Monday, March 26, 2012

Team Orphans

I saw this blog post in the newsletter from the adoption agency we used for my daughter. It is about Team Orphans, a group of people raising money by running races and having people sponsor them to run.

Team Orphans was created to raise money to help families with the cost of adoption through Brittney’s Hope. It specifically helps families adopting special needs children internationally. The cost of adopting internationally can be overwhelming and when you add the cost of any treatments or surgeries the child might have to have after they come home, it can be hard on a lot of families. Rebecca Cruttenden started team orphans because she didn’t see any athletic teams that were raising money for orphans. Check out their website
We are creating a team to run in the Fort 4 Fitness event on September 29, 2012 to help raise money for adopting families. 100% of the funds raised go to help provide grants to families adopting special needs kids internationally. You can choose which race you want to run – the 4 mile, 10k, or half marathon. You don’t need to be fast, just finish!

If you want to be a part of this here’s what you need to do:

  1. Let me know if you want to run in the fort 4 fitness event and commit to raising pledges. We will also need to have a fundraising goal. So if you have an amount that you think you can raise let me know. That would help me to figure out a team goal.
  2. Sign up for one of the three races at They have a 4 mile, a 10k and a half marathon. Let me know if you want a training schedule based on your race and fitness level. I’ll have my husband help me get one for you. (The cost the race goes up after 5/4/12.)
  3. I will sign us up as a team and set up a fundraising webpage with team orphans. All pledges can be paid through the webpage.
  4. When the webpage is ready, I’ll let you know and you can tell your friends and family to go there to sponsor us as a team. Team Orphans will provide us with a sample fundraising letter to send out.
  5. Train and run the race!
If you don't want to run but would like to sponsor our team, I'll let you know when the webpage is set up and what to do. Right now we are just looking for team member who want to run and raise funds for adopting families.

Let me know!

Friday, March 23, 2012

More bars...

After trying the peanut butter bars, I had to try a couple other flavors. It took me a while to post them since I had quite a busy week last week with the resale I was working at and then this week, I was recovering! I haven't worked that hard in a while!

I made Cranberry Pistachio bars and Chocolate Coconut. The coconut ones taste like Mounds bars. They both are really good. These freeze really well. They don't get rock hard.

Cranberry Pistachio Bars

1/4 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dates

Process nuts and oats in food processor. Add cranberries and dates and process until finely chopped. Press mixture into a 8x8 dish lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for an hour.

Chocolate Coconut Bars

1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup dates

Process nuts, chocolate, and coconut in food processor. Add salt and dates and process until finely chopped. Press mixture into a 8x8 dish (or something similar) lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for an hour.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (a smaller batch than the previous post)

3/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1 cup dates

Process nuts and chocolate in food processor. Add dates and process until finely chopped. Press mixture into a 8x8 dish (or something similar) lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for an hour.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

I have been working on getting my kids old clothes priced and ready to sell at our resale. It is taking longer than I thought! It always does, doesn't it? I was getting kind of bored doing it so I just had to go to the kitchen and make something.

I've been wanting to try a bar like the Larabar. My favorite one is the chocolate chip peanut butter. I actually had the ingredients in the pantry for a couple weeks but didn't get around to making them. I did a quick search and decided on this one.

I doubled this recipe and will try freezing some since it makes 24 bars. I won't be able to go back to buying bars when I can make them for so little.

The verdict? I love these! I liked them better than the larabar because this one has more peanuts and more of a peanut flavor, which I love. The only thing I might change is decreasing the amount of peanuts only because the next day, they tended to break easy and fall apart some. There wasn't enough of the dates to hold it together really well. But that really isn't much of a problem to me. I love the peanut taste of them. My husband liked them and the kids asked for more. They are a hit! Now I'm going to want to try other flavors!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
from gluten-free-blog

2 cups peanuts (if unsalted, add a pinch or two of salt)
10 oz (about 2 cups) seedless dates (the moist kind)
4 oz dark chocolate

Add peanuts and chocolate to a food processor. Process until it looks not much bigger than breadcrumbs. Add the dates and process until dates are the same size as the rest. You may have to stir it every once in a while since it will clump up.

Line a 9x13" glass pan with parchment paper or wax paper. Press the mixture into the pan. Use the bottom of a glass to press down and smooth out. Refrigerate an hour then cut into 24 pieces (4 rows by 6 rows). Place in an air tight container. These can also be frozen.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup with Tiny Meatballs

The other day I was thinking why don't I ever use the broccoli stems for anything. I'm paying for them and then I throw them away. It doesn't make sense. Lately, I have been eating the tops with dip for my lunches so I had extra stems. I also had some potatoes to use up so I went looking for a broccoli/ potato soup recipe. I couldn't find much and didn't really like the ones I saw. So I created this one that also has tiny turky meatballs in it. My family really likes this soup. The only complaint was that in my original recipe, there wasn't enough meatballs. So I added more in this recipe. My daughter just ate the meatballs and was done. My son wouldn't try it because he doesn't like potatoes unless they are french fries! Toddlers are so particular. My husband and I really liked it! Anyway, I hope you like this one.

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup with Tiny Meatballs
2 tsp. canola oil
½ cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 ½ lbs. potatoes, diced
¾ lbs. broccoli stems, diced
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 20 oz. package of lean ground turkey
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup heavy cream

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute while stirring. Pour in broth and water. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes, broccoli and beans. Return to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine turkey, ¾ tsp salt, cayenne, and basil. Work the spices through the turkey. Form the turkey into  1 teaspoon size meatballs and set aside.

When the potatoes and broccoli are fork tender, remove from heat. Blend with an immersion blender until at least ¾ of the soup is pureed. This will easily splatter so blend carefully. This can also be done by putting ¾ of the soup into a blender to puree and then return to dutch oven.

Return the soup to medium heat and add meatballs one at a time so they don’t stick together. Cook until they are no longer pink inside, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ tsp. salt, pepper, cheese, and cream. Stir until cheese is melted. Serves 8.