Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Classic Colors

I recently added a few new designs to my shop at Marigold Lane and wanted to share them with you as well. First, I made a brown, tan, and pink striped hat with pom poms. It would be perfect for a newborn photo session. I loved this yarn because the stripes are built into the yarn itself. You just knit away, and it creates this adorable pattern.

Next, I tried a new craft in the creation of this classic red and white striped headband. The fabric flower was made using a nifty tool I bought in Greenville. My mom let me peruse her stash of fabric scraps, and I can't wait to create more adorable flowers!

Finally, I found this pattern for a hat that looks like it was actually crocheted. I've been looking for a use for a lovely yellow cotton yarn and my navy and white ribbon. A few weeks later, I found a pattern for the shoes that matches the hat perfectly! I'm in love with the tiny bows on the shoes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Around the World

Today I am joining "Around the World in a Day," a Linky party hosted by Laura at Happy Homemaker UK. Stop by her blog to meet other expats living around the world, and experience what a day is like in their lives. If you are joining me today from the party . . . Welcome!! I hope you enjoy this small taste of my life in the Caribbean.

My husband and I are from South Carolina, but we are living in Grenada for a couple years while he attends medical school here at St. George's University.

We are actually living in a dorm room on campus, so in some ways, I feel like I'm back in college!

There are some lovely houses on the island, and I have many friends that live off-campus in a two bedroom home with a living room and a full kitchen. However, Ryan likes the convenience of being just a couple minutes' walk from classes and the library. And since we really are here for him, I'm happy to put up with some minor inconveniences along the way.

This is what I see each time I walk outside - can't complain about that!

The campus is located on the southern tip of the island, so there are views of the Caribbean Sea on both sides.

Grenada is located in the southeastern part of the Caribbean, just north of Venezuala. The island is only 133 square miles and has a population of about 100,000. Grenada is very mountainous, and has several breathtaking waterfalls. We hiked one of the mountains during our first couple weeks here last February.

For the outdoor-enthusiast, you will never tire of beautiful hiking trails, which offer a firsthand look at the gorgeous wildlife in Grenada.

The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. You'll find miles of white sand where you can relax. Or spend an afternoon snorkeling or scuba diving in the clear water.

Fresh produce and an abundance of spices are sold at the outdoor market in the capital city of St. George's.

I usually do most of my grocery shopping at the IGA just a few minutes from campus. The school provides buses to several locations in the area free of charge to students and faculty. And since we live on campus, we just ride the bus to the grocery store and the beach instead of buying a car. So that makes it interesting when I have to carry a week's worth of groceries on a tightly-packed bus by myself. Fortunately, Ryan usually comes with me. Most weeks I make several trips to the store because they never have everything in stock all at once. And meal planning is somewhat difficult, because you never know what you will be available on any given week. I've learned to adapt and be flexible, but it definitely makes me miss our large, fully-stocked grocery stores at home!

I'm so thankful to be living in such an amazing place for these two years!

Don't forget to join the rest of the party and read about more exciting destinations around the world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

30-Minute Dinner

I usually have more than enough time to prepare dinner on any given day. Let's face it - I don't have the busiest schedule down here. But tonight, dinner needed to be at 6:30 to fit around Ryan's schedule, and I spent the afternoon at the pool with my friends. I lost track of time (easy to do while you're enjoying the company of great people in a gorgeous, relaxing location) and walked in the door at 5:50. I took a couple minutes to get cleaned up, but we were sitting down to eat right at 6:30. And, on top of that, I came up with a delicious, new (fast) recipe!

My inspiration came from a couple different sources. I watched an episode of Iron Chef last night where they cooked gourmet meals that included maple syrup, and I remembered making a maple-soy-lime juice glaze for salmon a couple years ago. I am still trying to use up the grapefruit we were given, so I decided to combine the two ideas and use a couple steaks I had thawing in the refrigerator. If I had planned ahead, I would have marinated the steaks in the sauce during the day. But I just sprinkled them with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce and cooked them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I boiled the water for rice, and began working on the glaze.

I combined 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice (the juice of half a grapefruit), less than 1/4 cup of maple syrup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. The mixture reduced over medium heat while the rice and meat cooked. Once the meat was finished, I tossed fresh baby carrots with a little olive oil and basil and roasted them for about 15 minutes in the oven. I topped the steaks with the maple-grapefruit glaze, and the flavor combination was fabulous! Amazingly, everything was finished at the same time, and in just 30 minutes, we were enjoying another new favorite meal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Midterm Week

We've made it to the halfway point in the semester already! I can't believe we'll be flying home in just 10 weeks. Ryan's classes have been keeping him very busy. He had two exams this week, one Monday and one today. We'll find out next week how he did. He is still enjoying his classes, despite the work, and loves the subjects he is learning this term. I'm thankful that we live on campus as I get to see him for lunch and dinner each day. And I know this stage of our lives will not last forever. We've both been very healthy this semester. Actually, I don't think we've been sick since we moved here last year.

