Archive by Author

Sex God, post 1

22 Aug

Awkward title, right? 

Since starting the book Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell gave me the idea to write this blog, it’s the one I’ll talk about first. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, mostly because of the shocking (gasp!) title, but also because Rob Bell has a lot of influence in many strains of modern Christianity and I think it’s important to engage with his thoughts. Here we go!

p10 – Bell says that the “custom in the ancient Near East at that time was for the father to give his blessing to his firstborn son before he passed away.” He then says that this was a “symbolic gesture loaded with significance.” A symbolic gesture? That’s a BIG claim. If it’s only a symbolic gesture, why doesn’t Jacob give the same symbolic gesture to Esau and bless him with the same blessing he gave Jacob? Why the big deal? Also, we need to read “blessing” in the context of the rest of the Old Testament, and even the New Testament if we want to. A blessing is often considered to have real power behind it; something real is given. For Bell to state, in one sentence with no further explanation, that a blessing is merely symbolic is like someone saying that the Lord’s supper is merely symbolic: whether or not that’s what you believe, you need to understand that that’s not a simple issue in Christendom. Bell offhandedly tosses out something deep and important that resonates throughout the Old and New Testaments. Too bad for his readers. It’s really their loss. 

p10 – Bell claims that “Jacob’s lie is a serious offense against the family, against Isaac, and ultimately against Esau.” The biblical text says nothing like this. The only good/bad qualification that appears at all is that Esau gives up his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup. Later, this example is used to chastise those who, like Esau, give up something lasting and better for something immediate and shallow. Jacob is a trickster, something that is never directly criticized (and may even be mildly praised) in the Bible. If anything, Esau is the one at fault here according to the Biblical text, not Jacob…or his mother Rebekah, who actually was the mastermind behind the whole thing, and whom Bell fails to mention at all. 

p10-11 – Bell frequently sites Ancient Near East custom. First of all, there isn’t one Ancient Near East (ANE) custom. There were lots of of customs associated with different people groups. Furthermore, part of the point of the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament is that they break away from the customs around them, slowly at first, but more over time. They fail at this frequently, but that seems to be their general or intended direction. To say that Isaac is just following an ANE custom is adding information to the story that we don’t have. As one professor at Duke has said, just read the words that are there. That’s your safest and best way to an understanding of the passage you’re reading. This passage does not say “as was the custom” or anything like that. Oh yeah, and he didn’t cite any research about this. It’s just a claim about the whole Ancient Near East, and a really unnecessary one. Thanks, Rob Bell, thanks.

Ok…that’s a long enough post. Be back soon!


“Stop Porn Culture”

16 May

“Stop Porn Culture”

Stumbled across this website. Seems to have some good info and generally expose how pornography negatively affects us all.

Apple Crumb Pie

8 Nov

Wanting to try this…

Apple Crumb Pie Recipe


  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice if desired. In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Stir in raisins and walnuts if desired. Spoon mixture into pastry shell.
  3. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Cover top loosely with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Here’s the link to the recipe.

Bacon and Potato Soup

31 Oct

Trying this one tomorrow!

  • 6 thick slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Cook bacon until crisp in 3-quart saucepan, remove and drain well on paper towels. Discard bacon grease and wipe pan thoroughly with paper towel.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Add olive oil to saucepan and add onion, carrot, and celery as they are cut up. Saute until onion is soft but not brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese, heating just until melted–do not boil. Chop bacon and add to soup. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt, if desired. Serve at once.

Taryn’s Chocolate Caramel Pie

31 Oct

This was AMAZING. It’s pleasantly, but not too rich. If you love chocolate, this is IT.


for the crust:
pate sablee- even if you do not ordinarily make pie crust, try making
this one. you do not have to roll it out- you just press the crumbs
into the pan- so it’s really easy. i use this crust for all pies
requiring a pre-baked crust. it does not work for the kind of pie
where you put filling into an unbaked crust, unfortunately.

