Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Infant Jesus, Author of the blessings of heaven!

(Brown background added so you can see the cut edges better.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Feast of the Holy Family

Imprimatur: Moses E. Kiley, Archbishop of Milwaukee
Feast of the Holy Family, 1944

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A holy card for the Feast of the Holy Innocents

+ Innocence +
+ Innocenza +
+ Inocencia +
+ Unschuld +

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Advent Music: Modern Choral

This is probably my favorite of all the Advent playlists I've shared. Despite the (oft-justified) lamentation of the state of sacred music, a good number of reverent and beautiful pieces have been written in the modern era, and, like most of the Advent music I've been sharing, they deserve to be a bit better-known.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent Music: Gaudete Sunday

The Church, in her wisdom, is good enough to give us days of hope and joy in the midst of seasons of preparation and penance. I know many families who begin their decoration and baking today, as we get that tiny glimpse of rosy sunrise that comes before the full-blown dawn. With that in mind, here is some music that rejoices without sounding quite the full flowering of Christmas day.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Arts and Faith reflections

I just came across this series of YouTube reflections on sacred art, and one of them features the same Jesse Tree art found on the first ornament in our set!

Found via the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy blog, which features more of the videos in the series on their post.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advent Music: Gregorian Chant

No collection of Catholic music would be complete without the most ancient of them all, Gregorian Chant. This playlist includes hymns and chants from the Divine Office for the season (including some of the "O" Antiphons from the Vespers "countdown" to the Nativity), as well as those from Sunday Masses of the season.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent Music: Hymns

The second installment in my Advent Music series are hymns, ranging from translations of 9th century Gregorian chant to modern-day compositions. Since most of these are written for congregational singing, I've included links to the lyrics (and music, where possible) below. If your domestic church is musically inclined, give them a go, but even if you don't sing them, I'd encourage you to have a look through the theologically-rich poetry of the words. It makes beautiful food for your meditation on this season.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advent Music: Polyphony

Advent has some of the most beautiful, and neglected music of the Church year. Many hymnals carry a wide selection of lovely and theologically rich Advent hymns, but I consider myself lucky if I don't hear "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" three out of the four Sundays, despite the fact that the text is based upon The O Antiphons for the very last part of Advent (Sapientiatide, as the Episcopal Church calls it).

With that in mind, I'm hoping to introduce you throughout the season to some of these gems of sacred music. The first playlist features choral music of the Renaissance era. They are fantastic pieces for meditation, or perhaps as background music to help you maintain some interior stillness in this time of preparation. Maybe listen to a piece each night as part of your Jesse Tree or other Advent prayers.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

St. Francis Xavier, patron of all foreign missions

Jesus, zealous for souls
Jesu, du Eiferer de Seelen

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for December

Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.

Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

St. Nick reminder

While you're out this weekend doing your black Friday shopping (or better yet, your Small Business Saturday shopping), don't forget that St. Nicholas Day is next week.  There's nothing quite so wonderful as not having to go out, in a panic on December 5th to find shoe-sized gifts.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Printable: Fine Art Jesse Tree

I am always looking for ways to incorporate more beautiful art into our devotional life at home. So, as we approached Advent, a time that speaks to the domestic church in a particularly profound way, it seemed to me a natural time to bring some of this art into our home. Filling our Advents with beauty can also help sustain us through the season, when all around us is screaming to celebrate Christmas before its time (mostly by buying things, of course).

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Jesse Tree consists of a daily reading from scripture, along with an ornament containing a symbol for each reading. The readings trace salvation history (the tree represents Jesus' family tree), beginning with creation and ending with the coming of the Messiah. For our version, Margaret Mary and I went hunting to find a piece of art for each day. We tried to represent a variety of styles and periods of art, so hopefully there is something here to inspire everyone. (If you ever need good sources of art for your own projects, I highly recommend starting with Wikipedia and the Web Gallery of Art. The wreaths on the back of the ornaments are courtesy the wonderful Graphics Fairy.)

