Monday, December 31, 2012

Alena's #story in #song {#Newbornscreening} #video

You may have read Alena's story before on my blog, or at another site - just in case you are not familiar {and are interested} here is our story again.  For the full story please click on this link, in a nutshell  at 6 days of life Alena's Newbornscreening test came back positive for Classic Galactosemia.  We were already in the hospital, the diagnosis came in, she was taken for a spinal tap, and by the next morning E.Coli had grown in her spinal fluid.  She seized, was transferred to the PICU {Pediatric ICU} where she was diagnosed with E. Coli Mengengitis which can {does not have to be} a effect of Classic Galactosemia, and the baby's exposure to Galactose {at least that is how I understand it - I am a Mom a layperson so double check with your physician}.  As far as I understand it is not understood why some babies with Classic Galactosemia develop E. Coli Mengengitis.  Let me just say that was THE worst moment of our lives.  We are so thankful for the Newbornscreen because without it Alena would most likely not have survived.

Now, what does this have to do with a song?  Well, Ron {my dear husband} makes New Years Resolutions {unlike me} and his 2012 goal was to write one, and publish one song a month.  Congratulations, Ron because you did it yay :) - I am not off topic - really just bear with me....for the December song of 2012 Ron put his recollection and memory of this frightful event into words.  You know, unlike me, he really does not like to talk about that time.  I am so glad he got it out - it is a song for me, for us, for our kids, and also to tell the world about the importance of Newbornscreening.  In his song, he put our fears into words and beautiful music. It brings me right back to that time and yes, it makes me cry....and yes, we are the lucky parents because our child survived.  Both of our children are alive because of Newbornscreening...Please share our story with your friends, those that are expecting babies, or those who just like to listen to music.

Alena's story by my dear husband...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Emeril's Potluck Spiced Nuts & Prosciutto Breadsticks #SundaySupper

This week's them for our last #SundaySupper event of 2012 is New Year's Potluck with Emeril.  I am so excited to be part of the great event.  25 contributors from the #SundaySupper team were chosen to receive either Emeril's Potluck or Emeril's Kicked Up Sandwiches Cookbook.  This lucky girl received Emeril's Potluck Cookbook and one of you could win as well. This is what you will need to do in order to submit an entry: 

  1. Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Emeril recipe and your Twitter handle. Your comment must be posted by Midnight Eastern Time on 12/30/3012. 
  2. Join the Twitter party and conversation during the live #SundaySupper chat from 7 - 8pm Eastern Time on Sunday, December 30th, 2012.  Your tweet(s) must contain #SundaySupper hashtag.
The winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries.  This giveaway is open for residents in the United States and Canada only. 

So please leave a comment and join us for our #SundaySupper New Year's Potluck Party tonight, December 30th, 2012 7 PM EST {4PM PCT} on Twitter. You can join the party on Twitter, or TweetChat by following #SundaySupper.

I very much like Emeril but always was a little hesitant to give his cookbooks a try because I - falsely - assumed that I would not be able to adopt the recipe to the dairyfree {Galactosemia} we need to follow.  Boy, was I wrong.  Emeril's Potluck Cookbook is packed - and yes I mean PACKED with amazing recipes perfect for our next potluck, and they are all completely adaptable to the girls diet.  YAY!!!  How exciting is that - I cannot tell you just how happy that makes me.

There are so many fantastic recipes. Black Bean Soup {yes, our girls to eat beans and legumes}, Asian Broccoli Salad, Oven-Poached Salmon with Pink Grapefruit and Tarragon Sauce and so much more...I am bringing two different items to today's Potluck.  Spiced Nuts and Proscuitto Breadsticks.  The girls really wanted to make the breadsticks with me, and Ron really likes nuts.

The recipe for the Spiced Nuts could not be any easier plus they are super delicious.  They get a huge thumbs up from Ron and the rest of the family. To make the recipe dairy free/Galactosemia safe the only change I need to make was swap the butter with Vegan "butter" (I use Earth Balance)

Spiced NutsEmeril's Potluck page 37
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
   4 cups unsalted mixed nuts, such
      as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds
   4 tablespoons unsalted butter
   6 tablespoons brown sugar
   1 teaspoon salt

1. Mix spices and reserve.
2. Heat the nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes.  Add the butter and cook, stirring, unit the nuts begin to darken about 1 minute.  Add the spices, the sugar, 1 tablespoon water and the salt and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating them with a fork.  Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.

