Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Squealing Santa Anna Buffalo Sliders

**Disclaimer: I received several amazing recipes and pictures from Scarlet Threadsicans, but I promised some folks at GBC in Houston that I would post this recipe for Tasty Tuesday...

The clever name of this week's recipe might be lost those of you unfamiliar with Texas history, however those who thought of it were impressed with themselves. You see, Santa Anna was the general of the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution, killed Davy Crockett at the Alamo, generally p.o.'d the Texicans (our team name), and was thoroughly routed at the battle of San Jacinto. Texas became its own country and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

This past weekend was a the Growth Group Grill Off at our church. Seventeen teams participated. However, the winners of the grand prize broke their budget by serving ribs that were smoked over night in the church parking lot in a commercial grade smoker. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. We, the Texicans, kept it real and represented the budget bbq category (burgers, et al) with this fabulous "slider" invented/refined by the Aaron and Eileen dynamic duo. Meredith and I wore our ST aprons to intimidate our competition! (Tons of compliments as always!)
In order to be a squealer, a burger must have ground bacon mixed in with the ground beef, or in this case bison. The perfect ratio is 4:1 bison to bacon. Bison, which is naturally lean and a little gamier than beef, benefitted nicely from the squealing addition -- it became moist and juicy and all around tastier. Trust me, give this slider a try, you will not be disappointed.

4 lbs ground bison
1 lb thick cut bacon (food processed/ground, it looks strange, but trust me!)
4 jalapenos finely chopped
3 shallots finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 c. heavy cream (or to preferred moisture content)
2 tbsp chopped garlic
cayenne pepper
black pepper
garlic salt
1 c. panko bread crumbs

Hand mix and form into patties... you are ready to grill! To this amazing patty, we added queso on one side and guacamole on the other! Then the whole thing goes on a bun and you are ready to remember the Alamo and celebrate the victory at San Jacinto. Poor Santa Anna.

For the queso, use this recipe. I can't believe that I'm sharing it. I've been making it for years and it remains a favorite for all my friends!

1 block Mexican Velveeta
1 block cream cheese
1 can of Rotell Original green chilies and tomatoes
1/2 lb of ground beef sauteed with onion - seasoned with cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic salt, and cayenne

Mix it all together in a crock pot and season to taste (with the above spices). Like I said, you won't be disappointed.

Give Squealing Santa Anna Buffalo Sliders a try, it will impress everyone at your next back yard bbq. Did I mention we won our category?!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Announcing our Monthly Fair Trade Blog Carnival!

Fair Trade. A movement unto itself, but certainly not restricted to those who are cognizant of the term. When we use the terminology restricted to the movement, we might be losing our appeal to the general population. As a rule, people are wary of Movements and Organizations that are rocking the boat – even ones that are changing the world for the better. What people embrace are opportunities to impact the lives of people with whom they can identify. Through Scarlet Threads it’s mothers on the other side of the world struggling to provide for their children.

It so easy to be swept into a movement, to rally around a cause and to still – deep down – feel nothing in your heart. (I often fall into this category.) The real people who make a difference are those with warm hearts who look past circumstances to see a person’s heart. It’s people who look past poverty and see a person.

Poverty is easy to see, and if it is all you see, you can’t fix it. People constantly tell me, “Well, I can’t solve world huger!” What does that mean, exactly? The problem is as simple as the statement. When all you see is a single task of great magnitude, you fail to see that you are perfectly capable of solving small problems in the lives of individuals who are lumped together as the collective whole known as “Extreme Poverty” or “World Hunger.”

We are so blessed at Scarlet Threads to be a part of the Fair Trade movement, but also to be supported and cared for by people who aren’t even familiar with the term. People who aren’t part of any “cause” per se, but are moved by the love in their hearts for “these, the least of their brethren.” I would say the majority of our friends are moved by an incredible love for the orphans of the world, and as we each have an orphan’s heart I find that they have a huge capacity to love the human family.

Over the past few months, I have gone on a quest to identify opportunities to grow Scarlet Threads and through that quest I became familiar with fair trade (which, I think should change its name to Social Capitalism) and found others on a similar quest. Eyaas and Seven Hopes United have both been so friendly and helpful, and we decided that three heads are better than one, and formed a “Fair Trade Alliance” with a travelling blog carnival. Essentially, we will create a monthly e-zine (blog carnival) with a series of links to articles about our fair trade escapades in hopes to increase our visibility on the web and continue networking with other organizations. I hope that you will take the time to thumb through the pages and visit the blogs of our big-hearted friends.

