For many years, I thought faithfulness meant continuing to believe in Jesus as Savior throughout my life, not turning away from the faith in God I said I had. It was one of those attributes listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit that naturally shows up as you continue to live the Christian life. Right?[Read more…]
Club Chicken Casserole is my all time favorite main dish meal to take to church potlucks.
It’s my go-to dish when I need to take a main dish to one of my church’s quarterly potluck dinners. Club Chicken Casserole is easy, has simple, on-hand ingredients, and satisfies my obsession with bringing a healthy dish that includes some vegetables to a potluck. Leftovers heat up well and it doesn’t contain canned cream soup, like so many casseroles do. In fact, I use the chicken broth collected when I cook chicken in my Instant Pot. So my chicken broth is rich and full of good nutrients without any added salt.
Okay, confession. While, like any cook, I’m delighted when I take home an empty dish, I don’t mind bringing home the leftovers of Club Chicken Casserole. I love it that much. It’s also tailor made for a Sunday noon church potluck because you can make it the day before and then stick it in the church oven 45 minutes before the potluck begins, adding the cheese and almonds ten minutes before it’s done.
The recipe for Club Chicken Casserole is from a 1979 Better Homes and Gardens All Time Favorite Recipes Cookbook. Our family cherishes many recipes from this well organized cookbook, including baked custard, cabbage rolls, Chili Relleno Bake, Strawberry Souffle Salad, and Stir Fry Beef Asparagus. Is your mouth watering yet?
So here’s my recipe for Club Chicken Casserole. Better grab a spoonful at the potluck. You might not get to take home any leftovers.
Club Chicken Casserole
- Club Chicken Casserole
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2/3 cup regular or jasmine rice
- 2 cups frozen chopped broccoli
- ¼ cup butter or margarine
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Dash pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
- ½ cup fresh sliced mushrooms or 1 small can fresh mushrooms
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- Grated cheddar cheese, optional
In saucepan, bring chicken broth and rice to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook, covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for ten minutes covered.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli according to package directions. Drain well.
In saucepan, melt butter or margarine. Sauté mushrooms, if fresh, in butter until tender. Add salt, pepper, and flour; mix well. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir constantly until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, cooked rice, drained broccoli, and mushrooms, if canned. Turn into a 2-quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes, covered. Sprinkle chees and almonds on top, pressing almonds gently into the casserole. Bake, uncovered, ten more minutes.
OVERNIGHT: Before baking, cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to serve, bake, covered, in preheated 350-degree oven for 35 minutes. Add cheese and almonds as above and bake, uncovered for ten minutes.
I’m learning to love the Discovery approach to Bible reading.
My small group and online Bible study are taking a different tact this year. Starting with the book of Genesis, we’re reading one chapter a day. We’re reading with intentionality and expectation. Part of that process is asking key questions before and during our reading.
Here’s a general list of questions you can use as you read the Bible:
- What does this passage tell you about God? Man? Living to please God?
- What captured your attention?
- What did you like?
- Did anything bother you? Why?
- In order to obey God, what changes must you make in your life?
- What did you not understand?
- What questions came to mind?
Wait a minute
Should I question the Bible? Is God OK with me asking about the parts I don’t understand?
Oh yes! God does not disapprove of questions. Many times, within the pages of the Bible, God’s people and prophets questioned, deliberated, and even debated the Divine edicts. Most of the time, God was patient and gave them answers that they could accept.
Asking questions of any text is a beneficial study method. It helps our mind engage with the material and motivates us to interact with the Author. It admits a humility to God that we really don’t understand everything and helps us go deeper than a surface level comprehension.
As I read through Genesis 1-9, I found myself asking these questions:
- Why does the Bible begin with the creation account?
- Why was light God’s first creation?
- How could God make light when he didn’t create the sun until two days later?
- In Genesis 1:30, God said He gave every green plant for food to man and all animals. But today, many plants are toxic. Did God’s curse on the land as part of Adam’s punishment and the change in the earth after the Flood cause some plants to become toxic?
- How was the serpent able to speak?
- What change happened to mankind and the earth after Adam and Eve’s disobedience? Was the change gradual or instant?
- How was Noah able to stay righteous among such widespread wickedness? Could I stay that faithful in a hostile environment?
- How did the violence before the Flood compare to what the world is like today?
If it’s wrong to ask questions, from the looks of my list, I’m in big trouble!
Let’s go back to my questions about light.
As I mentioned, the biblical record shows that God didn’t mind when His people asked questions. He promises to give wisdom to anyone who asked. Here’s how God gave me a thimble full of insight when I asked.
I posed my light questions to my Bible study group. No one had an answer. The next day, I did research for another writing project on the science of color. Because I have a simple mind, I went to the children’s section of my local library to read children’s books about color. I quickly discovered that the science of color and light are intricately connected. If I wanted to understand how our eyes see color, I had to understand the concepts behind the creation of light.
As I read further, I learned about the electromagnetic spectrum. Visible light, the light our eyes detect, is only a narrow band within the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The rest of the spectrum include x-rays, gamma rays, infrared, radio waves, and other kinds of energy.
Did God create only visible light or the entire electromagnetic spectrum that first day?
Could we go so far as to say God created all of energy? Energy that became the foundation and building blocks for the rest of Creation? Is it possible that God used this powerful energy to create the cosmos and establish the earth in subsequent days? That the Big Bang theory of evolution did have a divine source – that the very first thing God created was galactic size energy forces?
Then why didn’t God say so?
Why didn’t he specify in Genesis 1:3 what kind of light? Why didn’t He say electromagnetic spectrum or fusion energy if that’s what it was?
The Hebrew language is a simple language. And the Genesis account is a simplified version, a child’s version, of the creation process. It leaves lots of room for man to explore, learn, and discover. And even with all our searching, we will still never understand all of it. Happy is the person who is humbly able to admit as much! Before you hit the response button and find all kinds of loopholes in my thinking, remember, I’m exploring and asking questions. I’m the first to admit I have a galaxy sized hole in my understanding of the universe.
What do I do with this tiny step toward understanding?
For my part, I now have a new appreciation of what God needed to do in order to make our universe the expansive, functioning, and vastly detailed entity that it is. With one word, He spoke the cosmos into being. One word was infinitesimally more powerful than the largest of nuclear bombs. If He has that kind of power to speak the world into being, He can control all that happens to it and commandeer the energy at His disposal to destroy all or parts of the earth in His final judgement. And He has the authority and wisdom to take my surrendered life and do mighty things with me according to His good pleasure.
All this from one question about the creation of light! It makes me want to fall on my knees, no, on my face, in worship of a God so powerful – a God with the power to create power from nothing.
So, as you read the Bible, allow yourself to question.
Ponder. Wonder why. Ask, How could that be? You might find the answer embedded within the passage. God might bring other Scriptures to your mind that explain the passage you are reading at that moment. He could bring forth other information or people to guide you toward the answers you seek. Or, you may never get your full answer this side of eternity.
Regardless of the level of answers you get, you are basically asking God for wisdom to understand His Word. He’s made it plain that He is happy to oblige. He wants you to know who He is and He’ll work with you to make those discoveries.
God’s imparted wisdom will lead you to worship Him.
Go ahead. Ask the questions. Let God excite you with the answers.
When is keeping quiet a good idea?
For years, our society has promoted a philosophical ban against keeping quiet.
Have you heard these lines?
- Let It all hang out
- Sometimes you just have to vent.
- I need to get something off my chest.
- Honesty is telling you how I feel.
- I would feel so much better if I can tell you something.