Tuesday, October 24, 2017

what's for dinner this week

I wrote this type of post last week, and it was a hit, so I decided to do another one.  Who doesn't ever need dinner inspiration?!  I know I always do, and maybe this will motivate you to make dinner for your people tonight. 

First up on the list is the cornbread I posted a before picture of last week.  I had a few inquiries about the recipe, and though I never use measuring instruments when making this, I will try my best to write it out. 

You will need a muffin pan.  Before you start mixing all this together, put a tablespoon of Crisco into each muffin slot.  Put that to the side, and when the cornbread is all mixed together, you will put that pan into a 425 degree oven and stand right there with it.  All you want to do is get the Crisco nice and hot, without burning it, so do not leave it unattended!  This takes one or two minutes.  This step achieves the crunch that is so good in cornbread.  You'll hear a sizzle as you pour, and that is exactly what you want.

Mix together:

2 cups of Martha White self-rising corn meal (make sure it's white and not yellow, the yellow is sweeter)

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tsp of salt

1 egg

milk ~~ I can't say for sure how much of this you will need, but let's start with a cup.  As you mix this together, you will see how thick it can be.  I like the consistency of the batter to be like that of pancake batter that is not thin.  (Does that make any sense?)  It needs to be pour-able, but not thin and watery.  You can add more milk as needed, so go slow with this step, and determine how much more you need as you stir or whisk.

You will pour all this into that hot Crisco and bake at 425 degrees for about ten or fifteen minutes, or until golden brown.  It depends on your oven, but last week, mine was done in twelve minutes.  I made jalapeno cheddar cornbread last week and I did all the same steps as above, but into each muffin slot that held the cornbread batter, I added some cheddar cheese and four jalapeno slices from a jar.  It stuck to my pan, though, so, beware.  It wasn't pretty, but it was AMAZING.

I'll be making this again this week when we have Cajun 15 bean soup one night.  (That is probably going to be Thursday night's dinner.  I'll also add some smoked sausage to this, because not all my people love bean soup.)  This is a bag of dried beans that I buy at the grocery store, and I follow all the instructions on the back.  (Debi~you should try this!  It's not hard.)  About the dried beans, it's easiest if you do an overnight soak of the beans.  The instructions are on the bag for this as well, or there is a quick version, in case you forget like I did last Wednesday.  It worked just fine.

Last night we had an all-time favorite of my boys: chicken/ritz/poppy seed casserole, Sister Shubert's yeast rolls out of the freezer section, and Italian style green beans that are the Allan brand.  I add a tbsp of butter to my canned green beans and cook them low and slow for almost an hour.  That eliminates the tin taste from the can.  

The casserole is easy.  I used a rotisserie chicken, one large can of cream of chicken soup, one large container of sour cream and a couple of tbsp of poppy seeds.  I mix all that together into a 9x13 dish, then top with two sleeves of crumbled Ritz crackers.  I cut up little chunks of one stick butter and place those pieces on top of the Ritz crackers and bake it at 350 for thirty minutes.

Tonight we're having an epic version of broccoli cheese soup that is from Edie Wadsworth over at Life In Grace.  Click HERE for that recipe.  My advice for this recipe is to double it, AND DO NOT SKIP THE NUTMEG.  It heightens all the flavors of the soup and makes it the best you'll ever eat.  People ask me to make this all the time, and it is Noah's all time favorite thing of all the things I make.  So tonight is for him.  

About dinner last night, when I started making the plans to make this casserole for dinner, I thought it would be either just the six of us, or five of us.  Most nights, Graham goes to Rachel's house nowadays.  Imagine my surprise when we gained one more person for dinner, and then a couple hours later, another teenager joined.  So, we had TWO extra teenagers, and this is one of my boys favorite things I make, which means, there is hardly ever any leftover.  It's enough to feed us, but not really enough for extra.  But when one of their friends came in and asked what was for dinner, and when I told him, looked like a puppy dog with his big brown eyes, you invite said teenager to stay and eat.

So, this was our stack of dinner plates and forks from last night.  Right after I placed these here, I prayed over our food before it was ready, asking the Lord either to multiply it, which would be ideal, or to at least make it ENOUGH for all of us.  And, guess what?  The Lord is so gracious, as always, and He made it just enough.  (I did have the idea to serve it with rice, to stretch it a little more.)  I am so grateful that there is nothing too small or too big for Jesus.  He always hears when we pray, and I know He answered this plea of mine.  Because who wants to send away teenagers that are still hungry?!  Not me. 

I am happiest when our home and table is full.  I love having extras for dinner, and I am usually prepared to feed an army, thanks to raising all these boys.      

Happy Tuesday, and thanks for reading.  Love to all.  

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