Soup Contest Recipe: Chuck’s Spicy Seafood Bisque

Chuck Brannan, my Dad and perennial soup fan, can’t be kept away from the soup cookoff. But that’s OK because he brings some mighty fine soup along with him when he comes.

This year, his Spicy Seafood Bisque placed on top. And count yourself lucky, he agreed to share his recipe. So here it is!

Chuck’s Spicy Seafood Bisque

1/2 c chopped sweet onion
1/2 c chopped celery
2 tbsp butter
4 c chicken broth
3 c tomato juice
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes undrained (I used garlic and onion flavored)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Old Bay Seafood seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1/2 c small shell pasta (may use any small pasta)
1 lb uncooked med. shrimp (31-40 count)
2 6 oz cans crab meat or 12 oz dungeness crab meat drained, flaked, cartilage removed
1 lb white fish (such as true cod or halibut)
1 lb mussels in shell
1 lb small steamer clams in shell (such as Manila clams)

In a large sauce pan, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Add broth, tomato juice, tomatoes, Worchestershire sauce and all seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 min.

Discard bay leaf, add pasta, cook uncovered until tender. Add shrimp, crab, and white fish. Cook until shrimp are pink. Add mussels and clams, cook until shells open. Remove from heat and serve with warm garlic bread. Yield 10-12 servings.

Soup Contest Recipe: Big Toe Baked Potatoe Soup

Naomi Boyer, project manager in the Logos Text Development department, graciously consented to allow her 2nd place soup recipe, Big Toe Baked Potatoe Soup, to be posted here on the Logos Bible Software Blog.

So … here’s the recipe, straight from Naomi!

Big Toe Baked Potatoe Soup

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cubed, about 4 cups
6 green onions, thinly sliced
14 strips of bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 1/4 shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chives

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over low heat, melt butter. Stir in flour; stir until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk and raise to medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until soup begins to bubble. Add bacon. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted. Ideally, serve baked potato soup immediately.

Serves 6-8.

The trick to this soup is to have your husband do the “stirring constantly” part while he reads Leviticus and you chop up the rest of the ingredients. And also have the potatoes cooked well in advance to give them time to cool.

Original recipe gleaned (and slightly altered) from: http://southernfood.about.com/od/potatosoups/r/bl30324f_p.htm (Baked Potato Soup)

Missing in Action (Part 2): Road Trip Memoirs of the 4th Leg

John Fallahee recently completed the fourth leg of the Bible Road Trip and contributed this travelogue about his experiences. Read previous posts and view photos from the Road Trip.

Warning: These images may cause you to think twice about purchasing an RV. This small video clip (WMV, 696KB) will bring you into the world of RV Driving. See the panoramic view of the landscape, experience the gentle sway of the pavement, and hear the melodic tones of cross country driving.

07/25 – “Help! Lost in New York”

Confidently, the GPS guided us along the highway as we approached a major fork in the road. As we passed through the Big Apple, David, Kate, and Olivia kept pointing to what they thought was the largest building in the skyline. I nervously commanded the GPS, “Which way”…the GPS was silent! Alarmed, I appealed, “left or right… am I heading towards the blessings on Mount Gerizim or the cursings on Mount Ebal?”

Soon we found ourselves, 37 foot RV and all, in downtown NY on a one-way street, cars on the left, cars on the right, and 6 inches of clearance on either side! My wife, Stephanie, white-knuckled and clutching the dashboard is shouting, “you’re too close, you’re too close!” With a nervous sweat on my brow and two hands gripping the wheel I yell, “I know, I know! I See I see! Show no fear!” We can read the lips of the bystanders who are awkwardly gaping and reading our RV: “Bible Road Trip?”

