Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

dear pineapple: you do not intimidate me. anymore.

For my entire life – until this week, pineapples either came in a can, on a buffet or on a plate a restaurant server placed in front of me. “Real” pineapples were impenetrable. I mean, look at it. In my mind, in might as well have been a coconut. Or a big rock.

Then, I watched a devotional video by Lysa Terkherst on youtube. She voiced my same reservations about pineapple, and then casually proceeded to cut one up without any trouble at all. Where’s my “easy” button? So, ever the “good idea stealer” I passed up the container of cut pineapple at Sam’s Club, priced at $6.98 and bought myself a “real” pineapple for $2.98.

I cut off the top and bottom. And I didn’t need a chainsaw or a hedge trimmer, just a knife:

Then, I cut along the core:

Then sliced off the outside:

Took five minutes, tops. That was Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday evening, we were out of pineapple. Same thing happened to the pineapple my dad brought over for lunch on Sunday. Gone by Monday evening.

Ready for a pun? How easy is it to get my family to eat fresh fruit? Easy as PIneapple.


Find more helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | 5 minutes, food, learning curve, what I've learned, youtube | , , , , | 1 Comment

Pragmatic Summer Recipes

Kristin over at We are THAT Family is is hosting a themed edition of Works for Me Wednesday this week! Here are some of my favorite summer recipes! Click on the links for the original post and the ingredients/recipe.

Chicken Grape Salad

chicken-grape-salad

5 Minute Panera Wanna Be Salad

Wannabe Salad Ingredients

Wannabe Salad Ingredients

Panera Wannabe Salad

Panera Wannabe Salad

5 Minute MorningStar Burrito Lunch

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Before

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Before

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Done!

5 minute MorningStar Burritos Done!

Mom’s Pasta Salad

pastasalad

pastasalad


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

July 1, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, recipes | , , , , | 2 Comments

easy garlic toast

I used to make this garlic toast when I was a kid, using the oven broiler and I can fairly say I burned more than a few pieces of bread. Now we use the toaster oven. It’s VERY easy. Butter a piece of bread and sprinkle garlic salt to taste. Toast in the toaster oven (or place on the top rack of your oven and use the “broil” setting) Garlic toast in less than 5 minutes!

easy-garlic-bread

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We use wheat bread and smart balance spread for a healthier bread, but this is especially good with slices of french bread too!


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE.

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace MY past Tempt My Tummy posts can be found HERE.

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam MY previous Tasty Tuesday posts are HERE. Tasty Tuesday posts prior to April of 2009 can be found at Forever . . . Wherever

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

April 22, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, recipes | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chicken Grape Salad

A track meet lasts for hours. HOURS. I suppose I understand. If FavoriteSon doesn’t rest between races, he tends to ralph. But what to feed a runner between races? Too much and again, ralph. Too little and they don’t perform as well. Then there’s getting him to eat something at all.

Here’s the scene: He runs a race (and wins, of course). I walk to the field with Gatorade or water. He waives me off and turns away. (Because it is NOT cool to talk to your mom at a middle school track meet.) His coach says, “Take the Gatorade, your mother knows what she’s doing.” (That’s RIGHT!)

After a few weeks of that nonsense, I explained to FavoriteSon: “When I walk out on that field and hand you a bottle of Gatorade, I’m invisible. Your friends don’t even see me. You know when they see me? When you waive me away and your coach calls you out in front of everyone.”

silence. thinking.

I continue, “Here’s what I’ll do – after a run, I’ll bring a small snack and drink to you on the field, hand it to you and walk away. No one will even notice me. Okay?

“ok.”

It worked out perfectly. After the first race, I walked out to the field, handed him half of a peeled navel orange and walked away. No eye contact necessary. Didn’t even interrupt his conversation. After his second race, I walked out with a banana and some Gatorade and he actually talked to me. I waited and took away the rest of the banana and the Gatorade bottle. I will not take that as a sign that it is now acceptable for me to interrupt him when he’s engaged in post-race conversation with his friends.

