From the Table: No Pho Soup

No Pho Mein Soup

8-10 Servings Oven 300°

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 Pound) Bone-In Pork Shoulder Roast
  • 2 (32 Ounce) Carton Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Water, Or As Needed To Cover
  • 2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
  • 4 Teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 3 Large Heads Bok Choy – Large Outer Leaves And Base Trimmed Off, Heads Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Bunches Fresh Cilantro Leaves, Chopped – Divided
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 (8 Ounce) Packages Dried Flat Rice Noodles
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes To Taste
  • Lime Wedges

Directions

  1. Place the pork roast into a large dutch oven, pour in the chicken broth, and add 2 cups water or enough to completely cover the roast.
  2. Mix in bouillon cubes, seasoned salt, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, and butter.
  3. Set pot in oven on Low and cook until the meat has fallen off the bone, 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Remove the meat from the broth and shred the pork with two forks; set the meat aside.
  5. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the bones; pour broth back into the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir the shredded pork back into the broth.
  6. If desired, skim excess fat from broth with a large spoon.
  7. Stir in the bok choy, about 3/4 of the chopped cilantro leaves, and 1 cup water. Set aside remaining cilantro leaves for garnish. Simmer the soup while you prepare the rice noodles.
  8. Place rice noodles into a large bowl and cover with very hot tap water. Stir to separate the noodles and allow to soak until translucent, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain the noodles.
  9. To serve, place about 1/2 cup of rice noodles into a bowl and ladle the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle with reserved cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, to taste; serve with lime wedges.

‘ No Pho Mein’ with pork and bok choy. It’s a favorite (for gluten-free family).

Serve with fresh basil, bean sprouts, and soy and hot sauce for condiments if desired.

Today’s Thought: Blessings and Curses…

BLESSINGS AND CURSES

When the LORD  your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. — Deuteronomy 11:29

The Torah portion for this week is Re’eh which means “see,” from Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 54:11–55:5.

I had a friend in college who was an excellent chess player. Many people challenged him, but Alan always won. One time, to shake things up a bit, Alan suggested to his losing opponent that they turn the board around so that now Alan would be playing the weakened position and his opponent would be at an advantage. Amazingly, Alan was able turn the game in his favor once more.

Then he turned the table again and fought from the losing position, and once more gained the upper hand. No matter how many times the players changed positions, Alan always won. Where one person was on the road to defeat, Alan brought success. Though the circumstances never changed, the players did, and that made all the difference.

In this week’s Torah reading, Moses commanded the children of Israel to proclaim blessings and curses on two different mountains once they entered the land of Israel. On Mount Gerizim, blessings would be declared, and on Mount Ebal, curses would be read. The Jewish sages teach that these two mountains represented blessings and curses in their very physical makeup.

Interestingly, although both Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal experienced exactly the same amount of sunlight, rainfall, and fertility, the former mountain was lush while the latter was barren. The sages explain that these mountains were an analogy for mankind. Two people can have the exact same circumstances in life, and while one thrives, the other withers. How is this possible? How can the same influences create totally opposite reactions?

The answer lies within the “player.” In life, we are all given a certain set of circumstances, but what we make of our life is entirely up to us. That’s why two people can have the same situation and yet live out totally different consequences. It’s all in what we choose.

This week’s reading began with a choice. We can choose blessings or we can choose curses; we can choose to thrive or wither; we can choose growth or stagnation. We can use whatever circumstances we are given as opportunities to grow and thrive, or we can let our circumstances get the best of us and beat us into defeat. In life, success doesn’t necessarily go to the one who is most talented, brilliant, or savvy – it goes to the one who chooses to follow the path of blessings.

Friends, no matter what situation you find yourself in today, know beyond the shadow of doubt that it is one in which you can thrive. All you need to do is make that choice. Cling to God and to His Word and choose life’s blessings!

http://www.ifcj.org/learn/holy-land-moments/daily-devotionals/blessings-and-curses

Today’s Thought: Heaven Food for Thought..

One man’s thoughts about heaven…..

Facts About Heaven That May Surprise You

Written by By Dr. Aaron Tabor MD on August 4, 2017 1:31 pm

The Bible describes heaven as God’s dwelling place, the sky and stars above, and the abode of eternal bliss. This beautiful description of heaven is exciting. We want to know more! However, when we search the Scriptures we often leave with more questions than answers. Do you have questions about heaven? I pray you find answers amongst these five facts about heaven that will surprise you.

  1. We won’t miss our old lives

Moving from earth to heaven will be an upgrade of epic proportions. In Romans 8:18, Saint Paul proclaims, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Paul suffered tremendously yet claimed his suffering was not even worth comparing to the beauty of heaven. Amazing!

  1. We won’t become angels

Angels are created beings, distinct from humans. 2 Corinthians 5:8 claims that to be away from our earthly bodies is to be at home with the Lord. We will not turn into angels but we will live with them.

  1. We will still experience emotions

Our sadness may disappear but our capacities for love and joy will not. We will experience God in his fullest, which sounds like a very emotional experience!

  1. We won’t know everything

God alone is all knowing. When we die, we will see things more clearly. We will learn and grow, but we will never know everything. We will be without sin, but ignorance is not necessarily sinful (thankfully). 1 Peter 1:12 shows even the angels do not know everything!

  1. We will recognize on another

The Bible gives no indication that we will lose our memory upon entering heaven. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 makes little sense if we do not recognize our loved ones in the afterlife.

From the Table: Southern Peach Cobbler..

Southern Cobbler

Ingredients

  • MIX TOGETHER:
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

Today’s Thought: Breaking the Spiritual Slump….

