From the kitchen – tasty things to do with refrigerated pizza dough

It’s been a while since I posted about food. We usually cook for fun on weekends and things have come up on weekends since about mid-March, when we both got the flu and have continued until this weekend, when my folks visited.

The one thing that was cooked, and by my spouse, are a couple of things using refrigerated pizza dough in the can that you pop open (biscuits often come in them here in the US, the fluffy scone-ish ones, not hard crunchy ones that us Yanks call cookies).  He made the Stromboli version for me after I had a long day helping staff a conference with fellow staffers talking about their families which might as well be on a bad reality show.

The technique is the same and you can use any filling you’d like. The dough comes in a rectangular sheet. Cut in a third from each side in one inch (2.5 cm) strips (a rolling pizza cutter works best). Put the filling in the center, cross the strips and pinch together the short ends to keep the filling in place. Bake at 400 degrees F (roughly 200 degrees C) for twenty minutes.  We put them on baking parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

The first was our version of Stromboli (it’s the picture at the upper right of this post). After the dough is cut, spread around 2 tbsp of mustard (we like the whole seed stuff) on the raw dough. Then, put approximately 1/3 pound (0.15 kg) each (!) of thinly sliced provolone, ham, hard salami, and pepperoni down in that order on the non-cut dough. On top, put a good handful of shredded mozzarella and cross the dough strips over, sealing the ends. He had two extra strips left over so they became antennae on our rather trilobite-ish looking bundle. Just enough grease escapes to make a crisp bottom crust. Before baking, he brushed the top with flavored olive oil and dusted it with garlic powder and dried oregano.

uniced verson so you can see the prettiness

The second was a cherry cream cheese Danish-oid thing. The filling was half a can of cherry pie filling, and half a block of cream cheese. The cheese was on the outer long edges to corral the pie filling. He brushed the bottom of the crust with butter to get it nice and brown and brushed the top of the crust with butter, sanding it with sugar.   We also added a basic glaze of confectioner’s sugar (fine sugar with cornstarch) and milk.

with its icing carapace

Well, that’s it for now. Eat and drink well!

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Moving the goalposts, prayer as a weapon, ignoring questions and the usual theist nonsense

Well, I finally have some time to write a blog post. Between work, and painting, and simply being disgusted with the world, I put this off.

I did do a couple of craft shows with my alcohol ink paintings and I sold one thing on Etsy. Made back my entrance fee and then some, so I’m happy about that. I decided to start trying to sell my art since it was starting to overrun the house.

Now, back to my favorite topic, Christians behaving badly.

Here in PA, we had a particularly virulent TrueChristian™ make a scene when Rep. Borowicz tried her best to convince her god that it wasn’t her fault that the PA voters elected a woman who happens to be Muslim to the state legislature.   She gave the opening prayer at the legislature and was a wonderfully bigoted twit, ignoring her bible when it says don’t pray on street corners. She claims she prays like this “all of the time”. Sure, dear, I have no problem that you are a jackass whenever you do much of anything.

I have also been kibitzing on various blogs where a theist, usually a Christian, is making false and/or baseless claims about atheists or the universe in general. When the theist responds to a post, it’s amazing how quickly they end up attacking their fellow Christians, when I point out how much they don’t agree. For a religion of supposedly “billions”, they show quite definitely that Christianity isn’t one religion but many very small ones. I had one fellow “Triggerman” insist that Baptists aren’t Christians by definition “A Christian can be a Baptist, just like a Christian can be a Methodist, or a Presbyterian or a Catholic or even a Pentecostal or a non-denom. However, just being a Baptist, etc, doesn’t make anyone a Christian.”, that Catholics aren’t Christians at all and that Christians who don’t agree with his version are “Free to think whatever they want and impose all of the FALSE standards they want to.” Tsk. I asked poor TM how does his god choose who to damn and who to allow to believe in this god if not randomly. It’s always fun to watch them insist that they do know but when it comes to saying how, there’s not an answer to be had except an attempt to redefine the word “random”.

