Feelin’ Stronger Every Day!

Salisbury Steak got its start as a recognized food in America when it was used as a source of protein for soldiers during the American Civil War. During that time, soldiers were regularly fed “soldier biscuits” containing dried vegetables or fruit, but the high yeast and low protein of these “meals” began to create disease. One of the most serious threats to the soldiers was “wasting”, a severe and potentially life-threatening physical deterioration with loss of strength and muscle mass due to chronic diarrhea and malnutrition.

Dr. James Henry Salisbury, who served as a physician during the war, became convinced that the troops who were suffering from this condition needed protein (and specifically beef). He tested his theory by providing “chopped beef” to the soldiers and his theory was proven correct! Their health improved, their strength increased, and Salisbury Steak was born!

So if you’re feeling a little weak this evening or if you’re just hungry for a fantastic meal, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a plate of Salisbury Steak nestled in a bed of mashed potatoes and covered with warm beef gravy!

Let’s make some!

Crockpot Salisbury Steak
(Serves: 4)


For the patties:
– 1 pound ground beef
– 1/2 cup of crushed Townhouse or Ritz crackers
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons milk
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
– 2 tablespoons canola oil

For the gravy:
– 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
– Two .87 oz packets of brown gravy mix
– 1-1/4 cup water
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

– 2 cups sliced mushrooms
– 1 white onion sliced


1. In a large bowl add the ground beef, crushed crackers, egg, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Mix together with clean hands; don’t overmix. Form the meat into 4 patties and set aside.
2. In another large bowl, whisk together the cream of mushroom soup, gravy packets, water and thyme until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil and pan are hot, add the patties and brown on both sides. No need to cook through.
4. Add half of the mushrooms and onions to the bottom of the crockpot. Add the patties on top. Add remaining onions and mushrooms on top of the patties. Pour over gravy mixture.
5. Cover and cook on low for 4.5 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
6. Serve over mashed potatoes with a side of green beans or buttered corn!


As followers of Jesus Christ, we have no shortage of strength and power available to us from our Lord. In fact, the “meat” of His Word, confirms it over and over! (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. (Psalm 28:7-8) I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2)

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. (Romans 8:11) That is some mighty power! And you’ve got it!

So, I encourage you, my friends, to finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power! (Ephesians 6:10) You can do all things through Him who gives you strength! (Philippians 4:13)

– Cheri Henderson

“Say Cheeseburger Soup”

Most of you have heard the phrase “say cheese” to encourage the appearance of a smile when being photographed, whether felt or not. Have you noticed, however, in old photographs from decades past that this obviously wasn’t the case? No one ever seemed to smile! Why? During those days, the elite and powerful were the only ones who could afford to have photographs taken of themselves, and they would remain stoic because smiling was seen as flighty and only something the lower class or children would do. And in those instances where less fortunate individuals could perhaps afford a photograph or two, they would imitate the norm.

In both cases, perhaps the photographer should have said “say cheeseburger soup” instead! That startling suggestion might have prompted a true smile or even a laugh from both parties! In any event, I guarantee a few sips of this delicious soup will definitely bring a little smile to your lips and joy to your belly!

Cheeseburger Soup
Serves: 8


4 small russet potatoes peeled and diced
1 small white or yellow onion chopped
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound lean ground beef
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 package (16 ounces) Velveeta processed cheese


Place potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, dried basil and parsley in a large crock pot. Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with lid. Cook on low heat 6 to 8 hours OR on high heat 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are tender.

About 45 minutes before serving, cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain any grease. Pour cooked ground beef into crock pot. Carefully wipe out hot skillet with a paper towel then add butter. When butter is melted whisk in flour and cook until golden brown and bubbly (about 1 minute.) Whisk in the milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into the crock pot and stir to combine everything. Add the cubed velveeta cheese or to the crock pot. Stir again. Cover with lid and cook another 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!


How sad that back in the day a smile was something less than desirable and, even more so, no one was bold enough to counter that philosophy with something that would shatter the lie, bring joy to the heart and a real smile to the lips. Sure, cheeseburger soup might bring a moment’s pleasure to the pallet, but real joy isn’t found in a sip of soup. It’s found in the salvation of a Savior. When this becomes a reality in your life, I guarantee that when you say His name, it will bring a smile to your lips and joy to your heart! Just “say Jesus!”

