Family life · Meal planning

Meal Management

I have a love for anything to do with the kitchen.  I love to cook and bake.  I love to try new recipes.  I love to set a pretty table. I love to work around a time schedule. I love to feed hungry people. I love to fill my table with people and good food where God is thanked and lives are encouraged just because they shared a meal at our table.

However, I know not everyone feels the same and for varied reasons:

It’s a struggle to cook a meal that everyone will eat.  

It’s hard to find the time to prepare.

It’s overwhelming to clean up the mess afterwards.

It’s intimidating to invite people over.

I Cor. 10:31 reminds us that our eating and whatever we do should glorify God.  That would include meal preparation.

What that doesn’t mean:

Everything has to be made from scratch.

Everything has to look it was prepared by a Food Network chef.

That you can’t take help from quick foods.

That you can’t ever go out to eat.

That you have to fix a different meal for everyone in the family.

What it does mean:

  1. God should be honored in your heart attitude about meal prep.  Remember Martha begrudging her work?
  2. It’s more about the people we’re serving than trying to impress them. We;re filling a need.
  3. Because we’re the managers, we must plan ahead so we’ll be able to prepare in advance.

Remember our mantra – We must plan our work and work our plan!  This applies maybe even greater when dealing with meals and with food preparation!

  1. Prioritize eating together at the table. If you’re not doing this much at all,  why not plan on having supper as a family at least three nights a week?  Or bump up what you’re doing to five nights a week.   

    Elevate the ordinary to something sacred. This simply means to make it highly valued and important. Here are a few simple ways to do that:

    Quiet hearts by turning on soft music. 
    Make the table inviting. 
    Add placemats or a tablecloth, napkins and all three pieces of silverware.
    Put something pretty in the middle of the table.  A pitcher with flowers.  A candle. Add conversation starter cards to the centerpiece. 
    Make it fun
    . Laugh at the table.  Teach manners.  Talk. Listen.  Slow down.  Sit back. Read a chapter book together at the end of the meal. Sing a hymn. Pray.

Memories are made around the table. Some of my favorite memories of my girls’ childhood revolve around events and conversations around a meal we shared together. We all remember the evening there was “blue milk” on the table (let’s just say there might have been a little too much laughter!).

This one habit can strengthen your home in so many ways.

But how do we get it done? Next Wednesday we’ll talk about the management part and how to simplify the process. But for now, will you just ask the Lord to help you make family mealtime (one meal a day) a priority? Apply one or more of the ways I shared to elevate the ordinary to something sacred.

Refresh mealtime at your house this week!
If you’ve missed any of this series, you can find the other posts here.

baking · Coronavirus · Meal planning · refreshment at home

Ideas for Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping During Covid 19

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Simple strategy in managing food for our families is always important, but certainly so in our current situation.  I’m going to share with you five things that I’m doing right now to plan wisely for our meal planning and shopping.

  1. Each week after I pick up my on-line order at Kroger, I go ahead and immediately start another on-line order and schedule it for the next week. The time slots fill up quickly, so this way I know I can go back a week from now and get what I need.  Also, I can go back on the Kroger app and modify my order up to midnight the night before I pick it up.  So even if I just put in an order for milk, initially, I am able to add whatever else I need before my actual pick up.

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  2. I’m shopping for two-week menus at a time (that is aside from dairy products and fresh fruit. Last week my Kroger order was under $15, for milk, yogurt and a few other essentials). I have planned ahead so that we only have to make minimal trips out.  I’m blessed to have a large freezer in the garage, so I have plenty of meat stored away (which is my normal way of life!). I also have breads, frozen vegetables, and ice cream in that freezer (ice cream isn’t a necessity, but a nice treat when you can’t stop at Chick-Fil-A for a cone!).
  3. I’m buying fresh fruits and vegetables that have a long shelf life.  Broccoli, apples, lemons, small colored peppers, cherry tomatoes, head lettuce, carrots, potatoes and onions have served us well!  I even pickled red onions and have wondered how I ever got along without them!! They are delicious on tacos, salads and sandwiches!

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  4.  We planted some fresh lettuces and broccoli.  I have three raised beds and have grown tomatoes and cucumbers, but never these greens.  I’m excited about trying my hand at it and am hopeful for some delicious salads as result!
    I’m wondering if there will be a rise in gardening this year.  What’s better than growing your own vegetables?! It’s so cost effective and the time outside is refreshing!
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5.  I’m praying and not panicking.  Matthew 6 has become a much read and reviewed chapter for me.  There are so many wonderful reminders about how God provides for us and will care for our every need.  Why should I worry?  I’m resting in God’s promises. I’m planning and preparing as wisely as I know how, then I’m leaving it all in the hands of a  sovereign God.

How are you doing at getting what you need for your family?  If you have any tips to share, please leave them in the comments below!

Refresh yourself and your family with some wise planning, but most of all, trust in a God Who loves you!

denise a

 

Fast meal · Meal planning · refreshment at home

Cook Once; Eat Two (or 3) Times!

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I love to cook, however, that doesn’t mean I like to slave in the kitchen every single day!  I love to eat good meals that are fresh and delicious, too, so that means when I AM in the kitchen, I like to make good use of that time in ways that will help me for future meals!

I thought I”d show you how I have recently cooked foods that allowed me to have DIFFERENT meals using things I cooked earlier. Say no to Leftovers! These are fresh, different meals each time they’re served!

Continue reading “Cook Once; Eat Two (or 3) Times!”

freezer · Meal planning · organization · refrigerator contents

What’s In My Fridge?

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After returning home from vacation, I went to the grocery store for a few things like fresh veggies and fruits, milk and eggs.  Other than that, my freezer and pantry had what I needed to get through a week of meals.  Bulk shopping when things go on sale keeps me from having to buy a long list of items every single week.  I love that!

I thought I would give you a peek inside my refrigerator and small freezer so you can see the standard things that are in there and how I organize it all.   Continue reading “What’s In My Fridge?”

Dinner · home · Home making · Lightened Up Recipe · Meal planning · refreshment at home · Tablescapes

My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance

We all have to eat.  But what we fix and how we serve it can make a huge  difference in how much enjoyment we give ourselves and those with whom we share the meal. I can remember growing up that my mom always made the table and the food a special part of each day.  I don’t go overboard on a regular day, but I try to make the food and the table inviting.  Today’s post is just a little glimpse into how I set the table and what meals we’ve been enjoying recently.

Al Fresco Dining – Once the weather turns warm, we eat outside as often as possible!  One morning recently I took breakfast outside to the front porch where the sun was shining and ate sitting in a rocking chair.  That’s even better than Cracker Barrel! Continue reading “My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance”