Valentine’s Weekend Recipes- Sunday

This is a continuation of our Valentine’s Day Weekend Recipes.  On to our last day- Sunday.

Sunday- 

Breakfast- Since many married Christians have church on Sunday mornings, I chose something super simple to make.

‘ I Love You’ Waffles (recipe from ‘A Little Tipsy”)

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Ingredients

Bisquick Pancake Mix (plus whatever ingredients are typically needed, as stated on the box)
Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix (plus whatever ingredients are typically needed, as stated on the box)
Whipped Cream

Directions

1. Mix up Bisquick and Cake mix separately according to package directions.
2. Mix together 1 part prepared cake batter to 4 parts Bisquick batter. (Ex- 1 cup Bisquick to 1/4 cup cake mix)
3. Pour in Waffle Maker and cook as usual.
4. Top waffle with a whipped cream heart and enjoy

Lunch

Spaghetti with Sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes (recipe from skinnytaste.com)

spaghetti-with-chicken-and-grape-tomatoes

Ingredients-

2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
cooking spray
1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
8 oz spaghetti (high fiber or low carb) I used Ronzoni Smart Taste
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil 

Directions-

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2.  Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.
3.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
4.  While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well.
5.  Serve and top with good grated cheese.

Dinner- Beef Filets with Portobello Sauce (recipe from TasteofHome)

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Ingredients

beef tenderloin steaks (4 ounces each)                            
1/2 cup dry red wine or reduced-sodium beef broth                            
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour                            
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth                            
1 teaspoon each steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup                            
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard                            
4 ounces fresh baby portobello mushrooms, sliced                           
1/4 teaspoon pepper                            
1/8 teaspoon salt                            
1 tablespoon minced chives, optional

Directions-

1.  In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown steaks on both sides over medium-high heat. Remove and keep warm.                             
2.  Reduce heat to medium. Add wine or broth to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits; cook for 2-3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Combine flour and broth until smooth; whisk into the pan juices. Add steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard. Bring to a boil.                          
3.  Return steaks to the skillet; add mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°).
4.  Sprinkle with pepper, salt and chives if desired

Dessert- Strawberry Mousse Cream Puffs (recipe from feedingmygiant)download (2)

Ingredients- (For the Puffs)

2 3/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups water
1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter
4 large eggs

Directions- (for the puffs)

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
2.  In a heavy saucepan, heat the water.  Add the butter.  When melted, remove the pan from the stove and add the flour mixture all at once.  Beat with a wooden spoon, then return the pan to medium-high heat, beating the mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan.  Continue to stir until mixture forms into a ball with glossy coating (3-5 minutes).
3.  Remove the ball of dough and place into a mixing bowl. 
4.  Add the eggs one at a time to the dough beating with a wooden spoon or hand mixer in-between additions to mix well (I prefer the hand mixer method).
5.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip with the cream puff batter.  Squeeze out 3-inch puffs, about 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet. 
6.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.  When done, carefully slit the side of each cream puff with a knife or poke the tops with a toothpick to allow steam to escape and to prevent the puffs from becoming soggy inside.    Transfer to cooling racks and let cool.

Ingredients- (for the strawberry mousse)

2 tablespoons water
1 (1/4-ounce) packet unflavored gelatin
8 ounces strawberries, washed, hulled, and cut into large dice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup heavy cream 

Directions- (for the mousse)

1.  Place the water in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface, and stir to combine; set aside.
2.  Combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir to coat the berries in the sugar. Mash the berries with a potato masher to release their juices, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are falling apart and the juices have thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl.
3.  Pour the strawberry mixture into the strainer. Using a rubber spatula, push on the solids and scrape the underside of the strainer until all of the liquid is extracted; discard the contents of the strainer. Immediately whisk the gelatin mixture into the strawberry liquid until it’s dissolved and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the clean bowl of the stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer.
4.  Place the cream in the chilled stand-mixer bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 minute.\
5.  Give the strawberry mixture a quick whisk to smooth it out, add the whipped cream a quarter cup at a time, folding gently into mixture in between each addition.  Fold just until no white from the cream is visible. 
6.  Transfer the mixture to a large resealable bag or piping bag.

