Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Community Shabbat!

Other than keeping up blogging and journaling while I'm here in Cyprus, I also would like to continue working out. Before leaving Katho and I bought a bunch of these Latin "Dancing With the Stars" workout DvDs. Thursday night Ray and I tried one that focuses on toning your body with chacha, tango, and freestyle. We had a good time and took a few self portraits. HAHA

Well unfortunately I wasn’t able to steal Mrs. Rudolph’s infamous Moroccan chicken recipe (Sorry Jerri!) but I DID manage to memorize Serah’s delicious “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake” recipe.

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter

2 ½ cups flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tbsp lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup poppy seed

Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs 1 at a time.

In separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet mixture. Alternate with yogurt. Add lemon zest and juice. I did twice as much zest and juice than the recipe called for (so about 4 tbsp of each and some!) Serah normally cooks it as a bunt cake but we made cupcakes for Shabbat! Cook at 200 Celsius for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. (Totally stole the pic but they looked a lot like this!)


2 cups powder sugar

¼ cup butter (melted)

2 tbsp lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice

Immediately puncture each cupcake and glaze the top. The puncture allows the glaze to seep in. When cooled, remove cupcakes from pan and glaze generously!

We made 4 batches of this tonight. Abigail zested about 100 lemons and Julia made the awesome glaze that really makes the whole dessert work! Without the glaze the cake is so heavy and not very sweet.

Serah did a fabulous job with the Moroccan Chicken over cous cous. She got a standing ovation for her hard work and cooking skills. I am always so honored that she depends on me in the kitchen. She makes me feel like I am somewhat in her league when it comes to her culinary expertise! It also goes along with the theme that we are so much alike and both need moral support and someone to bounce ideas off of! Thanks again Serah for all your hard work and not only what you do in the kitchen but the life that you pour out for us. It’s such an amazing example of servant leadership. =) I love you dear friend!

I think Shabbat was a hit not only food wise but the whole night was full of great encouragement from Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph and inspiration by Matt. After a few hours of table fellowship the dance party began with “All My Single Ladies” off of my bachelorette mix and I danced with little Maddo and Liel as Sarah and Kes did some more mature dancing with students.

Tony, David, Matti, and Joel did a Romans rap that was hilarious and had the whole room in an uproar. It made me really miss Corin and his talented prophetic rapping back when he was in Cyprus!

Everyone began to leave so the last of us were putting things back in order when Matt broke out Chandy’s accordion out of nowhere. For some reason that’s one of my favorite instruments. I think its incredibly romantic and always reminds me of my outreach in the FIGS (France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland). Matt brought his newly learned instrument into the kitchen and Hannah began to “sing” along. It was pretty amazing so I caught it on video for all of you to see:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let the orientation's begin!

It's official! I have permanently moved into my house where I will be for the next 6 months with the 3 students in GTS II and Julia! Its a beautifully renovated house that is the house closest to the base! For all of you that haven't experienced a European lifestyle or I should say GTS lifestyle, where you walk EVERYWHERE! I need to take pictures during the day because our lighting is weird.

One of my favorite decorations in the house is a picture mounted on my wall. This is probably one of those funny GTS jokes as well because we of our rules against dating and students pairing off. When I first saw this picture Julia told me we had to take it down but I told her this would keep up with Susanna Hipple's tradition of praying and interceding for him who will surely come. ;)

While all my bags and things were strewn all across my bedroom floor I was getting ready for the day and threw my straightener along with its converter back into my bag. Next thing I know my shaving cream is going off like a bomb and my whole room, bag and outfit is getting covered in shaving cream. I quickly grabbed the bag and threw it in the sink! I found shaving cream dried up in the strangest places for days...

Culinary Corner

Thaddaeus and I were excited for GTS II orientation and baked some cookies for the meeting at the Thomas'. Note too much butter really makes a drastic difference...and so does missing ingredients like almond extract and vanilla. ;)

I made Raspberry Jam cookies
1/4 sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup Raspberry Jam
(Not my cookies on the tray in the picture on the right...the white things with pink jam)
Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Cream the egg, butter and sugar together. The recipe said to put the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then slowly combine the two, but I always just gradually add flour and the other ingredients as I mix. Divide the batter into 4 evenish parts. Roll each individual parts into a log about 12 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Place on 2 ungreased cookie sheets. I used my finger into the logs to make room for the jam. I cooked them for 20 minutes and let them cool. When I cut them half of 'em were extremely crumbly and didn't look very presentational. They tasted awesome though and were almost completely consumed by the 2nd year team!