- Recipe courtesy Emeril LagasseEmeril's Potluck, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2004 -

Mia Rose and I had lot's fun making the Prosciutto Breadsticks.  Take a look at her helping make them....

...they were super fun to make, delicious, and best of all 100% dairyfree - Galactosemia Safe {just double check the proscuitto that you get}.  They are simply delicious!!!
Alena gives the Prosciutto Breadsticks a thumbs up

The recipe is on page 254 in Emeril's Potluck cookbook.

Remember you can enter to win your very own copy of Emeril's Potluck - you could be the lucky winner of the fantastic cookbook. To enter, all you need to is join us for our #SundaySupper New Year's Potluck Party on Twitter tonight, December 30th, 2012 7 PM EST {4PM PCT}. Just follow #SundaySupper directly on Twitter or TweetChat.  We are excited to have you join us!

But do not go just yet, check out what everyone else is bringing to our New Year's Potluck Party with Emeril today. Bloggers  away either Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches  or Emeril’s Potluck cookbooks {yes, that includes me} are marked with an  "*". 

Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Drinks:

Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Starters:
Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Dishes and Sandwiches:  
Sunday Supper NYE Desserts:
So please join us on Twitter on December 30th 2012 throughout the day for #SundaySupper.  The big celebration starts at 7pm EST for our #SundaySupper New Year’s Eve Potluck Party Emeril Style!  We are so excited to have you join us.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
Please feel free to share with us and our followers your favorite New Year’s Eve recipe on our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board.  We are excited to have you Around the Family Table for this special Party!

Disclaimer - I have received a free Emeril's Potluck cookbook for this event.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread #Dairyfree

Happy last Saturday of 2012!  What do you with brownish bananas?  Do you still eat them as is, or work them into banana bread?  In my house nobody will eat brown bananas but they make fantastic banana bread.  I went on a search for another recipe and found the banana bread recipe by Alton Brown. It looks - I am sure you agree - fantastic; and I adapted the Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread {I should call it Oregon style banana bread :)} recipe from his.  This may be the best banana bread yet!  Honestly - it fantastic...We served it today at a play date take a look at my taste testers....

It turned out moist, full of flavor, with a hint of hazelnut and bursts of chocolate.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
1  stick of Earth Balance {or other vegan "butter"}
1  C sugar
2  eggs
2  ripe bananas
1   Tbl of either soy/rice/almond/oat or hemp "milk" {I do not like coconut because of the flavor}
1    tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C of semi-sweet chocolate chips {make sure they are dairy free - I get mine in the bulk section}
1/2 C of shelled hazelnuts, ground to a meal
1-1/2 C flour
1    tsp baking powder
1    tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
*Preheat oven to 325 F
1. Cream Earth Balance, and sugar together. When combined,
2. add 1 egg at a time and beat for at least in mixer for 2 minutes until well incorporated.  Then add the second add
3. Grind hazelnuts to a fine meal
4. Mash bananas, add "milk", and cinnamon.  Mix well and then add to the dough in the mixer.  Beat for about a minute or so before adding chocolate chips.  Mix - on low - for at least 3 minutes until well combined
5. Mix hazelnut meal, with flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Slowly pour the dry ingredients
    into the mixing bowl.
6. When just combined, pour the finished dough into a prepared loaf pan
7.  Bake in preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Basic vinaigrette {on salad} & Mushroom Risotto for #WeeknightSupper

The last Friday of 2012.  I have a hard time to imagine that this year has already passed us by.  It seems like we just celebrated the New 2012 Year...Today the girls got to spend a little time with Oregon Public Broadcasting while I worked - let me just say that they were NOT unhappy :).  Afterwards we went was had by all.

For dinner it was Mushroom Risotto - I guess you could also call it Risotto con Funghi - and a big bowl of deliciously fresh as well as crispy red leaf salad. I make my basic risotto recipe, but added rich and earthy mushroom broth instead of the chicken broth.  It makes all the difference, sautee the mushrooms in a separate pan, and add them about half way through.  For finishing I add about a tablespoon of Earth Balance, along with about 1/2 Cup {or more} of grated Parmesiano Reginao {optional}.  It turned out perfect.

