Sides for a "Big Feed"

Sides for a "Big Feed"

When entertaining large groups, we have a favorite go-to comfort food: smoked pulled pork. To be honest, THAT is a secret recipe but I will tell you that it involves, brine, rub, and about 14 hours in the smoker.  However, I am happy to share two of our favorite side dishes which help make this meal a real feast.

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Creating Community at the Table

Creating Community at the Table

When I was in high school, I had the privilege of being an exchange student in Munich for a month. My host family, the Pfeifer’s, introduced me to what became my favorite meal there, raclette. It was so simple that it was genius. It consisted of boiled potatoes, sliced cheeses, seasoned salt and the essential raclette maker. So, what is it, exactly? A raclette machine is a two-tiered electric appliance. The top has a griddle that can be used for cooking or just keeping things warm. The lower tier has a heating element and individual non-stick trays. You simply put slices of cheese on your tray, melt them in the machine, pour that over your potatoes, then sprinkle it all with seasoned salt. A certain someone in my life thinks you could just stand next to a microwave and get the same result. If your desired outcome is melted cheese, of course he is right. But I don’t get the same sense of community by waiting in line at the Radar Range. (Yeah, that dates me.)

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Garden Themed Brunch

Garden Themed Brunch

Recently I was part of a committee at church that was tasked to give a brunch in honor of a ministry we whom we partner. We had table hostesses to make people feel at home and great programming that fit the theme. For the rest, we did have a budget, albeit slim, but enough to do something beautiful to honor these special people. This is what we did.

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Party Buck

Getting The Most Out Of Your Party Buck

When you go to the “discount” party store, do you almost pass out at the cost of the paper goods, decorations, and party favors? I am always shocked how much I can spend on themed merchandise. If you have felt the same way, I have some budget-friendly ideas that will help you create a festive atmosphere for happy kids.

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Plan ‘B’ Birthday Party

Plan ‘B’ Birthday Party

What do you do when your outdoor children’s party is under threat of being rained out? This is a question that can make parents shudder in terror and children sound, what I call, the horn of disappointment (you know, that nasally ‘Awwww’ sound with an accompanying sulky, slow walk followed by tears). Since for many, postponement is not a desirable option, here are some last-minute ideas for a good plan ‘B’. By the way, the reason I am covering this topic right now is because this is actually my current situation for child number four.

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Birthday Cake Shortcut

Birthday Cake Shortcut

Are you intimidated by the prospect of making your child’s birthday cake? I know the feeling. About 14 years ago, I just got sick of my ideas not coming to fruition because I was lacking some basic cake decorating skills. I ended up taking a course to improve but that’s not for everybody. So, for those who are not terribly confident of their skills in this area, I have a shortcut for you.​​​​​​​

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There's No Place Like Home

There's No Place Like Home

Do you ever want to host something but think your house just won’t be good enough for it? I challenge that thinking with an old saying, “There’s no place like home.”  I have been to events, like baby showers and birthday parties, that were held at churches or activity rooms. But I have to say that I much prefer the atmosphere in homes. There is a certain amount inherent warmth and comfort in them that is not present in large halls, which sometimes bring to mind chirping crickets. It is also much easier to make a home look festive. Of course, there are space limitations but not everything needs to be inside and you don’t have to host 50 people.  

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