Friday, August 24, 2007

Recipes from around the World #2

Irish soda bread contains no baking powder. It will rise because of the acid/alkaline combination of buttermilk and baking soda. After baking, you are to wrap the bread in a slightly damp towel and let it rest for at least 8 hours. Of course, who can wait that long! You need to at least let it cool so it will slice well.
4 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease baking sheet or a round cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and stir the a fork until the dough holds together. Knead on a floured surface for 30 seconds. Then place into the cake pan, patting it out to about 1 ½ inches thick. Using a sharp knife dipped in flour, slash a large X across the top. This should be about ¼ inch deep. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until nicely brown and the X spreads open. Place on a rack to cool. Afterwards wrap in a slightly damp towel and allow the bread 8 hours to rest.
This is great with the Irish Coddle from the earlier recipe. Just slice off a slab of bread and spread on lots of butter. Remember, this bread is moist, tender, and rather heavy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Good Read

As anyone who knows me knows I LOVE TO READ!
And, unfortunately, books are not all that easy to come by here in Costa Rica. I really enjoyed the book reviewed below. It had all the qualities I like most in a book. 1) It caught and kept my attention (I read it straight through). 2) It was funny (I laughed and laughed), and 3)it was free (I won the book in an on-line contest). So, here´s the review....

Dachshunds, Wedding Cake and… a Missing Groom?
THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS, July 6, 2007: Take one heavily-charged laptop. Add a crazed mystery writer, two disobedient dachshunds, one frantic mother of the bride, a worried bride-to-be, and one missing groom. What have you got? GONE WITH THE GROOM—the latest cozy mystery from Texas author Janice Thompson. Three times over a “mother-of-the-bride,” Thompson knows what it's like to be in wedding-planning mode. She’s coordinated a host of ceremonies and receptions over the years. Need a Cinderella-themed June extravaganza? No problem; Thompson’s done it! Looking for a Cupid-driven Valentine’s Day spectacular? Not a problem! Thompson has coordinated one of those, too! Have your heart set on a Hawaiian ceremony and reception, complete with roasted pig? Thompson has walked that road, too. In fact, there are few things about weddings that she doesn’t know.
So, what’s a bleary-eyed mother of the bride to do when she’s got that much wedding experience under her belt, but no money left to plan ahead for daughter #4? If you’re a mystery author like Thompson, it’s a given. You write about it! Capitalizing on her wacky wedding-related experiences, Thompson pours her “Bless Your Southern Heart!” expertise into a series of mysteries called "The Bridal Mayhem" series (Barbour Publishing). Her first novel in the series, THE WEDDING CAPER (Barbour Publishing) released last fall! Now, with the release of GONE WITH THE GROOM, Thompson reminds readers that weddings are the perfect setting for fun-loving “who-dunnits.”
SYNOPSIS: The best laid plans of brides and men go awry when Annie Peterson's future son-in-law Scott disappears. Have pre-wedding jitters caused Brandi's fiancé to take flight, or are more sinister forces at work? Surely Annie can solve the riddle. But who could be behind this apparent kidnapping caper? Maybe the drug company Scott works for has hidden motives. Perhaps it's the handiwork of Otis, Scott's deceitful dad. But then again it could be the shady wedding photographer, or the "political enemies" of Scott's mother. Will Annie solve the mystery and recover the missing groom, or will she suffer "regrets only"?
READER RESPONSE: According to reviewer Lacy Williams, “Thompson's gentle sense of humor permeates this novel and ties into southern references including Annie's mother, who serves grits for breakfast every morning. This reader found herself laughing aloud more than once. A charming cast of characters is handled deftly by Thompson, who manages the whole passel with style and shows how a supportive family can band together in hard times. Between witty dialogue and fast action sequences, this novel kept my attention until the very (happy) end.”
Copies of GONE WITH THE GROOM and THE WEDDING CAPER are available at Christian bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and a host of other stores that carry inspirational fiction. Readers can also find copies online at:,, and
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning novelist Janice Thompson is an inspirational author of over twenty books - everything from inspirational romances to historical novels, to non-fiction books. She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with two very mischievous dachshunds (Sasha and Copper) who play a major role in her stories.
Gone with the GroomAuthor, Janice A. ThompsonBarbour Publishing, June
ISBN: 159789642XBinding: Trade PaperPrice: $9.97

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Book Giveaway

I love giveaways and especially when it involves books. If you like books and winning giveaways, be sure to check out the Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway by visiting and check out all the great books you could win.
Join in the fun!


Recipes from around the World # 1

This is a favorite with my family. Hope you enjoy it.

Nationality: Irish
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 (large portions)
8 sausages (pork or beef)
4 strips of bacon
2 large onions, chopped
2 large leeks, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
¼ teaspoon of sage
¼ of thyme
Black pepper
¾ cup of chicken broth (can use apple cinder)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
*Place sausages in a pan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce
heat and let cook uncovered for 7 minutes. Drain off water and set the sausages aside.
*Slice the bacon strips into 1 inch pieces. Place in a skillet and cut for 1 minute.
*Add the onions, leeks, garlic, sage and thyme to the bacon. Saute until the vegetables are transparent. Remove bacon and vegetables from the skillet.
*Place the sausages in the skillet and fry them in the remaining bacon drippings.
*Place the potato slices in a cassarole dish. Top with the bacon/onion mixture. *Sprinkle with black pepper, salt, and add the chicken broth.
*Lay the sausages on top.
*Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven.
*Bake for 1 hour.