Risotto con Funghi with red leaf salad in basic vinaigrette

I noticed that to-date I have never published the recipe for my basic vinaigrette recipe.  You know, I always serve my salad with dressing already on it.  It must be a German thing {please feel free to correct me, friends}.  In any case, this is my basic recipe and Mia Rose loves to help me make it.  I think it is in part because she likes to taste it :)  Just beware, if you do not like raw onions this vinaigrette is not for you as it is packed full with fresh, diced onions....

Red leaf salad in basic vinaigrette

Beate's Basic Vinaigrette
1/2 onion finely diced
1    tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 tsp  paprika
      black pepper
4    Tb Olive Oil {be sure to use good quality}
2    Tb Balsamic Vinegar
1med to large head of red leaf, green leaf, or butter lettuce; cleaned torn into bite size pieces

1. Add onions, salt, paprika, black pepper, and olive oil into a large salad bowl.  Stir and mix
    for at least 2-3 minutes
2. Add Balsamic Vinegar and mix for another 2-3 minutes. Let stand until you are just about ready
    to serve the salad
3. Stir dressing for about 2 minutes, add lettuce to the bowl and toss it all together.

Basic Vinaigrette

Your Invitation to #SundaySupper New Year's Eve Potluck Emeril Style

This is the last #SundaySupper for 2012 and we are having a New Year's Eve Potluck Party inspired by two of Emeril's Cookbooks.  We will be sharing some his recipes - from Kicked-Up Sandwiches and Emeril’s Potluck -  that are perfect to kick-up any New Year's Eve Potluck Party Emeril Style. The party starts this Sunday - December 30th, 2012 at 7 pm Eastern Time {4 pm Pacific Time} 

I am so excited for this event, and you should be too.  Why? Well, for one we will be sharing fantastic recipes, the party will be a lot of fun, oh and the company is excellent. Plus you could be the lucky winner of either of these fantastic cookbooks.  Yes, that is right! Are you not super excited? To enter you must do two things to enter - visit each blog for instructions - and join us for our #SundaySupper New Year's Eve Potluck Party Emeril Style. You can join us on Twitter or TweetChat by following the #SundaySupper hashtag.  The party starts at 7 PM EASTERN Time {4 PM Pacific Time}.  We are so excited to have you at our party.    

Here is is a peak preview of the menu - Bloggers who are giving away either Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches  or Emeril’s Potluck  during the chat. cookbooks {yes, that includes me} are marked with an  "*". 
Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Drinks:
Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Starters:
Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Dishes and Sandwiches:  
Sunday Supper NYE Desserts:

So please join us on Twitter on December 30th 2012 throughout the day for #SundaySupper.  The big celebration starts at 7pm EST for our #SundaySupper New Year’s Eve Potluck Party Emeril Style!  We are so excited to have you join us.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
Please feel free to share with us and our followers your favorite New Year’s Eve recipe on our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board.  We are excited to have you Around the Family Table for this special Party!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas recap & last blood draw of 2012

I know, I know strange title...but my brain just could not come with anything better than this.  In my mind I have written at least five different posts since Christmas but as you can see it just did not work out.  I mean getting it out of my brain onto the screen.  So now,  a bunch of posts wrapped into one.

We had a very nice and relaxing Christmas this year.  I missed my family dearly this year since we have celebrated the last couple of years with them. My little sister is in Finland, my Mom is on a fantastic trip to Vietnam, and my dear friend Beate stayed in Europe.  We spent Christmas Eve baking cookies for Santa,
Baking cookies for Santa

making dessert {Vegan Mousse Chocolate - it will be a future post}, and having a nice, relaxing day.  And yes, there was Swabian Potato salad and Fleischkaese for dinner :)  Take a look at the girls toasting {with sparkling cider}

Toast on Christmas Eve

It has been our tradition to roast a goose for Christmas Day, as it was only going to be us we changed the meal to a beef roast.  I did make Kartoffelkloesse {potato dumplings} - it happens once a year and that is at Christmas.  We took our Christmas Day family walk {yes, in the pouring rain}
Family walk, Christmas toast, and visit to Santa 2012
 and were thrilled to have guests join us for dinner - there is something wonderful about having friends or family around the dinner table for a holiday :) - Take a look does it not look cozy...

