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Category: Cookbooks

Free Indeed

hawaii-2A few weeks ago, I got an extremely negative and judgemental email about my Fifty Shades of Gravy, A Christian Gets Saucy! cookbook. Apparently, I am capitalizing on sin. I am also not fleeing from the appearance of sin. And, my cookbook, combined with a picture of me at a luau in Maui with a man dressed in native Hawaiian garb (shirtless – my goodness!) brings serious doubt to my sincerity and witness as a Christian.

This isn’t the first kind of correspondence I’ve received regarding this subject. Until I had The Walking Bread, This Bread Will Rise!, and Iron Skillet Man, The Stark Truth About Pepper and Pots cookbooks completed, I’d learned early on NOT to take Fifty Shades of Gravy out at Christian centered book signings. The judgement is immediate and absolute. However, for some reason, when all three books are together, people suddenly get a sense of humor and laud me for my cleverness.

cookbooks

Despite the perception of my intent behind the cookbooks, I am not trying to capitalize on any sin. My purpose in writing them was to confront some aspect of our secular culture — and share yummy recipes. While Fifty Shades of Gravy is absolutely a cookbook that discusses the early origins of gravy, contains 50 gravy recipes, it also contains an article in the front and an invitation to Christ in the back.

On Page 9, you’ll see my article titled “Free Indeed”. Below, you can read the words of the text.

free-indeedy

FREE INDEED

We live in a world that groans beneath the weight of sin that entered at the fall of man. Everywhere we turn, there is pain, hatred, abuse, war, jealousy, greed, and malice. Whether they consciously do it or not, people seeking to free themselves from their chains, longing to end their internal suffering, turn to all types of carnality. They are lost in a world that offers them, not truth, but lies.

The Biblical book of Galatians spells out the types of gratification of the flesh lost people seek when they ache for peace and freedom: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness … yet even when carnally fulfilled, human souls still cry out for freedom from the ropes that bind and enslave us to our sin.

This cookbook is a purposeful parody of a piece of fiction that glorifies the kind of unbalanced dominance and submission that leads to pain, abandonment, forced (non-consensual) sexual acts, and brokenness. While it is a parody, the very serious and very real fact is that there are real people all around us who desperately seek tranquility and truth in this world and who, instead, fall into the trap of pain and bondage in the vain hope that suffering will fulfill their quest.

The world promises that a total surrender to the pleasure/pain promised by the flesh will free us, but the Bible warns us that such will only further trap us.

The good news is that Christ can free us from all of our bonds. He is the Bread of Life. Accepting Christ into our lives brings with it the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit brings us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

When we embrace the love of Christ, we break the chains of slavery to heartache, pain, and sin. We open our hearts and lives to enduring unconditional love and lasting peace.

“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.’” John 8:34.

In the end of the cookbook, I’ve inserted an invitation.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

By Hallee the Homemaker

1 Corinthians 10:31 reads, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I believe that applies to everything I do. Each time I prepare food for my family and serve it with love in my heart, I am doing so to the glory of God. Each time I consume anything in this fallen world, and anything that I produce, I am doing so for His glory. This principle includes my choice of movies, plays, or television shows I watch, music I listen to, and without question it applies to the books that I read and those I write.

For years now, I have been preparing recipes on my website with the intent of publishing my first cookbook. In all those years of preparing myself, I never imagined that my first cookbook would be about GRAVY, much less really quite good gravy recipes used to parody a really not so good fiction book.

I Peter 3:13 reads in part, “… be ready at any time when you are questioned about the hope which is in you, to make an answer in the fear of the Lord and without pride …” When a certain secular cultural phenomenon took over bookstore shelves, found space on the e-readers and coffee tables of friends and family members, and began to dominate my internet feeds, I felt restless with a desire to write my answer. My initial thought was a disbelieving cry of, “Oh good gravy! Even SHE read that horrible thing?”

