Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Beautiful Saturday & Grilled Southwest Chicken Wraps

Good afternoon! I hope you are all enjoying this new season that is upon us. I love spring and have been a little extra cheerful lately knowing that winter is behind us.

After brewing a cup of my favorite coffee this morning, I brought the dog to a gorgeous park outside of town for a long walk on the trails to stretch our legs and give her the chance to meet a new friend. The fresh air motivated me to make something new for lunch, and apparently wore Keeda out, as she has been sleeping since we've returned from our Saturday morning adventure. 

I made up a lovely mixture to throw in a tortilla shell and grill for a few minutes on the George Foreman. It turned out great! It was easy to make. If you'd like to make this, check out the recipe below.

You will need:

Burrito-size Flour Tortillas 
2 cans (12.5 oz each) chicken breast, drained
1 cup shredded Mexican style cheddar cheese
1 can (10 oz) Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles, drained
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sour cream
Pam cooking spray
1/8 cup guacamole
1/8 cup sour cream
1/8 cup tortilla chip strips 


1. Turn on George Foreman grill to preheat

2. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized pan (or in a bowl and transfer to a pan) and heat on low to warm mixture

3. Spray one side of tortilla with Pam cooking spray and lay tortilla on a plate, with the Pam spray side facing down. Scoop 1/2 cup of the Southwest chicken mixture and begin to fold. I had some difficulty trying to take pictures while folding the tortilla, so I figured I would share an easy-to-follow YouTube video for instructions instead:

4. Place wrap on the George Foreman grill for 4 minutes with the lid closed. Remove from grill and top with guacamole, sour cream and a few tortilla chip strips. Enjoy! 

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Delicious Breakfast and a Wonderful Weekend

I really enjoy my weekends off. Saturdays happen to be perfect for the types of things I did today: a little laundry and housework, a nice long walk with the dog, a homemade breakfast with a steaming cup of my favorite coffee, a good book, an old favorite movie and a couple of short naps!

Jeff is out of town for a guys' weekend which means that I am on my own for breakfast for the next few days. Traditionally, he is the one to make the breakfast (and most other meals) in the house, so I had to fend for myself. I decided to turn to an old favorite breakfast recipe that's really hard to mess up. My grandma made this for me quite a bit when I was younger and it's one of my favorites: "Eggs in a Frame" (I've also heard these called "Peek-a-Boo eggs"). 

You will need: 

2 slices of bread
2 eggs
1 tbsp butter
cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste


1. Add some cooking spray to a pan and turn on low heat. 

2. Place the bread in the toaster and lightly toast the two pieces of bread. They will finish toasting in the pan, so when I say "lightly toast", I mean it! 

3. Butter both sides of each piece of toast (Just to clarify, I never said "healthy", just "easy to make!")

4. Find a shot glass (or any glass with a smaller diameter) and use it to remove a center circle of each slice of the buttered toast.

5. By now, the pan should be nice and heated up. Crack an egg into the pan as if you were making your run-of-the-mill pan fried eggs. 

6. Get one of the pieces of toast without its center and place it on top of the egg, leaving the opening in the toast for the yolk of the egg. Do the same with the other egg/toast. Add the circle cut outs on the pan for some extra toasting, too! 

7. Cook the "Eggs in a Frame" for a few minutes, turning once. Cook longer for yolks that are solid all the way through, or less for a little more runny yolk. The circle toast cut outs make great "dippers" for a runny yolk! 

I hope you all have a relaxing, lovely weekend! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend

Can you believe that Thanksgiving weekend has already come and gone? After this long 4-day weekend, I'm already dreading the alarm clock that's going to go off at 5:30 tomorrow morning. I had an absolutely wonderful weekend and couldn't ask for much more--a great time with family and friends.

One of the highlights was being able to do something I've always wanted to do: cut down a real Christmas tree. Well, I didn't exactly do the cutting...BUT I supervised quite well :) Here's a few pictures from our adventure!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 17, 2014

A Perfect "Laying Low" Weekend

Well, it seems as though the inevitable happened: fall has quickly disappeared and winter has now made itself quite comfortable for what I'm guessing will be the next five months. I shouldn't act surprised--I do live in Minne-SNOW-ta after all!

I took this weekend for some much-needed down time and relaxation. I've been battling a nasty cold and thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to lock myself in the house and finally succumb by matching my home decor to the weather outside.

Stay warm, friends! I'll be sipping my hot chocolate and wrapping up in my blanket until April :) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MDP Mission Trip to Chiapas, Mexico--Post #5

 On Wednesday morning, we woke up a little tired, as the hard rains on the tin roof kept a lot of us awake for a portion of the night, although I think we all still felt thankful for such a nice place to stay compared to many of the buildings we’ve seen in the villages. 

