Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thursdays - Week 4

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Here are five things I'm thankful for today:

1. I'm thankful for Colin.  He's not only my brother, but my friend.  He always makes me laugh and he makes everything fun!

2. I'm thankful for Marshall.  I love this little guy so much, and I'm so thankful that God saw fit to make him a part of our immediate family last year.

3.  I'm thankful for food.  Sometimes I think we take for granted that we are able to have three nutritionally balanced meals a day, and that we actually have choices of what foods to eat for those meals.

4. I'm thankful for modern technology that allows me to call, skype, and facetime with family who are a thousand miles away. It's always a little sad being away from the fam during the holidays, but being able to see them and talk to them makes it way easier!

5. And last on this list, I'm thankful for snow and that I live in a place where I can play in it all winter.  You can find me on the ski slopes tomorrow :)

{thankful thursdays}

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Worship - Doxology

Sometimes few and simple lyrics say more than a song with eight verses.  I love this instrumental version of the doxology by Michael Gungor.  Check out this video and spend some time praising God from whom all blessings flow!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Munchies - Pie

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week?  It seems like this month flew by!  In case you need some pie recipes, check out these three.  There's a classic Pecan pie, a slight twist on Apple Pie with the addition of whipping cream, and a midwest favorite, Platte County Pie (or Derby Pie) which is sort of a chocolate pecan pie.  

Check out the recipe for pie crust here.

Pecan Pie
Yield: 6-8 servings

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 unbaked pie crust (9 inches)

Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted.

Stir together eggs and next 5 ingredients; stir in pecans (I used whole pecans and just put a few in the filling, and arranged the rest on top of the pie). Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until set, shielding pie with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning (They're not joking...I didn't set a timer and when I went to put the foil on mine were already too brown). Serve warm or cold.

Apple Cream Pie
Yield: 6-8 servings.

4 cups sliced peeled tart apples
1 unbaked pie shell (9 inches)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 beaten egg
1 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Place apples in pie shell. Combine everything but the pecans and mix until well blended, then pour over apples. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until center is almost set and apples are tender. Cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold. (Note: The consensus in our house was that the pie actually tasted better the second day, a great one to make the day before and save yourself some last minute prep!)

Platte County Pie
Yield: 6-8 servings 

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 pound butter
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. chocolate chips
1 unbaked pie shell (9 in.)

Beat eggs thoroughly.  Add sugar and flour to eggs and beat again.  Melt butter and allow to set 4-5 min.  Add melted and cooled butter to above mixture.  Mix well.  Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour.  Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursdays - Week 3

Sometimes it's hard to narrow my list down to five, but here we go!

1. I'm thankful that rather than the fleeting happiness of the world, we can have joy in Christ that is not circumstantial.  As one of my favorite professors Mrs. Hotton always quoted "joy inexpressible, and filled with glory." 1 Peter 1:8.

2. My dad is pretty much the best, has loved me sacrificially (not many dad's would get up at the crack of dawn to take me to the ice rink so I could skate the early session before school), he's wise, faithful, leads our family well, and has been a good example of a loving husband.  He's funny (most of my stupid jokes come from him haha) and always makes a point to do special stuff with me when I'm home, like take me to Royal's games in the summer or to my favorite sandwich shop for lunch.  He's pretty great and I'm blessed to call him dad!

3. I'm thankful that modern transportation makes it so easy to travel.  I love roadtrips, and if I counted correctly, I've been in 15 states this year alone.  A few weeks ago Colby and Colin drove from MO to Jackson with me, and I was telling Colby just how thankful I was that we can get in a car and drive across the country, or hop on a plane and fly across the world.  Before modern transportation, if I was born in Missouri, I might not have ever seen the majestic beauty of the mountains or known the salty air and crashing waves of the ocean.  We are blessed to be able to experience different people and places and cultures.  And I think the way travel changes us and helps us see and understand the world a little differently, is something that I too often take for granted.

