Tag Archives: Adoption

Blood Oranges

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Blood Oranges, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope this New Year is welcoming you all with warm hearts, good health and joy! We’ve been off enjoying some vacation days – nope, we didn’t go anywhere but about town and to see family and a few friends. However, I haven’t really been cooking or baking – just the usual fare.

Today, for example, I made the best pizza crust ever! I’ll have to recreate it a couple times before I’m ready to post about it. But since I have a few pizza recipes up here (even though a good slice of cheese pizza on a crisp, thin crust can make my knees melt), I didn’t feel pressured into making pizza. AND, to be honest, I’m really not eating a lot of pizza and baked goods these days.

I do have some GREAT news about our daughter to share. We received word that our paperwork for her visa went through the National Visa Center in the US and is on the way to Seoul, South Korea (to the US Embassy there). There are only a few more steps to go before she comes home to us! (And honestly, I’m not sure I can handle this waiting much longer!!) This is what else has to happen before she travels:

  1. The US Embassy sends another packet of papers that must be completed by the Korean adoption agency to confirm this adoption.
  2. The Korean agency must get her a passport (Korean) and an emigration permit (these are limited and required before she can leave the country).
  3. Finally, with the paperwork, passport and emigration permit in hand, the Korean agency must bring her to the US Embassy and her travel permission will be granted within 24-72 hours of this meeting.

And then? Well, then she travels home! (The travel dates vary too – usually within 5 days to 3 weeks of the travel papers being completed.)

OH! I think I’m going to BURST some days just waiting.

I’ve tried to keep myself busy. In fact, I finished her quilt top too. I have never really sewn in my life. Well, wait. That’s not true. I had to take a sewing class in middle school. Let’s just say this: straight lines are not really my thing. And this proved to be true with the block quilt I made for our daughter, too. LOL Needless to say, I have some friends who quilt and he saved me from my own bad self by squaring off the quilt for me when I had finished the top.

I have since brought the top to a gal in town who will finishing the “stipling” (I’m learning an entire new vocabulary here too! These are my new vocab terms: selvage, bias (as in “cut it on the bias”) and stipling. My mom is quite proud. LOL). Once the stipling is done, I shall finish the edging (maybe with a few dozen prayers and poked fingers!). When it’s done, I’ll post a picture (as requested) but don’t hold your breath for beauty. Just know that it is made with love. That’s for sure.

I have a few other sewing projects up my sleeves. Maybe if I get enough practice at cutting and sewing, I can make our kidlet some clothes and costumes. (That’s the big plan as it will be a decent money saver, I think.)

And today? Today I tackled Blood Oranges. MMMM. They ARE good.
Today I made blood orange marmalade and some blood orange caramels.

Strange, but true. I made caramels with blood oranges. Completely by accident too. That’s what happens when you simmer your simple syrup a bit too long… .you go for the gold and make caramels out of it. And ya know what? I have to say that it’s not bad, either! I’m enjoying the orange taste with the caramel texture and sweetness.

Do you like blood oranges?
What do you do with them?

We enjoy salads, salsas/chutneys and marmalades. We even use the marmalade to make a great grilling glaze. Just mix the marmalade plus some dijon mustard (GF, of course) and you have the BEST glaze ever.

What about you? What do you make?
I need some ideas, people! I think I’m hitting a wall and I’m looking for a bit of inspiration. Have any to share?

Adoption Auction: Signed Copy of Gluten Free Girl’s Book

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It ends at 11:28PM PST on December 9, 2008.
Item sold!  Thank you, all!

The adoption page has links to other posts that include thoughts/information about our adoption as well as our adoption time line (for those of you who have been asking for more time line information).
Nothing keeps you watching the calendar/clock like a pending adoption…

Okay….. I’m back at the book bartering.
But just in case you think it’s because I’ve lost my mind… let me just say this: I have.
Completely, too.

You see 5 weeks ago we received our referral for our daughter. In the mail arrived three single solitary pieces of paper and two photos of a little girl we have already fallen in love with.

baby toes

We dream of her little toes and the tickles and caresses we will give them.

