Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy Homemade Yogurt

Keira is six weeks old, and we're moving past that extremely-new mom stage when I felt quite accomplished if I managed to shower and brush my teeth in the course of a day.  :)

In the past week or so I've done some experimenting in the kitchen, and had some success making homemade yogurt.  I couldn't believe how easy (and cheap) it was!  Our friend Audrey inspired me when she made us a meal that included homemade yogurt. 

Here's how to do it:

1. Boil some water and let it cool.  It should be hot, but just cooled off enough that you can put your fingers in it.

2.  Mix up some milk powder with your hot water in a clean glass jar (1:3 ratio, for example 1 cup milk powder + 3 cups water).  You could probably heat up fresh milk instead, but milk is a little pricey in Taiwan--not many cows around!  For thicker yogurt use more milk powder.

3.  Add a few tablespoons of plain yogurt as a starter.  Stir in well.  If your starter yogurt is sweetened, the finish product will still be unsweetened.

4. Fill another jar or two with very hot water.  Wrap all the jars in a towel and place in a small cooler.

5. Wait 4-6 or more hours.  The longer you wait, the tarter your yogurt will be.  It also might affect the consistency...I'm still experimenting.

6.  Take out the jars and enjoy your homemade yogurt!  Don't forget to save a few tablespoons as a starter for the next batch.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keira Meets Her Grandmas

After Keira was born, we were blessed to have both our moms come visit.  
My mom came when she was just a week old:

Three generations!
Nini and her first granddaughter
Walking through the park
Baby's first MRT (subway) ride
Out for a treat at Starbucks
(I feel like this photo sums up my life right now: coffee, nursing cover, and cuddly baby!) 
Kalan's mom came a few weeks later.  
We hadn't seen her in two-and-a-half years!  
What a happy reunion.

Meeting Grams
Riding the gondola up to Maokong
Hanging out with friends and enjoying the view
Sampling Taiwanese tea
What's out that window?
Happy to be together!
We're so thankful we had this special time with our moms.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving with our cell group.  
We made our entire dinner using two hot plates and two mini-ovens...quite the team effort.

Kalan whipping up some sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, potato salad, and gravy.
Dillon working on the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and apple pie.
Caty made homemade bread and assisted with the pie-making.
We're both thankful for husbands who can cook (and who enjoy it!)
Keira slept through most of the cooking in the afternoon, 
but she did wake up to join in the fun from time to time.

Before dinner, we played a game of "Bang!"

Finally it was time to eat!  

 The highlight of the meal for me was dessert...gluten-free pumpkin and apple pies!  
Good work, guys.

I made gluten-free bread for the occasion.  Yum!

Hannah and Caty
Caty, David, Joe, and Dillon
So much to be thankful for this year...

Happy Thanksgiving from Taiwan!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall Fun

A few weeks ago, we got together with friends for some fall fun...

Kalan went to several stores in Taipei in search of a pumpkin with no luck.  So, we decided to carve a cantaloupe...a cant-o-lantern!  Maybe this will be a new family tradition.  Ha.

However, our friend Hannah didn't give up on a pumpkin so easily.  She went to a foreign-import grocery store and bought their only pumpkin--the one used in a seasonal display.  When she called us to say she needed help moving it, I thought she was joking.  Imagine our surprise when she rolled this enormous pumpkin through the door!

It took a good bit of teamwork to carve this one!

Happy fall everyone!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Welcome, Keira!

Keira Grace Spencer
October 4, 2012
8 pounds 2 ounces, 22 inches

With this precious little girl to love on, who has time to blog?  :)  Hard to believe it's been one month since we welcomed Keira into our family.  She's been busy growing, growing, of today she's already nearly twelve pounds!  

Kalan and I love being parents.  It takes lots of hard teamwork and perseverance, but we've been learning and laughing our way through these first few weeks.  Also, we've been so blessed by all the people who have helped us, especially our Taipei church family who've cooked meals for us.  Thank you! 

Last month we enjoyed having Nini (my mom) here to visit, and tonight Grams (Kalan's mom) arrives...hooray!  

Many people have been asking about our home birth here it is.

Keira's Home Birth Story
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