I’m a Good Swedish Girl

Thank you all for praying for our home inspection!  We passed!  Praise God.

So our next step is our second interview with our case worker, but before that can happen the agency needs to receive our background checks from Arizona.  Somehow Indonesia managed to get them in before Arizona!  Please pray that this process would go quickly and smoothly. It’s kinda out of our hands.

Let’s make a 180 and change the subject!  I’m on a recipe kick right now, because, well, we live in America now and I don’t know what else to write about :)

Following up one of Nathan’s favorite meals, is one of mine.  Swedish meatballs!  This is totally comfort food for me…probably because it’s something my Grandma used to make.  This is a mishmash of a few recipes and it’s delicious.  Yum!

Swedish Meatballs


3 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup dried bread crumbs (I used Panko break crumbs…I know, I know, Japanese bread crumbs in Swedish meatballs.  I’m a rebel.)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pinch fresh parsley (dried works too if that’s what you have)

1 can cream of chicken soup (or make it from scratch…way yummier)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (ditto)
1 can evaporated milk
1 Tbsp of fresh (or dried) Parsley

1. Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onion and saute for 5-10 minutes until translucent.
2.  In a seperate bowl, combine onions, bread crumbs, ground beef, egg, salt, pepper and parsley.  Form into golf-ball sized meatballs.
3.  Brown meatballs in skillet, flipping once.  Place in a baking dish.
4.  Combine soups and evaporated milk.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over the meatballs.
5.  Bake uncovered at 350 F for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining parsley.  Serve over white rice or noodles.

I like to also serve this with ligionberries like a true Swedish girl.  Nathan doesn’t like them though, so he eats this meal without the berries.   If you don’t know, ligionberries are small cranberry-like berries that are native to Sweden.  You can buy them at Ikea.



Nathan’s Favorite

Nathan loves boneless wings.  And my thought always is that you can make most anything from scratch at home, and it will taste better!  These are Nathan’s favorite boneless wings.  He says they are better than Buffalo Wild Wings!  And they’re cheaper.

Boneless Wings

oil for frying
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 chicken breasts

1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp butter

1.  Heat oil to 375 F.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Whisk together milk and eggs.
4.  Cut chicken into strips.  Dip each piece into flour mixture, then egg/milk mixture and then flour mixture again.
5.  Once all of the chicken is coated, place pieces into oil one by one.  Fry until golden brown, 5-6 minutes flipping once.
6.  To make the wing sauce, combine the hot sauce and butter.  Melt together and pour over cooked chicken or serve as a dipping sauce.

*Confession:  I totally used store bought hot sauce this time, because I’m in America and I CAN.  But making your own is perfectly good too!

We like to dip our wings in Ranch.  Homemade Ranch.  Yum.

P.S.-Home inspection today!  Pray that we pass!


In the Shop

Now that we’re in the U.S., Nathan’s job has changed.  He is no longer a line pilot, though he looks forward to returning to flying in Indonesia; he is now a airplane mechanic.  Pretty much all of the MAF pilots are also certified airplane mechanics.  Because they’re awesome.

Everyday, he works in the hangar at MAF headquarters.  At headquarters, they do major overhauls, prep new planes for field service and paint the aircraft to match the MAF paint scheme.  Right now there are so many planes waiting for maintenance that they had to rent out extra hangars!  So, they are very grateful to have Nathan’s help!

This Caravan will be going to Africa.  It is actually an MAF Europe airplane, so it doesn’t have the red, white and blue paint scheme that the MAF US planes get.  I’m sure that Nathan could tell you all of the technical stuff they are doing on this plane, but in layman’s terms, it’s getting overhauled.  And it’s a lot of work!


Hi Honey!

Working inside the pod.  This gives me the he-bee-gee-bees.  I hate small spaces.  But Nathan seems to think it’s roomy.

They have this whole special room for painting.  There are some fans that blow through so that the paint doesn’t settled all over the ground.  It also prevents dust from getting mixed into the paint.  These parts are for a plane that is going to Asia to be used at a flight school.

