October 8, 2014

Lessons from My Kitchen + Pecan Apple Crisp // Wednesday's Words + Bread & Wine

When I get to blog about Jesus and food in the same post, it is a really good day in my book.  Today is Wednesday, so that means Jenni and I are hosting Wednesday's Words AND it is Bread & Wine linkup day with Rachel!


With both linkups today, I wanted to focus on what Jesus has taught me in the kitchen.  It might seem strange to think of Jesus using the kitchen for life lessons, but it is one of the places I have recently learned to see Him.

1.  Perfection is NOT the Objective: Goodness this is a struggle for me to realize in many aspects of life, but one that has been brought to my attention lately is my desire to make perfect meals.  I'm slowly letting go of this desire and learning to enjoy the process even if it isn't perfect.  It's not like my husband expects gourmet, five course meals every night.  It is my need to be perfect that gets in the way of enjoying cooking dinner.  It isn't always going to be perfect and that is okay.  Life isn't going to be either and that is okay because Jesus is perfect so I don't have to be.

2.  Joy in the Everyday: Let's be honest, cooking dinner every night can get old.  I catch myself wanting to just call and pick something up because I just don't want to deal with dinner.  Although this is fine, eating at home is so much cheaper and healthier I really shouldn't run to this option so quickly.  Instead, I am learning to find joy in my kitchen.  Dinner has to happen every night one way or the other.  I might as well learn to use cooking dinner as a time to be joyful.  Right now this looks like cooking meals that I am excited about and blaring music while I cook.  Why does music make things better? This way I can use cooking dinner each night as a place of joy rather than obligation.

3.  Slow Down: Rachel's question for this Bread & Wine linkup was how do you balance convince and slowing down in the kitchen? The Lord has really been putting the idea of slowing down on my heart lately.  It is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of fast-paced world we live in.  During the offseason, I realize how fast we have been moving all season and just NEED to slow down.  I've been using my time in the kitchen to enjoy the slowness of cooking dinner.  Sure, there are nights that this isn't feasible.  We have places to be and a fast meal is a necessity.  And that is okay.  But anytime it is possible to slow down and enjoy cooking and eating dinner as much as possible we do.  I like to have go-to dinners that I can make pretty much in my sleep on the nights we have places to be so that there isn't any stress!

Once again, my favorite, Shauna Niequist comes through with a quote that describes exactly where I am in life.


"Either I can be here, fully here, my imperfect, messy, tired but wholly present self, or I can miss it--this moment, this conversation, this time around the table, whatever it is--because I'm trying and failing, to be perfect, keep the house perfect, make the meal perfect, ensure the gift is perfect. But this season I'm not trying for perfect. I'm just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness.  We have, each one of us, been entrusted with one life, made up of days and hours and minutes. We're spending them according to our lives, whether or not we admit it."



And now, for one of the yummiest, Apple recipes I've ever made: Pecan Apple Crisp.  I adapted this recipe from the Pioneer Woman's (I just love her recipes) Pear Crisp.  I could just eat the topping in a bowl with a little vanillia ice cream and be oh so happy, but the apples are wonderful as well!



What You'll Need:
Filling-
Four Apples Cored and Peeled
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Topping-
1-1/2 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Pecans, Finely Chopped
1 Stick Butter, Melted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core, and slice apples.  Mix in a bowl with sugar and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and finely chopped pecans.  I used my food processor for the pecans.  Stir together and then drizzle melted butter in until the mixture is all combined.
Put apples in a baking dish and top with the pecan topping.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and then move to top rack for 10 minutes for the topping to brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Now it is your turn to share your thoughts on encouraging others! You can link up any old post or a post you wrote specifically for the linkup! Any post that has a Bible verse, quote, or other words that God has used to encourage or uplift you is perfect! Linkup Rules:
1.  Follow your Hosts: Jenni and Martha Kate
2.  Comment on Another Post
3.  Grab the Button or Link Back Here

Seasons with the Strattons





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