Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's 4 days before Halloween. What kind of Halloween candy did you buy?

And is there any of it left? 

We are strictly Kit-Kat and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups at the Clubhouse.

And you??

Pumpkin Carving, Christian-Style

I posted this gem in 2005 and thought I'd move it back up for a good laugh. Like I said... "These people are nuts!"

From the folks at Focus on the Family: Pumpkin Carving, WingNut Style

These people are nuts!

The Pumpkin Gospel

What you need:

  • pumpkin
  • newspapers
  • sharp knife
  • spoon
  • large bowl
  • candle
  • matches
  • Bible

What to do:

Prepare a place for your pumpkin carving. Set newspapers on a table and get out the knife, spoon and bowl. Cut an opening in the top of the pumpkin. Have your kids pull out all of the seeds and scrape out the inside of the pumpkin.

What to talk about:

  • How is the stuff we pulled out of the pumpkin like sin in our heart? (They’re both yucky; sin is inside us; it’s sticky and smelly.)
  • How is the way we cleaned out the pumpkin like the way Jesus cleans us out when we confess our sins? (All the yucky stuff is taken away; Jesus scoops out the sin.)
Pumpkin Jeezus
What to do:

Draw a happy face on the pumpkin, then use the sharp knife to carve it out. When you are finished, read aloud 2 Corinthians 5:17 and/or Ephesians 2:10.

What to talk about:

  • How have we made this pumpkin a “new creation”? (It has a face now; it used to be just a pumpkin, but now it’s a jack-o’-lantern.)How do we become a new creation when Jesus comes into our hearts? (We learn to love Him more; we’re no longer filled with yucky stuff; we become God’s children.)
What to share:

When Jesus comes into our hearts, we become new creations, just as our pumpkin became a new creation. Read Matthew 5:14-16. Then light a candle and place it in the pumpkin. Turn off the room lights so everyone can see the candlelight coming through the pumpkin’s face.
What to talk about:

How is the way the candlelight comes through the pumpkin like the way God wants our light to shine? (God wants others to see how much we love Him; God wants our light to be seen by others.)

What to do:

Sing age-appropriate songs such as This Little Light of Mine (younger children) or Shine, Jesus, Shine (older children and teenagers.)

Testing a new product: Slow Cooker Taco Meat

I wanted to make tacos for today's game and I usually make them with ground beef seasoned with spices. Nothing special. I went to the market and discovered a packaged sauce mix called Campbells Slow-Cooker Sauces; Mexican Red Chili Taco. "Just add beef" it says. As I already used a pre-made spice mix for my tacos, and I love my slow cooker, I thought... "What the Hell?" and gave it a try. I have now made it twice. I did make a couple of alterations but essentially it was just as made by the directions. Here's how it went...

The recipe on the package says to use a 2-3 pound boneless chuck roast. My first time making this I felt that it was wayyy to juicy and could braise more meat so there'd be leftovers for enchiladas later in the week. So I used a 4 pound roast.
It also did not say to brown the meat but I always brown meat before it goes into the slow cooker to develop that nice carmelization. Brown on all sides.

After the meat was browned I added just a little chopped onion and deglazed the pan with some red-wine vinegar and a little water. I boiled that down to a syrup and added it to the slow cooker.

I popped the roast into the slow cooker, squeezed the sauce onto the top of the meat and covered. I cooked the roast on low for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, it has shrunk considerably and produced a lot of juices. At this point you can take the meat out and de-grease the juices while you shred the beef.

Using two forks, shred the beef and remove any fat or collagen that may be apparent. (Note: At this point I shredded the beef and poured the juices into a dish and put it into the fridge overnight so that the fat would congeal for easy fat removal. Warm the juices and add to shredded beef and continue with the next step.)

Add the shredded meat back to the de-greased juices, add salt to taste and 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar (as they say at America's Test Kitchen) to brighten the sauce up and keep warm until time to eat.

Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
I will say that it was very tasty and so easy too. They have other flavors I am going to try like "Korean BBQ" and "Tavern-Style Pot Roast". The pot roast cannot be any more peculiar than that old stand-by of onion soup mix and condensed cream of mushroom soup. I'm going to try them all.

Celery: Toothbrush for your colon!

Ooo-la-la! Thanks to Katie and Jon for this gem...

A mis-directed MMS message

I just got this photo sent as a text message from someone I don't know in the 848 area code. Looks like she's trying out her Halloween costume. 

Do you get any mis-directed texts with photos attached?