Freshwater Academy

Fresh Water Academy was founded in 2010. It is home to four lovely young ladies of learning and their dedicated teachers. Located in the wilds of Wyoming, the name Fresh Water Academy was chosen as a Western analogy to Christ. Just as He is the Living Water, and we must have Him to have eternal life, any desert dweller knows the importance of fresh water to life, both for self, and the nourishment of crops or livestock. By taking nourishment in God and His word, we strengthen our own relationship with Him, our faith, and the quality and abundance of our fruitfulness.

Our keystone verse is from Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 8: "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

The fruit that we speak of is mentioned in Galatians 5:22
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

And the heat could be anything we experience that might test our faith in God; trials and tribulations, relationships, anything that focuses our love and attention anywhere but on Him...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Outside the Lines Available TODAY!!!!!!!!!

Kimberly Kincaid's brand new release, Outside the Lines, comes out TODAY, July 30, 2013!  Navigate yourself on over to Amazon and one click buy it NOW!  Do not delay! :)  You can pick up the rest of her Line Series and pre-order both the Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap and Turn Up The Heat (#1 in her Pine Mountain Foodie Series) while you're there!

I loved, loved, loved Outside the Lines! It was great to have a nice return visit with Serenity, and to note the connection between this story and the previous two, but Blake and Jules have a fabulous story of their own, and they carry it well! I highly recommend this one! 
Outside The Lines

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to ├ęclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.
You might remember Kimberly's Guest Post earlier this month!   You can also find her on facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dsasumo, Casper, WY

This was my first visit to Dsasumo, an Asian restaurant in Casper, Wyoming, though it opened several years ago (2007).   I'd driven past the place several times, but never really thought much about stopping until I happened across their food at the NIC Fest this summer.  I thought it was excellent, and suggested that we give it a try the next time Paul and I were in town.

I was a little unsure as we drove into the parking lot, because from the outside, the lit up beer signs in the window give the impression of a bar.  I just wasn't sure it was going to be a place where I wanted to spend time. Thankfully, Paul suggested we go ahead and go on in and see what it was like.  

My impression of the unassuming exterior could not have been more wrong!  Dsasumo is warm and welcoming, split into two distinct areas of restaurant and lounge.  There was a family dining in the restaurant when we arrived, and children's items on the menu, and I would feel comfortable taking my family there.  The restaurant is a little dim, definitely an upscale atmosphere and decor.  The bathrooms were clean and well appointed, and the whole place was impeccably clean and neat.  We even caught ourselves humming along with the music a few times, which isn't unusual for me, but isn't usual for Paul.

The service was definitely a high point of our visit.  The moment we walked in the door we were greeted by a host, who asked us where we would like to be seated and made sure we were comfortably ensconced.  Our waiter was very attentive, refilling water promptly, and checking in often enough that we never had to track him down, but sporadically enough that we didn't feel smothered.

 The menu was pretty extensive, and contained items from several cultures, including Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and China.  We decided on a variety of items from several different cultures and didn't have long to wait before the food started appearing.  The servings were quite generous, and we had plenty leftover for lunch the next day!

 One of Paul's favorite things is Miso soup, which is a (usually) flavorful and salty light broth with seaweed, tofu, and onions.  He did go in with a bias, because he does have a favorite Miso soup, but I also had to admit that this particular bowl did not pack a huge punch of flavor.  It was good, but just not great.

The Edamame, however, was the very best I've ever had in a restaurant.  This is one of my favorite treats, and the few times that I've ordered it while dining out I have been very disappointed.   This was definitely not one of those disappointments, and was a fabulous treat! 

We also ordered two Maki Rolls (I'm not an expert, so I looked up the definition to share with you), which is a type of sushi roll that includes toasted seaweed nori rolled around vinegar-flavored rice and various fillings, including raw seafood and vegetables. The word maki actually means “roll". Our choices were tuna and spicy tuna, and they were excellent.  It was fresh, and just melted in my mouth.  Served with very fresh and fragrant ginger, and the ever present green wasabi paste, these sushi rolls were fantastic (and so pretty)!

Paul had a House Specialty Item, the Crying Tiger Beef.  It's a grilled flank steak served with Thai herb sauce and pickled cabbage salad (from the Dsasumo Menu).  The grill marks even leave a bit of a tigerish impression.  This beef was tender, with a little bit of a delicate flavor.  It melted in my mouth, and was very good, though I think it was a bit too delicate for Paul, who likes a bit of kick.  We both fell in love with the pickled cabbage salad, and I came home with a need to uncover this recipe!

My dish, the Korean Bulgoki was a delicious treat.  The beef here was also very tender, marinated in a special Korean sauce, and served with vegetables.  The rice was the perfect texture, and a wonderful compliment to the dishes. 

The restaurant was a little pricey, with entrees starting in the $14 range (though they do have lunch specials for around $11), but prices for the regular menu and sushi menu were both similar to the other two Asian restaurants that I am familiar with in Casper.  Sushi ranged from $5 to $22 for the regular pieces and rolls (not including the large group platters).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chocolate Lasagna

Wow!  I will say that I am never going to make this again unless it's for a larger group than my household (i.e. potluck), because leftovers are calling me even now!  I will resist though,  because any more sugar and I will have a terrible tummy ache!

