Hashing – Round Two

It was a nice and simple hash. Mellow, just a long walk along the  road.

Then we reached the split point for the iron man finish. We asked, unsure. They said it was shorter. Fun, adventurous, not too hard. We believed them. Off we travelled.

At first it was jumping over rocks and walking through actual bush.

Then came the steep hills.

We slid down muddy slopes on our butts, trying to avoid the trees.

Then I almost died while trying to hope across a ledge.

almost dying

Post almost dying and the man who caught me standing behind me.

Then more slidding.

Then the river – it seemed we kept traversing and traversing this stream. We wished for bathing suits instead of hiking clothes. Why did we not come prepared for a swim?

It was harrowing, that is for sure. I think we might think twice about the next time we see an iron man finish.

Major plus side though – we finally tried Oil Down (the national dish) for the first time and it was delish!

Rum Shop View Getting Wet Ty

Scrumptious Roasted Chicken and To-Die-For Gorgonzola Roasted Potatoes

So I think we can all agree that Tyler is going to be one sad boy when school goes back to being super busy and he isn’t getting awesome delicious home-cooked meals all the time. I mean its not like I totally slack off (even if it appears so from the blogging frequency) but I certainly rely on good ol’ simple standard WAY more. But that is besides the point right now. For now he is in happy husband heaven and good food abounds. And hopefully the food and blogging will stay, at least for a bit.

Anyways, I decided to test out some dishes the other night. I always hesitate undertaking big new things when I am serving to a crowd. I tend to learn a lot the first time and try two is almost always better. Plus I tend to forget silly things like seasonings when distracted so the more comfortable I am with what I am making, the better. So with Tyler’s parents coming in July and thinking ahead to a possible Thanksgiving dinner at our place come October (yep, our Thanksgiving is different in Grenada) I thought I should try out some big crowd dishes. So roast chicken and potatoes it was!

I have never roasted a chicken. I mean the principles behind it seem easy – and I have helped with dozens or dinners but never really done. And I can now see why dinner is never on time, it seems the bird just decided how long it is going to take without informing you or the logical recipe you are following.

Roasted ChickenBut anyways, I found this roast chicken recipe in my Bon Appetit magazine and decided it was perfect to try. I used two small Cornish hens mostly due to the actual small chickens looking horrible that day and we are only two people, how much can I make? I must say the recipe is superb. Loved the flavors! My little chickies decided to take their sweet time cooking. And I since decided that to get that crispy and brown skin they had in their photographs I should probably up the cooking temp earlier on. My internal temperature was where it needed to be before the skin ever started to brown. I waited a while longer, but I was getting hungry and fearing I would overcook the meat. Also maybe more honey, but I think it was mainly a temperature thing.

Ready for the oven

Chickens before the oven - already looking tasty.

Gorgonzola PotatoesThe second dish that got attempted that night was these fully-loaded gorgonzola roasted potatoes. These were seriously so delicious. I was pretty sure the recipe was going to bomb-diggity the minute I read it – I mean potatoes and cheese and bacon is ALWAYS delicious. But it was so worth every minute of waiting for them to roast. I am contemplating making them again for lunch today just because they are so tasty.

No reposting of the recipes for me today – none of my own work really went into these. But, honestly I was able to use so many local ingredients that minus the waiting time, these were actually quite simple. The local rosemary packs were super cheap and created amazing flavor in the chicken (and made my house smell amazing! Plus local potatoes are easy to come by along with all the fresh herbs to go on top.

These are well worth the try – I know I will be making them again!



Raspberry Almond Muffins

I have certainly been on a big baking kick lately. I think it has been partially brought on by the responsibility of making snacks for CSA every week this summer. So today I decided that some breakfast muffins sounded great. Usually Tyler gets a hankering for blueberry muffins and I generally make them from a mix. Fresh blueberries don’t come here, frozen ones (if I can find them) are way overpriced so I cheat. But today I decided to make some from scratch using a recipe in my trusty cookbook. I am not a fan of plain muffins, so I course picked a jazzed up version. I actually was thinking of making apricot almond muffins but part way through I realized I had eaten most of the dried apricots I had (oops!) and then remembered I had some delicious raspberry jam I should use up – so really it worked out great.

What You Need:

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
8 Tbs. butter melted and cooled
1/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves 

Preheat oven to 375 and line or spay your muffin tin. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In another  bowl whisk together eggs and yogurt and extract in a large bowl.

Mixing the yogurt mixture into dry ingredients.

Gently fold in the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended. Fold in the melted butter. The batter is very dough-like rather than soft and runny.

The batter - it comes out really doughy.

The batter - it comes out really doughy.

Into each muffin cup spoon about 2 Tbs. of batter. Add 1 tsp. of raspberry jam to the center of each muffin. Top muffins with remaining batter evenly and bake for about 20-25 mins or until golden brown and tester comes out clean.

