Monthly Archives: July 2013

Italian Salad Dressing

1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley

Mix in a jar with a lid. Let sit in refrigerator for one hour before serving.

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

This is a recipe that can be prepared using premade and frozen chicken nuggets and broth for a quick meal.

Chicken Nuggets
Chicken Broth

1 bag frozen chicken broth
2 bag frozen chicken nuggets
9×13 casserole dish Longarberger baking dish
1 cup grated cracker barrel sharp cheddar
1/2 to 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms rinsed

Thaw nuggets and broth in refrigerator.  In dish, layer nuggets first, then mushrooms, then grated cheese.  Pour broth over all.  Bake at 350 for at least 30 – 40 minutes until browned on top and liquid has been mostly absorbed.

Chicken Broth

1 organic whole chicken
1 yellow sweet onion
2 to 3 cloves garlic
enough water to cover whole chicken

Place chicken in large pot or Dutch oven with water to cover. Peel the garlic cloves and the top layer of the onion and add to pot. Boil until chicken is very tender and done (180F on meat thermometer).

Remove chicken from broth. Put pot with broth in the refrigerator, leaving in garlic and onion for about 24 hours until fat rises to top. Strain fat away, remove onion and garlic, and place broth in freezer bags. (About 1 cup to a bag).

Debone chicken and chop. Measure one cup chopped chicken into freezer bags. Use in soups, casseroles, rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy.

Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes

1 lb fresh green beans cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8 cup sweet onion, diced
1/8 tsp olive oil

Put everything into large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until desired doneness.

Scrub 4 small sweet potatoes and place in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until tender when poked with a fork. Skins are edible and healthy. Serve with butter.

Chicken Nuggets

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into nuggets
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder, and or 1/2 tsp paprika

Mix dry ingredients together, coat nuggets. Place 1 sheet parchment paper on cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Double recipe. When baked and cooled, place 1/2 in freezer bag and freeze for next week. To cook, place frozen nuggets on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes.

I Surrender All

On the morning that my husband, Tom, died, I asked to be alone with him before they told anyone else. I went in to him and I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know how I will make it without Tom, but would You please show me each morning as I am waking up what You want me to do that day…”

Before he would leave for work, Tom would always tell me what he needed me to do for him that day and then he would wrap his arms around me and pray for me! After Tom’s death, I asked Christ to be my husband and the father to our children so I needed the Lord to tell me each morning what he wanted me to do.

On the Monday morning after Tom’s death, when I was waking up, I knew what I was to do. After breakfast, I called Duke Power and made a change to a program where we pay a set amount for electricity for 11 months. On the 12th month, either I pay Duke or they pay me depending on how much I am under or over the amount. Then, I had the cable and internet shut off and changed our phone plan to just a house phone with no caller ID or call waiting and a block on long distance.

I let our cell plan go and I changed it to a cell plan with only $10 monthly usage and no contract. Then I only gave the number to my children. It was turned off except when I was in the car so they could reach me.

Three months later after I had gone through our emergency fund, I got my first check from Tom’s retirement with the State. I understood why God had prompted me to take the actions before. There was a delay–the check should have come in 4-6 weeks, but it came after 3 months. That’s when I realized that my income had dropped by 70% over what we had received in September before my husband died.

The biggest blessing was that Tom died with no debt! Because he not only believed in living the economics that he taught, he was very careful with the resources God put in his hands. He always obeyed Titus 2 and we lived it out as a family.

We decided that I would come home after Josh was born. Every year since we were married, he told me what I was to do if he died. The first time he talked to me about this was just weeks after we were married and it scared me to death. I called long distance to my mom. When I told her what he told me, she said, “Mary Beth, he is an economist and he will do this every year of your marriage. He is a planner. So honor him and reassure him that you will do as he wishes. Then, he will be able not to worry!”

Two days before Tom died, he told me I was not supposed to go back to work if anything happened to him. Like every year, I promised that I would obey his wishes so for the three years since his death I have been home. The blessing of no debt helped me be able to do what I promised. I cut back our living 70% and there were wonderful things the Lord has taught me and our children during this time.

Tom had other things in place so that it wouldn’t have been such a drastic drop, but my age, the losses in the economy and other things that he trusted would be there, weren’t.
But Christ had a different plan, one to teach me about greater trust–that now Christ was our provider, protector and defender. We would see His mercies anew every day!!

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
-Judson W. Van DeVenter