Mmm…Cheese Steak for Dinner Tonight!




This is based on a very traditional recipe, passed along to me by a friend who used to live in Philly, and frequented Pat’s King of Steaks, where the cheese steak was invented in the 1930’s.



Join Me on Twitter!

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Hey all,

Just signed up on Twitter:

I’ll follow you if you follow me!


-Gracie’s Daddy

A “Gracie Favorite” Recipe

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Hey all,

I’m going to start a regular feature here on Rice Cereal Sucks…recipes that are “Gracie Approved.”

This means meals that I’ve cooked that didn’t end up in the dog, on the wall, or (god forbid) returned to sender.

This is a pork loin recipe I made tonight and Madam President pretty much ate her weight in it. I take that as a positive review…

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze

Serves: 4

EVOO Cooking spray

1/4 cup apricot preserves (or apricot fruit spread)

2 Tbsp country-style Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped

1 pork tenderloin

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with EVOO.

2. Combine preserves, mustard, and rosemary in a small bowl.

3. Place tenderloin on baking sheet; brush with the apricot mixture.

4. Roast for 30 minutes, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 140.

5. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes before slicing diagonally.

Side suggestion: Serve with sautéed zucchini and pasta, or buttered corn and mashed sweet potatoes if ya’all are Southern!

To quote my daughter….”Yum!”

-Gracie’s Daddy





Speaking of cooking for kids…I downloaded a FANTASTIC eCookbook this week, titled, “Kid Approved Meals.” This thing in THE definitive resource on cooking for kids, lol. If you’re a wee bit OCD, like me, you’re gonna LOVE this!


You get 13 weeks of breakfast & lunch menus that are “Kid-Tested & Mom Approved,” along with categorized grocery shopping lists for each menu. Perfect for homeschool families, stay-at-home parents (again, like me), daycare providers, etc.

Click Here!

Check it out, it pretty amazing!


Gracie’s Daddy’s Daddy


Hey all,


Let me give you a quick preamble to this (long) post:


When I was a baby, my parents and I hitch-hiked from Georgia to Oregon, sending their “travelling money” ahead to my Grandparents to they’d have a grubstake when they got here.


They shipped most of their belongings ahead as well, only keeping with them a few items that they deemed to valuable to risk sending in the mail. (Family pictures and such.)


Somewhere along the line, the motel room they were staying in was burglarized and both of their suitcases were stolen. So, except for a few pictures that my mother kept in her purse, and my dad in his wallet, almost all of my families keepsakes prior to my second birthday were gone. (Their wedding pics and announcement, my birth pics, etc.)


So, a couple of months ago, after dad passed away, I got an email from my cousin Tricia in Georgia. She’d come across some pictures and family mementos and, knowing that I had been working on our family genealogy, she promised to ship them up to me.


Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I went to the post-office yesterday and found a big cardboard box waiting for me.


It was packed with some very cool stuff. I found a Japanese scarf and memorial lighter that my Uncle Raymond had sent to my Grandmother while stationed in Japan during WWII, some letters and cards that my folks had sent my grandfolks, and even a birthday card to my grandmother signed by me (sort of, lol.)


There were some great photos of my granddad cooking in the WPA, fishing, and playing poker (the apple apparently didn’t fall far from the tree!) old deeds, receipts, all the stuff you would imagine finding in your grandmother’s attic.



There’s an envelope full (and I mean FULL) of old fashioned negatives, probably from the mid to late fifties that I need to figure out how to get developed.Genealogy-wise, it’s a gold mine.


Then, near the bottom of the box I found this picture:




Yup…that’s me (probably six months old or so) and my dad. He’s ten years younger than I am now, and a different person than I ever remember knowing.


The next few hours were a little blurry and I still haven’t come to grips with the invaluable thing that my cousin and aunt have done for me.


It’s just amazing.


-Gracie’s Daddy

The Shack, Part II

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I was very hesitant to read “The Shack.” In fact, it took me two tries to read it, but I’m really glad I did.


As a new father, who has a baby girl after 10 years of trying, it was very hard to get through the first few chapters of the book. In fact, I quit reading the first time I tried.


I had a sense that the “bad guy” wasn’t going to end up being punished in some really ugly, painful way, and, if that was so, I didn’t want to read anymore (just being honest…)


I REALLY wanted to hurt this guy and was so pissed off that (I assumed) he was going to “get off the hook” that I tossed the book into a corner and tried to forget about it.


Then, I went back a few week ago and read it again. I’m really glad I did.


It’s a wonderful allegory, and the scene in the “judge’s chambers” made me look at my faith is a different way than I ever had before. In fact, the whole issue of “judging and forgiveness” really opened my eyes to something new.


A little history to explain my original hesitation:


I was part of a mega-church in the mid-eighties when Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness” came out (another great book) and I remember the hype that followed. Everyone carried a copy of the novel with their Bible and, by golly; we saw demons behind every shrub.


This made me a little hesitant to read Shack in the first place.


Again, I’m glad I did. Like “Darkness,” the author wrote a great work of fiction, with some spiritual enlightenment mixed in. I doubt Peretti ever meant anyone to take it as a “second gospel” and I know (cause I’ve met him) that Young didn’t have any intention of that either. I guess I’m just older now and less likely to fall prey to the hype that can unintentionally follow a great book.


Now, in all fairness, Young adds some stuff near the end about “the church” that I felt was superficial, and actually pulled from the weight of the story. It seemed a little contrived and PC to me, and I think the flow of the book would have been better without it.


But, I didn’t write the book. If I want a book that will say exactly what I want it to say, I’ll write it myself. I read to glean from the other’s perspective, and I think I did.


All of that to say…great book, great allegory, it’s worth the read.


Read it and then read your Bible again.


-Gracie’s Daddy