Thursday, December 13, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
“Hey batter batter batter batter batter batter batter!
By Southern Plate
When we were little, my brother used to play on baseball teams a lot. So Mama would pack up me and my sister and the whole family would head out to the ball park where my sister and I would try to find someone to play with or risk having to pretend we were actually following the baseball game. There was this thing that the boys on the opposing team did whenever someone went up to bat, they’d chant “Hey batter batter batter batter batter batter batter batter..” No, they weren’t requesting that someone mix up some muffins. Apparently this chant was to throw off the batter’s concentration in order to give them an advantage (If you have to throw off their concentration in order to win though, what is that saying about your playing abilities? Just a random thought from a backseat driver, I’ll shut up now). I woke up this morning and was thinking of how many of us have something on the sidelines, chanting as we take our turn at bat. How many times we get distracted by petty things that nag, nag, nag, so distracted that we lose sight of our original goal. On a grander scale, we may set out to change the world and be fully capable of doing that, but we get so caught up in swatting a honey bee that the sun sets and we missed the chance to give our orders to the assembled army. They’ve all gone home out of boredom, and we’re not a single step closer to our goal. Why? Because we spent our day swatting at a honey bee. Annoying, isn’t it? There are so many batter chants in our life. Things that steal our focus, things that cause us to go tilting windmills instead of accomplishing what we’re meant to accomplish. Those little honeybees could be anything from ugly acting people to congested traffic. I have a hundred petty things that call for my attention each morning. I’m not talking about laundry, dishes, or such. Those aren’t petty. I mean things like getting irritated over something someone else does or says, chasing after offenses or spending my time getting frustrated that I can’t make something work the way I want it to when there is another way that will work staring me right in the face. Crazy, huh? I have to remind myself that my life is too short to dedicate it to trivial things like that. A dear friend (hey Auntie!) pointed out to me recently that the Greek word for “offense” also means “bait” as in, to bait a trap to ensnare. So if you think about it, when we waste our time taking the bait of a honeybee or those folks in the outfield trying to throw us off, we’re allowing ourselves to be caught in it’s trap – and when we’re caught in a trap, we’re not doing what we need/want to do. I know you’re gonna hear some chants today and probably have more than a few honeybees buzzing about your head but I challenge you to ignore them as you go up to bat. This is your time to hit it out of the park and you have limitless home runs within you.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
11/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt (use ¼ tsp. if starting with salted butter)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. freshly grated NUTMEG
2 sticks butter,unsalted softened
1/2 tsp. PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
1 Cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 Cups oatmeal
11/2 Cups raisins
Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions and preheat oven to 350°.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and NUTMEG; set aside.
Beat the butter and VANILLA until creamy.
Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix well.
Fold in the oats and raisins.
Roll the dough into generous 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each ball.
Bake at 350° until the cookie edges turn golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Halfway through the baking time switch the cookie sheets from top to bottom and turn them from front to back.
Place the cookie sheets on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely before removing.
For chocolate chip cookies, substitute chocolate chips for raisins and omit the
Recipe from Penzeys
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
STEWED TOMATOES IN CROCKPOT
Friday, February 10, 2012
"The One Flaw In Women"
By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
'Why are you spending so much time on this one?'
And the Lord answered, 'Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,
have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart
-and she will do everything
with only two hands.'
The angel was astounded at the requirements.
'Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish.'
'But I won't, ' the Lord protested.
'I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days.'
The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
'But you have made her so soft, Lord.'
'She is soft,' the Lord agreed,
'but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.'
'Will she be able to think?', asked the angel.
The Lord replied,
'Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate.'
The angel then noticed something,
and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
'Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.'
'That's not a leak,'
the Lord corrected,
'that's a tear!'
'What's the tear for?' the angel asked.
The Lord said, 'The tear is her way of expressing her joy,
her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,
her loneliness, her grief and her pride.'
The angel was impressed.
'You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing.'
And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness,
love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take 'no' for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give
HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE TINY FLAW IN WOMEN,
IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
It seems that most people fall into one of three categories when it comes to Valentine’s Day:
Group #1: They enjoy the holiday and celebrate. Usually gifts and dinners at nice restaurants are involved.
Group #2: They think Valentine’s Day is nice, but over the top. They still recognize the day with cards, maybe a small gift, and prepare a nice dinner in.
Group #3: This last group completely hates the holiday, brands it a “Hallmark holiday” and wants nothing to do with acknowledging it.
Where do you fall on this spectrum?
This Cheesecake is for those of you that fall in-between #1 and #2!
9" x 13" glass baking dish
10” Springform pan
Part One: One Bowl Brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Baker’s chocolate, optional of course)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 3/4cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not over bake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles.
Cool brownies, then cut** them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake. You will have more than the two cups of cubes, loosely measured, than you will need, and I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to decide for yourself what to do with the extra.
Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.
** I find that brownies are fantastically easy to cut once they’ve been refrigerated–you end up with nice clean lines, and in this case, a sharp pizza wheel was especially helpful. Also, brownies taste better cold. I’m just saying.
Part Two: Crumb Crust
3 cups finely ground Oreos
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.
Part Three: Cheesecake
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups brownie cubes (from recipe above)
Make crumb crust as directed above for 24-centimeter cheesecake. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make filling and bake cake: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour mixture into prepared pan. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.
When completely cool, top with following glaze.
Part Four: Ganache Glaze
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken up, or 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
2 ounces butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
Grind the chocolate into powder in the food processor, scald the butter and cream in a saucepan (or in a Pyrex cup in the microwave). With the machine running, pour the hot cream/butter mixture slowly through the feed tube onto the chocolate. Blend until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down sides once or twice. Add the extract and sugar and process until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
We Didn't Have Green
Received this from a friend and wanted to share with you all.
At the checkout at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." He responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."
He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery shop and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two streets.
But he was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the Wales.
In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But he's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Just the thoughts of a selfish old person who obviously needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person