Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

Would You Like Chocolate With That? The Icing Man Cometh

Alton Brown is a favorite in this house. He’s funny, down to earth and he sneaks in little science lessons in an entertaining way. We bought his DVDs just to get “The Santa Clause.” (I’ll highlight that clip in November or December.)

This is a GREAT clip – so many cool tips on icing cakes! And I LOVE that he uses non-traditional tools like a hacksaw blade and wood pickets! Everyone needs a hacksaw blade in their kitchen!

What’s chocolate about icing cakes? The chocolate ganache he shows us how to make and a really cool and EASY trick to write on a cake with chocolate!

If you have any thing chocolaty to share, join me at “Would You Like Chocolate With That?” hosted by Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates. Don’t forget to check out past entries too!

August 30, 2008 Posted by | chocolate, recipes, youtube | , , | 1 Comment

shredding meat 101

In a recent post, “have camera, will swaddle” I asked for “easy, healthy, not too expensive and nursing mom/baby friendly meals” to take to my sister and her hubs over the next few weeks. Memarie Lane‘s idea to “throw some boneless pork or chicken in the crockpot with a bottle of barbecue sauce, shred it, and serve it on sandwich rolls” sounds perfect, but I admit – I’ve never shredded meat before. Didn’t have a clue. Do I need a knife? Seems like the pieces would be too big. A food processor? Seems like I would end up with pâté. or meat pudding.

So, I Googled.

I found two methods to shred meat. Both were found on Expert Village.

Chef Lori Schneider shows how to shred chicken with a fork and Chef Brandon Sarkis shows how to shred beef with your fingers.

I love the internet.

Find more tips and recipes over at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy at Tammy’s Recipes!

August 28, 2008 Posted by | recipes | , , | 3 Comments

“Houdini” it is!

Well my sister and her husband have already found a nickname for their little bundle! I wrote in my last post that I was trying to decide upon a pseudonym I could use until he developed a personality trait that warranted a more personal nickname. At less than a day old, he had already “made a name for himself.”


While his parents do call him by his real name, they have referred to him many times as “Houdini” because the little stinker can escape a swaddle in 5 seconds flat. I know in the last post I boasted that I still remembered how to “swaddle well enough to overcome the escaping arm” – and I still can. But after I watched him sleep, with his arms flung over his head like he’s riding a roller coaster, I don’t have the heart to do it. He seems to love the freedom.

It is so funny to watch him stretch. My sister said he used to stick his fists in her ribs and stretch all the time.

He can also wiggle his little fingers out of the built in mittens on the end of his sleeves and work his feet out the bottom of the drawstring bottom of his little gown. I suspect he will pull off socks the first time they touch his feet. FavoriteSon mastered that pretty early.

I’ve assured my sister that I will let her hold her baby soon. For a few minutes. Maybe while he’s nursing.


Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts over at is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom

August 27, 2008 Posted by | family | 2 Comments

have camera, will swaddle.

PinkGirl is no longer the youngest cousin she knows!

My sister had her baby at 2:20 a.m.! (If I’ve gotten that wrong, I’ll change it later.) 7 1bs, 14 oz. and 20 inches of perfection! All my nephews and nieces are on FirstHusband’s side of the family, so this is kind of a big deal for us. This is the third grandchild on my side of the family and two of them are MY kids. My dad is BEAMING. And he keeps saying, “WOW.” “WOW.” “WOW.”

I remember this. I’m just SOOOO glad I get to remember it vicariously. But SOOOO sweet. SOOOO tiny! And I remember how to swaddle well enough to overcome the escaping arm!

But I need a pseudonym for the little guy. Something to call him until he develops a personality trait I can morph into a proper nickname. I’ve got a few possibilities, but if anyone has an idea, please comment and add it to the possibilities!

So far, I’ve thought of:


And do I add the word “nephew” to his nickname so there won’t be any confusion about who his mom is when I post? Or do I just make sure to reference that when I write about him?

Because I will be writing about him.

Right now, I’m off to the hospital again, with Frozen Chicken, Cream Cheese Chicken in the crockpot for MY family. I’ll be taking meals to my sister and her hubs for the next few weeks, so I’m reaching out to the blogosphere for easy, healthy, not too expensive and nursing mom/baby friendly meals. You can post an entire recipe in a comment, you can post a recipe on your blog and leave a link in a comment, you can leave a link in a comment to a recipe somewhere on line, whatever works – I just need some additions to the recipe bank. So far, I’ve got Frozen Chicken, Cream Cheese Chicken, Spaghetti Florentine, 5 Minute Morningstar Burritos and a few other standards, like Black Beans with Rice and Healthy Choice Sausage and a crockpot roast with potatoes and (disappearing) carrots.