These ornaments can be used in a variety of ways. At their simplest, they can be printed out and hung in a row on a garland or along your mantel. Hang a new one each day, or hang them all at once with the backs showing, then flip one so that a new piece of art shows every day.  If you are short on space, get a 3" display easel, such as this one or this one, and display just that day's picture on it. If you are willing and able to set up your tree this weekend, they can be the ornaments for this season, and then the tree can be decorated in all its festive Christmas glory after the last of them has been read, with the Christmas ornaments either replacing or adding to the Advent ones.


Each day, gather as a family to read the reading printed on the back. NRSV and New Jerusalem translations tend to be nice for reading aloud. Use a children's translation if that's better for your crowd, or even find a storybook version where you can. This is a good time to light your Advent wreath each night. You may wish to close with your family's usual nightly prayers, or some special prayers for Advent (a few ideas are here). If you own a copy of the Liturgy of the Hours (or Christian Prayer), pray the closing prayer for each day (or some or all of Vespers, if your children have the attention span).

The ornaments are matched to days of Advent, rather than dates in December, so most years you will have some extra. You can choose whether to double up readings on some of the shorter days, or just skip some at the end. For example, this year, you could go straight from the Annunciation to the Nativity.

Using the PDFs

The ornaments are formatted to be 3.25" square. We've done our best to pick uncrowded, high-contrast pieces of art that shrink down to this size well, but I still recommend using the highest quality printing available to you. Our prints are made on a color laser printer. If your home printer isn't up to the job, a Kinkos-type place should be able to do it fairly cheaply.

There are four files linked below: one designed for printing double-sided, two containing fronts and backs separately (in case you want to avoid paying the color rates for the black-and-white backs, or if you'd like to print the backs on off-white or colored paper), and a sheet containing just the readings and information, in case you want to make the ornaments single-sided.

The color pages have registration marks to help you cut them out neatly. The file with the ornament backs only has registration marks that should be useful whether you want to cut them into squares or circles (I used a Fiskars circle cutter for the job). Cutting the circles can be a bit tricky to get used to, so I left a blank one at the bottom of the ornament backs file to practice on.

If you want to pass them along to a friend (and please do!), we'd ask that you send them a link to this post, rather than copying the PDF file itself. If you would like to use them in a group setting or redistribute print/PDF versions, please email us to ask first.  Thanks!

For laminated ornaments:

Print out the back-to-back PDF, double-sided, on cardstock (you may wish to test-print the first two-sided to make sure everything lines up correctly on your printer). Laminate the pages, cut out the ornaments and punch a hole for hanging near the top.

For wooden ornaments:

Any craft wood about 4" square should work. We used Darice MDF coaster blanks (found at JoAnn) for the base of the ornaments.

After drilling a hole near the top (you should have just shy of 3/8" margin at the top), we painted the borders and edges with two coats of gold acrylic paint. If you are cutting the backs in a circle, make sure to paint well into each corner on one side to cover everything that will show (cut a scrap piece to the same size and use it to check)

Print the art and label files separately on cardstock and cut them out. We used a round corner punch on the art pieces to better match the wood, and cut the backs out as circles. After the paint was dry, we attached the art and labels with spray glue, and sealed the ornaments with spray varnish. You could use Mod Podge in place of both.

We hope you enjoy, and if you come up with other creative ways to use the PDFs, please do pass them along!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria

S. Catharina
Gebr. C. & N. Benziger in Einsiedeln

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Solemnity of Christ the King

I know this technically is not a holy card of Christ the King, but all the gold detail and the "Saviour of the World" caption reminded me of His majesty, which reminded me of this holy day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Advent PSA

This is just a brief reminder to make sure you have Advent candles.  Of course you can buy them on Amazon, but as long as you have plenty of time why don't you go ahead and check your local Catholic bookstore first?  (They will be grateful for your business and you'll probably get a bunch of other faith-based gift ideas!)
If you're lucky enough to have a Hobby Lobby in your area, I happen to think their 5" Coach Candles are just about perfect.  You can get purple and pink at any time of year, they are almost as elegant as tapers, but they always stand straight in the holders.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Planning for Advent

Much as we LOVE Christmas, it's no secret that the Church Ladies love to celebrate Advent as a distinct and separate time of year.  To do it well, however, requires a nice balance of your current family traditions, new plans, and the organizational skills to pull it all off in this relatively short, super-busy season.