We frantically look left and right for a larger road with fewer cars, and we turn onto a larger road only to face a low bridge with an 11 foot, 8 inch clearance. I turn to my wife and quickly ask, “How tall is this RV…do you know?” She replies, “I don’t know”. So I say, “Quickly hop out and see if I can make the clearance.” As she gets a closer look she starts to feverishly wave her hands back and forth mouthing, “NO…NO…We won’t fit”. Soon cars are backing up behind us. Stephanie tries to direct the traffic to give us room, but it is too late…GRIDLOCK in New York. She hops back in, I put on the hazards, and soon the police arrive and “part the traffic” like Moses parted the water and we escaped New York! Stephanie remarks, “I sure am glad for all your hours of video game playing as a boy, it is a miracle you did not hit any of those cars!” I exhaustedly replied, “Grace….it was all grace!”

7/26 – 7/30 “Look at all those flowers!”

During the road trip, I had to leave the family behind to present Logos Bible Software at Kay Arthur’s National Women’s Conference. Fortunately, Stephanie has a friend by the airport and the kids had some friends to play with. Their family runs Green Circle Growers Inc. a supplier of plants and seeds to distributors around the world, including Wal-Mart. Read the fascinating history of this family.

7/31 – 8/2 “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… ”

It’s 8 pm, Dayton, OH and I am presenting Logos while Stephanie and the kids wait comfortably in the RV that is parked on the street when suddenly a loud noise rips through the RV and the vehicle vibrates from the shock. Stephanie looks out the window as a moving truck drives away, leaving our driver’s side mirror in pieces! The police come and we report the incident. We are now left wondering how to drive another 40 miles without a mirror?

So I put on the “MacGyver thinking cap” and improvised – the first row of pictures above is our 4 inch by 6 inch makeup mirror with duct tape. We next drove to Walgreen’s to find a larger mirror – see the second row of pictures. As you can see, the fix was durable enough to last even during Dale’s trip. No doubt we are now “the fairest RV of them all!”

08/4 “Mosquitoes in Michigan?”

The day has arrived, the RV handoff! After I debriefed Dale and Jenni, I proceeded to the rental car to finish the road trip in Illinois and Wisconsin. When I opened the door to check the kids, a swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes assailed our family. Kate and Olivia had at least 20 biting bugs all over their legs and arms and both of them screamed a piercing shriek that deafened my senses. They immediately hopped out of the car and ran to Stephanie who was flailing her hands to put these ravenous rogues to rest. David sat helplessly, buckled in his car seat, immobilized as one particularly oversized mosquito slurped from his skull!

You see, my kids have never experienced mosquitoes. Soon we evacuated the car that was now filled with hundreds of mosquitoes (no exaggeration). I told Stephanie I will drive the car with the windows down to remove these creatures (a trick I learned from my Dad when we left the light on in the car on a humid night near a swampy Wisconsin lake – except we remained in the car –ouch!!)

As I proceeded to drive, Stephanie and the kids tried to run away from their assailants, but the mosquitoes pursued. While I am driving rapidly in circles and Stephanie and the kids are crying, throwing their arms up and down, and running in every direction; people are driving by and staring at them wonderingly…Dale and Jenny call me on my cell phone inquiring if everything is all right- NOTE: they could not see the mosquitoes but they could see all of us acting out of our mind!

Needless to say, we have no handoff pictures, but we lived through our red bumps, and a couple of hours of interrogation by the kids about “Killer Mosquitoes”. The good news…no West Nile virus!

08/4 – 8/12 “Truly Deep Dish!”

I grew up in Chicago, IL and this was the first time I was back in 7 years. I had my Logos mission, but I also had my pizza mission! There is no better pizza on the planet than Pizzeria Uno, with their incredible deep dish pizza and good ol’ wooden booths carved and etched with sayings from paying customers over the years – it is truly a delight of the senses! Make sure you visit the authentic Chicago location, the others…well, just don’t slice as well!

RV SURVIVAL TIP #3: When it breaks, don’t panic, duct tape! – Before leaving for any RV adventure, check out a book on the various uses of duct tape

RV SURVIVAL TIP #4: When entering the Midwest during the summer…bring a can of insect repellent!

My Most Interesting Pictures from the road trip.
State Signs!

Show Us How You Use Logos

We want to watch you use Logos Bible Software. Do you stick to three or four windows? Open dozens? Tile or cascade? Use tabs? Customize the toolbar?

