The Unexpected Meal {Teaching Hospitality Through Example}

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Recently, in a concerted effort to get our house sold, we decided to have the carpet replaced throughout the house. If you’ve ever had carpet installed, you know it is mayhem. Everything in the rooms of your home displaced and moved from room to room. Workers in the most intimate parts of your home…for the entire day, if you have a lot of carpet.

Ours took from morning until supper time, as we had the entire upstairs — 4 bedrooms, a loft, and 6 closets — to re-carpet. And for the entirety of our day, three men who we’ve never met, walked in and out of our closets, bedrooms, and through our front door.

Five of my young boys were home that day, and they looked on with wonder at the work being done, and the workers doing the work. These were men that didn’t dress or talk like their teachers at school or church. These were men that took breaks outside in a cloud of smoke. These were men who’s bodies were covered with images and words they don’t see on their parent’s arms and legs. These men worked hard and worked quietly, and like everyone else…had a story. And that story was now spending a day in my home.

When lunchtime came, the boys and I started hunting for what we had to eat. We landed on simple turkey and cheese wraps. My 10 year old offered to help, and while we began to make lunch, I asked him to run upstairs and get a lunch order from the men carpeting: Turkey and cheese with salsa or with mayo/mustard. I assumed they would decline and spend lunchtime away.

But, no. They all wanted turkey wraps. I listened from the kitchen, and each of them paused in surprise, and accepted.

My son ran downstairs with the most enthusiastic smile on his face. I knew what he had just discovered: The joy of hospitality. He worked diligently to compose paper plates of turkey wraps, chips and salsa, and even placed two oreos on each plate. He was delighted and proud. It wasn’t the lunch he was proud of…we’d had fancier. No, it was the delight of knowing he was about to bless some hard-working men who were in his home for the day.

One by one the men came downstairs, grabbed a plate and sat outside to eat. One by one, they came in with empty plates and thanked us for the meal. And my boy beamed.

You see, I learned that day, that our children take our cues about hospitality. Our children hear us when we say,

“We don’t have anything worth sharing,”

“That’s awkward to feed strangers,” or

“Let’s keep to our business.”

They also hear us when we say,

“Share whatever we’ve got,”

“Give with a cheerful heart,” or

“We are blessed to be a blessing.”

They value what we value and get excited about what we think is worthy. Let Christ be our true treasure; for when his is worthy, any and all who he brings to us become souls…of value.

Blessings,

Ruth

www.gracelaced.com

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 14–27

Almost-Oatmeal-Cookies-grain-free

This week’s meal plan features one of my family’s favorite sweet treats! Unsweetened shredded coconut is the secret behind the chewy texture of these grain-free “Almost Oatmeal Cookies,” which is reminiscent of the oatmeal cookies many of us grew up enjoying.

Welcome to the new Whole Food Meal Plan format that makes it easier than ever to click-over to the recipes featured. That’s because, our new meal plan graphic opens into a convenient pdf that includes hyperlinks to each of the recipes.

Once opened, you can easily save this menu to your desktop for easy access anytime you need it. Then, simply click on the links within the meal planning pdf to gain instant access to the recipes featured.

In addition to our free weekly whole food meal plans, if you opt in as a subscriber to The Nourishing Home you’ll receive The Nourishing Home Weekly Newsletter which includes a  …

  • New Weekly Shopping List outlining all of the ingredients needed to make each dinner featured; as well as an awesome new
  • Prep Day Chart featuring helpful tips and recommendations for prep-ahead tasks that make putting meals together a snap during busy weeknights.

For details about the free meal plan extras for subscribers only, please visit The Nourishing Home.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 14-20:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Sept 14-20 Meal Plan TNH

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 21-27:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Sept 21-17 Meal Plan TNH

In addition to the two meal plans above, we’re pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans. Select from the following two options:
• Meal plan template PDF

• Meal plan template EXCEL

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal PlanningMy hope is that this will be a great resource
 and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Aug 31–Sept 13

Banana Pancake Buddies

Whether it’s puppy ears, bunny ears or those famous mouse ears, there’s something magical about pancakes that look like favorite little friends.  This delicious GF Banana Pancake Buddies recipe allows you to make pancakes in any shape you’d like, and enables your family members to create funny faces for some extra special breakfast time FUN!