Filling the muffin tinsReady for the oven

For added pizzaz, I usually add a light sprinkling of sugar to the top of each muffin right before baking. It is something I learned to do as a kid when my Grandma taught me how to make muffins from scratch. I don’t know if she necessarily taught me to do it that way or if my 9 year-old self just thought homemade muffins just were not sweet enough. Now I do it for the little crunch it gives on top.

Out of the oven goodness

Out of the oven goodness - nice and golden



Cherry Cream Tarts

Cherry Cream TartsSometimes I find recipes in very strange ways. I am a firm believer that you never know that if the back of that pasta box or the inside of the butter tub might have something worth trying, or at least worth taking inspiration from. Well this recipe probably came from the strangest place possible, a My Little Pony coloring book. No joke! Almost two years ago now I was volunteering at a hospital working on the pediatric floor and I used to photocopy coloring book pages for the children to color on. While flipping though the My Little Pony coloring book I stumbled upon this recipe, read it, and decided it was worth saving, It is still scribbled on a cut up sheet of fax paper I stole to write it down on. I really need to get a fancy smancy recipe box with cards, but that is another story.

I tried this recipe out then and made them for my husband (then boyfriend) as a fun dessert and he loves them. They are the perfect serving size of a  delicious cheesecake-like dessert.

What You Need:

2 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. white sugar
2 eggs
1tsp. lemon juice
1 1/8 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 pinch cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1 21oz. can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins. For these I actually like the foil liners as they really help when you eat the cream tart out of them. I am sure regular ones work okay though. But you have to line!

To Make Filling: Cream with an electric mixer the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Slowly add in eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix well.

To Make Crust: Combine crumbs, 2 Tbs. sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in butter until crust forms small crumbs. I usually use my hands.

Making the crustAdd the filling on top

Put on spoonful of crust into each cup then add layer of filling.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes so that custard is firm but springy to touch. It usually puffs up and then drops down some as it cools. Spoon cherry fulling over the top and then chill.

What they look like out of the oven

Out of the oven - ready for filling

All done - and tasty!

All done - and tasty!




Why is it so hot?

Tyler and I were hanging in the apartment the other day and I was sitting on the edge of the bed and he placed his hand on my back and then pulled his arm away. It was because my back was literally wet with sweat. Then the other day Tyler and I were sitting at the kitchen table and we both were noticing seat literally running down us. I ended up switching into a sports top to wear less fabric while I was cooking and change before we left to meet our friends later that day. What do these stories say – it is HOT!

In Grenada, we need the rain. When the rain leaves it just gets hot. I mean we now are in the warmer months where the heat index rises, but we are supposed to get rain to cool us off. But not lately. It seemed there for a bit it was raining all the time, but now not so much. I mean it feels odd to watering my potted plants almost daily because the sky isn’t helping me out at all. But on the plus side, they are growing like weeds. The mint plant has sprouted two babies and the basil plant is as strong and tall as ever. We will be drinking summer mojitos in no time!

Anyways, thats my little blurb for the day. Ta Ta.



Where Are We?

As the final installment in the blogging about all the glorious adventures of Trinidad (read more here, here and here) I want to host a segment called where are we. As there is generally a lot of contention among the students at SGU who are trying to gage how great Trinidad is. I mean is it like Grenada but just a little further south? Or is is better? Of course the Trinidadian students here rave that Trinidad is the best country ever…but they are not to be trusted. So lets just look at these few pictures and see for ourselves how different Trinidad really is.



Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

Coffee Drinks - real ones!

Coffee Drinks - real ones!

Costco - almost

Lastly, remind anyone of Costco? Looks exactly like it on the inside, EXACTLY!

All of this to say, Trinidad is a LOT more developed than Grenada. They have a huge highway traversing across the country, they have so many large grocery stores and malls, real malls, and Costco. I mean you can go and buy all your food in ridiculously cheap ginormous packages. What more could you want? Trinidad was much more like the U.S. than Grenada. It was so developed and we were so shocked to see so many American chains there and everything. We did breakdown and buy some Coldstone and it was heavenly. And of course after we went to the mall to shop for a bit Tyler’s reward was eating Pizza Hut.

I guess in conclusion Tyler and I came out thinking Trinidad was pretty awesome. We will certainly remember just how developed they are from now on. We still love the fact that Grenada has the beauty and the beaches, but all that convenience sure reminds us of why we like our good ol’ US home.

Anyways that pretty much sums up our trip. Hard to believe we are turning around and leaving next Friday for Barbados and then heading to the States for a quick visit and a wedding. Plus school starts in a week – that is so saddening. Summer break where have you gone? I guess that about sums it up for the Paulson’s.


Mud and Pitch and Dancing (yes, Tyler danced!)

Fresh Hot Doubles!

Fresh Hot Doubles!