Logos doesn’t have the resources of a full usability lab, with the cool one-way glass and video recording setup, but we’re hoping we can use technology to make up for it.

We would like to see a screenshot (or several) of how you use the Libronix DLS. If you use several workspaces, a screenshot of each of your favorite workspaces loaded up would be great. Or, even better, a recorded screen video of you doing your Bible study or sermon preparation with the system.

Screenshots:
To take a screenshot, press the “PrtScrn” button on your keyboard (or “Alt+PrtScrn” to capture just the active window). Paste it into an email message to screens@logos.com.
(Or paste it into Microsoft Paint, or another graphics program, and then save it and email it, or FTP it to the directory below.)

Videos:
Camtasia is a great application for recording your screen to a file—with or without audio. It is what we use for the videos on our site and blog. Camtasia costs $299, but there’s a free, fully functional 30-day trial version available for downloading.

We would really appreciate it if you would download and install Camtasia, record a study session with it, and then send us the Camtasia file (in AVI format). The session should be at least 15 minutes long and it can be with or without an audio track.

We’re not looking for you to do something specific for us, and we’re not looking for you to demo Logos to us—we just want to “look over your shoulder” while you use Logos as you regularly do—for personal Bible study, sermon preparation, etc. (That’s why “no audio” is fine—we don’t want to interrupt your regular work.)

Camtasia records and compresses the screen efficiently, so it’s well suited to a long session even if you’re slowly reading things on the screen. In other words, a screen that doesn’t change for minutes while you’re reading doesn’t take any extra space to record. Don’t feel rushed. Also, we won’t share your recording outside Logos without your permission.

We watched all the videos submitted years ago, and even revisit them on occasion. Getting an updated set will help us plan better for the future. It’s also good for you to show our developers how you work with Logos. You will increase the chance that new feature design is adapted to your needs, and improves on the things that were awkward or time-consuming for you. We do a better job of fixing problems we see. :-)

You can upload the AVI files (ideally named YourName.avi) to ftp://ftp.logos.com/screens. Once you copy it there it will “disappear”, but
be stored on our server.

(FTP’ing is easy: just copy the FTP address shown into a file Explorer window and then drag your file into the directory).
Thanks for your help!

Logos Soup Contest 2006

Last Friday (Sept. 15) was Soup Cookoff Day at Logos. We blogged the soup cookoff last year and wanted to do something similar this year.
This year the winner was actually my Dad (!) who loves soup so much we can’t keep him away on soup day. Congrats to Dad and to the other winners:

  • 1st Place: Chuck Brannan with “Chuck’s Spicy Seafood Bisque”
  • 2nd Place: Justin & Naomi Boyer with “Big Toe Baked Potatoe Soup”
  • 3rd Place: Dave Kaplan with “Cheesy Chicken”

We had 20 soups this year. Your intrepid Logos bloggers didn’t fare so well in the contest. My soup, “Sweet Panang’d Squash” didn’t place; nor did Eli’s “Ye Olde Lentils”. I guess the Logos palatte wasn’t ready for squash & lentils. Maybe next year …
More photos of the day are below the fold, so check ‘em out!
Update: Several have asked about recipes. I’ll see if the chefs who created the top 3 recipes will allow their recipes to be posted on the blog.

[Read more...]

Can you see me? I can’t see you!

Dale Pritchett recently completed the final leg of the Bible Road Trip. Read previous posts and view photos from the Road Trip.

Now that we are home in Bellingham, I decided to go back and fill in some of the blanks and tell you more about our experiences on the road.

Jenni and I arrived in Detroit on a hot Friday night and next morning met John and Stephanie Fallahee, and their kids in a motel parking lot where John quickly showed us the RV ropes and handed over the Starship Enterprise. He graciously encouraged us to call him with any questions — which we did incessantly for the next four days. The first question was “What happened to the driver’s side mirror on this thirty-seven foot cargo container look-alike which already lacks a rearview mirror?”

Well, it turns out that some passing trucker used his own mirror to take out our mirror. Since “our mirror” is some fancy one-of-a-kind, made for the RV mirror, we would have to wait a week for the replacement. In the mean time we had to “make do” with a cheap vanity mirror John had cleverly duct taped to the shattered mirror mount. Every hour or so we would pull over and adjust the tape, and attempt to reduce the weathervane tendencies.

Since the vanity mirror did not include the additional convex mirror normal on an RV, we could only see our blind spot when wind forced the mirror to vibrate left and right thereby momentarily increasing our field of view. Ya’ gotta love that vibration. The blind spot on the Starship Enterprise could easily conceal a formation of six Harley riders, a state trooper and perhaps a small traveling carnival. But all this is just to see the road and what a road we had to see. The entire state of Michigan appeared to be celebrating “road reconstruction month” with special emphasis being given to single lane merges on three lane expressways and temporary single lane bridges. Such were the joys and terrors of our first full day in the RV.

Once in Grand Rapids we parked the RV and considered the option of abandoning it and taking a cab back to Bellingham. But relief came in the form of Jim and Karolyn Van Noord, parents of James Van Noord, one of our Logos programmers. Jim picked us up at the campground in a normal car. We had a wonderful, relaxing evening at a great restaurant, followed by a tour of Grand Rapids. It was just what we needed.

Progress on Copyrighted Orphans

Earlier this year I posted about the Report on Orphan Works published by the Copyright Office. Orphan works represent a wealth of material that is still of great value, particularly in Biblical studies, but which is not widely available and can’t be reprinted or digitized because the copyright status, or copyright holder, is impossible to track down.

In May, Representative Lamar Smith introduced HR 5439, the Orphan Works Act of 2006, in Congress. If passed into law, this Act would provide safe harbor for Logos and others to republish orphaned works without fear of huge legal liabilities if a previously unidentifiable copyright holder came forward. It also provides for reasonable compensation for copyright holders who are found.

This is a win-win-win. It’s good for publishers who want to digitize or reprint older works. It’s good for the works, which get new life and more use. It’s even good for the copyright holders (many of whom are heirs who don’t know they own rights, or that they have any value) who may discover new revenue sources.

And most importantly, it’s good for you. It will put valuable, but hard-to-find, hard-to-use, resources at your fingertips.

Please let your representative know you support HR 5439.

Dear Elected Representative,

Digital publishing, on CD-ROM’s and the Internet, is enabling us to make entire libraries of material available to students who previously had little or no access to valuable content. Students in distance learning programs, in rural areas, and in far-off parts of the world are using computers and the Internet to get access to content that previously could be found only in large libraries in major cities.

Projects like Google Print, and many others at universities and libraries, are putting the contents of irreplaceable, hard-to-access archives at the fingertips of students around the world.

There is a tremendous amount of information in the public domain, but many important works were published after 1923 and are now out of print. In many cases it is difficult to locate or even identify the owner. Publishers have gone out of business. Rights have reverted to heirs who have never heard of the copyrighted work. Titles were published without enough identifying information.

The Copyright Office issued a Report on Orphan Works in January of this year that recommends legislation providing for the use of orphaned works during their copyright period. (http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/)

H.R. 5439, the Orphan Works Act of 2006, addresses compensation for rights holders if they emerge, and provides safe harbor from huge infringement penalties to users who have made a diligent search to locate a copyright owner.

I encourage you to support this important legislation which advances the causes of commerce, education, and human knowledge.

Missing in Action (Part 1): Road Trip Memoirs of the 4th Leg

John Fallahee recently completed the fourth leg of the Bible Road Trip (including the period when the damage to the RV was being repaired) and contributed this travelogue about his experiences. Read previous posts and view photos from the Road Trip.

WARNING: This driver and his family has never been to an RV park, nor driven an RV more than 30 minutes on the highway, prior to this trip! When asked by the president about the RV idea months ago…well, let’s just say that those imaginations were replaced by the following reality!

7/14 – 7/19 “Dad, Where is the Big Car?” Minivan/Hotel: David, my 4 year old son, was having fun helping me place the luggage in the trunk. With a very serious face, he said, “Dad where is the Big car?” I said, “It’s getting repaired, it should be ready in a couple of days.” David in a thoughtful manner carries on, “Well, there is plenty of room in this Mini-Car for me to eat and sleep!” By the way, the family enjoyed Washington D.C..

