1- 8 oz. can of tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
1 – 4 oz. can of mushrooms
1/3 c. Favorite barbecue sauce
1/4 c. cold water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Steamed rice for serving
In large non-stick skillet, brown meat in oil. Drain. Place onion rings, green pepper and garlic in crock pot. Place meat on top and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add beef broth, tomatoes and their juices, mushrooms, and barbecue sauce and cover. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Combine cold water and cornstarch and stir into stew. Cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Serve over steamed rice. Serves 6-8.
I recently hosted a dinner party at our house and it took some advance planning, shopping, and thought. As a mom of two little ones, SIMPLICITYis the key in my life. Here are a few tricks I learned along the way….
*Make it Personal. Don’t be afraid to throw in your personal style to your entertaining. And please, use what you have, don’t go buy a whole new kitchen. Guests enjoy seeing eclectic pieces put together. It gives your event a more casual and homey feel. Its your house, not Pottery Barn!
* Know your Guests. Have a list of who’s coming to help estimate food, drinks, etc.. a week or two in advance. This will help you shop as you go and not wait till the day before to pull everything together from the store. Also, do as much as possible ahead of time! You don’t want to be mincing an onion while you talk to your guests in the kitchen!
* Let your Inner Hostess Flow. Those tricks you read about in a magazine or saw someone else do at their event…here’s your chance to shine! Do something different to make your home sparkle. Hang lights around your deck or porch, light candles, use slices of oranges in your water. Make it fun! Your guests will feel special that you took the time.
* Be a Conversationalist. Tuck some fun conversation starters in the back of you head. Generally, asking people questions about themselves is a great place to start and you can naturally roll from there. Later on, you may find an opportunity to slip in a comment about your faith, your church or a recent example you saw God working in your life. You just never know what kind of response you’ll get but I guarantee it will stick with your guest. Plant those seeds!
This post was written by Yvonne Lingo. She’s a wife to Brad and mom of two little girls. She has a passion for using her home as a place for friends and family to gather and enjoy a good meal and conversation. She lives with her family in Charlotte, NC.
How can summer be ending? Didn’t we just start? Buckle up folks because school is starting! The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to meet new people, and spread Christ’s love from your home.
Here are 5 ways & tips to reach out to friends and neighbors in the carpool line, at the bus stop and passing in the hallways.
1. Host a “back to school” brunch during the first week of school. Invite parents from your child’s class over for a simple brunch while your kids are in school. A great way to get acquainted with those you’ll be seeing on a regular basis around your child’s school.
2. Invite over neighbors you meet at the bus stop for cookies after the first day of school. Let the kids play while you connect with others. You never know who you might be living across the street that you’ve never taken the time to get to know.
3. Throw a good ole back to school bash for your kids and their friends. Have some easy finger foods, fun music and games in the back yard. A great way for you to meet your kids friends (new & old) and make them feel welcome in your home. Allow your hospitality to be tinged by Jesus’ love.
4. New moms orientation party. Seasoned moms can reach out to first time preschool or kindergarten moms to encourage and support as they adjust to the highs and lows of dropping little ones off at school or putting them on the bus. The start of school can be an emotionally difficult time for first timers and a cup of coffee with some words of reassurance is sometimes the best way to ease an unsettled heart.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
5. Use some handy dandy old school supplies in your decorating. Use paper clips to create rope perfect for triangle bunting. Make that lunchbox into a container for some popcorn cups, turn binder clips into sign holders and use apples and books as decorations. Have fun!
It’s summer! And August means, it’s hot! Nobody needs an excuse to enjoy some ice cream. Invite over a neighbor or two and enjoy a cool summer treat together. Get the scoop on their lives, find out their favorite summer vacation spot. Make it fun, invite the kids over too! Here’s the scoop on the modern ice cream social:
+ Dress up your cones with fun paper wraps. *Free at BHG.com/Cones
+ Tuck a few mini marshmallows in the bottom of cones to help stop drips.
