Saturday, December 30, 2017

Recipe #62 - Good Winter Cheesecake

This one is a conglomerate of what I've found I really like in a good hearty cheesecake. It's got that classic rich, dense New York style taste and consistency, and goes good by itself or with divers toppings.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbs of butter melted

For the filling:
3 bricks of cream cheese softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint of sour cream
3 eggs
Juice of one lemon - about a quarter cup

I like to start by setting out the eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream so they can get close to room temperature.

I line the bottom of a ten inch spring-form dish with wax paper and give the inside a good spray with canola oil.

Melt the butter in a small mixing bowl and stir in the crumbs, sugar, and vanilla.

Dump the crust into the pan and spread out nice with the bottom of a jar or something of that nature.

Place the crust in the fridge while you make the filling, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

I juice the lemon and then crack the eggs into the same container while I work the creamy items...

Our house is pretty cold so I nuke the cream cheese to help soften it up - about 90 seconds typically. You just don't want it to curdle.

Beat on low speed until creamy smooth, then add the sweetened condensed milk. Continue to mix until well blended.

Add the sour cream and beat until smooth.

Then add the eggs and lemon juice and beat until smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter into the crust and smooth out the top with your favorite spatula.


I don't bake the cake in a water bath, but I bake it directly over a casserole dish with water in it. Don't know if it makes a difference, but I haven't had one crack in the cake since I started doing it this way.

Bake at 300 for one hour.

Then, turn off the oven, and let the cake cool in the oven for another hour. Don't open the oven to look at it - it's fine.

Then, pull it out of the oven and let it cool for one more hour on top of the stove.

Then, let it finish setting up in the fridge overnight uncovered - to let the moisture evaporate and not condense and fall back into the cake.

Tomorrow, carefully remove the pan sides and bottom and put it in a cheesecake holder., Then cut several pieces for dessert... be sure to share.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Another couple of inches yestreday and overnight, i will be shoveling after I do up the morning dishes. Episode 8 later and then some local college basketball from Little Caesars Arena.

Praise God for His creation!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Chicken Soup Variation #3

I threw this together on a blustery December Sunday in Whitmore Lake. I had some cabbage and broccoli I needed to use up, so I grabbed some chicken from my favorite meat market on the way home from morning Mass and used our newly refurbished Whirlpool range to create this comfort food delight.


3 split chicken breasts
seasoning for stock: kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, parsley, sage, oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, bay leaves
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic
2 ribs celery diced
6 chicken bouillon cubes - (thank you, Ree Drummond)

4 tbs flour
4 tbs butter

1/2 head cabbage shredded
3 crowns broccoli diced
4 carrots sliced
1 onion sliced
3 ribs celery sliced
I can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

I started with the chicken in my favorite stock pot covered with cold water, and added the bouillon cubes, seasoning, onion, celery, and garlic. The chicken was a bit frozen when I began boiling it, so I let it go about an hour total, at a rolling boil.

When the chicken was all cooked, I pulled it out, and poured the stock through a fine mesh strainer - discarding the solids. The meat I removed to a platter to let cool before taking out the skin and bones.

The stock I then put back on the stove at a medium simmer and added the can of soup, celery, carrots, onion, cabbage, and broccoli - in that order.

In my favorite Copper Chef pan, I melted the half stick of butter and whisked in the flour to make a nice roux, then added this to the simmering stock.

As soon as the meat was cool enough to handle, i removed it from the skin, bones, and cartilage, and chopped it roughly before adding it to the stock. With everything in the pot now, I let it simmer for about a half hour covered and stirring frequently (with that roux, the flour will cause it to stick to the bottom of the pot - be vigilant!)

The mushroom soup was the secret ingredient, adding enough saltiness and flavour to give this dish a ten stars rating.

Thank You, Father, for a wonderful meal; thank You for providing enough to share this afternoon. 
God be praised!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

1 Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

2 Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind:
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God's love aright
She bore to men a Savior
When half-spent was the night.

