Waz Up[loaded]? A Photo! A Photo!

DSC_3363 resize

What is this magic??  A photo!  Uploaded!  Yipee Skippy!

Many, many more to come (hopefully, knock on wood…semoga, please!)

These are two of Elias’ favorite things: Daddy and Doggie (Piper).

Thirty-2

Today my hubby-pie turns 32.

I’ve said it before, but today, on the day of his birth, I’ll say it again: He’s awesome sauce and here’s a few reasons why:

He’s a pilot and he loves his job, plus he looks hot in his pilot uniform!
He gave up (temporarily) the job he loves so that we can grow our family through adoption.
He loves Jesus and loves other people because of Him.
He hugs me even when he doesn’t want to.
He hugs me when he does want to.
(I like to cuddle)
He handles all of our finances and does an awesome job planning for the future!
He does ALL of the driving when we go on road trips! (driving is not my favorite thing…)
He is fiercely loyal.
He doesn’t complain.
He tells me that I’m beautiful first thing in the morning.
He loves to play with kids, especially his nieces and nephew.
He’s a good shot.  He shot his elk through the heart at 200 yards.

Happy Birthday Nathan!  I Love You.

In the Mountains

Andrea, Suzanne and I have known each other since we were knee high to a grass hopper.  Don’t you just love those life-long friendships?  We hadn’t actually all been together for 4 years because we are scattered all over the world (Japan, Indonesia, Ohio…ok, maybe not all over the world, just Asia and the Midwest, but you know, FAR apart!)  In the last four years, both Suz and Andrea had babies…and I, well, didn’t.  But I did decide to ADOPT!

Last weekend, the three of us (+ 2 kiddos) met up in the mountains of beautiful Colorado!  It was such a fun weekend of relaxing and talking and drinking hot beverages (the CO mountains are COLD this time of year!).

Can you tell by our attire which of us has recently been in the tropics and which has not?  Us tropical girls were freezing!!!

P.S.-how awesome are those pretty Aspen trees in the background????
P.P.S.-life-long friends are the best!
P.P.P.S-love that blue sky!
P.P.P.P.S.-I have had that Columbia jacket since college, which, by the way, was 10 years ago.  WHAT??  How did I get so old???

Favorite Things

I have an illness. 

An addiction, really.

To fold-over knit skirts.

Hi, my name is Becky and I’m a fold-over-knit-skirt-aholic.

I own six fold-over knit skirts in varying colors. (Black, Gray, Brown, Pink, Navy Blue, and Aqua.  Some from Old Navy, some from Target and one from a friend here who made it for me)

In fact, when looking for a photo for this post, I noticed that Old Navy has two new colors that I don’t own.  And now I want them.  I told you  it was an illness!!

But seriously, I wear them ALL the time, year-round.

They are the perfect skirt for Indonesia.  Long enough.  Cool enough.  Casual enough.  Comfortable enough. 

So perfect.

And one [ahem…six] of my favorite things.

Favorite Things

Fresh Bread. 

Yum.

I LOVE how my house smells when I’m baking bread.  It makes me want to bake bread everyday.  But then of course, we’d be over run with bread.  And who wants to be over run with bread?  I mean, where do you store it?  How do you eat it all?

Anyway, there’s something so warm and homey about freshly baked bread.

I usually make two loaves of bread at a time which lasts us about two weeks.

I use this recipe from the lovely Karin Allrich:

White Bread

2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups warm water
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp salt
6-8 cups flour

1. Combine yeast, sugar and water.  Allow yeast to activate.

2. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl.  When yeast mixture is active, add to flour mixture.  Thoroughly combine, adding flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. 

3.  Knead the dough for several minutes.  My Bosch mixer will knead the dough for me.  If you don’t have a Bosch, you can knead it by hand…or ask Karin what to do, because I don’t know!  :)

4.  Separate dough into two loaves and place in oiled bread pans.  Allow to rise (about 30 minutes)

5.  Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

I’ve really been on a recipe kick lately huh?  Three out of four of my posts lately have been about food!

Favorite Things

I love my French Press!

It’s the perfect size for me.  It makes exactly 1 cup of coffee!

Step One: Heat water on stove.

Step Two:  Put coffee grounds in the bottom of the French Press.  Plus a pinch of salt. 

(Trust me on that!  The salt helps to make the coffee less bitter!)

Step Three:  Wait for kettle to whistle.

