“When Women Say Yes to God” and A Recipe

“When Women Say Yes to God” and A Recipe

For those who read last Wednesday’s post, you may recall me talking about leading a Bible study at my home this fall. It’s my very first time leading a study, so my enthusiasm certainly outstrips my experience. We’ll be reading Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways.

Tonight, we’ll have a nice little cozy group at my place. I’ve assured all concerned parties {“concerned” as in worried} that I’m not going Martha Stewart {ahem, not that I’ve ever done that before and then had most people not show up}.

Ok, well, I may make these…

bible study food

But only because I already have the dough in my fridge. And, because they would taste pretty awesome with some decaf.

We’ll sit in the pretty room {my living room} where there are less toys. Well, right now, there aren’t  … yet. 

bible study mess

If any of y’all who aren’t within driving distance want to jump in and follow along with us virtually, we’ll be starting the reading next week. {This is our get-to-know-you, chatty-chatty week.} The concept is simple. We read one chapter on our own a week and then meet Wednesday to talk about it. While each chapter has a whole list of questions at the end, I’m going to ask our group to be prepared with the answers to only two questions each week:

What challenged you the most about this week’s chapter, and what’s something you can apply in your life?

While I’d like to share a blog post each Wednesday about the week’s reading, I want to be attentive to my IRL guests and my duties as our group’s leader, so I may end up posting more about the study on the blog’s Facebook page on Wednesdays. {We’ll just have to see how it goes.} Let me know if you’re reading along, and, if so, please jump into the conversation on Facebook, starting next Wednesday.

And, last but not least, I’ve a few folks wanting the recipe from Monday’s post for the Tomato Basil Tart, so here it is.

tart recipe

Tomato and Basil Tart

from The Ultimate Italian Cookbook: Over 200 Authentic Recipes from All over Italy, Illustrated Step-By-Step by Carla Capalbo

1. Make the pastry. Mix 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1/2 tsp. salt. Using a food processor or pastry blender, cut 1/2 cup chilled butter {cut into small chunks} into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tbsp. water and process until the dough holds together. Add in more water if needed. Gather into a ball and press into a disc; wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry and put into an ungreased tart or pie pan. Prick bottom with fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees while waiting.

3. Line pastry with parchment paper filled with dried beans {or pie weights, if you have them} and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove paper and weights.

4. Line crust with 1 cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and sprinkle with 1 to 2 tbsp. roughly chopped basil leaves. Arrange slices from 4-5 medium tomatoes over the cheese and dot with another 1  to 2 tbsp. basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with olive oil, and top with 4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan.

5. Bake for 35 minutes, checking during baking and spooning off excess liquid from the cheese, if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature. Be prepared to have zero leftovers!

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Apple Cider Cranberry Smoothies

Apple Cider Cranberry Smoothies

You have them, those cranberry sauce fixin’s. Fresh cranberries. Apples. Carrots. They’re probably doing duty in your crisper while you put off making tomorrow’s sauce.

So, why not dig into those ruby globes and give them a whirl in the blender for a cranberry-relish-inspired smoothie?

Apple Cider Cranberry Smoothies

2 cups apple cider or apple juice
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup shredded carrots

Place ingredients in blender, making sure to add the liquid first (this helps it blend easier), and give it a whirl.

Add honey or pure maple syrup if you feel like you need extra sweetener {we didn’t}.

This makes for a thin, frothy smoothie. If you’d like it to be thicker, add ice. If you want it perfectly smooth, pour through a fine sieve before serving. {There were still a few bits of cranberry, as you can see from the photo, but it didn’t bother me or my 7-year-old.}

This makes for a healthy alternative to polishing off the last of the Halloween candy while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner!

My daughter takes a high dose of steroids right now for a recently diagnosed autoimmune disease. And, she’s always hungry. I felt pretty good about giving her multiple helpings of this smoothie because of the antioxidant punch from the fresh cranberries, the natural probiotics in the yogurt, and the lack of added sugar. Plus the fiber from the carrots and cranberries helped it seem filling for her.

What’s your favorite way to use cranberries this time of year?