+ Put a few fun toppings (gummy bears, chocolate chips, fresh fruit) in colorful small bowls or even better, disposable bowls from Target!
Remember, your gathering doesn’t need to impress. Keep it simple and full of fun!
Tomorrow we celebrate our great country. Please write on this blog how you celebrated and share ideas others can use next year or perhaps on Labor Day weekend. Include picnic recipes and patriotic decoration ideas. Then spread the word about Entertaining for Eternity. Let’s motivate others and show them how easy it is to have folks in their homes.
Nothing could be easier than having some friends over for Dessert on the Dec/Users/Nan/Desktop/strawberries on tray.jpgk and serve fresh strawberries on a store bought angel food cake. Whip up some whipping cream or squirt on some store bought whip. Put out some chocolate syrup too if you like but keep it simple sweetie. Focus on building relationships and invite the Lord to come and see what He does in the conversations.
Daily Bread’s devotional today speaks to us today of heavenly hospitality’s attitude. “In the face of intimidation ad fear when seeking to engage others with the gospel”, remind yourself that your guests who do not know the Lord are His lost treasures and count it a privilege to follow Him into their lives.
Last I was having lunch at a restaurant with a girlfriend. We told the waitress that we would be praying over our meal and wondered if she had anything we could pray for? She asked us to pray for her best friend who also used to work at that restaurant. She had just lost her baby at 9 months and was grieving greatly. We empathized with her and told her we’d pray for her and her husband. The next time the waitress stopped by our table I told her to take her friend to see “Heaven is for Real” when it comes out next week. The third time she checked on our table I told her about how the little boy in the movie told his parents he met his sister. His parents were shocked because they never had told him that they had a miscarriage. At that, the waitress was visibly moved and said the story gave her goose bumps. I looked and sure enough she had them. (smile). She was very excited and assured us that now indeed she was going to run out and buy the book and read it before going to the movie.
Pray that all three of them go and come to know our Savior. Also be thinking of ways you can encourage someone to go or take them with you. I’ve already made plans to take another widow friend next week.
Using Jesus Film for Children have a “Celebrate Jesus: Home Party for Children” showing a wonderful film about several children living near Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. These kids experience relationships very much like children today and they observe Jesus along the way. The children in the film discuss all the usual questions that anyone, even adults, would ponder about him. In the process they discover who he really is. It’s the easiest evangelism anyone could do because the children in the film do it all for you. All you have to do is invite the neighborhood kids in and turn on your TV. Go to the web site and download your invitations to print. There are also lots of other easy ideas on the web site. Throw in an Easter egg hunt to add some extra laughter. Then watch the Holy Spirit move the hearts of the kids as they watch your TV. Their parents can even stay and watch too if they like. Who knows? Perhaps a whole family will come to Christ because of your party. Be sure to share your results on the blog comments later.
This simple learning tool can be used at your family dinners during Holy Week or at your Easter Brunch or dinner when you’ve invited seekers. It gets everyone involved and tells the story of what Jesus did for us. Collect your basket items and print out the companion verse cards ahead of time. Pass the basket around the table and have everyone take an item along with its matching verse card. Then have the cards read in order as the item is held up. Children love this and the gospel is presented.
Here’s what you’ll need to collect for your basket:
Cross or large nail or spike
Fake palm greenery
Matzoh cracker & Communion cup or wine glass
Crown of thorns made from rose bush clipping
Strip of white fabric (grave cloth)
1. Palm Branch – Mark 11:7-10
2. Perfume sample or bottle – Mark 14:3-8
3. Communion cup or wine goblet and or Matzoh cracker – Mark 14:12-15, 22-24
4. Crown of thorns – Mark 15:17-20
5. Large Nail or spike or Cross – Mark 15:24-28 (Passing around a railroad spike is often very moving)
6. Strip of cloth to represent the linen grave cloth – Mark15:44-46