Back to basics: simple suppers

 Posted by on January 12, 2010  9 Responses »
Jan 122010

Mary Engelbreit's Silly Mother Goose

So you’ve started back with the basics. Slow and easy. Or maybe not. Maybe, like me, you are feeling a bit like Humpty Dumpty, picking up the pieces? Hopefully, you caught a bit of back to school joy.

However your days are going, you still have mouths to feed. Basic meal time. We all have to eat! After a full day of school and chasing toddlers, the last thing I want to look at is a long list of ingredients to cook!

Give me easy and make it fast. Or cook it slow. When the rest of the day is a continual challenge I keep mealtime simple. Here are the strategies I use to make suppers easy, inexpensive and delicious. Continue reading »

Dec 032009

4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.

5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works. [b]

6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.

7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Psalm 145

For the past few weeks, we’ve been working on habits in the areas of planning our meals, how we purchase them, and ways to simplify preparing them. Now we’ve reached the finish line and we get to present them to our loved ones!

Present them, you ask? Don’t I just have one of the kids set the table, put the food out and ring the dinner bell?  Well there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it’s what happens at our house on the majority of days.

However, God spoke to my heart some time ago about all the events and parties I would do for extended family, friends and church and asked me if I shouldn’t do the same for my own family on a regular basis…meaning more than holidays and birthdays.   I am definitely one for keeping those occasions extra special, but isn’t every day we have with our families extra special? We are not promised a next birthday, or next Easter or even tomorrow, so why wait to lavish some specialness on those dearest to your heart?  So at least once a week I incorporate some of these ideas into our meal times.  For us it usually happens on Friday and Saturday when we slow down from our weekly activities.

Continue reading »

What’s for dinner? Part 3 -preparing

 Posted by on November 12, 2009  5 Responses »
Nov 122009

Taste and see the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8

You’ve planned your meals and you’ve purchased the food, now unfortunately that food is not going to get out the pantry and cook itself, so you’d better get to it!

Sometimes it feels like I spend the bulk of my time in the kitchen – either cooking or cleaning up (the rest is spent in the laundry room! )  So, if there is a way to streamline my cooking duties, I am all for it. I actually love to cook -it’s everything that goes with it that I could live without!  With a busy family, I don’t want to spend all of my time in the kitchen, so I’ve been working on ways to cut down on time spent there.  Here are a few things I’m trying – PLEASE share your tips as well.  As you will see, I’m only scratching the surface of all the possibilities. Continue reading »

Nov 052009

I’ve gone back and forth with myself on what to post for this portion on purchasing your groceries.  With the coupon craze full steam ahead and the availability of information on the web about  how to get the best deals at an all-time high, I felt like I wanted to write a disclaimer before I detailed what I do to save money.  I came across two things that summed up how I was feeling.  First, an article on a website that ,ironically,specializes in couponing, entitled Extreme Couponing 101: Burnout. It had some words of wisdom to offer about obsessing over coupons.  Check it out, after you read this, of course 🙂

The second was an article in my planner by John Piper which contained this quote ~ “Use means, but don’t trust in means.  Trust in God.” I think sometimes we are in danger of thinking it is entirely up to us to provide food and other products for our family and we forget who is ultimately responsible for our provision. Matthew 6 urges us ~

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? …

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So, while I don’t feel like there is anything wrong with using coupons to be good stewards of the money God has given us, I need to remember that they are merely tools. Ultimately it is God who provides all that we need and He does an infinitely better job than I ever could.

Phew! Okay, I feel better. We now return to your regularly scheduled post!

Continue reading »

Oct 152009

If your kids are anything like mine, you hear this question more than once a day.  All the things that go with feeding a family can take a bite out of your day. There’s the planning, the purchasing, the preparation, and if you have any energy left, the presentation.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to share some of my habits in those areas.  Maybe there’s something there for you.  I would love for you to also share what has worked for you.  I’m always in the market for handy tips in this area!

This week let’s talk about planning. Continue reading »