Even though I wrote a few somewhat lengthy articles on the subject, I never published them. I had no desire to put anyone in my circle on the defensive about having read those specific very secular books, regardless of how pornographic and sinful they may be. Instead, I chose this comedic route. Parody the idea, even mock the tie on the book cover, and attempt to “redeem” it all.

So this cookbook is my answer to the secular cultural phenomenon that is a set of rather poorly written erotica books celebrating bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism, which began as fan fiction for a rather silly young adult series about the undead. My answer to them is a good gravy cookbook intended to equip cooks all over the world with the ability to make virtuous, wholesome gravies and suitable sauces using whole food ingredients that ascribe to a Biblical diet.

I pray that you have fun with this book, that it gives you some tools and insight, and that you finish up amazing meals for your family and friends with the ultimate gravy or sauce. But I wanted to spend a few pages making an even more direct answer regarding that series of books this cookbook parodies and attempts to redeem.

I haven’t read them and don’t plan to … ever. Nor will I ever see the inevitable trashy Hollywood film shortly to follow. I do not read erotic fiction and do not view pornographic portrayals. I have five reasons for this stance, and that is what I will share with you now.

First of all, I am convicted that they are sinful. The series of books is “erotic fiction”. According to an erotic fiction website, the definition of erotic fiction is “writing that stimulates the senses”. Jesus said, “You have heard that it said, ‘Do
not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28) I believe that is also true of a woman looking at – or reading about – a man and lusting. In short, according to Jesus, there is only one person who should ever stimulate sexual desire in me: my husband.

Secondly, to all the naysayers who say that I don’t know because I haven’t read them – the fact is that I do not have to read it or view it – or have any kind of personal, practical experience with it – to understand whether it will be good or bad for me. I do not have to be tied up and beaten know it would be painful and traumatizing. I do not have to drink poison to know it will make me sick and possibly kill me. I do not have to read those books – or see the film – to know they are sinful.

Third, I considered the cultural effect. Ever wonder why those books and their main theme are so wildly popular in our culture? This cookbook you are reading will help you make some really good gravy that is both healthy and delicious, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. It seems like really good gravy would be a pretty popular idea. The other books not only misuse sex, but rather they redefine it into something evil as, from what I have learned, the lead male character first stalks in a very creepy way then utterly dominates the female lead in a consistently hurtful way. I think there is a lot wrong with that and it seems to me that it shouldn’t be such a popular notion culturally speaking.

I believe, and have seen evidence again and again to support this, that in our often emasculating culture there is an unquenched hunger so great among women for strong men, decisive men, leading men, that women by the thousands will debase themselves and stoop to bondage, harsh dominance, sadism, and masochism to get even just a taste of the male strength they secretly crave. But God created men to be strong and lead so that men could provide and protect, not tie up and torture. God created women to be submissive to their own husbands (not anyone else’s husband by the way) so that we could respect our husbands not for their excesses, but rather for their gentle and reserved restraint. God created sex to be the intimate glue to a partnership that’s fueled by love and self-giving, not pain and humiliation.

We women were created to complete our men, to be loved and cherished as bone of his bone – flesh of his flesh – to become one with him. We were not created to be kidnapped, bound up, blindfolded, tormented, beaten, starved, terrorized, and punished. Likewise, men were not created to mentally and physically savage those physically weaker then them. Such evil should not be portrayed as good.

Doing so is simply a lie.

Fourth, lust is not only hurtful to relationships but actually harmful to our physical bodies. Biopsychologists and other researchers who study the effects of lust, pornography, and erotica on the human brain and body all reach the same inescapable conclusion which is already available to us from wisdom which God gave us in His word thousands of years ago – “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18. Self stimulation and self gratification literally and physically damage our brains, and eventually we become less interested in real sex and more interested in self stimulation. Studies have shown that pornography, lust, and erotica rewire our brain’s rational, moral, and value systems and make the brain addicted to the sexual stimulation. It is as addictive
as drugs.

The Apostle Paul talked of putting on the full armor of God “to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).” And yet, when it comes to sexual immorality, idolatry, and greed, we are to run. To flee. We are not strong enough to stand against these things, so we are to remove them from our lives.

