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 lifewithmeandmy4.blogspot.com.

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 lifewithmeandmy4.blogspot.com. 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.


CHICKEN BREASTS WITH LEMON AND CAPERS

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?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sarah Beth!!



Today is my baby girl's 6th birthday. Every birthday she has kills me. We had several years of heart breaking infertility before having her. The doctor had tears in his eyes when we finally had a healthy sonogram.(It seemed as though the pregnancy was not viable. We were doing one more last ditch sonogram before a D&C.) Needless to say there are a lot of emotions wrapped up in this child. We try not to spoil her, but being the sister of 3 brothers and Daddy's princess it is hard sometimes. We do a birthday feast for each child. She has chosen hamburgers, asparagus, tomato salad, potato chips, and brownies. I love seeing their menus! So, we are off now to get party supplies for tomorrow night. We do not do friend parties every year. This happens to be one.

I told you I would post our Sabbath feasting menu. We forgot it was a fellowship meal week for church. It is a Mexican theme this time. We do not have a huge feast at home on these weeks. It is too much to prepare food for both on Saturday. We will still celebrate the Sabbath together as a family on Saturday night. We will grill something and have a few salads to go with it.


You will have to turn sideways. I do not know how to turn my pictures around:)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to Routine

We arrived home from vacation yesterday. We had a great time enjoying the beach with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Restful, no. Fun, yes. My older sister laughs at my attempts to rest. Her children are older and she can actually set up her station in the sand and sit there the entire day if she chooses. Not so for my younger sister and myself. It becomes a game to see who can sit the longest in our beach chairs. The longest time was 8 minutes. Oh well, memories, right? The children had a blast with their cousins. Now mom and dad get to come home and catch up on things. That said, it has been an incredibly busy summer for us. Our feasting has been hit or miss and we are anxious to get back into our routines. This weeks feast I will cook everyone's favorite. My husband will choose the main dish and the children will pick the side dishes. I will try to make it extra festive as we get back into our routine. I will let you know the menu in the next day or so.

I read this in A Return to Sunday Dinner and thought it was a great explanation of one of the reasons we feast. " The Sunday table, too, has always been a center for family celebrations. Restful Sundays provide us with unhurried hours for enjoying our shared lives-exploring our heritage, remembering the sacrifices of those who made our lives possible, and giving thanks for God's kindness and blessings. But the Sunday dinner offers even more than true rest and joyful celebration. It also provides something often overlooked in this casual age: the gift of encouragement and inspiration. It helps us remember that there is indeed something above and beyond our commonplace world."

This is a great cookbook. I will post more on what he has to say later, but I thought he said so well what I have been trying to say.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

This and That

We have had guests all week and are now preparing to be at the beach for the next week or so. Needless to say, not a lot of time for blogging. I did want to tell you about a new tea I have tried. Portsmouth Tea sent me a gift of three different teas to try. They were wonderful! My husband is not a hot tea drinker but enjoyed them. Especially the Apricot Peach Fruit Tea. Thank you Portsmouth Tea!! I will be adding their link to my sight. By the way, when we get back from vacation we will very quickly be getting back into the routine we have lacked for the last 2 or 3 months. Just wanted to let you know that I will be back to regular blogging then. Thank you to those who have not given up on me!

Friday, August 3, 2007

This Week's Feast

This will be the first feast we have had in our home in a few weeks. We will then be at the beach for the following two weekends. We also have company arriving on Monday for a few days. Therefore, because of all of the busyness we will keep this feast very laid back and enjoy our family as we prepare for worship. I have a London Broil in the freezer. I will marinate that and grill it. We will have corn on the cob. Broccoli casserole and asparagus. We have been grilling our corn wrapped on foil with chili powder or Old Bay and butter on the corn. VERY GOOD!! There is also a garlic,basil butter that is really good on corn. I will copy that at the end of my post. For dessert we will more than likely go out for ice cream. If you are trying to find ways to make your everyday meals more special, there are an abundance of ways to do this. When you are doing beef just caramelize onions and mushrooms to serve with the beef. Then add feta or blue cheese. I have even done this to a hamburger. It is delicious and turns something simple into something special. My broccoli casserole is one on my most popular dishes, but it is nothing special. I will bake it in little ramekin dishes and the kids will think it is great to have their own individual servings. What are some ways that you dress up your everyday meals?


Garlic, Basil Butter

1 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup basil, clean and dry,chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1. Place the butter in a mixing bowl.
2. Add basil, garlic, and cheese and whip with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth and evenly blended.
3. Add salt to taste.
4. Pack butter into four crocks.
5. Allow flavors to blend for at least 4 hours before serving.
6. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why do We Feast? Part 3

Another reason our family feasts is because we just like the time it forces us to carve out of our week to devote to the family. I am thinking the entire week about how not only to make this a special time that prepares us for worship and how to set the day aside for God, but I am also thinking about each member of my family. I think of ways to include everyone in the celebration. From helping prepare the food, making center pieces, setting the table, and giving input about the after dinner festivities. I want this to be an exciting night for the entire family. My desire is that everyone would look forward to coming together to celebrate Christ. I realize this may sound overwhelming. It really is not. It does not require a detailed written out agenda. It simply means as you are thinking about your feast through the week, make sure you are taking mental notes to include everyone. As my son gets older my husband has allowed him to do some of the scripture reading. This is a great way to include the boys. We have also allowed him to be more involved in planning the after dinner fun. His suggestions range from just playing football or something in the yard to going out for ice cream or a game of Putt-Putt. Above all I just want to be sure they all feel included and are enjoying themselves. It defeats the purpose if it is something they dread.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This Week's Feast

This week we will feast with our church family. Once a month we have a fellowship meal after church. We typically choose a theme, and a menu is planned and everyone contributes. We take turns planning the meal. It is a rather large undertaking. However, your turn to plan only comes around once or twice a year. Well, this month is my month. It was December when I last did the planning. Somehow I seem to pick our family's busiest months to do this. I have decided to do a summer picnic theme. We will have fried chicken, corn on the cob (because in Lancaster County you cannot have a picnic without sweet corn), a variety of salads, sliced melon, and pies and cobblers for dessert. So for those of you who have been to our fellowship meals and have inquired as to how we do it, this is it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why do we Feast? Part II

Okay, I was a lot busier last week than I had anticipated. Sorry it has taken a week for me to get back to my blog. Last week I said one reason we feast is to set the Sabbath aside as a special day. The second reason is, we use it as a time to prepare ourselves for worship the following day. For years we have always done something to prepare ourselves for worship. It has always been a pet-peeve of my husband's to think we could enter God's house to worship Him without preparing our hearts in some way. We have prepared in different ways through the years. When we heard of Sabbath feasting we thought it was a perfect way to do this. We start our Sabbath with a celebration which gets our hearts and minds prepared to set the day aside for God. My feasts are not always perfect, in fact rarely ever, but it is always a time with the family to put everything else aside, and to focus on God and all He has done for us.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Why do we Feast? Part 1

So, my husband was asked recently by someone, "this whole feasting thing, do you guys do it?" This of course led to a whole discussion as to why we do it. It seems as though we are having these conversations on a regular basis. Therefore, I thought I would think through our reasons for feasting with you guys. We have always felt a need to set the Sabbath apart from the rest of the week. We have done little things for years like making it a restful day, concentrating on quality family time, and of course going to church. When were first heard of Sabbath feasting we thought it was a perfect way to make the day even more special. Some may ask, why set it apart? First, God commands us to in the 4th commandment. As a culture we have drifted to such a casual view of God, we forget to honor Him and set His day apart. You have heard me say I believe your view of the Sabbath has a lot to do with your view if worship. If you do not have a high view of worship, which also shows your view of God, then of course it will not be a priority to set the day aside and honor Him. So, in feasting we have developed a tradition which sets this day apart from the other days of the week as something special. A day worth celebrating. I'll be back tomorrow with reason #2.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Too Much Travel!!

We will once again be out of town this weekend. Our feasting opportunities have been scarce because of all our travel this summer. It has made me think about other ways to to set the Sabbath apart. We really miss our feasting, and cannot wait to get back on a more consistent routine, but we do not desire to forgo all festivities just because we are not home. Therefore, we are considering our on-the-road options. I do not want to come across legalistic, but we have literally been gone more weekends than not since the end of May, and I can see my children's view of the Sabbath suffering. It has just been one of those summers full of out of town weddings and other things which cannot be avoided. Do not get me wrong we have enjoyed all of the activities, it has just been a bit difficult. Any suggestions?