6 Questions That Will Help You Break Out Of A Spiritual Slump

How Much Am I Praying?

One of our vital links to God is prayer and when we become silent in prayer, it seems God becomes silent in our lives. Being in a spiritual slump, the last thing you feel like doing is praying, but that’s exactly when you need to be praying the most. When you don’t feel like praying, pray immediately, because that may be a sign you’re in a spiritual slump.

How Often Do I Read the Bible?

If you’re stuck in a spiritual slump like a car being stuck in the mud, get out…and start reading the “Owner Manual” to life, the Bible. When we stay out of the Word of God, the Word of God stays out of mind, and when we don’t have Scriptures to feed on every day for our daily bread, we become famished from a lack of the Bread of Life.

What’s Keeping Me From Serving Others?

I have discovered that when I feel down or depressed, I need to serve someone or serve somewhere. That’s because it takes my mind off of my own problems and puts my focus on serving others. When you are serving others, you’ll find you have less time to think about your own problems. Those we serve often have it far worse than we do, so if you’re in a spiritual slump, ask yourself, “What keeps me from serving someone else?”

Am I Focusing on Self Too Much?

I heard one man call his self-focused pity party as “navel gazing.” In other words, all he was doing was focusing on his own needs and problems, but he discovered that this gave him no time to think of others, especially God. If you are focused too much on yourself, then you might find yourself falling into a spiritual slump, and that’s no place to be.

Am I Becoming Isolated?

If you find yourself in a spiritual slump, ask yourself, “Am I becoming isolated from the body of Christ, the church and from other Christians?” We are all sheep of the Good Shepherd, and sheep would do well to stay in the sheepfold of the fellowship of the saints. Whenever be cut ourselves off from other believers, we are stray sheep and strays are more vulnerable to attacks, especially considering that Satan goes about seeking whom he might devour (1st Pet 5:8). He looks for stragglers and those who are cut off from the sheepfold.

Am I Getting Enough Rest?

When Elijah was running for his life from the wicked Jezebel, he finally told God that he was finished and wanted God to take his life (1st Kings 19:4), but what he needed was rest, so “he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat” (1st Kings 19:5). After Elijah rested and ate for a while, “he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God” (1st Kings 19:8). Maybe all you need to do is rest, so ask yourself, “Am I getting enough rest?”

Conclusion

If you find yourself in a spiritual slump, ask yourself, how much am I praying; how much am I read the Word of God; what is keeping me from serving others; am I too self-focused; am I becoming or already are isolated from other believers; and am I getting enough rest?

May God richly bless you,

Pastor Jack Wellman

Prayer:  Most Heavenly Father, today we pray for your grace and mercy to make us better Christians as we struggle to walk a Christlike path.  Help us keep our focus in all of the right places and on all of the right things.  In Jesus name we pray. 

From the Table: Crispy Pork Carnitas…

This one is not mine.  But it is so delicious I had to pass it on.  

Crispy Pork Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 5 Pounds Boneless Pork Butt (shoulder)
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Orange, Juiced, Orange Parts Of Peel Removed And Sliced Into Thin Strips
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 Bay Leaves, Torn In Half
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice Powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Remove fat from pork; cut pork meat into 2-inch cubes and roughly chop fat.
  3. Mix pork, garlic, olive oil, orange peel, orange juice, salt, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and 5-spice powder together in a bowl until pork is coated completely. Transfer mixture to a Dutch Oven Place dutch oven on a baking sheet and cover baking dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until pork is fork-tender, about 4 hours.
  5. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.
  6. Transfer meat to a colander set over a bowl. Remove garlic, bay leaves, and orange peels from baking dish and pour accumulated juices from the baking dish over meat in colander into the bowl. Return meat to the baking dish and drizzle accumulated juices over each piece of meat.
  7. Cook meat under the preheated broiler for 3 minutes. Drizzle more accumulated juices over meat and continue broiling until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a serving plate and drizzle more accumulated juices over the top.
  8. Serve with 6 inch tortilla, salsa, onion and chopped cilantro for dinner tacos. Serve with guacamole and chips, mango salad, and virgin pina nicoladas.

Recipe By:Chef John

“There’s nothing like carnitas. Cubes of fragrantly spiced pork are slowly cooked in lard until they’re crispy on the outside while at the same time remaining soft and succulent inside. Bust some up on a warm tortilla, drizzle with braising liquid, top with a little salsa, onion, and cilantro, and you’re probably enjoying the world’s best taco.”

From the Table: Chicken with Mushrooms and Mash Potato Casserole…

Chicken Mushroom Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Chicken tenderloin
  • 8 Ounces Cremini Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 5 Ounces Oyster Mushrooms, Stemmed And Sliced
  • 4 Ounces Shiitake Mushrooms, Stemmed And Sliced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Sage
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips; cook and stir until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a casserole baking dish.
  3. Place cremini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic in the same skillet; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour until well-incorporated. Slowly mix in white wine. Add chicken stock, sage, salt, and black pepper; bring sauce to a simmer and cook, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.
  4. Pour sauce over chicken in the casserole dish; stir gently to combine. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Serve with:

SPINACH MASH POTATO CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 2 (10 Ounce) Package Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 12 Lg Potatoes, Peeled And Chopped
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 8 Oz Cream Cheese Softened
  • 1 Bunch Chopped Green Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Dill Weed (Optional)
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Cook spinach according to package directions. Place potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender but firm. Drain, cool slightly, and mash.
  3. In a bowl, mix the spinach, mashed potatoes, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, onion, salt, garlic and dill. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining Cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly brown.