(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

A New Veggie Side!

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“Brussels Sprouts?  Are you kidding me?!” is what I would have said if you would have told me that I had roasted a new veggie in my kitchen!  I had never eaten them before that I can remember, but I’ve seen Ina Garten roast them, and as she is want to do, she made me think I’d like to try them!  Then recently while out for lunch with friends, I got to try their side of Brussels.  Yum!! They were delicious!

Being the Aldi’s fresh vegetable fan that I am, I went there hunting for the green delicacies.  Wow!  I found them super affordable for a bag.  I came home and searched on Pinterest for a recipe that sounded delicious.  Roasting in Olive oil at a high temp until the greens are caramelized, and then adding Balsamic Vinegar and honey pretty much sums it up.  I considered this recipe a success, and I’m sticking with it!  I found it on Once Upon a Chef‘s site.  Thank you, for sharing, Chef!  

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Be sure not to overcook them, I’ve read that this is key to the difference between delicious and really bad!  Take off the outer leaves that are tough.  Aside from that – I’d just say Give them a try! 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Honey

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved, stems and ragged outer leaves removed*
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the brussels sprouts to baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  3. Place brussels sprouts back in bowl. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve.
  4. *If you have some brussels sprouts that are very large, cut them into quarters. They should all be cut about the same size to ensure even cooking.

As I understand it, they’re not usually available in the warmer months, so hop to it and grab some before the Sprout Season is gone!

Anyone else  love Brussels Sprouts?

With love from my country kitchen,

The Real Reason for Supper

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All this week we’re going to talk about a subject dear to my heart – the Supper table.  From the why’s to the who, and the how – we’re going to discuss it all!  If you have any questions or comments about things you’d like to hear about, please let me know in a comment here!  Let’s get started today with the why of supper!

My husband was gone for a few days last week and I missed him greatly!  On the day of his return, I wanted to make a nice supper for him, even though it would be a little later than we normally eat.  I knew he wouldn’t have stopped for anything, and he’d be hungry!  

I could have just warmed up soup or made sandwiches, but I wanted the meal to communicate something to him – I missed him.  I was thinking of him.  He was worth the effort it took to prepare a nice meal.  Supper is more than just filling our family’s bellies.  It’s about letting them know that we care for them.  It’s about taking the time to sit at the table and chat.  It involves reaching across the table for their heart – not just the bowl of mashed potatoes!  So this is why it was important to me to make a nice supper for my husband’s homecoming!  I had a message to share!

Here was my menu:

Short Ribs
Wild Rice Mushroom Bake
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Parkerhouse Rolls
Ginger Cookies

I wanted the ribs to be really tender, so I did them in my pressure cooker.  It only took 15 minutes – which is incredible!  Because I was using my oven for the rice dish, it made it easier for me to cook them this way.  I followed these instructions.

We love broccoli, and though I usually just steam it, I thought I’d try roasting it.  I used Ina Garten’s recipe with Parmesan Cheese and garlic.  Roasting it  gives it a different kind of texture – a little crispier than steamed, but it was good!

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Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

The Rice & Mushroom Bake was a nice change from potatoes.  This is an old recipe my mom shared with me years ago.  It makes a lot – so I have some in my freezer for another day.  It’s creamy and delicious.  

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Wild Rice Mushroom Bake

Saute one onion and cup of celery in a half stick of butter.  Add 2 cups of beef broth, one cup of sliced fresh mushrooms and a box of Uncle Ben’s Rice.  Bake 45 minutes @ 350 degrees in covered dish.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

We don’t often have dessert on a weeknight, but you have to make something special for a homecoming meal!  The Ginger cookies are his favorite and I’ve shared them here.  I bake the large size for 11 minutes and it makes them just soft enough to be perfect with a glass of milk or cup of coffee!

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I encourage you to think about what your meals are communicating to your family.  No matter if it’s you and your children, you and your husband, or a whole table full of people.  Make your supper meal an occasion – not just food.  You’re making memories around that table, so make them delicious and special!

With love from my country kitchen,