P.S. Next week I will try to post a different reason to celebrate the Sabbath everyday of the week. Do not hold me to everyday, but I will try.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Clam Bake

The children have been taking turns staying with grandparents. They are home for a week and then the younger three will go to the other grandparents for a week. So, we decided to do a very casual low key feast last night. We wanted time to just enjoy our children. We did a clam bake. My husband had never done it with the corn and potatoes and all the other stuff. It was a lot of fun. The kids labeled it the best feast ever. I wish I could say it was because the food is so good, but I think it had more to with all of the clam shells left to play with. I never knew you could pick up so many things with clams shells. I have had several conversations recently about feasting and why we do it. I need to put my thoughts together and post on it. Why do you feast with your family?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!! This is one of my favorite holidays. I grew up in an area which is rich in Revolutionary history. Our celebrations were big! Very Americana. My birthday is July 1, so my celebration was always at the lake with the entire extended family on the 4th. We would spend the entire day there eating, swimming,and boating, and then caravan to see fireworks. Some years instead of the lake it was to the Independence festival downtown. There were raft races on the river, craft fairs, and a parade where the kids decorated their bikes and wagons in red, white, and blue and rode in the streets for everyone to see. The day ends with fireworks at the river. This is the only time of year I can say I get truly homesick. Cherish your time with family today. Have fun feasting! Nancy Wilson wrote a great post today. You should read it.


P.S. My project is almost done. I will be back to regular blogging soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Camping

We are going camping this weekend, so we will not be feasting. I thought about trying to come up with some sort of rustic feast using my new picnic cookbook, but I am not the one in charge of food. We have not camped since we were children and our families had campers. So, this should prove to be fun with a tent. We did decide to leave the one yer old with the grandparents. I do have to provide lunch and campfire snacks for our family. Any ideas?

Friday, June 22, 2007

This Week's Feast

I have not had time this week to search for new recipes so, our feast will be our old favorites. We will be having grilled steaks, roasted potatoes, asparagus, and dinner rolls with honey butter. We have not feasted for a couple of weeks, I am looking forward to having the time with the family. We will have to do it for Sunday dinner. Bruce and Isaac will be on a Father/Son bike challenge. This is quite comical as neither one are huge bike riders and the ride is 24 miles. Somehow Bruce committed himself to being a leader. Obviously, they will want to fall into bed when they get home. Then again maybe they will not be able to move on Sunday. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Quick Meals

I have been asked before to write to working moms to give advice on general quick meals and feasting meals. Any advice I had was just a shot in the dark because I was not a working mother. Well, I am going through a season now which I am working. I am working on a writing project for Veritas Press. If you have not heard they are providing daily lesson plans for all of the home school curriculum for grades K-6. I am helping with that. Thankfully I can do this at home, but my meal planning and prep time has really been limited. The first week we ate out 3 nights. Obviously, that was not going to work long term. I will tell how I have tried to fix this. First, I decided I really had to have a menu and stick to it. I know a week in advance what we will eat and if I get a chance throughout the week I do prep work. This also allows me to cook what I can when I get up in the morning to reheat later. Tonight we are having barbecued chicken. I cooked it in the oven this morning and will reheat it on the grill before we eat. I have been doubling dishes if I can. On Monday we had Spaghetti Casserole. I doubled it and will have the other one next week. Last night was pork chops and creamed peas and potatoes. I doubled the peas and potatoes for tomorrow night. As for feasting, I will still do the same type of meals as always. I will more than likely do more main dishes that can be put in the oven or on the grill and be left alone. These things have been helpful to me. If you have other ideas please tell me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Cookbooks

Summer equals very busy around here. We have a lot of traveling planned. This weekend we will be going out of town to a wedding. My Feasting menu ideas will be scarce over the next couple of weeks, but I just bought two new cookbooks which I would highly recommend. They have planned menus for feasting occasions. They are A Return to Sunday Dinner and A Return to Family Picnics.They are great books. If you cannot do both at this time, then get the picnic book. The recipes are just special enough to make a great feast, but they call for simple ingredients which the entire family will enjoy. You can purchase them from Abondante Living. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Liturgy #2

So, in my last post I encouraged you to let the head of your home take the lead in the liturgy at your feasting. Today I would like to encourage you not to stress. So you try something and it seems awkward, than try something else. Your liturgy does not have to look like mine. Our best traditions just happened naturally. I will go through our liturgy.It has taken two years for it to come together for us and sometimes it is hard. Sometimes we have grumpy disobedient children and it is a chore to just get through the meal. Other times we have an exhausted mother who would rather climb in bed by 7. SO, realize it will not always be easy, but the reward of starting the tradition and developing a love of the Sabbath in your home is well worth the work involved. So, our night goes something like this (it is subject to change on occasion)My husband reads the scripture text for our sermon the next day. Our pastor emails worship notes on Thursday of every week. He then does a Lord's Day Catechism question from the Heidelberg Catechism, then he gives a toast. I suspect as Our children get older, we will discuss the sermon topic and opinions on it as we eat dinner. After dinner we just do something fun with the children. Anywhere from game night to playing outside to going out for ice cream or a game of miniature golf. After everyone is bathed and ready for bed we do a family worship time. It is a little different from our week day worship times. We use the week to train for Sunday worship. This means sometimes discipline can occur if a child refuses to participate, sit still, or remain quiet at the appropriate times. On Saturday we are a little more laid back. The children prepare presentations of different things we are working on memorizing. They like to be creative and silly with it. We let them have fun. They love doing it American Idol style. Bruce and I will then have fun giving our opinion. They have never actually seen the show, so maybe it is Bruce and I that have the most fun with this:) Remember I have young children, as they get older things will change. Isaac already looks at us as though we are nuts sometimes. But, because it is a tradition that he is used to, he enjoys watching his younger siblings have fun. Bruce has started to include Isaac more in the Scripture reading and some of the other leadership aspects of Sabbath feasting. As Sarah grows I will include her in more of the planning and cooking. We like the idea of Bruce speaking a blessing over everyone, we have just not done it yet. Our church does a Psalm of the month. We have talked of singing that at the table before we eat. I would love to hear what others are doing. It is always fun to share ideas.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Liturgy

In the comment section a few weeks ago I had someone ask about our liturgy. Since comments are not read by everyone I thought I would spend the week talking about it. Today I would like to talk about the importance of not forcing this on your husband. As the head of your home it is very important he take the lead in guiding your family through this celebration. What if your husband is not into it? Then have a great meal and time of fellowship and be thankful for the memories your children will have of dining together as you celebrate the Sabbath. In our family my husband is all about liturgy, but a little slow to start anything. He felt stuck and not sure where to begin. So, he left it up to me to get ideas and he would implement what worked well and seemed to flow naturally in our home. I am not saying you cannot approach your husband, but if he knows your desire, leave at that. God will bless your obedience in following your husbands lead.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What are you Having?

My typical planning schedule is a little off this week, so I am just now planning our Sabbath feast. We will be having a Smoked Brisket, Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese, and Basil Salad, and Oriental Cole Slaw. For dessert we will do Killer Cookies. We just recently had these at a cook-out. Huge Hit in our family. Thanks, Chris! I will give you the recipe. I love feasting in the summer. It seems as though just eating outside makes the meal more special. What are your plans?

