Monthly Archives: February 2014

Cooking For Expats: Cheeseburger Pie

cooking for expatsWelcome back to the Cooking for Expats series on C2C! I’m looking forward to bringing you more budget and “Germany friendly” recipes. Also, don’t forget to check out Emma, from A Bavarian Sojourn, and her “Expat Essentials” series today.

So, I realize I’m pushing the ground beef and that’s not intentional. It’s simply that I won’t share a recipe here until I’m comfortable with it and my pork and chicken recipes are okay, but nothing I’m ready to share yet. I do hope to share some yummy vegetable soup next time!

Ok, so let me get on with this week’s recipe for Cheeseburger Pie. I had never eaten this or heard of this before until a sweet friend brought it over for us after we had our son. M loved it! I have been wanting to make it for him, but the recipe calls for Bisquick which as far as I know, I can’t buy here. I have found a recipe to make your Bisquick, which you can find on my Pinterest, but until then, I followed a recipe from South Your Mouth as it only called for flour. (She has awesome recipes that always turn out good, so definitely check her out!) Her recipe also calls for Lipton Onion Soup Mix, which I also haven’t found, so I went on winging it as usual. I adapted her recipe a little more, using what I had on hand (no dry mustard and I used regular cheddar) and it still turned out so yummy! This dish is also toddler-friendly and definitely approved by my husband and son!

  • 1 Tbs oilrecipe ingredients
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 200g cheddar cheese (or cheese of your preference)
  • 450g ground beef (hackfleisch gemischt)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in medium-sized skillet. Once oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef, sprinkle salt and pepper to season the meat. ( I always add paprika to help give a little spice to the meat without being too much for the boy. It seems to make a difference.)
  3. Brown the meat and drain fat, set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, add your flour and slowly whisk in the milk. Once well combined, add the eggs.
  5. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  6. Scoop some of the meat into the pie dish and spread evenly. Then add layer of cheese (I had slices, but shredded would obviously be better). Alternate until done, ending with a layer of cheese on top.
  7. Pour egg, milk and flour mixture evenly over the top of the pie.
  8. Bake at 375F (180C) for 30-40 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.
  9. Let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  10. Be creative and add lettuce, tomato, pickles or other garnishes!

Please let me know what you think and feel free to suggest ideas for recipes or ask any questions you may have! I hope you enjoy and if you make it, come back and tell me!

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The Monday Ante #4

Are you guys ready for another week of amazing posts, finding new great bloggers and a chance to be featured this Saturday? I know I am! So, let’s just get right to it!

And thank you again for showing me so much kindness and support last week when I decided to be brutally honest about expat life these days. xx


How is about you? One person from every link-up will have their post featured on C2C on Saturday just in time for weekend reading, gaining additional exposure for your blog. I will share your post with a link to your site and at least one social media option. This will also be publicized through my social media channels.

Why? Because you guys are awesome and the world needs to know! I want to say thank you for your readership and your support by helping to share and promote your work.

When. The link-up will open every Monday at 8am, closing every Wednesday at 11:55pm. (Time zone is CET - Central European Time which is GMT+1  - Greenwich Mean Time. If that is confusing, ahem, 6 hours later than EST. Hope that’s clear as mud.)

What you need to do. Look at your posts for the past week and pick your favorite. Come back here and link it up before the end of the day on Wednesday. That’s it! (aside from a few simple rules coming up)

What you don’t need to do. No badges. No prompts or topics - the post can be about  anything. No additional follows (aside from this blog). You don’t have to read the other submissions, but why would you not want to? Maybe you can find a new blog to love! Or you can just wait for the winner on Saturday and come back and congratulate them. It’s up to you because this is what???? ALL. ABOUT. YOU.


