Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · Seafood

Honey-Lime Shrimp

shrimp 1a

When Kroger recently put shrimp on sale, I know we were soon in store for a fast, scrumptious seafood dinner!  I went searching for a great recipe to make this meal really special.  When I saw the word, honey in the ingredients for this dish, my heart jumped.  I absolutely love this special condiment!  Lime is also called for in this dish, and its tartness added the perfect balance to the sweet honey. This sauce over the shrimp is perfect.  Oh yum, we were not disappointed! Continue reading “Honey-Lime Shrimp”

Cooking · dessert · Dinner · grilling · main dish

Catfish Sandwich and Easy Dessert

The meal I’m sharing today reminds me of childhood, only we’re going to take something simple and make it a little more special!

I love fish, but I especially love a fish sandwich!  I recently tried a Cooking Light recipe for…

Catfish Sandwich a

It was as amazing as it sounds! I used frozen catfish filets and we grilled them.  That alone added a great flavor to the fish, and of course it cooked up in no time.  This peanut sauce takes it up a whole new notch, adding great flavors to the sandwich!

Also, I don’t often make dessert for us on a weeknight, but for this meal, I wanted a little something sweet afterwards.  So, I did a flashback dessert, making a pudding parfait.  Again, it was bumped up a whole notch by doing two things:

  1. I used the new natural flavored Jell-O Pudding mix.  Have you tried them?  The Vanilla and chocolate have both been really, really good, and I’m not usually a fan of the instant varieties!
  2. I made fresh whipping cream instead of Cool Whip!  Yum.  The end.

Let’s get on with the recipes!

Catfish Po’boy with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce



  • Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Catfish:
  • 1/4 cup Thai chile sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 (6-ounce) farm-raised catfish fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 4 (2 1/2-ounce) hoagie rolls, split and lightly toasted
  • 2 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage

To prepare sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Add hoisin sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, and sugar; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

Prepare grill or broiler.

To prepare catfish, combine chile sauce and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add catfish; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Place fish on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Spread 1 tablespoon sauce over bottom half of each hoagie roll; top each serving with 1/2 cup cabbage, 1 catfish fillet, and top half of roll. Serve immediately.

Catfish Sandwich

Sometimes we overthink dessert. Why not do a simple dish like pudding and make it a little more special with fresh whipping cream and a berry!

Pudding Parfait

Mix up a package of Jell-O pudding. Let set until firm (about 5 minutes). Then you can either layer the pudding and the whipping cream, or you can line the dish with the cream and put the pudding over the top…Pudding in a Cloud!

I add a little powdered sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it.

Top with a strawberry!

pudding 1

A fish sandwich and Pudding…it doesn’t get any more reminiscent or delicious than that!

Do you remember this pudding dessert as a kid?  

With love from my country kitchen,

Family life

The Perks of Family Dinner


I believe so much in Family Dinner that I think I could almost make myself preach a sermon about it (except I don’t believe women preachers are biblical)! So instead, let me write yet another post about its importance.

One reason I started adding recipes to my blog was so that I might encourage women that they could prepare a little ahead of time and have a nice Sunday dinner for their family. What’s the big deal any way? Why does it matter if we sit down and eat at the table versus everyone grabbing their supper and heading to the television or couch?


  • Family dinner creates unity in the family. Everyone seated together unites your heart as you share the meal, the table and the experience.
  • Family dinner makes memories. There are multiple kinds of memories – food, stories told, laughter shared, even delicious aromas.
  • Family dinner enhances good manners. When you’re seated together at the table, loving instruction and example can be shared about the proper use of utensils and of etiquette.
  • Family dinner gives time to work together as a family. Setting the table properly, learning to prep food, clearing the dishes, loading the dishwasher, washing and drying dishes all need to be done by all the family. Start with small tasks and lead up to greater ones as the children mature.
  •  Family dinner creates time to connect with one another. You can learn a lot about the day’s happenings when seated at the table.
  • Family dinner is a great time to introduce new foods to your children. Ask that everyone take one spoon and give it an honest try.
  • Family dinner is a great time to pray and share burdens. Pray for the meal before you eat, but then if someone shares a burden or hardship from the day, stop and pray.
  • Family dinner creates a family bond. “Be home in time for dinner” creates in the heart of each child a place where they belong.
  • Family dinner is a great time for children to bring home guests. Allow your child to invite a friend from time to time. All the reasons above will remind you why that’s a good idea!

A little structure is needed. I would suggest:

  • Everyone gathers when called.
  • No one leaves the table unless asked to be excused. Being excused is at the end of the meal, not to randomly get down and go play, then come back and eat a bite, then go play…
  • Pass the food, teaching to take some and leave enough for everyone to be served.
  • Try to keep things relaxed. Teaching manners shouldn’t be scolding constantly, but a gentle reminder. Lift your napkin to your lips and say your child’s name to remind them to put their napkin in their lap.

Mom, it’s really up to you to create the atmosphere. Try:

  • Using cloth napkins (they’re economical and pretty, and far more sturdy than a paper one!)
  • Add a centerpiece. Flowers from your yard, a bowl of fruit or a candle will do nicely!
  • Turn on soft music to quiet the atmosphere. If you can’t hear the music in the background, someone’s being too loud at the table. =)
  • Use your “good dishes” sometimes. Don’t save them just for company! Your family are the most important ones that will gather at your table!
  • Plan your menu so you can prepare ahead of time. Everyone likes to know what they’re going to have for supper!

So, there’s my sermon!

What do you love about Family Dinner? What makes it difficult to make this happen at your house?

With love from my country kitchen,

Dinner · Family life · Parenting

Parenting = Teaching

Every parent has days in which they want to turn in their Parent Button.  Were you there yesterday?  Are you there today?  Trust me, a whole room full of women just nodded their heads with you.  Parenting isn’t easy, but it is a blessed opportunity to teach.  Really, I think teaching is the primary responsibility of every mom and dad.  You find yourself as the mom doing hundreds of other things like playing, reading, fixing meals, breaking up sibling quarrels, bandaging hurts, shopping, preparing them for school, picking up after everyone, rocking to sleep, giving baths, and on and on, but we must realize that with each one of those responsibilities, teaching is at the very core of every one of them.

When you’re fixing a meal, you can bring your children in and let them assist you. Yes, it will take you twice as long and make three times the mess, but it’s a great teaching time! The little ones can help set the table, wash fruits and vegetables or help roll out dough.  Older ones can learn to use a vegetable peeler, can mix ingredients and do some simple baking.  Pre-teens can learn to take on a whole meal themselves.  Each one can also learn to help in the clean up, progressing as they age.  By the time a child leaves home they should be able to put a meal together by themselves from beginning to end because of what you have taught them in the kitchen.  I’m not just suggesting that they take your place in the kitchen – have them in there with you.  What sweet times you can have as you work together – talking to them and listening to them while you work.  What better way to apply Deuteronomy 6:8 than while working in the kitchen?  

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

I heard a radio broadcast recently where a woman said that when she got married at 19, she had no idea of what a wife was supposed to do.  She and her husband got married, had a brief honeymoon, then he had to get back to work.  He left her at home to head to his job.  She sat on the floor of their apartment, surrounded by boxes of their new wedding items, and played Solitaire all day until her husband got home.  He walked in, looked at all the boxes, still packed, and asked, “What’s for dinner?”  “I don’t know” she answered.  “What’s for dinner?”  He didn’t think she was funny, and she didn’t like that he came home with expectations!  She said she had no clue what to do, now that she was married.  Evidently she had always been used to her mom taking care of everything and she’d never learned how to be a homemaker.  Mealtime is a huge teaching opportunity for us, moms!

What can you do today to begin the training in just this one area in your children’s lives?  Don’t let them grow up being lazy and dependent on others.  Teach them today that work to be done – even in the kitchen – is good work, profitable work and must be shared by everyone. This isn’t just for girls…guys will benefit from learning these tools too! Your child’s spouse will thank you some day!

Here are some suggestions for things to teach in the kitchen:

  • Set the table – Make a paper place mat and draw where the plate, glass and silverware to.  The little ones can use the drawings as a guide while they learn.
  • Make a salad
  • Empty the silverware from the dishwasher – Start little ones emptying the silverware
  • Help gather ingredients from the pantry or refrigerator
  • Clear and clean the table
  • Assist with menu planning
  • Make toast or waffles in the toaster
  • Make lunch

Do you have other suggestions?  Tomorrow we’ll talk about another area of training – training in discipline.

With love,