3 This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load

Sunday, November 5, 2017

DB, are you listening?!?!?

Via Father Joe, as outlined in the October 2017 issue of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing's Faith magazine:

... So, I'm going to share with you three things: the name of each of the heavenly virtues, what those virtues look like, and the deadly sin they counter.

Virtue: Humility
'Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.' - CS Lewis
Putting others first.
Not drawing attention to yourself and what you do
Recognising that all yo have comes from God
Counters pride

Virtue: Chastity
Holding fast to our knowledge that we are children of God and that our body is a temple
Other people do not exist for my secual gratification
Not reducing other people to things I must have
Counters lust

Virtue: Patience/Forgiveness 
Enduring situations and/or people with dignity and a good spirit
A sense of peaceful stability and harmony
Giving the wounds other people have inflicted on us to God and asking Him to forgive them
Counters wrath

Virtue: Kindness
Compassion and friendship for others, empathy without prejudice for its own sake
The refusal to do harm to others
Counters envy

Virtue: Temperance
Constant mindfulness of others and one's surroundings
Self-control, moderation, delayed gratification
The proper response at the proper time
Counters gluttony

Virtue: Charity
Generosity, self-sacrifice, loving with our actions
Giving of ourselves
Counters: greed

Virtue: Diligence
Giving all we have in that hich we are given to do
Strong work ethic
Not giving up on our tasks because they are challengin
Using our time well and being on guard against laziness
Counters the sin of sloth

Read the list slowly and carefully, asking god to help you pick one (not two or more, just one!). Take your time on this. Clear your head. Don't 'run ahead' of God and decide which one you want to go after, wait for his voice in your heart to show you. When you feel that you've got the one you are to go after, write it down and carry it with you. Pray every day that God will strengthen that virtue within you. Ask Him to bless you as you pursue it.
Next, make sure that each day you practice the virtue in some practical concrete way.
Wash, rinse, repeat. Do this every day and realize two things:
One, sin is rarely, if ever finished in us. I don't know that any of us will get to a point where we can say that we have safely put a sin behind us. Be vigilant!
Two, don't give up. Never, ever give up. God will not give up on you When you fall, if you fall, get right to confession. Tell the priest what you are doing with these virtues and wait for the mercy and grace to come pouring down.
I pray that God bless your efforts and that you find great life and joy in taking these first steps toward becoming a saint.
Enjoy another day in God's presence.

Young Messiah 1990

Rich Mullins - Sometimes by Step

Friday, November 3, 2017

Father, speak to me this weekend; through Your creation, through Your sons and daughters, through Your Word speak to me. And help me, please, to listen. Not just listen, but really hear You. 
Change my heart LORD, change it because I am nothing without You.
You are our strength and courage; Your Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path.
Praise be to You always: Father, Son and Spirit!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Terrific Tuesday

Snow this morning and oh i finally turned on the home heater last night as i crept into bed.

Tonight is Halloween and I have candy ready.... Skittles and Nerds and Gummis and other such brands that i am not particularly fond of, so as to avoid the temptation.

Dry out now but it has been cloudy all day.

Cold and cloudy. Need to make a fire tonight for sure. <3 p="">
Listening to George Winston, Mannheim Steamroller, and Windham Hill artists... it's beginning to sound alot like CHRISTmas.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cool and cloudy this week. About a week ago the forcast for to-day was sun and 62. As it is, it's cloudy getting ready to rain and maybe 50. I still have half of the deck left to finish painting and now I wish I would have started sooner (hindsight).
WS game three tonight, MSU plays at Northwestern 3:30 and Michigan hosts Rutgers at noon.
God is love

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday evening

Another glorious weekend here in southeast lower Michigan! mid 70's with a nice breeze all weekend, MSU won!, Michigan lost!, and I'm actually winning my fantasy week (thanks again, Dak).

