The Advent Season Begins

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Our Advent Wreath will grace our dinner table each evening as we embark on the new liturgical year as Catholics. The traditions and rituals of Advent bring comfort and peace to those who believe.

In lighting the candles each evening, one for each of the four weeks of Advent leading to the Christmas Season, it allows us to focus as a family on the true reason behind the season. As Christian Catholics, we celebrate both birth of Christ and the coming of our Lord.

Each candle in the Advent Wreath represents a spiritual desire. These are hope, peace, joy and love. They are the reason for life and what make being alive worthwhile. Hope for all humanity. Peace to the world. Joy for one another and most of all love. The love of family. The love of neighbors. The love of the world. The more we love, the richer our lives become.

Opening Prayer: Lord God, Lamb of God
Let Yours blessings come upon us
As we light the candles of this Advent wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a symbol
Of Christ’s promise of eternal salvation.

Response: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Light the first Purple Candle (Hope)
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
In the darkness and in the light, Holy is Your Name.
We place our hope in you, Oh Lord,
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of the Lord

Response: Now and forever. Amen.

First Sunday of Advent with Louisiana Flair
New Orleans Chicken and Wild Rice Bake
Colorful Big Easy Salad
Warm Bread

Let’s talk a moment before we get to cooking. While there were changes to the original recipe that I was forced to make, I think it really worked out for the best. The original recipe called for New Orleans Style Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix. I can only assume that the New Orleans Style mix would have come with a packet of New Orleans seasonings. My market did not carry the rice needed, but did have an Herb Long Grain and Wild Rice mix. So I went with that instead, tossing out the seasoning pack and creating my own with a blend of Creole and Cajun Seasonings. If you haven’t come across the Slap Yo Mamma line of seasoning blends, you are in for a treat. We are spicy food lovers in this house, but learned the hard way that you want to use Slap Yo Mamma spices sparingly. They add a great deal of flavor and a lot more heat than any other spice blend I’ve come across. If you can’t find the Slap Yo Mamma seasonings, I’d just use a little more Creole with a kiss of Cayenne to bring up the heat level.

New Orleans Chicken and Wild Rice Bake
2 boxes Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix
1 can (10 oz) Cream of Celery Soup
1 can (10 oz) Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Slap Yo Mamma Cajun Season
1/4 teaspoon Roasted Garlic Powder
1-1/4 cans Water, (soup can)
2 packets Dry Onion Soup Mix
3 tablespoons Flour
4 boneless Chicken Breasts
Salt to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Note: If the Rice Mix is comes with their own seasonings, discard the packets or reserve for another use. Things such as Herb Butter or other flavors will clash with the seasonings.

In a large mixing bowl, combine rice mix, cream of celery soup, cream of mushroom soup, all the seasonings, and water. Mix well. Pour soup mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Spread evenly.

On a sheet of waxed paper, mix both dry soup packages with the flour. Spread out. Lay chicken breast (pretty side down) on the dry soup mix. Season breasts with a little salt, then press into the soup mix. When finished, the breasts will have dried onion soup on one side, salt on the other.

Place chicken onion side up on top of rice mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove foil, continue to bake 15 minutes longer or until chicken and rice are cooked through. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes.

Colorful Big Easy Salad
1 head Romaine Lettuce
1 head Butter Leaf Lettuce
1/2 head Purple Cabbage
2 Yellow Bell Peppers
1/2 Cucumber
1 large Tomato

Tear the salad greens into pieces, scatter over a serving platter. Finely shred the cabbage, set aside. Core and slice the bell peppers into strips, set aside. Cut the cucumber into thin rounds. Cut tomato into nice bite-size pieces.

Arrange salad greens on a large platter. Tuck the cucumber in among the greens. Layer cabbage and bell pepper slivers over greens so that all the colors are visible on the platter. Finish with a scattering of tomato.


May God be with you and with your spirit. Amen.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

5 thoughts on “The Advent Season Begins”

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