Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Third Sunday Dinner Report December 2014

      So this December was a cold month in Arizona and to top it off we had our church Christmas party the night before Third Sunday Dinner.   Everyone wondered what I was doing.  They didn't think we needed another party the next day.  Oh those of small vision.  Third Sunday Dinner is not about having enough, its about having more.  More time to spend fellow shipping and loving our neighbors.  I love Third Sunday Dinner and each month as I prepare the blog and look at the pictures my heart is filled with joy and I know that great things happen when we open up our hearts and homes and love those that come.
      December is a hard month so we go easy for the meal.  This month we did soup.  Left over pasta and sauce from the church party made a great soup.  I added beans and grains and call it Italian Pasta Soup and everyone loved it.  Served with rolls whatever goodies were brought we had a great time.  I also tossed a hug salad a few times. There was plenty of food.  The weather was perfect for hot chocolate and a fire in the back yard.  Enjoy the pictures and join me next year as we continue the tradition of Third Sunday Dinner.

The soup pot was filled to the top.  Soup is always a winner and goes a long way and is very cost effective when feeding the masses.

Hot chocolate fun.

I love my fire barrel.  It is getting old.  I am going to have to find a new one.  It is actually the insides of a washing machine.  It really gives off the heat.  The sound and smell of the fire warms the heart. 

This is why we love Arizona.  Eating outside a week before Christmas.  

New member to our congregation.  

I meet this man and the woman below last year at Third Sunday Dinner.  It has been an amazing year watching them grow and change.  I adore them and am so proud of all they have done in the last year.  Best friends now and always.  

I love this family.  We have great neighbors.

The McCarrey Family is family.  We meet them over 5 years ago when we just started Third Sunday Dinner.
Our boys and their boys are best friends and we could not imagine life without them. 

This family is precious in every way.  

Another Blessing in our lives.  

I love the youth at my church.  They come every month early and stay late.
They make Third Sunday Dinner easy.  

     Often people comment about Third Sunday Dinner and say things like "How do you do it" or "Don't you get tired" or "Why do you do it".  The answer is simple, when I look at the pictures each month remembering all that come into our home my heart if filled with the Savior's love and it lifts me up and sustains me and all those who participate.  I have learned that when we trust in the Lord and do the sometimes impossible,  things just work out and life is better.
Have a great month.  Chef Brad

Friday, November 21, 2014

Third Sunday Dinner Report~November

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year.   I love turkeys and all the trimmings.  Last year for Third Sunday Dinner we did the entire Thanksgiving meal, from the turkeys to the dressing and everything else.  It was great,  the problem is that after cooking the entire meal for Third Sunday Dinner,  I am all cooked out for my family for Thanksgiving.  So this year a good friend recommended changing the menu.  So this year we did Turkeys, smoked to perfection.  We decided to do smoked turkey tacos with all the trimmings.  
     Tamales, Pork and Green Corn 
     Refried Beans
     Chipotle Cornbread
     Chips and Salsa
     Strawberry Trifle
     Slaw for the tacos

     It was great.  The tacos were amazing and everything else was great and the best part is that I am perfectly in the mood to cook the traditional dinner for my family on Thanksgiving Day.  

The turkeys were prepared in a Brine and are ready to smoke for 12 hours. 

After 12 hours of smoking the turkeys are done.  For tacos this can be ahead of time.  I like to do them and chill them down and cut the meat off the bones and dice it up in small pieces.   I place the meat in a pan that I  can warm it in.  Ready to go and this was done a day before the dinner.  

This is a chipotle cornbread.    I used pureed whole chipotle chilies and I love to add whole corn.

Good help is so hard to find.  I love the youth at my church.  They are amazing,  they come every month and do whatever I need,  and they are super.

Cooking tortillas for the tacos.  

This dessert was amazing.  At the bakery cafe where I work I noticed that the cake tops are not used all the time.  So I saved them in the freezer.  The day of the event I defrosted them and made a Trifle.  It was fabulous.  

Wow,  Rainy is excited.  

Some of the food.  

Refried Beans 

Happy Faces,  we feed the homeless often.  This guy loved the food.  He even carried masking tape in his backpack to wrap around the plates.   I was thrilled he could have a great meal.  

More happy faces

And new friends. 

Thumbs up.  I guess they are happy.

To brine the turkeys I place sugar, kosher salt, and seasoning in a couple gallons of water.  Mix well and cover the turkeys and place them in the frig overnight.  Brinning adds moisture and tenderizes the meat.  I would not do a turkey without brinning.

This is the pulled pork we used in the Tamales.  It was great.  We made dozens of tamales,  green corn and pork.  Tamales are easy to make and can be done ahead of time.  I make them and place them in the pans I am going to steam them in and place them in the frig until the day of the dinner.  It takes about 1 hour or longer to steam and it is good to let them set before serving.

This picture is hard to see, but so cool.  We made mole negro.  It is black chocolate chili sauce that we used on the tacos.  One of the steps in making mole is burning to ash the seeds and stems of all the chilies used in the sauce.

Once again another Third Sunday Dinner Success.  I love Third Sunday Dinner.  I love gathering with friends, family, and strangers to build and strengthen relationships.   Every month I am amazed at who God leads to my home and I feel the responsibility of making sure they feel loved and fed.
Greatest success to you in your endeavors to bless the lives of those around you.
Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Third Sunday Dinner Report October

     October is the perfect month for an outside dinner party,  Third Sunday Dinner to be correct.  I have been waiting for the weather to break and start enjoying why we live in Arizona.  It certainly is not the summer heat.  
  When the weather cools we like to bring out the dutch ovens and do some heavy duty cooking.  This month we did Indian Fry Bread.  We like to do it at least twice a year.  It is filling and very cost effective to do.  Both are great reasons for doing it.  
 I hope you are having success in your food adventures from small groups to large, when we gather to enjoy great food life long friendships are formed.  That is the power of food.

Below is the picture adventure of this months Third Sunday Dinner.

Kidney beans and barley make a great topping for the Fry Bread.

  I love the youth that come and serve with happy faces.  I enjoy them so much and appreciate all they do to help make the dinners a success.

     Another Happy Working Face.   This young woman said she needed service hours so she came early and worked so hard.

So many to make and he still smiles. 

For a group that size I find the Bosch so vital in getting the job done.  We made
10 batches of dough.
The secret of fry bread is to form disc and let it rest before stretching out to fry.

After forming the disc, let rest covered. 

Dutch ovens with my camp fryer set up and ready to go.

Back yard before we set up.

Back yard set up and ready to go.
Beans and barley are cooked to perfection.  

So much fun. 

Look at them work.  Happy day.

Handsome young man.

Waiting for dinner.

This dear lady has become a great friend.  

Good friends, good food, a great time. 

The Food 

If you knew this couple you would be blessed.

The Party

My Boy.

She was enjoying the food to much to look up.  or maybe she
didn't want her picture taken.  

More people. 

And more people. 

Brother and sister.  We adore them both.

Who doesn't love the Mormon Missionaries. 

I adore these boys.  What outstanding men.  

Love that smile.

New found best friends. 

Are they sisters or mother and daughter, I am confused.

Brothers from the hood.

Happy friends. 


     Third Sunday Dinners are amazing and fun.  Each month finds me busy and often wondering how on earth I will be able to do it, but as I go forward it all works out and I am left filled with joy and peace knowing that when we are on the Lords Errands it always works out.   I hope you are finding joy in all you do.  Chef Brad