Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sales Anyone?

Plan to shop the day after Thanksgiving? Check out the Black Friday sales here.
I just love to stand in line at 4:45 am to get a good deal. I'm not kidding. It's the best people watching that you can imagine. I once saw an out and out brawl in front of Target. I couldn't believe that people would fight over who was going to get in there first to pay $$$ for stuff! Unbelievable.
See you in line!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Field Trip

We took a fun field trip today to a local TV station. It was pretty interesting, especially the control room. I've always wondered how they did that. Someone was kind enough to take a family picture for us, although not everyone was participating in the photo session. :)

Baby Names

I just love thinking up baby names, don't you? I've spent many an hour writing a new name out with all its possibilities.

Well, Serenity, over at Femininity in a Feminist World is sponsoring My Top 10 Favorite Baby Names. Thought I'd participate. You should too!

Now, none of these are my current children... I am thinking about the future!!! :)

Here goes:

1. Abigail (means father's joy - there was someone at my husband's job named Reuben who has a brand new baby named Ruby Abigail. Named after her dad and then father's joy, so sweet!)

2. Ryanne (my middle name - I've always loved it but can't get my husband to!)

3. Aryel (This is a boy's name meaning Lion of God. Too Disneyfied for me now though.)

4. Joel (Can't use it because I know my son would turn in to Joe some how)

5. Naomi (means pleasant - and who doesn't want a pleasant child?)

6. Tacie (I've always thought this was cute but my husband says it sounds like Tracy with a lisp :)

7. Glory (I really love virtue names for girls! My dear friend has a Hosanna and a Jubilee - so cute!)

8. Brock (loved it, almost named one of my children this but then found out it meant badger, ug. In fact, he was going to be Brock William and my dad kept calling him Broccoli Bill, double ug.)

9. Sadie (cute, old fashioned)

10. Alisandra (sort of unique)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Corn dog... um... muffins?

Ok, so it sounds a little weird but my family loves corn dog muffins! They go great with soup, chilies and stews - the perfect thing to round out your meal tonight. And, as you can guess, they taste just like corn dogs!

To your favorite corn muffin recipe (that makes 24 muffins) or 2 (8 1/2 ounces each) cornbread mixes add the following:

2 T brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 pkg. hot dogs, chopped
(1 - 11 oz. can of corn is also listed but I've never used it)

In a bowl, combine corn bread mix and brown sugar. Combine eggs and milk; stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Stir in corn and hot dogs (batter will be thin). Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400 for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Yield: 1-1/2 dzn.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kosher Eating

A friend has recently asked some questions about Kosher eating, about meats in particular. In fact, a lot of people over the years have had questions, "What is Kosher anyway, and what in the world does it have to do with salt?" (Really, you wouldn't believe how many people want to know about the salt!)

Kosher meats are outlined in Deuteronomy 14:3-21 and Leviticus 11:9-12. Basically it seems to come down to the fact that there are clean and unclean meats. If it has a cloven hoof and chews it's cud, it is good for eating (i.e. cow, sheep). Fish with fins and scales are good to eat (which rules out bottom feeders like shrimp, lobster, catfish). Certain birds are also clean (chicken, turkey but scavengers such as vultures are not). Not too complicated, right?

This is where it gets a little sticky. A lot of people will think that they are eating Kosher meats because they are eating the above meats only. They will say, "We eat Biblically. We avoid pork products. We don't need a Rabbi to bless it" But it's much more than that, and really has nothing to do with Rabbinical blessings. When you buy a package of hamburger at the grocery store, you aren't getting a Kosher product. The way that beef was killed, processed and even dealt with afterward isn't Kosher. Although I find this incredibly disgusting, here is a little piece I found for your reading enjoyment...

One of the requirements set to the gentiles in Acts 15 was that they were not allowed to eat meat that was strangled. We also read this in 21:25. An animal that is strangled retains its blood. The blood coagulates within its veins and flesh. Such meat is not suitable for eating. Eating the meat with the blood is a sin. 1Sam. 14:33. The process of killing animals at the abattoirs of today is nothing other than strangling the animals. The animals are either shot in the head or they are shocked to death. In both cases the animal dies. After several minutes or even hours the animals are skinned and the throats being slit. By that time the blood coagulated in the meat and whoever then eats of that meat, eats it with the blood, transgressing YHWH's Torah. The same applies to the killing of chickens and turkeys. They are either shot in the pallet with a sharp needle to paralyze them, or they are shocked to death. By the time the heads are chopped, the blood of those birds coagulated within the meat, making it unfit to eat. It is unkosher. (This paragraph is from

Ok, so not only that. I recently found out that when grocery stores and butchers packaging meat, they used blood - even from several different cows - to keep it nice and red, making it look fresher than it really is. Gross, I know, sorry.

Lots of people have heard that Jews won't eat a cheese burger - no mixing of meat and milk. Many people will go through the painstaking rituals of keeping a "Kosher kitchen" where by having separate dishes and utensils and keeping all dairy and meats separate. We do not practice this rabbinical law. Read here for more on why.