After all the fun we had exploring some on our first day in Trinidad we packed up and spent another day seeing some of the awesome sights Trinidad has to offer. However we had to grab some local breakfast first. Grenada and Trinidad alike are hearty, savory breakfast and big lunch with small suppers kind of places. The nutritionist at the hospital was baffled when I tried to explain to her that in the US we like to eat a muffin or a granola bar for breakfast. She was shocked it wasn’t fish and bread. So anyways, we just had to try these “hot doubles” that Kelsie said were so great and try our hand at a big, heavy breakfast. Well, they were amazing! Such a combination of flavors I had never had all together, but still tasted like breakfast. And they did a pretty good job keeping me full. Although since they normally like to eat lunch at 2 or 3 pm, I was still starving  by then.

The largest of the mud volcanos.Our first stop of the day was the mud volcano. It is a literal volcano that spews mud. I guess it erupts pretty massively every so often. Kelsie said she was pretty sure it had a big eruption fairly recently and that is why it was actually quite flat. Usually the little volcano-like peaks grow as they spill out mud but after the large eruption they spread the mud out. So it was not as impressive as if it was the huge peak, but still crazy to see it all bubbly. I guess next time I hear about a big eruption of the Trinidad mud volcano I can remember how powerful it really is even if it looks tame.

Look - Mud! You can see inside Tyler conquers volcano - at least I think that is what that face is. This one was bubbling

Our second stop was Pitch Lake. Apparently there is a gigantic lake of asphalt in Trinidad that basically supplies the world with asphalt. That’s right, the world. Who would have thunk that the roads I drove on most of my life came from this stuff. Tyler and I kept saying how we never even though about where asphalt came from. The lake is huge, and the rainfall causes lots of water to accumulate so you can actually swim or wade through that part. But we got to step on it and a lot of it was soft and mold-able like asphalt would be and there were pathways that were literally made from asphalt seeping up from the ground and melting together in the heat. 1/3 of the lake is liquid at anytime so the tour guide dug some of the tar up for us. Of course we were careful not to walk in those liquid areas. The whole think was fascinating and amazing and really cool! And maybe the rumors of the Pitch Lake water being good for your skin will prove true. Who knows.

Pitch Lake Pretty Day That would be asphalt - the stuff they once dug up to make your roads. The old mining cars
Standing on broken pieces of solid molded pitch Footprints we sunk into the soft asphalt. Pulling up the liquid tar Kelsie at the Pitch Lake - trying to avoid having her picture taken.

The last event for the night was dancing. Yes I said dancing! We went Latin Dancing with Kelsie to this club that she goes to regularly.

All of us at the club!

All of us at the club!

She arranged for tickets for the both of us so even Tyler couldn’t say no. Anyone that has ever met my loving and wonderful husband knows that among all of his marvelous qualities, dancing is no where to be found. But, I got him to dance! Yes, that is right – he DANCED! He was likely the only guy there who actually got asked by a girl to dance (not me for the record) but he did it. I was unable to capture it on camera as I was immediately pulled up to dance. Kelsie’s dance instructor and one of the other students in Kelsie’s class were gracious enough to show Tyler the basic moves so he could dance one song with me. He did okay, but could use some work. But this might make it easier to get him to take classes with me as I have been begging him to do. Tyler took a few pictures of me but they didn’t come out that great. I always have countless attempts at taking photos while dancing and they always look the same – very unimpressive. But it was truly a fun night. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously and were out later than we ever are even though we proceeded to get up to make it to 6am church the next day.


The Wild Fowl Trust and Hitting the Avenue

Tyler with the peacock at the entrance.

Tyler with the peacock at the entrance.

So after the East Indian Cultural Lesson, we headed over to see this beautiful nature preserve that is smack dab in the middle of the giant oil factory. Kind of ironic ey? But Trinidad is like the US in the fact that they tend to destroy the natural beauty around (and the wildlife with it) for the sake of development and then realize that an important part of their country is disappearing so then try and preserve it again by rebuilding the natural habitat into preserves, etc. That is basically what the Wild Fowl Trust is, a nature preserve to maintain the high diversity of fauna and different species of birds native to the Trinidad and to create a space to teach children about conservation. Honestly, I think I was reminded of like three field trips I probably went on as a kid that were exactly like that.

Anyways, no matter why it is there the place is beautiful. Lush and full of vegetation and the walkway completely encircles this beautiful pond. It was of course a super rainy day and most of the place was a big mushy mud puddle – perfect in my white sandals – but it was worth trekking through.

Here are just some of the awesome photos I managed to get of the place.

So lush and colorful This bird was very curious. The national bird of Trinidad, the Scarlet Ibis Walking around the compound
Kelsie and her Mom Awesome Hindu Statue The pond full of lotus flowers So bright and colorful
Grabbing a drink at the Avenue

Grabbing a drink at the Avenue

After we made it to their house, we rested up and then decided to head to the Avenue in Port of Spain, the capitol of Trinidad, for dinner and to stroll along the street that is lined with clubs and bars and nightlife. It is apparently a popular thing to do. We mostly just hung out and walked around. But we did grab a drink at a local roadside bar just so we could say we did. And with no open bottle policy, you can stroll around with your beer too! We even went up on a hill to see a beautiful overview of the city lights at night – it was so magical. Wish I could have captured it properly on my camera.

