Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Meal Plan

I know it has been several weeks since I have posted a meal plan. With Shane gone I am not as active in the kitchen. We still have family dinner with my brothers and friends once a week but the rest of the week the girls and I usually go for soup, salad, cereal, yogurt or apple sauce. Since this is such a big food week I thought I would let you in on some of my plans.

I was just about to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday but that is not really true. If it was Easter I would probably say the same thing. The truth is I just love holidays in general. I love getting together with friends and family. I love the food that accompanies holidays. I just love everything about all holidays.

This year, as we do most years we are going to spend Thanksgiving day with my Uncle Harold and Aunt Rita's family. This has been a tradition in our family for many years. I can only remember one or two Thanksgiving dinners that we were not together. Aunt Rita make a fabulous, traditional dinner. This years I will be adding to the dinner with corn casserole and green jello salad. I may also put together a little appetizer of artichoke cheese dip, mmm! I just can't wait for our Thanksgiving together. Plus Shane is coming home for a few days which is a bonus for us.

Another tradition that I started last years is, what we call, Thanksgiving Re-Run. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I prepare a Thanksgiving dinner at our home. We invite family and friends (especaily those who do not have a family to celebrate Thanksgiving with) to our home and just enjoy food, fellowship and more food. This is what I will be preparing.

Brine Turkey
Real Mashed Potatoes
Corn Casserole
Cranberry sauce - I am trying a new recipe this year Cranberry sauce with honey and rosemary
Orange Jello salad - just for Derek
Stuffing - I have never made this before but am going to attempt
Delicata squash - Roasted, smothered in butter, a bit of real maple syrup and toasted pecans.
Pumpkin pie
Apple pie
Pumpkin Cheese Cake - for Jenni

I hope and pray as you prepare for your Thanksgiving Holiday that you will be reminded of all we have to be thankful for. We have been blessed beyond belief.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Comfort Food

I have been so thankful for the chilly weather we have had the last few weeks. I love fall, the colors, the temperature and most of all the comfort food that comes along with this time of year. When I talked to Shane the other day he was saying how much he enjoys the comforts of food (being a foodaholic myself, I can relate). Since he is eating cafeteria food right now he especailly misses my cooking. He said that he had to go to the PX to buy some junk food just to feel it's comfort. Guess he misses home. In honor of comfort food I thought I would post my favorite meat loaf recipe. My uncle Jack gave this recipe to me years ago and I use it often.

Italian Meat Loaf
1 1/5 lbs ground beef (or mixture of ground beef and sausage)
1 1/2 c. finely chopped onions
1 c. quick-cooking rolled oats or bread crumbs
2/3 c. ketchup
2/3 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 c. shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
*Kneed the mixture with your hands until everything is well blended. Do not overmix.
Fill the loaf pan with the meat mixture, mounding the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the meat is firm to the touch and has shrunk from the sides of the pan or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the load reads 160 F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Pour off the excess fat and let stand for 15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I need to catch up

It's been a little crazy around these parts...I have neglected to post these last few weeks. So, here is an update. Recent pictures and happenings at the Maher home.

Hadassah with her Great Grandma Dykstra. Recoving from surgery is much sweeter with a little 3 year old.

The girls with GG

My smiley girl

Hadssah's hair cut. I love the little bob.

Angle Kelsea and Princess Hadassah on the saddle at the Harvest Party.

First time cute!

Our little Pumpkin

My cute girls in the leaves

Hadassah not quit sure about the dirty leaves.

An almost toothless grin

Hadassah on the train going out to the Pumpkin Patch

Me and my sweet little girl

It's all about the Pumpkins

Hmmm...precious little girls

Our family...

I hope that in some sense you feel caught up on our lives. God continues to bless our family as we look to him to direct our path.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A friend of mine sent this over to me on Facebook and I found it so convicting and thought I would share it with you.

Pray for Our President and Our Nation

Whether you voted for Barack Obama or John McCain, whether you’re recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today’s a good day to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

And the new President will surely need our prayers because he and his administration face huge, serious challenges to the health of our nation and to peace in the world—challenges that, in my opinion, neither he nor any government on earth will have the power to overcome without divine aid.

How has America come to this point? Why is our economy on the brink of disaster? Why is our culture so utterly depraved?

I can only think of what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. “I recall,” he said, “hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.”

Solzhenitsyn was right. Indeed, I can’t find any better explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we are in. We have forgotten God.

We have also forgotten that American democracy—indeed Western Civilization itself—is the product of the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and humanity. Without that revelation that man is created in the image of God, our founders never would have recognized the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, as I and others like Rodney Stark have argued, modern science and education, liberal democracy, capitalism flourished in Western civilization precisely because of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

The attacks on Christianity these days are only going to intensify in the months ahead. But we must press on all the more to make a winsome witness. Those who would banish Christianity from American life are risking the very survival of American society.

Friends have asked me whether this economic crisis is God’s judgment upon us. I don’t know.

As I’ve re-read the Old Testament prophets recently, I couldn’t help but notice the recurring theme: The people of God turned away from Him and worshipped false idols. The result was always disaster.

Is God responsible for credit markets collapsing around the world? No. We’re responsible. Because instead of worshiping God, we’ve worshipped false idols of the marketplace, credit card companies and cheap mortgages. We’ve put our own appetites over our duties to God and neighbor.

So this is no time for Christians to go into the bunkers. No time to wail or moan over our retirement plans. This is a time to repent, to pray more, to give more. It’s a time for Christians to lead, encourage, and minister to a faltering country in a faltering economy.

This is a time for the Church to get serious about Christian discipleship. Enough cheap grace.

So pray for the new President and his administration. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, this is a time to love our neighbors and to hunger for God and His righteousness.

Charles Colson on Politics and Christian Faith