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Sunday, December 9, 2012

ExTrAorDinAry Mac n Chz

The BEST cheese sauce (I’ve ever made) for ExTrAorDinAry Mac n Cheez
1 stick of butter
½ c flour
2c Chicken stock
8oz cream cheese (super soft)
 ½ c sour cream
¼ c warm milk
2 c Grated Sharp Cheddar, Swiss & Parmesan
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Tabasco, Salt & Pepper to taste (I use A LOT)

Make your roux, remove from heat & blend in cream cheese, sour cream- add ½ of the grated cheese…layer macaroni with remaining grated  cheese & sauce ( I usually end up w/2 layers) bake until bubbly 20 min @375 degrees J

Hanukkah Dinner 2012

Hanukkah dinner menu 2012

For your entertainment… “Jew z rap”

ingredients ( I THREW IN SOME CRAISINS….)
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         4 lamb chops, shoulder cut, 1 1/4 inches thick
·         Salt and freshly ground pepper
·         Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
·         carrots, coarsely chopped
·         2 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
·         1 cup red wine
·         1 cup port
·         4 cups chicken stock
·         1 bay leaf
·         fresh ROSEMARY & MINT, plus chopped leaves for garnish
·         2 tablespoons cold butter

1 large bag of Oreo cookies 
2 cups of pancake mix 
1 1/2 cup of milk 
2 eggs 
4 teaspoons of oil

·         Peanut oil, for frying
·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1/4 cup sugar
·         2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
·         5 tablespoons milk, divided
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/4 cup cocoa powder
·         2 cans large buttermilk biscuits

  • POTATO LATKES (RACHEL RAY)– I doubled the onions & skipped the carrots
·         1 (24-ounce) bag shredded potatoes for hash browns
·         1 large carrot, peeled
·         1 medium onion, peeled
·         2 eggs, beaten
·         2 teaspoons salt
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         3 tablespoons matzo meal, cracker meal or all-purpose flour
·         Vegetable oil, for frying
·         2 cups chunky apple sauce
·         1 cinnamon stick
·         1 cup sour cream

we  cheated & used a bag mix for the cookies – then made some quick confectionary icing, Nicholaus did the best decorating J

Noodle kugel

  • 1/2 pound wide kosher for Passover egg noodles
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 pound cottage cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Boil the noodles in salted water for about 4 minutes. Strain noodles from water. In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles with remaining ingredients and pour into a greased, approximately 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Bake until custard is set and top is golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes

Saturday, December 8, 2012

That wasn't me

Hang on, just hang on for a minute
I've got something to say
I'm not asking you to move on or forget it
But these are better days
To be wrong all along and admit is not amazing grace
But to be loved like a song you remember
Even when you've changed

Tell me did I go on a tangent?
Did I lie through my teeth?
Did I cause you to stumble on your feet?
Did I bring shame on my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
Whatever you see, that wasn't me
That wasn't me, that wasn't me

When you're lost you will toss every lucky coin you'll ever trust
And you will hide from your god like he never turns his back on us
And you will fall all the way to the bottom and land on your own knife
[- From: -]

But you'll learn who you are even if it doesn't take your life

Tell me did I go on a tangent?
Did I lie through my teeth?
Did I cause you to stumble on your feet?
Did I bring shame on my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
Whatever you see, that wasn't me
That wasn't me, that wasn't me

But I want you to know that you'll never alone
I wanna believe do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet
When you fall I will get you on your feet
Do I spend time with my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
When that's what you see, that will be me
That will be me, that will be me
That will be me

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Heavens waiting

Show a little faith, there's magic in the night....

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Isn't the bible sexist?

Isn't the Bible Sexist?

There is a widespread belief around about the Bible that it is some kind of powerful patriarchal conspiracy which has been used to oppress women. As a female speaker I find that this question is frequently asked: "How can you as a woman promote such a sexist book? The church has tried to keep women down!" As a Christian, I believe I need to be sensitive to the issues which underlie such an emotive question. While it may indeed seem to be the case that women have been discriminated against by religion, the Bible itself deserves closer examination on the subject. How is it that many of the greatest Jewish and Christian pioneers have been women? What does the Bible really say about this subject?(1)

Throughout the Bible there are numerous positive images of women and stories that involve women. In the Old Testament women share the image of God at creation. At the end of time at the Second Coming of Jesus, the church is represented as the bride of Christ. All the way through from beginning to end, the Bible includes the feminine as an integral part of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. While it is true that the Bible is written over a long period of time into specific cultures and that some of these contexts did not give equal social advantages to women, it would not be true to say that the message of the Bible is sexist or discriminatory against women.