Baby fingers

We dream of her little hands and fingers curling around our fingers just as she is doing her with her foster mother’s hand. (And OH, how we LOVE her foster mother for loving and caring for her!)

baby lips
We dream of her sweet lips tasting popsicles on hot summer days, dipping to red bean drinks with coconut milk and “jellies” with the family and kissing her until the end of time.

And oh, how we dream.

The nursery is painted. The crib is ready. And our arms have been open and waiting for far longer than I have ever wanted to wait. But we will continue to wait until she comes home.

Our little girl’s paperwork is currently in the land of “immigration” and “visa” funnels. Of which we know the steps, but we have no idea which step our paperwork is in. No knowledge is hard. It just makes up stare harder at her sweet pictures… which are now in frames by our computers at home… on our desks at work…emailed and printed for family/friends and even on our desktop wallpapers.

Yes, we have completely lost our minds… to love.

This means that I have one more auction that we hope to sell. This time it is for Shauna’s book, “Gluten Free Girl or How I found the food that loves me back and how you can too”.

Last Fall I met Shauna while she was here in my town for a cooking class. There she sat – pregnant and happy with her Love working diligently in the kitchen prepping for their cooking class. We spoke about blogging, gluten free life, the joy of good food but mostly about our love of life and hopes/dreams for our futures. To mothers-to-be on different paths, but both paths filled with love. I told Shauna then that I wanted to get a copy of her book to auction off for our adoption and she giggled with delight.

It was a done deal. Shauna grabbed a pen and signed the book with a flourish, a smile and a deep profound wish for our successful adoption and I for her baby’s birth. She’s truly a lovely girl, that gluten-free chica.

I learned that we had more in common than I originally thought. I am a teacher and she was teacher. Our journeys to that profession were rather similar – both pursuits of passion that brought us to that calling. Her passion has pushed to her write… mine pushes me to blog like a random internet spammer but with great zeal and joy.

We both met the Loves of our lives and knew it when it happened. It was a done deal with them too.

And now we venture in to parenthood via blogging together.

And our journeys to Celiac? Well, all journeys are distinct and personal. While Shauna and I are of the same age group, our parents had amazingly distinct food preferences when we were children. :)

Shauna’s book does a great job of giving a voice to the gluten free journey. It is uniquely her journey that she takes us through – and for that, I thank her. As through her stories, she introduces people to gluten free foods that only 8 years ago, when I was diagnosed were unheard of/not as common. And this was just FIVE years before Shauna’s diagnosis.

At the time of my diagnosis, I was lead to believe that my life would no longer include croissants, pizzas, breads, wrap sandwiches, cupcakes, etc. I was told to just not “eat anything white – like bread, pasta, etc.” Not super helpful – but thankfully we’ve come a long way, baby.

Shauna’s book will not only lead you through her life, however, but she introduces her passions for finding new foods and includes several recipes for you to try as well. Above all, I am thankful for her voice to our “cause”, if you will.

Are we a “cause” really? Us gluten free eaters? Not really, in my opinion. But I can say that she has helped empower countless bloggers, readers, recipe testers, chefs, etc to begin to push forward into the land of not just “suitable” or “edible” items for the gluten free diet, but rather DELECTABLE, DELICIOUS and WONDERFUL foods too.

In fact, let’s just say my lavash wraps, cupcakes, yellow cake and pizza crusts are now the preferred items for my gluten and gluten-free eating buddies and family! This is FAR cry from the duffel load of “muffins” (or bricks) that my Love and I hauled to Rome for our honeymoon so that I could have some “bread”. Please note I am using the term “bread” here very liberally. In fact, after attempting to eat just ONE of the $60.00+ worth of “bread”, we promptly deposited all of the pre-wrapped, nuclear-fallout-ready “bread” into the trash. I’ve felt guilty for years that we didn’t leave a note to warn the hotel maid of the heft of the trash can that morning. I sure hope she didn’t sprain a back muscle while attempting to lift up those bad boys to dump them out.

