Christmas Appetizers

 

Olive Penguins and Cheese Ball Igloo

http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2010/12/how-to-make-olive-penguins-and-cheese-ball-igloo.html

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Christmas Tree Appetizers

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/christmas-tree-appetizers/5be11197-3d57-4226-9f11-c964abec91ad

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Challah

2 1/2 Cups Warm Water
1 Tbs. Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 Tbs. Salt
8 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Beat in honey, oil, salt and TWO eggs (not all 3!).

Add flour one cup at a time, mixing after every addition graduating to kneeding with hands as dough thickens. Kneed until smooth and elastic and no longer sitcky, adding flour as needed.

Spray a big bowl with cooking spray and place the lump of dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Let rise till doubled (about 1 1/2 hours) in a warm place.

Punch down dough. Divide in half and kneed for 5 minutes each. Then divide each half into 3 pieces. Roll into ropes about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Braid the strands. (Makes two braids.)

Grease two cookie sheets. Place braided rings on them and let rise again for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat remaining egg and brush generously over loaves.

Bake 40 minutes.

Cool 1 hour before slicing.
(Good luck on waiting a whole hour…)

Cartoon God (video)

I had someone ask for this in video format, rather than the written version, for a person they wanted to share it with who doesn’t like to read.  So here it is: http://youtu.be/SJV58W9mDCY

My greatest prayer is that this would help someone to see the true nature of God and be instilled with a holy fear of Him.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of both wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 9:10, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7).

Follow this link to find out more info on what it means to fear God.

Man Destroys Himself

Hey… I know it’s not near Halloween, but are you ready to see some actual HORROR?  I saw some tonight.  Quite by accident.  My husband was flipping through this picture line-up on CBN News showing the devastating effects of Methamphetamine.  The after pictures of these poor people who have destroyed themselves on this drug look like something out of a low budget haunted house.  Before, they appear sane, normal, and some even pretty.  After?  They are slack-jawed, covered with pus oozing sores, and suffering from paranoia and hallucinations.

Before and After Photos of Meth Users - Credit: Rehabs.com

The first thing I thought of, when I saw these pictures, was a book I read some years ago, which actually became one of my all time favorites.  It’s called The Oath.  The spine of the story is a small mining town that sells itself to the devil, so-to-speak.  It sounds like something you’ve heard a hundred times, but this telling had a disgusting twist: when time came for individuals to cash in with the devil, a wound would appear directly over their heart.  It would turn from burning red to black and soft, and begin to ooze a mucous-like, foul smelling, black fluid… right out of that person’s heart.  The funny thing is, that the more advanced the person’s condition was, the less they noticed it.  So that near the very end… just before the demon would devour them, they would be covered in this slick, black, filth — though completely oblivious to it — as it nearly gushed out of their chests.

That paints such an accurate picture of sin, doesn’t it?  Often the one in the throws of the deadly addiction, who is literally killing themselves, is almost completely blind to it.

It just so happens that with Meth addiction, the evidence of sin is painted all over the person’s face, but most other sins don’t leave this kind of visual evidence behind.  They build up inside the soul more like The Picture of Dorian Gray.

People enslaved to pornography, for example, often look just fine on the outside.  They can smile on command, no problem.  But their soul is rotting away inside as they give piece after piece of themselves away in a miserable quest for something they will never find.  It eludes them like a vapor. What they need so desperately evades them like an endless game of hide and seek.  Only late at night, when the pleasure of the sin is over for the moment, when the shame creeps in (if they are even still able to feel shame) — only in these quiet, alone, late night moments can they hear a small, muffled voice screaming, “I am creating my own Hell on earth!”

We both have a condition, you know.  We were both born with a terminal disease — sin.  The Bible tells us that the penalty for sin is death.  We were born spiritually dead, and however many years you live on this earth, you live them running, blindfolded, at break-neck speed toward the cliff of your own physical death.  Ten out of ten die, and you won’t be the exception to that.  The Bible tells us that it’s appointed by God that every human being will die once, and then face God’s Judgment.  And believe me, that is one court date you don’t want to arrive to unprepared… that would be Hell.  Literally.

My pastor says, “Sin always takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs you more than you want to pay.”  Every person in those pictures above is a living testimony as to the truthfulness of that statement.  Don’t end up — spiritually — like one of them.  Go to NeedGod.com, and settle your spiritual destiny tonight.