Reason number five is all the hype. It is exactly because of all the over-the-top hype that I chose to mock those books so specifically. Okay, I’m a mommy. I once overheard, while sitting in the bleachers of my kid’s volleyball game, those other books described as really good “mommy porn.” I tried to imagine a group of dads sitting in those bleachers laughing and joking about some really good “daddy porn” they had just enjoyed and had to wonder about how low our culture, and feminine womanhood, has sunk.

Hopefully, along with some good gravy ideas, I have given you some food for thought. I sincerely pray that God blesses you and grants you peace that passes understanding.

In Christ,
Hallee the Homemaker

gravyWhen I originally published the book, I expected fans of the book being parodied to write me angry emails and letters about how they’d been duped into buying something they thought it wasn’t. THAT’s NEVER HAPPENED. Instead, I get judged, tried, and executed by fellow Christians.

My husband and I pray over every book idea. I pray over every word I write. As we go through the process of cover design, formatting, distribution, advertising, we pray with and for every person who has their hands on my books. I’ve faced a lot of criticism for these cookbooks. Similar articles and invitations are in the other cookbooks, and will continue to be placed in my Parody Cookbook Series. But, in the face of that criticism, I also receive a lot of responses from people who have had their hearts changed by the words they’ve read.

I believe that the parodies break down barriers and allow these books to reach people a book titled Fifty Gravy Recipes from a Christian Homemaker might not. If I get judged by Christians because of it, I can stand up to that — because, ultimately, I’m not doing it for them. Unless they’re closet BDSM fans, then maybe they need to read the books, too.

.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Gravy Can Make or Break a Thanksgiving Meal

50SoG2Quite honestly, gravy can make a break a Thanksgiving meal.

Turkey too dry? Smother it with delicious, savory gravy. Potatoes bland? Stuffing under seasoned? Gravy. Gravy Gravy!

Does the idea of making gravy scare you? Do you think popping open a lid on a jar can please your friends and family more than making your own homemade, fresh from the pan drippings gravy?

I promise you that nothing beats good, homemade gravy. And if, you’ve never tried to make your own, or if you’ve tried and failed, or if you’ve tried and the result was “meh”, than you NEED Fifty Shades of Gravy, A Christian Gets Saucy for the holiday season. You’ll never buy jarred gravy again.

You can get it in ebook form or you can order a paperback from any bookstore in the world. If you want a signed paperback, get it at my Square store here.

And now, here’s the Gravy song by Dee Dee Sharp. Get up and dance — then order the book!

halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Mocha Spice Cake

mocha-spice-cakeMocha Spice Cake

When I first looked at this recipe, I wondered if the combination of chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee would work — I have to say, it works in amazing ways and this recipe has now made it into my “go to” for autumn cakes.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CAKE:

3/4 cup palm shortening
11/2  cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups unbleached cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (Kosher or sea salt is best)
3/4 tsp nutmeg (I freshly grate nutmeg – it has the best flavor)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa (I used dark chocolate)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

FOR THE FROSTING:

6 TBS unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
11/2 TBS unsweetened baking cocoa (I used dark chocolate)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
11/2 TBS hot coffee

SUPPLIES:

Large and medium mixing bowls
Beater or stand mixer
measuring cups/spoons
sifter
rubber spatula
2 9-inch round cake pans, 9-inch square cake pans, 13×9 inch oblong pan, or cupcake pan
Wire racks for cooling.

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350° degrees F (120° degrees C)

Grease and flour the cake pans, or line cupcake pan with liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cake spices, and cake cocoa.

In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk. Add to that the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Chop the walnuts.

Sift the powered sugar for the frosting.

DIRECTIONS:

Using a stand mixer or beater, beat together the shortening and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing in until smooth.

In three stages, alternate adding the sifted together flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, starting with the flour and ending with the buttermilk. Beat only until smooth after each addition.