Last week, I packed us a dinner and brought an ice chest in an effort to stave off concession stand food. The big hit was the chicken salad. It takes about 5 minutes to make! The first version was canned chicken breast, drained, shredded and mixed with light mayo and white grapes, sliced in half. BIG hit! This week, I ran out of mayo and had to substitute spinach dip. LOVED it!

I don’t assemble the sandwiches before the meet because they tend to get soggy. I just bring the salad in a container (square, of course), some bread and a fork. I can assemble the sandwiches right there in the stands. Here’s my sandwich from today, using the leftover Chicken Grape Salad:

chicken-grape-salad


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

March 24, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, family, health, pragmatic commotion, pragmatic parenting, recipes | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

fast food food, fast.

Sometimes, I need to feed FavoriteSon fast. Considering what the boy can pack away and how much it can cost, I need to stock some quick, easy, cheap meals.

Meatball subs are a hit with him:

meatball-sub-ingredients

meatball-subs

PinkGirl doesn’t like the sauce, so she dips her plain meatballs in low sugar ketchup. Frozen french fries bake up quick and again, PinkGirl goes for the ketchup while FavoriteSon opts for cheese dip.

I’ve got a few meals like this that I can pull together in 5 to 10 minutes. I’ve also made meatloaf sandwiches, turkey & gravy sandwiches and beef tip sandwiches using Hormel Refrigerated Entrees. Served with a bowl of soup or baked fries, these meals are fast, filling, inexpensive and healthier than a double quarter pounder with cheese and a large fry.

And no. I didn’t have any. Wasn’t even tempted.

Tomorrow? A family favorite. Cream Cheese Chicken.


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

February 3, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, recipes | , , , , | 6 Comments

it’s a little “chili”

White chicken chili, that is.

I think it may be cold every where in the U.S. right now, and I don’t pretend to be whining. I actually like it. But of course, I have heat and snow doesn’t blanket Florida. I grouse about hurricanes and humidity, not cold weather.

The freeze warning last night? You know, take in your plants, blah, blah, blah. No need.

bball-planter-close

Basketballs don’t die.

We had a fire in the fireplace last night and the first chili of the season. I wanted to have white chicken chili, but as I was doing my impression of a short person trying to see on the top shelf at the grocery store, the manager stepped up behind me and asked if he could help me find something.

“White chicken chili mix?”

He copied my impression of a short person, made a “sorry” face and apologized.

“I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought of chili tonight.”

Another (taller) manager was with him and, after sliding her hand across and back the top shelf (show-off) she said:

“Well we should have thought of it too – it’s only freezing outside. Of course people would want to make chili.”

So I made the standard “Chilio” chili instead. (They were out of those packets too, I just had some at home.)

I’m hoping to score some white chicken chili packets today at another grocery store. This is how easy it is:

white-chicken-chili

It needs to simmer a little, but the prep is only 5 minutes if you use the canned chicken (from Sam’s Club) and the canned beans. I’m hoping to make a double batch. A little corn bread, some s’mores and smears over the fire for dessert . . . that, combined with no athletic practices and some family night American Idol watching.

Shoot. We might even take the Christmas tree down. Yes. Yes, I said it. No judging. Our family rule is “if you’re not willing to help, you’re not allowed to complain.”


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

And I found one more! Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Want to learn cool tips and tricks from lots of different people? Click on over to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

January 21, 2009 Posted by | 5 minutes, home sweet home, recipes, Wordless Wednesday | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

wassail

CLICK HERE for an UPDATE to this recipe.

When I was in high school and college, I sang at a few madrigal dinners. If you’re unfamiliar with madrigal dinners, here’s a sampling. (and no, I’m not in this video).

Wassail Song

One thing was a constant in every madrigal dinner – wassail. It’s a kind of warm cider drink my choral director would make every year. I’ve made it on Christmas Eve for years. It’s a family favorite and a longstanding tradition. And it only takes about 5 minutes to prepare!!!

