I have been a caterer and party planner for years. It was more of a hobby than a vocation, but definitely a passion of mine. I love the planning even more than the event itself!
I start by writing down all the info I have on hand-the theme, color scheme, and type of event (casual, formal, indoor, outdoor, etc.) I write down any random thoughts or ideas that might work for the event, plus any decorations I know I have on hand for use.
I will delete and add information over and over until I decided on my final concept and menu.
I visit the venue to sketch out the room dimensions and placement of doors, electrical sockets, traffic areas, and proximity to the kitchen. This is helpful as I take into consideration the number of guests, table placement, and the best way to direct the flow of the room. Running into each other as we transport items or blowing circuits by plugging in too many roaster ovens into too few sockets CAN be prevented.
Too little planning leads to chaos, too much leads to inflexibility and a “my way or the highway” kind of mentality.
James 4 speaks of the planning process. He reminds us that as we make plans we should actually preface our plans with ‘Lord willing’ we will do this or that, and also, that THIS life is a vapor.
I admit I am not totally sure what God’s plan is for me in this season of life. Being a widow was certainly NOT my choice. But seeking Him daily, being open to His direction, and praising Him for His goodness and provision is certainly on my daily ‘to-do’ list.
There is nothing wrong with planning, it is leaving the Lord out of our planning where we go astray.
Today I’m sharing my recipe for Beef and Broccoli. (Please take note of this option as the end of the recipe.) Lord willing, this is what’s on the menu for dinner tonight.
James 4:13-17Go to now, ye that say, To day or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
CHICKEN LO MEIN
1 lb. chicken, boneless and skinless
1/4 tsp. sesame oil, if desired
2 T. vegetable oil
2 c. chicken broth
1-2 cloves minced garlic, to taste
1 jar mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp. dried ground ginger
1 can bamboo shoots, un-drained
2-4 T. low sodium soy sauce
1 can water chestnuts, undrained
1 c. celery, sliced on the diagonal
1-2 c. spaghetti, pre-cooked
1 c. carrot, slivered
1 med. onion, sliced
2 T. cornstarch, dissolved in 2-3 tsp. water
1 can crispy rice noodles, optional
Prepare all vegetables and other ingredients. This is a quick cook once the prep work has been done. Slice the chicken into small pieces and set aside.
Heat 1 T. oil in a large skillet or wok and add half of the garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Cook briefly, stirring constantly, then add chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and remove from skillet.
Put in the rest of the oil and add the other half of the garlic, soy sauce, and ginger. Add in the vegetables and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp. Add in the cooked chicken, sesame oil (a little goes a long way) and 1 cup of the broth.
Cook for 2 more minutes, then stir in the cornstarch mixture. Sauce will thicken as you stir. Add in as much of the spaghetti as you like. If sauce is too thick, add more broth to achieve the consistency you want. Taste and add more garlic or soy sauce as desired. Top with rice noodles and serve. Yield: 4-6 servings
Note: I use this same basic recipe for Chow Mein or Beef and Broccoli, omitting the spaghetti, and serving it over Rice a Roni Fried Rice.
For Beef & Broccoli- substitute slivered beef, add broccoli, omit celery, and use beef broth for this option. (Leftover roast beef is good in this as it is precooked and tenderizes even more in this dish.)