Sunday, April 01, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

When life keeps our family from gathering at the table for several days in a row, I usually have a longing for us to be together. This evening was one of those times. Due to the busyness of this past week or so we hadn't been able to eat together as a family for several days. Even though my plans tonight were very simple and included leftovers, I went ahead and set the table. Too often in our weariness, especially when our children are young, we fail to sit together quietly and enjoy our meal together. I had explained in this post some of the reasons and the purpose for my meal planning.

Another purpose for meal planning is the teaching of etiquette. But it may not be what you think. I am not looking for my children to become "proper" or be able to walk into a five star restaurant and act like an adult.
But as I mentioned here, our table is one of the best places to teach our children important biblical principles. The place we start from is "Your Manners Matter". Colossians 4:5-6 says,

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV)

The foundation of all etiquette is kindness, which expresses itself by consideration for the people around you. Knowing proper etiquette makes you feel comfortable so that you can reach out to others and make them feel important. If you are concerned about making a mistake or appearing to be foolish, then your thoughts are consumed with yourself. However, when you know how to properly conduct yourself in the presence of others, then you are free to focus on them.

Next week, I'll share how I have taken these principles and put them into practice everyday with my own family.

Here is what I am planning to serve my family this week:
Monday: Busy Day Beef Stew with Sourdough rolls
Tuesday: Taco Soup
Wednesday: (Cooking Day for my kids - they will make the menu Mon. evening)
Thursday: Swiss Chicken Bake and salad
Friday: Swiss Potato Soup
Saturday: Lasagna, salad and garlic bread
Easter Sunday Dinner

A few weeks ago a few of you asked about the recipe for Chicken Packets. This is one of my kids favorite meals. Several years ago I had tried the "once- a- month cooking" idea in order to save time. This is the only recipe that has lasted since those days.

3-4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons milk
2 or 3 packages refrigerated crescent rolls*

(the original recipe called for chopped chives and salt to taste)

Mix chicken, cream cheese, and milk in a bowl. Unroll crescent rolls. Each tube will contain 4 rectangles of dough with a diagonal perforation. Press dough along each perforation so the rectangle halves will not separate. Place about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture into the center of each rectangle. Fold dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal tightly. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. They are even good cold the next day.

*two rolls make eight packets. If I have extra chicken mixture, it makes a great chicken salad or sandwich too.

For more great menu ideas and other great organizing tips visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the chicken packets recipe. I'll have to give those a try soon.
Have a blessed week!

A Juggling Mum said...

Great Menu!!!

Have a great week and a great Easter :)

Rachel xxx

Annie said...

I am going to try your chicken pockets too, they sound delicious. It is hard with all the activities the kids participate in to have dinner together every night but I agree with you, it is important. I had dinner (and breakfast) at the table my entire life at home and I really have good memories. There was always prayer before meals as there is now. My mom's house is the kind of place where there is always another place at the table, always a little extra.
Your menu looks great!
Easter Blessings~
♥ Annie
My Life as Annie!

jennyr said...

it is nice to make those homemade chicken packets than buying those frozen ones for sure! healthier & tastier right?! great menu! nice that u have a day that ur kids will cook! i can't wait for my kids to cook 4me,loL!

Aisling said...

My boys usually cook most of the main meals during the school breaks, but they're busy all this week, so we're leaving the cooking till next week.

Cyndi said...

I loved the reasons you gave for learning etiquette, I had not thought of the freedom to focus on others. I love that!

Great menu, yummy chicken packets. We'll definitely try those!

Robin Green said...

Oh, I remember making those chicken packets when I was doing the once-a-month cooking. They were very good. Due to my lactose intolerance, I haven't made them again. My family would probably appreciate it if I did. Your menu looks great.

Terri | Sugar Free Glow said...

The chicken packets look delicious! I love what you wrote about table etiquette! Manners are so important to learn as a child. I've noticed some adults really struggle with what's appropriate at the table. Looking forward to your post next week!


Tina said...

I just caught up on all your posts! You are so incredible! I wanted to comment on them all.

I love Chicken Packets too!

Anonymous said...

what a interesting post
I love it when I have the night off and my son cooks
Thanks for posting how to make Chicken Packets I think I may try them :)

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

This looks soooo good. Thanks for sharing it! I just love your site...

Deidre said...

I felt the same way tonight. After practicing our Easter Drama for weeks, we hadn't sat down for dinner together in awhile, and we all thoroughly miss it when we don't.

Thanks for the chicken recipe. My girls would love these. I'm going to try them this week!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

We tried the chicken packets tonight. They were great. Thanks for the recipe.

Natalie Joy said...

I, too, love the chicken packets. I make mine with dried chives and a final step. I roll them in melted butter and crushed croutons before baking them. This gives them a crunchy outside. Very yummy.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting the photo. It looks delicious.
Today is No Housework Day! So no work for you!