Update and DSLR Giveaway

How unfortunate!  Mondays are my baking/THK creation day, but this Monday we had no running water in the house.  Sooooo, baking wasn’t an option.  Peru has a great reputation for never being reliable.  What’s that you say?  You need to get to work?  Well, I’m sorry.  There’s a strike today and you can’t get to work.  There’s broken glass all over the roads, so you couldn’t get there even if you had your own car.  Or what’s that?  Oh you’re hungry!  Well, everything’s closed because a local school is celebrating their anniversary and everyone is dancing in the streets.  SORRY!

Well, that’s really the worst of my bad news.  Thanksgiving was great, though I did get sick because I ate too much Sweet Potato Casserole.  We thankfully had turkey for dinner.  We were really nervous because we couldn’t find any ANYWHERE!  But, just two days before Thanksgiving we found one.

This is NOT my personal giveaway…

But, I’m sure what you’re really here for is this DSLR giveaway.  Again, I’m not personally giving away this camera.  I’m referring you to the folks over at  Photo Weekly.  Head over there to get more details.  The photo is linked above too.  The shindig ends on December 31, 2011… BUT it only works if they’re Twitter account gets up to 5000 followers!  So, you have to have to HAVE TO follow these guys on Twitter or we’re all left twiddling our thumbs!  OKAY!  Now, GO GO GO!  Let’s make this happen!  And tell everyone you know!

Other than that… how was your Thanksgiving?

Monkey Bread

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for?  Two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to say anything.  In the States, we take everything for granted.  I don’t even mean material things either.  As I go through my list of things I’m thankful for (my family, my family away from family, my relationship with God, this blog and the joy it brings me, seeing people’s lives change before my eyes, the lessons I’m learning about relationships) I realize that very few of them are material!  What are you thankful for?  Think hard now!  Don’t tell me something like… my car.  Pshh.  What are you really thankful for that if you didn’t have you would be a different person or seriously altered?

Now, secondly, aren’t traditions lovely?  When I have a family I want to make lots of traditions for my kids. I wanna have pancakes on weekends, birthday donuts, birthday week, cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, hot chocolate at midnight on Christmas eve, fireworks on Christmas Eve!  There’s something special about having that connection with a particular time of year.  Oh I LOVE traditions.  My parents didn’t do a whole lot of traditions for Thanksgiving or Christmas, which I think is sad.  And the things that we did used to do all the time we don’t do anymore… because my mom is getting more relaxed.  “Come on Mom!  Let’s make some Christmas cookies.”  “No Trev, it’s too much work.”  Pooooo!

In Chad and Amanda’s family it was a tradition to make Monkey Bread for Thanksgiving breakfast.  It’s now my future family tradition as well.

What are some of your holiday or yearly traditions?  I need to know!  My future family depends upon it!

Monkey Bread

1/2 pound mashed potato (russet)
1 cup warm milk (110F)
1/3 cup warm water (110 F)
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp (or 1 packet) yeast
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt

Sugar coat
1 cup white sugar
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cup butter

2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

How this baby is done

Grease a bundt cake pan and set aside.

Melt your butter for the dough in the microwave.  Put in a mixing bowl the warm water (110 F) and dissolve the yeast.  Let sit 5 minutes or until foamy.  If you’re yeast didn’t foam you may have killed it with too hot of water, or your yeast is dead (to learn more about yeast go here).  Then mix in the warm milk, melted butter, mashed potato, and 1/4 cup sugar.  I add potato because it gives it an incredible moist factor!  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt and then slowly mix in the milk mixture into the flour mixture.  If the dough isn’t coming together mix in 2 to 4 tbsp more of flour.  Turn out onto a floured surface and work in a little bit more flour. Form the dough into a ball and put into a greased dish.  Cover and place in a warm area.  I turned on the oven on 400 F for a few minutes and then turned it off and put my dough in there.  Let rise for 50-60 minutes so it’s double in size.

Take your dough out of the greased  bowl and cut into four pieces.  Then cut those pieces into 16 pieces each (you should have 64 pieces).  Melt the 1 3/4 cup butter in a bowl in the microwave.  In a separate bowl mix together the 1 cup sugar and cinnamon so it’s equally distributed.  Then roll the dough pieces into little balls, dip them in the butter and then roll them in the sugar mix you made.  Then, put these into the bundt pan and let rise another 50-60 minutes.  They may rise almost over the pan.

While the dough is rising again, get the sauce ready.  Melt the two sticks of butter and then add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and work that together over medium high heat until they become one.  When the dough is done rising, pour this magic juice evenly over the dough.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Then get that bread in there.  Let bake for 30-40 minutes or until nice and brown on top.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes and then plop that baby on out onto your serving platter.

Whip up real quick that glaze with a whisk.  Just whisk together the milk and powdered sugar til there aren’t any lumps.  I also added a 3/4 tsp of vanilla to this.  That gave it a little extra flavor.  Yumm!  Then drizzle this over your monkey bread.

You’re supposed to serve this warm and gooey.  I’d have to agree that is the best way to serve this.  Good luck!  And don’t forget to let me know what your family traditions are! Aaaand don’t forget to LIKE me on Facebook.  www.facebook.com/thkblog


Buttermilk Cornbread

Thursdays are a pretty good day.  For one, it’s the day I get to come home and sleep in my own real bed after spending the night out in Ilave on a mattress on the floor.  Secondly, I get to spend time with a family that’s heart is being touched by God’s hand daily.  Seeing their growth is humbling and a reminder for why I’m here.  Thirdly, two Thursdays from now it will be… (drumroll please)… The Handicapped Kitchen’s One Year Anniversary!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I’ve started this blog.  In another year, I will be at home with my family celebrating Thanksgiving together.  That’s a lovely thought, and also something that keeps me moving forward.

I assume that what you are here for is this buttermilk cornbread.  I will admit, I had never had homemade cornbread until I came here to Peru.  Before this, it was always Jiffy cornbread mixes, which even after having homemade cornbread, retain their high-status as da-bomb.

This cornbread is what Amanda, our house-mother, makes on just about every single Sunday.  One time, she added about double the butter by accident and the result was pretty much pre-butter pieces of cornbread.  Not a bad mistake.  Amanda… how do I explain who she is.  She and Chad are our support parents.  They take care of finances and more logistical stuff as the rest of us go out to work.  You can check out her blog at http://www.arosetta.blogspot.com/  So, along side of her very busy days, Amanda makes dinner for us four times a day.  She’s the real hero in the kitchen here!  She’s in the handicapped kitchen more than I am.  Give Amanda a thanks for all her hard work!

And really, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is the perfect thing to shove somewhere into the oven along side the turkey, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, dinner rolls… oh dear, it seems you might have to buy a super-wide oven.  This bread is moist and still has that awesome cornbread denseness that I love.  Give this a try!  And like The Handicapped Kitchen on Facebook while you’re at it!

Here’s the recipe

Buttermilk Cornbread
from Allrecipes


1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.