Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving...Russian style! :)

Each year the Reasoner family celebrates Thanksgiving with the church. Yes, Thanksgiving is a completely American holiday, but the greatness of a day set aside to give God thanks, crosses to every culture and tongue. We celebrated all day Sunday during church and following with a delicious meal complete with turkey and stuffing! There was singing, poetry and testimonies, all praising and thanking God for His goodness.

We are blessed indeed! I pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The bad mood & the broken umbrella

The morning started off rough. I had eaten something the day before that was not "sitting well" with my stomach and had not slept well the night before. My alarm went off at 7:00 and I started my day. It was pouring rain as I left for my Russian lesson so I grabbed an umbrella and headed out the door. The last thing I felt like doing was going out in the nasty, cold rain and working my brain with this confusing language. Yes, my mood was pretty sour. About halfway there a huge gust of wind caught my umbrella and, as you can probably guess, flipped it out. My morning was definitely not improving! Now I was getting pelted with windblown cold rain. By the time I got to the school, I was wet and miserable. The lady at the desk started saying some stuff that I didn't understand. My teacher came out and told me I needed to put the blue plastic socks over my shoes so as to not track a mess on the clean floors. (I'm going to insert here that I'm thankful I don't have lessons at the house, in spite of yucky days, because culture is just as important as the language.) The lesson began with some confusion, because I have two different teachers. Even though they are at the same school, they don't communicate what they are teaching. My heart was not in the lesson at all and a few minutes into it, my teacher said, "Your mood is very bad, yes?" That hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, my mood was awful! Shame on me for being such a bad testimony! I quickly said I was sorry, and silently asked the Lord for help to improve my disposition. I stopped worrying about my wet, now completly frizzy hair. I stopped thinking that everyone else in the family was dry and comfortable at home. Basically, I made the choice that my pity party needed to end! By the end of the lesson things had indeed improved. My teacher told me that was the best lesson we had so far and I was really improving! My broken umbrella and I made our way home in the cold, driving rain, but the walk home wasn't nearly as miserable as the walk there had been. It's all in the perspective, yes? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vanilla Muffins

Hi! Just wanted to do a quick post and share this yummy muffin recipe with you. My husband and I both graduated in 2006. While he returned to school to get his Masters degree, I found an incredible job at a Victorian tea house. They were only open for lunch but also served high tea and special things for large groups. It was the greatest job. I fit in well in such a girly environment! : ) Some days I waitressed, others I worked in the gift shop, but the most beneficial was the time I spent helping in the kitchen. I learned so much! The chef there was a nice girl about my age, and we had become good friends. She knew my love of baking so when there was a need for some extra help, I got to fill it! Every day we served these amazing muffins with each meal. Here is the smaller version of what we made. They are easy and delicious! Enjoy! : )

Vanilla Muffins

1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes.
Yield: 12 cupcakes.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture; stir in milk.

~This is a basic recipe and the possibilities are endless. They can be frosted if you like. You could add blueberries, strawberries, etc. They are also yummy with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Or you can just enjoy them as is! : )

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

Hello, Friends! One of the things that has been fun for me in my life here in Russia is broadening my cooking skills. I've always enjoyed cooking, but cooking in a different country changes things. And cooking in Russia is no exception. It's like a delightful challenge to me. Cream of Chicken - remarkably easy, French fried onions - delicious...I get extremely excited when I figure something else out. Google and Pinterest are my friends. I do cook Russian food as well sometimes, but honestly it's nice to also eat things that are familiar. And again I love the challenge! So today for lunch my newest adventure was taquitoes. Since we are in a massive city, we can find tortillas sometimes at some of the larger stores. That means going to Moscow though, and I try to get around that as much as possible. So today I made tortillas for the first time. Then I made a recipe for taquitoes off of Pinterest. I didn't use much of the recipe honestly just kind of a basis to help me get going since I couldn't get some of the seasonings. Cooking from scratch this much is not only a rewarding accomplishment, but also a healthier alternative. : ) If you'd like to try your hand at tortillas, you can find the recipe I used here. Happy cooking!