Where do you buy Kosher meats? I know that many of you are not in Washington state as we are. But my friend who asked the original question is. Trader Joes carries some, also certain QFC stores do too. Check out the U Village QFC in North Seattle for a wide range of Kosher products. If you are not in this area there are a multitude of other Jewish communities around the country and many other grocery stores cater to these people, you can find Kosher foods virtually everywhere, even online. The picture at the top of this post shows various symbols that are used to indicate that you are purchasing a Kosher product. Take a look around your pantry, you'll be surprise that they are on many of the packages you already have. Oh, you might be interested to know that if you don't see a Kosher symbol, there is probably a good reason for that.

So, you ask, what's the deal with the kosher salt? It's used in drawing the blood out of the meat during the koshering process, it's not the only salt that a Jew will eat. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's For Dinner?

In the crock pot: Carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, chicken, lemon pepper seasoning.
What's for dinner at your house tonight?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Apple Pie Filling!

Here's a great recipe if you are up to your eye balls in apples. Think ahead for the holidays and make up a few quarts of filling for your friends and family. This recipe is especially for Grace, my dear friend who has requested it.

Apple Pie Filling for canning:

18 cups baking apples, peeled and sliced
4 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn starch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
8 cups water
5 quart size jars and lids

In large pot combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes. Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Have your jars and lids hot and ready. Pack each to about 1/2 inch from the top. Screw down lids. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Makes about 5 quarts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Due or Do Without

So, I finally break down. Yes, I need new pot holders.

But, wait! I could use things that I already had to improve my old pot holders and avoid spending any $$$ at all.

First, using a piece of old, warn towel, fill in the holes.

Add a couple more layers of padding with some more of that old towel.

Using left over fabric scraps, stitch around the edges. (Look, I am no seamstress, the seem ripper and I are old friends. If I can hand stitch these in a few minutes so can you!!!)

"New" pot holders. No more burned hands and they are so much prettier!

Monday, November 3, 2008

In Honor of Election Day...

Did you know.... ?

How the 2008 President Will be Chosen

The next president will be chosen by the Electoral College, not by the popular vote. In 2004 Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote to George Bush. That is why the US is a “Democratic Republic” and not a Democracy. In a Democracy, the candidate that gets the most votes wins. In 1787 the Electoral College was established so that the smaller states would have as much representation as the larger states. This group of individuals cast votes to decide who will be President and Vice President.

Each state gets as many Electors as they have Senators (2 per state) and Representatives (varies according to population, the more people, the more Representatives). Washington State has 2 Senators and 9 Representatives, so we have 11 Electors who will vote with the Electoral College. The total number of state Electors is 538 and a Presidential candidate must win 270 Electoral votes to win.

The Electors are people who are avid Democrats or Republicans including State Representatives or State Senators, political party leaders, or others who have a personal or political affiliation with the candidates. Federal Senators or Representatives are not eligible to be in the Electoral College.

Political parties nominate the Electors at their state conventions or by their political party’s central committee in each state.

On Election Day, the popular votes do not actually pick a candidate, but a group of Electors to represent their state in the Electoral College vote. Most states use a winner-take-all rule; all the state's Electoral votes will go to the winner of the popular vote in the state.

Some months before the election each political party puts together a slate of Electors, chosen by congressional district with the exception of the two at-large Senate slots. If the party's presidential candidate wins the popular vote in the state on Election Day, its Electors meet in the state capitol on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. If not they stay home. (So if Obama/Biden gets the most votes in Washington State, the Democratic Party’s Electors will go to Olympia; if McCain/Palin get the most votes, the Republican party’s Electors will go to Olympia.)

(There is no federal law binding an Elector to vote according to the popular vote in his state. Some states do bind their Electors to do so, Washington does not. It does require by state law that Electors make a pledge as to who they are going to vote for. Unfortunately, these pledges, if violated, are not enforceable.)

The Washington State Democratic party chose 9 Electors at party caucuses throughout the state and 2 Electors at their State Convention in June. They also chose 11 alternate Electors. This list was sent to the Washington’s Secretary of State, Sam Reed. Interestingly enough, this list includes the first Muslim Elector ever chosen to the Electoral College, Jafar Sidduiqui of Lynnwood, Wa.

The Washington State Republican Party elected an Elector from each of Washington State’s Congressional Districts at their State Convention on May 30th and 31st, 2008. This list was also sent to Sam Reed’s office.

Electors will meet in a room in Olympia at noon on December 15th this year, and sit down at long tables. Governor Gregoire will greet them and the Secretary of State Sam Reed will make sure all of the proper procedures are followed. Roll will be taken. A Chairperson will be nominated and voted for. The electoral ballots will then be handed out and filled out. Electors will then sign the Certificate of Vote--actually they sign several copies of the document so there are back-ups. There are separate votes for President and for Vice-President. After being turned back in to the Secretary of State, his office will mail one copy of the Certificate of Vote to the Office of the President of the United States Senate. On January 5th, 2009, the President of the Senate will then open and tally these envelopes before a special joint-session of Congress

Only then we will know who the next president will be.
This post was written by my husband, Randy.