 I had seen this on facebook several times, and when I surfed Pinterest for a recipe, I found this delicious one, made by a real person in a real home kitchen :)!

You'll need:
1 package of Oreo cookies (or several packages of minis)
6 TBSP melted butter
1-8oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 TBSP cold milk
1-12oz tub of cool whip (thaw)
2- 3.9oz Jell-O Instant chocolate pudding
3 1/4 cup of milk
1 bag of mini chocolate chips

If you read my blog much, you'll know by now that I always have to add or edit something when I'm building in the kitchen, so here are my changes/additions:
I doubled it, which required quite a few packages of Mini Oreos in order to cover the bottom of the pan (I don't have any small baking pans, just half sheets).

I also could only find one package of instant chocolate pudding, so I used one package of vanilla chocolate pudding instead.  I added instant coffee to the crust layer, and the top layer of whipped cream mixture - that was an oops, adding the entire carton of whipped cream to the cream cheese, but it ended up being delicious, and I used that with the coffee for the top layer.  Couldn't find the chocolate chips I knew I had stashed, so we substituted the carob chips from the freezer (on the inside instead of the top), and they were glorious :).

Instead of crushing the cookies in a food processor as suggested, we smashed them (in a plastic bag) with a rolling pin, then mixed in the melted butter.  I added a little coffee to the butter before putting it into the microwave, so it ended up with that caramelly flavor from the coffee/butter/heat combination. 
Mix the cream cheese till it's light and fluffy before adding the milk and sugar.  Once that's well mixed, add your whipped cream.  Now the original recipe calls for 1&1/4 cup of the whipped cream here and the rest of it as the top layer, but I didn't read quite far enough in the directions and mixed the entire tub of whipped cream here, using half now (bottom layer), and setting half aside for the top layer.

I whipped together the instant chocolate pudding and 3&1/4 cups of milk in the blender so that I could leave the cream cheese mixture in my mixer bowl.   Once the pudding thickens, spread it over the first layer of cream cheese.  Place the pan in the fridge for 15-20 minutes until the layers set a bit.

I sprinkled the chocolate chips on this layer, and let them sink into the pudding while it gelled.

 I added a bit of instant coffee to the rest of the cream cheese/cool whip mixture, then whipped it till it was fluffy again before spreading it across the top and popping it back in the fridge for a few hours before supper.

Served this for Father's Day with another new family favorite, crockpot lasagna!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Coffee-Mate Brew Crew Post - What is Your Dream Vacation?

The newest Coffee-Mate Brew Crew assignment is to share where we would love to visit in the world!

We all have that vacation spot that we hope to one day visit. Some of us have already been to this dream location, only to find that it made us want to go somewhere else just as exciting. That’s what they call the “travel bug.”

For this activity, we want you to sit down with your favorite cup of COFFEE-MATE deliciousness and tell us about where you would go if you could go anywhere in the world. Would you explore the cafes in Paris, wander the beaches of Bora Bora, or take a road trip to every state in the USA? Wherever that place is, we want to hear all about it. 

There are so many places in the world that I would love to visit!  I would love to take my family on a world tour!  One of the first things I would like to do is visit the three states I've never made it to, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.  I would also love to see Australia and New Zealand, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.  I want to see if the water is really as blue as the photos say in the Caymans and the Bahamas!

I would want to see EVERYTHING!  Oregon is known for its coastline and forests, I want to visit the Flying Horse Carousel in Rhode Island and Hawaii is famous for its beautiful beaches and exotic plants and flowers. 

Australia is just a fascinating place, full of mystery and wonder from this end of the globe.  I want to see all the different climates and areas, and I would love to go to the Hillsong Conference if I ever had the opportunity. 

The whole world is just one big beautiful place to explore, and I would love to see as much of it as I could.

I have been through most of the United States, just traveling and exploring, and I can't imagine anything that would be more fun than just wandering around with my family, enjoying and learning...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Amish Cinnamon Bread

This lovely recipe popped up on my facebook page the other day, and it looked so simple that I had to try it right then and there!  I whipped up two loaves (it really was that quick and easy) and they disappeared within minutes!  If you like cinnamon rolls but just don't have the time, this is a dense, moist, flavorful bread that takes a lot less prep time than the rolls but is still delicious!

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk*
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

 *I don't normally keep buttermilk on tap in my kitchen, so I substituted 2 cups of milk with a large splash of lemon juice (you could also use vinegar).

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs...and this is also where I added my ever present instant coffee to the blend...

Grab your buttermilk (or substitute, as you can see here), and measure 2 cups.

I always like to mix my dry ingredients together before blending them into a recipe, so here's my bowl of flour and baking soda.

I alternated the milk and dry ingredients into the butter mixture, just like cookie dough...

The cinnamon/sugar mix is both a topping and a center layer of flavor.