To help you out with at least two of those three elements, I'd like to introduce you to a new product from Lacy Rabideau of Catholic Icing:

"This ebook integrates all the religious aspects of celebrating Christmas with all the practical stuff us mothers also have to take care of this time of year. From stocking stuffers to Jesse Trees, from Advent Saint celebrations to gift budgeting, from meal planning to Epiphany door blessings- it’s all in one easy place for you. No searching all over the internet, or picking from this book and that book.

The Advent Christmas Planner is part inspirational, part practical, part devotional, and part fun! Designed especially not to overwhelm mothers, this ebook is going to help you plan your own custom set of traditions that can build so that planning for Advent and Christmas gets easier each year."

 This great resource is on sale for only $10 for the next couple weeks ($12 after that).  You can get yours here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christ the King

The Solemnity of Christ the King will be here soon.  How are you planning to celebrate?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock

Revelation 3:20

Monday, November 11, 2013

St. Martin of Tours

Today we celebrate Bishop Martin, pictured here with a goose.  It's kind of a funny story, actually.  The story goes that Martin was very happy with his monastic life and did not want to be appointed bishop so he hid in a stable.  The geese there made such a racket, that the people were able to find him.  The justice in this story is that it's traditional to eat goose on St. Martin's feast day.

The lacy edge is damaged, but I like the image enough to share it anyway.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for November

Suffering Priests. That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity.

Latin American Churches. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.

Monday, October 14, 2013

For all your cozy warm drink needs

I've been enjoying Cafe au Lait with pumpkin pie spices (at least on the days when it's not in the high 70s!), and I've been pretty impressed with this method of frothing the milk. Try it with your coffee, or my favorite chai recipe. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

All Saints Day costumes made easy

November will be here before you know it. Here are a few easy (no sew!) costumes for your All Saints Day festivities!

Altar boy/Novice

Saints: Aloysius Gonzaga, John Berchmans, Stanislaus Kostka
Costume: adult black turtleneck plus surplice (A white collarless blouse worn with the buttons in the back would work too)
Additional props: lilies, crucifix, book, rosary, baby doll (Christ Child)


Saints who were Bishops; Saints who were Cardinals; Saints who were Popes

Costume: cassock: adult band collared shirt (dyed magenta for bishops or red for cardinals); surplice: round lace tablecloth with hole cut for head (the one pictured is a few antimacassars safety pinned together); pectoral cross, knitted or crocheted zuchetto (just a circle)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Feast of the Guardian Angels

On the back: Copyright 1934 N. G. Basevi
Litho in USA

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for October

People in Despair. That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love.

World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's word.

Friday, September 27, 2013

St. Vincent de Paul

I love how he keeps his eyes fixed on Christ while doing the work set before him.

A sure way for a Christian to grow rapidly in holiness is a conscientious effort to carry out God's Will in all circumstances and at all times.
Saint Vincent de Paul