1/3 c sugar
1 c plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
7 TBS chilled unsalted butter, diced, plus a pat to grease the pan
1-2 TBS cold milk

with a pastry blender- or two forks, if you do not have a pastry
blender- mix the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter
until the mixture resembles coarse meal. add the milk a little at a
time, testing frequently. it’s done when the dough is still crumbly,
but clumps if you gently squeeze a handful in your hand. now pour the
crumbly dough into a pie plate and use the back of a spoon to spread
it evenly over the bottom. using the heels of your hands and your
fingers, press down on the dough to form a thin layer, covering the
surface of the pan and creating a rim all round. don’t worry if the
dough feels dry- this is normal. cover with a plate (or you could use
plastic wrap to cover it, if you like) and refrigerate for 30 minutes
or up to a day. when you want to bake the crust, preheat the oven to
350, and bake the crust for 20-25 minutes until golden, keeping an eye
on it. transfer to a rack to cool.

For the Pie

1 recipe Pate Sablee, baked and cooled. you can make the tart shell a
day ahead and keep it in an airtight container overnight, if it makes
life easier.

Caramel Filling
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 TBS honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
1/3 c heavy cream
2 TBS unsalted butter, diced, plus a pat for greasing the pan

Ganche Filling
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 c heavy cream

Prepare the caramel filling:
measure all ingredients before starting
combine brown sugar and 1 TBS water in a small heavy bottomed saucepan
and melt the sugar slowly over medium low heat. swish the pan around
from time to time to ensure even melting, but don’t stir. as soon as
bubbles form on the surface (avoid overcooking the caramel, as this
will result in a bitter taste) add the honey and stir to combine. Add
the salt and cream and stir until blended. remove from heat and add
the butter, stir to combine. pour the caramel into the tart shell and
tilt the pan slowly in a circular motion to coat the bottom of the
shell evenly. Let set in fridge for 40 minutes.

Prepare the ganache filling: put the chocolate in a medium mixing
bowl, preferably stainless steel. bring the cream to a simmer in a
heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. pour half of the cream
on the chocolate (cover the saucepan to keep the remaining cream
warm), let stand for 20 second, and stir gently in the center w/ a
whisk, gradually blending the cream w/ the chocolate until smooth. add
half of the remaining cream and stir again until combined. repeat with
the remaining cream. remove the tart pan from the fridge, pour the
chocolate filling into the shell, and level the surface w/ a spatula.
return to the fridge to set for an hour.

remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Soup

25 Oct
Emilie Jenkin’s Pumpkin Soup

1 TBS olive oil
4 links of chicken sausage, cut into small pieces and browned
2 TBS fat from the browned chicken sausage–or 2 TBS bacon grease
2 dried bay leaves
1 onion chopped
Salt and Pepper
3 TBS Flour
1 TBS Old Bay
1 TBS Tabasco
4 cups chicken stock
29 oz can pumpkin plus a small can of pumpkin
2 cups canned (thicker) coconut milk– give or take a 1/2ish cup
1 tsp nutmeg
1-2 tsp smoked chili powder

Optional toppings:
One or two granny smith apples chopped
a handful or two of dried cranberries

In a frying pan: Braise the chicken sausage, remove the sausage and pour about 2 TBS of the fat into a soup pot.
In a soup pot:
Heat oil and fat and add the chopped onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper (about 2 tsp), sautee about 6 minutes till onions are tender
(The fat with the oil adds a deeper flavour. You can just use oil, but the combo tastes better)
Add the flour, tabasco sauce, and old bay, stir for a minute
Whisk in 4 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer
Whisk in the pumpkin
simmer for 10 minutes
lower heat and add coconut milk, chili powder and nutmeg.
I add milk until it gets to be the right color and texture. I did add less coconut milk than the cream I usually use. I end up tasting the soup A LOT along the way to get the right flavor. Add enough milk to make it creamy, but not so much that the coconut flavor is overpowering.
Garnish with apples and cranberries

Pumpkin Pancakes (via Johanna)

16 Oct

Pumpkin pancakes

I’d suggest cooking them a bit longer than regular pancakes, since the pumpkin’s pretty wet. Then serve warm with syrup!

Also, as Jo discovered, they’re tasty taken from the fridge and microwaved. Freezing them could work well too!