Such a great first day!



How We Practically Became East Indian

Tyler and I at the Hindu Temple

Tyler and I at the Hindu Temple

So to blog our trip to Trinidad, rather than blog a long two or three part series with a day by day account, I have decided to share some of the fun stories we have from our time and of course the lovely pictures and allow them to tell of the fun we had in Trinidad. So, do be sure to read the first installment about our insane airport adventure.

So to recap, Tyler and I went to Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad for short) to visit my friend and study buddy Kelsie. She planned for us a trip packed full of adventures and sight-seeing and there is still so much to do there. She says it is for the next time we come. I was so proud of her for planning so many adventures, she isn’t a big plan-ahead person. So on the way from the airport we started our adventures and went on an East-Indian cultural extravaganza. We visited the Hindu temple built out in the ocean, got to see some cremations going on, saw the tall Hanuman statue, went to the cultural museum, and ate Roti’s which is an IndoCaribbean dish. And later in the weekend we even bought me a Sari (yes, I look awesome and I do intend to wear it to something) and went to a cultural fair type thing for India. I don’t think Tyler and I have ever learned so much about how one culture influenced a whole nation before on vacation.

So basically, we had an East Indian themed visit. There are a lot of East Indians in Grenada and of course even more in Trinidad. You can see the Hindu flags flying all over in peoples yards and in parks to designate holy places of sacrifice and remembrance and such.

I must say, I liked this part of our trip.

And of course a few more pictures.

Hindu flags flying at the temple. The Hanuman Statue - unfortunately under renovation. Kelsie and I at the Statue More of the East Indian Cultural Compound.

Scrappy Part II

Such a handsome boy!

Such a handsome boy!

So you remember Scrappy, the adorable stray dog we befriended? Well, last night he found us at the beach as we were leaving for dinner. We were walking back to our car and we saw this dog that we thought looked like Scrappy. We couldn’t tell and we hadn’t seen him in a few weeks despite looking for him. But then he stretched out his legs really big and let out a huge puppy sigh/yawn and we knew it was him.

Since last time we saw him we decided that if we found him again we would go buy him something, Tyler graciously let me go run to IGA to buy the dog some food and bones. But little ol’ Scrap likes me better and wouldn’t stay with Tyler long enough to let me leave, he would just bound after me. So I stayed with him in the grass and Tyler went to the store. All-in-all we gave him a nice tasty can of dog food and bought him a box of bones and a raw hide bone. He was the happiest little dog in the world. I gave him the bone to chew on for a while but I took it with me when we left so he would have it again…and I was really concerned he would eat too much and get sick.

We ended up spending a couple hours sitting in the grass playing with scrappy. He was so hungry he scarfed down his food and kept trying to get in the car to search for more bones, but he finally gave up and settled for belly rubs.

Who loves his belly rubbed? I do of course!

Who loves his belly rubbed? I do of course!

We had to leave him behind again which was the saddest thing. He followed us in our car down the road for a bit, but he eventually gave up and went back to pick up the bones we left him in the grass. We so wish we could keep him. I am still thinking that if I keep seeing him I might just stick him in my car and take him to the vet and see how much it costs to get him checked out. Living with us sure has to be better than being all alone. He is just so friendly, should be an easy dog.

I even saw him again this morning at the beach. We were on our way out but I had my trusty box of bones so I gave him some more. If we run into him again when we have more time maybe we will get him another can of food. We are basically adopting him, but we just can’t take him home.  🙁

Anyways, here are some more pictures of him we took. Enjoy!

He is so happy! Scrappy will do anything for bones. Scrappy loves Tyler too! Enjoying his bone.

The Crazy Americans at the Airport

So I have so many good pictures and stories to tell of our trip to Trinidad, which I promise to get on the blog soon – but this story is just too good to not tell now.

So Tyler and I really did plan out our trip to Trinidad. We checked with my friend Kelsie to be sure that we were still clear to stay with her and her family, we emailed our flight itinerary, etc. We had it planned. I got Kelsie’s Trinidadian number from her before she left Grenada since obviously her Grenadian cell number would not work. All great.

Now fast forward to us going through customs. Standing in line I check my phone to realize the text I sent Kelsie before boarding the plane was responded to with a wrong number text – so we don’t have a contact number. We talk to the lady at immigration and she asks us the address of where we are staying – all we have is the city (they don’t care in Grenada so we didn’t think about it). They ask us if we have a contact number for our friend, of course we just found out we don’t. Then she asks us if we have a return ticket – so we show her the post-it we wrote the information on since we don’t have a printer. Basically, we are the two shadiest people trying to enter the country.

Needless to say, they wouldn’t let us through a for a bit and we were totally stuck in the airport unable to enter the country and unable to leave. They decide to page Kelsie (like that will work in a huge airport when she is waiting outside in a car) and fortunately when we didn’t emerge from the airport (the plane only have maybe 40 seats and only 20 passengers) she called us. Finally with a number and a name they gave us our entry visa. Kelsie still had to vouch for us at the arrival gate to say that we were indeed her friends.

