Archive for August, 2011

Tasty Tidbits Tuesday: Quick Fixes

Hungry with no time but a decently stocked kitchen? Need something sweetened but filling? I know what you need, one fluffernutter coming up!

What’s a fluffernutter you say? Why, I’m glad you asked! It’s one ooey gooey sandwich that’s so thick you might just glue your mouth shut! (Like the prince in Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends)

You’ll need:

  • 2 pieces of bread (your choice but I like a hearty wheat)
  • Peanut Butter (your choice on chunky or smooth. I like natural sugarless peanut butter smooth)
  • Marshmellow creme (Something you’ll most likely need to buy, but you’ll eat it I promise)
  • 2 knives
Lay the two pieces of bread open faced on the plate. Smear your peanut butter on one half, creme on the other slice. Squish spread slices together and WHAABAM! You have a basic fluffernutter sandwich.
Want to kick it up a notch? On the two sides without spread rub a smidge of butter and grill for 1-2 minutes per side until spread is liquidy and sides are slightly toasted. Put grilled flutternutter on the plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut in half. You now have a hot fluffernutter!
Welcome to the South, we like peanut butter, marshmellows and Elvis. ūüôā
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Blessed are those …Sweet Sundays

Over time there will be different Sundays breaking down the beatitudes.
We’ll start here:

Matthew 5:8 NIV84

Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

This isn’t the beginning of the beatitudes but the one for this mornings reflection. I’ve been at a conference all weekend for work in San Antonio. Not a normal conference but a conference for the I/DD population of Texas. They flock in from across the state to have fun, meet new people, & learn about their rights in the community. It’s empowering, but that moral doesn’t tie with the verse. The fact that they are purely sweet & honest is.
Maybe not all motives are pure (been hit on a few times) but they’re more innocent than us, honest to a fault & refreshing.¬†
So many just enjoy the experience that you can’t help but marvel. They approach this trip in a way that reminds me of how we should approach God. No hidden motives. Honestly. Expressively, & as loving children.

How’s your approach to this verse?

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Travelin’ Thursdays Denton Edition: The Square is Hip!

This post is also dedicated to the newly repopulated campus’ of UNT, TWU, & NCTC. There’s an awesome part to Denton: The Square.

There’s ¬†a wonderful community surrounding this local landmark and here’s a few NON-food places I love dearly on the square (non-square but close by will be another post!).

  • The Courthouse (110 W Hickory)- Kinda an obvious moment! But it’s a great public and FREE museum! Go visit! It’s got some great things to see of how Denton was and what it will be!
  • Bumble Beads/Madison Jane (105 1/2 W Hickory)- A cute shop especially if you love making your own jewelry. Want to learn to make your own? Sign up for a class!
  • The Courthouse Collection (111 W. Hickory)- Lots of girly things but in the back is a kitchen supply paradise! Sneak to the back or say your shopping for your mommas boys!
  • The ¬†Garden Gate (121 N Elm)- I love buying things for my mom and other older ladies who decorate their homes seasonally.
  • La di da (114 N Locust)- a frou-frou shop but you’ll like the uniqueness of clothing.
  • The Candy Store (1108 W Oak)- They dip their own chocolates, need I say more? ¬†Oh, and they have a large assortment of sugar-free chocolates as well.
  • UNT on the Square (109 N Elm)- They sell cheap and somewhat used UNT furniture… you need a bookcase or some chairs for the front porch? Stop by there for something inexpensive.
  • 2nd Street on the Square (116 N Locust)- Real vintage mixed with new vintage & the owner is so awesome and nice that she’ll help you by keeping your lost phone overnight and going out of her way to help return it! (Not that I would know… *cough*)
  • Recycled Books (200 N Locust)- Where you go to browse for a variety of books (but their rebuys aren’t so great). You’ll get lost in the maze of nooks & since it was originally an Opera House the basement shows off the gorgeous original floors.
  • Andy’s Bar & Grill (122 N Locust)- I’ve yet to eat there, but I bet it tastes like smoke. If you’re¬†asthmatic I wouldn’t advise it, or underage, but they have good local music and decent shows.
  • More Fun Comics & Games (103 W Hickory)- The owner will barter with prices, so play nice.