Friday, September 6, 2013

20 Ideas for staying in touch

Today I had a conversation with a very sad mom of a college freshman.  She's excited about her daughter's fantastic school, but concerned about the changing family dynamics and they're all having a hard time adjusting to this beloved daughter's absence.  Since I've been in that same phase of life for the past 10 years or so, I thought I'd jot down a few things that have worked for us along the way.
  1. The post office is your new best friend!  I don't care if you email, text and call every single day; there's nothing quite so wonderful for your daughter as finding something in her campus mail box!
  2. It's obvious, but make sure you always have stamps and envelopes on hand and let everyone in the family know that they are encouraged to write as often as they'd like. (And it doesn't have to be a multi-page, formal letter - it's just as much fun to get a picture drawn by your 6-year-old brother as it is to get a 8 page letter from your mom.)
  3. Pre-print mailing labels with her address so it's very easy for everyone in your family to send a quick note any time.  
  4. Make sure relatives also have her address and remind them every now and then that mail is still really, really welcome.  
  5. Let someone else pay your postage.  It's fun to order things online and simply have them shipped to your student.  If you have amazon prime it'll be there in 2 days with no shipping charge.  (I'm looking at you, 12 pack of Clif Bars for only $10.49.) 
  6. You remember how small that dorm room is, right?  Keep that in mind if you send any gifts.  I was just looking at care package companies that are advertising the great advantage of their reusable containers.  Sure, you could find a use for that cute punched-tin tub in your house, but would you still want it if you were living in a space that's about the same size as a walk-in closet?
  7. The one kind of space she may have in her dorm is wall space.  Send things to brighten it up!
  8. All of my kids have gone to schools that have a national chain coffee shop on campus.  Gift cards were easy, practical, small, and appreciated gifts. 
  9. Is her birthday during the school year?  Enlist the aide of every friend and relative you know to bombard her with cards and emails during birthday week.
  10. Blogging is easy and free.  Start a family blog with newsy tidbits and pictures of the ordinary things you're doing from day to day to help keep everyone in touch.
  11. Is she on facebook?  If so, you might want to be also.  It can be a fantastic introduction to her new friends and a window into the everyday bits of her life.  I can't tell you how blessed I've been by becoming FB friends with my daughters' school friends!
  12. Think carefully about food gifts.  It seems kind of pointless to send candy and chips for several reasons, but homemade Special K bars - yes, please!  
  13. Anyone who is living on campus has a food plan, but it's still nice to have some snacky things for late night and for grab-and-go breakfasts, just in case she's running late to that 8 a.m. class.
  14. One year I got together with some other moms to send a group version of final's-week care packages.  The eight of us each provided 8 of the same item, divided them up, and paid to mail to our own kid.  So one mom brought 8 packs of granola bars, another brought 8 ziplocs of mail-able cookies, another brought 8 packs of roasted nuts, etc.  (Basically like a Christmas cookies exchange with a different focus.)  Not only was it a little more cost effective, but it was fun for the moms, the packages were more creative, and all our students were reminded of all their "adopted moms" who were at home, still thinking about them. 
  15. Is there some favorite food that's not available in the dining hall?  One year my parents vacuum sealed some dill pickles and mailed them to my college girl.  Why on earth would the school not have pickles every now and then?  I have no idea, but they didn't and she mentioned missing them.  And seriously, she was NOT expecting to get pickles in the mail.  I have also been known to mail a box of favorite breakfast cereal to Indiana.  Possibly more than once. 
  16. See if you can set up some kind of scheduled phone date.  One year it was convenient for my daughter to call on Sunday nights, so we were both able to schedule around it.  Some of those calls lasted for hours and hours, late into the night (more accurately, early into the morning).  I may have been tired some Monday mornings, but it was a great arrangement for us both.
  17. Our church's youth group has a branch that sends care packages to parish college students and those in the military.  All I have to do is provide a current address and a couple times a year (Advent and Lent) they send some snacks, faith-based items, and simple things to keep my daughter connected to the parish.
  18. Can you think of small things to make her dorm room a little more homey?  I know of parents who have sent a very small Christmas tree (12 inches or so) and a string of lights to hang around the window.  Does your family have favorite Christmas music?  (Send a CD.)  She's probably only on campus for a couple weeks in December, but it's final's week and she's probably looking forward to Christmas break.  Little things like these are just a nice reminder that she'll be home soon! 
  19. Speaking of Christmas, be sure to keep up family traditions!  If you like to put small gifts in your children's shoes for St. Nicholas day, be sure to mail college girl a few things before December 6 as well.  If you're really lucky, you may have access to a cooperative roommate who can engineer a putting-them-in-shoes surprise component.  The same concept applies for Valentine's Day, etc.
  20. When you go out to visit and (inevitably) eat at restaurants, resist the temptation to take only your family.  Have your daughter round up a few friends and/or her roommate to bring with as well.  It's a great chance to get to know them and you'll probably learn more about campus life than you would if it were only her there. 

If you have more ideas, I'd love to see them in the comments box!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for September

Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Feast of St. Clare

"Copr. 1940, St. Anthony's Guild, Paterson, N.J., 097"
St. Clare of Assisi

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for August

Parents and Teachers. That parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life.

The Church in Africa. That the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Blessed are those who go to Jesus, 
For they shall see God and will be treated with mercy, for the Kingdom of Heaven shall be theirs.