Well, I’m outta here. Blogging is fun, but not as much fun as a newborn baby.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | family, recipes | | 8 Comments

Walkin’ Songs: You Can Call Me Al


So I can get back to walking. I’ve been pretty sporadic with the walking but the week before TS Fay, I had logged 20 miles! Then last week – only 3 miles before getting rained out. I have an iRiver mp3 player, but it was too big to take walking, so a couple of months ago, I picked up a little RCA Pearl for $30 at Walmart. (I got a blue one.)

It’s got 1GB of flash memory, which means it holds about 340 songs and it runs for about 35 hours on one AAA battery. The software is annoying, so I just used Windows Explorer instead. I get bored if I walk to the same music all the time, so I skip around quite a bit.

Here’s one of my favorite walking songs (today). This video was so cute! I love the subtle way Chevy Chase puts stuff “on” the drum stand like it’s a table.

August 25, 2008 Posted by | exercise, music, youtube | , | 4 Comments

who buys this stuff? $179 soap dispenser

I love the little icon at the bottom that reads: “Good Value.”

I’m getting ready to decorate my master bath. I’ve lived in this house since 1996 and have NEVER painted the flat white walls. I’ve hung a few things on the wall over the years, but there’s nothing there now. The shower and window curtain are white lace. The counter, cabinet and sink are white. It is WHITE. Since I love cobalt, I thought I would stay with white as a base and accent with cobalt blue. So, I Googled “shower curtain cobalt” and this was in the search results.

I should buy it. I would be saving $31!!!! Oh. wait. no. I already bought a cobalt glass soap dispenser on eBay for $6.00. Maybe I should stick with that.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | home sweet home | 7 Comments

Would You Like Chocolate With That? Chili’s Molten Chocolate Cake

I can’t believe how easy this is! What a GREAT idea for a dinner party. Easy, inexpensive, can be prepared ahead, and it looks decadently good. Watch what happens to the extra cake.

Check out more chocolate posts at “Would You Like Chocolate With That?” hosted by Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates. Lisa’s Mr. Linky could use some more links – and it’s about CHOCOLATE, for cyrin out loud! So if you have any thing chocolaty to share, join me at “Would You Like Chocolate With That?” Don’t forget to check out past entries too!

August 22, 2008 Posted by | chocolate, recipes, youtube | , , | 5 Comments

Can I get out and push?

Cause Fay is NOT moving!!!!

Trivia question: What’s the most over used adjective in the State of Florida? (see answer below)

This email came in tonight at 6:29 p.m.

“KidAcademy will be CLOSED on Friday, August 22nd. We follow the closing schedule of Seminole County Public Schools. There are concerns of inland and flash flooding as well as wind and possible tornadic activity for tonight and tomorrow.”

So, no school tomorrow. The kids are very happy. In case you missed it, let’s review:

(The first day of school was Wednesday of last week)
three days of school,
one day of school (Monday),
two days off due to TS Fay (Tuesday and Wednesday)
one day of school (Thursday)

but. yeah, but . . . I was going to . . . (sigh) change my expectations again.

Then this email came in at 8:02 p.m.

“KidAcademy’s Hurricane Make-Up Day will be Thursday, October 16, 2008.
Students will now have school on Thursday, October 16th.
Upper school parents will have parent-teacher conferences after school on Thursday, Oct. 16 and continue parent-teacher conferences during the day on Friday, October 17th.”

The kids don’t know about this email yet. I think I’ll let their classmates tell them when they get back to school. If I tell them, there’ll be whining and crying and gnashing of teeth. While we are all cooped up in the house for the next three days. I’m definitely not telling them.

Trivia Answer: “tornadic” as in “. . . the threat of tornadic activity” (FirstHusband got it right immediately!)

August 21, 2008 Posted by | poor me some whine | 3 Comments

Fay, Fay. Go AWAY!

Well. The pool is full.

It’s been raining for THREE days! Alright already!

We are fine. Just annoyed. Much better off than others. We don’t have any flooding. Our backyard slopes and there’s a huge retention pond at the bottom of the hill. Then there’s a slight embankment, some woods and a river. After Hurricane Charley, the river crept into the woods and was high enough to see from our kitchen window, but it never rose above the embankment. After three days of rain, I can see the river water in the woods, but again, not near the embankment. It would take a LOT more rain to flood our house, so we are extremely thankful.

But again. Alright, already!

And I’m locked in my house. Well, sort of. I can exit the back door and walk through the mushy yard and pouring rain to get to my car, but I can’t open my front door. I came in from car line this morning, closed the door and turned the key in the deadbolt. Pulled the key out and the cylinder came out with the key.


and cha ching.

I wonder how the boat is doing over at Cape Canaveral. It’s not in the enclosed dry storage facility, it’s at the “repair shop” which means it’s sitting outside on its trailer in this wind. I have no idea if our boat insurance covers tropical storm and hurricane damage, but I would not be at all surprised if it did not. That’s just the nature of insurance in Florida. Either they don’t cover for hurricane damage at all or it’s extra.

It’s just a boat. I’m just thankful we are safe.

August 21, 2008 Posted by | poor me some whine | 1 Comment

Word-Filled Wednesday: Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


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