In the New Testament, there are quite a number of significant events involving women, particularly considering the conservative cultural attitudes of the context into which it was written. This context is demonstrated by a simple statement in John's Gospel in the famous encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. There is a telling little sentence in 4:27 which sheds a great deal of light on just how radical the Bible is in affirming women. The disciples come across Jesus during his conversation with the woman and we are told they "were surprised to find him talking with a woman." This is the context of Jesus's ministry and yet he goes against these cultural trends time and time again.

He does this firstly by having female disciples. In a culture where the idea of women travelling around with a group of men, or having the status of disciple was seriously questionable, Jesus has a number of women who are included in his travelling circle who also contributed financially to the needs of the group. In fact, when Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are waiting outside to see him, he points to his disciples and says, "Here are my mother and brothers." This statement is unthinkable unless there were women among his disciples. In the Middle Eastern culture of the 1st century, it would be unspeakably offensive to point to male disciples and use female imagery to describe them. The group of disciples referred to must have included some women.

We also see Jesus teaching women in the New Testament. In Luke 10:38, we read of Mary who sits at the feet of Jesus and engages in theological study, much to her sister's chagrin. This phrase "to sit at the feet of" is the same formulation as Acts 22:3 where Paul describes his training under Gamaliel. The clear implication here is that Mary is affirmed as worthy of a Rabbi's theological instruction; indeed, it is interesting that later on in John's Gospel we read of Martha, Mary's sister, who is the first to be taught one of the most astounding theological statements of the New Testament. Jesus says to her, "'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies." In contrast to the cultural norms of the time, Jesus made a habit of revealing great theological truths to women. The first person who discovers Christ's true identity in John's Gospel is the Samaritan woman at the well. We must not underestimate how radical this is:  Jesus was turning cultural taboos on their heads by teaching women and allowing women to be his disciples.

In reality, it is clear that women played a full and vibrant role in the ministry of Jesus, both as examples within his teaching and as recipients of it. While this may seem absolutely right and proper in our 21st century context we must remember how radical this was in first century Palestine. Jesus intentionally affirmed and included women. We see a continuation of this in the early church, from Lydia and Tabitha to Philip's daughters, where women undertook various roles. While it is true to say that there are two particular passages in Paul's writings which seem to go against all of this, by commanding some women to be silent and forbidding others from teaching, these must be read and interpreted in the context of the rest of the Bible. Paul himself gives guidelines for women when they publicly prophecy and mentions women who do teach like Priscilla.

When we come to the text of the Bible with the issue of sexism in mind, we must be clear that while God is predominantly spoken of with male imagery and ultimately is incarnated in the man Jesus, this is not to say that women are undermined or undervalued. Some female imagery is used of God, and Jesus constantly affirms the value of women, teaching them and interacting with them as human beings. Both male and female are created in the image of God and both are so precious that Christ comes to the earth to redeem both male and female with his blood shed on the Cross.

Amy Orr-Ewing is director of programmes for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and UK director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Oxford, England.

(1) A version of this article was first published in Idea Magazine, Jul/Aug 2005. See also Is the Bible Intolerant? by Amy Orr-Ewing (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On a prayer, in a song...

I'm so thankful that on a prayer, in a song - I hear my Grandmother's voice, 
When I am the most homesick, lost & wandering - in my ear, a whisper <3
Oh, how I love this song - I choreographed one of my FAvOrItE pieces EVER to this song after 9/11 ----- thinking of you DWG girls & family :)

There’s a ship out on the ocean,
At the mercy of the sea.
It’s been tossed about,
Lost and broken,
Wandering aimlessly.
And God somehow you know,
That ship is me.