4. This one may sound a little weird, but I'm super thankful for our Town Square.  I absolutely LOVE the square.  It's adorable, looks like it's straight out of a movie or TV show (think Gilmore Girls...) but I love it for more than aesthetic reasons.  I really love how it brings people together.  In the summer I'll go and sit in the grass and people watch, or I'll bring a lunch and meet friends there in the middle of the day, and I love walking around at night especially this time of year when everything is lit up.  Another thing I love about the square is that I always meet new people there.  The cliche Jackson Town Square picture is in front of the antler arches, and with the influx of tourists every summer (and some in winter too) there are always people taking pictures there.  I've made it a point to ask people if they would like me to take a picture of them instead of having one person out of the picture because someone has to take it.  I've started so many fun conversations that way and met tons of interesting people.  One of my favorites was 3 older couples from Georgia.  At the end of the conversation one of the men asked how old I was, so I told him, and then he told me that if I was ever in Macon, Georgia to look him up because he would be happy for me to marry his son haha!  Who knows...maybe I'll find myself in Macon one day!

5. The ability to enjoy beauty.  Have you ever thought about how awesome it is that we see something and think it is beautiful?  Or about the endless places we can appreciate beauty - mountains, the ocean, stars, a painting, a photo, faces, music, words, buildings, and so much more.

{thankful thursdays} thankful thursday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Back in September my friend Aaron was going to a wedding in Seattle, but he couldn't drive because he was recovering from knee surgery.  He talked his roommates and me into going with him to be his chauffeurs, and we made a little roadtrip out of it!

We stopped at the top of the pass on our way out of town...Todd looks super creepy, and my hair is gigantic, but check out the colors of that sunrise!  It was gorgeous!

Once we got to Seattle we did some touristy things...

And we had a blast at Aaron's friend's wedding reception too.  Aaron told me just a few days ago that the bride had just sent him a text saying we had the best pictures out of everyone haha!

That Sunday we decided to check out Mars Hill Church before we headed back to Jackson.  We sang this song written by Dustin Kensrue and released on his new album The Water And The Blood.  I think it's a rare, but good, mix of rejoicing in what God has done for us, and at the same time acknowledging His power and glory.  So have a listen, and be reminded that no matter what's going on right now, we can rejoice this Wednesday!

Come and stand before your Maker
Full of wonder, full of fear
Come behold His power and glory
Yet with confidence draw near

For the one who holds the heavens
And commands the stars above
Is the God who bends to bless us
With an unrelenting love


Rejoice, come and lift your hands and
Raise your voice, He is worthy of our praise
Rejoice, sing of mercies of your King
And with trembling, rejoice

We are children of the promise
The beloved of the Lord
Won with everlasting kindness
Bought with sacrificial blood

Bringing reconciliation
To a world that longs to know
The affections of a Father
Who will never let them go


All our sickness, all our sorrows
Jesus carried up the hill
He has walked this path before us
He is walking with us still

Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessing in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed

Rejoice, when you cry to Him He hears
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice, in the midst of suffering
He will help you sing


Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Munchies - Accidental Turkey

So today, I'm giving you a recipe for the hero of the thanksgiving dinner menu - Mr. Turkey!  Now, I have a confession to make...I've actually never made this recipe.  However, before you quit reading, my roommate made it for a summer thanksgiving meal (cause one thanksgiving a year really isn't enough), and it was some of the best turkey I had ever eaten.  Roasting it at such a high temperature for an hour makes the skin nice and crispy, which I love!  And the spice blend is absolutely delicious, the lemon zest and rosemary just make it!  So, if you're looking for something new to adorn your thanksgiving table this year, give this turkey recipe a try!

