Costa Rica Mission Team

By Published On: June 11, 2014

Food has truly come full-circle for members of the Lewis Memorial Methodist Church’s Costa Rica Mission Team. The team of 13 –Bro. Allen and Debra Dearing, Connie and Darby Claire Caviness, Charles Diamond, Michelle and Mason Good, Kimberly and Sarah Grace Ruth, Royce and Trista Tidwell, and Daphne and Jayden Warren–began fundraising for the July Rice and Beans Ministry trip last October.

And mainly, through food-related events, the group raised the $20,000 necessary for the trip. “We are the eating church!” said Kimberly Ruth, and Bro. Dearing added, “the church of the potluck!”
One of their biggest projects is a cookbook containing over 500 recipes, compiled by all members of the team.  According to Connie Caviness, it contains good, basic recipes, and lots of old recipes– “from Methodist Women and their dinners, many family recipes, older members of New Century Club,” and more.

Seated, Mason Good, Darby Claire Caviness, Sarah Grace Ruth, Debra Dearing, Trista Tidwell; standing, Royce Tidwell, Kimberly Ruth, Connie Caviness, Bro. Allen Dearing, Charles Diamond and Michelle Good. Not pictured are Daphne and Jayden Warren.

It has “things you would cook,” said Dearing, and, “people gave up their ‘Granny’ recipes,” said Kimberly Ruth, and  “something you love that’s been passed down to you,” said Michelle Good. “It has all the good recipes together in one book so you don’t have to look different places for them,” said Connie Caviness.
They sold t-shirts, had memorial sponsors, and in addition to the regular offering each Sunday, the children collected a “bucket” offering for the ministry, which raised $2,400 – enough to feed 200 families. Cookbooks and t-shirts are still available. The purchase of one cookbook ($15) will feed a family of four for a week, said Dearing.

The group also raised money by cooking. They prepared one  Sunday lunch a month with all of the team members participating. They had some theme lunches like Super Bowl Sunday, a salad lunch, and fish fry. “Our team is so grateful for the support of our church members,” said Ruth. Each dinner was successful and “awesome,” said Michelle Good. “We are all about the food!” said Kimberly Ruth. The team members all enjoy cooking, even the kids. Mason Good served his meatball soup at one of the fundraising lunches, and when Sarah Kate Ruth cooks, the Cajun Chicken Pasta, is her dish of choice.

They will hand out over 200 bags of food, which will feed over 1200 people. Each bag holds 22 lbs. of food.  They will deliver  bags in the afternoons to people’s homes, at which time they will also pray with the families. Each morning, they will have Vacation Bible School for the children. The Dearings have been to Costa Rica once before with this ministry about two years ago, and are the only two who have ever been out of the country. Only five of the 13 have ever flown before.

Meatball Soup
Mason Good
1 pkg. (3 oz.) beef-flavor Ramen noodles
3 cups water
14 oz. tomato sauce
1-16 oz. frozen fully cooked Italian style meatballs
Break noodles into small pieces in a bowl and set aside. Put water, tomato sauce and noodle seasoning packet  in 2 qt. saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add noodles and meatballs. Heat again until it comes to a boil, then turn to low. Cook and stir soup 4-5 minutes using wooden or bamboo spoon. Six servings.

Toasted Pecans
Charles Diamond
2 handfuls of pecans, shelled
1/2 stick butter or margarine
Palmful of salt
Preheat oven to 450°. (First time making so you know what size pan to use, place  pecans in baking pan so they are not on top of each other and set aside.) In separate dish, melt butter. Put butter and pecans in covered bowl or bag and shake until coated. Put in salt and shake again. Put coated pecans back in original pan and scatter so they are not on top of each other. Place in pre-heated oven and turn it off right then! Go and do something until oven has oven cools down. Remove when oven has cooled off.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Sarah Grace Ruth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp. Cajun seasoning
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. cooked Penne pasta, drained
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Freshly shredded Parmesan, to taste
Slightly moisten chicken with water. In large resealable bag, shake chicken and Cajun seasoning until thoroughly coated. In large skillet, saute chicken in 2 Tbsp. butter (or  olive oil) over medium heat, turning when necessary. When chicken is about halfway done, in second skillet combine heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. butter and remainder of seasonings. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When cream mixture begins to bubble, add pasta and turn off heat. Stir well. When chicken is cooked thoroughly, place on cutting board and slice into strips. Spoon pasta and sauce into pasta bowls or dinner plates. Top with chicken, diced tomatoes, and Parmesan. Serve with garlic bread or Texas toast.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
Daphne Warren
1-8 oz. Cool Whip
2 eggs
1 box strawberry cake mix, dry
Confectioners sugar
Mix cake mix, Cool Whip and eggs in a bowl. (It will be kind of sticky.) Pour powdered sugar in large bowl. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough mixture into powdered sugar. You will have to push it off spoon. Roll dough/sugar mixture into ball until coated (kind of messy). Place balls on cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes, depending on how large you have made balls. You can use any flavor cake mix.

Warm Chicken Dip
Kimberly Watkins Ruth
2 large cans chicken
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 can tomato soup
1 cup mayonnaise
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheese
Green onions and celery, optional
Mix all ingredients in bowl. Transfer to greased baking dish and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Serve warm with Scoops chips or your choice of crackers.

Chicken Crescent Rolls
Allen Dearing
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded
2 cans low-fat refrigerated crescent rolls
1-26 oz. healthy low-sodium Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup fat-free Cheddar cheese
Boil chicken breasts, then shred. Roll out each individual crescent. Place about a tablespoon of shredded chicken in center and roll up. Bake on 350° for about five minutes until it is just starting to turn golden. Pour cream of chicken soup over the top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Top with Cheddar cheese and bake 10 more minutes.

Bacon Roll Ups
Michelle Good
2-3 oz. pkgs. cream cheese with chives
1 Tbsp. milk
25 slices bacon, halved
25 slices whole grain bread
Remove crust from bread slices and cut in half lengthwise. Combine cream cheese and milk, stirring until spreadable. Spread about one tsp. cream cheese mixture on each piece of bread. Roll tightly and wrap with bacon. Secure with toothpick. Place in broiler pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Turn, if necessary, to prevent over-browning.

Mamaw’s Squash Delight
Connie Caviness & Lillie Darby
4 medium yellow squash
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup mayo
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
3 medium carrots, grated
Butter cracker crumbs
Slice and cook squash in small amount of water. Drain and mash. Mix all ingredients except crackers and place  in 9×13” dish. Top with crackers. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

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