Wassail

Needed:
1/2 gallon apple juice
2 cups pinapple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves

Instructions:
Pour all juices in a pot or crockpot.
Float Cinnamon sticks.
Place cloves in a coffee filter and tie with a twist tie. CLICK HERE for an UPDATE to this recipe.
Simmer for AT LEAST 30 minutes or more
    (when it the smell starts to waft, you know it’s gonna be GOOD)

Enjoy!

I know some would cover an entire orange with cloves and float it in the wassail. My hat is off to you, but I can’t find my thimble. Actually, I haven’t looked. But you go ahead. More power to ya.

The bonus is the way the house smells while it’s simmering.

For a print friendly version CLICK HERE.


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Shannon at Works for Me Wednesday is on a blogging break, but check out her past issues for more great tips, tricks and recipes.

December 24, 2008 Posted by | 5 minutes, holidays, recipes, traditions | , , | 4 Comments

recipes and mini-vans and a shower, oh my.

I’m back! And I’m ramping up to meet the holiday scheduling “challenges” in our lives. It’s December 3rd!!!! There are currently only two advent calendars taunting me as they count down the days till Christmas in my house – with at least one more to be unpacked as we decorate for Christmas.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my color coded calendar looked like a rainbow and I’m seriously focused on keeping things “normal” (whatever that means). We traveled to visit family in Georgia last week and I had to work Monday and Tuesday, so this is my first blog moment in nearly a week. I’ll be catching up on my blog visits in spurts. Oh. And while in Georgia, my windshield got whacked by a rock and now needs replaced because the crack is smack dab in front of the driver’s seat. I’m told that it will only take an hour and can be fixed in my own driveway. I REALLY hope that’s true.

But now it’s time for a little stress relieving stream of consciousness. oops. cold coffee. need to nuke (for the second time this morning and it’s only 9:13 a.m.)

Okay. Here goes.

Kitchen Tip Tuesday – LATE

If I’m not careful, we will eat out or grab takeout for the rest of the month. Monday, I had to work (thankfully, on Go To Meeting, and not on client site) and then I rushed to pick up PinkGirl from school at 3:00 p.m. (late) and then waited for FavoriteSon to saunter on over to the van at 3:36 – 6 minutes after 2nd grade bowling began (His punishment for being late was to ride past all his friends in my festive holiday “carstumed” van.)

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I fed them snacks in the car to avoid buying food at the bowling alley, dropped PinkGirl off at bowling, took FavoriteSon home as he did homework in the car, changed from shorts and sleeveless because it was getting cold, put on some make up because I looked . . . asleep, took FavoriteSon – still doing homework in the car, back up to the bowling alley to pick up PinkGirl, drove to pick up FirstHusband at a nearby parking lot where he left his truck while we picked up dinner at Wendy’s (dropping my driver’s side Rudolph antler in the drive-thru) on the way to FavoriteSon’s first basketball game – across town – an hour before the game started because they had to hand out uniforms at the last minute. Got in the van to come home at 8:30 or so, drove 45 minutes home stopping for McDonalds for PinkGirl and at Checkers for FavoriteSon because they were “starving,” (again dropping my driver’s side Rudolph antler in the drive through) arrived home with PinkGirl asleep in the back seat . . . it’s December. See what I mean? And we only allow one extra curricular activity per kid at a time. I can’t imagine life with kids involved in multiple activities.

Oh, and it seems I stepped off the bleachers a little too vigorously after the game. I felt my neck “jar” as my foot hit the ground, so, while I’ve not suffered a complete setback, I did take a few steps backward on the road to ruptured disk recovery. I’m going to schedule another massage for Friday afternoon after a few more traction and inversion sessions. We are taking PinkGirl and three friends to Magic Kingdom on Saturday for her birthday and I’ll have to be standing on hard surfaces all day, so I’m going to be a little proactive. I’m also going to be good and NOT ride any roller coasters either. Bummer.

So . . . those are a few of our recent scheduling challenges. I said this was stream of consciousness.