We used to add a ring of berries to the bottom of a bundt cake pan and fill with a few inches of water and freeze. Then, we’d use the iced cranberry ring to jazz up our holiday punch bowl.

Did you miss the earlier posts in Fall Flavors: A Recipe Series?

You can find recipes for Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer, Pumpkin Spice ButterCurry Butternut Buttermilk DressingSlow Cooker Pumpkin LasagnaHarvest Spiced Kettle Corn, Pumpkin Spice Syrup, and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Chips.

This post is part of:

MercyInk’s Heart+Home Linkupand Live Called’s Thrive at Home Thursday.


Harvest Spiced Kettle Corn

Harvest Spiced Kettle Corn

Kettle corn… first, there’s the crunch of freshly popped popcorn. Then, there’s the perfect tension between salty and sweet.

Whenever we visit our local farmer’s market and the kettle corn guy is there, we always seem to end up with a too-large bag of this toothsome popcorn that gets nearly eaten before we even make it home.

I’m always a little afraid to ask what’s in the popcorn, but I’m guessing corn syrup and rancid canola oil {or something similarly unhealthful}, so I usually don’t ask. But, what if you could make your own kettle corn at home and control the quality and quantity of the ingredients?

The good news is: You can! It’s so simple.

Harvest Spiced Kettle Corn

1/4 – 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
½ cup organic popping corn kernels
1 tbsp organic sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste
1/2 – 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. {I used 1/4 cup coconut oil, but had to be very vigilant to keep shaking, so the popcorn on the bottom wouldn’t burn. I think somewhere in between 1/4 and 1/2 cup would be ideal!} Add popcorn and cover the pot with a lid. When the first kernel pops, add the organic sugar, re-cover, and shake the pot continually to avoid burning. Once the popping slows down, remove the stockpot from the heat and keep covered until popping stops. Sprinkle with sea salt and pumpkin pie spice and stir. {1/2 tsp. of spice gives a very subtle hint of spice; you probably want to start there and add more, as desired.} Enjoy!

What about you? do you have a favorite popcorn or fall snack recipe? Let us know about it!

Did you miss the first two weeks of Fall Flavors: A Recipe Series?

You can find recipes for Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer, Pumpkin Spice ButterCurry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing, and Slow Cooker Pumpkin Lasagna.

This post is part of:

The Better Mom’s Monday Linkup and Thrive at Home Thursday.

Curry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing

Curry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing

Last week we made maple vanilla creamer and pumpkin spice butter. Today, we’re making another Seasons with Soul original recipe–Curry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing. 

It combines the goodness of home-roasted butternut squash with creamy organic, whole milk buttermilk. {I do culture my own, and it’s quite simple, but that’s another post :)} Add a dash of curry and some plain yogurt, and you have a healthy and deliciously tangy dressing, with a global feel.

The great news is this recipe is very forgiving. If you follow the basic ratio of squash to buttermilk to yogurt to spice, you can tweak things. So, you don’t feel like roasting your own squash and have an open can of pumpkin puree? Fine, you can use that. So, you’re not crazy about yogurt and would rather have the richer taste of mayo? Fine there too. Maybe you want to use less curry powder or replace the garlic powder with a clove or two of fresh minced or pressed garlic? Fine, and fine. Salad dressings are forgiving like that.

Curry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butternut squash puree (or any pureed or mashed winter squash, like acorn or pumpkin)
1/4 cup mayo and/or plain yogurt
3/4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
a few grinds of fresh pepper

Mix well. Store in the fridge for a week.

If you’re wondering how to use the dressing, let’s start with the obvious–salads. I made a simple harvest salad with leaf lettuce, dried cranberries, and toasted chopped walnuts, topped with the Curry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing. If I do say so myself, it was quite tasty.

This recipe would also make a fabulous sandwich condiment–imagine it dressing up a whole-wheat turkey wrap with shredded kale and chopped sundried tomatoes–or used as a creative dressing on a rice or quinoa salad.

Next week, I’ll show you how to make Pumpkin Slow Cooker Lasagna–just in time for Halloween!

Do you have a favorite fall recipe? What flavors do you crave this time of year? Leave a comment and let me know!


This post is a part of:

Thrive @ Home Link-Up