Friday, December 28, 2012

Is Plan B Abortive?

I was recently shown a video which claims that Plan B is not abortive. I was intrigued as I had understood that Plan B was abortive. The video clearly makes the claim (2:10-2:25) that Plan B does not stop implantation and is therefore is not abortive.

I did a quick search to see what I could find. Within 5 minutes I had looked up Plan B's website and the FDA's and found the following information.

The third FAQ on Plan B's website is  "How does Plan B work?" Here is the response they give.
 "Plan B One-Step® is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for several decades. Plan B One-Step® works in a similar way to help prevent pregnancy from happening. It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B One-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb)."
Stop. Read that last sentence again.

"It is possible that Plan B One-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb)."
"OR by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb)."

That last sentence there is key. Stopping implantation (which the video says it does not do) the makers says it can do. Folks, that's an abortion because it's preventing the fertilized egg (conceived human) from attaching to the uterus where it would continue to receive adequate nutrition that is necessary for life.

What does the FDA say?

Under question #4 "How does Plan B work?" they say essentially the same thing as the manufactures. The only difference is that they add that if implantation has already happened, Plan B will not end that pregnancy. That's great, but it still could end a pregnancy by stopping implantation if its hasn't yet occurred.
"Plan B works like a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb), which usually occurs beginning 7 days after release of an egg from the ovary. Plan B will not do anything to a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus. The pregnancy will continue."
It appears to me that the makers of the video blatently lied. I really hate saying that because I certainly don't want to accuse anyone of intentional misinformation. If it's not lying than it is certainly poor and sloppy research. Like I said, it took my no more than 5 minutes to check those two websites (primary sources) and find information that directly contradicted the video's claim. Sloppy research isn't much better than lying, especially when lives are stake.

You can watch the video for yourself below.

I will say that I do find it interesting that the video claims that since Plan B does not prevent implantation, Plan B is not abortive. IF it was true that implantation could not be stopped after conception, then I would agree with them. What the video is admitting by that statement is that life begins at conception.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Scones

My first attempt at scones ... and other than me making them twice as big as I was supposed to, they turned out pretty well. =) You could make a glaze to put over them if you wanted them a little sweeter, but we opted for the "healthy" version, sans glaze. I found the recipe on the Incredible Edible Egg.

These are great for breakfast or a not-too-sweet dessert.

What you'll need:

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk OR half-and-half

What to do:

Heat oven to 425. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender (and the pastry blender works SO MUCH better if you have one. Otherwise, make do using two forks) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add chocolate chips; toss to mix. (I forgot to add the chocolate chips until AFTER the ingredients were moistened, oops. Still turned out ok *grin*)

Beat eggs and milk in medium bowl until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Knead dough a few strokes on lightly floured surface; pat to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into rounds with lightly floured 3-inch cutter (I only had an almost 4-inch cutter, which is why mine turned out almost twice as large); place on greased baking sheet. Gather scraps and repeat to use all dough.

Bake in 425 oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Mine didn't turn golden brown; I just kept an eye on the bottom of the scones and when the edges there started browning I took them out. It was about 10 minutes.) Cool on wire rack. (I made do with my dish drainer! I know, how can I not have wire racks ... but I don't. Figure out what works and use it. ;-) )

So, any ideas how to make the cream that usually accompanies scones? I didn't know how to do that, but really these don't need it.

PS - if you want a glaze, melt some margarine in the microwave and then add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Egg Drop Soup

This is a really yummy perfect-for-a-cold-day super easy recipe. Its also easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc.

For 2 servings:

What you'll need:
1 large can of chicken broth (49 oz)
2 eggs
pinch or two of marjoram
few shakes of garlic powder (cover the surface area of the pot)
few shakes of onion powder (cover the surface area of the pot)
about twice as much ginger powder
not quite twice as much white pepper
chives (optional)
starch or flour (optional)

What to do:
Empty can of broth into pot, add all seasonings except chives. Bring to a roiling boil. You can let this boil as long or as short a time as you want/need. The longer it boils, the more the flavors are incorporated. I had mine on medium heat for probably 10 minutes before I cranked it up to high to let it boil for about 20 minutes.

Mine achieved a richer color after boiling so long and a fantastic flavor. Make sure to stir a few times during boiling, just to make sure the seasonings didn't get pushed up the side of the pot.

Meanwhile, beat the two eggs very well. You want to try and make sure that when you lift up with a fork through the eggs that hardly any of the egg offers resistance.

I added chives in about 5 minutes before I added the eggs. I didn't add them at the beginning because I thought they might just disintegrate (Hubby was working late and I wasn't sure when to expect him when I put the pot on).

I always need a helper for this last step - only because I don't have three hands and it is MUCH easier to have a helper than rig up a contraption like I did the first time I made this! With practive you can probably eliminate the need for a helper, but it doesn't hurt.

When you are ready to add the eggs (this is LITERALLY the LAST step before the soup is ready to be served) cut the heat off the stove and remove your pot from the heat. Have your helper hold a fork a few inches above the pot. Then pour the eggs from the bowl they were beaten in into the pot WHILE you are stirring the soup. The egg cooks instantly.

If you have practive and have beat the eggs well enough you can likely pour the eggs into the pot slowly enough that only a tiny trickle comes out at a time. The fork serves to help the egg get into whisps, instead of their being glops of egg in the soup.