A friend has a new website up with the more vile words of a Christian I’ve also crossed swords with, John Branyan. You can find it here. It is holding Christians accountable for their claims and beliefs.

I also found Caroline again, a Christian who has occasionally shown up (just search “caroline” in the search box in the upper right to see all of the instances) on this blog, making her usual false claims about morality and how great her morality is. She is a great example of someone using about ever poor apologist bit of nonsense in her arguments. There are no comments allows on her blog if you don’t agree with her (though she has let me post in the past), but I did happen to find her on facebook. Again, it ended up with her not answering some very basic questions: “why is objective morality “better” than subjective morality” and “why is stealing from someone wrong?”. My comments still there if you are interested (you’ll see posts from Jane R., that’s me). I find it very funny that she calls herself “friendlier theist” there. This comes from a theist who said this to me “Enjoy your Godless life…while you can.” She claimed to be arguing just for “theism” and not Christianity.

This attempt to move goalposts isn’t a new thing at all. It’s nothing new that Christians claim that those other Christians aren’t really Christians at all. There is not one new bit of evidence to support the existence of any of the billions of versions of the Christian god nor for any other god. It’s the same old arguments. The most recent one might be the argument from complexity, and that’s only because we could start to see that complexity. The rest, the early church fathers would recognize.

With Easter coming up, a lunar and fertility holiday that moves all around thanks to other religion’s beliefs, we see again that it’s been 2000+ years and still nothing has changed. No miracles, no baptized believers in JC as savior doing miracles as promised, no elders of the church doing miracles, no JC descending from the clouds in his end times return. Just lots of failed stories and baseless claims. And no god serving as back up to a lot of incompetent apologists. People ask, why do I bother? Well, I don’t like liars and I don’t like people who think it’s their right to harm people in trying to take away their ability to make an informed decision.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: An article “Complex societies gave birth to big gods, not the other way around: study”

from an article on phys.org (one of my favorite science article compiling sites)

“An international research team, including a member of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, investigated the role of “big gods” in the rise of complex large-scale societies. Big gods are defined as moralizing deities who punish ethical transgressions. Contrary to prevailing theories, the team found that beliefs in big gods are a consequence, not a cause, of the evolution of complex societies. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-03-complex-societies-gave-birth-big.html#jCp

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Anti-Israel isn’t anti-Semitic

While I’m still dealing with influenza (I always forget just how horrible it makes you feel (and to see why you do feel horrible see here)) , I thought I’d do a post about the current religious nonsense here in the US.

We have conservative Christians having a tizzy that a US representative criticizes the country of Israel. They lie, of course, and try to claim being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic. That the government of Israel continues to flirt with acting exactly like their historical persecutors, makes it a target for just criticism. When these same conservatives have no problem with worshipping a orange nitwit who says that wannabee nazis are “fine people” and the vice president is of a strain of Christianity that desperately wants the events in Revelation to come true and needs the state of Israel to be on the stage to be destroyed, this concern about anti-Semitism is nothing but poorly hidden hypocrisy.

Then we have Trump signing bibles for conservative Christians. It’s rather silly to see them acting like teens at a rock concert wanting some bit of trash signed by someone they idolize. Other presidents have signed bibles, at the request of families for a certain purpose, but it does seem to be an unusual practice, noted by a Christian professor from near where I live. This article notes the Washington Post article, which in turn notes that Trump does love to quote bible verses when convenient, and that “two Corinthians” verse is quite an interesting one, especially in context:

Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! 10 Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; 11 for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that[c] was being set aside. 14 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Except for the Book of Hebrews itself, one can’t find much more of an anti-Jewish screed in the bible. Paul is still the persecutor, he just changed his colors and his horse. And that is what these ever so concerned Christians want to have Trump sign and cite. What I discovered that I didn’t know before is that some Muslims find that Paul to be a corruptor of JC’s word too. What a mess of imaginary claims, who hates who for what reason and all of it nonsense.