Got out to Howell this morning, put almost a whole coat of paint on the front deck, finished the MSU Jambalaya, and got our Halloween candy.

Took a long nap this afternoon and now will be up late I am sure.

Thank You, Father for answered prayer.

We continue to lift up mom and dad and mom and dad, aunt Pam, Jeanie's dad, and all those suffering dis-ease. Be glorified through these circumstances, be glorified always and forever!

All praise and honor and glory to YOU, Holy Father, Son, and Spirit!

Wyandotte, by my nephew Carlos Luis

Lets buy a house somewhere in Wyandotte

Lets empty our pockets and give what we've got

Abandone this whole in the wall that we own

Let's go to Wyandotte buy us a home

Let's go buy a house somewhere far from this town

Where the roof isn't leaking - the waters' not brown

Far from that corner where someone got shot

Lets go and buy a home in Wyandotte

With a white epicket fence and a siding of brick

that old big bad wolf blows down all straws and sticks

Lets go buy a house some where far away from here

Where the air isnt toxic, it's fresh ...  and it's clear

Not a cabin or condo, apartment or flat

Just a nice place with Welcome spelled out on the mat

I'll find us a place where our family will roam

Let's go to Wyandotte and buy us a home

Friday, October 20, 2017

my garbage pickles from this years less than bountiful cucumber harvest have found their purpose:::

diced up in the tuna/mayo mix!

to die for.

if i had some good bread, i'd make a sandwich and take a picture of it.
as it is, i'll eat it out of the bowl with my fork and right along side my Aldi Original Shells and Cheese. ... *slight anticipatory drool*

Picked Jalapenos


So easy. So spicy... you won't know what hit you!
Yield: 1 pint sized jar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


15 large jalapeños, sliced, stems discarded
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup filtered water
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt


In a medium sauce pan combine the garlic, water, vinegar, sugar and salt.
Heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Once at a boil; add the sliced jalapenos pressing them so they are submerged under the pickling liquids. Remove the pot off of the heat and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
Use tongs to transfer the jalapenos into a clean jar. Ladle the pickling juices over top until you've reached the top of the jar. Let cool at room temperature before securing a lid and popping them into the fridge.
I personally, would treat these as I would any opened jar of jalapenos. They should last a long while if kept refrigerated in the airtight jar.
**REVISED: I've found that 20 medium jalapenos will fill a quart size jar. I upped the water and vinegar to 1-1/4 cups each. Sugar and salt stayed the same.

LES MISERABLES 10th Anniversary Dream Cast with Lyrics

'shay with a gauge and vanilla with a nine' ... did we really used to listen to this?!?

The Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing

Glorious sunshine Friday morning phone already ringing, business to attend to, wants, needs, priorities, ...

Beautiful Savior~
Thank You for reminding me this morning what is important - that the 'what' is really 'who'.
All praise to You - Father, Son, Spirit!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Good morning, Holy Spirit!
Fall afresh on us to-day; come, come, come...
More of You, less of me, More of Christ the world to see
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us
Come, come, come


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pizza Monday, pizza yestreday, and blimey if it don't look like pizza again to-day

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Warmer to-day, but the temps have been quite comfortable at night. With the windows open, I have been hearing coyotes way closer than I would like to think, and me without my .22LR to assist. The chipmunk eats the safflower but I have not actually seen him in the feeders for many moons. The pumpkin is not getting any larger or oranger so I will harvest him soon. Pork tenderloin on the grill tonight, pizza tomorrow, and perhaps chili with Moni on Thursday.