This is great served with Irish Soda Bread. I will share that recipe with you next time.
Blessings from Costa Rica

Monday, August 6, 2007

July Newsletter

We want to take this opportunity to share our quarterly newsletter with you.

Nolasco News
Apdo. 129-2350
San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America
July 30, 2007
Dear Friends and Family in Christ,
What an awesome GOD we serve and how wonderful are His blessings.
After attending Eli´s graduation in the U.S., Kathie and I returned to Costa Rica on May 18th. We began to make final preparations for the June 30th arrival of the puppet team from Pennsylvania: finalizing the presentation schedule, determining by who and where meals would be provided, preparing sleeping quarters for the eight-member team, planning out their free-day of sightseeing, running 3600 copies of activity sheets, and posting promotional flyers about the presentations. During those weeks before the team´s arrival, we had some problems with the location we are presently using for church services in Nazaret. As many of you already know, we are renting the Community Center for half a day only. There are those in the community that simple don´t want God´s word taught in the neighborhood, and have tried on more than one ocassion to stop us from using the community center. Also, the people in the house next door have started playing loud rap music while we are having Sunday School with the children, making it impossible for the children to even hear the lesson. One woman in the community went house to house insulting and threatening the parents if they allowed their children to attend the VBS presentations. Kathie had asked to rent the community center for her ladies outreach ministry in Nazaret (these meetings were previously held at the home of Maria Elena, but since the recent birth of her grand-daughter who she cares for during the day while her daughter works, the meeting cannot be held there), but her request was denied. So far, we are still allowed to use the community center on Sunday mornings for church. We would appreciate your prayers about this situation. We have the opportunity to rent a house in Nazaret that has a large auditorium area, two rooms for Sunday School classes, and restrooms. However, it is $250/month that we don´t have available at this time. Having such a place would allow us to separate the children and have classes for their age groups, and to have a place to hold the Nazaret ladies meetings.
We need your help, the help of God´s people, to reach out and touch lives here in Costa Rica for Christ. The children of Costa Rica need Jesus because they so often have no one else to really care about them. But God cares and so do we. These children are the future of the gospel of Christ in Costa Rica. These children, many of whom are abused and neglected, need to know that someone loves and cares about them. We need you to help us help them, and unfortunately, that requires money. As I have mentioned above in this letter, we need a place where we can meet with and work with these children. A permanent place, and for that we will need the help of God´s people. Land here is expensive and so is the cost of building. We have been teaching the children to give their offering and they understand about tithing. However, they are children. They have no income to tithe and very little to give in the way of offerings. Just to give you an idea, we have been working in Nazaret for 18 months and the total offering in that time has been less than $25. From whatever the Lord gives us through you, our supporters, we provide for the rent, the transportation for the children, the materials for Sunday School, and we feed the children a meal every Sunday. For many of them, this is the only decent meal they have all week. We need to be able to purchase a piece of property and build a place to house the church, or purchase property with a building(s) already on it. We need $80,000 to cover the cost of land and construction, or the cost of property with a building already in place. Our God is strong and mighty. He can provide for this need through His people if His people are willing to be used by Him. We humbly ask your prayers in this matter, and ask that you would allow Him through you, whether you are a church or an individual, to do great and wonderous things here in Costa Rica. We invite you to come and see the ministry; to come and see the needs so you might better understand our plea for your help.
The VBS puppet presentations were excellent and God greatly blessed. The presentations consist of a four-day program in each location. There are songs, memory verses, Bible stories, games, and activities. Presentations were done in six different locations: Nazaret, Pitahaya, Ochomogo, San Ramon de Alejuela, Santa Lucia de Paraiso, and Cervantes. During the 24 presentations the gospel was presented to 1,764 people and 221 came forward during the invitation for salvation. What a tremendous blessing! Having the puppet team here to work with us was a special privilege and words are not enough to express our gratitude or appreciation for their commitment, love, and sacrifice. During the time they were here (June 30th - July 14th) the bonds of fellowship grew strong and they all are very precious to us. We will miss them greatly.
Kathie´s ladies meetings are going very well, except fot the lack of a place in Nazaret where we are praying about a new location as mentioned earlier in this letter. A new group has been started in San Ramon de Alejuela bringing the groups to a total of six. Funding continues to be a problem. We are, however, most grateful to those who help meet the needs of the ladies ministry each month and encourage you to continue doing so. Please pray that others will feel lead to help as well.
As always we are blessed by your love, prayers, and support. May God keep you in His love.

Samuel Nolasco

*****If any of you feel lead to help meet the needs of the ministry here, please feel free to contact us at this blog site, the email address in my profile, or at the email address in the header of the newsletter itself.

Blessings from Costa Rica