Pallavi, from Eyaas.com, submitted this article to our e-zine. She offers a unique perspective because she isn’t from “the West,” and so she counsels us not to judge economies of developing nations based on our own opinions and standards of poverty. She helps us understand that we need to ensure our fair trade plans contribute to the growth of local economies rather than raising the standard of living of a few lucky people.

Seven Hopes United, is introducing Eyaas, Scarlet Threads, and our Fair Trade Alliance to the world. Ashley, co-founder of Seven, sees a future in shining light on the social organizations of the world and working together to enhance our impact. She shows us all that with a little determination, you can change the lives of others without having to give up your own life!

On her honeymoon was born LeAnn’s love of travel and culture, and out of that love was born Crossing Borders Fair Trade. Her ideals have driven her to become an avid fair trade advocate and an e-tailer (retailer) of fair trade goods. Read her story here or visit her shop.

Feel free to add your own post about fair trade - anything goes: success stories, favorite shops, artisan groups...the world is your fair trade oyster.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Desperate Need


I have a confession to make. I have been so busy with other things that I haven't spent much time in the kitchen. My only suggestion for this week centers around the chocolate chip cookies I made on Sunday. Try replacing half of the flour called for with whole wheat flour. I find it makes the cookies have a more hearty flavor, and Aaron really likes them too. Another thing that I find is, the cookies turn out a little fluffier when you put the dough (already scooped onto your sheet) back in the fridge for a fifteen minutes before putting them in the oven.

This tactic I rediscovered this weekend. We had friends over for Bible Study and I forgot that the oven was dirty! I don't recollect what spilled, all I know is that the oven was smokey and gross. I was so embarrassed, I had to turn off the oven (place the cookies in the fridge) and wait for it to cool before I got in there and mopped up the mess. Yuck! It all turned out wonderfully however, our friends identified that my "spiritual gift" is cookie-making!

O.K. Now, in all seriousness, we need some help with Tasty Tuesday recipes. I'm absolutely running out of material. So, the next time you are in the kitchen fixing something tasty, please (PLEASE!) snap a picture and send us a recipe. :) info@scarletthreads.org

Until next time.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Easy Coffee Cake

This recipe comes from our wonderful mother-in-law, complete with a cute intro!

I ate this at a baby shower this weekend and I really wanted to take the leftovers home but didn’t want to embarrass myself by asking the total stranger that brought it. But, I spent the next 3 days trying to get the recipe. It is totally rich and full of calories that none of us want to ingest but if you have company coming or a church thing to bake for or if you want to do like me …fix it for myself so I can eat it by myself and not share with anyone, then here you go. It is soooo yummy!

Easy Coffee Cake

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup sugar
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, separated
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray bottom of 13x9 baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray.
3. Spread one can of the crescent rolls in the bottom of the 13x9 pan.
4. Cream together 3/4 cup of sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and egg yolk
until it's creamy and smooth.
5. Spread mixture over the crescent rolls.
6. Top with the second package of crescent rolls. Beat the egg white till
frothy and spread on top.
7. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and pecans evenly.
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes till nice and golden brown.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordy Wednesday: Mother's May

Life, by its simplest definition, begins at birth. But, the words “bringing life” are far more expansive than that single (often lengthy) action. It involves, sheltering, nurturing, loving, disciplining, and these are not necessarily actions done by the person who gave birth to you. It could be a grandmother, an aunt, or a complete stranger.

24 hours is simply too short a period to celebrate the women in the world who bring life. So, here at Scarlet Threads, we’ve decided to change Mother’s Day to Mother’s May. To celebrate, I hope that you will either write a blog post and link to ours (a blog carnival, of course!) or join the
discussion board on Facebook to share a memory, a tribute, or a story about a Mother who has changed your life.

Mothers are the mission of Scarlet Threads. They are at once the people we are trying to help and the people from whom we draw the strength and inspiration to continue our work. The women who we employ are Mothers trying to provide for their families. They are hard working, loving, and courageous. They will do whatever it takes to make ends meet. Out of their necessity was birthed Scarlet Threads, and by their nature is it maintained.

FYI - Carrie will have to add the Mr Linky tonight (tomorrow in China)... :) She's the sensei, I am but a learner.