We had a shorter day of clinic yet still saw 67 patients (including the ones from the day before).  Looking around the clinic and observing like I spent so much time doing this week from my post at the nurse’s station, I couldn’t help but still feel shock while noticing again how patient and content people are waiting in our clinic to be seen by a provider. They are so happy to simply have access to this and I’m sure realize that having a five hour wait to see a provider after a two hours trip up a mountain in the back end of a truck is so much better than having nothing at all. Imagine what people in the United States would do if that had to wait that long in a shed, sitting on a hard wooden bench with a numbered slip of paper, visit with their provider (not being able to choose which one they see) in front of the other 60 or so people in the shed, and having their private exams in a make-shift privacy area with a tarp, rope and some clothespins. Yet again, I can’t help but thank God to have the access to healthcare that we do and will never again complain or be impatient during a wait at my clinic back home.

Coffee in hand and ready for another day of clinic! 

This little guy was helping his mother sell rice pudding to patients coming to get care in the village

On the way home from clinic, our awesome driver, Vicente, stopped by the side of the road so that we could check out the beautiful Lagos de Montebello. The water was beautiful and blue, and again, I feel like pictures can't do it justice (are you sick of me saying that yet!?! Sorry!)

After returning to our hotel for a short rest, we headed out for a mini trip that was planned by Lia. We went to Santa Maria, an extravagant hotel, museum and restaurant. Despite being only 15 minutes from where we were staying, it seemed so further because it is so different from everything else around the area. The architecture was gorgeous and I was surprised and how old yet well preserved it was. The museum area was a room with walls covered in gorgeous original Catholic paintings of from various schools of art in Mexico. 

We toured the grounds a little more before dinner and saw the hotel’s Arabian Suite. From the outside, it looked like a giant white tent with walls that is used from graduation parties and outdoor weddings. The inside, however, was extremely elegant and had beautiful deep red linens on a king bed, red rugs and couches, beautiful stained glass lamps and a bathroom with a stone shower and deep tub. We then sat down outside for a dinner under a pavilion. It was nice to have a new menu to look at (although poor Lia had to translate the entire thing for us). I decided on spaghetti con hierbas finas and Grandma had a steak. Feeling tired and satisfied, we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

I would love to find out what these are. My favorite flower is the orchid, and these reminded me of them! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MDP Mission Trip to Chiapas, Mexico--Post #4

For our third day of clinic, we headed to San Antonio Buena Vista. This was 40 minutes away from where we are staying and involved a very bumpy ride up the mountain. We arrived a little early and got set up. Again, there was a pharmacy station, a nurse’s station, three provider areas and a privacy area for exams. I think we were all thankful for the cooler air that came with the increased elevation, and the huge bright space that was provided in the village’s community center.

The team took some time before patients arrived to explore the village a little bit, climbing further up the mountain and taking some amazing pictures. It’s so hard to capture the beauty of the landscape here, as pictures definitely don’t do it justice.

Clinic went well and we were able to see 73 patients from 7 different villages. A lot of the people that came were Mayan and had their own dialect, which required a second interpreter. This took a longer for each provider visit, so 8 patients had to be turned away. Because it was raining, it was important that we got out on the gravel mountain roads before it got too late in the day, We also had three more days of clinic that they could come back to. Again, there was so much gratitude here that it was humbling. Padre Miguel was around for this clinic today and it was great to see him interact with the community members. He has done some amazing things here, and you can truly see his compassion for living to serve through God.

As with every day we have here, we had a little fun, too. Dr. Don and Bridget were teamed up today as provider and interpreter. Both of them being alumni for St. Olaf College, they decided taught a woman in the community how to sing the fight song for the school: “Umm Yeah Yeah” J In pharmacy, Kyle continued to come up with new signs in his town time to give everyone on the team a chuckle as they came by.

True to form, we had a game night that was organized by Grandma Sara complete with a theme and prizes. We had a great time!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MDP Mission Trip to Chiapas, Mexico--Post #3

We went back to Playa Azul for our second day of clinic. Set-up was much quicker and again, there were patients waiting to be seen by us when we arrived.
The privacy area for exams

I was still astonished at how patient everybody is while waiting to be seen, and how well behaved children are. It seems like a community effort to raise children, as other mothers are very willing to watch and hold children while their parents are being seen. The kids hardly ever whine or fuss and sit patiently without needing a lot of entertainment. They can be entertained by the simplest of things and are so grateful for EVERYTHING! 

We were able to see 82 patients and were done by 4:30. The community members were so grateful that we came to serve them. The clinic organizers thanked us numerous times, said that we have done wonderful things for their community, and said they wished they could repay us. They asked also that we not forget them, and I know we won’t. The MDP group is already planning a return trip in February to serve this community.

The group loaded into the van with gifts given to us by community members, including oranges, bananas and papayas—yum!