Add the chopped nuts and mix until incorporated.

Pour into prepared pans.

Bake in 350° degrees F (120° degrees C) 20-25 minutes for cupcakes, 30-35 minutes for layers, 35-45 minutes for oblong.

Cool cakes out of the pans on wire racks.

While cooling, make the frosting by beating together all of the frosting ingredients until smooth.

Use a small amount of the frosting in between the two cake layers.

YIELD:

1 cake, 2 dz cupcakes

NUTRITION: ~*~
Low in sodium mocha-spice-cake-nutrition
~*~
NOTES:

I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?
halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Grill Marks in the Iron Skillet

I don’t have a grill. Last night, I was hungry for grilled beef. So, I pulled out my iron skillet pan, seasoned a London Broil with Teriyaki seasoning, and grilled it right there on my stove top.

london broil

To make the grill marks, I cooked the beef, without moving it, for 10 minutes. Then, I rotated it 90 degrees (from 12:00 on the clock to 3:00 on the clock). Then I let it cook for another 6-7 minutes, turned it over, and did the same thing on the other side.

You will, of course, cook it for less time depending on the cut of meat. This cut was very thick, so to get it to even a rare temperature, I cooked it for almost 30 minutes.

london broil sliced

For more great tips and recipes, check out IRON SKILLET MAN: THE STARK TRUTH ABOUT PEPPER AND POTS, book 3 in the Parody Cookbook Series.

1667x2500_hob3_ironskilletman

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Delicious Whole Grain Bread — Revised!

Those of you who have made the Delicious Whole Grain Bread out of The Walking Bread, the Bread Will Rise cookbook or the Hallee the Homemaker website, be prepared for a WONDERFUL revision!

This is my family’s daily bread. I make three or four loaves a week. It is perfect for day-to-day bread needs: sandwiches, toast, gravy mopper. But, the other morning, I was completely out of milk and dried milk. My husband, Gregg, was away at National Guard and I had a friend coming over for lunch, so I had no option but to improvise.

I used 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup water instead of water and dried milk (or the way I’ve been making it lately – 1 cup skim milk in lieu of water and dried milk.) Gasp! It was PERFECT and, I think, BETTER. Look how beautiful it rose up!

whole grain bread

If you’ve not tried the recipe, here it is. I promise you, this will become your new go-to daily bread recipe!
breadDelicious Whole Grain Bread

I used to make Honey Oatmeal Bread for our daily bread use. It is SO DELICIOUS and you honestly have never tasted toast as good as this bread makes toast. However, it doesn’t do well for most sandwiches — it’s a little too sweet and a little too crumbly. So, in researching writing The Walking Bread; The Bread Will Rise!, I came across a new recipe that I tried out. I have to say – I’ve never had homemade whole wheat bread that is this moist and this wonderful.

I LOVE this recipe. I modified it from the original recipe – using a fresh ground mixture of hard red and hard white wheat, removing any call for white flour, and replacing brown sugar with raw honey. It made the recipe even better, in my opinion.

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBS honey (pure, raw, local honey is always best)
1 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (1 packet)
3 cups flour (I use a combination of fresh ground hard red and hard white wheat. If you don’t use fresh ground wheat, use unbleached white flour)
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt (Kosher or Sea salt is best)
3 TBS butter

SUPPLIES:

two large bowls
measuring cups and spoons
wooden spoon or stand mixer with dough hook attachment
small saucepan
thermometer if desired
rolling pin
1 bread pan
towel to cover bowl while dough is rising

PREPARATION:

Lightly grease a large bowl to use for rising the bread
Melt the butter. If you are using 1 cup skim milk instead of water and dried milk, heat the skim milk with the butter until it is “just” warm – you don’t want to feel heat when you touch it. If you are using the water and buttermilk method, heat those when you melt the butter as well.

