Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dorina's Chai Cheesecake wins prize at Big Fresno Fair

I always love entering the cooking contests at our Big Fresno Fair. It's a fun challenge to make something unique with the designated food product - not to mention a little extra dough if you win. This year I entered the Malt-O-Meal Creations contest. I thought it would be using something porridge-like Malt-o-Meal hot cereal we all grew up on. But the company is out to promote their cold cereals so I had to come up with a unique recipe using on of their cold cereals.

After visitng three local grocery stores, I finally checked the web site and found the cereals were sold at our local Walmart. I came home with a huge back of Honey Nut Scooters, which are similar to Honey Nut Cheerios or Honey Trader O's, which I prefer. Then I had to dream up something to make.The contest is judged on Creativity, Taste and Ease of Recipe.

I have to admit I let weeks go by. I was stumped. Then one day my friend Bev showed up at my house with a slice of cheesecake. We marveled at how inexpensive cheesecake is to make and how glorious and rich the result. I decided to rev up a cheesecake using the cereal in the crust. I knew this couldn't be just any cheesecake. It had to be different. I decided to employ one of my fave flavors - Chai Tea.

I'm a Chai lover. If you haven't had Chai, it's a tea using Indian-inspired spices. The word chai literally means tea. This tea feels very fall to me - full of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Everyone mixes their chai a little differently. I've noticed Chai is becoming all the rage in local cafes and even Jamba Juice serves a Chai-licious smoothie that's inspiring.

I made a couple cheesecakes to perfect the crust and Chai filling mixture. Of course, I cut the sugar used in most cheesecake recipes in half. The following recipe was the result. My family and I had fun heading down to the Big Fresno Fair and watching the judging. Surprise, surprise - 100 percent of the entries were desserts. The judges did deliberate.

They announced the winners and my "Chai Cheesecake with Honey Nut Crust" was awarded 2nd place and $50. I was very excited to stand next to Pearl, the first place winner. She was the sweetest old lady who was blind and had entered 20 other desserts in the fair as well. Her Raspberry Crunch Pie deserved first!

For the recipe, check out our recipe blog here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Team Gilmore-Remember Haiti runs Cross City Race downtown

Dorina, Cori, Marcy, Dad Doug & Ericlee were some of Team Gilmore who ran at the Cross City Race.
Dorina & Ericlee pose after the Cross City Race 10k.
In October, we ran our annual Cross City Race in downtown Fresno. This was a 10k run through the city. We especially enjoyed this run because we were accompanied by several of our friends who have joined "Team Gilmore - Remember Haiti." There are 19 of us total who are training for the Two Cities Half Marathon on Nov. 7. The Cross City Race was a kind of "practice" race for our team. We also got to sport our new "Remember Haiti" team shirts.
Dorina & Meilani cruise around the baseball field for the kids' run. Meilani got a little psyched out so she didn't want to run when all the other kids were running but she did complete the 1/4-mile route after the race was finished.
Nama Chris came out to cheer us on. Daddy Ericlee ran with his buddy Chris Schultz. Dorina ran her own 10k - her best time for this distance even though the race was a little frustrating because there were no mile markers. We are all looking forward to the big race on Nov. 7 with Team Gilmore, which is a fundraiser to raise support for our family to go to Haiti.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Downsizing: Ericlee sells some childhood treasures

This month we took two giant steps toward our goal of moving to Haiti to do mission work with Christian Friendship Ministries. The first step was to start downsizing our "stuff." We cleared off a lot of our shelves, sorted through the valuable furniture and keepsakes and started piles to sell and donate. One of the big items that we are working on selling is Ericlee's G.I.Joe collection. For anyone who has known my husband for some time, you know that he has a very large G.I.Joe collection. It's not the kind of collection that has been behind glass or comes in original boxes. This is a well-loved and treasured collection that was started when Ericlee was a kid.

In August, Ericlee had the opportunity to sort through the collection and photograph it with his cousin David. They reminisced about the days gone by and their childhood fun. They also marveled at how God has moved in both of their lives to serve in missions. David and his family are missionaries in Spain.

I have to say I'm pretty grateful for good ole G.I.Joe right about now. That dude is paying some of our bills. I'm proud of my husband for giving up some of his treasured "things" for the sake of our family and for others.

The second big step was putting our house on the market this month to sell. We have been anticipating this step for a long time but it was a different thing to actually clean out the house, put up the for sale sign and trust God for just the right timing. We have so many wonderful memories in our home in Fig Garden. We also know it is time to move on and make new memories. More than anything we want to be obedient to God's Call right now. 

One of our favorite authors, Francis Chan, writes, "The concept of downsizing so that others might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...and nearly unheard of. We either close the gap or don't take the words fo the Bible literally." (CRAZY LOVE). This quote really hit us hard. Sure, it's not saying everyone should sell their home and move to Haiti. But we were challenged as a family to think about what we really need and what resources we have to offer God.