Guess we were just the crazy shady Americans trying to sneak our way into the country. Makes it even more bizarre that after all of that instead of writing our visa through our departure date, they gave us the full 90 days.


Mayan Chocolate Brownies

Mayan Chocolate BrowniesI really felt like baking yesterday and my heart was feeling chocolate. So a natural inclination was brownies. But as I was searching around, I found some recipes for spicy chocolate brownies. And so my Mayan Chocolate Brownies were born. Despite taking several hours due to a prolonged propane tank situation, they were baked and turned out delicious. The recipe I used was based largely on one in the Whole Foods iPad app, but I modified it a little bit. I added more “spicy” because I wanted the flavor to really push through the sweet brownie, and I loved that this recipe kept them from being too sweet. It really is not that spicy, but if you are nervous you could use less cayenne. I think next time I might try it with some of the local chili powder too.

What You Need:

This is the good stuff

This is the good stuff

2.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate (the Grenadian Chocolate company 100% cocoa bar worked marvelously!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 + 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare an 8 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil leaving enough to hang over two of the edges. This was different, but it made getting the brownies out super easy and no washing the pan! Butter the foil.

Melt the chocolate (chopped into pieces) and butter in a small saucepan on low until almost all of the chocolate pieces are melted. Remove from heat, stir until rest of chocolate melts, and allow to cool.

Whisk together flour, spices, baking powder, and salt. Pour chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir just until smooth. Pour into a prepared pan and bake until top is dry and a tester comes out without any raw dough, about 25-30 minutes. My oven is hot and I baked them about 25 minutes – I really wanted to preserve the moist centers and I think they came out perfect.


Allow to cool then remove from pan via the foil and then you can slice them up and a cutting board. I made the brownies into sundaes with some vanilla ice cream for a delicious summer treat!

Oh, and this also marks the first post where I am trying to stop being lazy and use our nice camera. Now naturally I tried to take most of these pictures at night and we still don’t have the best kitchen lighting, but I have hopes that they might improve. We will see.



The Move

So, this post is delayed but I kept being lazy about composing a photo tour. But finally, I finished it.

Old Apartment

Just look at those walls.

Tyler and I decided not to move after my first Term because the stress of trying to find a new place, move, and then make a trip home for the holidays was just too much. So after enduring another 4 months in our old place, we decided that we needed to ensure we found a really awesome new apartment to live. You do remember we lived in a lime green mailbox right? If not, there is little photo to remind you. But really, that doesn’t do it quite justice as that is a picture in its prime. Right when we moved in, before we acquired the rest of our stuff (ie. school books) and before the walls started to peel off. But anyways, that is behind us now.

So our new place is now off of the main road (and down a perilous dirt road, but more on that another time) and right on the water. We have fruit trees, and couches, and more than 2 plates, and even a door that can separate two complete rooms. It is magical. But in all seriousness, it is a beautiful place. We absolutely love it here. It has room for us to entertain guests, room for us to both be working and doing things in the apartment at the same time without getting on each others nerves or in each others way. And to make things better, we get terrific breeze, have lots of bright open windows, and a patio we can sit on. And there is even a deck and a pool on the property. That is technically part of the main house that we do not live in, but we will likely share it with whoever is here anyways. So we are excited about it all!

So now, if you were not sure you wanted to come visit us before, you will be now. So please, go through our photos and enjoy your virtual tour!  🙂


This is our front porch patio

Then we have our backyard – the fruit trees and flowers we see while sitting on our porch.

backyardSome of the Fruit Trees

Then we walk to the fence and see the Bay we live on. Just look at all those boats parked in our backyard.

our backyard - the baylook at these boats in our backyard

Alright, lets take a look inside. This is the kitchen.

This is our Kitchen

And here is a view of the dining room with the kitchen in the background and with the living room in the background.

dining roomdining and living room

Then we will move to the living room. Just look at all that seating. And our beautiful map of course on the wall. That white table will be my first big painting project, but more on that later.

Living RoomCouch and Map

And we must show off the lovely little shelf unit with all of our fun stuff we have collected. This part of the apartment provides all of the color and character. And yes, we are in love with that painting. This is also where the majority of our Grenada stuff is.

Our ShelfSome of our favorite things

Now lets move to the other room. This is our bedroom/office. First lets look at the desk. So excited to have such a nice dedicated work and study space.


Now here is a view of our bed and the sweet little couch and shelving unit in our room.

Bedroomsecond couch and shelf

And of course here is my personal favorite, the huge closet! I know, looks small to you. But this is about 3x the space I had before.


And the last room on the tour is the bathroom. I was so excited to put up the shower curtain I got for my bridal shower – it is so much better than what was up when we moved in.

