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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get in my Belly! Kickin' Chili

This is a great recipe for an unusual yet super tasty chili. So good. Promise.

I tweaked the original recipe just a bit. Notes below.

Kickin' Chili

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Potlucks 2007
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
Serves 12


    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    * 4 pounds ground beef
    * 4 cups chopped yellow onions
    * 3 tablespoons chili powder
    * 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    * 2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence
    * 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    * 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    * 1 bay leaf
    * 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    * 4 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer ( NOTE: I use 2 bottles and 24 ounces of beef stock. Using 4 bottles makes the chili have a 'funk' to the taste. Just our opinion).
    * 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, crushed
    * 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    * 1 tablespoon salt
    * 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    * 1-ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate
    * 6 cups cooked red kidney beans (see Chef's Note) or 4 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
    * 1 cup grated Cheddar, for garnish
    * 1 cup finely chopped green onions, for garnish
    * 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim off as much fat as possible. Add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Serve with the cheese, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.

Chef's Note: To make 6 cups cooked red kidney beans: Soak 1 pound dried beans for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Get in my Belly! Beef-and-Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits

Another super tasty recipe by Grace Parisi! Wow. Everyone loved this and it makes a ton. I halved it for my  family (of 4) and we still had 2-3 servings left over.

Beef-and-Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits

Prep time 45 min. & cook time 45 min. Serves 12


         1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
         2. 1/4 cup canola oil
         3. 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
         4. 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
         5. 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
         6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
         7. 3 pounds ground beef (I used organic beef - so much better)
         8. 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
         9. 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (I left this out)
© David Malosh
        10. 4 1/4 cups self-rising flour
        11. 5 1/3 cups milk
        12. 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth (I used beef stock)
        13. One 10-ounce package frozen peas
        14. 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)


   1. Preheat the oven to 450° and position a rack in the upper third. Line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any drips.
2. In a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the oil. Add the onion, carrots and parsnips; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Add the beef, thyme and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains and any liquid has evaporated, 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the milk and the stock and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes.
3. Put the remaining 4 cups of flour in a large bowl. Cut in the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cheddar. Stir in the remaining 2 1/3 cups of milk until a smooth dough forms. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, arrange 18 mounds of the biscuit dough on the filling in each baking dish.
4. Bake both potpies on the top rack of the oven for 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked through. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 minute or until the biscuits are golden. Let the potpies rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

reckon ed

razed & raised
i have been re purposed
gut checked. purchased.
humbled. shedding,
turning from
ever ending futility.
oh, long suffering & i was still such "a long way off..."
unfettered restoration pursued
securing right to use.

© amy lathrop 2010

Get in my Belly! Curried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast

This is the perfect fall meal. And it is digesting in my belly right now. My very full belly. Is it really that good you ask? My husband asked if we could have it again tomorrow night. Yep. It's that good. The flavors explode in your mouth.

Food & Wine Magazine published this recipe in their What to Cook Next section in an article, How to Feed 12 People Fast. The recipe was created by Grace Parisi. (Thank you Grace!)

Curried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast 

© David Malosh
Prep time, 75 minutes - prep/cook. Serves 12 and is a fairly healthy recipe. Can be made ahead.
         1. 2 pounds butternut squash in 1-inch cubes (from one 2 1/2-pound squash)
         2. 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
         3. 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
         4. 1 cup canola oil
         5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
         6. 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
         7. 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
         8. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
         9. 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
        10. 4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
        11. Warm naan, for serving


   1. Preheat the oven to 450° and position racks in the upper and middle thirds. In a very large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the brussels sprouts, onion wedges and 1/2 cup of the canola oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large, sturdy rimmed baking sheets.

   2. In the same bowl, combine the cup of yogurt with the ginger, garlic, curry powder and the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss until thoroughly coated. Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast for about 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the vegetables are nearly tender and the chicken is nearly cooked through. Pour off any accumulated liquid in the pans and roast for about 20 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is lightly browned. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter and serve with warm naan and yogurt.

Make Ahead
The chicken and vegetables can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.