Saturday, September 19, 2015

Leader Enterprise - Sept. 16, 2015 - Meal Ministry

                      Cheesey Chicken Chowder

I'm planning to take a few dishes to a sweet friend who just gave birth to twins. That got me to thinking about sharing these thoughts with you.

We all knows folks who are grieving, recovering from an illness, just gave birth or suffering emotionally one way or another. Oftentimes we tell them - "Let me know if I can do anything". I'm here to give you some ideas how to put those thoughts into action.  
Making someone a meal is faith in action. It's helpful, practical and loving. My heart's deepest desire is to find ways to serve people in the best ways possible so that the blessing of a meal truly is a blessing. If you've ever received a meal from someone, you already understand what a great help and ministry it can be. 

Here is a list of some things to consider when taking a meal to someone: 

- Ask Questions! Find out if they have allergies or special food needs (like gluten free). Don't be afraid to ask what their likes and dislikes. 

- Don't provide meals more often than every other day. That gives them time to eat up what they already received before overloading their fridge. 

- Use throw away containers. And if you can't, be sure to add an address label to your dish so it will find its way back to you. 

- Ask if the recipients would prefer take-out. Some folks prefer not eating what others have made. And that's OK too.

- Ask if they would prefer a freezer meal, for later. If taking to a soon-to-be-mom, you could deliver a week before she's due, so she doesn't have to take time to answer the door. (On the other hand, she may appreciate someone coming by to help!) 

- In separate containers, add fruits, veggies or cheese chunks for them to nibble on at their convenience. This will make it easier for the family. 


Here's some great recipes to share with others.

CRESCENT CHICKEN 

1 (8 regular or 6 jumbo count) package refrigerator crescent rolls
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk (using soup can)

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, mix soup with milk; set aside. Separate crescent rolls. Spoon chicken and cheese onto each crescent; roll and seal to enclose filling.
Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour soup over rolls.
Bake uncovered for 30 mins.

CHEESEY CHICKEN CHOWDER 
3 cups chicken (reduced-sodium) broth
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 cup each - diced carrots & celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
(we prefer 1-1/2 cups Velveeta)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 - 3 Tb. dry chicken soup base, optional
In large pan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and mix well with whisk. Gradually stir in milk and cook over low heat until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in cheese and heat until melted. Add to broth and vegetables along with chicken. (If using soup base, add now) Cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Yield: 6 - 8 servings

This quick and easy salad can also be served as dessert. I love that you can make it using 'no sugar added' fruit and sugar free pudding. Everyone will love it. If you're not sure when it will be eaten, take bananas separately to be added later. 

EASY FRUIT SALAD 

1 can (15 ozs) fruit cocktail, slightly drained 
1 small can (8 ozs) mandarin oranges, slightly drained 
1 can (15 ozs) pineapple tidbits, do not drain
3 - 4 sliced bananas 
1 (4 serv.) pkg. (sugar free) lemon (or vanilla or cheesecake) instant pudding mix (dry)
4 - 8 ozs. cool whip, optional 

In large bowl, stir fruits and  pudding mix together. If using, stir in cool whip. Refrigerate at least 1 hr. before serving. 

A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up. ~Anonymous