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Denton Edition: Let’s Eat Out!

In honor of the bajillion students swarming Denton this week I’ve dedicated all three posts (starting with last Sunday) to things about Denton. This edition of Tasty Tuesday will be some of my favorite local restaurants.
I’ll include the local address as well as a short description & price.
$= you can snag a full meal under 5$
$$= between 5-10$
$$$= 10-15$ on average a nice date place
$$$$= where you fancy date in denton
1. Ravelin Bakery (416 S Elm)- breakfast muffins (the good kind), pastries and breads. Snag a cookie just not on Mondays or Sundays! $
2. Cafe Loco (603 N Locust)- breakfasty & brunchy & so hip you’ll feel like a true Dentonite! $
3. Old West Cafe (1020 Dallas Dr)- a heartier breakfast/lunch does not exist! $-$$
4. Cups & Crepes (309 Fry St)- breakfast/brunch in a charming old house with cozy nooks for napping and munching before class. Thu-Sun only, it’s also a bed n breakfast! $
5. El Guapo’s (419 S Elm St)- local TexMex with large portions, variety & “the handsome one!” Easily enough food to take half home. $-$$
6. Fera’s (1047 W Oak St)- italian close to UNT, it’s had two names & homestyle italian on a budget! Massive garlic rolls, you might just each them all. $-$$
7. Luigi’s (2317 W University Dr #C3)- located off Bonnie Brae & University, these true Italian owners give Fera’s a run for their money! With big tv’s watching ‘futbol’ Luigi’s has space & taste. $-$$
8. J&J’s Pizza (118 W Oak St)- not your everyday pizza joint, they serve deep dish pizzas as deep as those hispters’ V-neck tees. They also make you dig deep for the green. $$$-$$$$
9. Metzler’s BBQ (628 Londonerry or 111 E University Dr)- where German BBQ has found a spot in local Denton! If you love beer variety, they’ve got it! $$
10. Denton County Independent Hamburger Company (113 W Hickory st or 715 Sunset St)- where the burgers are fresh & the true burgerr grease is evident in every delicious bite. This is not vegetarian friendly… $-$$
11. Abbey Inn (101 W Hickory)- probably the #1 real nice date local restaurant (followed by #12) here. Tasty & above ground smoke free, you might break out in wee lil man voice. $$-$$$$
12. GreenHouse (600 N Locust)- the only real vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurant on my list. Think upscale & healthier American food that tastes super-dee-duper delicious. $$-$$$
13. Yummy’s (210 W. University)- greek food in the tiniest building possible & so legit it makes you sprout long curly mustaches & have an uncontrollable desire to run 26 miles …naked. $-$$
14. Sweet Basil (1800 S Loop 288 #224)- small, clean Thai restaurant where two can split two appetizers, a massive fried rice course & squeak out at barely $$$. Eat it! $$-$$$
15. Siam House Thai (209 W Hickory)- a Thai off the square, it’s a local hotspot for that real Chinatown feel or dark works, authentic owners & the possibility to buy knock off Louis Vuitton bags. $$
16. Mr. Chopsticks (1633 Scripture St)- edible asian cuisine with a hipster vibe keeps Mr. Chopsticks flooded with vegetarian & wannabes who can’t stop eating the calamari. Call for to go & bicycle on down from UNT & go thru the drive-thru to be a true hipsta-sian. $-$$

My top 16 in no real order than by food types. There are plenty of non local awesomes but while in Denton do as the Dentonites do- eat our local chow!

