Sandwich Pancakes

Technically these were to be Sandwich Waffles, but our waffle maker doesn’t handle our non-traditional waffles very well. So I turn Maria Emmerich’s waffles into pancakes. 🙂 Therefore any criticism can’t be attributed to the recipe, but potentially to my alterations, as these pancakes were tasty, but quite dry. And then it hit me – they were also thick,and could slice in half easily. They would make great bread, or pita pockets! Unfortnately, by the time I realized this, they were all gone (hey, I said they were tasty!), but I plan to make another batch, slice them in half lengthwise, and then turn them into pita pockets. Since the ham and cheese is in the shell, I’ll put moist and yummy ingredients in the middle, like mayo, lettuce, banana peppers, and (hopefully) yellow tomatoes. Oh, and thanks to Maria, we know why yellow tomatoes!




Sausage Butternut Squash Lasagna

I wanted to make the Sausage and Butternut Squash stuffed tomatoes from Against all Grain, but I don’t have the patience to stuff tomatoes (peppers, yes… tomatoes…no way), and my husband doesn’t really like tomatoes. So I flipped it inside out, took a cue from her sausage lasagna, and turned this into a casserole as well. I made the crepes, but added onion powder and roasted granulated garlic to the mix. Yum! I used a mix of  monterey jack and mozzarella, just because that’s all I had in the fridge. I was a little worried that I had done too much tinkering, but it turned out really great, and super moist (as you can see!).



Oh, and I doubled the amount of filling, because I don’t like itty bitty skinny lasagnas. They should be bubbling to the top of the dish! In this case I wound up with too much meat / butternut squash mixture, which was great! I had leftovers to put in wraps, and to sprinkle on salads. This meal stretched to last us many days and many types of dishes.


Words I Hate (where adoption is concerned)

It’s Wacky Wednesday, and I get to write whatever I want. I don’t always post on Wacky Wednesday… honestly, some days I’m just too busy surviving the day. But tonight, watching my girls sleep after putting them to bed, I sat reflecting on our adoption, how ferociously and completely I love them, and how little understanding there is in our society about adoption.

Most people are really supportive. But we need to learn that words matter. Don’t get me wrong, when I heard these words, I knew there was no malicious intent. I knew the person just didn’t know. They were innocent, and that’s why they received a kind, sometimes sweetly educational, response. But some things need to be said, and this is my forum to say them. If you know anyone who has adopted, this will be helpful! 🙂

So here we go:

Are they yours? You mean, are they biologically mine, or have I finalized the adoption. Believe me, they were Mine from day one. Even if they had left our family on day two, they would and will be forever MINE. I’ve also heard, oh, are you her mom? Or is this your daughter? Others might disagree…but that’s great. Our skin doesn’t match, I get that you would be wondering if I’m the babysitter. 

Do you have any real kids? Yep, they’re real. Here, see me touch them? Not a hologram: real. You mean biological. They would be real too.

Do you have any kids of your own? See above.

Placements. They’re not placements, they’re people. “We received two new placements today.” No, you didn’t. You opened your home, family and heart to two hurting children who desperately need your love, safety, affection, and approval. If that’s not what you’re ready to give, then you shouldn’t be doing this. Get a pet. This is a wounded human being. The people they trusted hurt them. Prove to them that you’re different. It will take awhile. And they’re not “placements.” 

We passed on him/her. Um, no, that was a person. A human being. You don’t “pass” on them like they’re chattel. How about you felt totally inadequate to parent a child with such great needs? Or whatever the truth was. But if you routinely “pass” on kids, then maybe you have something to learn about innate human value as having been created in the image of God.

Real Mom: I’m the real mom. See? I’m not a hologram either. Plus, I’m the one who changed the dirty diapers. Who sat in terror when we needed to go to the emergency .room because I wasn’t sure if it was a rash with fever that was no problem, or a rash with fever that is a big deal. Who held and kept her from hurting herself during a night terror. Who got up 7 times a night just so she could know that yes, she’s safe, I’m here, again and again. You mean biological mom. She’s real too. And deserves your prayers. 

Real Sisters: You’ve got the point already. But yes, they’re biological sisters. 

Are they twins? Um… they’re almost two years, a foot, and 35 pounds apart. With different facial structure and body composition. No, my children who look completely different are not twins. But they’re both black. So they do look alike in that way. But not to me. They have drastically different shades and hues in their skin, and are each gorgeous in their own unique and individual way.