BathroomBathroom Part 2

And that concludes our tour. We love our new apartment so much. We love having extra space and we love that we were able to make it so homey. I mean the curtains are a little ugly and the couches have an interesting patterns that we just pretend isn’t there (hence the use of colorful stripped pillows anyways). We love it. And I am becoming more and more obsessed with finding little projects to help make it look a little better by adding small touches. Can’t wait to see with a whole apartment filled with all my own stuff where I can paint walls and furniture to my hearts content. One day!  🙂



French Lemon Yogurt Cake

I finally caved and bought a subscription to one of my favorite cooking magazines, Bon Appetit. So it only makes sense that I would be taking some of the recipes, or the inspiration from them, for a spin. I am saddened that all of their amazing sounding salmon, clam, and steak dishes might have to wait to be back in the land of large supermarkets that stock everything, but I always love more things to try. So I found this cake and even though I just got a mixer (hallelujah!) I didn’t even need it. This was so simple to make, and is basically a pound cake. Which is great because you can’t really go buy pound cake at the bakery here like back home.

What You Need:

nonstick spray
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt (recipe calls for Greek, but plain regular whole-fat yogurt worked fine)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
 2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Oven is heated to 350 (my new oven still runs hot so I have to be careful, I overcooked and burned the edges of the first one). Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour to coat. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl rub the lemon zest with the sugar. I love how the Grenadian green lemons produce a fun color to this.Getting things ready

Then mix in the yogurt, vanilla, oil and eggs and whisk to blend. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients just to blend and pour into prepared muffin pan. Be sure to smooth the top so it comes our pretty! Bake until golden brown and tester comes our clean which should be about 50 minutes. Then just let it cool.

BakingAll done!

The cake tastes great plain – I even served it for snacks at church one week. But since I was feeling like a special treat I bought some frozen berries from the store and made my homemade whipped cream (with my mixer!) and we made berry shortcake. Tyler was in little piggy heaven!




SangriaI love sangria. To me, it is the perfect hot summer treat. And since we now live in the Caribbean, it is hot and summery every day. I found the inspiration for this Sangria recipe from the Whole Foods iPad app. I know that sangria recipes usually call for the addition of some sort of liquor (this one for triple sec) but I actually left it out. I like that this way I can drink more of it. I have been now intrigued by all sorts of other Sangria recipes that I hope to be trying out soon.

What You Need:

1 bottle red wine (something aged in metal barrels, and no need for anything expensive)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 small orange sliced thinly
1 lemon sliced thinly
2 malay apples or frech cashews, sliced (recipe originally called for peaches but those are no local and I loved what these apples added)
1-2 lemons worth of juice
1 cup club soda

In a large pitcher (or a mason jar) combine everything except the last two ingredients together. Be sure the sugar is dissolved into the wine before adding the fruit pieces. Let sit in the refrigerator anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and soda and serve over ice. If you want a sweeter take, ginger ale will also work in place of the lemon juice and club soda. I think the recipe originally called for lemon italian soda, but I just made my own.


Update: With malay apples being out of season, I have recently started using fresh starfruit from my backyard with amazing results. Feel free to experiment with this part. 


Our First Hash

Us and some of the Foster family we hashed with.

Us and some of the Foster family we hashed with.

It was not long after arriving in Grenada that we learned of the “secret” sport of hashing. So it quickly made it onto our bucket list of things to do, but like most things we never really go to it. Many of the hashes are not on our side of the island and I am just too busy during most weekends to get away. But finally we made plans and stuck to it and went this Saturday. And what a BLAST!!

Basically hashing is an organized hike open to anyone who comes that takes you up through the backwoods and forests of Grenada. And to make things more interesting there are false trails and shortcuts and all sorts of goodies like that to make it all more adventurous. And our course a trail of paper globs to keep your from disappearing into the abyss. This particular hash had us climbing straight up the muddy slopes of a mountain through the rainforest and then back down through some villages of St. Paul. We loved it. Honestly, we can’t wait to go again. We were dirty and sweaty after our little hash, but it was so cool to see. And we even found some cocoa pods in the forest that we brought home to enjoy as a snack. Tyler and I are addicted to the fruit around the beans – tasty. We will certainly be repeating this adventure again soon.

Just starting out - when the hash seemed easy and we had no idea how big the mountain was. Using ropes to make it up the steep, slippery mountainside Yep, we are in the forests now Tyler was still making his silly smile face though
Some of the sweet views once we finally got the top Tyler conquered the mountain walking down a false trail - so sad to have to walk back up again. Views

An Ode to Scrappy

It was a sunny weekday morning and Tyler and I were indulging in our typical workout routine. Tyler went to the beach for a swim and me to the gym. As I walked to the beach after my workout to meet Tyler I saw the little ball of fluff curled up next to Ty. And then the story was told of how Scrappy was wandering down the beach and bounded towards Tyler with friendliness and love and decided that Tyler was his new best friend. And so I met Scrappy and his little doggie eyes melted my heart. And unlike most stray dogs in Grenada, he was actually friendly and adorable.