Pour half the dough into two greased loaf pans (1/4 into each), reserving the other half.
Sprinkle some of the cinnamon mixture over the dough in each loaf pan, 
then fill  with the rest of the batter and sprinkle again. 


Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, cool in the pan for a few so it doesn't fall apart, and serve with a fresh cup of java :).

Monday, July 8, 2013

Family and Friends on the Fourth!

We missed everyone last year and were so glad to be able to host our (mostly) annual Family and Friends Fun Day on the Fourth of July at Crossroads Adventure Park in Casper, Wyoming!   Thanks to all of those who were able to join us for food, fun, family, friends, and fireworks.  We hope to see you next year!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Guest Post by the Fabulous Kimberly Kincaid today at Freshwater!

Today we are joined by the fabulous Kimberly Kincaid, a very talented lady who has recently come onto the writing scene, debuting her fabulous e-novella "line" series this spring and summer, and leaving us all salivating for the Christmas anthology The Sugar Cookie Swap which will kick off her Pine Mountain Foodie Series in October 2013, and finally, her first full-length novel, Turn Up The Heat,  in February, 2014.

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance novels that split the difference between sexy and sweet, taking the traditional idea of boy-meets-girl and infusing it with a sassy magic all her own. She believes in fiery yet flawed characters destined for a crash-course in falling in love-- usually the hard way-- and injects her trademark humor as well as poignant touches into her writing to create her stories.

When Kimberly's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to eclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. She resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.  

You can find Kimberly at, or check her out on facebook or twitter.

Food is Love: Why I Write Foodie Romance
When I sat down to write my first book a little over five years ago, there were a couple of things I knew for sure. I wanted to write romance (I am a happily-ever-after kind of girl!), I wanted to write about people with strong family relationships (either born families or chosen), and I wanted to incorporate food into everything I wrote. My own family base has always been grounded in the mantra that “food is love”, and it was something I wanted my stories to convey.
Writing about chefs (and caterers and restaurant owners and wine experts and… well, you get the idea) was a great place to start, but I wanted the food to be an integral part of each story. In the same way that I chose the setting and the character traits and the plot points of each book as I wrote, I also selected what the characters would cook together with a lot of care and forethought. In my first “line” novella, Love On The Line, my hero, Noah, is a rough, gruff career cop who has been injured in the line of duty. As you can well imagine, he’s not a happy camper at being told he needs a caretaker to prepare his meals, especially since that caretaker turns out to be the sister of his detective partner (and someone with whom he shares a past). As they began to overcome their differences and care for one another, I wanted them to share a meal that said “comfort food”. So I picked one of my go-to meals for a cold, crummy day: chicken and dumplings. The characters prepare it together, and it turns out to really embody their relationship. Each of them is a source of ease for the other (even though it takes them until the end to realize it!)
In my Christmas novella (coming out in September from Kensington Books) The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, the hero and heroine are competing against each other in a huge cookie competition. In one scene, they both make gingersnaps. Easy, right? Not so fast. Pete, the hero, has a bold, cocky outlook on life, where our heroine Lily is a reserved, by-the-book baker. They both come up with wildly different versions of the same cookie, and each one embodies their personality on the page. I wanted to show that even though both characters were incredible cooks, worthy of that prize, the dishes they created were part of them and showed who they are. PS, if you want to find out who wins, you’ll have to snap up the book! But yes. The winning recipe is in the back of the book!
So for me, I love not only having food as a thematic element in my stories, but what my characters cook takes a lot of thought. I use food to characterize my hero and heroine, as well as to bring my characters and communities together. So whether it be a PB and J (yes, I’ve written that!) or pasta from scratch (written that too), when I put my hands on the keyboard, the food is love

Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.
For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s a literal case of adding insult to injury— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted culinary caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is.
Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve when it comes to food, but can she risk it all to put love on the line?

Drawing The Linenow available as a new release on Amazon!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blueberry Soup...Good for What Ails You!

I went to college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley for one year, .  My first taste of homesickness was a pretty tough pill to swallow, and it wasn't the  most spectacular year of my life, but there were some highlights, one of whom was my wonderful roommate, Mari!  Mari, an exchange student from Finland, certainly had more reason for homesickness than I, but I never saw her throw herself down or wallow in pity.  She was a wonderful young lady with a great heart and a compassionate spirit.

Flash forward to a few years later, when Mari and her family returned to the U.S. for a visit.  While staying with us her daughter, Lotta, had a tummy ache, and Mari asked if I had any blueberries so that she could make blueberry soup.  I'd never heard of this before, so I watched curiously as she put it all together, and had to try it myself.  

Over the years, this has become one of my comfort foods, and one that immediately makes me feel better if I'm sick, or just feeling low.  I've lost and found several recipes through the years, but this is the best one I've seen since Mari's.   It's good for what ails you! :)

4 cups frozen blueberries 
3 cups water 
5 Tablespoons sugar 
3 Tablespoons lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
Pinch of salt 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
½ teaspoons vanilla 
Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring well. Bring soup to a gentle boil, then reduce and simmer about 5 minutes.