Monday, October 26, 2009

Could we EAT any more?!

The first is a homemade organic chicken noodle soup I made today. I didn't follow a recipe. I just kept it really rustic and traditional. I served it with warmed roasted garlic (!!) loaf. Wickedly good...and good for you!

The second pic is of a big batch of enchiladas I made. I like to do a big batch and freeze them into individual take out tins that I can pull from the freezer and pop into the oven. Just before I serve them up I add a dollop of sour cream and some diced avocado spritzed with fresh lime on top. Yum.

The third pic is of a big breakfast I made M. We have a competition between the two of us. Who can make the best breakfast! This was your typical scrambled eggs with crispy bacon and then I kicked it up a notch with William Sonoma Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes. Slam Dunk! :) FINALLY...I win. DH can make a mean brekkie!

Honey Bran, Cran & Pecan!

Now say it with some attitude and a snap for good measure! :)

In an effort to eat better or break the bad habit of not eating in the AM, I thought I'd try muffins! They can be good-ish for you, they're a reliable vehicle for some pretty amazing ingredients, and they're portable.

I started with a honey bran muffin recipe (or just use a boxed version...why not?!) and then added whatever extras I thought sounded good. Today dried cranberries and chopped pecans sounded perfect so that's what I added along with just a tad more organic honey for my sweet tooth.

I was fairly conservative with my added ingredients this time round but next time I won't be so much so. Some more crunch and tartness would have been nice but overall, they were great and just might break our dirty little habit of not eating breakfast.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Date Night!

I follow Food & Wine on Twitter and today they had a Sizzling Beef Recipe (Based on Bulgogi...Let's try this again, shall we?) and wine pairing. Friday Night + new recipe to try + a couple movies = Date Night!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Hunt Is On

We've started house hunting again. When we decided to move back into the city we leased a space that would be great for 6 or so months until we found the perfect spot but we moved in and stopped looking. Oh well. C'est la vie! Its a great spot and more than fine for now. The game plan is to find a home that will be perfect for the next few years and then when the time comes move on. Maybe we're movers?! I don't dread the thought to be honest. Originally we were thinking about reno'ing a house here in the city but so much of our life is East. M's work mainly. Eliminating that commute would be awesome for him! Plus, in a strange twist, I actually miss living out that way. Well, specifically suburb living. When we talk about the big picture we speak of a little bit of land, maybe snowmobiles, an organic garden, boating, another dog, but mostly the kind of life we want for our family. I guess ideally we would be living I don't know, maybe, Europe or on an ocean catch the drift! But then little things like work and life and responsibility comes a knockin' and bang! lol. So that's the plan for now however if you've had this conversation with us in the past, you know that this could all change. We're fluid M & I! It's easy and even fun! Now is the time I guess! The times they are a changin'!

Monday, October 5, 2009

So as its turned out, I've been doing a ton of cooking these days. There's just something about the shopping, chopping, stirring, and serving that calms my nerves and makes everything seem...comfortable, I guess. Even when we're at a particular stressful time in the process I can search for recipes and suddenly I'm thinking about holiday baking with our little one & lengthy weekend, cartoon fueled breakfasts.

Today I tried Jaime Oliver's Beef & Ale Stew. Its made with Guiness, big chunks of stewing beef, canned tomatoes and root vegetables. It seemed perfect for a beautiful, sunny Autumn day like today.

I have a large pot simmering now and plan on serving it tonight with
fresh crusty bread and dumplings. We'll freeze the leftovers for a lazy Sunday.

Happy Autumn!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

PRIDE Graduation!

We did it! We are through the PRIDE training and boy oh boy was it something else! Before writing new posts I always read the last couple entries just to be sure I'm not leaving any loose ends. Re-visiting the feelings we had towards PRIDE in our last post and experiencing the feelings we have toward PRIDE now are kind of....well, different.

In retrospect we see that the first 15 or so hours were very emotional and hard hitting. The last 15 were training tools to help us through those potential hurdles/unique challenges that adoptive parents may face. We learned that choosing to form your family through adoption can be a very emotional decision and if you base your decision on emotion alone, you may shy away from this "fantasy family" idea and decide that perhaps adoption may not be for you. On the other hand, being knowledgeable will also empower your decision to adopt and your overall journey. Its empowered us. The overall message...Parenting is hard. No matter how you get there and here are some tools that may help. Our message? This is the best decision we have ever made. Overall, it was not boring at all. Actually quite the opposite and I think that it would be awesome if there was something like this for all families.

The group of parents to be that were in the course with us were a great bunch! We really look forward to keeping in touch with some of them and eventually watching our little ones form friendships of their own.

The last couple hours of the course were spent listening to 4 different speakers. The first was an adult Korean adoptee who was adopted in the 60's by a single Caucasian woman with one biological child of her own and one other adopted daughter from India. I'm going to leave her name out but her story was not all "rainbows and butterflies." She struggled (to put it lightly) with her identity growing up but later came to terms and is most certainly (I asked)an advocate of interracial adoptions. She explained that in the 60's there were not the resources available to parents that there are today and she wholeheartedly believes that had they been, her story would be different.

The second speaker was another adult adoptee who was united with her forever family through a closed (no contact with birth parents) domestic adoption in the 50's. In the late 90's she received a phone call from a social worker whom her birth mother had hired to find her and they re-connected. Her story was one that assured us adoptive families in the room that regardless of an open (active contact with birth parents) or closed (no contact with birth parents) adoption, we are our child's Mommy and Daddy. Later, she and her husband formed their family through an international adoption and she was also kind enough to share that story with us.

The third speakers of the day were a couple who have two children through open domestic adoptions. They spoke of their struggle with infertility and how they came to accept the idea of an open adoption.

The final speaker of the day was a girl...lady who had been adopted domestically. It was a closed adoption but when she was 11 she asked her mom if she would help her find her birth mother. Her mom agreed (could you imagine how much courage that took?) and eventually they found her mailing address and allowed the young girl to write the birth mother a letter. I'll mention it b/c it was so sweet. She said that the letter she wrote contained all the important information an 11 year old holds dear. Her favourite food, favourite toys, her hair colour, and her best friends name. :) Isn't that cute?! Two weeks later a letter arrived in her mailbox. "Thank you for your letter, of course I'd love to meet you, would you like to come to visit with your family?" Her family packed up the car and drive the 5 hours to visit for a couple days and they've maintained a healthy relationship since. Now fast forward a few years. This young girl, well not a girl 21, becomes pregnant and decides to put together an adoption plan for her son and now is a birth parent in an open adoption herself.

It was so nice to be able to hear a birth parent story. There is a ton of planning, thought and so much love that comes into play with an adoption plan and although our adoption will be closed I often find myself thinking about our child's birth mother and wish her strength, health, love, and support. What she is doing / will do for our child is the most selfless act I can imagine and even though we do not have a photo of our child yet, or believe that he/she are even born, I quietly thank her daily.

All & all we learned a ton from PRIDE and are amped up to be one step closer to getting on that plane to Korea to meet our baby for the first time! Above is our entire PRIDE group and of course we had to get a pic of M and I being presented our certificate! Proud parents to be! :)

Hey! Funny side note- Because we knew that today was going to be our last class, we were told to bring our cameras to take pictures for our baby's "lifebook". Well, we had a good laugh getting ready this morning thinking about the day that our son or daughter looks at this photo and says "Oh my gosh! Look at how you guys were dressed!Hahaha" :)