So as Tyler and I began to get up to leave, Scrappy began to follow us. He was certain that we would make a wonderful little family to join. So he walked with us all the way back over to where the car was parked. And as Tyler said, he was such a good walker. He didn’t even need a leash and he never left our side. And as we got the car in hopes of heading back home, little ol’ Scrap just hopped on in. He jumped in my lap and kissed my cheek, getting pounds of sand and dog hair all in our impeccably unclean car. But alas, we could not keep sweet Scrappy. He probably had parasites anyways. So we parted ways. But now everytime I go to the beach I look for him. I think he misses us.

Moral of the Story: We really need a dog!!!!


Umbrellas Late-Night and Belmont Estate (again)

So last night our new Greek friend invited us to come have a drink with her and a German couple down at Umbrellas, one of our favorite beach-side bars. Tyler’s love of Germany encouraged her to invite us along to meet them and it continued our trend of befriending the foreigners here in Grenada as opposed to the other med students.

But as the night turned out, we ended up a huge group of mostly med students who were finishing clinicals by working at the hospital in St. George’s (just about to graduate), Tyler and I, our Greek friend who is also doing rotations at the hospital, and one other student who is also in my term. He remembered quite vividly an incident where I apparently “shushed” him during an exam and he now holds it against me. I will likely never live it down now. But anyways, we had quite a blast. It was great for me to talk to so many people working in the hospital, but more than that we just love meeting people. Especially people who are not from America.

Today we travelled to Belmont Estate, where the grow the cocoa beans. Since it is one of my favorite places I wanted to be sure the Greek student got to see and experience all it had to offer.

Belmont Sign

Me, Tyler, and Anthia

It was great! We of course enjoyed the delicious local food (and ate way too much) and ate lots and lots of cocoa samples. I think I eat more than the 5EC cost of my tour in sample chocolate every time! This was my third time at Belmont and my third time taking the tour so I am practically qualified to give it. The tour guide had me try and name all the fruits and spices they had out – I didn’t do half-bad. I just always forget the few that are really really weird. But even though I have been on the tour a lot, each guide always adds some more extra. Tyler and my favorite part is eating the raw cocoa fruit out of the pod. The fruit is so tasty and after you eat it, you can totally catch the subtle fruit flavors in the cocoa you eat. Changes how you view chocolate. We joke that if we could only buy the cocoa pods, we would crack one open and suck on it for a snack in the afternoon.

This time we asked the tour guide about one of Belmont’s little secrets, the monkeys. He took us up to see some of the animals, including the monkeys! I was so excited. We were also supposed to go see the goats and get to bottle feed the little babies, but unfortunately we had to leave since Tyler had a conference call to make it back for in the evening.

Just look at that face They like to hold hands This one didn't want to come play Love this

All in all it made for a great day! So excited for the next time when we journey up there again! I guess if we befriend some Northumbria GSP students or anyone else new to the island. The guy that led our tour was also super nice and spent quite a bit of time talking to us about Grenada and gave me some recipes for making provisions and saltfish and told us about the awesome foodstands. We told him we wished we could live in his village, sounded so awesome. It was a great day!


Summer Adventures Thus Far

So I should probably take the time to blog about our move and post up pictures of the beautiful new apartment and all of that, but that is just so much work. After trying to get through all the pictures from our vacation, I just want to write about adventures.

Summer so far has been great! It is so nice to have time where I am not supposed to be doing something every minute of every day. I have been able to cook every meal again and that has been fantastic! Tyler is loving having me home to make delicious lunches for him most days and he is loving eating my home cooking every night instead of having to resort to quick food near campus because of exam studying.

Also, since getting into our new apartment we have been able to have dinner parties again which is pretty much the greatest thing ever for us. We just love to to entertain people. I love to make lots of food for a crowd and Tyler loves offering our home up and we love bringing people over to share with them all of the quirky things we have collected that now fill our new home. Honestly, having a new place with more than two plates, more than two chairs, and a couple couches is probably the best thing for our sanity, our marriage, and for building our community here than we could ever imagine. We have already bonded close with a couple people who are here for the summer and are not super busy studying for term 4 or boards that we probably would never have gotten to know so well otherwise. And people here often appreciate a place to come to get some good home cooking and we love blessing people with that.

On Sunday we met a girl who is here as an exchange student working at the General Hospital for 3 weeks from Greece. She is here by herself and living on campus with everyone that is studying hardcore for exams. We got introduced to her at church and were able to have her over for dinner which was such a blessing. It is so great getting to know her and blessing her with some friends she can hang out with, people who can share with her more about the island, and meeting a couple who genuinely loves living here and is willing to bring her along on our adventures. And it forces us to go and make plans to do fun stuff so we are pretty excited to start spending more time enjoying what Grenada has to offer anyways.

The last big thing Tyler and I have been doing this summer is we volunteered to take over leading the weekly church services through CSA. We signed up for it mostly because we knew we were the only ones that would be here all summer with no obligations, but I know I have found it much more rewarding that I would have expected. The group is smaller and people spend more time socializing and it has allowed us more time to feel a part of the group rather than feeling like we say every week in a large room with a bunch of strangers. And of course, if we were not the ones up front leading on Sunday I am positive we would not have gotten introduced to the Greek student and asked if we could show her around.

