Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe | Kitchen Fellowship

The Perfect Breakfast and Anytime Snack

Finding a good, delectable, fail-safe granola recipe took time! I’ve made dry and mealy granola and “healthy” batches that taste like cardboard. I’ve made batches with caramel-y sugar and egg whites that produced granola clusters larger than gold balls — but difficult to break apart. There’s nothing like sitting down to a bowl of granola that’s similar to eating an uncooked pile of rolled oats. And then there’s burnt granola. Don’t even get me started on that.

The granola saga is a long one. Perhaps when food bloggers and cook book writers claim their granola recipe “IS THE BEST” what they really mean is that it’s the best for them. Call me crazy but perhaps granola is a deeply personal thing?

When I came across Gina Homolka’s granola recipe it intrigued me and I wanted to make it my own. It’s oh-so-flavorful, refined-sugar free but just sweet enough. It’s the best granola for me. Try it yourself and see if you like it. Here’s the adaptation.

Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup rolled oats [GF if needed]
1/4 unsweetened coconut [shredded or flaked]
1/4 ground flax seeds [flax meal]
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey [or 1/8 honey 1/8 maple syrup, or all maple syrup]
1 tablespoon coconut oil [cold pressed if you can find it]
1 tablespoon chia seeds [optional]
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ginger
pinch of salt

healthy refined-sugar free granola recipe
DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer and pat dry with a paper towel. Spread quinoa and oats on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.

In a bowl combine nuts, dried fruit, chia seeds, flax meal, spices and pinch of salt. Mix in the oatmeal and quinoa.

In a separate bowl combine coconut oil, honey [and/or maple syrup], vanilla, and apple sauce. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

Spread granola out on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Stir the granola and bake for another 12 minutes. With 5 minutes of the final bake time remaining, stir in the coconut, and continue to bake. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, store in an airtight glass jar. I like to keep mine in the fridge. You could also freeze batches!

NOTE: If you prefer a dryer granola omit the apple sauce and only bake the granola for 10 – 12 minutes the second time. Feel free to choose whatever combination of dried fruits and nuts you prefer. Change it up with dried cranberries and macadamia nuts, or almonds and dried blueberries, or apricots and hazelnuts. Throw in a handful of chopped bitter sweet chocolate after it’s cooled. Whatever you fancy. Make it yours.

The toasted quinoa adds a nice crunch!

How do you enjoy your granola?

Granola and milk in a bowl?
Sprinkled over yogurt?
Dry, out of the container?
Wrapped into a whole-wheat tortilla with peanut butter and apple slices?

What’s your favorite way to eat granola? Share your granola eating quirks in the comments below.

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Fellowship Finds from Life & Online | Meaningful reads and inspiration from around the web.

It’s that time again! Time to share the meaningful reads I’ve discovered online this week. Each piece is mixed with challenge and encouragement. (I’ve also thrown in a podcast for good measure.)

[1]

The title of Shauna Niequist’s blog post says it all: Why It Doesn’t Matter How You Feel About Your Friends

[2]

And here’s Craig, speaking truth: “Everybody wants a revolution. But no one wants to do the dishes. Doing justice takes more than a few days. It takes a lifetime commitment to costly and boring, ordinary love.”

[3]

I’ve mentioned my friend Trina before but guess what’s new in her world? She launched an online space and she’s over at Simplifying Home helping us start where we are, embrace the process, and find peace along the way. Her most recent post is all about finding simplicity online (which I could totally use more of this summer)!

[4]

If you’re carrying a burden today or have ever felt like a burden to your friends or family, this one’s for you. We miss out when we hold back.

[5]

Where are my podcast fans? My friend Merritt launched her podcast yesterday and it is so good. I might have cried a little listening to it during my morning walk. Ha. Her podcast (The Momentum Podcast: Pursuing What Matters Most) is all about taking initiative in life and work, following God’s lead and paying attention to what happens next. Find episode 0 here. Be sure to listen all the way through for the *secret ending*.

[6]

How not to freak out when friends and neighbors knock on your door? Cara shares on allowing messiness to invade your life, in the very best of ways.

[7]

60 creative ways to love a friend in crisis. Grateful Michele complied this beautiful list — so many loving ways to care for our friends, some I’ve never even considered before! Which ways speak to you?

3 comments

How to make friends as an adult

Doubt comes when you begin to seek new friendships and build community:

You’re working on finding community, connecting with “your people” and forming authentic friendships, but it’s hard, awkward, and excruciating at times, isn’t it?

You don’t know where to start. Who to approach. Where to find these kindred spirits.