Welcome to the new Whole Food Meal Plan format that makes it easier than ever to click-over to the recipes featured. That’s because, our new meal plan graphic opens into a convenient pdf that includes hyperlinks to each of the recipes.

Once opened, you can easily save this menu to your desktop for easy access anytime you need it. Then, simply click on the links within the meal planning pdf to gain instant access to the recipes featured.

In addition to our free weekly whole food meal plans, if you opt in as a subscriber to The Nourishing Home you’ll receive The Nourishing Home Weekly Newsletter which includes a  …

  • New Weekly Shopping List outlining all of the ingredients needed to make each dinner featured; as well as an awesome new
  • Prep Day Chart featuring helpful tips and recommendations for prep-ahead tasks that make putting meals together a snap during busy weeknights.

For details about the free meal plan extras for subscribers only, please visit The Nourishing Home.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Aug 31–Sept 6:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Aug 31-Sept 6 Meal Plan TNH TBM

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Sept 7–13:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Sept 7­-13 Meal Plan TNH

In addition to the two meal plans above, we’re pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans. Select from the following two options:
• Meal plan template PDF

• Meal plan template EXCEL

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal PlanningMy hope is that this will be a great resource
 and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

Cinnamon Cappuccino Muffins {& How They Might Help Change the World}

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Sometimes the problems of the world rattle me. On the news, the Internet, the street corner–everywhere, there is talk of war and famine; sex-trafficking and hate. As a Christian and a mom, I not only want to pray about these problems, but help physically and financially doing what I can to help irradicate them.  I also want to model for my children what it means to be a committed Christian engaged in the culture, reflecting Jesus as I do.

Should we talk with our kids about the world? Let them pray with us, give some of their money to these causes as well?

Absolutely.

But sometimes, we can model reaching out to others to our offspring who are watching by simply whipping up a batch of muffins.

Gather your kiddos and ask them this question: “Is there someone you know  who is facing a hard time? Maybe they’ve had a death in their family or some sickness or some other sadness. Or, is there someone  you can think of who lives all alone and might be cheered up if we visited them and took along a freshly-baked batch of muffins? Can we think of a person or family who might be struggling financially?”

The world is big. We can’t solve all of its problems or help all of its inhabitants. However, Mother Teresa’s words are true:

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.

These moist muffins are perfect for taking to a neighbor, making for a family who is facing hard times, or even giving as a back-to-school treat for a teacher. So easy and trendy. Delicious too!

When you deliver them, be sure to ask what prayer concerns they might have. Or see if the is any work your family can do around their place. Might they need a ride to an appointment or two? Offer to help in any way you can.

Whip up a batch of these tasty pastries with your kids tonight and then go brighten someone’s day. You’ll be helping—even if in just a little way—to change the world.

Cinnamon Cappuccino Muffins

Espresso Frosting

6 oz.        cream cheese, softened

1 Tbs.      butter, softened

¾–1 c.      powdered sugar

½ tsp.       instant coffee granules

¼ tsp.       almond extract

¼ c.          miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Muffins

2 c.          all-purpose flour

¾ c.          sugar

2½ tsp.     baking powder

1 tsp.       cinnamon

¼ tsp.       nutmeg

½ tsp.       salt

1 c.          whole milk

2 Tbs.      instant coffee granules

½ c.          butter, melted

1  egg

1 tsp.       vanilla extract

¾ c.          cinnamon (or semisweet chocolate) chips

In a bowl, combine all frosting ingredients except chocolate chips and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Adjust amount of sugar as needed until frosting is a spreadable consistency. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

For muffins: in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, combine milk and coffee granules, stirring until coffee is completely dissolved. Add melted butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined and then fold in cinnamon chips.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375°F for 17–20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Cool and frost. Makes 12–14 muffins.

Everday.Confetti.coverIf you enjoyed this outreach idea and recipe, there are plenty more in Karen’s latest book Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide to Celebrating Holidays & Special Occasions.
This book contains ideas, tips, and recipes for all major holidays and holy days. There are also many ways to celebrate everyday events and spiritual milestones with those you love.  This go-to guide also provides many ideas for reaching out to those with whom your life naturally intersects.
Grab a little confetti and celebrate!
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