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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.

“Mall” pretzels

11 Nov

Yummy and fun to do with kids.  Cheap too.  Takes about an hour and a half because you have to let them rise and knead them but they were tasty and better than the non-kneading sort.  I put salt/butter on half and cinnamon/sugar on half.  🙂  It’s like dinner and dessert in one recipe.

Buttery Soft Pretzels

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.


Lemon Poppyseed Scones

30 Oct
Made these this morning, and they were really good–mine weren’t
quite this fluffy, and I was asleep for half of the ingredient mixing,
so I’m wondering if we didn’t use enough baking powder, but
they still turned out well. Nice hard exterior & soft interior–yum!
Come on over & try on =).
Lemon Poppy Seed Scones. Photo by Karen=^..^=

Photo by Karen=^..^=

Total Time: 40 min.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins.



8 very large scones or 16 medium scones


  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Position rack in top third of oven.
  3. Mix flour, 1 cup sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, lemon peel and salt in food processor.
  4. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Whisk egg, and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend.
  6. Add flour mixture.
  7. Using pulse, process until moist clumps form.
  8. Add 1/3 cup milk.
  9. Using pulse, process just until dough comes together, adding more milk if dough seems dry.
  10. Using floured hands, gather dough into ball.
  11. Flatten to 8″ round. (or two 4″ rounds)
  12. Cut round into 8 (or 16) wedges.
  13. Transfer scones to large baking sheet; brush with milk.
  14. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbs sugar.
  15. Bake until scones are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  16. Transfer to rack and cool.
  17. (Can be made one day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature).

Read more:

Baked Mac and Cheese

29 Oct

This is awesome and makes an enormous amount.  Make sure you have all the ingredients or the equivalent of 4-5 cups of cheese.  I used cheddar, mozarella and parmesan and it was awesome.  Also, I suggest baking it in cast iron.  That made it extra crispy.  Also, I used panko bread crumbs instead of making her bread crumbs.

From Martha Stewart and


Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Posted by Billie-Jean in Blogalicious Thoughts, Featured Articles on Feb 4th, 2010 | 11 responses

Thank you Martha Stewart for this sublime recipe.

You can easily divide this recipe in half; use a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish if you do.

Serves 12
6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni

There are some recipes that you’d never let your kids go near, for fear that they burn the house down and bump up your home insurance quotes for the next year. Baked Macaroni and Cheese is pretty much child-proof! I’m not saying to leave your kids unattended with the oven, but this is a recipe that anyone can manage!

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Read more at Perfect Macaroni and Cheese Recipe –

Apple Pie

29 Oct

Apple Pie Recipe


This is the best recipe for apple pie for those who want an old-fashioned, perfect tasting apple pie with a flaky crust.

Using fresh apples, a homemade pie crust recipe, and the perfect blend of spices; this is the apple pie that is true delight in every forkful.

Apple Pie


Pastry for 2 crusts (recipe below)
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples – about 3 lbs.  (Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk


1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.

2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.

3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.

4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.

5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.

6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.

7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.


Flaky Pastry Pie Crust Recipe

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water


1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Stir in the ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until the crust mixture forms a ball.

4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

5. Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface. Roll dough out, then divide in half. Roll each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.

6. Place crust in pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.

Salty but good Southern Fried Chicken

20 Oct

I knew I could trust Paula Deen with fried chicken. It was VERY salty but super good. It would be easy to cut back on the salt, but I’m not sure how exactly since they want you to roll the chicken in salt/pepper/garlic powder, but maybe under-salting the rest. Or sprinkling it onto each chicken piece instead of rolling it in the powder. If I get a chance I’ll try it again and let you all know.

My personal pet peeve of some fried or oven fried chicken recipes: It doesn’t LOOK good. This one looked GREAT!!! And was easy, so it definitely had a “wow” factor, as Tim Gunn would say. 😉

Here you go:

Total Time:  24 min  ***(Not bad for fried food.)
Prep:  10 min
Cook:  14 min


3 eggs
1/3 cup water
About 1 cup hot red pepper sauce ***(I used cumin instead.)
2 cups self-rising flour ***(I added baking powder and salt to all-purpose flour instead. Maybe cut salt out here too.)
1 teaspoon pepper
House seasoning, recipe follows
1 (1 to 2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces
Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil


In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the house seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil. ***(Note, this is a lot of oil, but could be used again.)

Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

House Seasoning: ***(This is where I’d cut back on salt or sprinkle.)
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.