Once “prospective friends” are on the roster, opposition comes. You’re scared to invite them over. Worry they’ll turn you down. You’re afraid everyone’s too busy.

You wonder if these people will get along with those people if you host dinner.

Maybe you’ve moved past the initial fears of invitation, shared a few fun meals and evenings of camaraderie, but things have fizzled. You feel like a pest starting things up again and wonder if these people just aren’t into you.

Wisdom for the journey ahead:

Nehemiah Chapters 1- 8 has wisdom to offer. Nehemiah was a high official in the Persian court who was called to a great project. He was instrumental in rebuilding a wall and the city of Jerusalem that sat in ruins following the Babylonian exile.

In Chapter 1 Nehemiah hears of the destruction of his city and wept, mourned, fasted, prayed (day and night), praised God, reminded God of His covenant, “…hear me God”, confessed, prayed scripture, pleaded for the people of Jerusalem, and asked God for favor and success.

Have you been there? Facing sadness of the heart because you lack community? Shedding tears because it sits in ruins?

Nehemiah started his building project with prayer. As you journey toward community, press into prayer and ask God to establish what he desires in your life, that he’d usher in authentic friendships and community.

And God will.

But what I’ve learned from these chapters in Nehemiah — it’s wise to prepare yourself for resistance. Nehemiah faced opposition at every turn.

You’ll face opposition and feel like giving up on friendship:

Here’s the deal. The bad dudes in the first six chapters of Nehemiah were unrelenting toward Nehemiah and the Jewish people who were rebuilding the wall.

When you’re building something good and meaningful, like friendship and community, there’s a strong chance you’ll face opposition. Whether it’s internal, external, or both.

The bad dudes? They taunted, opposed, mocked, and ridiculed the Jewish people. They plotted to attack and stir up trouble, sent four intimidating letters, hired men to intimidate Nehemiah, and sent an aide to deliver an intimidating invitation to Nehemiah. (References here: Nehemiah 2:10, 2:19, 4:1-3, 4:7-8, 6:3, 6:8, 6:10-13, 6:19.)

Even after the wall was rebuilt, the project finished, Tobiah sent letters to intimidate Nehemiah.

Taunts rise in the mind and heart while you’re longing for community and forming friendships.

  • I hope they like me. Are we a good fit?
  • Did they have a good time at the park with us?
  • That was awkward. Thought we’d hit it off…but no. Back to square one.
How to fight back against doubt and fear when forming friendships and community:

When the bad dudes started mocking Nehemiah, he answered them, “The God of heaven will give us success.” (Nehemiah 2:20)

When fear cries, ‘This friendship thing is impossible…’ — repeatedly discredit the doubt with truth.

  • God will give us success.
  • I was made for community.
  • God hear me. Erase these fears.
  • There are people in this town waiting to know us, longing for friendship.

When the bad guys threatened to attack the Jewish people, Nehemiah placed guards at all the “exposed places” along the wall. Where or when are you most tender about building friendship?

Is it before an invitation goes out? Is it during a get-together? Is it after a gathering? Weekends? Weeknights? Children’s school events? At the book club? When do the doubts and fears overwhelm you?

What can you do to be proactive and protect those areas in your life?

Remember that forming friendships is a process and journey. One that goes a lot like this:

Pray. Decide to build. Face opposition, doubt and fear. Replace doubt with truth. Pray. Keep building. Face mocking, taunting, intimidation. Pray. Keep at the good work. Repeat. Friendship comes one day at a time.

How can I support you on the journey?

If there’s anything I can do to help you as you erase loneliness and seek to foster fellowship and friendship in your life — let me know in the comments below. Share your experience with the other Kitchen Fellowshipers here.

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Homemade Turkey and Dumplings Recipe | Kitchen Fellowship

A cozy meal!

This turkey and dumplings dish pairs well with weather that’s vacillating between winter and spring. When it’s drizzly and wet with a chill in the air. When the sun is still hiding away. This recipe is adapted from Real Simple. I included a GF option too.

Homemade Turkey and Dumplings Recipe

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb turkey breast, cut into cubes [I found a 1.2 lb package and used it all.]
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
4 cups water
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried summer savory [A spice blend found at most grocery stores, similar to a mix of marjoram and thyme.]
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour [Or 1/4 cup corn starch + 1 cup Gluten Free Bisquick Mix]
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons buttermilk [or 5 1/2 tablespoons milk + 1/2 tablespoon vinegar]
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS
Over medium-high, heat the oil in a large soup pot. Place turkey in the pot and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Brown the turkey for about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove turkey from pot and place in a separate dish.