If you want to make your soup a little thicker you can add some starch or flour, but it isn't necessary.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

I love all inclusive meals.

This is a recipe I found via Kraft awhile back and have made it several times.

Here is what Kraft says to do, with my notes added =)

 What you need:
1-1/4 lb.  red potatoes (about 4), cut into chunks [Yellow and White work fine too!]

3 large  cloves garlic 

1 lb.  extra-lean ground beef

2 Tbsp.  flour

4 cups  frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed [it doesn't matter too much if they are thawed]

3/4 cup  fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth

2 Tbsp.  ketchup

3/4 cup  BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream [its not as healthy, but I use regular sour cream ;-) ]

1/2 cup  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided [...I like cheese, so I usually use more than this]

What to do:
Cook potatoes and garlic in boiling water in large saucepan 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, brown meat in large nonstick skillet. [If you are not using super lean beef, drain the grease out first and then stir in the flour. Otherwise, just] Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add mixed vegetables, broth and ketchup; cook 5 min., stirring frequently.

Heat oven to 375. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Add sour cream; mash until potatoes are smooth and mixture is well blended. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese [or more!].

Spoon meat mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with potatoes.
Bake 18 min. Top with remaining cheese; bake 2 min. or until melted. [or you can put the cheese on initially and then cover with aluminum foil and then remove the foil for the last couple of minutes.]

And there you have it! A yummy allinone filling meal. AND this is a super easy recipe to double and put in a 9x13 pan, which is always nice.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Taco Casserole

This is one of those recipes that I think I found somewhere online and immediately adapted and have made it from my head since then. It makes a 9x13 dish. When I made this ahead for supper last night I split it into a 7x9 and an 8x8.

I covered the 8x8 with cling wrap and then with aluminum foil and labeled it with the dish name and date stuck it in the freezer so we'll have supper for another night =)

What you'll need:
9x13 pan, or a 7x9 pan & 8x8 pan (or two of either!)
a large, deep skillet or pan. I use Anolon's Advanced 12" Covered Deep Skillet
pack of tortillas - the larger they are, the fewer you'll need
cooking spray
1 lb ground beef
Stoplight bell peppers (1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow ... or you can use orange ...)
1/2 onion
1 can black beans (I usually use the large can, but this time I used a small can)
1 can refried beans (I usually use the small can, but this time I used a large can)
garlic (you can cut up the cloves, or use the powder)
1 pk Ortega Fajita seasoning (my favorite!), if desired
1 small can of tomato paste, if desired
sour cream
hummus, if desired
shredded cheese of your choice

Start out by browning the ground beef in the skillet.

While this is browning, cut up your onion and bell peppers. Drain grease from beef, add onion and peppers, & season with the garlic, curry, and cilantro. (I really don't know how much I use. Probably a heaping teaspoon of curry and 2 heaping teaspoons of garlic and cilantro? Its really up to how you want it to taste!)

After the onions begin to become see-through, add the black beans and then the refried beans. Mix well and let simmer awhile. This lets the flavors really mix well. Make sure you stir it from time to time so that everything cooks and nothing gets burned.

Meanwhile, spray your pan(s) with the Pam. Be generous - I didn't spray enough this past time and it was very hard to get the bottom layer of tortillas up when serving!

Put tortillas on the bottom of your dish(es) - they will go up the sides as well, this is what its supposed to do. Try and cover as much of the bottom of the dish as possible. Sometimes you'll need to rip a tortilla in half to get the appropriate coverage.

If you're using hummus, I also recommend that you put a layer of hummus on the tortillas. (I put it on top of the sour cream this past time and that just kindof mixes in ... should've just premixed it with the sour cream, really! but I think putting it on the bottom would work nicely and be less messy.)

Also, put the amount of sour cream you want to use (you'll need to be able to cover the dish with it twice) in a separate container and add ... I guess I add about a couple teaspoons?? of garlic in the sour cream, and mix. (I'm really not sure on these seasoning measurements.)

If you're using the can of tomato paste, go ahead and open it and mix in the pack of fajita seasoning.

If you shred your own cheese (like I do) go ahead and take care of that now as well.

Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees (I'd recommend the higher temperature if it was in the refrigerator overnight and most of the day like mine was.)

After your mix on the stove has simmered out most of its liquid, spoon it into your dish on top of the tortillas (and hummus). Spoon and spread the sour cream mix on top of it. If you are using the tomato paste mix, spread it on top of the sour cream. Top with cheese (I like mine cheesy!).

Put another layer of tortillas down, put hummus on top. Spoon the rest of the beef/bean mixture on top. Spread the rest of the sour cream on top, and then the rest of the tomato paste mix. Top with cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 45-60 minutes.

If you made your dish ahead of time, set out to unrefridgerate for at least half an hour. Mine took longer than I was expecting to heat up in the middle once I put it in the oven. I've only made this dish day-of before, so I'm figuring out what to do if you make it ahead of time. :-)

After the dish is warm in the middle and a little bubbly, take off the foil for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned on top.

Voila! I hope that wasn't too confusing. This is a highly versatile dish, so feel free to take and add to it - let me know what you do and how it turns out!

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