East African Red Lentil Soup

I have no idea where the original recipe came from, but I got a copy of it from a friend and then completely changed it. I don’t really feel bad not giving credit for the original, since this is absolutely nothing like it!

Spicy East African Red Lentil Soup

Spicy East African Red Lentil Soup

East African Red Lentil Soup

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

1 rib of celery finely chopped (I leave the celery in large pieces and fish them out before I serve the soup. I love the stuff, but the rest of the fam hates it)

3 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced

3 T berbere (Ethiopian seasoning)

1½ cups red lentils

6 c low sodium vegetable broth

1. Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot. Do not heat above its smoke point!

2. Add onions and turn heat to low. Saute onions until soft and translucent (do not brown!).

3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring after each addition.

4. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often.

5. Serve with cottage cheese or yogurt.

Enjoy!

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Asian “Pork & Beans”

Every once in a while I like to try out a new recipe for dinner. I love browsing cookbooks, Pinterest, cooking magazines, and web sites for spice manufacturers (yum!). I do, however, have one problem. Hubby says I can’t follow a recipe. Period. I guess I have to agree with him, but I have my reasons!! It isn’t that I don’t know how to follow a recipe, it’s that I don’t like to follow most recipes (Sorry Food Network!). I read a recipe and know immediately whether or not my family will eat it. Of course with 6 (soon to be 8) of us I don’t usually please everyone, but I know that the diced pickle that this recipe called for would probably mean PB&Js for half the family. I am also limited by what I have on hand for ingredients. We live 20 minutes from the nearest grocery store and 45 minutes from the nearest WalMart so I’m not running out to buy the ground turkey this recipe called for. What did I already have on hand? Ground pork, ground beef and boneless skinless chicken breasts. I opted for the ground pork. Having already changed a couple ingredients I then took some liberties with another here and there… And “Spicy Turkey and Green Bean Stir-Fry” turns into “Asian ‘Pork & Beans'” It was SO good I HAD to share!!

Spicy ginger and garlic flavored ground pork with green beans.

Spicy ginger and garlic flavored ground pork with green beans.

Asian “Pork & Beans”

1 package frozen green beans, thawed and drained

3 T olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1 T balsamic vinegar

2 tsp chili paste

1 c chicken broth (I used chicken bullion)

2 T soy sauce

2 tsp corn starch

1 LB lean ground pork

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped

1 1″ piece ginger, finely diced

Jasmin or Basmati rice

1. Toss green beans with olive oil, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Place on a cookie sheet and broil on low for 8 minutes (turn after 5 minutes). Beans should be starting to brown when you remove them from the oven. Set aside.

2. Lightly brown ground pork in a wok or large fry pan.

3. While pork is cooking, mix chili paste, chicken broth, soy sauce, and corn starch in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Once the pork is cooked through add the garlic and ginger. Saute until garlic begins to brown (30 seconds or so).

4. Add green beans and any liquid left on the cookie sheet. Mix well.

5. Add chicken broth mixture and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

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Merry Christmas

Third Day’s Merry Christmas gets me every time.

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…and the stockings were hung…

I never know quite where to put our Christmas stocking. We don’t have a fireplace, or a mantle, or a convenient shelf. For a couple years I tied them to our stairs, which looked nice but was very impractical come Christmas Eve. Then this year I found this great idea on Pinterest of making a sign that said “…and the stockings were hung..” with knobs underneath for the stockings! I loved it and made one of my own. It took me forever to find the time to finish it up, but today I finally got it up and hung the stocking on it. As excited as I was to get it up on the wall, it was a little bitter sweet. I painted knobs for “L” and “Y”‘s stocking to hang on and I hung their stocking right alongside ours. However I know that they will still be hanging empty on Christmas morning, waiting for the laughter and squeals of delight of their owners.

stockings

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Waiting…

Got word today from our agency that our dossier has arrived in Ethiopia! Now the wait begins for our court date. The closest we can get on an estimate from our agency is “2013”. Hmmm…

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12-12-12 or 03-04-05!

Happy 12-12-12 to all my Gregorian calendar using friends!!

12_12_12

And happy 03-04-05 to all my Ethiopian calendar using friends!!

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Grants and other fundraising efforts

I haven’t talked about funds in a while (I hate asking for help and I don’t think anyone wants to hear about our need all the time), but some of you having been asking for updates so here it is…

We still owe $10,050 to the agency for fees and services

We will soon have to make two trips to Ethiopia which, including fees we will pay once we’re there, will run about $8,300

We have about $8600 set aside for adoption expenses.

For those who don’t want to do the math, we’re still $9,750 short.

So we are applying for some grants and gearing up to do some fundraisers once the craziness of Christmas and New Years is behind us!

Prayers would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Truth Pandemic

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Watch this great video to get informed!

There are children who need homes who live where there is no treatment. Consider opening your heart and home to one of these!

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Dossier DONE (I HOPE!)

I just got home from Augusta… again. NOW all the dossier paperwork is on its way!

Had a GREAT time hanging with my three littlest littles. (Betty decided she was big enough to stay home… and just about went crazy with boredom). Highlight of the day was stopping at a park to play (in the 28° weather!)

caleb

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Happy Thanksgiving and Grrrrrrrr…

Apparently the dossier is NOT finished. I missed a piece when I was putting it together. “Happy Thanksgiving, your dossier is not complete”. I feel dumb and I wish the agency had caught the mistake when they checked the dossier scans before I sent them, but I will take care of it on Monday.

In the mean time, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

thanks

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