2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner, Sept 2016

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2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016
2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about preparing ahead for this particular 2nd Sunday dinner.  You can read about it HERE
My right knee replacement went well and everyone did a FABULOUS job pulling off 2nd Sunday….as I sat 🙂
My handsome hubby Stan was the hero, as usual to pull it all off!!!  He, our son Derek and daughter Delsi put out all the tables and chairs (as well as any cleaning that still needed to be done) the night before. THANK YOU so much!!!!


For the menu:

I made the Raspberry Cheesecake Salad, but that was about it – other then what I made ahead, of course.

We had Coleslaw with my really easy homemade dressing.  

You can get the recipe HERE

Perfectly seasoned Homemade Coleslaw

Stop HERE Best Colesaw

And this Raspberry Cheesecake Salad that went super fast – wow! The recipe is HERE

Cheeesecake Salad with raspberries

Raspberry Cheesecake Salad

Baked beans simmered in the crock pot.

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

Rolls to go with the Slow Cooked Pulled Pork to have with or without BBQ Sauce.  

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

See the recipe for the Pulled Pork Sandwiches HERE

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Tawni (my daughter-in-law) brought over the Peach Pound Cake and Zucchini Cakes I had made ahead and stored in her freezer.  ***BIG TIP:  Give your cakes enough time to thaw, I miscalculated, and people were so kind, they still ate them – they really did like them a little chilled:)

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

Here’s the recipe for one of the most popular recipes on my site: Peach Pound Cake HERE  Thank you Virginia and Bryce for the scrumptious peaches for the cakes!
Fresh Peach Pound Cake

I LOVE this dessert and it was pretty much gone.  Recipe for the Zucchini Cake HERE

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy and Moist Zucchini Cake

Stan and I can’t tell everyone how much we appreciate your help with this dinner particularly.  And especially the for chance to meet people in the neighborhood, some who just moved in and some who have lived here awhile, but now they are new friends!!!
Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday - 9/16

Getting ready for 2nd Sunday Dinner, Sept 2016

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

Well, I thought last month was a challenge….this one proved to be one also.  You can see my list and the yellow pad had THREE pages!!!  I don’t usually do a post on getting ready for the 2nd Sunday dinner, but this one is special. 

This month has been interesting because of my knees.  YUP, my knees.  

See, they’ve pretty much always been a problem with dislocating and all sorts of issues most of my life.  About eight years ago I had to have total knee replacements.  The doctor put in ceramic replacements since I was in my early 40’s and they worked great, until the last couple of years, when they started giving me trouble.  Arthritis, which is the reason I had to have replacements the first time, has eaten under the replacements from behind causing them to shift and move, so now I have to have replacements again, but this time I am having titanium replacements. I will be superwoman!
I had about a week to get ready, including my site and business, things around the house (thank heavens for my handsome hubby Stan and ALL he does!), arranging insurance, other things I needed to take care of, AND cooking ahead for 2nd Sunday for September and October! WHEW!!!
I’ll show you what I did, and a huge shout out to my son Derek and lovely daughter-in-law Tawni for their freezer space to store desserts in.

The Menu for September:
PULLED PORK on rolls –  it’s seasoned and served with BBQ sauce on the side for those who want it
COLESLAW with my homemade sauce
BAKED BEANS – went with canned, but I linked my delish recipe for you!

To start, I seasoned the pork and slow cooked it in the crock pot.  When it was perfectly done and cooled (enough to handle and not melt the bag), I shredded it and put it gallon freezer bags.  

Then I strained the COOLED (otherwise if it’s too warm it will melt the bag) juices from the crock pot the meat was cooking in and poured it over the meat.

I cooked the pork, shredded it, strained the juiced from the meat it was cooking in, then poured it into the bag with the meat.  It keeps the meat from drying out and staying super scrumptious moist. Now it was ready to freeze for 2nd Sunday Dinner.  

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

I made up my coleslaw sauce, chopped the green onions and kept them separate. They are in the fridge, just chillin. This is just two days ahead folks, so no worries.

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

Raspberry Cheesecake Fluff Salad – I have all the ingredients ready to go, but will have others help me put it together on that Sunday, as well as these other items also.

Now THIS cake is one of my most popular posts EVER!  My amazing neighbors Bryce and Virginia Ragland gave me peaches off of their tree a couple of years back so I made a
Peach Pound Cake and it’s gone CRAZY I tell you!  

Well Bryce and Virginia generously gave me peaches again, so I decided to make up Peach Pound Cakes for this 2nd Sunday Dinner. I wrapped them up and they are in the freezer till the the dinner.

