Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Caramel Cream Pie

This past week, one of our own BMW ladies posted this photo for a Caramel Cream Pie she made for their Easter celebration on her field. Of course, the photo and the words...caramel...cream...pie, really got our attention and we just had to have the recipe to share with everyone here on the BMW blog.

Crumb crust: 
250g (8 oz) plain sweet biscuits (cookies for you Americans) 
125g (4 oz) butter 
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions for crumb crust: 
Crush biscuits finely. Combine biscuit crumbs, melted butter and cinnamon in a bowl. Press biscuit mixture over base and sides of a greased 20cm (8 in) springform pan or pie dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Caramel Filling:
2/3 cup custard powder
2 cups cream (I use the artificial stuff here that's sweetened vegetable fat since I can't get real cream)
1 cup of milk 
1 tsp vanilla 
125g (4 oz) butter 
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, lightly packed (raw sugar works as well if you can't get brown, it just doesn't get the same colour) 
1 cup of cream, extra for whipping and putting on top 
2 tablespoons bottled caramel topping**
(I am including a good homemade caramel sauce recipe in case you can not purchase bottled caramel topping where you are in the world.)

Caramel sauce recipe: 
**I double this to have enough to equal 2 cups (16 oz)
150 grams sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
120 grams heavy cream (at least 33%)
pinch of salt

Directions for filling: 
Place custard powder in saucepan, gradually whisk in cream, milk and vanilla. Stir over low heat until custard boils and thickens, reduce heat, simmer gently 1 minute. Melt butter in separate saucepan, add brown sugar, stir until dissolves, then bring mixture to the boil. Quickly stir into custard mixture. Return to heat, stir until brown sugar and custard are combined. Cool slightly, pour into crumb crust, refrigerate until firm. Spread with the extra whipped cream, drizzle caramel topping over and swirl sauce through cream with a knife for marbled effect.

It looks like it would be a really rich but delicious! Let us know if you give this recipe a try!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Funfetti Cupcake Recipe

Sometimes you just need to bake some cupcakes!

I found this fun recipe online to bake for my Sunday School kids and it is still a favorite of theirs. It is better than adding some sprinkles to a regular white cake recipe and baking them as cupcakes. This batter has a really good vanilla flavor. There is also a separate cake recipe which differs a little so this recipe is better to be used specifically for cupcakes. The recipe uses a chocolate frosting but I prefer to use a standard vanilla buttercream frosting instead.


1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sprinkles


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) or electric handheld mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, slowly pour in the butter and then the vanilla. While mixing, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix the batter. Gently fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles.

Divide the batter evenly in the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I watch them and cook for about 19 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (taken from Betty Crocker site)


3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk


1. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
2. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Old thrifted frames to new colorful ones!

Hi there Ladies,

My name is Sandy and I'm a missionary wife here in Bolivia! We've been here 4 years now and we are going back for the first time on our furlough very soon. Miracle Whip, oh how we've missed you! 

I'm going to be doing tiny little DIY posts on this blog for you all.  I love doing these kind of projects around my house! When its actually one I can do because I can find what I need for the project. That has been kind of challenging for me, figuring it all out and translating it from American Pinterest users that have Walmart and Home Depo available... to me with only small limited hardware stores to get my materials from. I know it will be different for each country and the terminology definitely  too. My advice? Keep your eyes wide open. You never know when you'll see something useful. And when you don't see it- show them a picture or describe describe describe!! 

For this post I had a box of miss matched photo frames I purchased from a  retiring missionary, and left over chalk paint from some other projects. Yesterday, while the kiddos were blissfully napping,  I decided to tackle that box and see what I could come up with.

Here is the recipe. 

OH I just LOVE the gold-ish detail on this particular frame!

The foreign field load down:

 They sell a pretty limited color scheme in colors for latex here (no paint swatches to take to the nice store person who can then mix the beautiful paint color for me.) So, I just bought liquid water base tint to get the colors I wanted. Be patient and don't conform until you've gotten the color you want! Google is amazing for figuring out what primary colors it will take to get you the color you want.

For the Plaster of Paris-  honestly if I translated that NO ONE would know what I was talking about here. (Um, quiero yeso de Paris.) Plaster, all the way from Paris. Yup. So, after a tiny bit of research and realizing what the constructions guys use here for plastering walls and ceilings which is Kal or Stucco, I figured that this plaster of paris thing wasn't going to be so hard to find after all!  So, since we are in the process of building our adobe house (VERY VERY VERY slow process) I just asked my hubby to bring me a few cups full as I needed it for different projects.  We can buy it by the kilo here at construction stores though. :)

I can't emphasize enough how necessary the Hot Water will be. Since I was using gritty construction Stucco I found that when I mixed the paint with hot water and then let it set a day, so that the water works on getting the sand size grains dissolved, that painting was much easier and the paint itself was much smoother! Making it possible to easily smooth down the dried surface with a Brillo pad instead of putting a lot of effort and arm grease into using sand paper. I've done it both ways now and letting the paint stand a day + Brillo pad is the way to go on this one ladies! Also, if you paint thickens up just thin it out with water - no problems.