While I am trying my best to keep this simple and fun, there are just a few requirements for your entry to be accepted:

  • You must be a follower of this blog through Bloglovin’, email or WordPress. Obviously since I am doing this to support my readers, you need to be one. Duh. 
  • You must share this link-up via Twitter. Not only do we want people to participate, but we also want people to look forward to reading the winning post. There is a handy-dandy Twitter share button below you can use to make it easier or feel free to share on your own, but please use my twitter handle in your tweet so I know (@Casinos2Castles). If you don’t have Twitter, leave a comment and we can work on #1 why you don’t have Twitter and #2 an alternate way to promote if you are against twits.
  • No inappropriate, hateful or adult content. This one is a given, but I figured I’d better list it because, after all, your work will be highlighted on my blog; therefore, I am endorsing it.

That’s it! I am always open to suggestions so if you have ideas that you’d like to see or that you think will make this better, please share with me!

I’m looking forward to reading all of your great posts and I know selecting a winner will be difficult.

Again, thank you for being you and being a part of my blogosphere. <3


Now, link-up!

Saturday Feature: The Tide That Left

Ok you guys, again, I found it hard to choose this week so I ended up using the few rules of the link-up to break the ties I had among my final choices. Don’t forget that the post needs to be from the previous week and you must share via Twitter. 

Now on to the winner, Amy from The Tide That Left. I had seen here around the blogosphere for a little while, but it wasn’t until we both guest posted for Polly that I really discovered her. This story featured here is also the one (mostly) that I read on Polly’s blog and it blew me away. I love how international relationships begin, but I find inspiration in how they weather the storms of long distance, travel and sacrifice. Amy and her husband are a prime example of both sacrifice and fighting for the one you love. After you read her post, you’ll see what I mean.

Expat Life: Love Lessons Learned

I’m not a celebrator of Valentine’s Day. I’m moody and grumpy like that, but thankfully Mr Tide is moody and grumpy in the same way so we both spurn the day of love hearts and chocolates (who am I kidding? We NEVER turn down a chocolate) and all is right in our little love-nest. 
Last December I wrote the following as a guest post whilst the gorgeous Polly from A Girl and Her Travels married her Russky and enjoyed time with her family. I’ve given it a tweak or two, but the general essence is here in all it’s smushy glory. One obligatory Valentine’s Day blog post. 

Our expat relationship started as a long distance relationship in 2009 when I met Mr Tide just days before he moved to Libya for work. We fell in love via the medium of Skype, helped along by his visits home to England every couple of months. The thing about LDRs is that they need an end in sight in order to work, and so, a year after we met, I moved to Benghazi, Libya, to be with him. It was a big leap for both of us, but one well worth taking. And I guess that’s lesson one we learned about expat love - you need to be brave. You might take plenty of leaps throughout your time as expats, but if you can hold hands while you do it, you’ll both land firmly.Libya was incredibly hard for me, much harder than it was for Mr Tide. Our little love nest in Benghazi was a safe haven, but beyond that I was miserable. Mr Tide realised this, and so we decided to say goodbye to Libya and hello to Russia. In December 2010 we moved to Moscow, which is evidence of lesson number two - sometimes you have to give a little (or a lot) to make sure that you’re both happy. It can be tough to make those decisions when they involve the career of a loved one, but if you’ve chosen to be in this together, then you both need to be on board. In my experience, there will always be a way for you to both get what you need/want, if you’re willing to compromise.

Moscow was quite an adventure, and our longest stint together. We got engaged in Moscow and it will forever be a special place for both of us. One day in mid 2012, Mr Tide received one of those phone calls. His old boss had a job opportunity in Qatar we couldn’t say no to. The only problem was that they needed him to start right away and the decision needed to be made within 24 hours. We stayed up nearly all night talking through the options, discussing how we felt, challenging the circumstances to see if they could/would/should work differently. We learned, perhaps not for the first time, that communication is key. We were determined to come to a decision together on this, so we didn’t stop talking until we’d got to that point. June 2012 saw us getting married (we had to fast track our wedding plans) and moving to Qatar. We had three weeks to rearrange our wedding, and then we flew to Doha together the day after we said ‘I do’.

