(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,

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Behind the Clouds

I first posted this a couple years ago, but I feel the need to share it again.  I have many friends and loved ones going through hard things right now, and in the light of Easter coming this weekend, I pray this post will be an encouragement!

This past Saturday morning I headed out early to purchase the last items I needed for my Easter dinner.  I was filled with excitement as I anticipated Easter Sunday and the joy of worshiping and remembering the empty tomb! The sky was kind of gray and cloudy as I headed out, but I needed to get this done.

As I drove into town, my mind went to the first Easter Saturday – that very day after Christ had been crucified.  I thought about the disciples, the many other people who had heard Jesus and believed He was Who He said He was, and of those that had seen His miracles and had turned in faith to Him as their Savior.  How must they have felt on that day after?  I’m sure many were filled with mixed emotions.  They had seen Him suffer, some had buried Him.  He was dead. Many must have felt hopeless, gloomy and discouraged.

“Oh!” I thought, “if only they could know what we know now they would never have doubted!  They would be as excited as I am as I anticipate Easter’s arrival tomorrow!”    They wouldn’t have been filled with sadness, gloom or despair if they could know what we know!

It was then that the Lord whispered in my heart,

“If you could know what I’m at work doing right now in your life, you wouldn’t be filled with despair in your trials either.”

How right He is!  Why do I doubt Him?  Why am I filled with sorrow in difficult days?  It’s because I believe the enemy’s lies when he says – “Nothing good could come from THIS!”  “Your life should be happier!”  “This is never going to get better – give it up!”

No!  My God is at work fulfilling His great plan for my life – to make me into the image of His Son.  It may take cloudy days, days of pain or suffering, but He’s got a reason, and I must trust Him!

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Still in my car and carrying on this dialogue with the Lord, I looked up to see that the sun had burst through the clouds in splendor and beauty.  It was a visual of the lesson He had just spoken to my heart.  Something lovely is behind the dark clouds; wait and watch!

What dark cloud of difficulty are you staring at today?  Keep your eyes on Christ! He is at work on a plan that will leave you speechless!

With love,

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My Meditation On Good Friday

Today is a special day for anyone who is guilty.  Romans 3:23 says that’s all of us.  Today, is Good Friday, the day we remember as the day Christ went to the cross for us.  While it was a horrible death, it’s a wonderful story for each of us, because our sins are paid for by the spotless Lamb of God!  I heard one preacher say this in his message this week:

Your sins have to be paid for.  You’ll either accept Christ’s payment on the cross, or you’ll pay for them eternally in hell.

I trust that if you have not received Christ’s payment for your sins, that you will receive Him as your Savior – your Substitute! He died for you, and this day is a precious reminder of His tremendous sacrifice.

If you are a believer,

  • Take time today to read about His death on the cross.
  • Sing or listen to  songs about the cross.  This is one of my all-time favorites:

I was the reason.  Praise the Lord for His love and sacrifice on my behalf so that I might be free!  Praise His lovely name.

Free because of the cross,

 

 

Should A Christian’s Easter Be Fun?

 

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Have you ever felt guilty about or slightly worried that maybe all the “fun” activities of Easter should be avoided by Christians – those who celebrate Easter as the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?  My own heart’s answer to that is that I believe our fun should be  a reflection of the joy of the occasion!   Easter is the most joyous of days for those of us who love Christ!  So, this day should demonstrate that!

Another guideline  is that as with anything we do, it should glorify God -we must give the right opinion of Who He is.  That will determine what  I do. I wouldn’t want to participate in something that would be giving a false meaning of this wonderful day.  Let me illustrate:

The Easter Bunny has nothing to do with why we celebrate Easter, Resurrection Day, so I personally, have never been a fan.  However, an egg hunt, Chocolate treats, jelly beans and chicks are just fun (and delicious!).  They can even be used to represent new life in Christ – the whole meaning of the resurrection!

I’ve shared this in years past, but we tried to do all those kinds of things on Easter Saturday.  I mean, think about it – if you’re taking your child to Sunday school and church right after they’ve received a basket full of sugar, you’re only asking for trouble.  Your child will want to partake.  The sugar will make them hyper.  The chocolate will destroy their clothes, and then your whole Sunday will have started off on the wrong foot!  Saturday gives these activities a time to be enjoyed.  This is a great day for some family traditions – the egg hunt, the basket distribution, a special treat.

Reserving Sunday for worship and talk of Christ’s resurrection makes it a special day. This is also a great day for traditions!  Why not serve a special breakfast early that morning and read the resurrection story from the Bible?  I love these Resurrection Rolls.  They show what happened on that early Sunday morning! You could read the Scripture as you’re making the rolls together. Serve them with boiled eggs that you colored earlier in the week.

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The roll is empty after you bake it, representing the empty tomb. They’re also a delicious treat!

Easter Sunday  could include inviting lost neighbors to the  church services and dinner.  What a blessing to get to share the Gospel with them!  Make a special traditional cake or treat every year.  Make it special because this is a super-special day!!!

So the answer to “Should a Christian’s Easter be Fun?” is, absolutely!  

  • Plan it out wisely.
  • Make much of Christ.
  • Take your family to a Bible preaching church where the Truth will be given.
  • Give the right opinion of God and this day in all you do.

We have so much to be joyous about, so let’s celebrate our risen Savior in a way that will reflect the delight in our hearts!

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He lives! Rejoice!

 

 

I Remember

I worry about myself sometimes!

“Where are my keys?”

“Who was I supposed to email today?”

“What was it that I wanted to pick up at the store on my way home?”