Accidental Turkey
Kosher salt
1 T. minced fresh rosemary leaves
Grated  zest of 1 lemon
1 (12-14 pound) fresh turkey
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and cut into eighths
1 lemon, quartered
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper

Two or three days before you plan to roast the turkey, combine 3 tablespoons salt, the rosemary, and lemon zest.  Wash the turkey inside and out, drain it well, and pat it dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle 1 T of the salt mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub the rest on the skin, including under the wings and legs.  Place the turkey in a shallow dish to catch any drips and wrap the whole dish tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for one or two days.  The day before you plan to roast the turkey, remove the plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge.  The skin will dry out and turn a little translucent.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Be sure your oven is very clean!

Place the onion, lemon, and thyme in the cavity.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tie the wings close to the body.  Brush the turkey with the butter and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

Roast the turkey for 45 minutes, placing it in the oven legs first.  Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and roast it for about another hour, or until 165 degrees for the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh on an instant read thermometer.  Remove from the oven, cover the turkey tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.  Carve and serve with the pan juices.

Recipe Source: Barefoot Contessa Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursdays - Week 2

So, here we are at week two of Thankful Thursdays.  Don't you love how this time of year we spend more time thanking God for what he's given us?  Each year I wonder why we don't do it all year long.  I was reminded of this post from the archives - Why Complain?  It's a good reminder to me that this is something I need to focus on all year long, but I'm also thankful for all of the different holidays we celebrate that spur our memory toward attributes of God and point us to Christ in many different ways.

That being said, here are 5 things I'm thankful for this week:

1.  God's faithfulness.  Sunday morning I woke up thinking about how amazing it is that I serve a God who is always faithful, and just how thankful I am that I can rest in Him and hope in Him, knowing that He will keep His promises to me.  "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23

2.  I'm thankful for my Mom.  She's my best friend, and has loved me even when I've been unlovable. She is my constant sounding board, always ready to listen and provide godly feedback.  She tells me the truth even when I don't want to hear it.  She laughs at my stupid jokes and puns.  She's the best shopping partner.  She is such a great example of a woman who fears the Lord. Her selflessness is evident in so many ways.  I'm so thankful that she's my mom!

3.  I'm thankful for my knees, yes you read that right, knees.  Some of you probably don't know this, but I have some nasty cartilage damage (aka arthritis) in both knees as a result of my years of figure skating.  Sometimes I refer to them as grandma knees, because it's like I have 80 year old knees on my 27 year old body.  Honestly, I get frustrated with it sometimes, and have a sinful attitude about them.  But I'm thankful for my bad knees because it reminds me of my utter dependence on Christ, and that it's a temporary trial.  If it weren't for my good and God's glory, he wouldn't allow it in my life, so instead of complaining when it's painful or when it keeps me from doing activities I'd like to do, I want to thank Him for grandma knees because they are making me more like Christ.

4.  I'm thankful for podcasts and live streaming.  Last Friday I watched the Multiply conference online, and a lot of times when I go to bed I'll turn on a sermon podcast.  The availability of these resources is such a blessing to me, and one that I often take for granted.

5.  I'm thankful for warm, waterproof shoes.  My Merrell's and Sorel's are some of the ugliest shoes I own (and I realized when I went home to MO that it actually probably isn't socially acceptable to wear them anywhere but in Jackson),  But man, on wet, rainy/snowy days like this one, I'm so thankful to have dry feet!  I think of how so many people in the world don't have any shoes at all, and am reminded just how blessed I am.

{thankful thursdays}

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Come Ye Sinners

This is the first of what I'm calling Wednesday Worship, which will hopefully be a semi-regular feature on my blog.  As I go through my week, it seems like Wednesdays are always kind of tough, but what better time to engage your heart in praise and worship of our God?

Today I'm sharing with you one of my favorite versions of the hymn "Come Ye Sinners" written by Joseph Hart in 1759.  From what I've read, it sounds like his early life was characterized by sin and searching, and it wasn't until he was 45 that he was truly saved.  He spent much of the last nine years of his life writing hymns telling the story of sin, grace, redemption, and the hope of eternal life.  