Add your vegetables and spices to the same pot and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the turkey back into the pot along with 4 cups water and 1 cup broth. Simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the turkey is cooked through. As best you can, spoon the turkey out onto a plate. Shred it with two forks and return it to the pot.

Whisk together 1/4 cup of the flour (or 1/4 cup cornstarch for a GF option) and 1 cup of the cooking liquid, add 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Slowly whisk the flour mixture back into the pot and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

Dumplings: Whisk together the remaining 1 cup of flour***, the baking powder, baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Whisk in the butter, buttermilk, and parsley. Under the soup pot, turn heat to low and drop 8 large spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the broth. Cover the pot and simmer the dumplings for 12 to 15 minutes until they’ve firmed up.

***If you’re attempting a GF option for the dumplings — omit the dumpling step above. Try making a batch of biscuit dough according to package directions on a box of Gluten Free Bisquick mix. I haven’t tried this yet, but let me know if you do and if it turns out. Drop biscuit mix by the spoonful into the simmering broth mixture. Cover and simmer. Start with 7 to 8 minutes and check the biscuit/dumpling doneness. They should be firm. Simmer longer if it looks like they need more time. Trial and error might be key here. If you’d rather not risk it, perhaps bake the biscuits according to package directions and serve them on top of the soup.

Serve by ladling the soupy mixture into bowls and topping each bowl with a few dumplings.

Have any cozy meals that are best served between the changing of seasons?

I love new recipes so send them my way: alysa@kitchenfellowship.com or leave a linked recipe in the comments below!

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how to like winter, how to ease the winter blues, enjoying winterYou’re not a winter person. It’s too cold, gray, dismal. And I’m willing to bet the springy heat wave rushed into your town last week and got your hopes up.

It was 55° here over the weekend but the low 30°s returned and there was another blizzard last night. I know that many folks struggle with the long, seemingly dull, winter.

Freezing temperatures and heaps of snow can’t be controlled. That’s the way it is. But there’s much in your environment you can change to infuse more joy into the winter months and ease the winter blues.

Here are 12 powerful ways to overcome the winter blues! A lot of it has to do with appealing to all five senses. Smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight. Some of it has to do with our need for camaraderie and erasing loneliness. And then there’s the mindset piece!

[1]

Are you intentional with your words and thoughts about winter? How often do you state, “I hate winter…” Or, “Winter seriously stinks!” It’s time to lay the malice to rest, replacing it with mindful observations about what’s to love in this season. What do you see today that’s beautiful? Take note. Seeking beauty in the chilly months will shift your mindset toward positivity away from anxiety over the next winter gale.

[2]

Hot beverages! They keep your hands warm and heat you from the inside out. Here are a few of my favorites: hot water with lemon, turmeric tonic, hot chocolate [I like to substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar], coffee, tea, warm cider. Stock ingredients so it’s easy to whip up a steamy beverage at home. I keep the tea kettle full of water on the stove and a tea pot on the counter. It’s nice to make 2 or three cups at a time in the tea pot and keep the pot on my desk for easy fill-ups. Carefully watch your sugar intake in winter beverages so you don’t make yourself feel worse.

How to enjoy winter more!

[3]

Filling winter months with celebration and gratitude infuses your heart and home with joy. This is the time to cozy up with friends. Have you ever hosted a coloring and chocolate party? Gather a few friends for an evening of coloring. Set jars of colored pencils and bowls of chocolate on the table. Easy peasy, and it’ll give you and your friends something to look forward to. Need a coloring book suggestion? Here’s one I created with my friend Merritt. It’s filled with 11 pages for you to color and thoughtful prompts to help you journal through what you’re grateful for.

[4]

Wear a blanket! [I hear that’s all the rage this year too!] Somedays are dreadfully cold, even after turning up the heat a few degrees and layering your clothes. This is when blanket wearing comes in handy. I can’t tell you how many Skype meetings I’ve taken with a blanket draped over my lap or shoulders.

[5]

Still can’t warm up? Try a grain filled heat pack. Make your own with a rectangle of fabric [sew it into a pouch, fill with dried rice, sew end to close]. Heat it in the microwave for a minute or two. Set it under your feet or on your neck; be careful that it’s not too steamy when you place it on your skin.

[6]

Place candles around your home. Light them often. I love all-natural beeswax candles for the sweet honey scent they give off and the warm glow they scatter around. Have you ever tried full spectrum light bulbs? They often help lift blue winter moods.