– Cheri Henderson

Prepared in Advance!


Here’s a delicious, new recipe I prepared night-before-last, so I could just put it in the crock pot and turn it on before leaving for work yesterday morning! Sometimes it takes a little advance preparation to be able to fully satisfy the hungry ones you’ll be feeding the next day, doesn’t it?

Red Beans, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
Serves 6


2 15 – ounce can no-salt-added red beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
8 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
8 ounces boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 14 1/2 – ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups chopped green sweet peppers (2 large)
1 14 1/2 – ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10 – ounce can tomatoes and chopped green chiles, undrained
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Sour cream to taste if desired


In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine beans, sweet potatoes, chicken, broth, sweet peppers, diced tomatoes, tomatoes and green chiles, Cajun seasoning, and garlic. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Remove 1 cup hot liquid from cooker. Whisk in peanut butter. Stir into mixture in cooker. Add sour cream to individual serving if desired.

Food for Thought

Sometimes it takes a little advance preparation to be able to fully satisfy the hungry ones you’ll be encountering the next day … and as followers of Jesus Christ, that same concept applies on a spiritual level. Will you be prepared to “feed” someone who God might put in your path tomorrow? “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

Prepare in advance: Pray, study the Word, and spend time in the presence of the Lord. You might need to feed someone tomorrow!

— Cheri Henderson

Chicken Hunters!


Another Henderson recipe favorite is Chicken Cacciatore! Did you know that Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian? In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, and sometimes wine. So what do you say? Let’s go hunt us some chicken and make up a batch!

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4-8

2-3 onions
2-4 pounds chicken (breasts or thighs, skinned and boneless)
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or broth
2 tablespoons capers
20 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped coarsely
1 bunch fresh parsley or basil, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
Cooked angel hair pasta

Place sliced onion in the crockpot and cover with chicken. In a bowl, stir tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and white wine together. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until chicken is tender. Stir in capers, olives and herbs just before serving. Serve over cooked pasta.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT

Just like a “chicken hunter” goes after the main ingredient to create a wonderfully nutritious and appealing meal, so too, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be “soul hunters”, going after the lost ones so they can give their hearts to Jesus, experience new life, and become part of a spiritually nurturing, beautiful Body of Christ! And Jesus said unto them, “Go everywhere and announce the good news of Jesus Christ to every living person you meet. He who believes [in Me] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who does not believe that I died in their place as the penalty for their sins and rose from the dead so that they, too, could do the same, will be condemned to an eternity of isolation, darkness, burning wind, and flames of unquenchable fire“. (Mark 16:15-16)

“I love them too much to see this happen! So get busy! Go hunting … and bring them to Me!”

— Cheri Henderson

A Different Presentation, But Just As Yummy!


There isn’t a meal more gratifying than this one … particularly if you are a Reuben Sandwich lover! Mix it all together, let it slow cook, and voila! It’s equally as good, if not better than the sandwich model! Granted, it may be a different presentation, but when all the ingredients are there, the taste is just as exquisite!

Crockpot Reuben Casserole
Serves 4

1 can (16 ounces) undrained sauerkraut
1-1/2 pound corned beef (raw), with the fat removed and set aside, and the beef cut into thin strips
2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 cup soft rye or pumpernickel bread crumbs

Place sauerkraut in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with a layer of beef and sprinkle with half of the seasoning packet that came with the corned beef. Top with the shredded cheese. Combine the mayonnaise and thousand island together in a small bowl and then spread over the cheese. Top with tomato slices. Cut the fat into slices and lay in various spots on top of the tomatoes. Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove and discard the fat strips. Sauté bread crumbs in butter and sprinkle on casserole before serving. Great served with mashed taters or macaroni and cheese!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT

Just like the Reuben Casserole is a different presentation, the taste is just as exquisite because all the ingredients are there … from a spiritual perspective, so too are our testimonies! When we share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are the ingredients of the gospel. And your unique story, your testimony is the presentation! Each of us has a different story of how Jesus saved us, but the gospel “ingredients” are always the same. “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Amplified

Your story is all yours, and when it’s combined with the ingredients of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the outcome will be exquisite! So share it! Often!

— Cheri Henderson

It’s Rib Time!