Cause there’s a lighthouse,
In a harbor,
Shining faithfully.
Pouring its light out,
Across the water.
For this sinking soul to see,
That someone out there still believes in me.

On a prayer,
In a song,
I hear your voice,
And it keeps me hanging on.
Oh, raining down, against the wind.
I’m reaching out,
‘Till we reach the circle’s end.
When you come back to me again.

There’s a moment,
There we all come to.
In our own time and in our own space.
Where all that we’ve done,
We can undo,
If our hearts’ in the right place.

And again I see,
My yesterday’s in front of me,
Unfolding like a mystery.
You’re changing all that is and used to be.

On a prayer,
In a song,
I hear your voice,
And it keeps me hanging on.
Oh, raining down, against the wind.
I’m reaching out,
‘Till we reach the circle’s end.
When you come back to me again.

When you come back to me again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Born Free

"Born Free"

Fast, on a rough road riding
High, through the mountains climbing
twisting, turning further from my home.
Young, like a new moon rising
Fierce, through the rain and lightning
Wandering out into this great unknown.
And I don't want no one to cry.
But, tell 'em if I don't survive

I was born free!

I was born free
I was born free, born free.

Free, like a river raging
Strong as the wind I’m facing.
Chasing dreams and racing father time.
Deep like the grandest canyon,
Wild like an untamed stallion.
If you can’t see my heart you must be blind.

You can knock me down and watch me bleed
But you can’t keep no chains on me.

I was born free!
I was born free
I was born free, born free.

And I'm not good at long goodbyes
But look down deep into my eyes
I was born free.

Calm, facing danger
Lost, like an unknown stranger

Grateful for my time with no regrets

Close to my destination
Tired, frail and aching
Waiting patiently for the sun to set

And when it's done, believe that I
will yell it from that mountain high

I was born free

I was born free
I was born free, born free

I will bow to the shining sea
And celebrate God's grace on thee

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Do this in remembrance of Me"

While many believe the Passover to be a Jewish feast, it is a feast of the LORD, 
and  it has much to teach us all. 
Jesus was a Jew, but He came for EVERYBODY.
Passover Symbols--Symbols for our Lives
(Thoughts for Shabbat Aharei Moth, the eve of Passover 5768)
by Rabbi Marc D. Angel
In preparing a speech for the recent wedding of Denise Cohen and Sasha Toperich, I pondered the meaning of the Passover symbols for our lives. The Haggada explains the historical background of these symbols; but I wondered if other important ideas were also hidden within them.  Here are the thoughts that came to my mind.
Matzah is a basic, no-frills item.  It is flour and water, without leavening. It stands for our basic selves, unpretentious, not inflated with vanity or pride. Matzah reminds us that we need to remember who we are; that we need not (and should not) participate in the rat race of one upmanship; that we cannot let our own internal happiness be dependent on how others judge us. Matzah is what it is, without apology, without need to impress others, without worrying if other foods are fancier or more elegant.
Because of its sheer simplicity and honesty, Matzah symbolizes freedom.  When we really know who we are, we gain a fine sense of our own freedom.  We can be strong unto ourselves; we can rise above the fray; we can stop playing games of who has more, who has better, who has control.  When we are free within, we have the confidence to live our own lives, not the counterfeit lives that others would impose on us.
The Pessah offering in the ancient Temples in Jerusalem was to be eaten in groups of family and friends; the paschal lamb was not to be prepared for only one person.  If Matzah symbolizes the inner strength of the individual, the Pessah offering reminds us that we are part of a family, part of a larger community. For us to grow as meaningful human beings, we need to see beyond our individual selves. We remember our family origins--our parents and grandparents, our earlier generations. We link ourselves to those traditions and see ourselves as part of a grand dramatic unfolding of family history. We recognize that we are also links in that chain of family tradition, with responsibilities to family and friends--and to generations yet unborn.
The Maror, bitter herbs, remind us that the world includes many people whose lives are filled with suffering, pain and bitterness. As we are grateful to the Almighty for the blessings He has showered upon us, we cannot forget the bitter tears that are shed by hungry children, by helpless parents, by lonely and frail elderly people. We cannot forget the immeasurable pain inflicted by wars, by terrorism, by cruelty, by disease, by poverty...
As we sit around the seder table, the Matzah reminds us of our basic individuality; the shankbone (symbolizing the Pessah offering) reminds us of our link to family and friends; the Maror reminds us that our happiness and fulfillment also depend on our concern for those who are less fortunate, those whose lives are embittered.
The Maror also reminds us that no one gets through life without experiencing times of sadness and pain. At those times, we need family and friends to come to our aid, to comfort us; and when others are grieving, they need us to console them and help them.
 Matzah, Pessah and Maror, then, have ongoing messages for how we can lead better, happier and more meaningful lives. Together, they contribute to our inner freedom, our family continuity, our commitment to make this a better world.
I wish you a happy and meaningful Passover festival. Mo'adim leSimha, Hagim uZmanim leSason.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

