to our camp closed. I don't know how we managed it.....I guess, we didn't want to become the night's prey. 



Our mud hut in Satara....highly recommended if you want to see lions, this is were they congregate that's why we chose this camp.


Night Drive....After 2 mins, just about 2 kms from our camp, we saw a pride of lions....and so near our 4x4 as you can see.


The lioness did not like my flash I think.

The King of the jungle just snubbed me. That was an awesome night drive. 


Early morning drive....beautiful sunrise....God's handiwork is everywhere. His creation to me is beyond description at times.


Guess, what? Impalas again....this is why lions love this area....so much food.


More gorgeous antelopes!




Quick break, watching the hippos bathe.


See the ripples, they are the hippos....we don't want to go any nearer than this. They are known for attacking humans and have killed quite a few so we're respecting their space.


Back to the camp for breakfast. You can actually see animals pass by as you eat. We saw some zebras.


After breakfast, we went to the look-out to do some more animal sighting.


Zebras love to line up. Very organized.




Bateleur.


Gorgeous bird for sure.


Relaxing hippos. What a life!


Zebras are always on the edge as they never know when a predator would come by.



Warthogs crossing.

A lone wildebeest. And it was time to go.


We had such a lovely time. Short but sweet. We hope to be back next time.
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Feb 3, 2017

Hello Dolly Cookie Bars


These cookie bars are truly so delicious and super easy to make!! With layers of graham crackers, coconut, pecans, butterscotch and choco chips - your tastebuds are in for a yummy treat!

 These cookie bars are truly so delicious and super easy to make!! With layers of graham crackers, coconut, pecans, butterscotch and choco chips - your tastebuds are in for a yummy treat!

In my pantry I have as staples chocolate chips, shredded coconut, pecans and condensed milk. I have them handy in case I need to make some delicious sweet treats for the kids and occasionally for coffee break in our church. In one of the old cookbooks I found in Goodwill, one of those produced for a school by some of the parents, I found this recipe for this southern vintage cookies - Hello Dolly Cookie Bars!
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