Since then we’ve lived in Angola and South Africa, as well as a short stint in the UK to sort out visa issues. We ended 2013 by moving to Tanzania. It was the year of learning to be flexible; most importantly to be flexible with each other. I used to be the kind of girl who needed her life mapped out, but since we started our expat life together we’ve both had to find a way to go with the flow. We’ve chosen a lifestyle that throws up the unexpected, and we wouldn’t be able to cope if we didn’t roll with the changes. That’s not to say it’s plain-sailing, but of we keep flexibility at the heart of our discussion we can usually find a way through.At the beginning of 2014, as we settle into life in Dar es Salaam, we’re aware that life is bound to throw up some challenges, but I’m sure if we remember all the lessons we’ve learned over the years we’ll be just fine. Better than fine!

What lessons has life taught you about love? 

After all that moving AND a long-distance relationship, you can see why I thought this was a special post. I hope you all are enjoying this as much as I am and that you keep linking up. I look forward to reading them every week! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Author Interview: Claire Duffy

Deanna Herrmann:

Do you guys know what day it is? No? Well, let me tell you! It’s Life is Swede Day and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve never read the blog and haven’t heard about the story behind this book, then you NEED….no…..MUST read this!

Please and thank you.
xx Deanna

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:

Ok guys, I’m seriously so excited to bring you this interview and trust me, you will be glad I did. Claire Duffy has recently authored, Life is Swede, which was created from a fictional blog in which Claire portrayed herself as her real life character living out the trials and tribulations of expat life and even murder.Yes, you can applaud now because that is just awesome. 

And, today just happens to be Life is Swede Day! No, that’s not another holiday, but the biggest day on the internet helping to promote this amazing piece of fiction! (You will see more information on this at the end of the interview.) 

In the following interview, Claire shares her inspiration, tells us about the book and also shares the reactions of the blog readers when they found out it wasn’t real. You’re going to love it. 


First, I…

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Expat Life: Releasing Feelings of Isolation

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a bit of a rough weekend. Nothing bad happened, it was more of a releasing of emotions. My husband is my very best friend and sometimes we just have to get it all out. These are things that are hard for me to share, embarrassing to share, but truthful. 

Sometimes, expat life is hard.

Sometimes the only way to be free of something, is to feel it completely.

I recently wrote this for another site and I realized that no one understands better than my fellow expats so I surely must share this here as well! If you’ve seen this before, feel free to disregard. 


There are things you don’t fully realize when make a big life change. Sure, you know they are there, you know they will be hard, but you don’t realize just how hard.

In May, we will have lived in Germany for a year and it has been one of the harder years I’ve experienced. Underneath the romance and spontaneity of our move, lies the reality of it all. We started over, completely over.


I’ve done this before, but this time, this time has been so much harder. I’m so isolated and not by anyone’s fault, it’s just the situation we are in. We’ve had to rebuild our life, so what does that mean? Well, my husband had to find a job to which he still is only employed under a temporary contract. We had to buy furniture, television, some necessities. The only furniture we shipped over was our son’s bedroom set. We are limited to one very small income and one car which my husband has to use for his commute to work. And, technically now, that doesn’t matter since I’m only permitted to drive on my U.S. license for 6 months, I can no longer drive legally; I need a German license. Add all of these things together and you can see why life may be difficult; how just the act of being social could be difficult.


Most weeks, I only leave the house on Saturdays when we run errands as a family. I have no friends. I’m embarrassed even admitting this, putting it out there for all the world to see, but it’s the truth.

We aren’t living, but surviving.

I woke up with a heavy sadness today; a heavy, dark sadness. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from until I accidentally heard this song. Suddenly, as I was singing, tears started pouring from my eyes.

Why today? Why is this hitting so hard today?


Last night, I had an amazing two-hour Face Time date with my best friend in Las Vegas. I miss her. I’m homesick. I still know we made the right decision moving here. We are making a sacrifice for hopefully a better life for our family, but today, I am sad. I am lonely. And I wish had some friends here in this new home to help it feel more like home and less like sacrifice.

I will listen to this song on repeat and shed all the tears I’ve been holding back.

I will hold my little boy.

I will hug and kiss my husband.

And tomorrow will be better.



How about you? Anything you keep buried that’s been hard about expat life?

And in case you were wondering, it helped. Letting it all out, crying, feeling it fully, helped. Today is a better day because of it.