Killer Cookies

Spread cookie dough in the bottom of a greased mini tart pan. Disposable work great.The disposable ones are called pot pie pans. Bake the cookies and top with your favorite ice cream. Very simple, but delicious.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm Back

I'm Back!! I have been so busy planning for the gathering this past weekend. As I said before, my husband is teaching homeschool students on-line. We invited them to Lancaster this past weekend to meet one another. It was a blast. They had so much fun placing voices with faces. What does this have to do with feasting? If you had told me 1 or 2 years ago that I would be hosting 45 people for 4 days I would have flipped. I believe because I have become accustomed to entertaining and feasting(joyfully)through Sabbath Feasting, this weekend was more of a blessing than hindrance. When you entertain often there are routines that you go through to make things smoother. It all still applied this weekend, just on a little larger scale. The key to hosting and enjoying it is coming up with your routine to make things less hectic. The more laid back you feel, the more your guests enjoy themselves. Things can and will go wrong, but most of the time if you can laugh it off, or guests will as well. Do not stress, start out small, and above all enjoy your time to fellowship with others.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Will Be Back

I just wanted to let you all know that I will be back. My husband teaches online Omnibus classes to homeschoolers. 15 of them and their families are coming to Lancaster next weekend for an end of the year gathering. I am very busy planning and completing all of the last minute details. So, I am taking off from blogging over the next week of so. I will be back after Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day Palns

First, a early Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mothers. My In-laws will be here today and stay through the weekend. They are not familiar with feasting and find it awkward. In the past we have not changed anything about our feasting liturgy, but it seemed to cause a little tension. I think it is somewhat hurtful to them that we do things differently than they did. Like we are saying what they did is not good enough. We have decided for the sake of not causing more tension we are toning it down a little. They know that I love to cook, so the food will be the same, but the liturgy will be different. We cannot feast Saturday, so we will move it to Sunday. It will be a Sabbath celebration combined with Mother's Day. Others may disagree with us, but we sometimes feel it is a better testimony to tone things down some, than to constantly be in debate mode. They only visit twice a year, and I do not want it to be a dreaded trip for them or us. Hopefully they will see our love of the Sabbath and joy we get in celebrating as a family.

So, here is the menu for Sunday.
Barbecued Ribs (Cooked in the smoker that I am hoping to get for Mother's Day)
Cornbread Salad
Spinach Salad
Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Filling

Recipes:

Cake

Make your favorite chocolate cake( I will use a box mix as I am not a baker.)
Make two round layers and in between the layers spread a layer of Raspberry Jam(I prefer seedless). Ice the cake with your favorite icing.

Cornbread Salad This is a great recipe to go with any meat your are grilling through he summer.

1 pkg. Hidden Ranch dry salad dressing mix
1 c. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
1 (9 inch) pan cornbread, crumbled
2 (16 oz.) cans black, drained
3 lg. tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped green onions
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 (17 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained

Combine salad dressing mix, sour cream and mayonnaise; set aside. Place half of crumbled cornbread in bottom of large serving bowl. Top with half of beans.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007



I just wanted to report that our Fiesta was a lot of fun this weekend. The food was great and everyone seemed to have a great time. I am always hesitant to post new recipes until I have tried them, but the ones I posted last week were really good. I would highly recommend them. The pineapples were delicious. We will not feast this Saturday. Bruce and I will be working the PA Home school Convention. I am sure we will do something on Mother's Day. Bruce's parents will be here. I also finally uploaded my pictures to the computer, so I have a picture of my table after it was set for our huge feast a few weeks ago. I forgot to get a picture after the food was on the table. I also have one of Jack at his party. I am still trying to figure out the picture thing. I am not sure how to place them when I have more than one.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Just Start

When I hear a busy mother with little ones say they cannot feast, it is just not possible to do with the children, I want to say, "No, now is the perfect time to start"! Feasting is just a part of developing a love for Sabbath living. If you can't pull off a feast, than just talk to your children about preparing for worship. Help them to realize the importance of setting the Sabbath aside as a special day. For my 3 year old, simply reciting the 4th Commandment at our Sabbath Feast and drinking out of his small wine glass is enough to realize this is a special meal. He could care less if we have PB&J or Filet Mignon. I have heard from those with older children that it is so hard to start later because it becomes awkward for the kids if it is not already a tradition. So, if you are someone who desires to start the tradition of making this a special time, but fill it is impossible to pull off, just start with anything to make this meal different. It will eventually grow into something great.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Fiesta Recipes

I lost my recipe that I promised you. I have found another one. We will see how it works. I have decided the rest of the menu. Main dish will be the fajitas. We will also have black beans and rice, chips with salsa and guacamole. For dessert it will be a chocolate cake with raspberry filling (because you have to have cake pictures for the first birthday) and the Haagen Daaz Mexican Ice Cream that Anne suggested. I will also do grilled pineapples. Enjoy the recipes!!

# ¼ cup Triple Sec
# ¼ cup Tequila
# 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
# ¼ cup fresh lime juice
# 2 teaspoons cumin
# ½ teaspoon salt
# 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
# 3 garlic cloves, minced


I will marinate my shrimp and london broil in this and then mix it with the onions and peppers.

Grilled Pineapple

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 pineapple, cut into 8 wedges , then cut into fourths
* 1/2 cup dark rum (or tequila)
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* skewers

PREPARATION:
Mix rum, brown sugar, honey, and orange juice together until sugar is dissolved. Preheat Grill. Thread pineapple slices onto skewers. Place on the grill and baste with rum sauce. Cook kebabs for about 10 minutes, turning and basting occasionally.
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Monday, April 30, 2007

Birthday Plans


I am planning our big fiesta for the weekend. I cannot believe Jack will be 1. I know everyone always says that, but I REALLY can not believe it!! We are going Mexican since he is a Cinco de Mayo baby, and My husband is a Spanish teacher and will take any opportunity to fix Margaritas. Not that Jack will have them. I am still planning the menu, but for the main dish I am thinking Grilled Margarita Shrimp and Steak Fajitas. I am tweaking the recipe I found, so I will post it tomorrow. I will more than likely do black beans and rice. That is a favorite in our home and something Jack can eat. I am stuck on everything else. Any suggestions?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

We have been so busy this week. We always have busy weeks, but most of the time some of my busyness revolves around the home and the children. Since this week I have been out of the home more than normal I have not had time to post. Anyway, this weekend does not promise to slow down any so we are having to do our feasting a little differently. We will cookout after church on Sunday. I will do burgers on the grill. I like to jazz them up a little to make it special. I will mix shredded cheese and crumbled bacon in the ground beef. After I grill them we will cover them with caramelized onions and mushrooms. I will do a strawberry and spinach salad and something else. I do not know yet. What are your plans this weekend?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Please Forgive Me

I know I said I would post recipes on Mondays. That obviously is not happening. Please forgive me!! I will post them tomorrow. This weekend will be another busy one. We have the annual school auction on Saturday night. We will more than likely grill out for our feast on Sunday after church. My summer feasts are usually a meat that grills easily and my side dishes will be special salads and other light sides that we normally do not have. I will post this weeks recipes tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Have you ever heard anyone say, "our dinners are special every night. We do not have to make a big deal about one particular one." I agree that the dinner table should be a place where family members congregate at the end of a day. It should be a time to reconnect and should be done with all members present as often as possible, preferrably every night. I am not saying you should not have family dinners during the week. I have said previously that I believe your view of the Sabbath can be equated with your view of worship. If your family has daily family worship or even just a couple of times a week, then why go to church on Sunday? If everyday you have a time to worship than what makes Sunday any different? I think we would all agree that Sunday is special and different because it is the Sabbath. Or as my little ones have sadi from time to time it is God's day. I think the point of Sabbath feasting has been missed. It is not just about having a special family meal. If that were the case then I would say sure it is no differet than any other night. But, it is about a celebration. A celebration of our Saviour. It is about setting aside His day and making it center around Him. It is really not about us at all. Yes, we get the added benefit of enjoying the food and festivities, but it really is about Christ.

Julie

P.S. For those of you wondering how my weekly planning is going, here it is. The meal that I planned for this is simple so will not require much preparation. This is the first weekend of really nice weather so yard work has to be done. I am making my grocery list today, I will shop and clean house tomorrow, and cook late Saturday afternoon. Everything on my menu can be done in less than an hour.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This Week

We had a great time feasting with our friends this weekend. The food seemed to go over well. We had a lot of fun pulling out our table for the first time and setting it. I will post a picture soon. I am thinking about this weekend's feast now. I think I will do a peach glazed salmon, asparagus, and couscous. I already have the salmon and a peach jam to glaze it with. Couscous is inexpensive and really good when you put some sauce from your meat in it. I also like to sprinkle some feta cheese on top. Because I have shopped sales, I already have most of the ingredients on hand and will not have to spend a lot this week. Careful planning and sale shopping have allowed us
to feast on weekly basis and enjoy entertaining. Enjoy the salmon recipe. The peach salsa goes great with it and makes for a beautiful presentation. Just put the salmon on a platter and place the salsa around the edges of the salmon.


