Hot and Sour Soup

A friend of mine posted this to Facebook. It sounds delicious and I will try it soon. I am a fan of Hot and Sour Soup.

4 boxes of organic veg broth, 1 box each of Portobello, shiitake, button mushrooms/sliced, 2 heads baby Bok Choy / sliced, (toss thick white ends), 1 bag or 4 cups baby spinach/whole leaf or u can slice it, 2 cans of water chestnuts (drained), 2 cans of baby or young corn/sliced into pieces (drained), 2 bunches of spring/green onion/sliced, 2 boxes extra firm tofu, diced, add pinches of kosher salt, pepper, onion and/or garlic salt. Add all to broth, stir, simmer a bit, can serve anytime, add hot sauce to taste

She states it is VEGAN… But the protein from the Tofu should work. The hot sauce to taste…. I wonder if it is like my Chili? I can make it sneaky hot or plain Blistering…:)

Enjoy all, Comment if you try it tells me how it was.

 

Religion vs. Religious views

To many that pull this up on a Google search, The title will not be of interest. “Just another person professing their Idea’s” some may think or maybe “Oh no, Another Religious nut telling me I am going to…” , If you are still reading than you are obviously intrigued by the title, content or just plain curious about the difference. I will begin by saying that my views are my own and you are absolutely free to agree or disagree with them. I also am not going to “Trash” any faith or denomination in this piece. What I am going to do is state plainly my views on what I see as the difference between the two.

The obvious is that religion and faith are two totally different things. To have faith does not make one “religious”! Nor does being a member of any denomination mean that you have faith. How one applies the views that their belief in any particular religious denomination  Can be viewed as one that has faith. OK friend so what is the difference between religion and religious views?

Define religion.  1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Religion?s=t

This was the 1st definition on the above link. There are more than this one so take a look you might be surprised.

Another one ; something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

And one from the World  English Dictionary: Something overwhelmingly important to a person. The example given for this one was “Football is his RELIGION”.

Pretty much sums it up. So what about Religious views?  I could try to be funny and quote a previous President of the United States and say “It depends on what the definition of “Is” is, but that would be tacky, although accurate, still tacky. So I will give you  definition of “Religious Views”: It is the view a person takes on something that is extremely important to them that would include their set of beliefs and moral code of conduct.

With that definition I can ask, and this is not speaking down to or criticizing another persons beliefs, Is Atheism a religion?

Ponder that one for a bit and comment on my views if you like.

Happy New Year America

The stroke of midnight came and went. 2013 snuck in the side door and the country is told that the leaders have come to some sort of agreement to “AVOID” the “FISCAL CLIFF”.  My first thought is “How much is this going to cost me and the rest of the middle class?” I suppose we will have to wait for them to pass it before we can read what is in it. Do you ever get tired of all this nonsense?  Forget labels for a while, no republican, democrat, or independent. Consider everyone equal for a few moments, there is no “Rich, Poor, Middle class, Upper class, or Lower class, just people! Americans (What a concept), Yes we are all Americans looking for the opportunity to live the American Dream. Now define what the “American Dream” is. That is where the vision starts to become blurred. I know what it means to me, but what does it mean to you? Is it the same for the person that has been elected to lead this Country or State or City? That is where Politics enters, and labels start being applied. The game is to try to get one set of people to believe that another group is against them and trying to take everything away from them. What would happen if we as Americans (yes it is a label to) simply refused to play the class against class game? What if we made sure that those people that we entrusted to “represent us” in government understood that they work for all of us! Some may have gone to a prestigious college but that does not mean they are any better than anyone else in America is. Speaking of labels, here is a label that most politicians and bureaucrats try to avoid, deny, or distance themselves from it. A very old label has been around for centuries. Politicians put us all into classes; we are either in the Lower class (Poor), the Middle class (Backbone of the economy), and the Upper class (Rich). Which class do politicians put themselves? Depending upon the definition being used at the time they will all try to claim that they are the middle class and understand the needs of the middle class. In reality, they truly believe they are in a separate class not mentioned. Before I go further, I will state that not everyone in politics plays this game so you understand that I am not using the broad brush a politician would use to label an entire segment of society. The Politicians that are in this class are easy to spot and very easy to detect based on their set of rules by which they play. This segment is the “Elite class”, or as it has known throughout the centuries the “Ruling Class”. Pretty Harsh terms, yet look at the results of legislation that exempts them from laws and rules that the rest of us have to follow. Take away those exemptions and their special benefits and I wonder if we would always be peering over the edge of that “Fiscal Cliff”. I have something to say to every elected official that feels that respect comes with the title. Respect is earned. The office you hold is not permanent. Every Politician is one election away from being unemployed. To all Americans I say, “May you have a Safe and Prosperous 2013”.

