I love Leanne Ely's belief about the family dinner table. It's all right there--just like the family that prays together stays together, the family that eats together has it all. Where else can you get the true story of what is really going on in your family's lives? That extra 30 minutes a day will create family memories and give them the armour of God when they are away from home.
Breakfast for Dinner
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
My passion in life is that everyone would understand just how important the family dinner table is. That simple piece of furniture represents an intimate ministry in the home that will leave a legacy. To lose this focus and become driven by all kinds of extra curricular activities (both for the kids and the parents) is to lose your family vision. Those are some sharp words, but the consequence of skipping this ritual in favor of another activity is to invite chaos into your home and influence that you don’t want. Statistics have proven over and over again that the family that eats dinner together at least 4 times a week, at the family dinner table (not in front of the tube or in the car) will have children who are less likely to do drugs, drink, have premarital sex and do better in school. What parent doesn’t want that? And all because of a simple thing like dinner. Amazing how un-complex it all is, isn’t it?
The family dinner table represents the connection we have with each other. Each person sitting at the table isn’t there by accident, but is (I believe) a God-given gift and a specific fit for your family. If I had the opportunity to give every woman on the planet a gift, it would be a vase of flowers for the middle of their dinner tables to remind them that this is a sacred place where their families are not only fed, but nurtured and loved. Where heart strings are tied and relationships realigned. I invite you this week to make that sacred place pretty. Even if you are facing a raging schedule, at least attempt one dinner there this week. Are you up to the challenge? I know you can do this! Splurge on some flowers, or just a big bowl of apples in a basket you love. You could EVEN do candles if you wanted! As a matter of fact, why not have Breakfast for Dinner this week? It’s quick, easy and your kids will love it.
My children have many fond memories of sipping orange juice from a stemmed glass and listening to Vivaldi by candlelight while diving into a stack of pancakes! It will take 5 minutes to set the table and will create a lifetime of memories—I promise. Sometimes those old fashioned breakfasts of pancakes, waffles and eggs are near impossible to pull off even on weekend mornings. Why not have it for dinner?
Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Crustless No Recipe Quiche
Serves about 6
• 1 dozen eggs, beaten like for scrambled eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 small package of frozen, chopped spinach; drained
• 1/2 a small onion chopped and sauteed
• 1 cup ground beef, cooked (I use just about anything from leftover spaghetti meat to leftover taco meat--use whatever you have)
• 6 oz. shredded sharp cheddar (I use lowfat)
In a bowl, beat your eggs and add milk, salt and pepper. In a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan, put meat, spinach and cheese down then top with egg mixture. Bake @ 350 for 20-30 minutes, but check it often. I have noticed a great deal of difference in cooking times on this. Serve it with a great big salad and some whole grain bread and you have one wonderful supper.
For the spinach, you can use broccoli instead if you like. I’ve substituted the meat for turkey ham or sausage even or left it out. You can do anything in the cheese dept. This (un)recipe has served me very well and guess what? It will work for you low carbers, too! That's all there is to it. Simple, easy, cheap and quite good! Enjoy!
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
To make the most of our days and to really start off right, it’s important to remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is when you break your fast from not eating all night. Your blood sugar is low—you need fuel. To start the day fuel-less is akin to taking a car on a long journey hoping the reserve tank will get you there and back—I promise you, it’s not gonna happen. Most likely you will end up eating something greasy from a drive-thru because your blood sugar has crashed or waiting till lunch and then eating out of control because you’re starving. Let’s not even talk about our foul moods due to our blood sugar being in the can. This is not how we’re meant to operate and we deserve better.
The wonderful thing about breakfast is that it’s a cheap and easy meal. I’m not talking about the artificially colored, overly sugared breakfast cereals. That stuff is so over priced, you’ll need to take a second out on your house just to keep up with the expense! Not only that, but the only thing those cereals are good for is getting your kids hyper—there is NO nutritional redemption in that expensive stuff. Let me say this again: YOU are the parent and YOU can control what goes in your child’s cereal bowl every day.
Pancakes and waffles are more “weekend” food. Who has time to make them during the week? YOU do if you can get these mixes together. Even better, you can make extra pancakes or waffles on the weekend, freeze them in big freezer zipper topped bags and use them instead of those expensive and less nutritious toaster waffles in the freezer section in the store.
Here’s a terrific mix:
8 cups flour (if you’d like an all whole wheat mix, use whole wheat pastry flour from health food stores)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (at some markets, but for sure at health food stores. Optional; use more whole wheat flour if you can’t find it)
1/2 cup cornmeal (stone ground)
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (blend in your blender till powdered)
2 cups buttermilk powder (this is in the baking section of your market)
5 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 cup sugar (or sucanat—natural sugar at the health food store)
2 tablespoons salt
This will make four quarts. Mix all together in a very large bowl and divvy up into gallon sized freezer storage bags. I would mark the date with a Sharpie pen and keep it in the freezer although you can keep in your pantry.
To make pancakes or waffles:
1 cup pancake mix
1/2 to 2/3 cup water (start with the lesser amount first and add if you need to)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, stir mix with water, egg and vegetable oil. Heat your griddle and make your pancakes as usual! To make waffles, double the batter and follow the directions for your waffle iron.
Basic Muffin Mix
Makes 11 cups
8 cups flour (again, if you prefer whole wheat, use whole wheat pastry flour)
3 cups sugar (can use sucanat if you prefer, see note on pancake mix)
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
Combine everything in a large bowl and divide into freezer zipper topped bags. Mark date with a Sharpie pen and store in the freezer or cool dry place.
To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together 3 cups baking mix, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup berries, raisins, chocolate chips or whatever else you’d like. Bake in a prepared muffin pan—that means lightly greased (I prefer the cupcake papers—easy clean up!), filling cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool for five minutes in the pan then turn out on to a rack to cool. Makes about 12 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tin.