(L)Oven Monday – Summer Menu Family Favorites

Hello friends!  I trust you had a great weekend.  We sure did!  On top of the wonderful church service on Sunday (I’m so thankful for my church!), getting to go hear Chonda Pierce Friday night (hilarious!), and a fun day on Saturday, my cup was just running over!

We had a delicious Sunday dinner at home. I know, it was Mother’s Day, and mom’s aren’t supposed to cook, but I was glad to help. My husband did steaks on the grill for us and I happily contributed all the other parts of the menu.  Everything on the menu is literally a family favorite for summertime cuisine!  This menu is perfect in every way in our house!  I’ve shared them all in times past, but let me tell you about it –

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I usually always make a Teriyaki Marinade for our steaks because it makes them THE BEST EVER!  Spinach Salad has a crunchy element of Water Chestnuts, some boiled eggs, bacon pieces and is then topped with a dressing that is a cross between Catalina and French dressing.  Yum. Every now and then we step into the unhealthy realm and make our family’s favorite Golden Onion Rings.  Again, they’re just the most delicious recipe ever, yet very easy to make.  Lastly, dessert consisted of another family favorite – Fresh Strawberry Pie.  In case you haven’t made any of these, or if you haven’t made these recipes in a while, let me share the links so you can put them on your menu soon!!

Teriyaki Marinated Steaks
Golden Onion Rings
Spinach Salad
Fresh Strawberry Pie

I was too involved with the guests to get good pictures of the food,
but here’s a little peek…

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Dessert’s grand appearance was the Pie!

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My “centerpiece” may seem a little odd to you, but let me explain – I wanted all three of my girls represented on the table.  The Yankee Candle has a label on it with my oldest and youngest daughters pictures on it!  A sweet friend gave that to me for a Mother’s Day gift and it touched my heart so much!  Not only did it represent the girls, it gave a pretty ambiance to the table and it smells wonderful!  Then the little pink rose in the bud vase and the porcelain baby shoes were to represent our second daughter, Ashley.  She’s rejoicing in heaven, and we’ll join her before long!!

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Our youngest daughter and her husband were here with us for supper, and I got to talk to my oldest daughter and my mom on the phone, so that was wonderful!  Even though we had some of our favorite foods, the people we got to be with were the best part of the meal!

What was the best part of your weekend?

With love,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

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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 30-Minute Meals for Sunday

Happy Monday and Post #4 about Successful Sunday  Dinners!

I’m posting late today because I got home from Michigan very late last night and couldn’t finish this post until today!  I can’t wait to tell you about my special weekend, but let’s move on with Sunday dinner!

Today I’m going to give you some 30-minute meal ideas for Sunday’s. Sometimes having a meal in the oven or crock pot isn’t feasible, so these menus are a great option!

Things to remember when making 30-minute meals:

  • As with any other menu, you should still prep anything ahead of time that you can. You may even reduce the time to under 30 minutes!
    • Marinate meat
    • Chop veggies
    • Get ingredients together so you can grab them easily
  • Set the table ahead of time.
  • Find make-ahead sides
  • Make a dessert before-hand, if that’s part of the menu

Here are some ideas to get you thinking…

Stir Fry – Stir-fry is cooked very quickly, making it great any time you’re in a hurry. This recipe for Orange Chicken was new to me and we loved it! I used her Original recipe she mentions, because I wanted lots of orange flavor!  It was super good! This picture does NOT do it justice, so please try it anyway!!!

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Recipe from The Gunny Sack
  • Brunch foods
    • Waffles – How about making these waffles up ahead and freezing them.  Then after church, toast as many as needed and having all kinds of fruit toppings for them!  Add a side of bacon and you have a great meal!
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  • German Pancakes – These are a nice twist on regular pancakes and they are soooo good!

So, step out of the traditional Sunday dinner mold and fix a new kind of menu for your family after church.  This could become a family tradition that everyone prefers!  It’s certainly one they’ll all enjoy! Who doesn’t love waffles and pancakes?!

I hope these dinner ideas are helpful for you.  Let me know if I’m aiding your abilities, or if I still need to address other areas for Successful Sunday dinner!

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 pxf

(L)Oven Monday – Three Steps to a Successful Sunday Dinner

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Happy Monday, friends, and welcome to the beginning of the posts to help get you ready to prepare a  Sunday dinner that provides for the needs of your guests, is delicious, and ready in a hurry! Thank you to so many of you who shared your Sunday dinner struggles with me!  I’m going to try to help you solve those difficulties as we touch on this subject for the next several Monday’s.

Today I want to lay out the three steps that are crucial for your Sunday meal to be a success.  What constitutes success? I believe it’s the three things listed in the previous paragraph – a meal that

meets needs,

is delicious,

and on the table quickly.

