“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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But I’m Not Creative… and Tomato Basil Tart

But I’m Not Creative… and Tomato Basil Tart

Saturday night, my friend stops by to drop her daughter off for a sleepover with my girls. She knows we are having a late dinner {after a spontaneous ice cream dinner-spoiler at 5 p.m.}, so they enter my kitchen as I’m in full dinner prep.

I tell them about the unusual dinner I’m making — chilled cucumber soup and tomato basil tart — and then promptly offer my friend a glass of white wine and escort her to the deck, as the kids romp in the yard. As we sit and talk, I excuse myself several times for various steps in the complex pastry process.

My friend seems skeptical. Is it really worth it, she wonders out loud? I assure her that, yes, it is, and tell her this is a family tradition, this late-summer combination of buttery, flaky dough with fresh mozzarella, of pungent basil with tomatoes at their peak.

At the same time, I notice her plucking dried leaves and spent blooms from a red geranium plant on my deck railing. She apologizes that she can’t help herself. It’s a gardener’s habit. And, I appreciate that, her different view of the world. Just as I’ve passed that plant scores of times without noticing its dried leaves, she would probably skim right past that tart recipe with the crazy-involved crust.

We women are all deliciously different.  We approach our lives in fresh and creative ways that don’t look the same, but that enrich our surroundings just the same  — even when we’re doing something as simple as making dinner or tending annuals.

You see, I believe creativity comes in all kinds of packages, not just those perfectly wrapped ones our culture presents us. I believe we all have creativity within us, and we all express that in beautiful and singular ways — that may, in fact, look quite different than what we’ve been conditioned to believe.

Since I began writing about creativity back in May, I’ve been amazed at the number of women who feel deeply uncomfortable with the word “creative.” They protest: But, I’m not creative!

See if you identify with any one of these reasons.

Four Reasons You May Think You’re Not Creative:

1. Someone told you that once.
For you, creativity may be a painful reminder of the past when you ventured forth and were hurt. Perhaps you were told outright you weren’t talented. Or maybe it was more gradual, and, over time, your creative self withered from fear and lack of encouragement.

2. You work or are gifted in a supposedly “non-creative” field – math, science, law, etc.
You’re probably like my friend, Gindi, a logical thinker and super-organized lawyer {who’ll be guest posting here next week}. You possess stereotypically left-brain skills, so you think there’s no way you can be creative too.

3. You like to create, but you think you’re not good enough to be called creative. You think that label’s reserved for famous people who make a living at their art. You attach lots and lots of modifiers to the word creative. For you {see Elise’s post}, “creative” doesn’t mean painting little boxes to sell at craft shops; instead, it’s publishing novels or selling your work in a New York City gallery.

4. You don’t enjoy {what you think are} “creative” endeavors – such as painting, composing music, writing poetry. You know all too well how the world defines the word creative, and in no way does it resemble you.

And, here’s the thing. We all have a sense of what Creative with a Capital C means. Give yourself a moment to jot down a phrase or example of what you think “creative” means.

Now, let’s compare that to Webster’s. The dictionary defines creative as:

1. Marked by the ability or power to create: given to creating.
2. Having the quality of something created, rather than imitated.

I don’t know about you, but this definition surprised me. It doesn’t say creative people must achieve renown. It doesn’t say you can’t be equally skilled in science. It doesn’t say you have to possess a certain set of abilities. It simply says creative people create.

Creativity is defined as ability, pure and simple. We are all marked by the power to create. <—-Click to Tweet!

Be sure to tune in next week for Gindi’s personal creativity story. Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe and get new posts delivered to your inbox.

Which of the four creativity myths do you relate to the most?