Saint Peter
ora pro nobis.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Meal Planning with a CSA/ farmers market

Summer is upon us, and for many people, that means farmers' markets or CSAs (community supported agriculture or farm box) have started up, which can be a fun and economical way to enjoy local produce.  But just because you could end up with any produce in any week does not have to be cause for meal planning panic! As you can see from the list below, having the staples listed below on hand means you can cook just about any fruit or vegetable as a side or incorporated in the entree.
  • Omelettes/quiche: eggs, milk, flour, cheese, butter
  • Pasta sauce: pasta, olive oil, cheese, garlic
  • Pesto: olive oil, nuts, cheese
  • Risotto: arborio rice, cheese, chicken stock
  • Grilled: foil or skewers, oil
  • Cold soup: stock/bouillon, sour cream, butter
  • Crudités: sour cream or hummus for dip
  • Salad: oil and vinegar
  • Fritters: oil, cornmeal, eggs
  • Taco/enchilada filling: tortillas, sauce or salsa, cheese
  • Pizza topping: crust, tomatoes, cheese, olive oil
  • Stir fried: oil, soy sauce, scallions, sesame seeds, rice or noodles
  • Curried: spices, coconut milk, tomatoes, lentils
  • Fresh fruit pie: pie crust, gelatin, sugar, whipping cream
  • Fruit pie/cobbler: butter, lard/shortening, sugar
  • Pickled: vinegar, pickling spices, lids
  • Jam: pectin (I am partial to Ball Low Sugar flex batch), sugar, bottled lemon juice, lids
  • Homemade ice cream: milk, cream, eggs, sugar
  • Homemade sorbet: sugar
For more ideas, check out these websites and books:


Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume 1: egg dishes, Volume 2: cold soups)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Meal Planning - How to organize your recipes

There are as many ways to organize recipes as there are people to cook them.  Similar to the struggle between paper planners and online calendars, recipe organization can quickly become a confusing territory of notecards and bookmarked webpages.

The most you need is two steps in the process: somewhere for recipes you want to try, and somewhere for recipes you want to keep.

Having a place for recipes to try is the first step.  For recipes I find online, I use Evernote to organize them.  I have the browser add-on that allows me to save recipes from any website, so it just takes one click to "clip" them and put them away for safe keeping.  One bonus of this system is that the Evernote notebook is searchable (using both tags and the text of the note itself), so it's easy to find things again.  The downside of this is that it really works best for things found digitally; if you tend to get ideas from searching through cookbooks, the easiest option is to scan or take a picture of the recipe and send it to the notebook.

The old-fashioned way is to make a list of what you want to try (noting where you found it, obviously).  This allows you to combine print and digital sources.

Once you find a keeper, put it somewhere permanent.  It doesn't matter if this is a card in your box, a print-off in your binder, or a post on your private blog - just have one designated place for all the recipes you want to see again.  My mom's recipe box (above) is like the Ark of the Covenant for our family's favorite recipes.  We all know that the recipe box is the first place to look for a recipe we know and love.

Another option is to make a virtual recipe box by posting to a recipe blog.  This is an especially handy option if you want to share recipes among people who are geographically distant.  Our family's page includes lots of the Recipe Box classics (many of the frequently-requested recipes that Mom got tired of typing out for her long-distance daughters), as well as new things we've tried and liked.  Give it a cute name or just stick to something basic like; it's up to you.  Like Evernote, you can add tags to each post, so that categories can be browsed.  When I'm looking for a good recipe to use up leftover chicken, I can just click on that category to see what other people and I have posted in the past.  Hands down, this may be my favorite organizational tool.

First Friday Devotions

On the back: 
Copyright 1938, N.G. Basevi,
Litho in U.S.A

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Meal Planning - A day for everything

Even if you're making your meal plan ahead of time, the question of what to make for dinner can be daunting.  I've found that it helps to narrow down your choices from the get-go.  By that, I don't mean that you should stick to the same 5-meal repertoire (unless that works for your family, of course!).  Instead, try assigning a category to each day, and pick recipes based on that.  Rather than staring into the abyss of Everything You Know How To Cook, your search is focused on one particular category.  For example:

Monday: Soup/sandwiches
Tuesday: Pasta
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Crock pot
Sunday: Cook's choice

Do Tuesday nights consist of running out the door to activities?  Make that an "Eat out" night.  Do you have kids old enough to put together a meal?  Assign them a night.  Would your family enjoy a designated night for Mexican or Chinese food?  Put that on the schedule.

