Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Combining Blogs

I have decided to just combine my feasting blog with our family blog. It is just too much to keep up with two and the grandparents would not be very happy if I stopped writing about the kids. So, please visit us at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Taking a Break

As many of you know we have started homeschooling again this year. I am finding it difficult to fit blogging into our new schedule. Therefore, I am going to take a break for a while. I do keep a family blog. It is It is primarily about the children. The grandparents are always complaining about not knowing what goes on day to day with our kids. So, we started this as a way for them to check in. Prayerfully as we get more adjusted to our new schedule I will be back to blogging about Sabbath feasting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Feasting on a Budget

Who says feasting can not be done on a budget? As you all know I love to cook and you have probably guessed that if I blow our budget anywhere it is at the grocery store. Well, the budget has been tight. We have one starting with braces this week and were told he will more than likely need them twice. Ouch!! That, with a couple of other things, has required that I cut our grocery bill and other things as much as possible. Last week there just was not any room left to buy extras for our feast. I started going through the pantry to see what I had that was a favorite or something different than I would do during the week. Because I load up on frequently used nonperishable when they go on sale, I had everything but the broccoli for a broccoli and cheese casserole. The Amish guy down the street had fresh broccoli for a very good price, he also had just about the last of his sweet corn. I had the ingredients on hand to make a honey dijon marinade which I grilled on chicken(that I had stocked up on when it went on sale). The grocery store had day old pumpkin and cream cheese whoopie pies for a good price. In the end we had a very affordable yet special meal. I do not want my children or you to get the impression that I play some kind of game to see how cheap our Sabbath feast can be. Honestly, most of the time I make that menu first and with what budget is left I plan the other meals. It just so happens that now is a time when there is not a lot for anything. I think there is a difference between being wise and being cheap. Let's not use the excuse of finances to not feast. At the same time realize it is okay to work within a budget.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

After Church Entertaining

Do you find it difficult to entertain after church? Let's share ideas about doing it without having to wait two hours for the food to cook when you get home. In the summer grilling out is always good. Burgers do not take long. You could make them the night before so all you have to do is throw them on the grill when you get home. Potato and pasta salads can be done on Saturday. Baked beans can heat in the crock pot while you are at church. You can have the ingredients for a salad chopped and ready. Just have someone toss it all together when you get home. You can even set the table quickly after breakfast. If you want a more formal meal, anything you can do ahead of time is great. Paula Dean's Pot Roast is great. I put it in the crock pot before church and it is ready by 1:00. I have also done a whole chicken in the crock pot to have after church. Twice baked potatoes can been done ahead of time and reheated quickly. Broccoli and cheese casserole can be put together the day before. Just put it in the oven to cook it when you get home. These are just a few suggestions to give you some ideas. Also, do not be afraid to put the guests to work! I always feel awkward with nothing to do anyway. Does anyone else have any ideas?

I am typically not a Pot Roast fan, but this is really good. I get lots of compliments on it when I make it. Sometimes I substitute beef broth for the Chardonnay.

Pot Roast

1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup Chardonnay

Sprinkle roast on all sides with house seasoning. Using a skillet over high heat, sear roast until brown in oil. Place roast in a slow cooker, and layer onions, bay leaves, crushed bouillon cubes, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup. Add the Chardonnay and cover with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Let's Talk Menus

We had a very busy holiday weekend. On Sunday we had a clam bake with about 55 people. Lots of fun! We started school yesterday. Also lots of fun. With all of that over I am now thinking about our feast this weekend. I have a london broil in the freezer so I will grill it in a marinade. We will have corn on the cob. It is almost out of season. I see the Amish clearing the fields everyday now. We have not done twice baked potatoes in a while, so we will do those. We will most likely have a salad and I am not sure about dessert yet. What are you having?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Entertaining Children

