Southwestern Squash Bake

Recently, I’ve gotten into the practice of making one casserole style dish that will last a full work week.  Not only is this cheap but to make it even more cost effective look for casseroles with lots of veggies with some pretty tasty results.

SOUTHWESTERN SQUASH BAKE

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I used a 6.5oz can of sliced mushrooms)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (I used the lime cilantro flavor)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, or to taste
4 yellow squash, cubed
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or over medium heat; add onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic into hot oil until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  (I used a can of sliced mushroom since I don’t really use mushrooms too often and didn’t want to waste the fresh ones, and the results are still good.)
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3. Mix tomatoes with green chile pepper, black beans, salsa, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper into onion mixture; Stir through thoroughly, let simmer about 5 minutes.  (Keep in mind how much heat you like when adding the chili powder and cayenne.)
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4. Quarter the squash lengthwise, and chop into manageable chunks and place into baking dish (2 quart or larger).
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5. Add spinach to top of mixture, cover allow to steam until spinach turns bright green. Stir spinach through mixture; allow to cook 1 to 2 minute more.
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6. Spread the mixture evenly over the squash.  Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
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The original recipe says to sprinkle the top with crushed saltine crackers and while I guess you could do that I don’t think it would hold up well if your serving it over time.  The recipe also says you can top it with cheese but again I chose to omit this.

Burma-Myanmar

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Anthony Bourdain recently switched over as a host of No Reservations and The Layover on The Travel Channel to Parts Unknown on CNN.  As a fan of Bourdain I was excited to see that the first episode of his new series was filmed in Myanmar.  Bourdain and his crew were one of the first programs allowed into the country since governmental controls were relaxed in 2008.  The full episode is available for free online. Follow the link below.

http://www.cnn.com/video/shows/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown/episode1

On the Call

We are apt to forget the mystical, supernatural touch of God.  If you can tell where you got the call of God and all about it.  I question whether you have ever had a call.  The call of God does not come like that, it is much more supernatural.  The realization of it in a man’s life may come with a sudden thunder-clap or with a gradual dawning, but in whatever way it comes, it comes with the undercurrent of the supernatural, something that cannot be put into words; it is always accompanied with a glow.  At any moment there may break the sudden consciousness of this incalculable, supernatural, surprising call that has taken hold of your life– “I have chosen you.”  The call of God has nothing to do with salvation and sanctification.  It is not because you are sanctified that you are therefore called to preach the gospel; the call to preach the gospel is infinitely different. Paul describes it as a necessity laid upon him.

-Oswald Chambers

Looking along the beam.

I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining
outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came
a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the
specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the
place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the
beam, not seeing things by it. Then I moved so that the beam fell
on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw
no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in
the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving
on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million
miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking
at the beam are very different experiences.
C . S . L E W I S
“ME D I T A T I O N I N A T O O L S H E D ”

That our joy may be complete

I pray, O God, that I may know You and love You, so that I may
rejoice in You.  And if I cannot do so fully in this life may I
progress gradually until it comes to fullness.  Let the knowledge
of You grow in me here, and there [in heaven] be made complete;
let Your love grow in me here and there be made complete, so
that here my joy may be great in hope, and there be complete in
reality.  Lord, by Your Son You command, or rather, counsel us
to ask and You promise that we shall receive so that our ‘joy may
be complete.’  I ask, Lord, as You counsel through our admirable
counsellor.  May I receive what You promise through Your truth
so that my ‘joy may be complete.’  God of truth, I ask that I may
receive so that my ‘joy may be complete.’  Until then let my mind
meditate on it, let my tongue speak of it, let my heart love it, let
my mouth preach it.  Let my soul hunger for it, let my flesh thirst
for it, my whole being desire it, until I enter into the ‘joy of the
Lord,’ who is God, Three in One, ‘blessed forever.  Amen.’
A N S E L M
Proslogion

Be Strong, Be Courageous.

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
–Joshua 1:6-9 NIV

You Should Watch These

The following are clips about Haiti before and after the earthquake.  If the links don’t play here follow them to youtube.   Some of the clips are pretty difficult to watch but this is the reality of life for thousands of people.

BEFORE

AFTER