As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Breaking Bread | Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad | Hospitality Habits


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Yesterday was the day for us to host our church fellowship. 


We had decided to have a salad lunch after our worship time. So easy!

On Sunday morning, we set out paper products and plastic utensils.

When using disposables, I like to use sturdy paper plates (like Chinette) and the heavy duty plastic utensils. Of course, I always keep a stash of pretty paper napkins on hand. As I told my friend Deanna, my policy is "Buy the napkins. The occasion will come." This time, I chose the red stripe "feed sack" napkins that I had picked up at HomeGoods in February. (I bought three packages of them; there are plenty left for other summer gatherings.)


We set up the coffee station with some of my Warren Kimble mugs. (I bought a pair on eBay last week, one with a sheep, one with a horse, bringing my total to 16.) The WK creamer was a gift from a friend.


We set up a tray of sodas. Kati made pitchers of sweetened and unsweetened tea (not in the photo).


We moved the dining room chairs to the living room,


set the hymnals on the table,


and enjoyed a time of worship and fellowship.




I had made my salad the day before, using a new-to-me recipe found at Reluctant Entertainer. Here is the recipe with my adaptations. (Original ~ here ~ .) 


ASIAN CHICKEN CRANBERRY SALAD 



Ingredients: 
2 bags cole slaw mix
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (I'd have used more, but that's what I had.)
1 1/2 dried cranberries
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil

wonton strips (optional)


Directions: 
1) Layer cabbage, cooked chicken, toasted almonds, cranberries, onion, cilantro, and sesame seeds in large bowl.

2) In blender, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, ginger, and sesame oil. 
Add 3 tablespoons water and process until smooth.

3) Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss lightly. 
Top each serving with wonton strips, if desired.




Hospitality habits go a long way towards making hospitality happen

Of course, we all know that hospitality doesn't just "happen." We have to make it happen. But it is easier if you develop some hospitality habits. Like some of these: 

Keeping paper supplies on hand. 
We buy Chinette plates and plastic cups in bulk from Sam's Club so we rarely run out. I pick up a box of plastic utensils as I do my weekly shopping. And my eyes are always open for pretty napkins. They often set the theme of the party. 

Keeping a variety of soft drinks stocked.
Again, I usually buy a pack of soft drinks with my weekly groceries, often calling Bekah at home for the "drink inventory." Family favorites are root beer and cream soda. 

Collecting serving dishes and platters.
You'll be surprised at what you'll find if you keep your eyes opened. Many of my serving pieces are bargains! You can be creative too, using baskets and boxes in unusual ways.

And the most important hospitality habit:

Reminding ourselves of the purpose of hospitality.




What are some of your hospitality habits? 

24 comments:

  1. I love your mantra "Not to impress, but to bless", Cheryl. I'm sure your fellowship was blessed by your hospitality. Asian chicken cranberry salad surely sounds delicious as it has all of the ingredients we enjoy except I would have to leave out the cilantro as we have a family member that thinks it tastes like soap!
    Collecting all of your napkins, plates and drinks and storing them for when they are needed is a smart idea. The older I get the more I'm happy to accept the help of friends, whether with a dish or help in serving. ♥

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    1. Oh, yes, Martha Ellen! That is a hospitality habit for me too!

      Definitely leave that soap out of the salad. ;)

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  2. Haha! Glad you were dressed in time! I, too, like the "not to impress but to bless". That salad sounds delicious, you had me at cilantro! In high school and college I thought cilantro tasted like soap but now my taste buds have changes and I love the added layer of flavor you get from cilantro!

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    1. I think that cilantro must be an acquired taste. I didn't like it at first, but now I love it!

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  3. Well you may have been dressed, but I see that Ron was running late. 🤓 My mind is like a sieve. I read that recipe and wandered off to pin it and forgot to return until just now. These hospitality posts are such cozy reads and I like seeing how you organize things on trays and in mugs. You have a wonderful collection of mugs!

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    1. You caught him! Yep, putting on his shoes at the last possible minute. :)

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  4. Lots of good advice here and a good recipe. Hospitality in a home beats a restaurant any day.