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Sunday Funday – a little late

Evening folks, normally this is written and upearly on sunday morning but it just happened that I spent my Sunday a little differently than most. Today was Sunday Funday at UNT (U. of North Texas) and it was a scorcher. Not know what Sunday Funday is? It’s freshman move in day the Sunday before the first class is ever taken. One thing most students do is get there real early, stand in line and rush in at 8:00 a.m. to get their room keys and unloaded in their rooms. Something my church does ¬†and actually started at UNT is assisting with the move ins. We lug boxes of books, armfuls of clothes, stacks of designer office supplies and spend time getting to know some newly deroosted freshmen in a positive and unique way (see, there is a sunday snippet in here somewhere!). We minister to the physical needs of the lost and those of his people who are new and unaware of places to do life with in this area.

We offer a group of people to do life with¬†here. We’ve all got problems, but through the body of the Church and the God that we worship, we can help you find your place in Him in the community you’re living. I met some great freshman I’ve invited out to a big shindig, all welcome, no pressure Casino night with a speaker and spoken word artist¬†Propaganda; here’s him below. What a video, he knows what’s up!

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6 Must Haves…Emergencies in the Car

Image you’re rolling down the open highway; the sun is out, traffic’s light, and it’s a mild climate with the fluffiest white clouds you ever did see. How does this get any better?
Now wake up! That’s not always gonna be when you travel. Here’s a few must haves that if they don’t stay in my car 24/7, I put in my car before I leave.

1) 10$ cash in a tiny compartment. If you can afford more do it, just don’t be excessive. A 50$ should be the most spare you need. Sometimes you’re hungry beyond compare (especially if you don’t follow #4) or your car is borderline E & you’re maxed out. Never know when a little cash could go a long way.
2) Road Hazard bag. I keep a reflector, jumper cables, and a few little car amenties. If your car has a leaky oil problem a quart of your car’s brew would be wise to carry with you. I’ve jumped & been jumped multiple times, beyond necessary. Any consistent car problem means you should have a simple patching always on hand. A disposable camera in the glove apartment is good as well for wrecks & car damage. If you’re in a wreck & your phone goes flying, you’ll at least know where the disposable is!
Don’t forget a phone charger for your car! Why tempt fate with a dead cell phone?
*Don’t want to be stranded with a dead battery alone & jumper cables are useless? Carry a chargeable booster battery you can plug into an outlet before you leave.
3) Overnight bag. Somethings are edited before every trip but I always have a spare shirt & bottoms (weather appropriate). I even have shoes in case of a gas spill when filling up or everything gets wet. Always have a blanket as well, good for strandings in the winter & if you’re in a wreck or you witness a wreck¬† blankets are important if someone’s body goes in shock, their temp will drop & drastically. You need to be prepared to spend the night somewhere in case of weather, car problems, or hour of the day.
4) Crackers & water bottles. Sometimes I like to give them out if I see homeless men & women but I carry a pack in the car in case of a hunger attack. The Lance or Ritz cracker packs are great. If you don’t like crackers keep something with a long shelf life in the car. Diabetics might need to add a few sugar packs if they get low.
5) Other people spare items. Most of us travel with others on a regular basis & while I travel alone most of the time I may have my dog with me & I prep for her as well. Extra food, water, toy might be all I need for her but that means a tiny lint roller for me!
6) Car check up. Okay, not officially a must have item but definitely a must have done before trips! Always check all tire pressure, oil level, get an oil change if you’re almost due, & fuel check.

Will this list prevent you from having an incident, nope. But will you more likely be prepared if case of an emergency? Yup.
I wish you much luck & Godspeed with your upcoming travels! May you never have to use your emergency preparations!

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Vanilla followup: Basic Quick Frosting

This is my preferred icing of choice, it’s quick, easy, and popular to boot.
From the Wilton’s website, I don’t use the clear vanilla flavoring, I refuse to sub out fake vanillan for the real stuff.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

shortening & butter blended is better than all of the other.

  1. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  2. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

***For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
*****For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cake.

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