What you'll need:
Paint Brush
Brillo Pads
A work surface you don't mind getting messy (washes away easily because it's water base) or a plastic shower curtain works too! Good excuse to go out and buy a nice new one by using your old one.

THIS is my awesome workshop! Which reminds me - we need to cut the grass...again. :( 
The mismatched frames and the green ones with their first coat of paint. The chalk on the wall is courtesy of my little daughter's visiting friends trying their own hand of "chalk paint." 

For prep you can either sand these down a tad or just dust them off like me. Chalk paint sticks to anything! In this case though, some of the frames had  gold paint on them already and I wanted that to show through when I scuffed them up a bit. 

I recommend doing 3-4 coats of paint. Allowing to dry 3/4 between each coat.
It took me an hour to do these.

Once they're good and crispy dry I took a Brillo Pad to them to smooth them out a bit and bring out the wood where I liked it most or where it happened to just sand away to the wood... and I just went with it.

Then I sealed it with wax. 

All I can find here is orange wood floor wax from the cleaning section of our little mini market and it works perfectly! The color will really come out at this point also. Being chalk paint it will dry a few shades lighter than the actual wet paint color you mixed. A few coats of wax should do it! 
If you want a little bit of a sheen just buff with a cloth.

And here they are!

Not sure what to do with that big brown frame yet, but I'm kind of leaning towards leaving that one wood. All I need are my black and white photos and this one's done! Oh, and our house to finish in a couple years so I can hang them up too. :) The anticipation is killing me, but I know it will be all the sweeter after having waited.
If you have ANY questions or comments I would be glad to help you out. And if that didn't just sound like customer service-  so so sorry! Haha- habits die hard!
Chau Chau!

Blue with the gold showing through.

Store your left over paint in a glass jar for later...nothing better than ready made paint for another project! 

P.S. I had previously mixed a bunch of the aqua color paint ( in January) so I had a lot of that left over...and just added more water to the mix and green tint to get that farmy green and lots more blue tint to get that ocean blue. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Wings Like a Dove" and a Back Like a Duck

Photo courtesy of: Matt Banks, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just get me out of here!

Oh that I had wings like a dove! 
for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 
Lo, then would I wander far off, 
and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. 
(David, Psalm 55:6-8)

What missionary hasn’t felt this way?

Don’t you think it’s amazing that God gives us this glimpse into David’s life?

David had a problem, and he’s pretty transparent about it. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me (Psalm 55:4-5).

David is suffering. This is why: For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company (verses 12-14). A believing friend criticized him, a good friend, and the attack was a stab-in-the-back one that really hurt. David says, The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords (verse 21).

You can take a lot of criticism from the outside—you expect the world not always to like you. But when a Christian attacks—especially a friend—it hurts deeply.

Let’s examine how David, the man after God’s own heart, responded. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear (verses 16-19a). What a reaction! He went to the Lord with it. He got peace from God.

He didn’t go to others and blab, blab, blab about what so-and-so did to him. He left it with the Lord. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (verse 22).

Here are some more of David’s expressions of trust:

  • But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee (Psalm 5:11).
  • (Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.) O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me (Psalm 7:1).
  • And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee (Psalm 9:10).
  • Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them (Psalm 17:7).
  • The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Psalm 18:2).
  • O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me (Psalm 25:2).
  • (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness (Psalm 31:1).
  • And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him (Psalm 37:40).
  • What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me (Psalm 56:3-4).

The Bible is clear that God is the Judge and that He's the One who settles the score with wrongdoers. We can leave those criticisms that are difficult to bear with Him. The Lord will sustain us, and He will give us peace.

Photo courtesy of: Michael Elliott, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some side lessons from Psalm 55:
  1. We don't ever want to be the “friend” that stabs her friends in the back.
  2. May all our words be characterized by wisdom and kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)
  3. When there’s a genuine issue, we kindly go to our friend and resolve the problem sweetly and thoroughly. (Matthew 18:15-17) Many times, our “big deals” are actually misunderstandings.
  4. If your personality clashes with another person’s, ask God for grace. He will give you the maturity to treat the individual who constantly rubs you wrong as nicely as you would treat anyone else.
  5. And, one more tip for the mission field: develop a “duck’s back.” Let the water run right off. Most criticisms are only rain on our parade. Let those drops of criticism slide right on down to the big pond. Forget them. Live happily anyhow. (Did you ever see a gloomy duck?)
So, when you, like the Psalmist David, want to sprout wings and fly away, remember this verse:

In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul,
Flee as a bird to your mountain?
(Psalm 11:1)

Sister, keep on keeping on! And, may God bless you!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce

Convenience sometimes wins when it comes time to make a dinner meal. We just need something quick and easy that does not require lots of effort so that we can move on to the next task at hand. I actually accidentally created this recipe for homemade Sloppy Joes or Manwich sauce. I was taste testing another experimental recipe I was attempting and immediately I tasted the familiar flavor of Sloppy Joes! Thankfully, our kids love it and didn't remember the taste of the canned stuff. But really, it does taste just like it!

Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce

2 lbs. ground beef (browned)

Approx. 1 cup of ketchup

1/4 cup of tomato paste

black pepper

onion powder


1-2 tsp. sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomato paste (add more or less if desired)



Brown the ground beef in large skillet. Drain the beef. Return beef to skillet. On low-medium heat, add all remaining ingredients; adding enough water to reach desired consistency. Simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Once you have this basic recipe you can tweak it to your desired flavoring. The main thing is to keep the amount of ketchup to more than the tomato paste. 
Serve on bread or hamburger buns with chips.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Practical Hospitality: First Things First


I love it. I love hosting people, especially those in ministry. I love turning my home into a little hospital for the body, soul, and spirit of those who enter. It really isn't my gift, just a passion. And I want to do it well.


There is an order to it. And first things must come first.

So what exactly comes first when you are dealing with hospitality?

Meal planning?
Guestroom planning?
Gift basket shopping?

There is something else way more important. Actually, it is the most central and vital element of the whole process. The success of everything else actually hinges on this one aspect.

Often, hosting people in our homes is a Martha load of work, but if we have the Martha spirit it will ruin every effort. We need a Mary spirit through it all.

Luke 10:38-42 "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

We recently hosted a group who had come for survey purposes. They were here for about a week. I knew the workload was about to rise dramatically, but my greatest desire was to finish the week without being "cumbered about" and "troubled." (Now that's a tall order!)

The first thing to prepare isn't towels and scrubbing things and menus. The first thing to prepare is our hearts.

Why am I hosting these people? Where is my heart in it? Is it a grudgingly done task?

1 Peter 4:9 "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

Everything we do is supposed to be for God's glory. That's the whole sum of the matter. Hospitality is for the Lord no matter who we are serving.

When the heart is right, everything else will fall into place because everything will be done in His strength and guided by His leadership.

So how do you prepare your heart?

Just like Mary.

Sit at His feet in the time leading up to your opportunity of hospitality. Do not neglect quiet time alone with Him. And pray...

Pray for:

  • Faithfulness to your quiet time each day.
  • A soft heart toward God's leading.
  • Right priorities during your guests' stay.
  • Wisdom in decisions, purchases, and preparations.
  • A kind tongue.
  • Provision for the things you will need to serve your guests.
  • A gracious and giving heart... That you will give your home and things to the Lord so that you can in turn easily give to your guests.
  • An enduring/forbearing love that can overlook offenses.
  • Those who are going to be staying in your home. Ask God to use you in their lives. Ask Him to help you see needs that they may not express. Ask Him to help you walk in their shoes mentally.
  • The mind of Christ.

Now that our hearts are ready, let's take the next step.

To be continued...

by Charity, Southern Asia

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chicken Casserole

An easy to make chicken recipe that is a family favorite!

4 Chicken breasts (chopped and cooked until done in a skillet over medium heat)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup** 
1 can cream of chicken soup

**As I have mentioned in my other recipes, I use the recipe below only, (I double it for this recipe) to make it a cream of chicken soup, I place two bullion cubes in a small bowl and add approximately one cup of boiling hot water to them, stir them until they dissolve, and stir that broth in to the sauce mixture. I also add some chopped canned mushrooms and a little bit of the juice and/or one mushroom bullion cube to give the mixture a cream of mushroom soup flavor.
White Sauce Base

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1cup milk

In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir 1 minute.


8 oz. sour cream
2 large rolls Ritz crackers (crushed) **or an equivalent cracker
1/4 cup melted salted butter

Mix soups and sour cream together in a large skillet. Add cooked chicken. Mix crushed crackers with the melted butter. Place half of the cracker mix in bottom of glass 9x13-inch pan. Pour chicken and soup mixture into dish on top of crushed crackers and top mixture with the remainder of the cracker crumbs. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (375 F) for 25-30 minutes. Cook until lightly brown and bubbly.

I usually serve this meal over rice to help add more bulk to it to help with filling the ever empty stomachs of our preteen boys. :) It is also delicious served with corn as a side.