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

For another option for the dinner, I decided to add in one of my favorite recipes.  It’s this tender and really moist Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Make sure to serve it cold.  I placed parchment over the top, then saran wrap (by the way, get the large industrial box of plastic wrap at Sam’s or Costco/big box stores I believe they call them – MUCH cheaper that way and goes a long way).

The cakes are in the freezer.

2nd Sunday Dinner - 9/16

2nd Sunday Dinner – 9/16

Wish me luck.  I’m off for surgery today on the right knee and the left in three weeks.  But, I will keep in touch on FB, THAT I can do from my phone:)

Fast forward….you can see the dinner and how it turned out HERE

2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday Dinner – June 2016

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2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday DinnerAre you terrified with all the shootings, bombings and such going on?  It IS terrifying, but not a reason to hide in our homes and be afraid of strangers – which are hopefully just friends we haven’t met yet.

Stan and I started holding 2nd Sunday dinners in our homes in October of 2012 and did them every month for 25 months.  We enjoyed doing it and had anywhere from 30 – 85 people come each time. We never knew how many would show up; just hoped someone would.  People we didn’t know came every month, but what a joy it was and is.

I prepare all the food. It’s my way of showing our friends and neighbors that we want them to come, they are welcome and to just relax and visit.

We stopped for 20 months, then felt recently prompted that it was time to begin again.  So, we put the word out in the neighborhood, to our church congregation and the neighborhood FB page that we would like anyone who would like to join us, to please come, and bring a friend who lives here also, so people can meet, make new friends and strengthen our community.

To get ready, we also deep clean the house each time the best we can.  Stan wanted to really get the outside clean, but by the time he had a chance, it was a downpour.  That didn’t stop him, lol.  Can you see how hard it was raining and yet there he is, undaunted, power-washing the outside of the house, the lawn chairs and such so people could enjoy what we do have to share, in as clean a state as possible.  That’s my man!!!

2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday Dinner

Meanwhile I was making cakes – more about this later…’s ok if everything isn’t perfect:)

2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday Dinner

 For our first one to start off I decided to make my delicious SWEET PORK for our guests to have the choice for Pork Burritos, or on a Salad. 

It takes 2 days to make this AMAZING recipe which you can find HERE

Anyway, you cook it and it comes out like this: Now I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these BEAR PAWS that Stan bought for me a few years back.  I have tons of arthritis everywhere, and my hands are no exception. The beauty of these ‘claws’ is that you can grab them and in must minutes have shreds with little effort at all!

2nd Sunday - Bear Paws

2nd Sunday – Bear Paws

Seriously! The meat is beautiful and the perfect shreds for this recipe, or any you want shreds for and it doesn’t tear at the meat and make it tough by destroying the fibers or ribbing it to pieces.  You can get to the link HERE if you are interested in them.

2nd Sunday - Bear Paws

2nd Sunday – Bear Paws

Now, back to the cake.  Can you see the back one?  I don’t know why, but it fell in the middle AND I was distracted and added TOO much milk! WHAT? It was a mess.

2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday Dinner

So, I went ahead and made up the one, salvaged what I could from the ‘other’ one, by cutting of the outside and putting it on a plate so that IF we needed it and  now you know that things just happen.  Even when they do – just plug along.

2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday Dinner

Here was the menu for 2nd Sunday June, 2016:

Sweet Pork Burritos or Salad served with lettuce (from my neighbors garden, isn’t it beautiful!), shredded monterey jack cheese, black beans, chicken garlic flavored rice and a fresh tomatillo and cilantro (also from her garden) sauce.  Recipe HERE

Homemade Refried Beans – recipe HERE

Chips & Salsa – recipe Sams Club or Costco, lol

Fruit & Orange Jello Salad – the recipe for the Orange Jello Salad is in my Cookbook, Carrie’s Cooking for Keeps HERE

Tres Leches Cake – recipe HERE

Mexican Brownies – HERE

We had a GREAT time and appreciate all who came which was about 45 people. 


2nd Sunday June 2016

2nd Sunday June 2016

So what could 2nd Sunday’s possibly have to do with all the chaos and commotion going on in the world?  

In years past people needed each other to build their home, to work together to build a community, for safety and support. 

Due to our culture today, we are more splintered as a society and are not as cohesive naturally; it requires effort.

That is why we are making this effort, using our resources, committing time to cleaning and shopping, all in the belief that it provides the opportunity for strangers who live in the same area to meet and become friends.  Neighbors will then watch out for each other and their children, because they know each other a little after chatting even briefly.  This is our goal and prayer.

Have a wonderful week!

 Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


Second Sunday Dinner

August 2nd Sunday – Open House Dinner

 It was a FABULOUS 2nd Sunday Dinner with a large crowd of about 60 AWESOME people! I went with a Hawaiian Theme and here’s a few of the items on the menu:

Hawaiian Sliders

Hawaiian SlidersRoasted Corn Couscous

Roasted Corn Cous Cous

Pineapple Dream Bars

Pineapple Dream Bars

It was a crazy, busy week for Stan and me, but we still managed to get the house cleaned.  The fridge, pantry, fingerprints on walls, wood, etc., you know the deep stuff I normally don’t do with my regular daily cleaning. And of course cooking and getting everything ready to greet our guests.

The menu consisted of: 

Hawaiian Pork Sliders with Slaw and Sauce – click HERE for the recipe

Roasted Corn Couscous – click HERE for this recipe

Island Baked Beans, Mini Cucumber Bites, Pineapple Dream Bars – click HERE to get this recipe

Toasted Coconut Poke Cake – always a fav, click HERE for this one.

I mentioned to my friend Diane at RecipesForOurDaily Bread I was doing a Hawaiian theme and she said she had a recipe she had that would go perfectly.  I asked her to send it and I will tell you, that it was so unique, that I could not even imagine what it would taste like.  Our friends that join us for 2nd Sunday Dinner are very adventurous (I try to introduce at least one food they may not have had before) and thought this would be a great time to try this.  I made a triple batch to fit in my over-sized pan, and people were scraping every little bit out and asking for the recipe before they left.  Can you imagine what it would taste like to mix pineapple and cheese together, then top it with butter and Ritz crackers?  Well – this is what the people were asking about and rushing the serving counter for.  Head on over to Diane’s place to snag the recipe for Baked Pineapple Cheese Casserole and see it for yourself.  Click HERE for her recipe.  Second Sunday Dinner

Second Sunday Dinner 1

Second Sunday Dinner 2

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


Second Sunday Dinner

June 2nd Sunday Dinner

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It was a wonderful 2nd Sunday with a great turn-out. We had approximately 60 people come join us!  Once a month Stan and I open our home to our neighborhood for dinner, socializing and making friends.  A HUGE THANKS to our kids who also help with preparations, cooking, cleaning and during the dinner.  Stan and I were lucky (thanks to Tawni for the heads up) to get corned beef on a killer sale after St. Patrick’s Day, so I wrapped it well and put it in the freezer.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to serve Reuben sandwiches for the main course – it’s one of my very favorites. Aspen Mills Bread Company has very affordable marbled rye bread that is so delicious; and it paired perfectly with my cooked corned beef, slaw and dressing. Yes, I know that Reuben’s are served with Sauerkraut, but I decided to tweek it and serve it with crunchy slaw that is my own recipe. I love it this way.  The slaw is not too saucy, nor overpowered with the dressing and when using the broccoli slaw mix, it stays crunchy and crisp. The homemade Thousand Island dressing is a perfect fit for this sandwich. The German Potato Salad is great for summer since it does not have mayo in the dressing. I love the fresh flavors of this dish. For a dessert I made the the most decadent Brownie Cupcakes. These are not too chocolatey and do not need frosting – believe me, they are moist and uuummmmm good.

A remarkable night largely due to the wonderful Sister Missionaries –  Awesome friends seated on the couch too!

Second Sunday Dinner

Second Sunday Dinner

My sister Jody who is an incredible help every month with our dinner. DSC_1629Both of these men are in the Air Force and serve our country to keep our freedoms. THANK YOU to them and their courageous wife’s.

Left: The Daubs     On the right: The Coon’sDSC_1633The Forbush’s, the couple standing, are a huge support of our dinner’s.

The Corbett family (sitting at the table) are moving soon.  They will be greatly missed by the neighborhood but we wish them well and happiness in their new home. Second Sunday Dinner

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The menu this month:

Reuben Sandwiches on Rye bread* Homemade Thousand Island Dressing* Homemade Broccoli Slaw* German Potato Salad* Doritos Chips Red Grapes Dill Pickle Spears

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich


Dessert – Decadent Brownie Cupcakes* Raspberry Shortbread Bars Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brownie Cupcake

Brownie Cupcake

 *Recipe on blog Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

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Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday 1

2nd Sunday

2nd Sunday 1 This 2nd Sunday was uniquely wonderful. WHY?    My daughter, Delsi spoke in our church meeting; then family and friends came to our house after the service to eat and visit.    We also celebrated Mother’s Day with  wonderful women in our life.    Later that afternoon was our 2nd Sunday Dinner.  Between the two events that day, I had a count of slightly over 100 people that came to eat with us sometime during the day.   Luckily I had angels help me prep to get it all together on Saturday (yes hairnets are a requirement for 2nd Sunday cooking) while Stan worked in the yard.

