Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: January 13th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie
Every year our church does a week of prayer and fasting - this is a time where we focus on our spiritual need for God using a physical need as a reminder. People are free to fast as they find appropriate - all are encouraged to drink water at the very minimum and fasts range from food (either no food just drinks, or water only, or drinks + fruit and veg, or any number of specifics from there) to social media / tv / phones, etc. The point isn't legalism but a reminder of our need for God - a reminder that I know for me, is very important to have. It's a perspective shift every year. 

This year I am choosing to drink beverages (water, tea, coffee, juice) & eat only fruit. I'm not a fan of fruit and I find it generally makes me hungrier than not eating anything but it seems wise to have some calorie intake since I cycle to and from work, and eating fruit is something I'm trying to get better at. It's Monday and I have had an apple, a banana, a grapefruit and an orange. I'm quite hungry but not angry the way I am when I don't eat at all. And I find that by inviting my God into the day and my food decisions I am feeling a peace about the day in a way I don't always. 

Because we have students though we do need to provide food at home. So I came up with a plan for lunches and dinners that wouldn't drive me batty, cooking without getting to eat. Most days I will throw a crockpot meal in that the students can serve when they're hungry. Though of course I'll smell it, I won't actually have to slave over it, phew! 

Upcoming week: 
Monday: Mexican Pie leftovers
We have TONS of leftovers from the weekend so Monday's lunches and dinner was easy - Mexican Pie! A big hit and easy. 

I'm glad this is an easy meal as I need to cook two big batches of soup tonight to give to a friend for her program in the downtown eastside - Turkey Noodle Soup & Chicken Taco Soup. I picked easy but tasty soups, and plan to be in bed by 9pm - I find I need more sleep when fasting. 

Tuesday: Hearty Chili Mac
I'm throwing the Hearty Chili Mac into the crockpot for the household and that means I get to not think about it again all day. Win! For our night we're hosting lifegroup, without food. I'll provide hot and cold drinks though, to keep people warm and hydrated during their fasts. We're adding extra worship part during the normal dinner part of the night (we're so blessed to have a bunch of the worship team in our group) and then having a time of prayer and discussion. 

Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff
Another easy crockpot dinner, especially as for both nights I already have ground beef cooked up in my freezer. For the night I'm hosting Women at Prayer. So the women of our church are invited over for worship and prayer - again I'll have lots of hot drinks ready...fasting makes people cold!

Thursday: Chicken Taco Soup
Thursday night is my sister hang out night, so with no dinner to rush through (the students will help themselves to this Taco Soup) I can head over when her kids are done eating (and not a moment sooner, by Thursday seeing food is torture).

Friday night is always my favorite of the week - we meet for a breaking the fast celebration, we talk and tell stories of what God did - we worship and pray and come together as a community in amazing ways. Then people go off in groups and eat - heavenly, heavenly food. All in all it always ends up being one of my favorite nights. 

Board Game Extravaganza. We have a few friends who love board games as much as we do - most people get kind of bored or don't take it very seriously, but these friends...they get it. So we're having them over to play board games. All night. Three tables at once so we can all be playing awesome competitive board games. Feel free to judge the geekery of it - I'm fine with that as I will be having an awesome time. Games, friends, drinks and Mexican food. It's going to be awesome.  

Sunday: YOYO
This Sunday we have a crazy day - it's ministry sunday at church, so I'm running a womens ministry booth. Then it's Foundations, a bible study we're going through with some friends at church. Then it's a lifegroup leaders meeting. Basically we leave for church at 3 and will return around 9pm. Busy busy. So we'll be grabbing food to go between Foundations and the LG Leaders meeting. 

In Review:
Monday: Chicken Pot Pie
We had our two awesome friends, Laura and Charlotte, over for dinner and they loved my Chicken Pot Pie. This recipe makes the cook look like such an overachieving homemaker and yet it is so simple. We had a great time with Laura and Charlotte - and played a rousing game of "President" with them and Duncan. Then they chatted with me while I made lunches - I love the company!

This meal so easy to make - I mean I got home at 5:30 and had it in the oven baking by 6:30 - that's dinner for 20 ppl in one hour. BUT on top of that it got rave reviews! This time I added some sundried tomatoes to the sauce and that seemed to be well received. Being done by 6:30 meant I got to spend 20 minutes reading in my room and resting. Thank you Jesus!

