Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

I thought this was a tasty way of serving baked beans. We had cole slaw on the side. Very yummy :)

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

  • 2 cups mixed dried beans
  • 6 cups water (twice)
For the tomato sauce:
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 big can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • spices to taste: wine, oregano, pepper, salt, chili powder
  • 6 large tortillas
  • grated cheese, for example Monterey and Colby Jack
  • Parmesan cheese

1. Soak beans in water over night or bring to a boil and let sit for an hour. Discard beans that are floating, drain water. Add another 6 cups of water, bring to a boil and let the beans simmer for 2-3 hour, until the beans are soft.

2. In the meantime (or even better, the day before), prepare the tomato sauce: Saute onion and garlic in a Dutch oven or skillet, add diced tomatoes and tomato puree, brown sugar and spices. Thin to taste and let simmer for a while. Tomato sauce gets better the longer it sits.

3. Mix the cooked beans and the tomato sauce and let simmer together for a while.

4. Grate cheese. Grease a large baking dish with shortening. Preheat the oven to 350F.

5. Fill a tortillas with bean sauce mix and cheese (don't use up all the sauce !), roll up leaving the ends open, and place rolls into the baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce, then with leftover cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the tortillas soft.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"In Love" ?

What most Christians seem to mean when they say that Christians should do things "in love" is the following, according to my personal experience at least:

Doing things "in love" means, to them,
  • to say everything in a candy coated way (no matter how insincere this candy coating is),
  • to never criticize anyone for anything but always claim that everyone has his and her own way and walk with Jesus (no matter how blasphemous such a statement is at close inspection),
  • to never ever judge anyone for anything (even if Scripture judges most clearly), and
  • to never disagree with anyone, either openly or privately (even if iron is supposed to sharpen iron), but rather
  • not to say anything if you disagree (despite the call to earnestly content for the faith), and probably
  • to pray for the poor person you think has it wrong (and usually saying "I pray for you" is the extent of the prayer already).
You know, if this was what doing things "in love" meant according to the Scriptures, Christ would have been among the most unloving persons that ever lived, closely followed by the likes of Isaiah and Jeremiah, as well as such "dubious characters" as John the Baptist, Paul, James or Peter. These weren't loved by their contemporaries, but they were doing things "in love" indeed.

Now think again, people, and read your bible (probably starting with the second table of the Ten Commandments and the case laws), and get your definitions straight.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zucchini Bread

It's more a cake really, much like Pumpkin Bread, but this zucchini bread recipe is really quite tasty and ridiculously easy too. I baked the loaf (I only baked one) in a cast iron pan and it turned out just great. Try it :) Oh, one thing: I halved the recipe, and since it is difficult to half 3 eggs, I used 2. I think over all the bread had to bake a little longer, but it turned out nice and moist. Well, maybe it is also nice and moist because some of the flour-mix ended up on the floor when my little 2-year-old baking helper kneaded the flour instead of using the spoon ;)

Zucchini Bread


* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 1/4 cups white sugar
* 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups grated zucchini
* 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans.
  • Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together. Add the flour mix to the egg and sugar mix and stir. Then add zucchini (fresh or thawed) and walnuts.
  • Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until a stick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for about 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
Very yummy with a smidge of butter or cream cheese :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Last Day of the Feast

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This really is the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" So there was a division among the people over him. (Joh 7:37-43)
What a gift.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Potato Salad

Happy Feast of Tabernacles, everybody - or "Happy Nefee", as our little one would say ;) Halfway into the Feast, I thought I could share my favorite potato salad recipe, just in case you are running out of ideas about what to cook during this feast week. We will have it with fried fish on the side, or maybe the other way round ;)

Potato Salad

Ingredients for 4 servings:
  • 10 middle sized potatoes
  • 2 red onions
  • Italian Dressing
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 big red pepper, bell pepper or a spicy kind, to taste
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • salt, pepper
Boil potatoes and eggs for approximately 20 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour some Italian Dressing in a big bowl, cut potatoes into it as hot as you can handle them, and stir after every potato. If the potato skin is thick, peel it off, otherwise it might as well go into the salad. After half of the potatoes are cut, chop up onions and add to the potatoes, stir. Add remaining potatoes and let sit for a while.

Peel eggs and cut into small pieces. Add to the potatoes. Add pepper and salt before stirring the eggs under. Then clean the red bell pepper - you can use a spicy kind too if you like - and cut into small pieces. Add to the salad and stir again.

In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise and mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce appears to be too thick, add a little more Italian Dressing. Pour over potato salad, stir yet again. Let cool in the fridge before eating.

Enjoy :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Christianity is not easy !" ?

I came across a blog the other day where a good Christian lady, housewife and mother was writing about temptation. While this is certainly a subject many people are struggling with, and while temptation is one of the things we are taught to pray about by Christ Himself (Mat 6:13), I was struck by one sentence in the article that made me stop and wonder.

After a general introduction into the subject, the lady said that she certainly had to struggle with things and still was, and she concluded that "Christianity is not easy", putting special emphasis on the "not" as if she had been "accused" before of having chosen a religion that was easy. She is not the first one to say so and will certainly not be the last. Search the internet for the phrase "Christianity is not easy" if you want a quick overview of the discussion.

Now, I know I said it before on this blog, but I am not afraid of repeating myself on the important matters: Christ does not only teach us to pray for delivery from evil, but He also promises that His yoke is easy and his burden light, and that we should come to Him, take up His yoke, learn from Him, and find rest for our souls (Mat 11:28-30).

I do have the impression that Christ's words here do not go very well with this good Christian lady's conclusion on the matter of temptation. I guess that, instead of dwelling on temptations or trying to work through them in our own good time and way, it would be much more in accordance with Scripture to simply obey Yahweh's commandments - in other words, take Christ's yoke and learn from Him what it means to be obedient - and if temptations arise, stick with the Law and pray for deliverance from evil, like we are taught.

After all, we are told that His yoke is easy, so how can we as bible believers turn around and claim that Christianity is not easy ? If we fear the Lord and obey His Law Word, He will see to it that our paths are smooth.

"The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway." (Pro 15:19)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Bread in the Bread Machine

This pumpkin bread is really more a cake than a bread, and it tastes great with cream cheese or butter spread on it. I bake it in the bread machine on the "quick" cycle. The quick cycle runs for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread in the Bread Machine
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

I usually mix the ingredients in a separate bowl before I put them in the bread machine pan, just to make sure they are well mixed:
Mix the first 4 ingredients together, blend well. Stir in the baking powder, soda, salt, spices, and flour just until mixed. Pour batter into the bread machine pan and set on quick bread cycle.

When the bread is done, avoid dropping it onto its head when taking it out of the pan. Let cool on a rack or plate. This bread keeps well in the fridge and is nice and moist.