What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

Girl time…don’t you love it? It’s so refreshing to get together with other women for a time of fellowship.  We find out that we’re not alone in the things we’re struggling with.  We get good ideas from our friends who have just read up on some creative decorating idea, or parenting tip.  Time away with other women prepares us to go back home with a smile and press on with the things that we do routinely each day.

 I got to have a bunch of sweet ladies over last week for brunch.  There was lots of talk,  laughter, some tears, and of course, food!  While we’ve had our two-week revival meeting going on at BCBC, aside from revival, we’ve also enjoyed sweet fellowship with fellow full-time ministry families.  They have been such a blessing to us and  I wanted to do something for them – for the ladies in particular. So, I had them over for a mid-morning meal.  That way they had time to give their husbands all the home school agendas, suggestions for lunch, instructions for hap time, and then time pull themselves together before leaving home!  They are a lovely group of women – inside and out!

Meet Amy Herbster (beside me), Tori Wood, Amy Herbster (yes, there are two Amy’s!), Sharon Weigle, Kristen DeGarde, and our youth pastor’s wife, Christy Matlock.

It never fails, you seek to be a blessing to others, and you end up receiving the greatest blessing.  They were fun guests, and I know that our time together encouraged my heart.  I pray it did theirs as well.

Here was my menu:

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake
French Breakfast Puffs
Fresh Fruit Kabobs
Orange Julius/Coffee

Can’t you just hear the chatter?  =)

The blessing of my menu was that I was able to do everything, except for the fruit, the day before they came over.  All I did the morning of the brunch was cut the fruit for the kabobs and put the strata in the oven!  Working ahead is key for me…otherwise I’m a basket case.  I need a little time to apply some lipstick, fluff the pillows and turn on the some good music without feeling rushed that the meal has to be created from start to finish!

This strata needs time to sit in the fridge before baking, so it’s a perfect dish for do-ahead meals.  I like this because it’s not too “eggy”, and has some meat and cheese in it.  It smells like a pizza when it’s baking. Mmmm.

The breads I made are so simple!  The Nutty Orange Coffee Cake  is made with canned biscuits!  I’m learning that canned biscuits are a staple that should always be kept on hand.  You can make these Parmesan Knots, or you could deep fry them and roll in sugar for the tastiest homemade donuts.  Or you could whip this Nutty Orange Bread together!  I got the recipe from a 1995 Southern Living Cookbook.  I have made this many times for Christmas brunch.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C chopped pecans
2 tsp grated orange rind
8 oz. pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
2 (11 oz) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted
1 C sifted powdered sugar
1 T orange juice

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. 
  • Place about 1 tsp cream cheese on half of each biscuit; fold biscuit over cheese, pressing edges to seal.
  • Dip biscuits in melted butter, and dredge in sugar mixture; place, curved side down, in a lightly greased 12-cup Bundt pan, spacing evenly.  Drizzle any remaining butter over biscuits; sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.  Immediately invert onto a serving plate.
  • Combine powdered sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle over warm coffee cake.  Serve immediately. If you’re fixing this ahead, warm in oven or microwave before serving.

The French Breakfast Puffs are light little muffins covered with butter, cinnamon and sugar.  They come together very quickly.  If you make these ahead of time, be sure to pop them into the microwave a bit.  I think they’re better a little warm.

French Breakfast Puffs

1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 C butter, melted

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.  Add milk, beaten egg, and 1/3 cup melted butter.  Mix well.  Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove while still hot, dip in melted butter, then mixture of sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Makes 1 dozen

If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten together with some girlfriends, why not do a simple brunch and invite your peeps over? Or invite over some ladies you don’t know very well yet.   Being at your house is better than meeting out at a public place.  The setting is cozier, you can laugh and cry without being stared at by the other patrons at the restaurant, and you can have seconds! 

What yummy thing have you cooked up recently? 

From my parsonage kitchen,

7 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

  1. Denise,
    We had such a great time that morning! You have been such an encouragement to me these 2 weeks. Your love for the Lord just pours out of you. I've so enjoyed getting to know you. Thank you for a wonderful brunch. The food was amazing and the fellowship was even better!


  2. Thank you, Sharon. I'm going to hate to see you all leave. Two weeks has truly knit my heart with you ladies! What a sweet servant you are.
    It was my blessing to have you all here for brunch. I still think we need to make a group trip to Charming Chariles!


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