Bacon, I love you.

Why does bacon make you feel so good? Because it’s practically a vitamin full of all those wonderful mood balancing B vitamins we all need–especially in the dark of winter!

“From bacon, we receive: 65% of our Recommended Daily Intake of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, 10% of our Magnesium, 9% of our Iron and the Protein to fat balance in bacon is actually 4 to 1, which is one of the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat, fish or fowl found on Earth.”

Plus, bacon just makes your brain work better.  I’ve often thought this on a Saturday morning while sipping a cup of joe and munching a crispy, delicious slice.

“Bacon is chock full of a very important nutrient called ‘choline,’ which helps increase our intelligence and memory, from conception to Senior Status, and has been shown in University studies to help fight off the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and other chronic mental impairments.”

Bacon is good for your heart… and by that, I don’t mean your soul, I mean the organ pumping blood through your body.  Surprised?

“While people over the years have mistakenly made jokes about bacon being a leading contributor to heart disease, actually there are in fact, several studies that show that the Omega-3 Fatty Acids and ‘choline’ found in bacon can actually protect the heart from developing detrimental problems, as well as actually help HEAL such anomalies, after they have occurred! Unlike the Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements derived from fish sources, the one’s that come from bacon aren’t chock fully of poisonous mercury, like most of the popular fish oil versions are. So bacon Omega-3 can not only help prevent heart disease, as well as lower your cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve circulation, but also help you to avoid mercury and other toxic poisons being regularly spewed in our planet’s oceans.”

Worried about Nitrates?  Awww phooey!  Did you know that spinach and bacon have about the same amount of nitrates and nitrites… and between the two of them, my tastebuds prefer bacon. Besides, haven’t you heard…

“…what most pro -veggie, chicken and fish nutritionists fail to tell you is that you can easily avoid nitrates and nitrites by simply (A) not burning / charring / over cooking your bacon or by (B) Baking your bacon in the oven.”

And where — you may ask — did I get most of this wonderful information?  Why, from the completely un-bias online publication, “Bacon Today.”

There.  I think that settles it.

Bacon.

Yum.

Potato Soup

I found a recipe, about a year ago, for the absolute best potato soup you ever put in your mouth!  This stuff is amazingly delicious!!!  You make this once and you’re never going to be able to bring yourself to try another potato soup recipe for fear that it won’t be as good as this one.  In other words — I like it. It started when I had some extra baked potatoes and was trying to figure out something to do with them.  I did a little internet search and found this recipe.

potato soup

Baked Potato Soup

  • 4 strips of bacon (diced) (I usually use kitchen shears to cut the bacon right into the pot.)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I use the pre-minced garlic in the squeeze bottle.)
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 1/2 Cups chicken broth
  • 4 large baked potatoes, cubed
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (If you’re a wimp about spicy foods, do this anyway.  It does not make the soup spicy or hot, it deepens all the flavors. Trust me.)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish) (I accidentally left it off when I took the picture.  Phooey!)
  • minced fresh parsley (for garnish) (I often use dried parsley instead, as I did in the picture above.)

1. Put bacon in the pot you will use for your soup. Cook it till crispy.  Take out the bacon and set aside, leaving the bacon drippings* in the pan.

2. Add the onions and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook till tender.

3. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper.

4. Gradually add chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.

5. Add cubed potatoes and turn heat down.  Add cream and Tabasco sauce.  DO NOT BOIL AGAIN… just heat.

6. Serve with cheese, crispy bacon and fresh parsley for garnish.

7. Let your tongue slap your brains out because this is so AMAZINGLY good!

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* “Bacon drippings” is a nicer way to say “bacon fat” or “bacon grease.” If you’re worried about bacon drippings giving you a heart attack, or whatever, then get rid of it and put in some kind of oil that you feel comfortable with.  As for me, the layers of flavor in this soup depend on the sheer deliciousness of BACON, so I’m leavin’ it in! Besides, “Bacon Today” posted an article citing the “Top 10 Reasons Bacon Fat is Actually Healthy For You.” And I’m sure we can all agree that they are not bias at all.

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IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT OWNERSHIP:

Unfortunately, this morning as I’m posting this, I am not able to find and credit the original recipe I found on the internet a couple of years ago.  The closest one I found used potato flakes instead of pre-baked potato cubes.  So… If you ever find the original recipe, I am more than happy to give it a link!  Just let me know.