Category Archives: Adoption

Leftover Remake (1)

When I first left corporate America to be a full-time stay at home mom, I wasn’t the best cook.  Who am I kidding, I didn’t even like to cook.  I could throw a few things together and try to keep us from eating out all the time, but it wasn’t pretty.  The first couple months I started scouring the internet to find meals that my family would enjoy and even took to cable to find a cooking show that could help.  I mean it’s not like my mom didn’t try to teach me how to cook…I just wasn’t interested at the time.  Ask her she’ll tell you!

The first couple shows I started watching were repeats of “$10 Dollar Dinners” hosted by Melissa D’Arabian and “Semi-Homemade” hosted by Sandra Lee on Food Network.  Granted this was before I started moving us away from so much processed food stuff, but it helped me get started and showed me useful ways to make an almost completely different meal out of left overs.  It was a great help to a newly single-family income trying to eat on a much smaller budget.

So let me tell you about this dinner we had.  My husbands department had a Christmas lunch at work last week and he signed up to bring dressing and gravy because no one else had.  Normally I would have made at least the dressing from scratch, but I just ran out of time.  I found a really great organic stuffing mix at Sprouts so I thought I would try that.  I added sauteed celery and green onions and homemade cream of mushroom soup and baked the stuffing in the oven.  I also used a jar of turkey gravy and added extra stuff to that as well.

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Why I’m I telling you this…well even though people hadn’t signed up, there was more dressing at the luncheon than could be eaten so we had more than half a pan of stuffing left that I didn’t want to go to waste.  I’m not even sure what to call this, but my husband described it as the ultimate comfort food that he could graze on all day.  Now I take that as a super big compliment!! 🙂

So here’s what I did.  I took left over gravy and crumbled the stuffing into a large mixing bowl, added a bag of slightly thawed frozen mixed vegetables and a can of chicken and enough chicken broth to make it moist.  Mix this together with your cheese of choice; my husband requested Monterey Jack cheese this time.  Pop in the oven on 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown.  It was delish!!

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Over the past couple months of having my blog, one of the hardest things I’ve discovered is trying to take decent pictures of casseroles.  They look like mush on the plate and all together unappetizing in a picture.  It’s a good thing they are so yummy when you take a bite!

I’d love to hear from other bloggers how you take something that looks like mush and make it look so wonderful.

As we come closer to the end of 2014, I want to say a special thank you to friends and family and strangers that have reached out to me to inquire about of adoption journey.  I love sharing our story with people in hopes to encourage others to consider adopting a child.  Although it can be a stressful journey, it is one of the most beautiful journeys.  Without it, I wouldn’t have my beautiful son.

If you have thought about supporting us during our adoption journey, please take a moment to visit our fundraising page.  No amount is too small or to large, $5 to $5000 to help a family bring home our baby girl.  All donations are tax-deductible through the Adopt Together website.  www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

If you are enjoying the blog, please consider clicking on the ‘follow’ button and you will receive an email each time a post is made.  I also welcome any comments and will respond as quickly as possible.  And always feel free to share recipes with your friends and family on social media!

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Sandwich Sliders

Sorry for being absent for several days.  Like I said the holiday hustle and bustle is in full swing.  I hope you are enjoying your holiday season so far.  We’re decorated and festive and almost partied out, but looking forward to Christmas day and the weekend with our families.  I’d love to hear about traditions you and your family have that you do every year.

For this post I’m bringing out one of my husbands favorites.  I’m not sure where I found the original recipe, but I’ve adapted it to fit with what my family likes.  Even my 2.5 year old likes these sandwiches!

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I typically make these sandwich sliders after we’ve had a meal of pulled pork or chicken because I always have left over Hawaiian Rolls.  I love these rolls, I just wish I could perfect the process to make them from scratch instead of having to buy them at the store.  I’ll share my steps below and then the full recipe at the end.

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Start off by cutting the Hawaiian rolls in half and place in a bakine dish (I used glass, but sometime use those aluminum foil pans if transporting).  Spread mayo (I used organic) on the bottom half. Normally I like to cook at least six of these, but we only had five left in the package so we settled for one less…

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I added one slice each of deli ham and turkey and topped it off with a slice of colby jack cheese.

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Add the tops of the rolls to the baking dish.  Now comes the yummy part.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, then add the mustard, onion powder, Worcestershire  sauce and brown sugar and mix until well combined.  (Sorry I did not get a picture of this step :/)

Now pour the yummy sauce over the sandwiches and spread evenly if necessary.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown with melted cheese.

I wasn’t even able to get a plated picture taken before my family was attacking the kitchen to devour the yummy goodness.

The fun thing about this recipe is you can make so many combinations; really any combination of cheese and deli meat you like would probably work.  The measurements for the sauce are also very much up to you and what taste you like best.  You could use different types of mustard, such as dijon or honey mustard.  If you like more of a garlic taste you could add / substitute garlic powder for the onion powder.  The best part is you can really make this recipe your own!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Hawaiian Rolls, cut in half
  •  Mayonnaise, to taste
  • 6 slices Deli Ham
  • 6 slices Deli Turkey
  • 6 slices Colby Jack Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:

In a baking dish place bottom half of Hawaiian rolls and top with mayo.  Add lunch meat of your choice and 1 slice of cheese and replace the top half of the roll.

In a small microwave safe bowl melt the butter and then add the mustard, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Mix sauce until well combined and pour over the sandwiches.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown with melted cheese.