The beauty of this system is that it combines predictability (and thus, reduced effort) with the flexibility to try new recipes or stick with your old standbys.  We all know that there are weeks when you feel up to culinary experimentation, and weeks when you just need to go with recipes you've already got memorized.

If you're looking for a place where this system is spelled out in more details, there are cookbooks like this available.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Meal Planning - the low tech version

This is a system I've been using off and on for years.  Yep, it's just what you see.  I print a calendar page and hang it on my fridge.  I then poll everyone here (and page through cookbooks) for meal ideas.  It works well when I have the discipline to actually do it, but I suppose that's the downfall for pretty much any system.  The parts I like best are:
  • It's very flexible.  I always write in pencil so it's easy to erase something I know won't work on a particular day and just bump it forward a few days.
  • It's visible.  If I'm not the one home when it's time to cook, any of the other responsible cooks in my house can easily take over. Also, I can easily glance at it in the morning and do prep work in advance if I want.
  • I know I save money and waste less food when I do it.  Also, shopping takes less time, especially when I use my organized list.
Also, I have lots of cookbooks and have found it helpful to focus on one at a time.  Rather than being overwhelmed by thousands of choices, I've narrowed it down to the more manageable number in a particular cookbook.  It's much easier to write Chicken and Rice, p. 109 on my calendar square than to list all the info from a wide variety of sources that will help me find recipes again when I'm ready to make them.

I typically find that planning 5 meals per week is more than enough.  We are fine with leftovers occasionally, and it's not uncommon for most or all of us to be gone for work or appointments every now and then.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Meal Planning - leave it to a professional

I have a friend who swears by the service offered by Saving Dinner.  For a small fee you get a subscription that is tailored to your family (number of people/general dietary category) which includes menus, recipes, and a detailed shopping list, all keyed in to sound nutrition and seasonal considerations.  They have the freedom to recycle family favorites, but also get to try all sorts of new things.

Except for the number of family members, I'm pretty sure my friend could have written this testimonial:
Just wanted to let you know how Menu Mailer has improved my life…We are a household of 2 adults, both working full time jobs, no kids, so meals ‘should’ be easy. Right? WRONG!!! Since the menu mailer has come into our lives: 
  • We have cut our fast food consumption by about 80%.
  • I have cut grocery shopping time by at least 80%.  I don’t buy food that looks good in the store, but ends up spoiling because I have no real plan for it
  • I’m out of the same-old-thing for dinner rut
  • I’m feeling good about taking control of our nutrition, and cutting out the artificial garbage from processed food.
Your recipes are versatile enough to be cut in half, or eaten as another entire meal. So, I’m cooking 2-3 times a week, and having a ready-made meal waiting for the other days. The variety of flavors, many of which I’d never considered putting together before, have been wonderful.
Best of all, we don’t spend an hour playing the “what do you want to do for dinner game.” “What do you want?” “I don’t care, what do you want?” and on and on until we end up running out to grab something quick, mediocre, and unfulfilling. So, you don’t need to have a big family to find huge rewards from the menu mailer.

Try the Daily Dish offer on their home page to get a week of sample menus and shopping lists.

Monday, July 1, 2013

HELP! I hate meal planning

I could cook all day, but for some reason I absolutely hate meal planning.  It seems so simple on the surface (just take something out of the freezer), but I'm busy or gone in the morning and by the time I give it any thought, I have about enough time to plan breakfast-for-dinner.  (Good, but not every day.)  Anyway, inspired by our friend Kate, we are going to spend a little time this week on a variety of meal planning ideas. We hope you'll find some useful ideas and we look forward to your comments.

First of all, you want to check out what Kate has done.  Using google tools, she listed their 30 go-to meals on a rotating calendar that both she and her grocery-shopping husband can access.  It's easy to edit and to look ahead to see what's on the menu for the upcoming week.  Genius!  Visit her blog for details and links to helpful tutorials to set it all up.

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for July

World Youth Day. That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.

Asia. That throughout Asia doors may be open to messengers of the Gospel.