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.

*Zucchini, leeks or squash may be substituted for peppers.


Peach Salsa

2 ripe, but firm medium peaches
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced red and/or green bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon (or to taste) minced jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Does it Have to be So Hard?

I have heard people ask the question, does it have to be so hard? No!! If feasting is something you dread, then by all means start over with something you love! I have said this before, but I do not think I can over emphasise it. DO NOT think you have to do what "the Jones's" do. The purpose of starting traditions is to give your family something that you all love to celebrate with for generations to come. I love hearing ideas from others, but sometimes I hear things that I know will not work in my home. We have to be mature enough to realize what works in my home may not work in yours. I have also said before that I love to cook. I love to try new recipes for our Sabbath feast. I like for them to be more on the gourmet side. I would call it it a hobby. Does that mean when I go to someone's home and they serve me a casserole or maybe hot dogs that I think they should have done more. Absolutely not!! i know not every one shares my hobby, just as I would not share their's. Let's all remember that Sabbath keeping is a principal full of many methods. Let's continue sharing ideas while remembering we do not have to use every one we read.

Julie

P.S. I said I would share with you through the week as I prepare for our big feast this weekend. Today I will make my menu in detail and make the grocery list. I will clean the house so on Saturday if we all work together we can do the last minute cleaning very quickly.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday's Ideas

Today I will give some ideas to make feasting a little easier. Hopefully it will make it easier for those who work outside the home. I asked some friends that either work outside the home or have very busy life styles for some help. Most of them say finding recipes that can be made ahead and frozen are the key. I have a friend that freezes her marinades with her meat. On Saturday all she has to do is pull it out of the freezer and let it defrost, then throw it on the grill or in the oven. I would suggest that if you do not have hours to cook on Saturday, find main dishes that you can put in the oven and not think about again. Having to baste every few minutes or turning it over in the pan can be very time consuming and leave you feeling frazzled while trying to get everything else done. If I had a dining room, I would set the table on Friday or even earlier in the week. I do not, so I have the kids help with that on Saturday morning a then we picnic outside or in the living room floor for lunch on Saturday. The one deal about feasting that I have made with my husband is, I have to have a week's notice if we are entertaining. If we invite someone at last minute then he is in charge of the house work and taking care of the children. I cannot do everything without his help when I have not had the extra time to prepare. These are just a few ideas. If you have more time saving ideas please let us know.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Wow, it seems as though it has been months since we have feasted. It has not been that long. We have had sickness and travel and a few times we feasted with others in their homes. It has been a while since I started my Monday with planning my menu for our Sabbath feast. I do this on Monday so I can plan through the week to make things a little easier on Saturday. We are in soccer season now, therefore I will not have my entire Saturday to cook and clean. This week we will be having guests. We are so excited. A year ago we bought a table with 9 leaves. We had a Mennonite man make it for us. Well, we do not have a dinning room and our kitchen was too small to pull it out. What did we do? We just spent the last two months having a wall knocked out and a little rearranging in the kitchen. The table can now stretch out and seat 18 to 20 people. We will have 17 people for our feast this weekend. I cannot wait. I will do a marinated London Broil because I found it on sale a few weeks back and have enough in the freezer to feed that many. I will do rosemary roasted potatoes, corn pudding, spinach salad and rolls with a flavored butter. For dessert I will do a Chocolate Toffee Trifle. Here are some of the recipes. If you want one that I do not post, let me know. I do not have time now to do them all.


Marinaded London Broil

Rosemary Balsamic Marinade

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 rosemary sprigs, coarsely chopped
Whisk together ingredients. Marinate the meat for several hours. Broil or grill.

Corn Pudding ( This is like a Southern style baked corn.)
2 cans cream style corn
6 eggs
1 cup milk
2 TBS flour
1 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla
salt to taste
3/4 cup of sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a glass casserole dish. Stir together all of the other ingredients. Pour into the casserole dish with the butter. Be careful the dish will be hot from melting the butter in the oven. Bake for 1 hour or until the dish is golden on top.

This Week's Feast

Wow, it seems as though it has been months since we have feasted. It has not been that long. We have had sickness and travel and a few times we feasted with others in thier homes. It has been a while since I started my Monday with planning my menu for our Sabbath feast. I do this on Monday so I can plan through the week to make things a little easier on Saturday. We are in soccer season now, therefore I will not have my entire Saturday to cook and clean. This week we will be having guests. We are so excited. A year ago we bought a table with 9 leaves. We had a Mennonite man make it for us. Well, we do not have a dinning room and our kitchen was too small to pull it out. What did we do? We just spent the last two months having a wall knocked out and a little rearranging in the kitchen. The table can now stretch out and seat 18 to 20 people. We will have 17 people for our feast this weekend. I cannot wait. I will do a marinated London Broil because I found it on sale a few weeks back and have enough in the freezer to feed that many. I will do rosemary roasted potatoes, corn pudding, spinach salad and rolls with a flavored butter. For dessert I will do a Chocolate Toffee Trifle. Here are some of the recipes. If you want one that I do not post, let me know. I do not have time now to do them all. I will let you know through the week how I plan and prepare each day.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

In our family worship this morning my husband asked if it was too short of notice to prepare a feast for tonight. He does not want to over look Good Friday and thought that ending the day in feasting and thanksgiving to our Saviour would be great. So, I am off to the store. We have been invited to spend Easter with friends, so I would not be doing a whole feast that day. We will move tomorrow's feast to tonight. As I thought about his request I realized that as a family we have really neglected Good Friday. Sometimes I feel we forget the incredible sacrifice that was made for us. Yes, the miracle is in the resurrection, but there would be no resurrection without the death. As Christians I am afraid we take God's love and Christ's death for granted. I am now looking forward to the worship time we will have together tonight. What are your plans for the Easter weekend?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I'm Back

Things have been extremely hectic around here. I was thinking things would start to slow down, but looks as if that does not happen anymore. As our life gets busier, I am more than ever seeing the need to set the Sabbath aside as a special time to leave everything else alone and focus on Christ. I was talking to an Amish friend this week and she reminded me that as "Englishers" we are so busy with all of the unnecessary things that we forget to stop and be thankful for God's creation. I am not becoming Amish, but in my conversation with her I did feel a need to evaluate the things in my life and categorize them as necessary and unnecessary. I have determined that I will always be busy, but I will try to stop make excuses for letting the unnecessary spill over into the Sabbath. I am not a legalistic person. If you see me make a quick stop at the grocery store on Sunday or something else not deemed Sabbath worthy, please do not judge me. I am not perfect. I just want my children to know that the God we serve is worth laying everything else aside to give Him His day. Any thoughts on this?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

As you have more than likely noticed, I am having to take a break this week in my blogging. We have an insanely busy week. I will hopefully be back in the swing of things next week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Idea Wednesday

I have been leading a study on Nancy Wilson's The Fruit of Her Hands. This week's chapter was Principles and Methods. I feel compelled to say that I would never want anyone to think I see my ideas as principle. I love hearing ideas from others and know that I will practice some and not others. Feasting and any idea I give is just a method to assist in practicing the principle of celebrating the Sabbath. Okay, now that is said so let's move on to some ideas. As I have tried to think of ways to get the family involved I have decided to let them take more of a part in the menu planning. For those of you who know me well, know that this is a huge sacrifice for me. I love reading through cookbooks and magazines to find different recipes and wait for my husbands response as to if it is a do over or not. He just has to say two words to make my day."Company worthy" There is nothing better to my ears than hearing those words after I have worked really hard to prepare a nice meal. It is a little of a joke because the children will say it just to be polite. But, if it is not true they usually cannot say with out a very strange look on their faces. Anyway, I realized that one of the things that makes their special days so special is the fact that they have control over the menu that day. They will not plan the entire Sabbath Feast. Maybe just the dessert. I shop according to sales therefore, some weeks there is not as much flexibility. They then of course get to help cook the dish they chose. This is also a great way to help prepare your daughters to be comfortable in the kitchen. This may not be something exciting in your home, but it has been a hit in ours.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Recipe Monday

I have stated in the past that when we decided to make Sabbath feasting a consistent part of our week, I knew some things had to change. One thing I did was make our week night meals more simple. This saves time, energy and money. I usually do a once a week soup night. Soups are easy and quick to throw together. A pot of soup can usually give us two meals. Served with a loaf of bread or grilled cheese sandwich, it is filling enough for the boys. This is a new soup we tried recently and we really enjoyed it.