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    1. There is such a different atmosphere in a home, isn't there?

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  5. Aw - such a nice post!!! I love hosting too but find that I'm not always "dressed" or ready! I love your attitude - there is no need to impress but to bless instead. Your Warren Kimble mug collection is lovely. Must try your delicious sounding salad recipe - I have learned to love cilantro.

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    1. Rosella, I have no doubt that guests are blessed at your farm!

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  6. You are such a great hostess! I love those grainsack napkins! Perfect! Your tips are great, and being prepared also would allow for spontaneous hospitality as well. That's why I always try to be prepared.

    I also pick up Summer Sausage and good cheeses at Aldi, along with crackers. I can easily slice up a few sausages and cheese, put out crackers and fruit and you've got a quick and easy ploughman's lunch!

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    1. That's a great hospitality habit, Deanna! I am going to follow your tip this week by picking up some summer sausage to keep on hand. That would make a good appetizer too . . . for those times when dinner is not quite ready and you need a little something for your guests to nibble on . . .

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  7. I LOVED this! I want to come! lol The mug collection is wonderful! And the salad is definitely one I will be trying! We too keep plates (and yes definitely those kind!) on hand, and also the utensils. But not the napkins or the sodas. Such good ideas. I love all kinds of napkins too, but never can think of a reason to buy them, lol. But I love your thoughts....if you buy them, they will come! lol Enjoy your week!

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  8. I agree with everyone above...you have a special gift of hospitality, Cheryl. I need to really learn this "not to impress but to bless" thing. I don't mean to do this but I have to admit I can get pretty stressed out sometimes because "I" want everything to be perfect...such great truth to this! Your chicken salad looks and sounds heavenly. I am so sure everyone was quite blessed! :)

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    1. Thank you, Debby. I think that hosting frequently is the best way to prevent hospitality stress. If I go too long in between events, I tend to get nervous all over again!

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  9. This is a lovely post, and I agree with other posters that you practice hospitality and are an example to others. I like to have things on hand to serve impromptu guests. Fussing makes everyone uncomfortable!

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    1. Thank you, Lorrie. And I agree: fussing does make everyone uncomfortable! Better to be prepared with a simple plan.

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  10. I love to entertain and I'm finally getting my house fixed up to the point where I can again. That salad looks great except I would have to leave out the cilantro. My husband made me a salad one time with it and I yelled at him for not rinsing the dish and leaving the soap in there. Poor guy. I had never had cilantro before and didn't know that I was one of the people that thinks it tastes like soap. Something about the enzymes on your tongue that makes it taste that way to some people. I just happened to get lucky. But otherwise that salad sounds awesome!

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    1. The "soap" tally is getting higher! Who knew? :D

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  11. I had to smile because I think of tidying the house before deciding upon the right clothes when company is expected. When my sister and brother-in-law were staying here during a March snow storm, I had the pantry stocked and much of the food prepared ahead. My sister-in-law is a gourmet cook. Your phrase (from earlier days of reading your lovely blog) in a shortened version "bless not impress" is a motto that ran through my thoughts during their stay with us. Your ministry is more far-reaching than you might guess. Thank-you, Cheryl.

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    1. Thank you for sharing that with me, Karen. I am humbled that anything I have said has made an impact on someone. To God be the glory!

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  12. I'm afraid that I haven't been all that hospitable in recent years. Even my dear friend had to gently admonish me with the words that she didn't want to see our house, she wanted to see us!

    My problem isn't that I don't have the things I need but I have always felt my house had to be super duper clean. I keep a supply of paper plates, plastic glasses and sausage, cheese and crackers and the like on hand. Soda doesn't last long, tho, at my house. But having rescued too many kitties and having them in the house makes me feel like it's just not guest-friendly. I need to print out the "bless not impress" and hang on the wall! I am a great prayer warrior, though. :)

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    1. I "get" that, Cheryl! I have to overcome the "my house isn't perfect" thing too. But I usually find that it's worth it.

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