Entertaining families with children can sometimes be difficult. You never know the likes and dislikes of the children. My children are not picky eaters, but I do realize there are some families with children who will not eat anything but hot dogs. What do you do? I always try to have a very simple, common meal planned. I make sure the children or their parents prepare their plates. This way they can get the portions they desire and leave anything out that they absolutely can not swallow. I do want to add here that I believe it is very important that we teach our children to at least try things if nothing else for the sake of politeness. I can handle a child who will not eat things, but I have known adults who will not eat anything but mashed potatoes and chicken. We do have the one bite of everything rule in our house. We did this with brussel sprouts last night. I bought a small amount because I knew the kids would eat one a piece and then be thrilled to be done with the whole experience. WRONG! I fixed them a new way and they loved them. We did not have enough to go around. Back to entertaining. It is good to always serve something safe with children. Chicken or pasta dishes are usually safe. Cook-outs are good too. Burgers and hot dogs are usually pretty popular with the kids. I have a good Lemon Chicken recipe that is very good and different, but common enough for the children. My Broccoli Casserole is also popular with them. There are way too many good things in it to be healthy! I have also done hot dogs just for the kids when I wasn't sure. Do not let families with children intimidate you, just go simple.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole
2 boxes chopped broccoli(cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 egg

Mix all ingredients. Place in casserole dish. Dot the top with butter. Cover the top with crushed Cheez-It crackers. They have to be Cheez-Its. Knock off brands do not work as well. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

This dish can be assembled a day ahead. Just add the crackers and bake when your are ready.


1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 skinned, boned chicken breasts, halved, pounded to 1/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)-I do not pound them that thin. Only enough so cook quickly. Maybe 1/2 inch or a little more.
5 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. low sodium chicken broth or white wine
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. capers, drained

Combine flour, pepper and paprika on a plate. Press the chicken breasts into mixture, coating evenly and shaking off any excess. Heat the oil over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes on each side; do not over cook. Transfer chicken to a heated platter. Add broth to pan, scraping any browned bits on the bottom. Stir in lemon juice and capers and heat through. Pour sauce over chicken. Serves 4.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Easy Entertaining

Let's talk about entertaining this week. Entertaining is hard and takes a lot of time and money. I think we can all acknowledge that it is important to do, but when it comes to doing it we procrastinate. Let's discuss a few ways to make it less intimidating. First, in the past(before children) I could do things very last minute. Now, I have to have an entertaining routine in place. I try to make sure my house is clean the day before with only the last minute wipe downs and pick ups saved for the day of. Also, any dish which can be made ahead is made ahead. Plan your menu early in the week so you can grocery shop a few days ahead. There may still be a few things which need to be fresh and picked up on the day of the dinner, but it will just mean a quick trip to the store. If you have the freezer room, make a lasagna or something else that freezes well for the times when you do not have the time to prepare ahead.

I will give you a couple of my easiest dishes to prepare. Peach Glazed Salmon is a great dish and is very simple.

4 (4 to 6-ounce) Alaska salmon steaks or fillets
1/4 cup peach jam or orange marmalade
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large bell peppers (any color)*, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat broiler or grill to medium-high heat.
2. Place salmon on a non-stick or vegetable cooking spray-coated baking or broiler sheet.
3. In a small bowl, blend jam, soy sauce, cayenne pepper and ginger. Brush glaze on salmon. Place sliced vegetables on baking sheet, brushing lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Grill or broil 5 to 7 inches from heat, turning vegetables once, about 10 to 12 minutes, or until salmon flakes with a fork.

Makes 4 servings.

Baked Ziti is also good. It is very simple to make a is good for a crowd. Make a nice salad and garlic bread and you have a great meal. If you want to jazz it up a bit add different kinds of meat. We like to add bacon and Italian sausage. I do not have a recipe that I follow. I just boil the pasta and brown the meat. I then mix it all together with my favorite tomato sauce and cheese. I do not care for ricotta cheese, therefore I use the Italian blend of shredded cheese. Put another layer of cheese on top, cover with foil, and bake at 375 for about an hour. Take the foil off for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

These are a couple of my standbys. What are some of you easiest meals to entertain with?