This version of the song was rearranged and recorded by The Blackthorn Project, from their Bluing of the Sky album.  Take a good look at the lyrics of this hymn, and be encouraged that these words, though written centuries ago, ring true for your soul as well.

Come Ye Sinners
Come ye sinners poor and needy
weak and wounded sick and sore.
Jesus ready stands to save you
full of pity love and power.

Come ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty, glorify.
True belief and true repentance,
every grace that brings you nigh.

Come ye weary heavy-laden,
lost and ruined by the fall.
If you tarry ’til you’re better,
you will never come at all.

I will arise and go to Jesus
he will embrace me in his arms.
In the arms of my dear savior
O there are ten thousand charms.

From The Bluing Of The Sky, released 17 November 2006
Public domain; arrangement © 1998 Mole End Music. Arranged by Michael Card and Craig Duncan. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rearranged by Timothy Floyd Thornton & Laura Elizabeth Thornton © Bricklayer Music Publishing 2006 (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Registered with CCLI.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Munchies - Party Potatoes

So, this is my first post in a series of Thanksgiving inspired recipes. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love spending time with my family and just the time I spend leading up to it dwelling on the Lord's blessings and the fact that I can thank Him for absolutely everything in my life, because I know that He is using it for my good and ultimately for His glory, what a comforting thought!

But back to the food...on Thanksgiving day, the last thing I want is to feel the pressure of not being able to enjoy the Thanksgiving day gathering because I'm trying to get food ready at the last minute.  These potatoes are super tasty and can be prepped early then frozen.  Just take them out in the morning on the day before your thanksgiving meal, and when you're ready, stick them in either the oven or a crock pot and don't think about them again!  Trust me, I'm a (self-proclaimed) potato expert, and although these are easy and you can freeze them, the taste is not compromised, AT ALL! These are probably my favorite mashed potatoes ever.  It's like the inside of a twice baked potato, need I say more?!?  Also, you have my permission to put them in a foil pan or use crock pot liners for easy clean up.  I may not be the most experienced entertainer, but I have learned that sometimes convenience is worth being able to enjoy your guests rather than spending time with your hands in the dishwater.  Also, I apologize for not having a picture, but they look like mashed potatoes.  Use your imagination, then make them and see for yourself!

Party Potatoes

8-10 medium/large potatoes, peeled

1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
Garlic salt

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mash until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.  Put the potatoes in once the dish is buttered.  Freeze.

When ready to bake, put pats of butter and paprika on top and bake at 350 degrees till nicely browned on top and heated all the way through.

Optional - you can add green onions, chives, parsley, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, basically anything you would put in a twice baked potato.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

I've been thinking and praying about some special things I'd like to do on my blog for the month of November.  I saw my friend Erin's link up, and thought it would be great for my blog as well.  Each Thursday I'm going to share 5 things that I'm thankful for, and I would love for you to join me! Because this is about 50% food blog also, each Monday throughout the month I'm going to share some Thanksgiving recipes with you.

1.  I'm so thankful for the gift of salvation.  I deserve death and hell, yet Jesus took my debt, became sin, so that I might be covered in righteousness.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God - 2 Corinthians 5:21  The great exchange indeed!

2. I'm thankful for heated seats in my car.  Tonight when it was freezing and rainy as I got into my cold car, I so appreciated being able to push that little button and have a warm seat to sit on.  Maybe my favorite feature of Blue Bell.

3. I'm thankful for a dishwasher.  I realize it's a luxury I may not always have, but it sure makes cooking more fun knowing that I can throw everything in the dishwasher and have it clean an hour later.

4.  I'm thankful for my roommate.  We talk about everything, hang out after work, make crazy good meals together, and pillow talk...slumber party every night in the loft bed...don't be jealous haha!

5.  I'm thankful for my church family here at First B Jackson.  It's so great to be in a community of believers who are real, vulnerable and who love and care about each as we join together in a common pursuit of God.

What are you thankful for tonight?

{thankful thursdays}