What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

I got into a nesting mode Saturday. Maybe it was because Alli’s stuff had been moved out – I don’t know. I emptied the fridge and cleaned it and the freezer. I changed some of the decor in the kitchen. My herbs have done really well this summer, so I made a little display on the counter…

I love this picture that I found a couple years ago at a cute little shop…
I took some of my fresh herbs and made a bouquet for the kitchen table. It looks and smells so fresh! Thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley and mint will be ready to use for recipes since they’re sitting in water. I love this little wire basket – I use it for lots of different things (thanks, Whitney!)

Sunday dinner was just the two of us because:

  1. Alli’s back in college
  2. My husband had a nasty cold

However, I tried to make it as special as if we had a house-full.

Menu
Stuffed Peppers
Fresh corn
Carrot-Raisin Salad
Parmesan Bread

This recipe is really tasty, and if you don’t normally like stuffed peppers you need to try these. A dear lady at church shared her garden’s peppers with us and I couldn’t wait to make this recipe! The peppers are only boiled a few minutes, so they’re still crispy instead of boiled to death, and the filling is really yummy. Here’s the recipe:

Stuffed Peppers

2 large green peppers

8 ounces ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Fresh basil leaves (opt)

Halve peppers lengthwise and remove stem ends, seeds and membranes. Immerse peppers into boiling water for 3 minutes. Invert onto paper towels to drain well.

In large skillet cook meat and onion till meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in the tomatoes, uncooked rice, water, Worcestershire sauce, basil and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 – 18 minutes or till the rice is tender. Stir in half of the cheese. Spoon meat mixture into peppers. Place peppers in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Spoon any remaining meat mixture into baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven about 15 minutes or till heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes or till the cheese melts. If desired, garnish plate with fresh basil leaves. Makes 4 servings.

Being mostly empty nesters (Alli is home about a total of two months in a year now), can I just say again, that this is God’s plan? I am amazed at how many of our peers we run into when taking our daughter to school, and see that they’re struggling with having no children at home. I love my girls and I love it when they’re here, but you know what? Alone is the way we started out and it’s the way it will end up, and we are okay with that. Our friends look at us with horrified expressions when we tell them that we’re adjusting to and even enjoying this phase of our lives. Dinners should still be served with careful attention and love, just as they were when all the family was gathered around the table. The house needs fresh touches and decor so that our husband knows we care about him.

Don’t fold up and die when your children are gone! If your family is young right now, start preparing yourself for the day when they will leave. You do that by leaving them with a babysitter and go out on a date regularly. Every couple of years, leave for more than a day and have a vacation alone. Sorry if I sound like a broken record on this subject, but I keep running into this at every turn, so I just have to address it! 🙂 I learned this lesson from my parents. They’ve been great examples to me of keeping their marriage alive, and enjoying each phase of life as it comes along. I am asking the Lord to help me do the same.

Have you and your husband had a special date lately? What did you do?

What’s been cookin’ in your kitchen lately?

With love,

3 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?”

  1. I substitute pearl barley in most recipes that call for rice because of its higher fiber content-8 grams of fiber per serving vs 1-2 grams of fiber for white or brown rice.

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  2. Eating-out dates can be inexpensive and fun. Try eating an appetizer at one restaurant and then going out for ice-cream. 2 different places in 1 night make it seem extra special!

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