Sausage and Lentil Soup

2TBS olive oil 3/4 tsp dried thyme
1lb smoked sausage 1 bay leaf
7 oz smoked ham shredded 9 cups chicken broth
2 large onions chopped 16 oz can peeled crushed tomatoes
1 large bell pepper chopped 1/2 lb dried lentil
1 carrot diced 12 large spinach leaves cut into
2 cloves garlic minced small pieces
1/2 tsp ground cumin Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until done. Remove sausage and allow to cool. When cool, slice in 1/8 inch slices. Discard all but 2 TBS of drippings from pan.Reheat drippings and add ham, onion, green pepper, and carrots. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, sliced sausage, tomatoes, and lentils. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours. After 2 hours turn off heat and discard bay leaf. Add spinach, salt and pepper and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Another way to make things easier during the week is to make dishes that freeze well.If you work outside the home, these meals can be pulled from the freezer in the morning and cooked when you return from work. The following recipe is good for that. I believe this recipe would make a great feasting dish as well.


Chicken Breasts in Sour Cream Sauce 1 cup sour cream
8 slices dried beef(in a jar) one 103/4 oz can cream of
8 skinless boneless chicken breasts mushroom soup
4 slices of bacon cut in half 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms(optional)

Preheat oven to 300. Lay one piece of beef on each chicken breast and wrap with piece of bacon. Place in a casserole dish seam side down. Repeat with all of the chicken. Mix together the other ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice.

When I freeze this dish I prepare it and then put it in the freezer before I cook it.

Please share any good recipes that are good to make your week a little easier.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

We will be feasting with friends this weekend, so I have not planned my usual Irish feast for the weekend. But, I wanted to encourage you to celebrate this holiday. If you Google Irish feast or St.Patrick's Day feast you will find many recipe options. In the past this has been a lot of fun for us. Have your older kids do the research on St. Patrick. There are a lot of interesting facts there. Let the little ones make big shamrocks as place mats. Label each leaf as either Father, Son or Holy Spirit. It is a good example of three in one. Be creative and have fun! Feel free to share your ideas and let us know how your feast turned out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Idea Day

My husband and I have always felt a calling towards international missions. We have done several short term trips. For various reasons it has never worked out to do it full-time. Because of this calling we have a fascination with people from other nations. Sometimes I feel as though my children are not developing this fascination. I have decided a good way to help in this area would be to designate once a month international Sabbath feasting. I will pick a country and cook food from that region. We will learn together about their culture, their spiritual climate and other interesting things. We will make this a missions centered night. We will discuss ways to pray for this nation and point out the differences in the gods they may serve and the God we serve. If you have teenagers this would be a great opportunity to let them invite friends and their families. Get the kids involved. Give the older ones the responsibility of researching this country. If you have one that likes to cook, have them find the recipes. The little ones can help make center pieces that incorporate that country in some way. Be creative. I think this could be fun for the entire family. It will also be a good reminder that Christ's Church is made of all nationalities and we will all participate in the Lamb's High Feast one day. Please share your ideas.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sick Children

Feasting did not happen this weekend. Jackson had a temp of 104 all weekend, therefore my time was spent holding and trying to rehydrate him. I HATE when the babies are sick. The older ones can at least tell me what hurts them. At 10 months all he could do was look at me with a little pathetic look on his face. Anyway, when I first started this blog it was to give ideas about feasting. I have decided to make Monday recipe day. Hopefully this will be helpful as you spend your week planning your feast. Wednesdays will be general ideas. Please share any recipes or ideas. I spend a lot of my time trying to find ways to feast on a budget. For that matter eating in general takes creative budgeting for most families. Therefore, my recipes will be for feasting and sometimes weeknight meals as well. This week I will share a couple of potato recipes. Potatoes can be dressed up to make a very elegant side dish to a feast. Our favorite is roasted potatoes. Cheesy mashed potatoes are good as well. Abondante Living has a Asiago Potato recipe posted that is great. Potatoes are probably one of the most inexpensive side dishes. Here are my recipes.

Roasted Potatoes

Cut red potatoes into cubes. Coat them in olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed rosemary. Spread them in one layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes turning the potatoes every 15 minutes.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

5 large potatoes
6 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
2T butter
2tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Boil peeled potatoes until tender. Mash until smooth. Add remainder of ingredients except Parmesan cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Place in a well-buttered casserole and dot the top with butter. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover and bake about 1 hour or until it is heated through. This dish can be made up to 2 days ahead. Do not cook in oven until you are ready to serve it.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

This Week's Feast

Our kitchen has been torn apart this week. We are having some remodeling done. I was not sure when it would be functional again. We hope by tomorrow we can put the furniture together in time to feast on Saturday. I am so ready to really cook again. Anyway, because of this I am not sure what we will have for our feast. I am thinking about an Italian roast that I found in Gourmet magazine. I believe I can put it in the crock pot. If it turns out decent I will share the recipe. I will do the Olive Garden salad that I shared a few weeks ago, some garlic bread and something great for dessert.What are you planning?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Why so Special?

I have had many conversations with people about Sabbath feasting and very often I am asked, "why is it important that it be so special?" They know things like fine china and gourmet meals do not secure a place for you in heaven. So, why is it necessary to feast with these things? For me, I think this ties in with your view of worship. There is the view that worship is all about how it makes you feel. It tends to be very emotional and what I would call fluff. Then there is the view that it really has nothing to do with your feeling or emotions, but rather a time of covenant renewal with God. It is all about what He desires, really nothing about our desires. When you view it this way i believe you have a higher vision of what it should be. There is an extreme to this view as well. It can become very rote. We do not want that to happen. Just like with most things in life there is a balance. In our home we hold the same view of Sabbath feasting. It is about Christ. Setting His day aside and celebrating with what He has given us. It does not mean there always has to be fine china or gourmet meals. I do not own any fine china and we have been known to celebrate with pizza. But, this meal has been set apart in our home as different.Because we believe this day centers around Christ, we do believe it should be special. I have said this before, I do not think there is room for legalism here. I would rather celebrate with pizza occasionally than not celebrate at all. But, for the most part it the most special meal of the week and one that we look forward to. On a consistent basis we celebrate and encourage our children to know why we celebrate. Just like we are sometimes sick and cannot go to worship, there are times when feasting cannot happen. But, for us it is not the norm. We feel as though something is missing when we do not have a Sabbath feast. I do realize it may be easier for me. We live in a community that encourages Sabbath feasting. Therefore it is very rare that something is planned on a Saturday night, besides feasting in each others homes. I do not mean to say you should never do things on Saturday night. But, I would encourage you to make it a priority to set the time aside to celebrate. I have friends that do it after church on Sunday because Saturday has not worked for them. Whatever works for your family. Just do not be too quick to give up.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

This Week's Feast

The end of our week has been very busy with adoption day festivities. Our plan for Saturday night was to celebrate with friends after a game of bowling. We had a lot of fun and feasted on pizza with them. With all of the celebrating the past few days, we were going to stop there, but I then realized we still had steaks that needed to be cooked. You see, part of Isaac's meal was an appetizer of wings from his favorite place. He ate so many that he did not want his steak meal. So, for lunch today we are feasting on steak, roasted potatoes and greens. It has been a joy to me to see how much feasting has become a part of our family. When we first started it was awkward and I definitely could not have pulled of three or four days of celebrating. It has become very natural now. That said, it will be a long time before we party this much at one time again.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Adoption Day!!

March 1 is a very important day in our home. It is the day 6 years ago that Isaac officially became an Etter. Needless to say there will be a lot feasting over the next few days. Tonight will be his favorite meal. His request was steak, mac-n-cheese and greens(yes, you read right,I said greens). His sister and I are making a chocolate cake. It is funny to me how he has precise plans of ways to celebrate this day. Tonight is just for us. But, he is not dumb. He realizes there is a lot of "center of attention on Isaac" room here. So, it was donuts to his class at school, dinner out with his favorite adult that spoils him tomorrow and bowling with family fiends on Saturday.What does this have to do with Sabbath feasting. Nothing really! Except that it is great to see he has learned the value and joy of celebrating with family. Last night he could not wait until tonight. This has not always been the case. I am just really happy today and wanted to share. So, Happy Adoption Day, Isaac!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sante Fe Soup

I have said before one way to make things a little easier to feast, is to do simpler meals during the week. This allows more time, money and energy for Sabbath feasting. Soups are great for this. You can through it in the crock pot and not think of it again. I usually double my soup recipes and have lunch the next day and freeze the left-overs. I did this one the other night for guests. Everyone raved over it.