Assembly directions-
1.  Cut the cooled puffs horizontally.  Fill the bottom half of the puffs with strawberry mousse.
2.  Replace the tops and dust with powdered sugar, or top with favorite chocolate topping.
3.  Serve immediately

 

5 Love Languages- Physical Touch

Phsyical Touch
‘A man should fulfill his duty as a husband, and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife, and each should satisfy the other’s needs’~1 Corinthians 7:3
(This post is a continuation in the series on Gary Chapman’s ‘The Five Love Languages’.  For the intro post please follow this link. – http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/)
If your husband is someone who has a primary or secondary love language rating of physical touch, he feels emotional connection through being touched.  This love language is not just with the intention of sexual intimacy.  This means anything from a hug to a pat on the arm, these things bring him emotional fulfillment. Here is a blurb on physical touch from the five love languages website…

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.’

I used to have a good friend who is an orthodox jew.  We worked together in a school setting and were a little bit excluded from our coworkers because of many of our convictions, especially about sex.  One day, we went out for lunch and she shared something very powerful with me.  She shared with me that Jewish people are taught about how powerful touch can be, which is why she is so careful about it.  She gave the example of a waiter or waitress, explaining ‘when you have a waitress who is taking your order and walks away, you feel no connection to them.  They are your waitress.  That is it.  If they take your order, and then touch your shoulder or pat your arm while beginning to walk away, suddenly they become personal to you.  It is a natural reaction.’  That really effected the way I viewed touch from then on.

I was a member of a homeless ministry with my church’s youth group where we would go and visit the homeless people at the local ferry terminal, bring them food and care packages, and spend time with them.  About a year after that talk with my friend, I felt great compassion for a woman I was speaking to and rubbed her shoulder.  She broke down crying to me, saying that it was not uncommon for people from different hospitality ministries to come and feed them and speak to them, but no one would ever touch her.  She said that for the first time in years, she felt like a human.  This is the power of touch.

Scientifically, touch in a relationship is proven to relieve stress and reduce phyiscal pain.  Within a marriage, touch is a bonding agent, producing intimacy and connection.  It causes the feeling of safety, unity, security and more.

To crave touch and not receive it can be hurtful.  If a man initiates touch, and it is met with hesitance, this can cause rejection, which can breed a plethora of other issues.  He could even potentially feel like a freak or a pervert.  This is not ever how we should cause our husbands to feel.

It may not be your love language, and you may even feel mildly uncomfortable about being touchy-feely,  One of my best friends does not like touch, but since most of her friends have high ratings for physical touch in their relationships, she constantly makes an effort to embrace us physically, going out of her comfort zone.  She cares so much about her relationship with her friends and is willing to put her preferences aside to bond with us, and we appreciate that so much.  How much more should we sacrifice for our husbands?

Challenge-

For this next week, try to go beyond yourself and give your husband the touch he desires.  Initiate it.  Try for a week and come back and report how it effected your relationship.  Here are some things to try out-

Hug him spontaneously
When passing him, touch him
Cuddle him
Hold his hand
When sitting next to him, allow your elbows or knees to touch
Play footsies with him
Do “do’s” (gently running your fingertips over his arm, or behind his neck)

Extra points for-
Laying hands on him while you pray over him
Give him a full body massage
Initiating sexual intimacy

I am praying that this produces good things in your marriage.  Please come back and let me know how it impacted your relationship.

~Sarah

Five Love Languages- Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad’ ~ Proverbs 12:25

(This post is a continuation in the series on Gary Chapman’s ‘The Five Love Languages’.  For the intro post please follow this link.  https://wifeafterchrist.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/five-love-languages/)

So, your husband’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation?  Here is a little blurb on that taken from the Five Love Language website…

‘Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.’

I think most people would agree that hearing a word of encouragement can lift their spirit.  People with words of affirmation as a primary or secondary love language, however need more of this than usual.  We thrive off of it, and sometimes lose confidence without it.

