Dinner Time

Wow. You guys, I am terrible at blogging these days. Terrible. But, I’ve been enjoying life outside of the internet, so can you really blame me? Anyway….today’s post is dedicated to meal sharing. It’s something both Kyle and I hold near and dear, and it’s played a pretty significant role in our lives.

I first learned about the joys that come with hospitality from a really young age. My dad pastored a small community church for a few years while I was growing up. Looking back, I can’t really remember any Sunday after church that my parents didn’t prepare a huge spread for a table filled with people. To me, it was normal–expected even–to have a large group of strangers over for dinner at least once every week.

Sharing a meal brings community. I was reminded of this just over the weekend. I turned 28 on the 21, and that day is pretty rough for me. Not because I’m slowly approaching 30, but because of the significance of my 27th birthday. But what could make a tainted birthday a little better? Sharing a meal with friends.

*Photos are courtesy of the lovely Jen B.*

Our dinner of ribs, cucumber salad, baked beans, and fresh salad.

Our dinner of ribs, cucumber salad, baked beans, and fresh salad.

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Some of my favorite people, missing Jen B who is snapping the photo. These friends are true gems. I can’t even begin to describe it.

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The chef and the hostess. He’s a pretty hot lookin’ griller isn’t he?

 

To Kyle and I, our friends are an extension of family. We live thousands of miles from both sides of our families, so we’ve learned to adopt some close friends in the area to fill that void. Until rapid travel is possible, it’s just what we need to do. And one of our favorite ways to connect with people is by sharing a meal. I think we would host someone almost every day. I love to cook big, hearty meals, and Kyle is becoming quite the master griller, so between the two of us, we’ll get you full 🙂

But it’s not about the food. It’s what happens around it. We laugh, we tell stories, we build relationships. I think too many of us don’t take sharing a meal seriously. Our society is pretty busy, so actually sitting down for a proper meal isn’t always something we prioritize. Well, I’m going to challenge you on that. Make it a priority. Even if it’s once a week that you make a full dinner and sit with your family. Then take it a step further, invite someone else over. No one cares if your table is perfect. No one will mind if you cook a terrible meal (I have done that before, and we all had a good laugh over it). In fact, you can even ask everyone to bring a dish to pass. What sharing a meal is about is building community. Whether it’s over grilled cheese sandwiches or a big juicy steak, it really doesn’t matter.

So, who are you going to share your table with?

What’s cookin’

Though I could talk about my son and my husband until I’m blue in the face, I recognize that having other areas of interest are important.  The older Judah gets, the more independent he becomes, and the more I realize that I want to continue doing things that I enjoy outside of my motherly duties.

I don’t want to be lost when my kids grow up. I want to have hobbies and interests of my own, and I want my son to know that this is a good thing. Thus, the start of a few new posts.

I love coffee. I love fashion. My dream closet would be filled with boots, moccasins, and oversized grandma cardigans. I always carry huge purses. HUGE ones. Like, “fit your life inside there” size purses. I love them, and I also complain about never being able to find anything in them. Sensible, I know. I lose my phone on a daily basis, and most of the time it’s right where I left it. I love Bette Davis movies. Love them. I think she’s beautiful and so spunky, and she reminds me of my grandma Lewis. And speaking of grandmas, though I only knew her a little bit, I’m convinced that if my great-gram was alive today, we’d be pretty great friends. I love trashy MTV reality shows, and I’ve watched EVERY season of Teen Mom. All three sets of girls, each season, every episode. I know, I’m totally cool like that. I also enjoy trashy celebrity gossip magazines. I can tell you who’s dating who in Hollywood with the best of them. And, as much as I try to be a morning person, I’m not. I take a ridiculously long time to wake up, and I have crashed into my bathroom door more times than I care to admit.

I also love Fall. To me, it gets prettier every year. And with it’s beauty comes warm smells, relaxing, slow music, and pumpkin spiced everything. Who doesn’t love to pull on your warm socks, and cozy sweaters while drinking a hot cup of coffee without breaking a sweat? And what about that great, crisp Fall air? Yeah, you know the stuff. The kind that is refreshingly chilled, not that Winter garbage that makes you want to scream obscenities as soon as you get slapped in the face with it’s life sucking gusts of wind. Fall, you have the perfect coolness.

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This time of year also gets me excited to cook again. It’s right about the end of September that I make the switch from the old summer menu of grilled meats and fresh fruits, and start trading it in for some hearty, warm, Fall dishes and drinks. Today, I’d like to share a few favorites from my kitchen.

I am a huge soup fan, and bread bowl fan. It’s just so good. This is what Fall eating is about!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup. Any soup. Panera, eat your heart out.

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Sam Adams Octoberfest. If you’ve had it, nothing else needs to be said. If not, go get ya some right now before it’s too late!

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And pie. With ice cream. I’m not a huge baker, but I like to make a good pie on occasion. Emphasis on occasion. This one, I have no idea what I did to make it, honestly, but it was delish!

photo3I also love making THIS chicken pot pie. And I totally cheat and buy Pillsbury pie crust. I told you, I’m no baker.

For my bread bowl recipe, go HERE. To keep up with other dishes I like to cook, follow me on Pinterest HERE. Or, if you’d like some additional recipes, check out my sister-in-law’s blog HERE. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with the stuff she’s whipping up in her kitchen!

I’d love to get some new recipes to add to our menu, leave a note or two with some of your favorites!