Monday, February 5, 2007

A Fun Saturday Night

We are still trying to figure out exactly what we want this Blog to be. It would be easy to share pictures and stories of Ella every day, but that sort of bragging could get boring to you readers pretty quickly. I think my intentions are to give you a glimpse into our daily lives and give you something you find worthwhile reading. With those 2 goals in mind, here is a post describing our Saturday night.

One of the things we are daily thankful for is the blessing of friends. This may sound simple, but when you are in the ministry it is actually hard to find real friends. Sure, there are the people who invite you over for Sunday dinner from time to time, but what about people who you call on the phone just to talk? People you hang out with on weekend nights? People you plan big outings and excursions with? We know, being a pastor and pastor's wife, it can be hard to make deep connections with congregation members and find these types of people--the people who will be your true friends. Well, at this church we have found them! Some of our favorite friends are Sara and Arend. Mostly we play games with them, but we've skied, hiked, wake boarded, and just had good conversations with them also. On Saturday night they came over for dinner and a continuation of the game night we started the week before. Some of our favorite games to play with them are strategic, thinking games like Settlers of Catan, The Ark of the Covenant and our new favorite-- Ticket to Ride. We are so thankful to find friends from the church with whom we have such a great time and share so much in common.

On Top of the World: Dave, Jen, Arend and Sara 2 years ago when we made it to the top of Half Dome!

So, to do something a little different (and this would fall into the "giving you something worthwhile to read" category) I am going to share the recipes from the dinner I made Saturday night. All were very easy and pretty tasty. I hope you try them and enjoy!
Mandarin and Almond Salad
Handful of almonds, caramelized (I do this by heating them in a frying pan with butter and brown sugar then spreading them on wax paper to dry and harden)
Small can of mandarin oranges
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bunch of green leaf lettuce, chopped
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp black pepper
Italian Chicken
(Feeds 2-3, double recipe for company)
1 6 oz. box long grain and wild rice
3/4 cup water
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (Italian style)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. minced garlic
1.5-2 (uncooked) chicken breasts cut into strips
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of mozzarella cheese for sprinkling
In a 2-3 quart dish, combine water, rice, seasoning packet, tomatoes, 1/2 cup mozz, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano and garlic. Stir well. Top the rice with chicken strips and sprinkle with remaining basil, oregano, Parmesan and mozz cheese. Bake at 375 degrees, covered, for 45 minutes then uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.
Four Layer Brownie Dessert
1 package chocolate brownie mix (and ingredients to prepare it)
1 package (4 oz.) chocolate pudding (and milk to prepare it)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese softened
1 cup chocolate chips
1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip
Chocolate sprinkles
Prepare brownies according to package directions and bake. Prepare pudding and refrigerate. Combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and chocolate chips in medium bowl and beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Set aside. Let brownies cool completely then evenly spread cream cheese mixture over brownies. Spread pudding mixture over cream cheese mixture. Spread Cool Whip over pudding. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Refrigerate until ready to be served.

1 comment:

karen said...

those both sound delicious! Thanks for sharing these, Jen!