Wow!! It has been a really long time since I have written anything to share with you.
Our first snow of the year! November 19, 2016
I must say the last 8 months have been very full and stressful at times. In April of this year, after 2 years in Senegal, I began the process of packing, saying goodbyes and a million other things needed for a cross-continent move. It was really hard leaving friends who had become like family and saying goodbye to the boys I had worked with almost every day for those 2 years.
Before returning to Minnesota I had heard missionaries talk about reverse culture shock and about the fact that it can be hard to transition back into “normal” life. While I was aware that I might experience a time of adjustment, I didn’t really didn’t think it was something I would struggle with. Mostly because I was only out of the country for two years and I felt like I had done pretty well staying connected with all that was going on here. But in all honesty it has been a lot harder than I expected.
Thankfully it is getting easier and it is so good being with my family on a regular basis! It was such a blessing to all be together for Thanksgiving and I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with everyone!!
Since returning home my parents and I have been following an eating plan call Trim Healthy Mama. It’s a great way to eat healthy and yummy food! If you are interested you can read more on their website…here.
This eating healthy is so hard…
Tonight we created an awesome Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe that I just have to share! It was a hit! This recipe is a THM – S…which stands for “satisfying”. But whether or not you are eating the THM way I think you will really enjoy this casserole! Let me know if you try it.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole – THM S
Serves – 6
4 cups Chicken (cooked)
1 lb. Ham (cubed)
Swiss cheese sauce:
1 cup Chicken broth
4 oz. Cream Cheese – 1/3 fat
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 tsp. Onion powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Parsley
2 cups Swiss Cheese
4 Wasa crackers (crushed)
1/2 cup Almond flour
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. Butter (melted)
- Layer chicken and ham in a greased 2 quart casserole dish.
- In a saucepan bring first 6 ingredients of the Swiss Cheese sauce to a boil. Add in the Swiss cheese. Heat until melted, stirring often.
- Pour the sauce over the meats.
- Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle on casserole.
Bake at 400F for 30 minutes
I am anxiously awaiting the cool season here in Senegal. A few weeks ago we had a break in the heat and it seemed as if cooler weather was just around the corner. Sadly the progress is slow going. Now I’m just hoping it cools off by the time my Mom arrives from Minnesota on November 23rd!
Yes, you read that right. My Mom is coming to Dakar! She will be here in 10 days from now! I can’t wait! It has been almost exactly 10 months since I saw her last. I am so excited to have her here with me for a few weeks! It will be fun to show her around and have her meet all my friends here.
In my excitement I am also trying to make sure I have food in the freezer so that we don’t need to be cooking the whole time. Although, we both do enjoy cooking and it will be nice to cook together again! So today I decided to make some Lentil Soup and freeze it.
All of the ingredients ready to go. Except the tomato paste…I forgot to get it in the picture.
This recipe is one I threw together earlier this fall and liked it so much I have made it a few times. It’s really easy to make, so I thought I should share it! You can also make it more like stew by using less chicken broth.
Now it’s time to bring it to a boil!
(I’ll try to add a picture of the finished soup when I pull it out of the freezer…I forgot to take one before I put it away.)
My Mom has been following the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating about 1 1/2 years and I have been trying to eat that way as much as possible since June. If you are interested in learning more you can check out the website by clicking here. This recipe is considered an E, which stands for energizing. It would be really tasty with a slice of homemade sourdough bread! The the recipe I use is from Gwen’s Nest and is also a THM E.
So as you being to feel the chill of fall here is a great recipe to warm up with!
Lentil Soup – THM E
4 cups Chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Lentils (cooked)
[2 cups Lentils (uncooked) and 8 cups Chicken broth]
1 med. Onion
3 cloves Garlic
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
3 Bay leaves
1/4 tsp. Thyme
1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp. Turmeric powder
Salt and Pepper
- Chop carrots and onion. Mince garlic.
- Add everything to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down, cover and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.
- If using uncooked lentil simmer for at least 1 hour.
There you have it…simple! Enjoy!