Friday, April 9, 2010

Contact Paper

Before we left the states, I found a few sales on adhesive vinyl to bring with me, but it was just basic white, and brown. One day early on, we were walking through a hardware store, and there it was a beautiful display of about 20 colors of contact paper- don't ask me why it was in the hardware store. I started feeling the weight and texture and it hit me, I don't need vinyl this will work very well. So, I started buying up colors and since you get 2 rolls (18"x 9 yards/roll) in a package for about $3, I couldn't resist. I have had fun with all the colors and my children love their rooms.
In my sons room, I had the bugs go all the way around his room and then end up crawling into his bed.

In my daughters room I just did lots and lots of flowers. This is when I learned the importance of setting the correct cutting depth on the cricut so it just cuts through the vinyl layer and not the backing layer. These flowers and stems took FOR-EVER to peel and stick up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is Carrot Soup Too Predictable?

So, about a week ago I realized I had no idea what I would fix for Easter Dinner. I found this recipe for Carrot Soup on The only problem was that many of the things it called for I just couldn't get- dark sesame oil- greek style yogurt - shallots- but I decided to make due.

Yogurt- the only yogurt we can get here is usually the drinking kind and always has a flavor, so I started making (again) my own a few months ago. We always have plenty of milk because the "milk lady" brings 5 liters twice a week fresh from her cows that I pasteurize. So, I just made the yogurt as usual and then let it drain in a "make-shift" cheese cloth until we had the most amazing greek-style yogurt. I just used 2 strainers seperated by a cloth with a large weave. I dampened the cloth first to make the seperation a little faster. Just remember-if you life in a place like me (3rd world) make sure an use the filtered water to dampen the cloth. It really was easy, just give it a try. The texture of the drained yogurt was completely different and the taste- the tast was exquisite. I am making more right now as we speak! yum!

Sesame Oil- well I did have sesame seeds so... I while sauteing the onions I added some sesame seeds and let those roast. I think it added a nice flavor.
Shallots- this wasn't so hard, I just used a red onion (the only type we can get) and while it didn't have the same flavor, it worked.

So, all in all my family liked it and even the 5-year old ate it all up. We had a little of the yogurt left, so I added it to the dessert plates and it was amazing with the blackberries!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Buen Provecho

I love vinyl on the walls. The only problem I had in planning ahead for our house here was finding saying in Spanish. You can find a few here and there, but just not what I wanted so..... I made my own. Buen Provecho loosely translated mean "Enjoy your meal" and is often said to others as a greeting in restaurants. This is above our kitchen table and is about 3 feet wide. I will post more later on the virtues of Ecuadorian Contact Paper and how it saves me LOTS of money.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Party in The Jungle

My sons school had a read-a-thon for the month of March. To reward all of the kid for a job well done (almost 60,000 pages ready by less than 20 kids in 30 days!) we had an ice cream party. They had over a dozen toppings and we able to eat as much as they wanted with as many toppings as they could fit in the bowls.
For the party, I wanted oranges and blues, but colored bowls, spoons, cups and etcetera are not available here so..... we just worked our magic on what we did have- paper.

Friday, April 2, 2010

First Easter

Well, when we came to Ecuador, Easter decorations were no where on my radar. So, when March 1 hit, I got a little sad that I had nothing to put up. Luckily we do have internet and there were some amazing blogs that gave me some inspiration. I found a cut file for a rabbit that stands up at CHEEKY MAGPIE and just made up the egg files. I was really inspired by the colors she used- thats where I started.
I hadn't given how we were going to die Easter eggs much thought until a friend pointed out- while in a large grocery store in Quito (5 hours away)- that they had WHITE eggs. We don't get white eggs here. All of them are brown and usually the only white is the chicken poop still stuck to them. I was very grateful for her attention to detail and picked up a dozen. My children really don't like to eat eggs so I just blew these out (scrambled up the insides for the dog) and had the children painted them. I then sealed them with Modge Podge so we can keep them and have decorations to start with for next Easter!

We may not have access to white eggs very often, but I did find these cute little eggs and thought they would be cute to display. I blew out the insides of these also- but didn't cook them... they smelled really bad.

We are fortunate to get lots of fresh cut flowers here and they are fairly inexpensive also. I just didn't get to bring any vases, so.... I put 2 of my small IKEA crockery cups together (one upside down on top of another), wrapped with paper and voila - a floral arrangement for the living room.
along with miniature bunnies.