Step Four: Add hot water to French Press.  Let steep for 3 minutes.

Step Five: Press!

Yum!

Favorite Things

Once upon a time…in a galaxy far, far away, I was allergic to olive oil.

It was a very sad time for me.

I couldn’t breath when it was being cooked.

And then one day, I grew out of it.

And now, olive oil is one of my favorite things!

I’m no expert.  I don’t know what all the different kinds of olive oil are.  I usually use Extra Virgin (EVOO if you’re a Rachel Ray fan) and I usually use it to cook things that don’t need super high heat (EVOO doesn’t like high heat…it will burn and then taste gross)

And my EVOO gets stored in this little container called a Portion Pro…which is another one of my favorite things!  (you’re getting a twofer today people!)

I bought this at a little kitchen store in Arizona, but it’s also available here.

So, this thing is awesome, because not only does it have little measurements on the larger outside container, the dropper inside has measurements too (up to 1 Tablespoon).  Since I used EVOO frequently, I don’t have to dirty a measuring spoon each time, I can just use the dropper!  And when there are less dishes to do, I’m a happy girl!

I just realized that I’m kinda a kitchen gadget nerd.  Does anyone else get excited about stuff like this?  What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

Favorite Things

These matches are one of my favorite things for no particular reason.  There’s nothing really special about them.  They are just matches.

But they are “A Go Go.”

And they are “Made as Sweden.”

And everytime I light my stovetop, they make me smile.

Favorite Things

My Kindle.  I love this thing!  Since books in English are hard to come by on this side of the ocean (and getting them mailed to us is not that easy…books are heavy!), this is the best invention ever!!!  It takes hardly any time for us to download a book.  Just the other day my mom “gifted” me a book.  I had it in about 30 seconds.  Isn’t technology amazing?  And, I gotta tell ya, it really does feel like reading a paper book.  The screen doesn’t emit any light, so it doesn’t strain your eyes like a computer screen.

Disclaimer:  The Kindle pictured above is not my Kindle.  I am not reading “The Art of Choosing.”  This is the Kindle pictured on the Amazon website.  I was feeling to lazy to actually take a picture of my Kindle.  Just being honest :)  My Kindle is actually white…it’s the older model of the Kindle.  But I still love her because she’s young at heart and she brings me hours of reading enjoyment.   Nathan has the cool, snazzy, smaller, lighter, graphite-colored one because, well, I got mine first and we quickly decided we needed two so we didn’t fight over it.  Oh, the things we do to save our marriage :)

By the way, Amazon did not ask me to endorse this.  I’m not that cool.  But the Kindle is that cool.  Especially when living overseas!

Favorite Things

I have shocking news for you: I, Rebecca Tjernlund-Fagerlie, am Swedish.  Yes.  It’s true.

Maybe the blond hair and blue eyes should have been a give-away.

Anyway, because of this, I love lingonberries.  And IKEA.  And lingonberries from IKEA.

Lingonberries are small cranberry-type berries.  They taste similar, but lingonberries are a bit sweeter. 

I love lingonberries on Swedish Pancakes and with Swedish Rice Pudding.

Here are some recipes for you:

Swedish Pancakes (recipe from my Grandma Anderson who used to make these for me when I was growing up…YUM)

Heat together in sauce pan:
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter

When slightly cooled, beat in:
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Beat until smooth.  Pour some (enough to make 3-4 inch pancakes) onto skillet.  Cook over medium heat.

These are thin pancakes, kinda like crepes.  So, what you do is, take your pancake, spread with butter, fill the middle with lingonberries and roll it up like a taco.  So delicious!  These are also good with syrup–Nathan’s preferred method of eating them.

Swedish Rice Pudding (Recipe from my Aunt Marie Peterson, a traditional dish at all of our family meals!)

1 cup raw rice 
2 cups water
4 cups whole milk
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Bring to a boil water and rice, reduce heat, simmer until all water is absorbed (20-30 minutes).  Add 3 cups whole milk (saving the rest for later) and stir throughly.  Cover and simmer until all milk is absorbed.

In a seperate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, including remaining whole milk.

Mix egg/milk mixture with cooked rice.  Bake at 350F for 45 min-1 hour. 

*you can mix in raisins and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top when done baking.  I prefer no raisins and lots of cinnamon and sugar :)

So…when this is done baking, put a big ol’ pile of rice pudding on your plate with a spoonful of lingonberries and enjoy!  Um….YUM!

Happy Cooking!