True hospitality is not about being perfect, cooking a fancy meal, or spending a lot of money. Rather, it's about an open door and an open heart. Popular blogger Sandy Coughlin offers a simple but savvy approach to help women break free of the anxieties that keep them from opening their homes. Emphasizing the forgotten goal of entertaining--connecting deeply with others--she shows how women can use the gifts and talents God gave them to reach out in love.
Read an excerpt of The Reluctant Entertainer here, in PDF format.
About The Author:
Sandy Coughlin loves hospitality, cooking, and opening her home to others with her husband and three growing teenagers. She's the author of The Reluctant Entertainer and co-author (with her husband Paul) ofMarried...But Not Engaged. She's been featured on numerous media outlets including Moody's Midday Connection, Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, and Library Journal.You can find Sandy's blog about simple but savvy entertaining, as well as the benefits to imperfect living, at ReluctantEntertainer.com
I love having people come into my home and visit, but I am the first to admit that I am no Martha Stewart! And honestly, I do not want to be! When the hospitality comes to my mind, I think of have a few close friends or family in my home, sitting around my living room, or kitchen table and having a fun time playing games or chatting! I don't want my time of socializing to be spent with worrying if my home is clean enough (with two children under 5 years, is it ever going to be clean enough!), or if I have the correct silverware set up, or the right appetizers! I want the time to be spent fellowshipping and having fun in a relaxed setting!
In her book, The Reluctant Entertainer, Coughlin shows the reader how to be real in your hospitality. I love that! Being real is my goal! She has some fantastic tips to make entertaining so much easier. From what you should always stock in your kitchen, in order to open your home at any given time, to delicious sounding recipes, to ways to entertain inexpensively on a real budget!
On point Coughlin makes that I loved was this:
" ...although food is important, it's not what really makes entertaining successful. She taught me that what really matters is the grace you extend to those around your table, no matter what their background, religion, or beliefs. This approach removes rigidity and expectations and spreads sharing, loving, patience, and understanding - all attributes of a gracious lifestyle.
And more times than not, this gracious attitude shows itself at the dinner table, where people feel free to open up and share their joys as well as their struggles. We remember that God is gracious with us, so we should be gracious to one another" (p. 119)
One recipe I would like to share with you from The Reluctant Entertainer is this! My family loved it:
Zucchini Noodles With Parmesan Sauce
12 small zucchini
2 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper
10 garlic cloves, pressed
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
With a potato peeler, create long, wide zucchini ribbons by starting at the top of each zucchini and peeling down the length of it. Turn after each peel to get all the green part first. Continue peeling until the center portion becomes too thin, and discard the rest.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high and add the olive oil and zucchini noodles. Saute for apporximently 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook ro they will become soggy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a saucepan, saute the pressed garlic in olive oil. Add the whipping cream, turn the heat to high, and stir until it begins to boil. Then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan Cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over the "noodles" and serve
Variation: Substitute any kind of pasta for the zucchini noodles. Serves 6 to 8 people
If you want some fantastic tips, recipes and encouragement as you entertain as the Lord wants, then you must read this book! Her website is also a HUGE wealth of great information and encouragement!
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase The Reluctant Entertainer online here, directly from Bethany House Publishers. It is also available through your favorite, local Christian bookseller.
****I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***