I do not envy the calling to be a husband.  God has called them to be the leader of the household, and has given them the natural instinct to protect and provide for their family.  This is a heavy burden to bear.  As a wife, our job is to aid them in their journey, and to encourage them.  God’s word says that the power of life and death are in the tongue and to someone who thrives on words of affirmation, this could not ring truer.

I have done some thinking, researching and praying about this.

Challenge-

Here is a good challenge for you, as a wife to try out… Over the next week try to say as many words of encouragement to your husband as possible.  Make a conscious effort to stop nagging, and appreciate what he does, and let him know that you appreciate him.  Come and report back the difference you can see.  Here are some examples to get you started…

  • I love being around you
  • You are so attractive to me
  • Thank you so much for doing that
  • I love you
  • I feel so safe with you
  • I am so glad you’re home
  • You handled that so well
  • I love that I can trust you
  • I miss you
  • You have grown so much since _____
  • You are so gifted in _____
  • You’re right
  • I am so proud of the man you are

Also, bonus points for those who…

  • Leave little notes with encouragement around the house
  • Call him to tell him you appreciate him (that’s it)
  • Text him encouragement
  • Pray over him

I am excited to hear how this impacts your marriage.  Please, come back and report on how it went!

~Sarah

Five Love Languages- Introduction

You may have heard of Gary Chapman’s book ‘The Five Love Languages‘.  It is an analysis of your emotional communication preferences.  There is a survey you can take which will help you determine how you prefer to receive love.  People give and receive love in many different ways.  Usually, people give the love that they want to receive.  This can often lead to frustration and strain within a relationship, because partners will often have differing emotional communication preferences, and not always be aware of how to meet their significant other’s needs. It is even possible that at one time, you were fulfilling each other’s needs, but no longer are.  Over time, your primary love language may change.

For example, in only two years, my primary love language shifted from the highest possible score for Physical Touch (12) which is now my 3rd love language (8), after Words of Affirmation (11) and Quality Time (9).  I was blessed with an observant husband plus the freedom within my relationship with him to communicate my needs, so the shift was met with ease on both parts.  I was still so happy to actually see myself changing, instead of just feeling different about physical touch, I was able to see my preferences and sort them out.

There are five main love languages.  They are:

Words of Affirmation

Physical Touch

Acts of Service

Quality Time

Receiving Gifts

Date-Night-In Idea…

I would recommend taking this test, and having your spouse take it as well.  Read and talk about what their needs are, and how you can fulfill their needs better. Don’t be afraid to express your needs, allow yourself to be vulnerable to your spouse, even if they are surprised by the results.  Communicate with them, and allow this test to be the ice breaker.  I recommend taking the test alone and then coming together to discuss the results. Pray with your spouse that God gives you the ability to communicate love for your husband the way he needs to receive it.  Here is the test link, it is free and only takes a few minutes.

  http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

My next few posts will be addressing these love languages, along with giving ideas as to how to meet the needs of your spouse in these areas.  Please, follow along.  Be blessed.

~Sarah

Night In Recipe- Spinach Artichoke Chicken

I love hosting.  I love having friends over, cooking for them, planning an awesome night, and everything that goes with it.  It is one of my passions.
Last week, I had a few of Jon’s friends over.  They are heavy eaters, and I didn’t have much prep time or budget for the night.  I had chicken breasts that I bought in bulk the week before in the freezer, so I decided to go onto my pinterest and find some chicken recipes.  I found one that seemed amazing, so I decided to make it.  Here is it, Reposted from AddAPinch.com
Spinach Artichoke Chicken Recipe
Spinach Artichoke Chicken Recipe from addapinch.com
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
35 mins
Total time
45 mins
 Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • olive oil spray
  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 13.75 oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Spray baking dish with olive oil nonstick baking spray.
  2. Place chicken into baking dish. Salt and pepper chicken and then bake 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients and then pour on top of chicken. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  4. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.

I made white rice, placed a good amount on their plate, added some of the sauce from the baking dish on top of the rice, and then placed one piece of chicken on top of that.

It was AMAZING.  This meal is one for the history books.  The guys flipped over it, and thank God, we had enough for everyone to eat as much as they wanted.  I would highly recommend it.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

~Sarah