Monday, June 16, 2014

A Meal to Keep and One to Go

Our pastor gave an excellent sermon yesterday.  He talked about our influence on others, and how the way we live is so powerful.  In fact we have the power to lead others toward Jesus or away from him.  That last part should give us pause.  Our actions and words could lead someone away from Jesus...or perhaps even our lack of action!

He talked about how we certainly have a right to many things, but sometimes the right thing is to give up that right.  His example was his father, who worked Saturday nights, and certainly had the right to go home, skip church and go to bed.  Instead, his father went to church with his family, and that action spoke volumes to his son, our Pastor.

I find myself so busy most of the time, that I tell myself that I don't have time to do this other good thing. I have often helped with funeral dinners, made dinners for new mama's or friends who are sick, but there were plenty of times that I was just "too busy."  Sometimes that was a legitimate excuse, but more times than I care to admit, what I was busy with was my stuff...stuff I want to do.  That's okay at times.  I need to do some "stuff" that makes me happy.  But when someone else is hurting and I can't be bothered to take them a meal, or give them a call because I have too much "stuff" to do, well, that is an influence I don't want to leave.

I have a friend who has breast cancer.  She had a double mastectomy and started chemo two weeks ago.  I cannot, nor do I want to imagine what she is going through.  I have another busy week coming, but compared to what she is facing, it means nothing.  So today I fixed her family a meal.  She probably won't feel like eating because she had her second chemo treatment today.  But her family won't have to worry about cooking today.  I don't say this to brag. I just want my influence to point to Jesus, not away.

I decided to share this simple meal with you to.  We are a family who likes simple foods and I love easy recipes.  If it's got arugula, masa harina, or harry carey sauce, forget it.  Sorry to all the wonderful gourmands out there, but if I can't spell it, pronounce it, or find it locally, it just isn't going to happen.  I am definitely not a gourmet chef.

Having said that, I thought some of you might like a simple and quick meal you could whip up for your family, or for a family in need.  The main dish is Chicken Stuffing Bake.  I think the recipe probably originally came on the side of a name brand stuffing box.  Shhh...I use the store brands.  It is so easy to make.  Usually when I make a meal to share, I make a double portion, one to keep and one to share.  It's just as easy to double most recipes, and I'm not spending a whole lot of extra time in the kitchen.

There are only four ingredients in this dish: chicken, stuffing mix, cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups, and cheese.  I like to use shredded Colby jack, but you can use straight cheddar if you want.  The original recipe used two cans of soup with 1 box of stuffing mix, but I find it a bit too much soup for my taste.

 You mix your cooked chicken chunks, soup and cheese in a casserole dish.

 Then make the stuffing mix.  I use the broth from cooking the chicken instead of plain water, and eliminate the butter.  I just use extra broth to make up for the butter and the broth gives it a good flavor.

Add the stuffing mix on top and bake for about 30 minutes at 350.  Done.  This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated before heating.  It just needs to heat until it's hot and bubbly.

I like to cut up a fresh fruit salad in the summer when fresh fruit is plentiful.  I just used what I had on hand, which was watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberries.  I quartered the strawberries.  I'll just pop this into a Ziploc bag to take to my friend.  I also used a tin foil pan for the casserole and I will put the dessert on a pretty paper plate.  That way she doesn't have to deal with washing my dishes and getting them back to me.

For dessert, I made a Rice Krispie recipe that I got from my niece many years ago.  It is really yummy and not much more work than the original recipe, but much creamier and better tasting.

First you mix up the sugar, corn syrup and butter and heat.  I heat it in the microwave for two minutes. Then add the marshmallows and heat again for one minute.

Stir in the marshmallows until they are all melted.

Next add the peanut butter or hazelnut butter (Nutella) and stir in well.  I used peanut butter for the one I'm giving away, but Nutella for us because our son is allergic to peanut butter.

Then stir in the Rice Krispies.  I used gluten free, although I don't think the original Rice Krispies have much, if any gluten in them.

Press the mixture into a greased 13 x 11 pan. 

I use an old Tupperware hamburger press for this.  I just spray some nonstick spray on it and it works perfectly.

Finally I melted about a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with about a teaspoon of oil (you could also use butter). I poured it into a sandwich bag, then snipped the corner and drizzled it over the bars.  It was enough for two pans as you can see. Here you can see the difference between the peanut butter on the right and the Nutella recipe on the left.

Oops...someone snitched one.  Now who could that be?  Shhh!

I will share the recipes in a couple of days as I am going to be late to work if I don't wrap this up!  I'm off to deliver this meal :)

1 comment:

  1. I an copying your recipes over, Deborah. I love those easy summer recipes that you can fix quickly and don't have to fuss over. Hope you have had a great day! xo Diana


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