1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cans white corn drained
1 small can diced tomatoes
1large can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 lb browned ground beef
2 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 pkg Ranch dressing mix
2 c. water

Mix together and simmer. I put it all in the crock pot.

Garnish:
Chopped green onions
Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla chips

I served it with corn bread and it made a very filling meal. I have heard that Abondante Living sells a Tortilla Soup mix that is really good and VERY quick to through together.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Recipes

Here are the recipes from our Sabbath dinner.

Asian sauce for Salmon

2TBS Dijon mustard
3TBS soy sauce
6TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Mix all ingredients and spread over salmon. Cook the salmon your favorite way. In the winter I broil it, in the summer i use the grill.
I would actually double the recipe, and have enough to pour over the salmon after placing it on the serving platter. This is a great sauce if you are looking for something light that will not over power the fish.



Spinach Salad

Spinach and other greens
Green onions
1/2 lb of cooked, crumbled bacon
3 eggs boiled and crumbled


Dressing
1c. white vinegar
2TBS bacon grease
2 raw eggs
3/4 c. of sugar
1tsp dry mustard
1/2tsp flour
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp mayo

Cook all ingregients until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool.

This dressing was sweet enough that the kids loved it. They did not even realize they were eating spinach.

Bread with dipping oil is always a HUGE hit with my kids. I use a french bauguette and we dip it in oilive oil and seasonings. YOu can buy the seasonings or make your own. They seems costly to buy, but I bought a bottle months ago, we have used it often, and entertained with it. There is still a ton.


Enjoy!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

How Much can we Possibly Spill?

WE have had chaotic Sabbath dinners before, but last night took the cake. It started with a spill as soon as we sat down to the table. To make matters worse everyone sat completely still because daddy was doing catechism and you cannot interrupt that! Once that was cleaned up, we attempted to start over. Immediately another spill!! This time Isaac spills Sarah's water into her dip for the bread. Clean up and get new oil. Take two. Zachary's portion of salad makes it to the table beside his plate! Clean up. Take three. Bruce asks would I like to make the toast. I think this was his way of seeing how polite and profound I could be while being at the point of boiling over. By the time we actually ate, the food was cold. By the end of the dinner we had at least two more spills. So, what's the moral to this story? No matter how much you prepare, sometimes you have to abandon your aspirations of a highly liturgical Sabbath feast, and realize even if everyone is wet from spills, we can still celebrate the Sabbath. Do not be discouraged, there is always next week. By the way, the food was actually really good. I will post recipes tomorrow.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

How Much is Enough?

Our church has a monthly fellowship meal. We celebrate the Sabbath as a body of believers with a huge feast. There is typically a designated menu divided between the congregation. We try to celebrate the season or a historical church figure. In the fall we did an apple festival. In March we celebrate St. Patrick with an Irish feast. For Pentecost we will do an international feast. Tomorrow for February we will do an Italian feast. Needless to say this feast take a lot to pull off. Months ago we decided not to feast at home because is was too much for me to prepare for both meals and have the children together enough to worship. As the children get older, and are more of a help, we may change this. Why am I giving you all of this information? I believe that it is very important that we not be legalistic about Sabbath feasting. Enough is enough. Celebrating with your fellow believers is a very special time. Do not make so much work for yourself that you dread the day. Have you ever been so exhausted that you could not relish the thought of staying after church and fellowshipping with your church family? I have. That is when we decided that one feast a weekend was enough. That said we are still feasting this weekend. I had already planned the meal when I realized it was a fellowship meal weekend. It just happens to be a very quick meal to put on the table, so no big deal.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Feasting with Teenagers

I have posted before about helping children to develop a love for feasting. I have, however, been reluctant to address teenagers, because I do not have them. I have, although, been observing my friends that do. My husband has also taught high school for 15 years and we spend a lot of time with teenagers. I will attempt to give some suggestions. Forgive me if they are completely unrealistic. First, You may have to lower your standard. I agree with Doug Wilson when he says that if they hate the standard then lower the standard. This certainly does not mean Biblical standards. When it is a constant fight to accomplish a chore, we do not change the chore, but we may change the way in which it is accomplished. If your teenagers hate feasting, change your liturgy. Maybe you could take turns inviting the families of their friends over to feast with you. Have game night afterwards and pit family against family or kids against adults. Have fondue just to be different. If you live in a culture that does not do this than make your house the place to go. Have a family dinner and then host movie night. I do know of some families tha allow their kids to go out after dinner. We live in such an individualistic society, that children have been programed to think they cannot have fun as a family. They think they have to be separate from their parents. The key will be changing this thought. You will have to take baby steps to achieve this. I will post more on this at another time. My thoughts are really flowing now and I do not have time to go on. If you have experience with teenagers and have some advice, please share.

Monday, February 19, 2007

My Plans for the Week

It has been two weeks since we were able to have a Sabbath feast. I am looking foward to doing one this coming weekend. We have an incredibly week.(It seems they are all busy lately.) I will have to do something that does not require a lot of prep. My first thought is the chicken divan I posted last week, but I do not have the ingredients. I do however, have some beautiful salmon in my freezer. I think I will do an asian marinade. It will only take a few minutes to broil on Saturday. I will do rice to go with it and a salad with a great dressing. Costco has great bread. We love their baguette. I will get some to go with the meal. I have to have bread. It is the only night during the week that we have bread. I think my kids look foward to that more than dessert. I am not sure what wine we will have. I have to check to see what we have. Once I decide all of the details I will will post recipes. Right now I am thinking I will make my marinade and salad dressing Thursday and put the Salmon in the marinade on Friday. I will also make my salad on Friday. Leaving out the dressing and anything that will get soggy. Friday or Saturday I will get my bread. The rice only takes minutes to make. The Salmon will broil in about 20 minutes. I still have to decide on dessert. This looks like a great meal that will not take a lot of time on Saturday to prepare. I will let you know.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Daily Preparations

Since we have been invited to feast with another family from church this week, I have not had to prepare my feast. Sarah Beth is home again due to icy roads. There was a 2 hour delay. No school for kindergarten when there is a 2 hour delay. Anyway, when she realized it was Friday she asked to help with cooking the Sabbath Feast. I proceeded to tell her we did not need to. Her response was,"no preparing this week." I said,"Of course we prepare for the Sabbath. We practice our catechism, we learn new hymns and psalms, and we do a lot scripture memory." She responded"Oh!" She then went back to whatever she was doing. I want my children to realize that while our feasting is a important part of celebrating the Sabbath, there is so much more. Our daily family worship times are a time to worship God, but it is also a time to prepare for Sunday. We learn our creeds, and hymns, and psalms during these times. After a week of training and preparation we are ready to come together as a body of believers to worship or risen Saviour. If you were told that your family would be performing before the President of the United States, I believe you would practice until you could do it in your sleep. Though I do not believe worship is a performance, I do believe we should not present a fumbling mess to our God. So, on the days that are busy and it is hard to make the time for family worship, remember the end result. A family that can fully participate in worship on Sunday. Children who are not bored because they have been trained to take part in the worship.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Corrections

I had a friend call about the Chicken Divan recipe. I was typing yesterday as the children were begging to get dressed to go out and play in the snow. So let me make my corrections now. Put the broccoli on the bottom of your dish. Then the chicken. Mix all other ingredients except the cheese and stuffing. Pour soup mixture on top of the chicken. Then cheese. Then stuffing. Bake at 350 for 30 min.
I hope this is right now. The children are begging again. Our yard had become boring. They want to go to a bigger hill. Here we go to sled!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Easy Feasting Recipes

Here are the promised recipes. These are primarily recipes that could be made ahead, frozen and then thrown together at the last minute. Chicken Divan is good dish for a large crowd. It can be made ahead and frozen easily. It also has a nice presentation. It can be pared with rice and glazed carrots. Both dishes are very quick to throw together. Abondante Living has a good recipe for glazed carrots. When I do mine, I just steam baby carrots until they are to my families liking.I drain the carrots. I then add 6tsp of butter and 2/3 cup of honey. Let this simmer until a glaze develops, stirring 2 or 3 times. Baked ziti is also a good crowd pleaser. Add sausage or a different kinds of cheeses. It will seem like you really put a lot of work into it. Italian dishes are always better left over. I like to freeze these dishes and then cook them later anyway. I salad and garlic bread would complete your meal.Now for the recipes.