Friday, September 15, 2017


It is Friday close to the end of the work day and I am full of Jimmy Johns. Freaky fast is appropriate. It's almost as if I just hung up and I hear the nice young lady climbing the stairs to bring me my protein/produce/carbohydrate treat. I can devour them pretty fast, too. Very tasty, with the unknown white sauce and white cheese.
I am reminded right now of The Galley sub sandwiches, who provided us many lunches as undergrads right off campus in Kalamazoo MI. Their subs were big, and included pickles. I remember they had a menu on the wall with all the different choices that you could ponder while you waited your turn to order. I am sure I rarely (if ever) visited The Galley my first two years at WMU, as I had the unlimited pleasure of all-you-can-eat cafeteria plans those two years. From 6 in the am to 7 in the pm, I could sit in that large room and make myself fat with entrees, eggs or burgers cooked to order, a sandwich buffet open every day during lunch hours, soft-serve ice cream, fountain soda, coffee (went so well with my Marlboros), fruit and salad bar, and a desert table. We would often make a big sandwich, wrap it in a napkin, and slyly pack it in a backpack, to be taken up to the room for that late night snack. Evey night right before bedtime the halls were typically filled with the aroma of cannabis and toaster oven.
We would go to the cafeteria and play euchre while smoking and indulging in our favorite beverages. And the only thing that would keep us out of there was the free rental pool table in the 'game room'.
Near the front desk where we would trade our student ID for a rack of balls, it was also located off the stairwell that led to the cafeteria. So we got to see the entire dorm population coming and going to the cafeteria while we were earning the 'poolsharks' label so often yelled at us at parties.

'Hi, I'm David'
'You live in Eicher Hall?'
'Yeah, how'd you...'
'You guys are the poolsharks'
'Oh yeah **sheepish smile**'

We rarely played for money (few of us had much at all) but we sure got pretty good at bank shots.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Now Thank We All Our God

1. Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mother's arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

2. Oh, may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace
And guide us when perplexed
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

3. All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son, and Him who reigns
With them in highest heaven:
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore!
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.

The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #36

by Martin Rinckart, 1586-1649
Text: Ecclus.50:22-24
Author: Martin Rinckart, 1636
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1858
Titled: "Nun danket alle Gott"
Composer: Johann Crueger, 1648
Tune: "Nun danket alle Gott"

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sunrise over Lake Huron this morning; from Dad and Mom, on holiday

Thursday, August 17, 2017

On Eclipses and Such

On the afternoon of May 10, 1994, I was out on the lawn of West Highland Baptist Church in Milford, Michigan with my Earth Science class pondering the events of the day. The long-predicted solar eclipse that afternoon took us out of doors, but it was hidden by cloud cover, and it was good thing, too:  we had not the proper equipment to view the event, other than some paper frame diffraction glasses.

As we were lamenting the course of events, the clouds broke a bit, and with the shadow of the earth just off the center of the disk of the sun, we were able to watch the eclipse for several minutes through a layer of high thin clouds. Our eyes were saved and our appetites for this solar event was quenched, and life was good.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Heading into the last day of the work week, and so much up in the air...

My God~

I release all the concerns of my heart and leave them at the foot of the cross. I give them to YOU!

I praise You, as Creator and Sustainer of all, and as King of kings and LORD of lords.

Thank You for Your love, and thank You for the peace that passes understanding.

 All glory and honor and praise to YOU!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

One of our favorite summer dishes - taco salad

Freshly picked from our garden

I started with 80 20 ground beef - abou t a pound and a half - in EVOO

Diced some yellow onion for flavor

Meanwhile, prepared the produce in a big bowl

Garden fresh green bell peppers

Garden fresh jalapeno peppers - no seeds in the dish this time

Added the vegetables to the meat

While the produce awaits...

Cooked until the burger is done all through...

Then drained the grease

Added about half a cup of chicken broth and my taco seasoning

chili powder, cumin, garlic, crushed red pepper, and ground black pepper

and about one large tablespoon of the secret ingredient - dark brown sugar. Shhhhhh

Allowed it to cool before adding to the produce, cheese, crushed corn chips and dressing

I used ranch and thousand island this time, with a couple shots of hot sauce (i forgot to get salsa aad face). It turned out pretty good, but not my best.

Around the yard on a beautiful COOL Saturday :-)