A to Z Bread

This bread recipe can be used to make any kind of bread where you are adding something to it (i.e. Banana Bread) The only fruit that does not work well is Pineapples. Enjoy experimenting from “A to Z”

Ingredients

  1. 3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  3. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  4. 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  5. 1 Teaspoon Salt
  6. 2 Cups of Sugar
  7. 3 Whole Eggs
  8. 1 Cup Oil
  9. 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  10. 2 Cups of Fruit or Vegetable mashed well
  11. 1 Cup Chopped nuts,  (can be left out if allergic to Nuts)

Mix all dry ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowel combine sugar, oil, eggs and mix well. Add Vanilla. Stir in Fruit or Vegetable of choice. Add dry ingredients into the liquid moistened. Stir in chopped nuts (if using). Grease 2 loaf pans (8″ x 4″ x2″) Pour ingredients into both pans 2/3 full. Pre-heat Oven to 325°. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until done (use the toothpick test to check**) Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

** Toothpick test – stick a clean tooth pick into the bread and remove. If toothpick comes out clean bread is done. If bread is sticking to the toothpick return bread to oven and continue to bake recheck in 3 to 5 minutes..

Want to add a little kick to the bread? Experiment with the liqueur of your choice. Remember it is just for a complimentary flavor. One must pick what would compliment the fruit or vegetable being used and not fight with the flavor. An example would be adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of Bacardi Select Dark Rum to banana Bread or Applesauce Bread. I tried Kahlua in some applesauce bread and the coffee flavor was a little overpowering. It could be Less would have been better. Also thinking outside the box I added 1/4 cup of Cinnamon chips to the applesauce bread and that did compliment it.

Easy Recipes To Make

I enjoy cooking! Before being put on the disabled list due heart problems, I would enter an annual Chili Cook-off at the Presbyterian Urban Mission. I managed to take away a few awards and to this day have a chili recipe that might be worthy of taking to the International Chili society cook-off to win there. That is a completely different type of competition. I have cooked for my church doing a Bean dinner one year to conclude the stewardship campaign; I have cooked turkeys twice for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I worked with the youth group in the 1990’s to do a fund-raiser for their annual mission trip. We took orders from the congregation for submarine sandwiches to have ready on Super Bowl Sunday. Of course, that was when the Super Bowl was still around the last week of January. The youth actually looked forward to it every year (and so did the congregation). We were selling $5.00 foot-longs long before Subway started. I have cooked for the Men’s’ Breakfast on the Third Saturday of the month, and recently I requested and was given permission to restart the first Sunday Breakfast every month. This is beginning to sound as if it is all about me. Let me clarify that I am but one of many members that love to cook for the church. I do not care which denomination You belong to, having a meal together as a congregation is part of worshiping together as a family. It is also a good way to reach out to the community around the church to bring them into that warm family environment, to share your faith with them. Whenever we would have significant leftovers, we have taken them to one of the shelters in the area.

Enough of the “Why” I like to cook and share with others. Many friends have asked me for my recipes to different dishes and I have always said, “yes I will share them”. I never figured out how the best way to do this until last Sunday, I was being asked for a specific cake recipe and I realized that having started this site as “a daily dose of common sense”, what better way to share with everyone some of my favorite recipes. Let me first state that most of these come from so great sources such as the Chef’s on The Food Network, some passed down in the family and others were done as an experiment to explore the subtle differences in the use of spices to enhance the enjoyment of devouring a good chili or salsa. As is the disclaimer for this site “treat this as a buffet, take what you like, and leave what you do not care for”. As always, I will accept comments as well as any different ideas. So let us begin I will categorize each recipe in the group it belongs. Bon Appétit…