Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cooking With No Ingredients

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with some coworkers before I got married.  We were discussing household chores and which you like best and dreaded most.  For the record, I loathe cleaning the kitchen and like to vacuum.

Someone mentioned cooking being their least favorite chore and my response was, "that's considered a chore?"  For serious.  I saw getting to cook as one of the fun parts of life, not one of the evil things that's considered a chore.

I'm here today to announce to the internets that cooking is a chore.  Most of you are shaking your head at me, you knew that already.

This is a tough one for me, though.  I still love cooking and baking so, so much.  But the last 3 years have brought some intense dietary needs to our household that have left me in a place where I just don't find much joy in cooking anymore.

Some days I feel utterly defeated by trying to feed my family with no gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, peanuts, or eggs.  It's daunting and it tends to suck the creativity and fun out of finding and trying new recipes.  I'm tired of plain meat and vegetables, but that's my rut and I don't see a way out most days.

I've realized, beyond the basic "what to make for dinner" rut, one of the other really tricky things is figuring out easy breakfasts and snacks.  It's a busy time of day, I don't have time to spoon feed over-priced coconut yogurt or roast vegetables, but he still needs to eat.  So I've come up with 2 muffin recipes that are pretty good that all my kids can eat.  I usually leave a few out on the counter and the rest go in the freezer.  In the morning I can pop one out, zap it for 30 seconds in the microwave, and put it in front of Abraham while the rest of us are getting ready.

Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 350.

Ingredients

1 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
3 large bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
egg replacer for 2 eggs (I use Ener-G)
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet and beat until well blended.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Made 18 muffins for me.


Squash/Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Muffins

Preheat oven to 350.

Ingredients

3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 can squash/pumpkin/sweet potato puree

Combine your dry ingredients.  Blend in the vanilla and puree until moistened.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes.





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reunion

I've spoken some here about the ins and outs of our open adoption.  And while there are some definite draw backs to having an open adoption, by and large for us, it is a really good experience.  Part of our agreement with K is that we will visit.  We don't really have specified times in which this will happen, just that it will.  And while there is nothing binding us legally to do so, we feel its a really important piece of our adoption puzzle.

Visits are tricky though when his birth family is a 14 hour drive away.  This meant that this year's visit including take a 1-year-old on a plane.  Not something I recommend.  But we all survived the trip and are so thankful that we went.

Our adventure started when we left the house at 7 am on Saturday morning.  I was so excited and anxious about the trip that I woke up at 3:30 am and couldn't fall back asleep.

Our first flight was then delayed an hour and a half meaning we were going to miss our connecting flight.  We were able to rebook for a later flight, which also meant we would be spending over 3 hours in the Dallas airport.  This made for a long day with a very cranky baby.


Abraham sprawled out across both of us and fell asleep, finally, about half way through the first flight.


He decided lunch was torture in Dallas.


Until the nice men at the table next to us let him play with their dogs.  Happiest. Baby. Ever.


A rare photo of him enjoying the view.  He found opening and closing the window shade far more enjoyable, unlike the passengers around us who had to deal with light, dark, light, dark.


Look who's excited that we made it to the hotel at 5:30 that night.

The next morning we had some time to kill before K was able to meet up with us.  We went down to LSU to visit the tiger habitat they have on campus.



And then finally in the afternoon, we were able to experience what we had done all this travel for.


Abraham and his birth mom, reunited.


He wasn't quite sure what to think of his new biological brother.  He mostly just wanted to stick his finger in the baby's mouth.


The next morning we got up and did the whole flight thing back home.  Thankfully this time there were no delays and Abraham did a lot better.

Overall it was a great visit.  It was really fun to see K watch Abraham, love on him, and enjoy seeing what a fun baby he is.  She's extremely respectful of us as Abraham's parents, so the visit went really smoothly.  We love having her be a part of his life still and also respect the important roll she has played in it and will continue to play as he grows older.


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