Posted in Matters of the Heart

Friends Around the Table


new dishes

Exciting things are happening in the Schell household.

Some of you may have heard we have purchased a house near our children in Oklahoma. (See my post Adventuring On) We are pretty excited to be the owners of red dirt and look forward to experiencing all that comes with it.

We just made our very first purchase for our new place—we bought dishes. How can you provide hospitality without the right tools? I can’t wait to serve a meal around our table there. That is what will make the new house a home. (Don’t worry SoCal friends. We are not moving. We are just expanding our borders to include the Midwest.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in California . . . 

we are hosting a small group of friends who gather once a month to fellowship, share a meal, and discuss a portion of the Bible. Our discussion will be on the stories found in Luke 8. I always look forward to our time together. It not only strengthens my knowledge of God and His Word, but also my connection with the other people around the table. This may be why the Bible tells us to “always be eager to practice hospitality”. (Romans 12:13) Good food and good conversation go hand-in-hand in developing good friendships.

Here is the recipe for what I am fixing for dinner tonight. It is easy and delicious. Perfect for your next dinner party. Don’t hesitate to invite others to your table. Relationships have a way of growing strong there.

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms


2 tablespoon olive oil, divided, I used 2 teaspoons
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken pieces, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Mix 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic bowl. Add chicken and marinade for a few minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and marinade to pan. Cook until chicken is browned. Remove from pan and finish cooking in a 400 degrees oven.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add mushrooms. Cook until browned and released liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme. Heat and reduce slightly. Place chicken on serving dish and top with mushroom mixture. Enjoy.

Note: I chose garlic mashed potatoes to serve this with, but rice or noodles would work, too.

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar shops have been popping up everywhere offering a variety of flavors. This would be a good dish to try some out.

Good food and good company are two of life’s simplest yet greatest pleasures.


Patty Schell will tell you she’s been writing since she could spell and string words together, but it hasn’t been until recent years she has been able to make it a regular practice. Her role as women’s leader in her local church provided a platform to teach, blog, and now, write. Her latest project, Living NOW series is one that was born from a desire to encourage the women she was teaching to know God through His Word, giving them a practical way to study the Bible for themselves. At present, Patty is a contributor to a variety of web-based publications including Refresh Magazine, Broken but Priceless Magazine, Life Letter Café, and SoCal Voice. In addition, she connects with her readers with regular posts on her two blogs, Girl on Adventure: Embracing the Journey Called Life and The Party’s in the Kitchen: Cooking Up Good Times in the Heart of the Home. Much of Patty’s writing is inspired by the full life she leads alongside her family and friends. She constantly looks for good reasons to gather people together, loves serving her community, and enjoys getting to know new places and cultures. Through these activities and others in life, God reveals His stories of faith, hope and love, and Patty means to tell others about them every chance she gets.

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