Christmas Day 2012
Today we went up to the hill {OHSU} for the girl's last blood draw of 2012; I did not tell them until this morning to keep the anxiety level down.  I am not complaining - honestly -  or whining {even if it sounds like it} because it really is not a big deal  b u t  it still takes out a lot of me.  Both girls are anxious - Alena more than Mia Rose - and I try to stay positive.  "Magic creme" {anesthetic creme} makes it all better but still...I know our diet is great and GALT levels have always been good, there is however always this underlying nag. You want to know the truth?  Internally I am shaking because it always brings me back to when Alena was an infant in the NICU.  I sound so silly and absolutely self absorbed, yes this is nothing in the grand scheme of things we are SO SO lucky. In any case, I just needed to get it off my chest.  Thank you for listening!!!

The draw today was taken in a regular visitation room - Alena sat on my lap and Mia Rose sitting on the chair next to me watched - in horror - the entire procedure. For the first time Mia Rose cried - almost hyperventilating - during her blood draw {she sat on my lap}.  Let me just tell you, that this Mama had the hardest time keeping it together...In any case, after the draw Alena needed to lie down and both girls needed juice...I could have used something stronger than that...but yay, it is done for 2012.  Fingers crossed that the levels come back great!!!

Oh, and for a treat we had lunch at HopWorks...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Perhaps it means a little bit more...

 "Maybe Christmas," he thought "does not come from a store! Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more" quote from The Grinch who stole Christmas.  A couple of weeks ago we watched the Grinch and this is my favorite quote, because it is so true.  The feeling of joy and happiness is not something that can be bought in a store, it is the feeling we get from within us.  Something that we feel when we spend time together, help others, and just be kind. This is something we try to teach our children.  I think it is important. They got presents from the Christkind as well as from Santa but not - at least what I think - ton's of them.  Still plenty of presents...

2012 Christmas Eve Dinner

We spent quite a bit of time at home last week.  Doing crafts, drawing, reading, and - yes - there was some television time as well {too much}.  We also visited a couple of girls that go to school with Alena and Mia Rosie.  It was not a regular playdate; the two girls live at Providence Center for Medically Fragile Children. You see, at Alena and Mia Rosies schoo school has a classroom for medically fragile children.  The children attend school daily, and for certain classes are integrated in the neighborhood classroom {along with a medical aid}.  For the past year, Alena and Mia Rose, have wanted to visit.   We went last Friday.  Alena decided that she wanted to read to each of the girls from one of her Fairy books...Everyone was happy! My girls as well as their friends.  You could see the joy in their eyes...Alena and Mia Rose decided that they would like to visit again next week. This is what I mean by finding the happiness and joy in your heart.  It is not about the presents {ok they matter as well :)}, it is what you find in your heart! 

Merry Christmas - Froehliche Weihnachten - Happy Day from the four of us to all of you.

Let there be peace on earth!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Potato Salad {Schwaebischer Kartoffelsalat} for #SundaySupper

I am so honored that Isabel of the Family Foodie invited me to host this week's Home for the Holidays #SundaySupper event.  Are you ready for the Holidays?  What does it mean to you to be Home for the Holidays?  What gives you the true feeling of home?  What is important for you?  To me this time of year is about traditions, rituals and with it building family memories.   Just as many others I am a long, long way from home in Tuttlingen, Germany and therefore to me it just does not feel like Christmas without some traditional Swabian {Southern German} dishes.  Ron and I started our own tradition once we had children.

The season starts off with the visit by Nikolaus, continues own with the advents wreath {I did  have that before kids}, and follows with advent calendars for both girls.  Oh yes, and the tree usually does not go up until a couple of days before Christmas.  Presents? Yes, there are presents for the girlies...the Christkind comes on Christmas Eve and - of course - Santa usually visits in the night before Christmas Day...and food.  Yes, there is that too and I we like to stick to our own traditions.  Christmas Eve is always  - Fleischkaese mit Kartoffelsalat {Fleischkaese aka Leberkaes' and potato salad.  I get the Fleischkaese from our local German butcher and make Swabian style potato salad. It is with a broth, vinegar and oil and not with mayonnaise.  It is delicious and it is even better the next day...sorry no fancy pictures today, but this potato salad is so good...