He came just for you.

I've heard it said that a man would swim the ocean
Just to be with the one he loves
How may times has he broken that promise
It can never be done
I've never swam the deepest ocean
But I walked upon the raging sea
I know that you don't understand
the fullness of My love
How I died upon the cross for your sins
And I know that you don't realize
how much that I gave you
But I promise, I would do it all again.
Just to be with you, I've done everything
There's no price I did not pay
Just to be with you, I gave everything
Yes, I gave my life away.
Love Song by Third Day

Monday, April 2, 2012

In the wilderness?

I have to admit that while I live in one of the top vacation destinations in the US - I have an ever present longing to go "home". Its not so much the shores of Lake Ontario that beckon me to return, but the longing for my community of friends and family that reside there. Oh to be "where everybody knows your name", and more than that know WHO YOU ARE - without explanation.
In the last two decades I have gone from being an ultra feminist with a taste for atheism to being a home-schooling Messiah believing MaMa - whose main objective is to understand God's will for me and to act on it ("THY will be done", easy to say--tricky to actually want;).
In my life in that small town, I was blessed with and surrounded by people who, while they didn't always understand my choices or direction (eccentric & weird were terms thrown about at times), I could count on "my people" to always stand beside me, and sometimes even join me for the ride. But now, I make my way in uncharted territory, feeling as if I have to not only defend my faith but explain myself & my bizarre choices at every turn, and most of the time nobody really has the ears to hear, if you know what I mean.
So, as the Grace household starts to prepare for Passover, I am reminded of two fundamental principles of Judaism: FREEDOM & COMPASSION FOR THE OUTSIDER. I am grateful that I have the freedom to worship how I want and have the authority to teach my children the same. I am also grateful that we are told "one law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you", I am beyond thankful to be an adopted child of God. JOHN 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Today, I make a pledge, that when the "homesickness" creeps in- I will remind myself that I AM NOT ALONE, and that apparently God has placed me on this rock to do HIS WILL & spread the good news! Feeling sad & lonely? Get to work! There are people out there who are truly sad & lonely - who need a message of hope, if we are sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves- then who is going to lift them up?!
Matthew 26:27-28 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A book like no other

This book contains the mind of God, 
the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. 
Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, 
its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. 
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. 
It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
 It is the travelers map, the pilgrims staff, the pilots compass, 
the soldiers sword, and the Christians charter. 
Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. 
Christ is its grand object, our good is its design, and the glory of God its end. 
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. 
Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.
 It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgement and will be remembered forever.
 It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, 
and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Strong Silent Type

Sometimes in relationships, we find it is those same characteristics we fall in love with people FOR, that can become those things which we find ourselves MOST irritated by down the road aways. My husband of almost17 years, is no Chatty Cathy...not so much with the talky talky. While-initially this was very attractive to me - more room for me to run my mouth! - after awhile I found myself badgering him because he never talked to me, and actually becoming angry at him for behaving like himself  - I mean, how dare he?
Anyway, its taken awhile but I have actually learned to be grateful for my spouses careful consideration of words and direct manner of dialect, have come to admire it really.
My advice to those who have had enough---with whatever their spouse is making them crazy about--- find YOUR peace in it. If my husband would always talk to me on demand, hang on my every word, listen to all my stories- I would never write, I would have no need - I could just spill my guts to him and be done with it all. Instead I have to go through this process, which I gotta admit, I really enjoy. So, I am thankful and truly- still a sucker for the strong, silent type!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trending challenge....#30thingsaboutme

1. i spent part of my life as an agnostic soft-boiled atheist and now am a certifiable Jesus freak, although opposed to most mainstream religion.

