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.