24 Hours – 4 Presentations: What have you done in the last 24 hours? We visited two churches in the area. I spoke at night at Immanuel Bible Church and trained the next morning. Then in the afternoon we headed to McLean Presbyterian Church and trained in the afternoon and then presented in the evening. Although tired, the fellowship was great! If you are ever in D.C. stop by!
We parked at the RV site by midnight!

7/21 “Mom…What’s that smell?
We drove over 4 hours to Norfolk, VA to pick up the RV and as you can see the kids were pretty excited! When is the last time you ran to a car?

Video clip (WMV, 3.2MB)
Liquid spills, Frightening Smells, but no Chills: During the repair process all power and gas were shut off. When Stephanie went to open the refrigerator door, once-frozen but now rotting, liquid chicken sprung from the dead and onto my wife.

The eggs were breeding a cure to the avian flu and the milk curdled into white cheese balls. We were left wondering if something ate something else! We were forbidden to take pictures of this crime scene.

Don’t Open the Fridge!: Though Stephanie worked hard to clean the fridge, the smell lived on until we discovered a cure. The new RV House rule: only Momma opens the fridge!

HOUSE KEEPING TIP: Place a few chunks of charcoal inside the freezer, wait 24 hours, and all smells removed.

7/21 – 7/24 “Let’s Gas it up!”Our First Gas stop: By the time we reached Mechanicsburg, PA, we needed to get some gas. As we pulled in, John Palm–owner of the local auto repair–expressed curiosity in the RV and tour. I sat down in his shop and showed him Logos Bible Software. He was so excited, he bought the software on the spot. John teaches and oversees the Sunday school program at his church.

RV SURVIVAL TIP #1: To bring the sides of the RV in, you must turn the RV off!

If you choose to ignore this advice, fear not, the RV campgrounds will knock on your door and assist you in operating your RV.

RV SURVIVAL TIP #2: To turn on the gas stove, the gas sensor need to be on!
If you choose to ignore this advice, you will go hungry!

Discmobile

As a city, Bellingham has some unique characteristics. And more than a few unique characters.
One particular street that I often walk along seems to be a favorite for folks living in vehicles. Buses, cars, VW microbuses, campers, you name it…but one of the stranger sights was this car, covered in compact discs.


I suppose the owner/tenant was mostly interested in the discs’ reflective properties that served to keep his vehicle cool. He was probably less interested in the contents of the discs…

Yes, closer inspection revealed that this fellow had plastered his car with hundreds of Logos Bible Software discs! When Logos 3 shipped, we had to throw away a lot of old inventory (sans serial numbers, of course). Normally, our shipping department spray-paints discs that go into the dumpster as an added precaution…but this time quite a number of bright, shiny discs made it into the dumpster and were re-purposed in a way we couldn’t have imagined.

An Unusual Salsa

If you’re a regular reader of the Logos blog, you know we enjoy salsa so much that we hold an annual “cook-off” devoted to the stuff. Dale Pritchett posts this paen to the spicy sauce from the midst of the Bible Road Trip.

And now for something entirely different. . . hot strawberry salsa!

Meet Brian Creveling of Creveling Family Restaurant and Creveling Family Farms, makers of more kinds of unusual salsas than you have ever tasted. Jenni and I wandered into the Creveling Family Restaurant in Sparta, Michigan, before our Logos presentation where we struck up a conversation with the owner, Brian Creveling. First Brian asked us if we cared to advise him on the color scheme of the restaurant and then he introduced us to his real passion, salsa making.

Brian’s salsas are something else. There are the normal tomato, chili and garlic components but from there it reaches out to strawberry, blueberry, peach, pear and apple salsas in both medium and hot. Did I mention, Brian loves garlic? You have never tasted anything like this before.

Well, at the risk of sounding like a commercial from the Food Network, let me tell you, Brian makes some of the best tasting salsa that has ever warmed a tortilla chip and it is not something you have had before. Just call him at 616.885.6667 if you would like to order.