MN Masala: Miso Luvs Apple Cobbler!

Jane and Chux

By Jane and Chux: Being home to the famous Honeycrisp apple, we are able to buy a number of delicious varieties of apples in the Twin Cities area.  Every fall, we make a trip or two to the Minnesota Arboretum’s Apple House, which sells apples developed by the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center.

At the Apple House, you’ll often find varieties that have not yet been named; they just have a number.  These are the new apples in the search for the next best sellers such as Honeycrisp or SweetTango.

On a recent visit to the Apple House, I purchased a mixture of Haralson, McIntosh, and LaCrescent apples. Now I just needed to decide what I was going to make with these apples!  We like applesauce, crisps, cobblers, and pies.  I decided to try a new recipe for apple cobbler with a secret ingredient in the biscuit topping.

What secret ingredient you ask? It’s Miso!

Mild miso paste provides some saltiness and makes the biscuit crumb a little dense.  I adapted this recipe from an article I found a few years ago.  When making this cobbler, use unsalted butter and do not add additional salt. I cut the sugar in half, and it tasted great!

The addition of Haralson apples added a nice countering tartness to the dish (Granny Smith apples would also work).  If these apple varieties are not in your area, use whatever is available (if the apples are sweet, add extra lemon juice).

When mixing the biscuit topping, it should come together like cookie dough and not like a batter.  The topping bakes to a beautiful caramel color.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a perfect fall dessert! Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for the Week: This week let’s keep our foundation firm and be firmly grounded in spirit, mind and body.

There is no one holy like the LORD; 
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

(1 Samuel 2 vs. 2)

Growing up in New England we often fished in streams and frequently crossed them by stepping from rock to rock. When we stepped on a loose one or slipped from one we got cold and wet. The analogy I am getting at is we chose the wrong rock! That is not an option with God.

The Lord is the rock of our life; our foundation and always with us. There are times when we forget that simple truth; when we feel lonely; when we will not let Him in to help. During those times we can feel cold and lonely. (Hopefully not wet!)

Prayer and devotionals will help that situation. If you are reading this today you are probably sitting squarely on the rock.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today I recognize you and give thanks for being my rock and foundation. Today I pray that I may recognize someone who has slipped from your rock and help them through you.

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Should parents fire the school principal?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: It is called the ‘parent trigger’ law, and 7 states have enacted some version of it, while dozens of other states are considering it. (States with parent trigger laws: California, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas.)

A ‘parent trigger’ law allows parents to petition to force changes in their local school. This could include firing the principal, converting the school to a charter school, or closing the school altogether and sending the students to schools that are performing better.

On the plus side, parent trigger laws allow parents to take a larger role in how their children are taught. On the down side, parents only see a slice of what happens in a school district, and may not understand all of the needs that must be met.

I’m not convinced that parent trigger laws are necessary. If parents want to change how their school is run, they can bring pressure on the school board regardless of whether a parent trigger law is in place.

How much do you know about these laws? Are you in favor of parent trigger laws?

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for the Week: We are all living through trying times. There is too much to do, too much work, not enough playtimes. However, we have God and through Him we have our friends in faith. Let’s look toward the future knowing that patience and perseverance will bring us tranquility and happiness.

St James said this about Perseverance:  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life that God
as promised to those who love him.”
(James 1 verse 12)

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.

What is a midlife crisis?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: There is an article on The Week by a woman whose husband of 20+ years told her that he did not love her anymore and wanted to leave the marriage. He expected her to be angry or distraught. She remained calm. According to the writer:

“I simply had come to understand that I was not at the root of my husband’s problem. He was. If he could turn his problem into a marital fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t happen.”

She let him have his midlife crisis, and when it was over, he came home and they were a family again. Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for the Week: Fitness! This week let us focus on our physical selves. Let’s park a bit further from the door, say no thanks to the dessert tray, walk the stairs as we are able. Let us be as fit as we can be.

Abe Lincoln put it this way:  I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.

The Psalmist said:
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex…
Your workmanship is marvelous.
(Psalm 139, Vs 13 & 14)

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.

What are we responsible for in life?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Genocide breaks out in Africa. Do we in America have a responsibility to intervene?
Thousands are killed by chemical weapons in Syria. Do Americans have a responsibility to intervene?
Thousands of Jews are imprisoned in camps and killed in Europe. What is our responsibility?

What, exactly, are we responsible for in life?

We are responsible for our own actions, a fact that seems to escape a great many people. True, you can not help how you feel. You can, however, help how you respond to those feelings. Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for the Week: This week let us focus selfishly on ourselves. Let’s feel the peace and presence of God in our lives. When the “stress monster” wants to control our lives let “the peace of God” into our lives. We deserve peace.

From Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Paul said it like this to the Philippians in Philippians 4 verses 6-8:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving,
present your requests to God
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—
put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.