So, there ya go!  A little peek into Nathan’s world.  We are so grateful that MAF is letting us take extra time off from Indonesia to adopt!  We look forward to returning to our life and ministry there someday!

Baby Proof

We have our home inspection on MONDAY!  So we are making sure that our home is a safe environment for a child to live in.

Our instruction are to have “a plan for any safety hazards.”  We’re not really clear as to what this means…

Do we need a “In case of emergency” plan posted on the wall?  Probably not.

Do we need toilet locks?  I don’t think so, but maybe??

So far, we’ve opted for outlet plugs and door catches on the kitchen cabinets.  Oh, and an oven lock.  Maybe it’s overkill, but we don’t want to fail our inspection!

If you think of it, pray for us this coming Monday.

From Scratch

Photo via www.picklebums.com

Now that we’re living in America, I definitely don’t cook as much from scratch.  But there are a few things that once your go scratch, you can’t go back!

Ranch Dressing

I’m telling you, once you’ve had Ranch Dressing from scratch, you’ll never want store bought again.  It is so good!  I could do shots of the stuff!

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4-1/3 cup buttermilk*
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cloves garlic (we prefer one clove)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (of course, in Indo I used dried and that worked great too!)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (also used dried in Indo)
1 scallion, chopped
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Black pepper, to taste

1.  Chop and then mash the garlic with the salt so it makes a paste (this is the hardest part of the whole process!)

2.  Throw everything together and then whisk/shake/stir (whatever your preferred method of combining is…I like to shake it in a lidded jar)

3.  Pour into shot glasses and drink…just kidding.  But you’ll want to because it’s so good.  You can eat it right away if you want to, but a few hours in the fridge will help all of the ingredients to meld together.

*A note on buttermilk:  I like the powdered buttermilk that you can buy in the baking aisle at most grocery stores because it keeps for a long time in the fridge.  Just add water according to the package directions.  If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute milk mixed with a bit of acid (i.e. vinegar or lemon juice).  This “sours” the milk (that’s basically what buttermilk it, but they don’t call it “sour milk” because then no one would want to buy it).  You can’t taste the acid, but it give it that buttermilk type quality.


Pico de Gallo

Yes, you can buy this pre-made in the grocery store, but don’t!  It is SOO easy to make from scratch.  And I would imagine it tastes so much better that way.  It’s been a long time since I had store bought Pico so I don’t even have a measure of comparison anymore.  The recipe has a lot of leeway, so you can pretty much make it with what you already have.

Tomatoes, diced (whatever kind you have, I like on-the-vine or Roma, but in Indonesia a tomato was a tomato…not many choices)
Onions, diced (whatever you have….I have used green, yellow, white or red.  It really doesn’t matter)
Jalapeño (In Indonesia, I used dried Jalapeños that I got from here   I have also just used Cayenne pepper for that bit of kick when I didn’t have jalapeños)
Lime juice
Salt and Pepper

1.  Cut up an equal amount of tomatoes and onions.  Add remaining ingredients to taste.  I don’t measure anything for this anymore, it all depends how spicy/salty/peppery you like thing.  It’s hard to mess up.  You can leave out any of the ingredients except for the tomatoes and onions, so have it and find out what combination you prefer!

I pretty much always have Pico de Gallo made up in the fridge.  We eat it on every kind of Mexican food, and I also like it on eggs.


Cream of xxxx Soup

I started making this out of necessity in Indonesia.  When we first arrived back in America we bought the canned version at the store and quickly discovered we much preferred the homemade version.  This is also one of those recipes that can be changed around to accommodate whatever you’re making.

Basic White Sauce:

3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt

1.  Melt butter in a small sauce pan, add flour to create roux.

2.  Add the milk and salt.  Cook over low/medium heat until thickened.

For Cream of Chicken:

Substitute the milk with 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1/2 cup milk.  Add poultry seasoning, if desired.

For Cream of Mushroom:

Add chopped mushrooms.

See, easy right?  And it tastes so much better.  This makes the equivalent of one can of store bought soup.   You can change the amount of butter/flour depending on how thick you want the soup to be, just keep the butter/flour ratio equal.