Of course, it’s these conservative Christians who insist that it was a “miracle” they *personally* weren’t killed (evidently 23 deaths were their god’s will) and how it’s just great that they get special attention from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for help but who cheered when that jackass Trump threatened the help received by people they don’t agree with in California.

What a foul tangle human invention makes to validate ignorance and selfish nonsense.

What the Boss Likes – more of my alcohol ink art

Hello from under Winter Storm Petra!   We have about 5 inches of snow and we’re supposed to get ice on top of that.

If you’ve been following my blog, you may know that I dabble in art, specific alcohol inks.  Here are two pieces. The top is a lap / bed tray (the kind with little legs) that I found at a thrift store.  It was originally a pale blonde wood, which I painted black.  The bottom was white melamine, a nice slick surface for the inks to flow around on.  After they dried, I sealed it and then put a layer of resin on top of it for durability.

The second is a lazy susan I found on the same thrift store adventure.  It is also ink and protected with resin.  My one cat, Tezcatlipoca, is investigating it.

 

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a handful of quick dismantlements of common theist claims

This was bouncing around in my head while I couldn’t sleep last night.

The claim that atheists *must* be nihilists or aren’t being atheists “correctly” – this fails since “dude”, and WLC (William Lane Craig, a very inept conservative Christian apologist and philosopher), have yet to show that subjective morality or meaning in life is somehow not as good as claims of “objective” morality. It also fails since Christianity has no objective morality either. The idea of good and bad is not separate from their god, which it should be to be objective. They only have might equals right.

The claim that Jesus Christ must be historical – There is no evidence for magic/supernatural/divine events or beings. WLC fails hilariously at this when his entire basis for his claims is that an empty tomb existed. He can’t show that the tomb exists nor that it was ever magically empty. The possible itinerant deluded rabbi is not the being that Christians claim to worship. “dude” and conservative Christians are so desperate for any evidence that their magic friend exists, “dude” et al accept claims that do a fair job in showing that their magic being never existed at all. Something else entirely did, like every other supposed magic event in the bible.

The claim that complex things must have creators but that this god doesn’t need a creator – this one is great since it’s again nothing more than special pleading. “dude” and his fellow believers have to claim that this god is intelligent, can affect this world, has to exist outside this world, cares about each and every believer, controls the universe in detail, but somehow this being is “simple” to fit the definition conservative christians invented in their need to have a job for their god (Plantinga’s argument that God is simple because his god has no “parts” and is a ghost is one of the most ridiculous). This is why Dawkin’s ultimate 747 works; it shows the utter contradiction in what theists claim. This is where claims that Dawkins and other atheists don’t study the “sophisticated theology” correctly fail so well. Those claims are nothing more than the desperate moving of goalposts by Christians who fancy themselves more intelligent and intellectual than their fellow Christians and anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

The claim that philosophy, aka a baseless opinion usually started as “what if people were like this, then “x” should be true”, reflects reality – This is a belief that a lot of freshmen in college fall into when they find someone who agrees with them and they seem to be an authority figure. Occasionally a philosophy does get something right. However, how many philosophies have died because reality doesn’t reflect them? Most, and new ones keep being invented, like that anti-natalist nonsense. And what evidence do the philosophers have that their claims are true, for instance WLC’s philosophy about atheists must be nihilists? Very little if any at all; but they sure hope that people will agree with them and give them the external validation they crave. There are atheists who are nihilists but there is nothing to show that atheism causes nihilism or requires nihilism.

Indeed, my very existence and the existence of happy atheists all over the world, shows that these Christians’ philosophical navel gazing is simply wrong. It seems that since many theists try to claim that anything that can be imagined has to exist e.g. the ontological argument that if their version of a creator god can be imagined it must exist, that they believe that their thoughts *all* have to be true. That they don’t seem to understand that human can imagine many things that are not real is rather bizarre version of solipsism aka anything I can think of is real and everyone else has to be wrong.

In the end, all theists like “dude” has is that he wants to believe something. He’ll accept anything he thinks supports the idea that he has the secret to how the universe works, and he is best friends with its creator.