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


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

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.