I am super duper excited about GTS II!!! Chandy and Sarah are so awesome and have made me feel very comfortable to be on their team. I not only look forward to getting to know the Thomas family better but to serve and learn from them! Some of my duties with GTS II include being an RA, small group leader, admin, assisting Sarah with planning on the Israel trip, and helping with the Roman's Bible study. A new challenge for me is to teach a class on organizational management and I am kinda nervous about it and can't wait to start preparing! I am also hoping to share about blogging and digital networking in a class Chandy is teaching on "Newsletter and Correspondence."

Today Tabitha and I went down to town to do some birthday shopping. We hitched a ride with the Benko's who were going down to do lots of errands. It was fun having a copilot and I really enjoyed spending time with Tabby at Starbucks and taking pictures around Limassol. We made friends with the Starbucks employees who helped us use my ipod touch to get online. Going to town is a real privilege! Its about 30 minutes away and not everyone gets the honor to shop at 5-ways, visit Starbucks and (sometimes) grab some yummy thai food! Hint, hint Serah! ;)

I came home to internet set up in the GTS I offices and the worship building. Norman promises my internet will be set up soon so keep your fingers crossed! Tomorrow is a full day of orientation and helping Serah cook for the community Shabbat. I hope to post a recipe of Mrs. Rudolph's Moroccan Chicken next! Expect lots of pictures of everyone all cleaned up and lookin' their best!
(my mouth is totally full in that pic)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cooking and Cleaning in Cyprus

After a day in the house, resting, sleeping and all that fun stuff I ventured out to the new base which is an old restaurant. It’s a pretty cool setup and I am really excited for the adventures waiting in Fraktis. Before dark I had a chance to take a peak at my new office set up which is in the old corner store. The corner store apparently was so hopping they built a big ‘ol grocery store down the road…so now its just a normal grocery store.

I helped Marissa cook some homemade marinara that she turned into Bolognese and I turned into a yummy

veggie sauce over penne with a simple salad. Only base staff are eating meals together right now so last night there were merely 6 of us. We could only find 3 forks so 3 of us used spoons! =)

Today I got up with the rest of the group and headed to worship around 8AM. I spent the rest of the day setting up the library and organizing stuff…making beds and getting ready for school to start!

Matti and I were the cooking team tonight and we had fish on the menu. The GTS I team had dinner together so it was just 4 of us. Julia really helped me out because the boys were out late dropping off a load of things to the land.

We made roasted rosemary potatoes, sauted green beans and a yummy lemon, garlic fish. The fish was to die for. The recipe is as follows…

4 tilapia filets (totally defrosted)

olive oil

1 whole lemon (1/2 juiced, ½ thinly sliced)

salt and pepper

garlic powder

fresh dill (one bunch)

3-4 cloves of fresh garlic (coarsely chopped)

Preheat oven to 200ยบ Celsius. Arrange filets in pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over it. Juice half of the lemon and pour evenly over fish. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a little garlic powder. Rub seasonings into fish. Evenly disperse garlic and dill over fish. Place a sliced lemon in the middle of each fish. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until fish is flaky.

Erev Shabbat dinner was a dream! The Wilks' invited two car loads of us to Paphos to enjoy a relaxing evening in Aphrodite Hills. We watched as the sun set over the Mediterranean and fellowshipped together over a pot of chili and red wine from our land. The night ended with a cheesey action flick that everyone criticized and I dozed off in the car ride home.

After sleeping in as late as possible (try over 12 hours) I took a long walk over to Cas' apartment in Trimiklini. Hannah joined me on half of the 45 minute walk and I took my time taking photos through Moniatis and Trimiklini of all the familiar homes and shops we drive by often. I really enjoyed myself and wanted to share these with everyone who hasn't been here or have missed the beautiful Cypriot mountains!

There were lots of Cypriots out and about on this lovely, sunny Saturday and I was SO tempted to take pictures of them as well! I couldn't pass up the chance of showing you how incredibly expensive petrol is! Now don't forget, this is in euro cents, PER LITER! With the exchange and multiplying it by 4 (4 liters in a gallon) gas is roughly $5.44 a gallon. Now you know why I walked for 45 minutes to get to Cas' apartment.

Well we are attempting to stay warm and trying to get everything ready for the students coming this week. Please keep us in your prayers and that we are productive and have everything ready to welcome in the new school year. I hope to keep up the blogging!