I've been able to go to the beach more times in the past few weeks than I have in several months. Last week, a couple friends and I spent the afternoon at Aquarium Beach. It was my first time there, and I was amazed to find yet another breath-taking view. The beach was much less crowded than Grand Anse Beach, and the water was the most gorgeous shade of turquoise.

My days have been spent reading a couple new books, working out, and babysitting little Isabella. She and her mom were on vacation for a couple weeks, but I was finally able to spend some time with her on Tuesday evening. She has learned how to wave and clap, and performs both activities as often as possible.

I want to soak up every moment because I know someday it will be hard to believe I actually had such a relaxing life in this beautiful place.

Monday, March 7, 2011

International Food Festival

On Saturday, March 5, Grenada hosted the 17th annual Grensave International Food and Drink Festival. This year, the theme was "Do It For the Children" and the proceeds benefit programs for youth and children around Grenada. The celebration takes place at the Trade Center, next to the grocery store. It is a large building, similar to a gymnasium. Most of the countries that are represented in Grenada set up a table to sell food, drinks, or crafts native to their country. Some of the countries that were there this time included China, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, Japan, Italy, Venezuela, and of course, Grenada and the United States. Most of the booths were sponsored by that country's embassy, but the American table was organized by the Significant Others (spouses of medical students) at SGU. A couple friends and I worked at our table for a few hours, and it was a fun and unique experience.

The afternoon began with the Grenadian national anthem, prayer, and a few brief remarks. Then, everyone walked around the room sampling different treats from various countries. I met the Chinese ambassador, Xu Jianguo and the Governor General of Grenada Sir Carlyle Glean. We talked to some lovely people from all over the world, and enjoyed watching all the excitement.

I also met a new friend, Blair, and found out we lived just a few hours away from each other back home. We have a lot in common, and I look forward to getting to know her better.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Favorites

This past week, my meals have been centered around using the fresh produce we were given on Sunday. I spent about 2 1/2 hours on Sunday afternoon shelling peas. Since fresh peas don't keep for very long, I blanched them and put them in the freezer until we're ready to enjoy them.

On Monday night, I cooked a couple steaks that had been marinating all day. Along with that, we had some of the fresh peas and sweet potato chips. The peas were delicious. I could have let them cook for a couple minutes longer, and they tasted more like soy beans to me than peas. We still have enough in the freezer for another meal or two.

With the sweet potatoes, I ran into the same problem that I encountered while cooking Thanksiving dinner - they are white! And not only that, they are pretty hard to cut. But I peeled them, sliced them as thinly as I could, and tossed them with a mixture of olive oil, cajun seasoning, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I don't have a cookie sheet that fits in my toaster over, so I spread the chips in a single layer on the bottom of my aluminum 13x9 pan. It took a little trial and error to find a temperature that was hot enough to make the chips crispy, but that didn't burn them within a couple minutes. I threw a few charred chips away, but for the most part they turned out well. Ryan said it would be okay if I made them at least once a week.

Tuesday morning, I tried a new twist on broiled grapefruit. I had looked up new recipes using this delicious fruit, and saw several people that suggested adding some rolled oats to the brown sugar before topping the grapefruit as I usually do. However, the grapefruits down here have a lot more seeds in them than I am used to, and I don't like to pick out seeds during each bite. So I scooped out the fruit, put it into a small casserole dish, and covered it with the juice of the grapefruit (it was incredibly juicy). In a separate bowl, I mixed about a cup of oats, a little brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I poured this mixture on top of the grapefruit, and topped the whole dish with a little butter. I baked the "grapefruit oatmeal" at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The juice of the grapefruit cooked the oatmeal, and it was delicious! It would have made enough for two people, but since Ryan isn't a huge fan of grapefruit, I ate it twice for breakfast, along with my cup of New England decaf Hazelnut coffee.

Then on Wednesday night, I tried another new recipe: Baked Chicken with Caramelized Grapefruit and Onions. It was a very quick meal to prepare, and gave us a little change from my typical way of cooking chicken breasts. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and placed them in a casserole dish. Next, I combined grapefruit sections, grapefruit juice, red onion, green onion, brown sugar, garlic powder, and parsley, and poured it over the chicken. I baked it at 350 degrees, and the chicken was not only cooked perfectly, but it was moist and flavorful. The citrus added a bright, fresh taste that we really enjoyed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...