All in all, summer is off to a marvelous start. And my new sticker for my new laptop finally arrived and today should be the first day of my summer USMLE studying. So all in all, a great day! More soon!


Vacation in Carriacou – Part 3

So when first researching this trip, we learned that we could take a day-long snorkeling trip on a ship that was used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies up through the Grenadines and the Tobago Cays. If you know me just a little, this was quite possibly the greatest news I could have received. So we immediately started looking into it and lucky for us, we got on a trip. As you know from the story in Part 2, we were weathered out from our scheduled day buy found out that there was room on a different trip scheduled for Friday.

So we made the arrangements again and got ourselves up early, sunscreened to perfection, and made our way to the other side of the Island. Fortunately for us, our speed boat driver Rameez was already there waiting for us. Challenge one was at least overcome.

The weather was better, but certainly not storm free. Upon getting into the speedboat and taking off to meet the ship in international waters to avoid the hassel and time of going through customs and immigrations (afterall we were never really going to step foot on land so we thought), I immediately began to regret this decision. It was probably the most terrifying thing I have ever done. The waves and the rain and Rameez’s “need for speed” had me terrified and in a panic. Tyler eventually asked him to take it a little easier on the waves and that helped, but I was praising God for bringing me safely to the dock of Union Island.

So we ended up on Union Island safe thankfully, only to be informed that due to overcrowding on the tiny 8 seat plane, we would need to wait for the rest of the passengers to arrive. So we were given instructions to explore the island. We instantly wished we had our passports because now we had time for customs and we both really wanted our stamp! But alas, we were illegal immigrants wandering around the cute little island that is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was actually an adorable little town and we had a ton of fun exploring it.

On the dock - only a little worse for the wear. Stefanie and the St. Vincent Flag Tyler and the Welcome Sign Our boat floating off shore - Capt. Jack would be proud.

After exploring Union Island we met up with the captain and he took us aboard the Satori (our ship). We got there before anyone else so we enjoyed walking about and had some delicious breakfast snacks on board. Then as a giant rainstorm rolled in we went below deck with the crew. It was cool to see all inside. They fit 3 full-size bedrooms on the thing! The crew were actually really cool and we had some fun hanging out with them before setting sail. We set-off a little late, but it was still so worth it.

Once we met our fellow mates, we set sail for Mayreau which was our first stop. This island is inhabited, but not by very many people. There is only one village with about 300 people. The captain said they just had electricity brought in like 10 years ago.

Stefanie on the Ship - Yo Ho! Mayreau Some of what we saw while snorkeling On the boat

Then we set sail for the Cays. The Cays are known to grow a special grass that apparently is like crack to sea turtles and it is supposed to be the best place to see them. Boy are they right! I could not believe how many there were. When we first walked into the water and put our head down, we saw about 8 of them all around us. We basically startled them by walking in. We would swim with one or two we saw, and when they got too fast, we would just wait a minute or so and another one would swim up. It was incredible! And to top it all off, they filmed some of the Pirates movies in the Grenadines and we were able to see the island that Jack Sparrow was marooned on in the films. So awesome! Our nerdy hearts were filled to the brim. After swimming with turtled for a while we headed to the reefs to see what kinds of fish and other sea life we might spot and then headed back to the Satori for lunch. A yummy Grenadian lunch with lots of rum punch to go around followed by rum cake and of course, coffee and rum! The rum is never gone down here.

One of the Cays View of Jack's Island from one of the other cays we stopped at. We were able to get this close to sea turtles
The coral reefs with the fish, if you can see them. More of the reefs Stefanie snorkeling Us on the boat with the cays in the back

After that we made on last stop to a resort island called Palm Island. It is one of those islands that all it is is a resort and people pay like upwards of 600 dollars a night to stay there. In fact, we found it a little boring. But I guess it was cool to see. Not sure what is worth all that money since the beaches were were staying at seemed just as nice. But, oh hey. Our speedboat guy came and met us at Palm and we jumped in his little black boat and headed back to our little Carriacou. The trip back was a little less terrifying and I think I enjoyed it more. Our night ended with a delicious fresh fish meal cooked by the wife of the guy who owned the house we stayed at. We figured after all that swimming in the sea, we would want nothing more than to eat the deliciousness inside it.


And sadly all good things come to an end so we unfortunately had to fly out on Friday. So we headed to the airport, were the only ones there, went through the most pathetic excuse for airline security, and boarded our tiny little plane. We were the only 2 passengers – what a great deal! We were able to catch some sweet air shots of Carriacou as we took off. And that was the end of quite possible the best vacation ever. I suppose we will likely top it eventually, but whenever we travel together we always make the best adventure out of it. That is why I love Tyler, he makes everything a million times more fun.  🙂

The hillside we stayed in - look for the blue house! View of Sandy Island from the air Carriacou One last view of Carriacou