Adoption Disruption. I have no words to express how much I hate this term and fact. And it’s too big a topic. So I may address it at another time. But for now, both the term and the reality are terrible for everyone involved, but mostly for the child. 

There aren’t words to express how much I adore them with a loving mama-bear “don’t mess with my kids” way, so I’ll end this here*

*but I reserve the right to add words I hate as they come to mind. 🙂


Yay! Tortillas that actually look and feel and taste like tortillas! Oh, and their high fiber content doesn’t hurt either. 🙂  We made Maria Emmerich’s Quesadillas, and they were a big hit. We served them with sour cream and salsa. My highlight of the meal was finding a good (great!) tortilla recipe. I’ll be making these in batches and freezing them. I will test freezing them cooked and uncooked, to see which tastes the best. I have a slight (big) inability to roll them into circles, so perhaps a tortilla press is in order. She suggests adding spices to change the flavor of the tortilla. I’m already dreaming of chipotle and cumin and paprika tortillas.

I’m planning to use these for wraps, breakfast tacos, breakfast quesadillas, family taco night… the posibilities are endless. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!








Lunchbox #15

We have two new things in this week’s lunchbox: “mommy’s healthy cereal” and gateway carrots. First, the cereal. It’s again from Maria Emmerich, and can be found here. The only change we made was to use vanilla, rather than blueberry, extract. It’s a big hit with my oldest kid who has the biggest appetite. Also, we’ve discovered a love for the carrot “shakedowns.” Yes, yes, I know…these aren’t a great choice. But they’re just gateway carrots. You’ve heard of gateway drugs? Well, we have gaeway carrots. Once they’re hooked, I’ll introduce “mommy’s shakedowns” with my version (yet to be developed!) of the ranch shaker.

In this lunchbox we have:



Sausage Lasagna

This Sausage Lasagna is from Against all Grain. Oh my. We loved it! Her blog is fanastic, as is this lasagna. My husband said “you should make lots of these and freeze them.” My kids, after protesting Against all New Flavors decided that it was yummy, but maybe with a different cheese. So we’ll experiment with that. She used a dairy free nut cheese. We’re less perfect with our dairy consumption. It’s limited, and we don’t drink cows milk, but do allow cheeses. So I’ll be searching for that right flavor cheese that makes it good for everyone.

Have you been craving a grain-free lasagna? Does the idea of zucchini “noodles” not thril you? Make this!!! It’s superb. I don’t post recipes if they’re not on someone’s blog and already publicly available. But if you love grain-free cooking, this cookbook is a good investment. It’s chock full of yummy!




Lunchbox #14

For lunchbox #14 our main dish is leftover awesomeness. I found this fabulous blog. I’m so excited to start cooking her recipes! Grain free goldfish and graham crackers? Sign me up! No more snack arguments…my problem has just turned into a yes. Yes you can have goldfish (that I make), Yes, you can have cupcakes (that I make), Yes you can have graham crackers (that I make). If you haven’t bought her eBook for kids…you should!!!

We made her enchilada casserole, and my oldest loved it so much it got included in lunch. Yum yum yum. This thing is fabulous. And I learned something. You have to get to the fourth ingredient on a package of taco spices to locate an actual spice. Um… let’s make our own. And her taco spice recipe is also super yummy!

So today’s lunchbox:

  • Banana
  • Leftover enchilada casserole
  • Plum
  • Veggie chips


Salmon in Red Curry

We recently made this Pan Seared Salmon in Red Curry Sauce from Against all Grain. It was another fantastic meal. My (now 6!!!) year old loved the sauce, and kept asking for more. I’ll have to double the sauce next time.  The leftovers didn’t make for good lunch leftovers, but I learned:

  1. My “eat everything” kid loves sauteed bok choy.
  2. My “eat nothing” kid loves acorn squash.
  3. This salmon is fantastic. Girls who supposedly don’t like salmon ask for seconds.
  4. Bok choy (in sesame oil) is bitter on its own…and fantastic in the same bite as this salmon.
  5. YUMIMG_0738



Lunchbox #13

Lunchbox #13 was enhanced by my recent chicken rolls success! The only fail here was the plum. Um… it needs to be in its own container in order to make it to lunchtime, and not come back home mashed and mangled in the back of the lunchbox (which I then get to scrub clean). 🙂

  • Almonds & pistachios
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Leftover chicken rolls (proscuitto wrapped chicken thighs)
  • Plantain chips
  • Plum