But that doesn’t happen all by itself, of course! I need to start by saying, anything that is worth doing, is going to take effort and it’s going to take being intentional.  There is work involved, but it’s so worth the efforts!  Here are the three crucial things you need to consider so that your Sunday dinner will be a success:

  1. Ponder the needs – That simply means that you must consider what the needs of the day are, your budget and what your guests will need.
    1. Is there a time constraint?
    2. Do you only have xxx amount of dollars to feed a crowd?
    3. Is there a dietary need – ie. Gluten-free?

      Consider whatever needs are necessary – A baby that will need to be fed, a child will need a nap very soon, someone with low-blood sugar will be shaky at this point, etc.  Then, considering those needs, you move to #2.

  2. Plan the menu – Considering your needs, you can now pull out this blog’s Recipe page, your Pinterest boards, your cookbooks – whatever will help you find a menu to meet those needs.
    Determine how extensive you want the menu for Sunday to be.  If you’re not into the routine of fixing a fresh meal for Sunday, I’d encourage you to start with a simple menu – a Taco Soup in the crock pot, some tortilla chips, and a dessert like the pie linked here, or go with something super easy like a purchased Angel food cake and fresh strawberries.  Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Take baby steps. 
    My recipe page has a list of 30-Minute meals, but if you wait until you get home from church to even prep those things, you are going to be frustrated, so stay tuned for #3.

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3. Prepare ahead – I can’t tell you how important this step is!  As early in the week as possible, start preparing.  The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be!  Consider doing these things ahead of time:

  1. Prepare the table.  Set the table – The family will know that something good is on the way!  Even if you can only do it after breakfast on Sunday, do it before you leave for church.  If everyone can eat breakfast at the kitchen island, set the table on Saturday night.
  2. Prepare Foods.  Make ahead anything that can be made ahead of time!
    1. Salad – I love frozen salads for this purpose, also green salads without the dressing can be made the day before.
    2. Dessert – If you were serving Angel Food cake and berries, make the sure the berries are washed, sliced and ready ( or thawed from their frozen state) on Saturday night.
    3.  Vegetables – Peeling potatoes and putting them in water overnight will make them ready for the crock pot.  If you’ll need onions, get them sliced and put into a ziplock bag.
    4. Dishes and pans – On Saturday night, set out the crock pot you’ll need, or the pan for the roast chicken.  Have them out on the counter and ready.
  3. Prepare an hors d’oevre – Make something ahead of time that everyone can snack (lightly) on as soon as you get home.  This is especially wise if you have little children that are fussy and need something to eat right away!  Make life easier for you and them and make something they can munch on while you get dinner on the table.  It could be something as simple as crackers and peanut butter, celery and peanut butter, apple slices, tortilla chips and salsa.  Set out little plates and limit the little ones, so they’ll be ready to eat dinner, of course, but this will make them much happier while they wait.

So, there you have it – Ponder the needs, Plan the menu and Prepare ahead.  These three steps will get you on your way to Sunday dinner success!

Can I give you a challenge for next Sunday?  Do one thing ahead of time – perhaps set the table, or prepare an hors d’oevre, or get the vegetables prepped on Saturday, and see how much smoother Sunday dinner is next week!

Next Monday we’ll talk about some specific meals that are doable for prepping ahead and eating very soon after getting home!  This will include Crock Pot entree’s and sides!  Be sure to come back so you don’t miss any tips!

Which of these three steps of success is the most difficult for you?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

The Best Sunday Roast Beef

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Coming home from Sunday services to a home cooked meal that greets you with wonderful, enticing aromas when you walk in the door is a gift from heaven.  Everyone is starving and no one wants to wait for long meal prep.  It’s great to have a sure-fire way to cook a meal so it will be ready to eat when you get home. I have a solution for you!

Roast Beef platter

This recipe has been my favorite way to cook a roast for lots of years.Also, if you’re not great at making gravy, this recipe is a blessing because it makes its own gravy!   You could use any variety of beef cuts – Chuck Steak, round roast, whatever is on sale.  The technique is the same, but you may just need longer cooking times for larger pieces of beef.  

Here’s the recipe:

Sunday Roast Beef Dinner
Roast beef
Oil
Carrots – However many you need for your group
Potatoes – ”
Lipton Onion Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Water or broth

Directions:  Add a couple tablespoons of oil to a shallow pan and sear the meat (cook at  high temperature just to brown and caramelize a crust on the meat.) You could even do this part the night before!
Place roast and vegetables in a crock pot.
Spread undiluted soup over roast, icing it like a cake!
Sprinkle Onion soup over the mushroom soup and vegetables.  Add a cup of water or chicken or beef broth.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Beef
Before cooking

Serve meat and vegetables with the gravy in the crock pot.

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You’ll be the woman of the year for anyone who eats this meal with you!  It makes the meat flavorful and moist!  Sunday dinner problems are solved.  You’re welcome!  😉

What did you have for Sunday dinner yesterday?

With love from my country kitchen,