In Control of the Animal Kingdom!

Fresh is our semi-outdoor cat by her choice. She can be a little bit feral also as the mood takes her. She enjoys her time in the house because the dogs can see her through the slider and can bark all they want. She doesn’t waste her precious cat thoughts on our other cats, either, but is aware of them at all times.

Yes, Buster, I KNEW you were there. Want to see my claws?

Yes, Buster, I KNEW you were there. Want to see my claws?

Mystery Meals?

Working on dinner this evening and decided to have a cheese pizza to go with the Mexican Vegetable Soup. I’m of German descent and my husband is of French/Canadian background. Guess there is no telling what we will combine at the dinner table!

Anyway, mystery to solve for today? What are the origins of this pizza crust?

Plain Old Lentil Soup

When my daughter was away at college, she soon found the cafeteria fare to be lacking in things like taste, fiber, and nutrition unless all could be found in fries. She started doing more cooking in the dorm kitchen and a favorite that caught on with her friends was Lentil Soup over a bowl of rice. Her friends weren’t sure about it not being familiar with lentils but after a few bites, they said they somehow felt healthier!

Plain Old Lentil Soup

3 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed, and diced
1 ½ cups dried lentils (They should be rinsed under cold water before cooking)
1 cup of diced ham
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
7 cups of chicken broth (canned or homemade)
2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon chili flakes

Freshly-made rice
Enough freshly-grated sharp cheddar to top each bowl of rice and soup

In a soup pot, add a few drops of olive oil and saute the garlic until it softens. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot (EXCEPT for the rice and cheese!), bring to a boil and the cover and simmer for approximately 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

To make a thicker version of the soup, put two cups of the soup including some of the solids to a blender and carefully blend until smooth. Stir back into the soup and stir until you bring it back to hot.

Refrigerator Cookies – An Easy Recipe

Refrigerator cookies are a favorite of mine. You can make a batch of cookies and put them in the refrigerator for later use. The time comes that you need a sweet snack, you preheat your oven, slice some cookie dough into rounds and bake. You can have your kitchen smelling amazing within minutes and thoroughly impressing your family.

This is a favorite recipe of mine. Often I will double the recipe to have some emergency dessert/snacks at the ready!

Slightly Citrus Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of finely grated orange zest

Cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Beat in the sugar until well incorporated then add the eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and zest together in a separate bowl. Now, add it to the butter mixture until well-mixed but don’t over beat it!

On a sheet of waxed paper, form your dough into a long log about two or three inches in diameter. Wrap it into the waxed paper and refrigerate for four hours to overnight.

Now you have two choices. You can cut slices of cookie rounds for baking or you can roll out your dough and use cookie cutters!

Anyway, put your cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. You will have approximately four dozen cookies.

For a fancier cookies, you can brush the tops of your cookies with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with finely chopped nuts, colored sugar, or other cookie decorations before baking. A simple icing would be good, too. Extra fancy? Cut and bake cookies into rounds and make sandwich cookies filling them with jam, melted chocolate, or peanut butter.

You Have a Better Explanation?

Very, VERY interesting story.

Miracles happen through the Power of God and if you don’t ask, you probably won’t receive a miracle waiting to take place. Now, one can say it was just a coincidence in November but everything was against it happening . . . and it did. Kind of makes one want to renew their prayers for this country and become deeper in love with the possibilities what God can provide with faith and devotion.