Chicken Divan

1 Whole Chicken cooked and cut up
2 packages broccoli chopped and cooked
2 cans cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
11/2 tsp curry powder
Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 box of cooked cornbread stuffing mix
Put broccoli in the bottom of 9x13 inch pan.Cover w/ chicken pieces.Mix all other ingredients, except cheese,in a bowl.Add to chicken. Add dressing. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min.


This salad goes great with Italian dishes. I took it to a dinner party last week and it was a huge hit. It was supposed to be the Olive Garden Salad, but At the last minute i realized I was missing the main ingredient for the dressing. i had to improvise. We all agreed that we liked this dressing better.

1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 red onion sliced
1 tomato sliced
black olives
banana peppers
prated Parmesan cheese

Dressing
1 1/2 c Balsamic vinegar salad dressing
2T prated Parmesan cheese
2T sugar 1 large raw egg
1/4c. olive oil
Blend first 4 ingredients on high for 30 seconds. Then place in a double broiler with oil. Stir gently with a whisk over boiling water until it thickens and the egg is done.Chill over night. If it is too thick add more salad dressing.

These are just a couple of recipes. I will post more later.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Company is Coming!

Do you completely go into panic mode every time you invite guests for dinner? I was just thinking recently that something was terribly wrong because years ago having guests was easier. I could shop, clean and cook all in the same day and still greet my guest with a REAL smile at the door. What happened? Four kids is what happened!! I forget to allow the time for their lunch, diaper changes and anything they undo in the process of my preparations. You know what I mean. The spreading of toothpaste all over the sink immediately after I cleaned it. The last few times we had company I decided it was time for a change. I love to entertain, but I was losing my joy. I was also a terrible example to my children. I do not want them to equate company with mommy freaking out. There a few things I have done that has helped my stress level. First, I will invite the guests a week to two weeks ahead of time. This allows time to search for recipes to go along with sale papers. It also obviously gives more time for preparations. If it is last minute I have decided that a frozen lasagna or take out is perfectly fine for a casual night of fellowship. Second, I am in entertaining mode all week. That means the areas of my house that people see, are kept picked up the entire week. I treat it as if the company will be there that day. This means that my real cleaning can be done quickly on Thursday or Friday, because all of the clutter is gone. If you are working I would recommend A quick pick up before bed, and have everyone wake up 10 minutes early every morning that week to make sure the house is left as though company will be coming. On Saturday get everyone involved with the real cleaning and it should be done in no time. Also, ask for your husbands help. It is amazing how efficient my children are when their father is working with them. I agree with Abondante Living on the fact that the preparations for Sabbath Feasting should be a family affair. i could not pull it off every week without the help of my wonderful husband. Third, I make any dish that I can ahead of time. This may mean staying up a little later on one or two nights, but the end result is well worth it. There are many dishes that can be made weeks ahead and frozen.(I know, I already promised recipes. That will be my next post.) Finally, I try to have a menu that requires little fuss. My meat will go in the crock pot or it is something that can be put in the oven and not thought of again until it is time to come out. I buy frozen bread dough and make a special spread to go on it. Nothing is better than homemade honey butter. It is a lot faster to make than homemade bread. I buy bagged salad and then dress it up a little. These are just a few ideas. Maybe you have some to share.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Help for Working Moms

I have been asked by a reader to post some advice to women working outside the home. First I'll just say that I do not work outside the home, though sometimes I do get bogged down with many things that keep me away. I am not sure how realistic my advice will be,as I am not experienced with this. I believe that for many who work, Saturday is a catch up day. It is spent cleaning house and running errands. I think the same rules would apply as when I have a Saturday that I am not home or a busy Friday that does not allow for preparation. One of the first things I would say is, to pull this off you will have to think about this early in the week and prepare through out the week. I try to know my menu a week ahead, so I can prepare when I have a few extra minutes through the week. If you are doing potatoes on Thursday, chop some extra and let them sit in water in the refrigerator until your feast. All you will have to do is drain, season and roast. I have a great recipe for a mashed potato casserole that can be made ahead of time. You will have to think about recipes that are quick and easy. I would suggest your main dishes be meats that can go in the crock pot or you can put in the oven and not have to think about again. Purchase bagged salads and just add some of your families favorite toppings and dressing. These are just a few things off the top of my head. I will look for few make ahead recipes and try to think some more on this.

Julie

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

What are Your Traditions?

Have you ever dreaded having to prepare for a party or feast? There have been times that all I could think of was the work and how completely exhausted I was going to be when it was all over. I have become more comfortable with this as feasting has become part of our weekly life. I have learned to prepare as much as possible ahead of time and I have become more comfortable in trying new things. I do not come from a family that is big on traditions. It was just not important. As I have started feasting traditions in our home, it has become very important that my children not only carry these traditions, but that they love them. I have come to enjoy the preparation and hard work, because I see the joy my family gets from it. As I have become more comfortable with this, it has carried over into other parts of our lives. I try to make every holiday and birthday a big deal. This blog is primarily about Sabbath feasting, but I think you will soon find that celebrations will be a bigger part of your life as you become more familiar with pulling them off. So let's share our celebration traditions. Valentines's Day is coming. How do you celebrate? As much as I would love to prepare a huge romantic feast, we have a different tradition. The male gender rules in our home. This is the holiday that they treat Sarah and myself. Bruce and I will celebrate another night. The guys will take the ladies out to dinner. It will be very child friendly. Isaac will choose the place. Last year it was Cracker Barrel. No long lines there on Valentine's Day. I have heard whisperings of Friendly's this year. As they get older I am sure the resturaunts will be a little more adult. I could never change this tradition. We rarely dine out as a family. It is too expensive. They look foward to this a soon as Christmas is over. Please share your traditions with us.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I wanted to clarify my lost post. We will still have to eat dinner even if we are insanely busy. Our dinner just will not be a gourmet feast. It could even be pizza. We will still make it special. We may picnic on the floor. I believe it is very important to celebrate the sabbath, and we do even if we are not at home. Feasting has just been a fun way to celebrate. As I have said before it is about so much more than a meal. Feasting for us as been a picture of the Marriage Supper with Christ. There is much to be said about the many different reasons to feast, but it will have to wait until another post.

Julie
I have mentioned before that I do not believe we should be legalistic about Sabbath dinners. We can after all prepare ourselves for worship without a huge dinner. Feasting is a way to make the day special and set it apart. Well, as I look at my coming weekend, it appears that we will not be able to feast. My husband is athletic director at the school in which he teaches. The biggest sports event of the year is our basketball tournament. It is this weekend,and will take all of my planning time this week, in addition to all day Saturday. So, I do not have any plans or recipes to share for this week. Does anyone else have any?

Julie

Recipe

I promised a crab cake recipe. Here it is. I use the Old Bay Crab Cake Classic Mix. All you have to do is add mayonnaise. I used to search food tv for a great gourmet recipe, but I found this mix is delicious and a lot easier. My only suggestion would be to add maybe an egg or more bread crumbs because they tend to fall apart. If you are going to freeze them, just form your cakes, freeze them on a baking sheet, and them transfer to a plastic bag. I just pulled some out of the freezer this weekend, and they made great sandwiches. Enjoy!

Julie

Monday, February 5, 2007

So Much More than a Meal

My husband will often ask my children for the reasons that we have Sabbath feasts. Some one always says "to remind us of the feast we will have with God one day." They will then go on to say that they cannot wait to have communion tomorrow, because it reminds them of our covenant with God, which reminds them again of the Marriage Feast we will have in eternity. It is always refreshing to me to know that my children are thinking about this. One of my favorite hymns is At the Lambs High Feast We Sing. "At the Lamb's High feast we sing, praise to the victorious King, Who hath washed us in the tide Flowing from His Pierced side. Praise we Him, Whose love divine Gives His sacred blood for wine, Gives His body for the feast, Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest." What an incredible description of God's sacrificial atonement. These conversations are always a reminder to me that Sabbath Feasting is about so much more than putting a great meal on the table.