But with gluten-free bloggers and books, sparks of change are everywhere. Now at the bookstore, you can find a dozen or more cookbooks – but just as many authors! (Versus before, two authors, two books!)

And Shauna’s book? The personal journey to help and food joy? It’s here too. And now it’s up on auction. (Click here to bid, if you can! PLEASE!) FYI: The auction ends on December 9 at 11:28PM PST.

If you can help us raise funds by bidding on this auction, please know that we SINCERELY appreciate your help in bringing our little one home.

Many happy dreams to all…. and may they include your own little images of comfort and love. For now, my dreams are filled with toes, wrinkled noses, sweet lips and curled fingers……

The Ice Dream Cookbook: A review and an adoption fundraiser

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The Ice Dream Cookbook, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Rachel Albert-Matesz: Wherever you are, please take a bow. I love your gluten-free and casein-free cookbook, and I apologize for my tardy book review. And many, many, many thanks for the donation to the Adoption Fundraiser. Your book is on sale now and will make an incredible holiday gift for someone soon, I’m sure!

Have you all seen this great book? It’s titled “The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy Free alternatives with gluten free cookies, compotes, and sauces“. And oh baby, those sauces! YUM!

A long while back, Rachel sent me a couple copies to review (one for me to keep, and one for me to put up for auction to raise money for our adoption expenses). And it is with GREAT pleasure that I am reviewing her book tonight.

Rachel’s cookbook is great for a number of reasons. First, she presents some very user-friendly, non-gourmet chef friendly recipes that are easy to make and delicious to boot. I’m quite the fan of her Chai Tea Ice Dream, to be honest…. and I have some serious plans to make the Basil Ice Dream or the Ginger Ice Dream too. The recipes peaked my interest with the unique flavor profiles and easy to get ingredients. And Basil Ice “Cream”? Huh. I gotta know what that tastes like!

Her recipes for Ice “Dreams” (aka GF/CF ice cream) include basic flavors (vanilla, chocolate chip, maple pecan, cinnamon, etc), some not-so-basic (Basil, Ginger, Lemon Cookie Crumble, Rum Raisin, etc), and many, many others (like the Chai Tea I mentioned, as well as Coffee, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cherry Vanilla, Mango-Orange, etc). Really – the list goes ON and ON. To make it even more fun, Rachel includes several different variations on the recipes. There are several suggestions and ideas shared with each.

The introduction to her book includes a great overview of the essential ingredients as well as shopping tips for following the Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free diet. I found her tips to be straight forward and refreshingly presented. (And yes, I read the tips in the cookbooks. ESPECIALLY the gluten-free ones just to be sure the author and I are on the same page as far as practice.) She also does a great job of highlighting the necessary equipment and essential techniques for perfecting her recipes. In all, Rachel spends the first 50 pages of the book (it is 278 pages packed with goodness!) reviewing tips and generalities that you experienced GF/CF people will appreciate reviewing and newbies will LOVE the way it is simply presented.

Beyond Ice “Dreams”, Rachel has several sauce recipes. She includes recipes for GF/CF Caramel Sauce, Hot Fudge Sauce, Caffeine-Free Hot Cocoa Mocha Sauce… and my favorite: The Raspberry Sauce that has topped my weekend waffles for a while now. She also includes 16 or so GF/CF other dessert ideas (like pralines, brownies, ice dream sandwich cookies, No-bake cookie pie crust (I’m dying to try that one!), and a Coconut Macaroon Ice Dream Cake).

If you get the chance to check this out, please do.

Even better, if the book interests you, please take a moment to bid on it for our adoption fundraiser. (The book is on sale on eBay now through November 26 at 1:00 PST.) ALL proceeds from the book sale go toward our adoption fund.

Shortly, I will have a few more items up on eBay for our fundraiser as well. Included will be a signed copy of the Gluten-Free Girl’s book as well. (Thank you, Shauna!) Please keep your eyes peeled! You might just find the best GF/CF Christmas/Holiday present yet listed on eBay by me!)

Thank you, Rachel!
And Thank you, Readers, for checking out our eBay listing for this book/fundraiser!