Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hospitality

I thought I'd post a devotion I wrote which was published on First Baptist's Brandon (FL) website for the Women's Ministry back in 2005. So, please indulge me.


Hospitality

Luke 10:41-42 – But the Lord said to her, My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about… (NLT)

I don’t have a green thumb. I read an article that said plants can improve the air in the home, so two years ago in a surge of optimism I bought two. As I brought them into the house my husband asked, “What are those for?” to which I replied “I felt like killing something.”

Now, I’d like to be able to tell you that they are still improving the quality of air in my home, but that would be a lie. They’ve returned to the earth “from whence they came,” sad to say.

My father, on the other hand, can plant a toothpick and grow a tree. In his wisdom he suggested I buy a pineapple plant. He had several that were producing fruit and felt even I couldn’t kill those. I bought two.

I rationalized that the pineapple was the symbol of hospitality and I envisioned a “bumper crop” of luscious fruit at my front door. Who am I kidding? I was told I couldn’t kill it, and that was all I needed to hear!

I think of Mary and Martha and I’m afraid I identify with Martha way too often. I believe that Martha loved Jesus just as much as Mary and in her heart she was doing her work for Jesus.

I can just picture myself in her place: table set, plenty of sweet iced tea or water, a two-liter Pepsi in the ‘frige…just in case. I must have the perfect dessert, and they need to have a gift so I should make something to send home with them. The list goes on, but frankly I’m making myself tired just writing about it. All of that work when all her guest really wanted was her company. Martha was entertaining. Mary showed hospitality simply by welcoming their guests into their home and spending time with them.

How wonderful that the symbol for hospitality would be a plant not requiring a great fuss. So many times we confuse hospitality with entertaining.

To entertain is to impress someone while hospitality is from the heart. Often we as women think we have to have the right house, right food, right clothes, everything just perfect and we pass up an opportunity to share the joy of Jesus with someone.

Just like the pineapple plant, hospitality doesn’t require much fuss and work, only availability.

Father, help me remember that “doing” isn’t as important as “being.” Help me to practice hospitality and remember that it’s my heart that people want to see.

© 2005

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cheesy Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

I have to share this recipe!!! I've made this several times and have gotten so many requests for it that I thought I should post it here so everybody can try it. This is my absolutely favorite recipe right now! I use a low fat cream cheese just to make it a little healthier, since I don't use that much Parmesan cheese in this recipe, I don't skimp on that. LOL but Please, try it and let me know how ya liked it! PS - the last time I made this, I made the chopped tomato topping (bottom of recipe) ahead of time, and forgot to take it out! Don't do that, because it's too good but I had it on top of my salad the next day, and the next! LOL.

Creamy Tomato-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1 lb. skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)


¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
8 oz pkg. cream cheese softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (NOT packed in oil)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (the shredded kind – not that can stuff!)
Cooking spray
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Place chicken breasts in a freezer zippered style plastic bag (I use freezer because they’re thicker). Using rolling pin, meat mallet, or whatever you have on hand, whack that thing good and flat.
Sprinkle evenly with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
Mush the cream cheese up and stir in the minced garlic, and dried tomatoes. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over 1 side of each chicken breast, leaving a ¼ inch border. Sprinkle ¼ cup basil and Parmesan cheese evenly over breasts; roll up jellyroll style, and secure with toothpicks if needed.
Arrange in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from oven and let stand 10-15 minutes.

TOPPING:
Stir together the plum tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ cup basil. Serve on top of chicken.

I'm linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays
and Tuesdays at the Table

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just a reminder, that the "Comfort Foods" Food Challenge recipe swap will be going on for September too. There are several recipes already submitted! Just e-mail the recipe to me (aunt.nette@gmail.com) and if you take any pictures, that's always a plus! Here's the link to view 'em... http://sites.google.com/site/auntnette/comfort-foods-food-challenge.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday trip to St.Augustine

The hubs and I just decided to go up to St. Augustine for Friday night and came back Saturday. Got a chance to go back to my favorite restaurant for dinner, the Sunset Grille. Thanks to (hurricane) Bill, the whole eastern seaboard had some gnarly (did I really say that?!?) waves! The wind was blowing me 'round too, but I love the water and waves so had to get close. Hubby took the picture of me while I was just admiring it all.
Lucky for him I didn't know that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just a little apron madness



Re-Purposed Tablecloth



Ok, I realize that in order to show a before and after picture you need the before. I know that...now. I forgot to take a picture before I started "re-purposing" a tablecloth I found at a thrift store. But a tablecloth is just a piece of flat material anyway, right? (excuses, excuses). I thought about a ruffle at the bottom, but opted out. Since it's a tablecloth linen, the fabric is thicker than just plain old cotton and the ruffle just didn't "look right" to me. Anyway, just sharing what I've been up to.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trash To Treasure Find

Know what this is, or rather, was ? Sure ya do! It was the back of a chair.


I love to "re-purpose" things and wish I could say it was my idea...it wasn't. I was in my favorite local antique store last week and saw this hanging on their wall (for half price!) I might not have been the originator, but I did have the perfect "purpose" for it! (smile). From above... to this:

I'm such a textiles nut and this gives me a really pretty way to display some of them, don't ya think? Here are a few more pics of where I have it located...for now! (smile)

Notice I forgot to move the folding chair?!?
(ROFL)

Monday, August 17, 2009

FOOD CHALLENGE "Comfort Foods"

I cannot believe how fast August is slipping away! Here it is and I haven't even announced the theme for this food challenge! This time it's Comfort Foods, and it will be going on during August AND September! Same deal...you e-mail me your recipe (aunt.nette@gmail.com) and I'll post it on my website and at the end a winner is picked! What is your comfort food? It doesn't matter what it is, sweet, savory, out of a bag, whatever... Keep checking back at the website to see the new recipes posted. I try to post the recipes the same day I get 'em.
http://sites.google.com/site/auntnette/comfort-foods-food-challenge

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We have a winner!

Alrighty! We have two winners! In my randomness of putting the recipes into a bowl and picking one, I pulled out two at the same time and just couldn't throw the other back in the bowl so we have two winners. Each get a cookbook. Both of these are from Cooks Illustrated. If you're familiar with their magazine, they put out a pretty snazzy magazine and even have a TV program on WUSF at 11:00 am on Tuesdays. BUT, since we only have the basic cable and not digital, we don't get WUSF anymore. Anyway, I digress... The winners are: Darlene for her Smothered Enchiladas and Maryann for her Mexican Lasagna. Congrats ladies! You'll be receiving your prizes shortly! If you haven't and want to check out the recipes, click here: http://sites.google.com/site/auntnette/food-challenge---july

Now for the next challenge: COMFORT FOODS. This challenge will be two months. August and September, but don't wait until the last of September to submit your recipe! LOL .
Whatever your comfort food is. Doesn't matter. Sweet, savory, snack, whatever. Just so it's a TNT recipe (Tried-n-True).

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