Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Court Date!

So excited to share that we found out this morning we have a scheduled court date of March 1st! Our sweet girlie turns 1 on March 5th!! So how exciting that we can be with her very near her first birthday! I am stoked! She will probably think we are so scary when we sing happy birthday to her!!

So now we get to book a flight to Addis Ababa with only 4 weeks notice! What a wonderful predicament!!!

Over the moon!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Using the slow cooker!

I have found that I really like my slow cooker! In the past, all I would use it for is a roast...that would be over cooked and dry, not appetizing! So I have just recently started using it a lot more, and we have really liked the outcome. I found a site called Eat at Home Cooks. They recently posted a packet of favorite slow cooker recipes. We have been trying them out...they are yummy!

A few that have been gobbled up at our house are:

Chicken Fried Pork Chops
6 pork chops (boneless or with bones)
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
oil for frying chops
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup water

1. Mix flour, salt, ground mustard, and garlic powder together.
2. Dredge the chops in the flour mixture and fry in a skillet. You don't need to cook them all the way, just get them browned.
3. Put the chops in the slow cooker.
4. Mix the soup and water together. Pour into the hot skillet, stirring to pick up the little crispy pieces left by the chops.
5. Pour the gravy over the top of the chops in the slow cooker.
6. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

I made no changes to this; very tasty! I served them with mashed potatoes and salad. Nice comfort food!!

Italian Parmesan Herb Chicken and Potatoes
2 lbs. frozen chicken tenders
1 med. onion, sliced
1 1/2 lbs. New potatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1-2 T olive oil

1. Place chicken in the slow cooker. Top with sliced onion.
2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, parmesan and oil. Toss with potatoes.
3. Put potatoes over chicken and onions in slow cooker.
4. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

So I couldn't find chicken tenders in the organic meat area at the store, so I used bone in breast and rib meat. It turned out great. The meat fell off the bone easily and I saved a bit of money by getting the bone in type. This meal smelled up the house wonderfully so that I couldn't wait to dig in. Every one at our house at it! I served it with cooked carrots seasoned with salt and dill. Next time I may just add the carrots in so it all cooks together! Yum, and I am free to get other stuff done around the house while it is all cooking away. Love that!!

Inspiration to cook!

Lately, we have been trying to eat at home more. Reasons for this are to eat healthier and save some money. Now, this hasn't been so easy for me. I have a few meals I like to fix and the boys like to eat, but I get bored. So I have been searching different sites for INSPIRATION to get back in to the kitchen, and to enjoy it! So far it has been working! One thing I am finding is that I will make a recipe and want to make sure I don't lose it somewhere on the web. I started to print out these recipes and put them in a binder. Well, it is a waste of ink and paper, so I am going to try to keep them on this blog. Once I get the hang of it, I am hoping to have pics of us enjoying said recipes. For now, it is going to be text of the recipe with my alterations and input, basically so I can go back and make it again!

Today I made:
Gluten Free Dairy Free Baked Oatmeal Bars
from Once a month mom posted 1/3/2012

2 cups gf or regular old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, or 1 T. ground flax mixed with 3 T. boiling water (let sit for 5 minutes until thickened)
1/4 cup sugar or sweetener of choice
1 1/4 gf vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins of chopped date, more for sprinkling on top if desired
chocolate chips are good too

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil on 8X8 baking pan. Set aside. If you are making the bars egg-free, mix flax seed mixture now. Set aside to thicken.

Combine oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add milk substitute egg (or flax mixture), applesauce, sweetener, and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in dried fruit.

Put batter into oiled pan, smoothing with spatula as needed. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If bars brown too quickly, tent the pan with some foil. Allow bars to cool completely, then cut into bars.

Freezing directions:

Package bars in an air-tight freezer container. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Eat at room temperature or slightly heated through.

Servings: 8

So the main thing I will change next time is to double the batch and try them in a 9X13 pan. In a short few hours Trek and I have almost finished them off! I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, which turned out very yummy! Next time I want to use coconut milk (I used regular milk, since no one in our house has any problems with dairy), I think the flavor would be good.

They are soft granola bars...as I introduced them to Trek. They aren't overly sweet, which is refreshing.

Definitely a do-again recipe!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy Birthday baby E!

Our little girl turns 10 months old today! Also received great news from Holt that our case has been submitted to the Ethiopian courts!! Yippee! We celebrate the baby steps to our baby girl! Now, we wait to hear when our court date is set for. Then we get ready to travel over to meet our girl for the first time! We are not looking forward to leaving her behind when we return home from that trip, but hope that we will be able to bring her home soon!