[7]

Take stock of what you look at every day! Do you have enough bright colors around you? I love winter but there are rare moments when our faint blue walls and the backdrop of white snow and gray skies begin to blend together and get to me. This is when I know I need to add a few pops of color here and there. Try swapping out your artwork for something more stimulating and bright. Set a vase of colorful flowers on the table. Hang a few boldly colored yarn pom-poms or paper flowers in dim corners. Place cheery photos of friends and family on your walls with patterned washi tape.

[8]

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – A. Wainwright
A thousand times yes to that statement! This is something I learned well when I went to college in the snowy Upper Peninsula. On those below zero days we’d wear our fur lined hats and snow pants in class. If you’re freezing, is it time for more layers? Some days call for two pairs of socks. A good pair of long underwear can keep you toasty warm. Throw a t-shirt over that tank top, then a sweatshirt, and a sweater on top of that if you need to. Let fashion fall to the wayside if your teeth are chattering. If you’re going outside, wear a hat, gloves or mittens [and not those cheap, paper thin, $1 ones], a warm coat, a scarf, and lined boots. These make all the difference.

[9]

Music! The sillier or stranger the better. Try something you haven’t listened to before and pop it on during chilly, blue moments. St. Lucia and Jorge Drexler have me dancing the moment I press ‘play’.

How to enjoy winter even when you hate the season.

[10]

Since there’s no wishing it away until spring — embrace the snow! Snowshoe, ski, sled, bundle up and take a moonlight hike. Make snowman and snow angles. When you’re done playing outside, come on in for a warm batch of soft ginger cookies.

[11]

Slick roads often make it hard to gather and tend to leave us feeling like hermits. If an outing was canceled, are their neighbors you could get to know better during these long winter months? Invite them over for scones and coffee or an impromptu pizza dinner. Walking next door is easier than driving in a blizzard.

[12]

How can you nourish your heart and soul when you’re feeling blue? With cozy, warm meals. Sure, salad’s great but freezing days call for soups, stews, pasta bakes, warm crusty bread and melty butter, biscuits and gravy, curries, and burritos. Nothing warms you up like hovering over the stove as you stir risotto or a batch of chili.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy this wintery season? Share with me in the comments below and give us extra ideas.

 

P.S.

Now summer on the other hand? I’ll need your help facing all the sunshine and heat.

This post isn’t meant to treat any type of medical condition. You should talk to your health care provider if you’re struggling with winter and other medical conditions.

Sign up below to receive more posts like this, wise advice for fostering fellowship and restoration one meal at a time, and your free ‘Getting Started with Kitchen Fellowship’ workbook!

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gratitude journal, printable coloring pages, downloadable coloring sheets, adult coloring book

What’s going on in your heart right now?

 
It seems like we’re all so busy these days. If “busy” is the answer nearly every time you’re greeted by a friend, do you wonder what it would take to answer differently? My friend Merritt and I have been wrestling with that question too.

We want to live authentic lives connected to our hearts and with a sense of calm and rest in our souls. The only way we know how to do that is to just stop, find gratitude, and rest.

That’s why we co-created the gratitude journal and coloring pages. To give you a moment to put “busy” away. To offer you an opportunity to pause, create, rest, rejuvenate, and respond to what’s brewing in your heart and soul.

 
It contains 14 pages total with 11 pages to journal, color, and explore. You’ll find abstract and natured inspired (hand illustrated) patterns to color.

We hope you’ll journey and journal along with us as you write and color through these topics: faith, friendships, creation, heart, hope, and gratitude. Each topic begins with a Scripture prompt.

printables, coloring pages, adult coloring book, gratitude journal

If you feel so moved, we’d love to see your process (or completed pages) on social media with the hashtag #WhatsNotToLove.

And since it’s Valentine’s week we want to know — are you feeling gratitude or loneliness? Merritt and I are hopping on Blab tonight to share a conversation (that you can join in on!!) about this. Gather with us online here: https://goo.gl/LTbzao. [Tuesday, February 9TH: 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET] 

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Community Building - Inspiration from around the Web!

The internet’s a strange place but it’s lovely at times too. Grateful for those of you who blog, share recipes and ideas, and call us to live wholeheartedly. Here are some of my favorite reads from this week:

[1]

Allison says, “If you’re already planning to do some crafting this Valentine’s Day, invite over a few friends and make a party of it!” Couldn’t agree more. She even shares a list of great craft projects for a Valentine’s Day.

[2]

Kris shares really meaningful thoughts on the helicopter crash in Hawaii and the missing Marines. “When the weight of hopelessness presses in, when fear and doubt and trepidation wrack our hearts, we are told to return to our place of strength, our place of refuge and protection–to be kept in the custody of the ONE who is Hope.”