Then lifegroup happened and it was awesome - great conversation, great prayer - we were having a going away for our friend Alicia and that was fun too. I'm so proud of our group - seeing how they let God use them and make hard decisions and ask tough questions. It's an honor to be in lifegroup with them all. There were 22 of us for dinner (though at the last minute 2 didn't show up due to sickness). We keep growing and growing!

Wednesday: Dry Garlic Ribs from Costco, Roasted Vegetables & Baked Potatoes w. fixings.
At the last minute I decided to throw out the plan for Taco Soup and remedied the craving I was having for the above meal. It was awesome - and our house was pleased. After dinner I went to my room to read in bed. Then I had a hot bath. Then I went to sleep. It was heavenly. 

Dinner was quick and easy and met with huge approval. I was out the door on route to Jenna's on time and got to spend a lovely night with my nephews and with my sister. 

Friday: Leftovers
I used leftover creamy chicken mixture and mixed it up with cream cheese and monteray jack cheese and rolled it in tortilla's for some cold wrap bites - so tasty! I used leftover mexi-rice and mixed that with Rotel and velveeta and made a wicked queso dip. I served that all with guacamole, sausages and crackers and boursin and crackers. Great snacks for the house and some of our housemates friends that joined (Yay for Sammy and Kait!)

Friday was a great day - I spent the morning visiting with my dear friend Lindsay. Then I popped over to Costco and Superstore to grab fruit for the week of Prayer and Fasting, and then spontaneously stopped in to visit Helen, a friend from church. I got home around 2:30 feeling rested and productive. Then I took a few hours to make enough Mexican Pie for Sunday morning (feeding 8 ladies and 3 guys seperately), Saturday evening (feeding 12 family members) and two sets of leftovers (each feeding our household of six). The leftover ones went into the freezer, the two sets of mexican pie went into the fridge downstairs and then I worked on the appies I mentioned above. 

At 7 we headed out to our friends, Prakash and Kathleen's, house. We ate more food with them, and were joined by Nick and Laura. We played Pandemic (the worlds longest single game, I'm sure) and Bonanza (a first for me, and I loved it) and headed home around midnight, with an early morning and a very raining night it seemed prudent to leave at a reasonable hour.

Saturday: Chicken & Crab Bubble Up with Roasted Veggies
Saturday morning we were up bright and early for an 11am wedding for Rainbow and Hao. The wedding was beautiful and genuine - it was so sweet to see them so in love. Not only was the wedding beautiful and touching but the guest list was filled with awesome people. I had a blast talking with different friends in attendance and enjoying an inside day with them, while the rain pummeled away outside. 

After the wedding we headed home to get ready for the rest of the day. We had a brief nap to recharge and then got to it. I was supposed to be making Cordon Blue Bubble up but realized I'd forgotten to buy Swiss cheese and ham - so instead I decided to make a version of Chicken Alfredo Bubble Up. I didn't have alfredo sauce, but I did know that I could make a tasty cream sauce and I had leftover Boursin cheese to add to it. It ended up so tasty, and I threw in some shredded chicken and some crab meat that I had. Tasty Tasty. 

Dinner was with our good friends the Saffolds, and we played board games afterwards as well. It was a lovely, relaxing night. 

Sunday: Mexican Pie x2
Sunday I had the ladies of the Women's Ministry Planning Team over for lunch. I served the mexican pie with mexi-rice and chips with guacamole and salsa/sour cream. They loved it and our meeting went really well. We are planning our upcoming womens retreat and as we prayed and sought God on themes for the time He showed up in big ways. Plus we had fun planning. 

Then it was off to a meeting before church, and then church (I hosted) and then a quick dash home to grab the rest of the Mexican Pie, mexi rice, etc dishes and head out to Surrey to celebrate my step-mother-in-law's birthday. Carol always feeds all us kids so we wanted to make sure she didn't have to do anything on her birthday. I made the main dish, and the rest of the siblings organized a place to host, drinks and dessert. It was a lovely night. 

All in all a busy weekend, but one filled with great friends and more rest than expected!

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