Hope you enjoy these yummy sandwiches as much as my family does.  Until next time 🙂

Don’t forget if you would be interested in helping to support our family during our upcoming adoption, here are ways you can 🙂  We are so thankful to those that have contacted us to let us know they are praying and for those that have donated to help us.  We’ve raised a little over $1,600 so far thanks to friends, family and even complete strangers.

  • Prayer.  If you are someone who prays, will you pray for us, for our family, for our future birthmom and for the child she is carrying and considering placing for adoption. Pray that our process will go quickly and smoothly.
  • Encouragement. Check-in with us. Help us to remember what the work and wait are for.
  • Financial. We are working to raise $25,000 to cover the costs (agency fees, legal fees, social workers, etc) involved with bringing our daughter into our family.  If you have the financial means to support our adoption, no amount is too small or too big; $5 to $5,000 – any and all funds will help!  100% of your financial support will go toward our adoption costs, thanks to Adopt Together. You can contribute by going to: www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger.  We have partnered with this great organization, Adopt Together, which is a non-profit specifically created to help families like ours raise the funds needed for adoption. They are an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible.

 

A First for Me

My cooking and baking adventures started a little over a year and a half ago when I came home full time with my son. I’m typically a recipe conformist and follow it to a tee. I’ve tried on several occasions to branch out and tweek recipes I find, but they typically end up inedible.

So tonight I took a chance and tried it again…and voila SUCCESS!!!  Here’s what was left of it after my family got a hold of it 🙂

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I happened across a recipe on Facebook today (Original recipe:  https://www.facebook.com/TheNewHot899/photos/a.96216403705.86216.12759833705/10151510794968706/?type=1&fref=nf&pnref=story).  Here is my version I created tonight.

Ingredients:
1 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I had a package in the freezer that contained a breast and 2 tenders)
1 large russet potato (I cut mine very small using this chopper)
Chopped broccoli (I chopped a partial head of broccoli, you could use froze, but thaw and warm before adding)
Olive oil
salt
black pepper
paprika
garlic powder
hot sauce (I used Frank’s and only in the chicken marinade)

Topping:
Colby jack cheese
Crumbled bacon
Diced green onion

I didn’t include any measurements because I just mixed in ingredients to what my families taste are.  Use your judgement and the likes of those who you are cooking for.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Add the potatoes and stir together. Scoop out the potatoes and leave the marinade in the bowl.  Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the left over olive oil mixture, adding hot sauce to taste, and stir to coat. If your chicken is not coated well, add additional olive oil and spices.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 400 degrees. Layer the chopped broccoli and then the raw marinated chicken on top of the potatoes. In another bowl mix together the cheese and bacon and cover the chicken.  Top with green onions and return the casserole to the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.

I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure this recipe could be further tweeked with different vegetables or maybe even a homemade cream of “something” soup.  Once I started taking the time to read food labels, I haven’t used a can of this stuff in more than a year.  This recipe is fairly simple and can be made with organic ingredients.  Highly recommended, especially for the upcoming holiday season where several family favorite recipes call for this soup.

I’m including a completely random picture of my son.  This made me happy tonight.  There’s nothing cuter than a boy and his dog.  Especially when said boy wants to cuddle with the dog on the dog bed and the dog just wants to go to bed!

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Adoption News:
We got an update today that our fingerprint clearances came back last Friday.  One more step closer to being able to start the matching process to bring home a daughter to add to our little family.  As I’ve mentioned, if you would like to hear about our adoption story or support us during our journey, please click the link.  www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

Little Mans Favorite Snack

I never really had a taste for applesauce, but my son loves it.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference in taste in the store bought brand vs. homemade applesauce.  The difference now has me enjoying applesauce when my son does.  Here’s how I make ours.

Ingredients:
3 lb Apples (I use a variety of red, green, gala and fuji; all organic)
1/2 cup Apple juice
1 T lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed, but you could substitute from the bottle)
1-3 tsp cinnamon
1-2 T honey (optional)
1/4 t nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

First core each of the apples, then I take the extra step to peel the apples.  Taking the peel off makes it easier to puree and then put in my sons pouch, which I will show you later.  I usually cut each apple into 6-8 pieces and put in a pot on the stove.  Add the apple and lemon juices.  Add in the amount of cinnamon you like.  Normally I use 1 teaspoon for 3 pounds of apples, but this time I was just shaking some out of my glass container and it was more like 1 tablespoon, but the taste was wonderful.  Stir the ingredients, cover and cook on medium to medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes. (Cooking times may vary depending on your stove)

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Once the apples are soft and moist, you can add in the honey and nutmeg if you choose.  I find the variety of apples gives more than enough sweetness and don’t add the honey.  For this batch, since I accidentally put in too much cinnamon, I did not add the nutmeg.

After the mixture has cooled slightly pour into a container and use an immersion blender to puree the mix.  This recipe usually gives me enough for the three containers pictured.  I put the large one in the fridge and freeze the little ones for future use.

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About the little animal pouches.  We love our squooshi reusable food pouch containers.  We use them for applesauce, smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, anything with a squishy consistency.  We’ve used these more so since our son is bigger, but could also be used with little ones eating pureed food on the go.  These are safe to wash by hand or pop in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Adoption News:

We were so excited to see that after several donations we’ve received, we are just $102 away from our first goal of $1500 to help cover the cost of our homestudy we recently completed.  Would you consider helping us reach this first goal?  If you have the financial means to support our adoption, no amount is too small or too big; $5 to $5,000 – any and all funds will help and are so greatly appreciated.   http://www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger