Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oh well, We had a very Happy Easter and we hope you did too

Our Easter dinner turned out lovely.  Unfortunately we had some late arrivals and that threw me off so I have no photos to share with you.  We had a very nice dinner and lots of laughs.  You could feel our Lords presence in the room all night long.  I hope that your Easter was as wonderful as ours.

Thinking of you with Love and Gratitude this Easter Season.

He is Risen. Alleluia!! Alleluia!!

We had some early morning visitors today.

They didn't stay long.

Just stopped by to say "Happy Easter"

I have been going steadily since getting up this morning.  No lounging around with coffee today but I really don't mind because I am happiest in my kitchen, preparing food for those I love.  I have everything prepared and ready to be finished up.  I have a schedule posted reminding me what time to put each dish into the oven or onto the grill or stovetop.  The stock for the soup is in the refrigerator to be brought to a boil and the pasta added right before dinner as that will be our first course, and I will wait to dress the salad immediately before serving.  

The lamb is marinading and will be ready to put on the grill.
I adapted the marinade from a recipe that Frank's brother in law gave me.
Mix together a 1/2 c. olive oil
 the juice of one lemon
 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
 a sprig of rosemary for each rack
  1/2 c. of mint, chopped
 salt and pepper to taste
Place lamb into a deep bowl and cover with marinade.
Marinade at room temperature for 3-4 hours, turning occasionally.
(I use ziploc bags instead of a bowl)
Grill over Med-High heat to desired temperature.
(I like my lamb med-rare)

The Kielbasa is ready to go into the oven.

Along with the Ham.

The potatoes are ready for the oven.
I used this recipe but used Gruyere cheese instead of Colby-Jack.

I decided to add Baked Pineapple to the menu.

I am serving 3 different kinds of Pierogi.
In front you have mushroom, next sauerkraut and finally potato-cheese.
I use pre-made pierogi from a Polish bakery, melt a good amount of butter (I used a full cup for these 3 casseroles) in which you slightly saute the onions and pour over the pierogi.  Bake, covered at 350* until heated through. (about 45 min. to an hour.)  Print recipe

The carrots are ready to be glazed.

The Corn is ready to be buttered.

The asparagus is ready to be steamed.

Ok, it is time for me to get myself ready and get the table set before our guests arrive.  I will be back later with another post of the rest of this Joyful Easter Day.  May you all have a wonderful celebration.  Alleluia, Allelluia!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekly Menu featuring Easter Leftovers

Many of you, who follow this blog, know that unless I plan on leftovers I find that they just languish in the refrigerator until they are no longer recognizable.  So, whenever I am planning my menu, I keep in mind what will be leftover from each meal and plan other meals using those ingredients.  It saves me time, money and guilty feelings from throwing away what was once perfectly good food.

Today I am using up the rest of the chicken with which I made my chicken stock last week.

Tomorrow is can find our menu here.

Thursday we are celebrating Tingting's birthday and Friday we are going to an Elimination Raffle with the Bendas which includes dinner.

So here is my menu for the week.  Please stop by each day for photos and recipes. You will also want to join me at Menu Plan Monday where there are tons of great menu ideas.

Chicken Pot Pie

Easter Sunday

Ham and Asparagus Quiche

Try it Tuesday
Lamb Casserole

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Thursday-Ting's Birthday Dinner
Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
Fried Chicken
Roasted Red Skin Potatoes
Rice Mingle Salad
Baked Beans
Cole Slaw
Fruit Salad

Elimination Raffle Dinner

Just another Saturday

I get out of the bed for a couple of minutes and I am immediately replaced!!

I love lazy Saturday mornings.  Those mornings when there is no reason to hop out of bed until you are good and ready.  Those mornings when you can sit around, drink coffee together and catch up on life.

When I heard Mom stirring, I went up to set out her clothes and get her toothbrush ready.  When I came back...there were interlopers on my side of the bed!!!  It was pretty cute though...when I approached and said "What about me?", Princess Fiona scooted over so I would have room to crowd in.

Today should be a pretty relaxing day, all around.  I have a mani/pedi appointment at 10 am., and we have to go to Frank's sister's house because Ronnie was nice enough to pick up the pierogi for me when he was in Hamtramck.  While we are down in the City we will stop by the funeral home.  A friend of ours died suddenly of a massive stroke this week.  He was only in his early 50's.  Very sad.  

And all the more reason why we should cherish these stolen Saturday moments...because you just never know.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A change to tonight's menu

I did get my errands done today before our 1 o'clock service at church but the nail place was swamped so I just made an appointment for tomorrow at 10 am.  After our church service we came home and I started dinner while Frank cleaned the carpets.

Originally we were going to have Shrimp Scampi, Mushroom Ravioli in Alfredo Sauce and Caesar Salad but Max requested Macaroni and Cheese almost the minute he stepped into the door on Monday. Hence, the change from Mushroom Ravioli.  I also did not have the makings for Caesar Salad but I did have some fresh Green Beans.  So I am basically going to make my Garlic Green Beans and when I get to the stir fry part of the recipe I am going to add in a 1 lb. bag of thawed, frozen cooked shrimp.

 Can't get much easier than that!!
Or much tastier for that matter.

Garlic Shrimp and Green Beans

2 large handfuls of fresh green beans, trimmed
1 lb. large cooked, tail on shrimp
3 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced

Place green beans in pan with enough water just to cover.  Bring to a boil and boil rapidly until water evaporates and the beans are crisp-tender.  Add the butter, garlic and shrimp.  Stir fry until the butter melt coating the beans and shrimp and the garlic is fragrant.  Print Recipe

Still preparing for Easter

I think I may have mentioned this before but Easter is my favorite Feast Day.  I love Easter more than Christmas or my birthday or Thanksgiving or Halloween.

Easter is what makes all the rest of the days in the year worth living.  It is the day that Christianity was born.  Christmas would not matter at all if that tiny little Baby had not arose on Easter morning.  He would have just been another great prophet.  He would not have been our Lord and Savior...we would have nothing to celebrate.

Easter is a very busy time around here.  The weeks before Easter we spend extra time at choir practice, we spend extra time in prayer and fasting, we spend extra time repenting for all our sins that are nailing our Lord to the cross this day.

The Easter Triduum, celebrated by my church, began last night on Holy Thursday.

Lent is now over and the Triduum has begun.  At our parish, we start off the celebration each year with a pot luck supper after which we attend Mass.  In our church, Holy Thursday Mass is celebrated with the washing of the feet.  We follow our Lord's example and become servants to each other.  Holy Thursday is when we (the Catholic church) commemorate the Eucharist, the Priesthood and the Mass, all of which were instituted by Christ at the Last Supper.  You can learn more about Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday here.  The Mass is a celebration of Christ's life up to this point, he has not yet been betrayed by Judas, and Jesus and his apostles are all together celebrating Passover.  The Mass ends very solemnly.  We sing the Pange Lingua ( a cappella) as the Priest processes through the church with the Holy Eucharist to place it in another location until we receive it on Good Friday.  This is because we do not celebrate Mass again until Easter.  It is during Mass that the Bread is consecrated and becomes the Body of our Lord.  The Priest consecrates enough Bread at this Mass to allow us to receive our Lord at Good Friday Service also.

Today, we celebrate the Death of our Lord. Celebration sounds like a strange word for me to use when speaking of death but that is, in fact, what it is.  It is a solemn celebration, however, with a liturgical service that includes the reading of the Passion according to the Gospel of John.  We, as Catholics, fast for the 3 hours our Lord was dying on the cross for our salvation.  I will not eat nor drink, except water, between noon and 3 pm this day. Much of that time period will be spent in church contemplating a love so amazing... so divine.  You can learn more about the Good Friday Liturgy here.

This year, our Associate Pastor, is incorporating another celebration to be held this evening called the Tenebrae.  This will be my first experience celebrating the Tenebrae.  Father Robert is very pleased that the choir is helping with this celebration which begins in complete darkness and consists of 15 different psalms are chanted using the Gregorian melodies and tunes.  After each psalm a candle is lit until all 15 candles are providing the only light in the church.  It is a "funeral service" for our Lord.  I am looking forward to it.

The last celebration, for me, will be after sundown on Holy Saturday when we celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass.  This Mass will start in our parish at 9 pm.  It will last approximately 3 hrs.  We will welcome all of our new catechumens , who will receive all the Sacraments that will allow them to become full members of the Catholic church.

Easter Sunday, for me will be spent getting ready to celebrate by having a feast with family and friends. 
Frank will be singing at Mass on Easter morning.

Well, this post took much longer than I anticipated.  It is time for Nancy to arrive and for my day to begin.  
Ting informed me last night that Tony's father, stepmom and brother will be joining us for Easter dinner, so I need to make 3 more place setting eggs.  I would like to get my nails done before this afternoon's service.  I have to get the house straightened and ready for Tamie to clean and I want to steam clean my carpet in between this afternoon's service and the Tenebrae this evening.

I better get moving!!

The Glue that Binds

Today is Five Minute Friday.  FMF is a writing exercise hosted by Lisa Jo Baker of Surprised by Motherhood fame.  It is very simple.  Lisa Jo gives us a prompt and we write on that prompt for 5 minutes.  Easy. Only one must visit the link before yours and offer encouragement to one another.

Today's prompt is Glue.


Love is the glue that binds.  It is what keeps me together, prevents me from falling to pieces.

The love of and for my husband, my children, my family and my friends.

But mostly the love of God....The love so strong that today we celebrate the death of His only begotten Son.  A love that I cannot comprehend.  I can imagine loving someone enough to lay down my own life for them but I cannot imagine loving anyone enough to allow one of my children to suffer and die for them. Not for one second.

And not being able to comprehend it makes me appreciate it that much more.  It makes me want to bow down and worship my God who so loves me with all my faults, all my sins.  Sins that He doesn't see any longer because He wiped them away when He came to us as His Son, suffered, died and was buried.

In 3 days He will rise again!!!!  Alleluia, Alleluia...

But for today He loves us enough to deep is that love?.....How strong is THAT glue??