Long time neighbors and friends, Jessica and Michal came over to assist in putting together the tortilla roll-up’s, made biscuits and gravy  – basically saving me hours and hours of work. THANKS gals.2nd Sunday 3Delsi made the Lasagna Roll’s. She wondered if they would ever end….2nd Sunday 4

Stan put in our garden, then had to go back and cover the new tender plants from the extreme cold we are having here in our area.2nd Sunday 5

2nd Sunday 6I am so frustrated with myself! Instead of copying pictures to attach for the post today, I accidentally deleted them! I apologize to those who were so kind to pose for the camera and give permission for me to use your picture. 

Next month, I’ll try to get them again.   Luckily, I do have some that my son took.

MENU: Brunch for those who came after the church service –

Yogurt Parfaits

Tortilla Roll-Ups (in my cookbook)

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits (in my cookbook)

Veggies & Dip Cut Up Fruit Muffins

Thank you so much to family and friends who brought food for the morning event! 

Notice the bottle of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the food? If you have people over for a group activity or event, small or large, it is a good idea to provide this to your company. 2nd Sunday7

2nd Sunday 8

A few of the very special women in our family.

My sister Jody with one of my granddaughters.JodyMy mom Connie2nd Sunday MayMy mother-in-law MeredithMom and Delsi2nd Sunday Dinner Menu:

Lasagna Rolls Rolls & Butter Green Salad & Dressing Desserts of Cinnamon Rolls, Cream Cheese Brownies with Chocolate Frosting and Neimen Marcus Bars   

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow,  2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

2nd Sunday Dinner Open House

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It was 2nd Sunday and we had one of our largest crowds ever, which made Stan and me so happy.  Neighbors brought people to meet new friends, and it was really a wonderful time.

I have been asked many times how & why we do this dinner every month, here’s a few of the reasons

  1. We feel very strongly that we are to host this dinner.
  2. Miracles happen every month.
  3. The people that come are wonderful and become friends

Here are a few of the latest miracles:

When our grand daughter was born a few days before 2nd Sunday, and struggled with life for several days, we had the energy and strength to help with the other grand kids, keep up my blog responsibilities & Stan his work, deep clean, cook, prepare and still hold the dinner.

I have a small budget set aside for this event and, without fail, miracles happen, for example –

One month I really wanted to make my Asian BBQ Chicken, but the meat alone would bust my budget. As the day came closer I felt impressed to go to a local store. Of course I did, and found they had exactly what I wanted at marked down prices!

This month I wanted to make the Beef Bourguignon I posted, but that particular cut of meat would be much more than a few months of my set-aside-funds for the dinner. Again, I felt to go to a certain store, and found the butcher was marking the meat down to about the cost of hamburger due to the upcoming marked date!

It is not an easy task to pull off every month, but it is so worth it and we relish in the feeling in our home as we get ready for and have the dinner.


Now for this month’s menu:

  • Beef Bourguignon over Chunky Masked Potatoes (click HERE for the recipe)
  • Strawberry Mousse   (I am so sorry my neighbors who I said I would have this recipe up – I forgot to take pics and write down what I did! I’ll make it again next month and put it up then)
  • Rolls & Butter
  • Green Salad & Dressing
  • Sugar Bars with Cookie Butter & Chocolate (recipe coming)
  • Stuffed Angel Food Cake (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate Cookies
  • Carrot Sheet Cake















DSC_0663Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday Open House Dinner

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This 2nd Sunday was a bit of a challenge with my granddaughter having problems and in the NICU. Luckily Stan and Dallin were a tremendous help with the grandkids, deep cleaning the house, shopping and cooking.

We really look forward to 2nd Sundays. It is a day we open our home to the neighbors to come, bring friends and eat great food. We never know who will come, or how many will drop in, so it is an exciting adventure every month. Stan and I are always amazed and thrilled at the experience we have in our home because of this event.











My challenge is making food that is delish, affordable and easily done mostly ahead of time. This month I served:

  • Sloppy Joes*
  • Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing and Olives
  • Spinach Salad with homemade dressing, mandarin oranges and fresh strawberries
  • Pickles
  • Chips


  • Homemade Oreo Cookies*
  • Peanut Butter Bars*
  • Key Lime Poke Cake

*These recipes are in my cookbook, Carrie’s Cooking For Keeps

pic 1DSC_0251










Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014