Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Ninjas Have Got To Go

Well, the month of February (and the last bit of January) has been interesting.  It started off innocuous enough-a slight sore throat, but nothing any more exciting.  But they were attempting to be sneak its way in unnoticed..a ninja illness, if you will. 

And suddenly, they made themselves known with a fever, chills, a sinus infection the likes of which I have never known before, and a throat that felt like a few of the ninjas had set up a campfire in there and were roasting marshmallows.  That was almost three weeks ago. 

In that time I had given in and gone to the doctor and took one round of antibiotics.  But the ninjas still lurked.  Oh yeah, they went into hiding for a few days.  They do have a good reputation of stealth to uphold, you know. 

But in the last few days they've made their return.  Perhaps a ninja or two died during the first siege, but the rest are in there, roasting their marshmallows.  I tried another antibiotic.  That added to the ninja mix the Wicked Witch of the West, cackling and screaming, "I'll get you my pretty, and your blood pressure, too!"

A call to the doctor for another antibiotic gave him a bright idea: Let's try nothing!  My complicated system has him running out of possible antibiotics, so he wants me to take the "wait and see" approach.  The ninjas are laughing. 

But they don't know my God.  My God is stronger than any army of ninjas.  And that brings me to the reason I've written all this.  I need prayer.  My body is worn down (oh yeah, did I mention I've also been battling a crew of marauding pirates in my stomach?) and my resistance is low.  So I humbly ask for prayer that God will intervene, overcome the ninjas and pirates, and heal my body. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And the top and sides, too. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Face to Face

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’

He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’

He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’ He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’

He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’

He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’

He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’

And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’”

I read this portion of scripture a while back, looking to glean something new from it. I knew that this was the post-resurrection, pre-ascension Jesus revealing Himself to the apostles (for the third time) by the sea after they had fished all night. (Read the rest at Halas & Phos here.)

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Tell somebody about Jesus this week!
God's blessings to you,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Foodie - Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte with Creme Anglaise

I’ve been thinking and mulling and poring over recipes looking for just the right one for a special Valentine’s Friday Foodie. Should it be a cake? Truffles? That it would be chocolate was a given. And then…I found it - the perfect dessert. A dense, creamy, fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth, mini-miracle: Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte - a perfect combination of cake and truffle. Heaven suspended on the tines of a very privileged fork…drizzled with Crème Anglaise. Oh yeah.

This cake has no flour, hence the dense richness. Crème Anglaise tastes similar to whipped cream, but it’s a sauce that tastes a little less sweet and richer. Good ol’ whipped cream would work, too, though.

Happy Chocolatey Valentine’s.

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

1 1b. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with buttered parchment or wax paper. Wrap the outside of the pan in a double thickness of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage. Set springform pan inside a 10-in. cake pan or roasting pan.

2. Combine chocolate and butter in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 15 seconds. Stir. Continue to cook for 15 seconds and stir until just a few lumps of chocolate are left. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

3. In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent
curdling, until just warm to the touch.

4. Remove from the heat and beat, using the whisk beater, until triple in volume and soft peaks form when the beater is raised, about 5 minutes. (To ensure maximum volume if using a hand mixer, beat the eggs over simmering water until they are hot to the touch, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat until cool.

5. Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold ½ eggs into chocolate mixture until almost
incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remain. Finish by using a rubber spatula to ensure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated.

6. Scrape into the springform pan and smooth with spatula. Pour 1 inch very hot water into the roasting pan. Bake 5 minutes. Cover loosely with a piece of buttered foil and bake 10 minutes. (The cake will look soft, but this is as it should be.) Remove springform pan from roasting pan and set it on a wire rack to cool for 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 hours. The cake can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Do not freeze.

7. To unmold cake, place springform pan on a flat plate and wrap pan with a hot, damp towel. Run a thin, metal spatula around the cake and release the springform pan.

Crème Anglaise

2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1. Have a fine strainer ready near the range, suspended over a small mixing bowl. In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together sugar, salt and yolks until well-blended, using a wooden spoon.

2. In another small saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to the boiling point. (If using vanilla extract, add after the sauce is cool.) Stir a few tablespoons into the yolk mixture; then gradually add the remaining milk and vanilla bean, stirring constantly.

3. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, to just before the boiling point (170 – 180 degrees F. Do not heat over 180 degrees or the sauce will begin to curdle. If it curdles, pour into a blender and blend until smooth before straining.) Steam will begin to appear and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream. It will leave a well-defined track when a finger is run across the back of a spoon.

4. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the strainer, scraping up the thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until seeds separate. For maximum flavor, return the pod to the sauce until serving time. Cover and cool in the refrigerator. Will keep 5 days refrigerated. Makes 1 ¼ cups.

Cut small-ish pieces and have a glass of ice water handy, it's rich. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

God and Monsters

The monster advances
Again and again
To swallow my faith in bits and pieces

It bares its teeth
Again and again
It charges, it creeps, it takes ahold

And the moment my faith would be digested
Again and again
The monster - weakness, compromise, cynicism - The enemy
Is slain by the Master.

He is triumphant
Again and again.

by Dorci Harris ©

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Foodie - Your Turn

No Friday Foodie today.  I've been too sick this week to even eat much food let alone bake something, take pictures of it and blog about it.  Just thought I'd let you know so you didn't think I'd gone AWOL.  I have permission to have L from my doctor.  Please pray I'll find my way back to the land of the living soon.

Hey, I know.  Why don't you let me know what you're making for Superbowl Sunday snacks, food, appetizers, desserts, whatever.  I imagine here it will be Sardella's pizza and wings.  As for the teams, I think it's the the Colts and the Saints, right?  (It should be the Cardinals!!)  As for me, I'll be watching the commercials.  *cough cough*


Monday, February 1, 2010

A Matter of Death and Life

The Christian life is a life of going the extra mile. It is a life of constantly stepping, in faith, out of our comfort zone.

It is a life of loving our enemies. “But I tell you who hear me: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on one cheek, let him hit the other one too; if someone takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to everyone who asks you for something, and when someone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back.” (Luke 6:27-30)

It is a life of forgiving others even if we don’t feel like forgiving them. “And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done." (Mark 11:25)

It is a life of yielding our will to God. “For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

It is a life of submission. “Therefore submit yourselves to God.” (James 4:7a)

It is a life lived outside the understanding of this world - a life that Christ modeled for us.

It is a life of death.

“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Mark 8:34)