Julie

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Good Deals

For those in the Lancaster area.

I was just in Oregon Dairy and they had claw crab meat on sale buy one get one free. It ends up at about $4.50 lb. I can get about 3 meals out of the two cans. The meat makes great crab cakes. They also freeze well. I will make a bunch on Monday to freeze. They will be really quick on a busy weekend. I will post a recipe later. Oh, the sale is only today.

Julie

Friday, February 2, 2007

Preparation and Children

Is it a burden or a blessing to have the kids involved in preparation? There is not an easy answer. If your children are older and have been trained well than i would say it is a great blessing. Kids that have been trained in the importance of feasting and who are used to having guests in the home can help in almost all of the preparation. I have been in homes where the teenagers did not even need the help of the parents. More important they were joyful about it. Sometimes it is hard for us with smaller ones to remember to train them in all of this. Yes, it is easier to have them out of the kitchen. But, how will they ever learn to do this and do it joyfully if we do not work at training them now. I have a few ideas to help with this. First I make their chores easy. I made a picture of a place setting so even Zachary can set the table. There are many websites or books that have this, but i do not use every piece in a place setting. This confused the kids because it did not match perfectly. I just took a digital picture of what we use and that is our reference. Folding the napkins is a great job for the toddlers. Sarah Beth loves to help clean the vegetables. We have great conversations while doing this. Isaac likes to mix the salad after I have done the chopping. Also, get the kids in on the inviting of the guests. Isaac was just asking today about having certain families over. Get them involved and be joyful about it. They will develop a love for it soon.

Julie

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Weekend Plans and Recipes

Once again my plans have changed for the weekend. We are back to feasting on Saturday night. Though, I will not be home to cook, so I will be using the crock pot. I plan on using one of the chickens I bought on sale this week. I will do a roasted root vegetable dish and creamy brussel sprouts. It will be a busy weekend. Isaac and Sarah Beth have a violin recital in the afternoon and we have family in town. But, with my trusty crock pot, I will pull it off.

Now for the chicken recipes I promised
* 1 roasting chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
* seasoned salt
* 1 onion, peeled
* 1 carrot, cut in 1-inch chunks
* 1 rib celery, cut in 1-inch chunks
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 cup fresh orange juice
* finely chopped green onion and parsley, for garnish

PREPARATION:
Wash chicken and rub with seasoned salt. Stuff cavity with onion, carrot and celery. Place chicken in shallow baking dish or on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast at 325° for about 3 hours (internal temperature should be about 375°).
Mix orange juice and cornstarch in a small bowl or measuring cup. About 30 minutes before chicken is done, brush chicken generously with orange juice mixture. Brush again about 15 minutes before done. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and parsley before serving, if desired.
Roast whole chicken serves 6.




Roasted Sticky Chicken

* 1 large chicken -- (roasting)
* 1 cup onion -- chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon white pepper
* 1 teaspoon thyme
* 1 teaspoon onion powder
* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 teaspoons paprika
* 4 teaspoons salt

This should have been done last night: In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Remove giblets from chicken, clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a re-sealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to roast chicken, stuff cavity with onions, and place in the crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Let chicken rest about 10 minutes before carving.


I plan on doing the Roasted Sticky Chicken this weekend. I hope you enjoy the recipes.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Baby Steps

I was talking to a friend yesterday who is just starting to feast with her family. We talked about the importance of starting with baby steps. I would never desire someone to become exhausted by trying to accomplish everything at once. I did that at first. After a few months of on and off, stressful feasting, we stopped.After a conversation I had a conversation with Nancy Wilson she encouraged me to try again, and focus on making it special for the children. Her philosophy is that it is all about the children developing a love for the day. Do not stress right away about starting traditions. They come naturally. Do not stress about finding new recipes. Start with one a week. I always make sure there is something on the table that everyone loves. My kids are not picky eaters, so this is not difficult. If yours are than make their favorite dessert. We do not fuss with the kids about cleaning their plates on this night. They do not realize it, but if they just wanted bread and dessert I would probably let that happen. Just don't tell them! Do not feel the pressure to immediately have guests every week. I still do not do that. I think I have said before that some weeks we prefer to celebrate with just our family. Develop a routine and over time things will just fall into place. Remember it is about developing a love for the Sabbath. Do not put so much pressure on yourself that you come to dread the day.

Julie

Menu Planning

In my effort to make things more simple during the week, I have subscribed to www.menus4moms.com. They will e-mail a menu every week. The meals are simple and child friendly. It is also free!! I put the link in my sidebar. Because I shop according to sales, I sometimes have to change it around or look at the archive menus. I just try to pick meals that have ingredients that I have already purchased or are on sale that week. This has been a great tool for me. I hope it helps you.

Julie

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Weekend Plans

It is Tuesday and I am thinking about the weekend. We will more than likely move our feast to Sunday. For multiple reasons I do not think Saturday is going to work. We do not take it lightly when we move our feast. Not because we are legalistic, but because we enjoy what it has done for our family to prepare ahead for worship. We also realize if we do not set a standard and hold our ground, than something can always get in the way and we would never feast. That said, sometimes it just cannot be helped. So, I will probably do a nice brunch after church. Our church meets early and we are home by 10:30. This will give us time to eat, clean up and then be ready for the Super Bowl.(Big deal in my full of testosterone house!)I get back with you on how this all works out.
Julie

Good Deals

If you are in the Lancaster area, Oregon Dairy has whole chickens buy one get one free! They make great feast dishes. There are so many ways to cook them. I will get some recipes together to post. If anyone has one they would like to share, please do so.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Recipes

I just wanted to post the recipes for the most popular dishes in this week's feast.

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.


Appetizer( I do not know what it is called.)

Layer a baguette slice
brie
gourmet preserve
basil leaf
I arranged this all on a cheese tray and let each guest do their own.

London Broil

Marinade your meat for 8 hours.
Broil each side for about 15 min.
This time I used a marinade from Abondante Living.

I hope you enjoy.

Julie

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This Week's Feast

This weekend was a very busy time for us. I seem to always over book on the weekends that we are having guests for our feast. This time was no different, but we still had a great time with our friends. We had a london broil marinated in an incredible sauce. I purchased it from Abondante Living. I threw away the bottle, but I think it was a sesame, garlic and maple sauce. We had broccoli casserole, roasted potatoes, green beans sauteed with balsamic vinegar and topped with toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. We also had bread with honey butter and cheesecake and a chocolate roll for dessert. For the appetizer we did brie on a slice of baguette, topped with cherry and plum preserves(also from Abondante Living) and a basil leaf. That was a big hit. I know some of you are wondering how a meal like this fits in to my budget. It doesn't. We will have to sacrifice on our weekday meals this week and possibly the next, but I would not trade the time we had with our friends. I will post a couple of the recipes tomorrow. It is time to get the kids to bed.

Friday, January 26, 2007

How to make it Special

I have been reading and talking to others about ways to make feasting in general special.Many who have been doing this longer than I, say that making your weekday meals more simple is one way. I have posted on this a little before. For us we did this because financially we could not swing big meals 6 nights a week and then added to that a feast. As I also said before, I needed to free up some time in the week to prepare for Saturday night. Today I will be cooking my side dishes for tomorrow, therefore we are eating leftovers from last night. I usually cook one pot of soup or chili once a week. We can get two meals out of those. Someone said to me"you spend your entire week making sacrifices and planning for one meal". Yes, I do, but I see it as more than a meal. That meal is the start of the day that my family and I look forward to the whole week. That meal makes us stop and forget everything else, to focus on worshipping our savior. That meal encourages conversations with my children that would not normally happen. Preparing the entire week for the Sabbath has made it a very special day in our home. A day to look forward to, just as you do Christmas or Thanksgiving. If you are new to this, give it time. It took us a good year to get in the groove. Now that we are, I would not change it. Seeing my children's love of the Sabbath makes everything worth the sacrifices and work. I would recommend the book A Return to Sunday Dinner. It is not about Sabbath feasting, but the same principles apply.