Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Don't Call on Me: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
They say you learn something new every day. What did you learn yesterday?

I am in the throws of a Bible study from Dallas Theological Seminary called "The Story of Scripture."  It gives an overview of the literary structure of the Bible, plus gives historical context to the Scriptures.  I've always been confused about the divided kingdom of Israel.  As many times as I've read the Bible in its entirety, I never caught on to when, how, or why the kingdom divided.  I learned yesterday that the kingdom split during a civil war after the reign of King Solomon.  Yes, I've been a Christian for a long time, but Bible history, especially Old Testament history, is not one of my strengths.  I'm working to change that.

Have you ever had a now or never moment? Elaborate.

I think my moving to Colorado was my "now or never" moment.  If my life was ever going to change for the better, following God in the trek was necessary.

From Kenneth Copeland Ministries
April 25th is National Telephone Day. Do you still have a land line or have you gone mobile only? When you receive a text message do you respond immediately? Last time you turned your phone off?  In two or three sentences share with us a story/memory/incident from your childhood (or something current if that's too hard) where the telephone is featured.

I've gone completely mobile.  Budget and not really seeing the need for a landline are the main reasons.  Also, my mobile allows me to keep my Alabama number, so my contacts from back home don't have to pay long distance charges.  Also, I've discovered that I don't have to get a land line or cable in order to get internet service.  Once this car business is settled, I can start budgeting for home internet service. 

It depends on the situation whether I will answer a text immediately.  I don't read or answer texts when I'm driving.  I turn my phone off every night and put it on vibrate when I'm at work and on silent when I'm in church. 

I can't really think of any interesting or funny stories involving the telephone, so I'll just share a song.

Close call, at someone's beck and call, call the shots, call a meeting, call it quits, call in sick, call on the carpet, wake up call...which call have you 'heard' recently? Explain.

"Call the shots" I suppose.  I'm daily working on making good health choices.  Some days are harder than others.

What subject do you wish you'd paid more attention to in school?

History. Granted, I had one really good history teacher in high school and really enjoyed the history courses I took in graduate school.  However, the rest of my high school and college history teachers were horrible, boring, or horribly boring.  Gah!  It's going to take the rest of my adult life to catch up.

Insert your own random thought here.

Today, April 25th, is also Administrative Professionals' Day (what we used to call Secretary's Day) here in the United States.  Shout out to all my fellow Admins!

My friends at work have ruined me by introducing me to Good Mythical Morning.  This is my kind of nerd-like stupid.  Just a warning; if you have a weak stomach, don't watch any of the food challenges.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Five Minute Friday: "Turn"

It's starting to look like spring here in Colorado.  The green grass is popping through and the trees are starting to bud and bloom.  I know that there is still the threat of snow for a few more weeks, but seeing the evidence of turn makes me smile.

I'm looking at the evidence of turn in my own life. With so many things up in the air and on the horizon, I feel like I've been standing still since December.  That feeling weighs heavy on the psyche, but the mind is where the evidence of turn starts.

I'm working to turn my thinking and not let my dreams gather dust.  I'm more than ready for things to turn around and stay turned around.  God didn't move me 1400 across the country to fail; I was doing just fine at that back home.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I is for I Don't Think We Got the Tools Here to Pull This Off [A-Z Blog Challenge 2015]

Experiments From Auntie's Test Kitchen
Intro  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

I is for I Don't Think We Got the Tools Here to Pull This Off 

The title is taken from a comedy album from Rick and Bubba.  It's a line from this segment (around 4:25 in).

Since last we met, Auntie's Test Kitchen has moved 1400 miles west.  I'm in a new apartment in Lakewood, Colorado with a completely different kitchen and tools to work with.  One change is I'm retraining myself to use a traditional electric stove rather than a flat rangetop.  Another is that I'm starting over with proper kitchen tools.
One of the most annoying trends in recipes, whether written or video instruction, is the assumption that certain tools make a successful recipe.  I mean, seriously, you can't make a Paula Deen or Rachel Ray recipe unless you have their pots, pans, utensils, etc?  I. Think. Not.  Yeah, I know they want to sell their products, but hey, I'm on a very tight budget.
The only cookbook I own is a 20 year old Betty Crocker cookbook.  The majority of my recipes are collected from various sources, plus I make up a few of my own.  This particular recipe is one I saved from an old Alabama Power Electric bill.  It's called "Three Envelope Roast."
The only ingredients are:
  • 1 chuck roast (approximately 3 pounds)
  • 1 envelope dry Zesty Italian Dressing mix
  • 1 envelope dry Ranch Dressing mix
  • 1 envelope dry brown gravy mix
  • 2 cups of water

Looks easy so far.  However, the first stumbling block is that the recipe requires you to have a slow cooker.  At the time I made this recipe, I didn't have one.  OK, well the recipe can be adapted to a roasting pan with a lid.  Nope, don't have one of those either.  What about a Dutch Oven?  A what?  Well, what DO you have?

I've got a cookie sheet, a glass baking dish and some aluminum foil. 

The directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (since I didn't have a slow cooker).
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the water and mix thoroughly. 
  • Brown the roast if you'd like (I didn't).
  • Place the roast in your pan and pour the liquid mixture over the roast.  Since my baking pan is shallow, I couldn't use all of the liquid at first.  About midway through the cooking time, the roast shank enough and enough liquid evaporated for me to pour the rest in without making a mess.
  • Cover and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1.50 to 2.50 hours until desired doneness.  My desired doneness is well done.  I don't like my beef mooing at me before I eat it.
Looks good to me.
Now, for sides.

I decided to have carrots, Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes. 

Did you know that you can steam carrots in the microwave?  Yep, instead of the complicated cooking instructions for carrots involving a lot of sugar, I sprinkle a little water over a serving of baby carrots, lightly cover, and microwave for about 3 minutes.  They come out done, delicious, and naturally sweet.

Not burnt or raw, but
missing something...
like flavor
As far as the Brussels sprouts, I've not figured out the perfect recipe for those yet (I think I'm going to need some bacon for this one).  However, I do know they need to be blanched (boiled a little bit) before stir frying, otherwise I either get burnt or raw.  I sautéed these in olive oil with some peppers and onions. 

Well, it worked,
didn't it?
Now, on to the mashed potatoes.  This should be simple, peel the potatoes, cut up the potatoes, rinse the potatoes, boil them for about 15-20 minutes, mash them up, add whatever extras you'd like (butter, salt, a little milk, and some garlic powder), and enjoy.  Yeah, it should be simple, until I realized the my new vegetable peeler won't peel anything and I don't have a potato masher.  My mother can continuously peel a potato with a knife without breaking the skin.  I can't do that.  When I knife-peel potatoes, I'm thrilled when there's actually potato left.  Granted, my sharp Ikea paring knife did just fine--even in my hands.  Yes, I will admit I cut myself with this knife trying to remove it from the packaging AND a couple of times when I was taking it out of the dishwasher.  Anyway, the potatoes did get peeled, rinsed, diced, and boiled.  Now, on to the mashing.  After nearly breaking a plastic mixing spoon, I found that a clean coffee mug does an adequate job of mashing potatoes. 

So let's dish this up and make it pretty.

Yum, yum!

Yes, I'll buy more "proper" utensils and tools when I can finally leave my house without an act of congress or having to endure the Weed Wagon--Denver's public transportation system.  However, proper doesn't mean certain expensive brands--it simply means what will get the job done.

So, are there any recipes you've made that turned out well despite not having the "proper" tools?