Swabian Potato Salad {Schwaebischer Kartoffelsalat}

Potato Salad {Schwaebischer Kartoffelsalat}
3 lb. potatoes {yellow}
1 small onion finely diced
1-1/2 C broth {vegetable, or beef}
8 Tbl oil {or more}
4 Tbl red wine vinegar {or white balsamico} - to taste I actually use more
2-3 tsp salt
      pepper to taste

1.  Cook the potatoes in their jackets until they are done {do not over cook them}
2.  Peel the potatoes while they are hot, and the cut them into fine rings
3.  Pour {warm} broth over the potatoes and cover.  Let rest for at least 2 hours.
4.  Add oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.  Mix the salad through and let rest for at least another 2 hours.

Adjust salt, pepper, and vinegar before serving. I like mine with extra vinegar. It is a great side to Swabian Meatballs, ham, sausages, etc. 

Please be sure to visit and see what being "Home for the Holidays" means for the rest of the #SundaySupper team. There are over 40 contributors...

- Orange Refrigerator Rolls by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Eggs Benedict by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Holiday Cream Cheese Tea Ring by That Skinny Chick can Bake
- Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake by Small Wallet Big Appetite

Appetizers & Snacks
- Chicken Liver Pate by Tora's Real Food
- Bindaetteok {Mung Bean Pancakes}by Kimchi Mom
- Crab and Asparagus Soup by The Urban Mrs.

- Potato Salad {Schwaebischer Kartoffelsalat} by Galactopdx
- Italian Orange Salad by Shockingly Delicious
- Sweet Potato Casserole by Magnolia Days
- Carrots au gratin by Juanitas Cocina 

Main Dishes
Char Siu Bao - Chinese Roast Pork Buns by 
  The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen 
- Savory Crepe Cake by Vintage Kitchen Notes
- West Indian Curried Goat by The ROXX Box
- Pot Cheese and Potato Cheese Pierogies by 
  Cupcakes and Kale chips
- Seafood Gumbo and Grilled Oysters: A Louisiana Christmas 
  Tradition by the Catholic Foodie
- Mom's Paella by What Smells So Good?
- Portuguese inspired Chorizo Crown Pork Roast by 
  The Family Foodie
- Dorie's Chicken in a Pot by Gotta Get Baked
- New Year's Eve Buckwheat Noodles with Mochi by The Ninja Baker
- Crab Cakes for Christmas Eve by Daddy Knows Less
- Mile High Lasagna by Cravings of a Lunatic

- Pizzelles {Italian Wafer Cookies} by Chocolate Moosey
- Fudge by Dinner Dishes and Desserts
- Crescent Cookies by Cookistry
- Christmas Stollen by Hezzi D's Books and Cooks
- Pfeffernusse by The Foodie Army Wife
- Creme De Menthe Cake by I Run for Wine
- Panettone Bread Pudding by the Country Girl in the Village
- Spiced Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake | A twist on a St. Louis 
  Favorite by Daily Dish Recipes
- Chocolate Gingerbread Layer Cake with Eggnog Cream Cheese by 
  Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends
- Jamaican Christmas Pudding by Lovely Pantry
- White Chocolate Cranberry Santa Cookies by Mooshu Jenne
- Christmas Tree Cookies by Damn Delicious 
- Old Fashioned Lady Fingers {Creamhorns} by The Meltaways
- Rose Milk Almond Falooda {Indian Dessert Drink} by 
     Sue's  Nutrition Buzz

- Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Cinnamon Infused Hot Chocolate with Southern Comfort Whipped 
  Cream by Mama Mommy Mom

What does it mean for you to be Home for the Holidays?  Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day by following #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper chat to talk about our Holiday Traditions.  We are so excited to have you join us.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow through TweetChat.
Please feel free to share with us and our followers your favorite Holiday recipe on our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board.  We are excited to have you join us.


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