Monday, December 02, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings

This was my very first Thanksgiving where I've been planner, cook, and cleaner upper.  And I LOVED it!  The past few months I've been back at getting healthy again (another post worthy discussion in itself!) and so my Thanksgiving menu was geared toward being as gluten free, processed food free, and sugar free as possible.  I had LOADS of fun looking for recipes and how I could work them and everything turned out fantastic!

We picked up this little beauty for our first ever turkey at Whol*e Foods...

And used THIS RECIPE to make it into the glorious bird it was!

In addition to the turkey, we had SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE, Stuffing from a box mix from W.F., Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Amazing CREAMED CORN, MASHED POTATOES, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, and Chocolate Pumpkin Trifle!  (YES!  We had leftovers!!!!)

With the Sweet Potato Casserole I made the recipe as stated with the exception of the almond flour.  There I subbed in oat flour instead and left out the nuts.  Next time I will add the nuts, I just had forgotten to pick them up.  

The Creamed Corn and Turkey I made as stated and they were amazing!

The Mashed Potatoes I subbed greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.  So good! 

For the cranberries I had really wanted to make a relish like the one I grew up eating.  My mom used to hand grind cranberries and it was amazing!  This RECIPE that I found was what I had planned on using, subbing Xylitol for the sugar.  However, I didn't have anything to grind the cranberries. :(  I DID pick up a mini food processor on Zulily recently that I think is going to be getting a LOT of use, but it came about five days too late!  So... I set out to find another option and came across THIS RECIPE which we used instead.  SO GLAD I DID!!!  Although the texture was different, it was easy to make and tasted JUST THE SAME!  Delish! I subbed Xylitol for the sugar and did not use the nuts or Grand Marnier.

Pumpkin Pie!  Couldn't forget the pie!  But I wanted gluten free.  There are quite a few recipes out there but since I am new to all this and had never even made a regular pie crust let alone a gluten free crust, I chose an easier route and bought a package of two frozen GF pie crusts at W.F.  For the filling, I used THIS RECIPE.  When I was making out my shopping list however, I misread the ingredients and instead of maple sugar, I read maple syrup! :(  So... upon researching online a bit, I ended up subbing in a portion of maple syrup with a portion of Xylitol.  It turned out SO TASTY!!!  We absolutely LOVED it!

The trifle was a total creation of my own.  I used THIS RECIPE for a coconut flour chocolate cake for the cake sections.  To make the cream, I took heavy whipping cream, whipped in two packets of stevia, a few drops of liquid vanilla Sweetleaf Stevia, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree.  It was perfect and Olivia and Braeden couldn't get enough!

They were all so excited to eat at home and have such great food, the pictures speak for themselves!  And while I was exhausted, it was SO WORTH IT!

We are so blessed this Thanksgiving!  Not only to have one another, but also for all of the love and support we felt this week as we were the featured family on Give One, Save One!  In total we raised just over $400!  I'm in awe and so thankful!  Here is what Liam shared at school for his Thanksgiving list...

Percy and Peeta (our dog and cat)

And I concur!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you