I need some serious meal planning, which is what I’m doing today. Yesterday I went for a tried and true favorite, Cream Cheese Chicken. Today, we have leftovers and for tomorrow, I’ve already pulled out my “easy” cookbook.

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I know Cambell’s soups aren’t the healthiest ingredients in a meal, but they’re a whole lot better than Wendy’s. Or McDonalds. Or Checkers. So, here’s the crinkliest page in this book:

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Chicken-Broccoli Divan (click here for a printable PDF version)

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
1 tbsp. butter, melted

Directions:
Place the broccoli and chicken into a 9-inch pie plate. (I use an oval Corningware casserole dish.)

Stir the soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle with the cheese. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese.

Bake at 450°F. for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.

It’s fast, it’s easy, and the kids like it too! In a bind, I can use frozen broccoli florets and a large can of cooked chicken breast. I use lowfat or low sodium soup, skim milk, lowfat cheese, and Smart Balance margarine. So . . . not SO bad for us.

This morning, I forgot to eat breakfast, so three hours later I just made:

5 minute Oatmeal.

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One cup water, 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (not quick or 1 minute oats).

Nuke on 50% power for 5 minutes (I put a paper plate underneath because there can be boil over).

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See?

dsc_0033

Fast and easy.

Okay – I stepped away from the computer for just a minute – and it’s 4:40 p.m. Again. It’s December.

I saw a termite swarm in the back yard and our “termite guy” stopped by to check it out. There’s nothing near the house, thank goodness and while he was telling me how many termite colonies there are per acre in Florida and how the ones who fly are just looking for a girlfriend and not eating anything important, I got a client call and had to work for a while.

And if anyone remembers reading “With layers, I can choose to blow my hair out straight if I want, but I still have the option of wave or curls.” I’ll just tell you now. I did NOT blow my hair out straight today. I needed the 10 or so minutes for something else. I just don’t remember what the something else is right now. I’m going to have wavy hair for most of the rest of the year.

In other news, our new shower is almost done. I understand the only thing left to do is buff the floor. Check out our “broken” shower photos HERE. And now, our new shower:

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Next, I paint.

But first, I take PinkGirl to children’s Christmas choir practice (we broke the one activity rule for this one), walk for an hour with a friend, attend my own Christmas choir rehearsal and then come home.

At the moment, there’s nothing on my calendar tomorrow. Maybe it’s a catch up day? I love catch up days.

December 3, 2008 Posted by | 5 minutes, family, freakishly organized, health, home sweet home, recipes | , | 5 Comments

the chop wizard dices again!

I’ve already posted my contribution for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays for this week, but Tammy asked for other ways to dice carrots, so . . .

or

I did need to cut the carrot in half to fit on the grate and the smaller grate needed extra pressure, but it worked great – as usual! I’ve posted before about what my Vidalia Chop Wizard! can do.

5 minute diced peppers
5 minute onions in a flash (freeze)

It’s the handiest gadget in my kitchen. Besides the speed, do you know my favorite part? It’s dishwasher safe.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | 5 minutes, wise buys | , | 2 Comments

freakish kitchen organization

Shannon, over at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a themed edition of Works for Me Wednesday. Today is all about kitchen organization! Since it’s Whale of a Sale time and I’m sorting hundreds of books and alphabetizing by author until I literally can’t remember how to spell, I’m maximizing my time (cheating) and highlighting previous posts about my kitchen.

My favorites are:

the good, the bad and the ugly (kitchen cabinets)

veggie box (our key to 5 minute meal preps)

freakish coffee station

freakish junk drawer

five minute sink (two of my biggest strategies for getting things DONE.)

lunchbox flatware (no more missing place settings)

AND, Shannon’s theme has also prompted me to organize my “recipes” page, above. It was missing quite a few posts but now – I think – it is up to date! Just in time for Thanksgiving pumpkin soup!

October 1, 2008 Posted by | 5 minutes, caffeine, devotions, freakishly organized, pragmatic communion | , , , , | 1 Comment

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