Anytime is the perfect time for barbecue ribs, especially when it’s summertime! And in my opinion, there’s nothing better than a plate of tender, barbecue ribs and hot, buttered corn-on-the-cob on a beautiful summer evening!  Perfectly cooked ribs can be a challenge, however, and the secret is low and slow cooking.

What better way to cook low and slow . . . than a Crockpot? And here’s a perfect recipe for doing so!

BBQ Beef Country Ribs
Serves: 5-6

¼ cup shortening
5 pounds boneless beef country ribs
1 medium onion, halved and then thinly sliced
1-1/4 cup catsup
½ cup celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 tablespoons flour
8 oz egg noodles

In a heavy frying pan, heat the ribs in the shortening until browned on all sides. In a medium bowl, stir ¾ cup of water and the remaining ingredients except the flour and noodles. Pour over the ribs in the Crock-pot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours until fork tender. In a cup, mix the flour and 4 tablespoons of water until smooth. Gradually stir into the hot liquid of the Crock-pot (gently stirring around the ribs), and then cook until the mixture is somewhat thickened, 10-15 minutes.

Cook the egg noodles, per package directions, and drain. Serve the ribs and barbecue sauce over the noodles.

It’s rib time!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Several thousand years ago, it was also rib time, but one of a totally different kind. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and as he slept, He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man, He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, and she shall be called Woman, BECAUSE she was TAKEN OUT OF MAN.” (Genesis 2:21-23)

Did you know the rib is the only bone in the human body that not only has the ability to repair itself, but can actually regenerate itself?  I’m not ribbing you! When a human rib is removed from the periosteum (the sheath that surrounds it), the rib will eventually grow back! And because this happens, ribs are often used for facial and other reconstructive surgery or when bone grafts are needed for other parts of the body. Additionally, the cells in bone marrow (which are found in the center of the rib) can be turned into almost any tissue in the body. How appropriate that the “Great Physician” would have anesthetized Adam and taken a rib from his side to create Woman. Eve was literally of Adam’s bone and flesh and blood.  And if she was “taken out of man”, then what was needed to create her was already within Adam. She was there all along.

Eve wasn’t created from the dust separately from Adam. She was custom built to be Adam’s partner. Matthew Henry once eloquently said, “Woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” I love that statement! It’s such a beautiful word picture of what I believe God intended.

It’s true that woman was created last.  But perhaps God did so because woman was the crown of His creation?

– Cheri Henderson

Warm those innards!


Well, it may be mid-April, but it looks like we’re in for a couple more days of below normal temperatures!

I don’t know about you, but when the weather gives me the shivers, there’s nothing I like better than a delicious bowl of hot Flat Iron Steak Chili to “warm the innards”!


1-1/2 lbs. flat iron steak cut into 1″ cubes
2 (16 ounce) cans mild chili beans
2 (16 ounce) cans spicy chili beans
2 (14-1/2 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped green bell pepper (about 3 cups)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons of Fajita or Mexican seasoning
1/2 cup sour cream
shredded cheddar
chopped green onion

Place the first 7 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker, stir well. Cover with lid and cook on high-heat setting for 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting and cook 7 hours.  Ladle chili into soup bowls, top with sour cream, shredded cheddar and chopped green onion.  Serves eight 1-cup servings. Mmmm . . . a great meal to ward off the shivers!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:
In a similar way, sometimes the trials we encounter or the current news events of the day can “give us the shivers”. In fact, in Matthew 24:12-14, the Lord tells us “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”The world is cold to the things of God — but as followers of Jesus Christ, we need to keep our eyes focused on Him so we do not allow the world to numb us with its coldness. Rather, as we continually “feed” on His Word, pray, and immerse ourselves in His presence, He can use us to melt some of the frozen ones around us!  Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)  Just like an empty bowl on a shelf doesn’t give off any heat on its own, when that same bowl is filled with a hot, nourishing meal, the warmth radiates out to the one who holds it . . . and very quickly the warmth and aroma of its contents entice the cold, hungry one to partake.  And he is filled.

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9)

For those of us who are shivering spiritually right now, remember, the Lord our God is our sun and shield (Psalm 84:11)!  His warmth will fill us and will radiate out into the lives of others if we will continually abide in His Presence.

— Cheri Henderson