There is a command in Scripture to do some purposeful remembering about something far more important than keys and groceries – we’re to be remember the cross:

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I’ve heard these verses read many times as I’ve taken communion at church, and I heard them again this past Sunday as we remembered the Lord’s death.  The bread was distributed, then a prayer was spoken, thanking Christ for being our sacrifice.

I took the bread and put it in my mouth.  As my teeth bit down into the small wafer, the words, “This is my body, broken for you” rang in my ears.  Just as my teeth were grinding that bread into tiny pieces, once again, I was remembered that it was for me and because of me that Christ suffered.  I put Him there.  It was my sin.  I caused the pain.  I nailed Him there as surely as I was now grinding that wafer into little bits.  My heart wrenched with the thought of my wickedness and His sacrifice!

How thankful I am for the reminder of Christ’s suffering that our monthly communion time brings. To sit in my seat and take of the bread and the cup is to remember that:

  • Christ died for individuals – you and me.
  • Just as I received Him as my Savior, I must personally keep a clean heart – before partaking of the bread and cup, and every day in between.
  • My sin put Him there.
  • He suffered untold pain and agony.
  • I’m preaching the message that I’ve been saved, and He is coming again every time I take comunion!

A personal message.  A personal remembrance.  A personal Savior.

Thank you, Lord, for making The Lord’s Table a command for believers, so we would go back to the cross.  Thank you, dear Jesus for dying for me.  I remember.

Have you taken a heart-felt trip back to the cross to remember what He did for you?

Lovingly,

Do Ahead Easter Menu

The result will be something delicious and beautiful, and you won't be exhausted!

It’s Easter week!!!!  This is my favorite holiday!  Without the resurrection, there’s no hope, no eternity in heaven, no joy for today!  But because Christ lives, we have it all!  He lives within m heart, and as a believer, I should celebrate every single day!  I will definitely celebrate on Easter!  We’ll celebrate at church this Sunday as we worship with the Galkin Evangelistic team.  We’re excited about the day/week with them at BCBC!

Let’s talk about the Easter dinner today!  Some of my favorite foods to fix for Easter are already posted here on my blog, so I thought I’d do an Easter Round-Up and share some of my favorite recipes that would make a wonderful Easter dinner, in case you need some suggestions for your menu this coming Sunday!  These aren’t just good recipes, most of them are things that can be made in advance, which will lighten your load on the weekend!

Let’s talk dessert first!  This Coconut Cake has been an Easter tradition for many years at my house.  On the link you’ll find the recipe and my instructions of how to put the cake together easily.  This cake is THE BEST!  It’s worth the effort, and if you do the steps one at a time, a few days in advance, it won’t even be that much effort!

The result will be something delicious and beautiful, and you won't be exhausted!

This frozen fruit salad is so delicious and is made ahead of time, which is always a winning recipe in my book!

 

Frozen Fruit Salad

1 can jellied cranberry or cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapple, drained

2 bananas chopped in small pieces
1 c. chopped pecans
1 8-oz. container Cool Whip

Place jellied cranberries or cranberry sauce in mixing bowl and using a whisk, break it up well. Add pineapple, banana, and pecans and combine. Fold in Cool Whip.

You can put this in a 9 x 13 dish or make individual servings by placing cupcake papers in cupcake pan and filling with mixture. Freeze. When ready to serve, peel paper of and serve on a piece of leaf lettuce.

Fresh Broccoli Salad is often covered with a heavy dressing, but this one is a lighter version, but every bit as good!  We love it.  It would go well with a ham dinner.  You can mix this together the night before.

  • Fresh Broccoli Salad
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 center-cut bacon slice, cooked and crumbled (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

    Preparation
    Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine. Pour vinegar mixture over broccoli mixture; toss gently to coat.

Do-Ahead potatoes are a great time saver on Sunday.  This recipe has been a favorite of ours for about 30 years!

Gourmet Potatoes
6 medium potatoes
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C butter
1 1/2 C sour cream (I used light)
1/3 C chopped onion
1 t. salt
paprika

Peel the potatoes. Leave them whole. Cook in boiling water ’til tender. Cool.
Shred potatoes coarsely. In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and cheese. Stir ’til melted. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream, onions and salt. Fold in potatoes and pour into a 2 qt. casserole dish.
Sprinkle with paprika on top. Refrigerate overnight. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Lastly, if you need a great do-ahead roll, these are my very favorite.  You make them up to the point of just par-baking them, then pop them in the freezer.  They only require about 10 minutes of baking from their frozen state when you need them!  I make up half of this recipe and keep these rolls on hand for last minute dinners after the holiday meal is over!

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This is Lee Drummond’s recipe.  You can find it on this post.

Working on your menu a little at a time this week will cause less stress on Sunday.  It’s all about the Lord Jesus Sunday – so make wise choices this week so you can focus on Him rather than having to fuss with the meal!

Do any of these strike your fancy?  What will you be fixing for Easter dinner?

Lovingly,

 

 

Object Lesson About Why Jesus Died

I like spring birds, bunnies and eggs as much as the next person, but when it comes to explaining the true meaning of Easter and why Jesus came, all the “cutsie” objects I just mentioned, are just that.  We need to make sure children understand what Easter is all about.

If you need a jaw-dropping illustration for children of what Christ did for us on the cross, you’ve got to see this great object lesson.

When I did this for Bible club the children asked to see it again and again!  It is a great picture of the meaning of the cross, isn’t it?

With whom could you share this Gospel object lesson?

Stay refreshed,