 

DIRECTIONS:

Mix 1 TBS honey with warm water (or milk or water/buttermilk combo, depending on your version of the recipe). Add yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Place 2 cups flour, the dry milk and salt in large bowl. Blend until well mixed. If using your stand mixture, turn on to speed 2 and add the remaining honey and the water/yeast mixture. Add the melted butter. (If mixing by hand, mix well)

Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.

Knead with the stand mixer for 2 minutes, or knead by hand for 10 minutes (see note).

Once the dough becomes smooth and elastic, put it into a lightly greased bowl. Turn it once and cover with a light towel. Let it sit in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk. It will take about an hour.

Punch the dough down. Roll dough into a rectangle and roll up tightly.

rolldough

formed loaf

Pinch the ends and place in a greased loaf pan.

in pan

Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size.

risen

Bake at 400° degrees F (205° degrees C) for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350° degrees F (180° degrees C) and bake 20 to 30 minutes longer When you tap the loaf, if it sounds hollow, it’s done.

Remove from pan and immediately place on cooling rack.

YIELD:

1 loaf

NUTRITION: ~*~
High in selenium
High in thiamine
whole wheat bread nutrition
~*~
NOTES:

I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?

I use a bread machine to mix my dough. I simply put all of the ingredients in the bread machine, without heating anything, and let the machine do all the work for me.

I’ve never made it with store-bought whole wheat flour — only fresh ground. If you’re using store-bought, you might to use unbleached white instead.

I have used 1 cup skim milk in lieu of the water and dried milk.

When adding the honey, if you have a source of local, pure, raw honey ask for the honey comb as well. Including the comb is good for you because consuming the comb increases your resistance to local allergens. And, in this case, I find that it makes for a more moist, melts-in-your mouth bread upon completion.

Often, yeast will not proof well in certain types of metal or plastic containers. Glass is best because it is nonporous, but ceramic or enamel also works.

How to knead dough by hand: Go to the link below to see a YouTube video with detailed instructions on how to knead dough by hand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWj8oHMPFm0

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Save on THE WALKING BREAD during National Whole Grain Month!

The Walking Bread
Warm up your sense of humor …

September is National Whole Grain Month! To celebrate, I’ve put THE WALKING BREAD on sale for 20% off!

For the paperback: Enter the promo code SEPTGRAINS when purchasing directly from me. Follow this link. Make sure you let me know in the notes section who I can sign the book to.

For the ebook: Enter the promo code CA76X when purchasing from Smashwords. Follow this link.

These are the only two places you can get the 20% off. Celebrate Whole Gran Month with this awesome deal!

While confronting and redeeming a recent popular secular phenomenon, Hallee Bridgeman, A.K.A. “Hallee the Homemaker” finds every grain of truth in her second whole food, real food cookbook with in-depth analysis and amazing recipes of yeast breads, quick breads, sourdoughs, and breads using grains other than wheat. The Walking Bread is a cookbook wrapped in a parody surrounded by a comedy with a tongue firmly inserted into a cheek — but the recipes are “dead serious” and may leave readers searching for all the tasty bread crumbs.

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:48-51

Readers, bakers, homemakers, and cooks all over the world will find themselves slathering the good stuff atop the muffins or corn bread; speeding through the quick breads; and going ape of over the banana bread. These bread recipes are so good, so healthy, and so easy you will want to pass them down from generation to generation.

Rave Reviews for The Walking Bread …

“I was in a loaf or death situation yeasterday, then I found this cookbook! Now I’m on a roll.”
A homemaker in the USA TODAY said

“I used to rack my grain for hours trying to bake. I made such great bread with this book, my husband brought me flours.”
THE TIMES this has been said are numerous

“If you knead to get serious about the zombie apocalypse, this cookbook is ammunition.”
We’re sure the DAILY MIRROR wishes they had quoted this

“Instead of loafing around, I learned how to bake! Now I don’t feel so crumby!”
Part of SOUTHERN LIVING is overhearing these kinds of remarks now and then

Muffin wrong with this cookbook. If you’re serious about saving some dough, you butter memorize it. It’s the yeast you can do.”
A reader in WEST VIRGINIA JOURNALed

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