2. 16 years ago i married my high school sweetheart nathaniel, whose name means "gift from God", while i have doubted the truth in that at times (LOL;), i know and believe he truly is my gift from my creator.

3. I believe greed & the desire for materialistic things are leading to the demise of our society.

4. As a child I dreamed of owning my own dance studio and producing lavish theatrical performances. Even though I gave him no credit at the time, God fufilled this dream for me & I spent nearly ten glorious years having an awesome time living the reality show"Dance Moms" BUT- I wasnt like Abbey Lee Miller (I dont think;). I am eternally grateful for the opportunites I had to share my love of the stage with so many truly wonderful students.

5. I long to be "off the grid", hate filing taxes, and reporting to the government anything about my life & whereabouts.

6. I have  homeschooled both of my boys for the last decade, except for the two years my oldest spent w/ the throngs of other children having their minds warped by the public school system (he did love it;). They now both continue to be  unschoolers opposed to societies dictates and into questioning reality as well as authority.

7. Watching my Grandmother descend into the misery of Alzheimers has been the hardest thing I have ever had to endure.

8. I love to take naps & eat. Gluttony & sloth are my favorite sins.

9. While I was a bleeding heart liberal feminist who marched on Washington more than once - my family likes to remind me(and think its funny) that I am now a conservative (ouch) and no longer a supporter of the "feminist agenda". I still get my news from Amy Goodman/Democracy Now - thats gotta count for something. 

10. God has blessed me with lifelong friends that are such wonderful counterbalances to who I am. Philippians 1:3

11. I love Mexican food, my husband loves mexican women.

12. I'll tell you I'm an orphan, after you meet my family.(Name that tune! My chosen theme song;)

13. I am proud & grateful that my sons have lived in the same home for 17 years with parents who are not divorced.

14. I have made grave errors & choices in my life, God made my name Grace for a reason.

15. Both my son Benjamin and I are aspiring authors, he is writing a horror novel about an ex preist who exorcises demons & chases vampires, I am working on my Grandmothers biography/a book about her faith (&mine).

16. I hate to leave my house & am a little agoraphobic. I have no problem standing on a stage & talking or dancing in front of thousands or managing a room of 90, but sometimes the idea of the grocery store is just too much. I am a paradox.

17. I believe we are living during the most important time in the history of the world.

18. I struggle most with unforgiveness.

19. I love watching television;History Channel, OWN,TBN, TCT, CNN, MSNBC, LINK, UCTV, FREESPEECH TV...the list goes on & on.

20. I am registered Libertarian; please defend my borders - deliver my mail & butt the heck out of my life, thanks.

21. When my sons were born i suffered from a condition known as pre-eclampsia. Nick was deprived of oxygen at birth, had an apgar score of 1 and according to doctors was'nt supposed to make it through his first night. On the third day of his life we were told by a very prominant neonatologist that he was a miracle of God. For my second child,I was induced due to blood pressure / blindness & organ failure and delivered a miraculously healthy Benjamin at 27 weeks, he weighed in at 2lbs 12 oz- he is now 15years old -approaching 6 feet rapidly and just tipped the scales at 200#. He is as he is named "the son of my right hand".

22. I intend to travel and live out west at somepoint, to get closer to my Dad & retrace my Grandmother's steps across this country.

23. I have always loved libraries.

24. I enjoy wearing red shoes. 

25. I dance  & sing loudly in my kitchen almost every day.

26. I love the book "Forbidden mysteries of Enoch:fallen angels and the origins of evil".

27. I have Rh negative blood & that makes me part of the weirdo 15% of the population, but I've got great green eyes!

28. This past summer I moved to an island, gave up everything I knew and struck out into uncharted territory (to mainly serve lobster). I've been  looking at a fabulous view every day since. 

29. When I'm camping in the Adirondacks, I read trashy romance novels.

30. I believe all you need is love