(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

Easter dinner 2017 a

If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner.  It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better?  It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner.  On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!

So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life!  Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people.  We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories.  It was a great day!

Here’s the menu:

 Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Deviled Eggs
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!

I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer.  Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing.  It simplifies the process so much!  By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:

The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too.  I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.

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When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.

Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –

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Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!

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Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good.  My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!

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Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe.  These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day.  Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day.  They were delicious right out of the oven!!  And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!

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Coconut Cake

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One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home.  That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service!  Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs.  Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together.  It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord!  Here’s what we had yesterday:

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We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday!  This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home.  Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone.  It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!

So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter!  I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.

Did you have Easter dinner?  Did you cook?  What made it special for your family?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Chicken Dinner in Under 15 Minutes!

I’ve had the recent loss of a properly working fridge.  Sadness!!!  Because I had to load my milk, eggs, coffee cream, butter and yogurt into the cooler while we wait (and wait and wait) for the repairmen to get the parts and get them installed, I’ve had to be kind of “off-the-cuff” with my meals.  Not having room for fresh vegetables, condiments, etc., I’ve pretty much just been pulling from the freezer and pantry.  “Necessity is the mother on invention” they say, and it’s true!  I had to pull a meal together completely out of necessity and it was  a really happy discovery!

I needed supper to consist of chicken breasts, canned tomatoes and feta cheese because that’s what I had. I found a recipe that sounded good, but I didn’t have the exact ingredients, so I substituted with what I did have, and the results were fabulous!!

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This chicken is cooked in under 15 minutes!!! Broiling the chicken gives it a little crispiness that makes it taste like it’s been grilled.  Yum!! If you need  a fabulous meal in a flash, here’s what this recipe calls for:

Chicken breasts filet
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian Seasoning
Canned Tomatoes
Feta Cheese

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven broiler on high.

Mix equal parts of olive oil and vinegar.  For one LARGE chicken breast, I used about 2 tbl of each.  Brush vinegar mixture on both sides of chicken breast.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, on both sides.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Place baking sheet 4-6 inches from broiler.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Turn and cook until juices run clear.  I had a thick chicken breast, so I cut it in half so it was thinner.  It cooked in the 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and place a spoonful of diced canned tomatoes (drained), on chicken.  Sprinkle with Feta Cheese.  Broil one more minute.  Serve immediately.

My menu for a completely 15 minute meal:

Chicken with Feta and Tomatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Couscous

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Seriously, this was so delicious!  My husband said, “This recipe needs to be on the ‘Do-over’ list!”  I agree.  We will be having this again and again even after the fridge gets fixed!  I’m thinking this recipe is the “Silver lining” in this refrigerator trouble!  Thank you, Lord, for these little blessings!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

(L)Oven Monday – Comfort Food Classic

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I recently needed to fix a meal for a couple who had spent many days and nights in the hospital.  They needed a nourishing, comforting meal.  That’s when I jumped on my blog’s recipe index to look for my long-time favorite recipe for Meatloaf. I mean you can’t get more comforting than meatloaf and the trimmings for a great home cooked meal, right? It was then that I was shocked to find that I have never shared that recipe here on my blog!  What?  I’ve been making it for YEARS!

I will fix that need today and share this incredibly easy and yummy meatloaf!It’s from Taste of Home and it’s called “Mom’s Best Meatloaf” for a reason!  It’s not over-seasoned; it’s just right!

To accompany the meatloaf, I made the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.  A sweet friend at church brought this cheesy heaven to my husband and me when we were caring for my mother-in-law in several years ago.  I asked my friend for the recipe, and also if she minded if I shared it with you!  She happily passed it on.  Thank you, Bethany!

Here was my menu for the Comfort Food Meal:

Mom’s Best Meatloaf
Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Green Beans
Fried Apples
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits

meat loaf

Mom’s Best Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • Additional ketchup

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press into an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Drizzle top of loaf with ketchup; bake 15 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 6-8 servings.

mac and cheese

My Favorite Ever Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until done; drain.
  2. In 9×13 inch baking dish, stir together macaroni, shredded Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle topping over macaroni mixture.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

This meal is comfort heaven!  Make it for someone who needs some love – or make it for your own family to show your love!

What’s your best comfort food meal?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Wednesday ~ What’s Cookin’?

I thought we’d do something new today.  I’m demonstrating a recipe I’ve shared here for my homemade granola.  You’ve seen this picture –

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and you’ve seen the recipe,  but sometimes it’s just good to watch someone do a demonstration to realize that you can do it, too!  I’ve made up a half batch in the following video…

Hope you’ll watch it again and make up a batch for your family!

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(L)Oven Monday – Comforting Soup

Hapy Monday and the Day after Christmas!  I trust you had a wonderful time of celebration!  I’ll share about mine on Friday when we hit the highlights!

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Often after all the rich holiday foods, a simple meal of a comforting, homemade soup is just the thing to have for supper. One reason I love this soup is because it’s so incredibly good, but it’s also really simple.

The recipe is for Baked Potato Soup, and it’s from Cooking Light, but I’ve tweaked it a bit.  Baking the potatoes makes it easy to assemble, and I also think it makes the soup so much better than boiled potatoes chunks.  This also means there’s no peeling or cutting necessary!  Just wrap the potaotes in foil, pop them in the oven, and in an hour you’ll be ready to make supper.   The baked potatoes make fine shreds of potatoes that give the soup a creaminess that is irresistable and comforting!

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I had some holiday ham left over, so instead of topping it with bacon, the chunks of ham added the perfect flavor.  So, you add what you have, bacon OR ham, and I think you’ll be delighted with the results!

Baked Potato Soup

4 Baked potatoes
2 Cups milk
1-2 Cups Chicken Stock
3 – 4 T. flour
Salt & Pepper
Sour Cream
Bacon or ham
Cheddar Cheese

Let Baked potatoes cool slightly, then scoop out the potato flesh from the skins and place in a bowl.  Set aside.

Heat milk in a saucepan and slowly add flour, whisking in to combine.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Add Chicken stock, stir to combine.  Add potatoes into mixture.  Cook until thickened.  If using ham, add it at this point.  Cook until heated through.
Remove pan from the heat.  Stir in 1/2 Cup Sour cream.

Ladle soup into bowls.  Top with bacon, (if you didn’t use the ham) and shredded Cheddar Cheese.

My husband declared that this was the “best Potato soup ever!”  Try it and tell me if you agree!

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Enjoy!

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(L)Oven Monday – The Best Food Gifts from Your Kitchen

As I make my preparations for a more “simple” Christmas this year, I’m reminded that giving gifts from what you love is the best kind of gift to share.  If I do what I love – I bake and the receiver knows that it was prepared especially for them with lots of (L)oven from my oven!

I have many recipes on my blog that I have given away, and I’m going to compile a short list of some of my favorites for you today.  These are simple to make and are LOVED by those that receive them.  Let’s get shopping/baking…

  1. Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – – This is a fancier form of Monkey Bread.  It’s made from canned biscuits, cream cheese and cinnamon and sugar.  It’s pretty, it’s easy to make and is so good it became a Christmas tradition for our breakfast!Nutty orange Coffee cake.jpg
  2. Cranberry Crumble – Another great coffee cake that anyone would LOVE to receive!
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  3. French Bread Loaves – A good old crusty bread tied up in a linen kitchen towel is as lovely as it is delicious!
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  4. Homemade Granola – Gifted in a jar with a pretty ribbon, this granola is perfect for any breakfast lover!
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  5. Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes – These are more like Danishes and who doesn’t love a Cream Cheese Danish????  This recipe makes four, so it really makes great use of your time in the kitchen!
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  6. Deep Dish Hershey Brownies – This is my family’s favorite brownie recipe and I’ve made them for years.  Any chocolate lover will be delighted to receive a plate of these!
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  7. Microwave Caramel Popcorn – This is the easiest caramel popcorn!  It makes a nice pile of popcorn for the snacker on your list!

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You can also go here for a list of some fabulous cookies to bake up and place in cellophane bags or pretty Christmas tins.

Food is a wonderful gift of love from your oven to the recipient.  Get baking and finish your gift list!

Which of these recipes will you make and give away?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)ovin’ Monday

Every Monday I’m showing you what’s been in my Oven that I’m lovin’!  Ready?

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This was Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s last Thursday at 1:00.  Don’t you wish every day’s lunch looked like this…

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Ha, well, maybe not that  much food, but tell me, is it just me, or do others find lunch a difficulty?  I’m usually well into a busy day and just need a quick bite to eat, but I find it hard to stop my day and fix something that’s tasty and quick.

As a matter of fact, even breakfast poses problems.  I’m not ready to eat when I first get up, and by the time I’m ready for a bite, it’s too late to want to get into any big cooking ordeal to accomplish what I need to give me energy for the rest of the morning!

Recently I prepared these Make-Ahead Omelets and froze them.  I made tiny ones for the shower I hosted.  I took the leftovers and froze them in a plastic container, putting sheets of waxed paper in between the rows of omelets.

 

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Then I popped a frozen muffin into the microwave and it made the perfect breakfast!  In a matter of about 4 minutes everything was hot and ready to eat.  That’s better than instant oatmeal – and a lot tastier!

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Then another help came for lunch.  I had made Sloppy Joe’s for our meal after Sunday night church, and had plenty left over.  Wrapping them individually in waxed paper, I warmed them at about 80% power for about 45 seconds.

It dawned on me then – why don’t I make up something like this at the beginning of each week and have it prepared in the fridge?  Lunch could be less than a minute away each day!  If you take your lunch to work, it would be so easy to have it packed and ready in the morning before you head out the door.

I’ve come up with a few ideas of things that would be made ahead and ready.  Here’s my starter list:

Breakfast:

Omelets

Waffles

Baked  Oatmeal

Lunch:

Sloppy Joes

Broccoli Soup

Salad in a jar – Like this one (I haven’t made this particular recipe, but I made one similar and they are great do-ahead salads!)

Chicken Salad – Ready for sandwiches, or to eat alone.

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I hope this encourages you to prepare ahead for your busy mornings and lunchtimes.  When you’re heading into Christmas, why not take away a little stress by having some nutritious breakfasts and lunches all ready to serve?

What quick tips do you have for breakfast and lunch?

With love from my country kitchen,

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