[3]

I’ve loved Joy’s blog for a really long time! Here’s her recipe for turmeric tonic that helps with inflammation. I used to make a variation of a turmeric drink recipe with milk — but, WOW, it tastes much better with water and lime (or lemon) juice, like Joy suggests.

[4]

“Because we are experiencing less meaningful human and divine connection, we are emptier relationally, and we try harder and harder to fill that loneliness with even more noise and stimulation.” Michelle asks herself, “[Am I] feeding my isolation and sense of meaninglessness with that which, in the end, only isolates and fragments me further?” And instead of just asking questions — she offers an insightful idea to help find “the real you” in the midst of all the noise!

[5]

Melissa knows how to make awesome vegetarian taco “meat” with quinoa and black beans. Taco party anyone?

[6]

If you’re in a weird rut and find yourself seeking identity in all the wrong places, this devotional is for you. Oswald always says it well and he presses us to decrease self-reliance and increase utter reliance on God, to place our confidence in God himself, not in his blessings, and seek our identity in him instead of roles we might play.

[7]

Julie’s recipe has absolutely made our month!! You should see my husband’s smile when I bring him one of these chocolaty mug cakes. I told him how easy they are to make and he replied, “I don’t want to learn how to make these because I’m in awe of the magic that happens when you go into the kitchen and come back, seconds later, with hot cake. It’s just plain crazy!” We’ve been enjoying these tiny cakes with a scoop of ice cream after dinner. I omit the hazelnut spread and substitute the flour for GF Bisquick mix and add a drop of vanilla. I split the batter between two smaller mugs.

What’s Inspiring You Lately?

Have a favorite blogger that shares meaningful posts that you’d love me to check out? Share their name or blog link in the comments below. (It can even be your very own blog.) Maybe I’ll even future them in my next ‘Fellowship Finds’ post. <3

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Carrot Squash Soup Recipe | Kitchen Fellowship

Soup & A Thank You

This squash soup tastes like candy. Delicious, healthy candy. I made a huge batch, popped half in the fridge for lunches this week and half in the freezer. Nothing better than a creamy bowl of soup on a snowy Michigan day!

I want to thank you! For reading, interacting, and for being okay with minimalist styling of my food pictures. When I first started with Kitchen Fellowship I knew I didn’t want it to be a “foodie blog” (nothing wrong with those — I love great foodie blogs). Spending my time meticulously styling food shots isn’t for me. Yes, this space is about food, but is more so about the fellowship that happens in the kitchen and around the table over a meaningful meal.

So thank you… for gracing me with your presence week by week even though my food photos are sparse, to say the lest. The sparsity allows more time for camaraderie, restoration, and real conversations that matter.

Carrot Squash Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS
1 acorn squash (slightly larger than a grapefruit)
3 carrots
1 can navy beans (you could use what ever type beans or lentils you like)
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup apple sauce
half of a small yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp paprika
olive oil
salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375*. Wash squash then carefully cut it into 4 or 5 pieces so it will fit in a casserole dish with a lid on. Put 1/2 inch water in the casserole dish and bake squash for 60 minutes.

Wash and peel carrots. Place them on a baking try, drizzle a little olive oil over them and sprinkle them with salt. Pop them in the oven after the squash has cooked for 20 minutes. Let the carrots cook for 30 to 40 minutes until they’re somewhat tender when you stick a fork in them.

About 10 minutes before the squash and carrots are done, melt butter in a large sauce pan. Sauté onions in butter until they are soft and translucent. Drain and rinse beans. Add them to pan along with the spices, salt, and apple sauce. Add chicken or vegetable broth.

Carefully remove squash and carrots from oven. Chop carrots into medium pieces. Add to soup. Carefully scoop squash from the skin into the soup. I generally use a pot holder to hang onto the hot squash (there’s a sentence I’d never thought I’d type). Stir and mash up soup. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the soup until smooth.

Want a topping treat? Stir a drizzle of maple syrup into homemade whipped cream and add a tablespoon or three to the top of your bowl of soup.

What’s Your Favorite Winter Time Soup?

I’m looking for more soup recipes so send them my way: alysa@kitchenfellowship.com or leave a linked recipe in the comments below!

9 comments

Kitchen Fellowship in 2016

“Align your work with what you believe you should change about the world.” — Barrett Brooks

For me that’s helping you erase loneliness and find fellowship, community, and restoration one meal at a time. I’ve dreamt up several ideas of how this will take shape in the New Year. Wanted to run them by you; in addition to blog posts, here are the loose plans thus far:

Live Online Workshops

It was wonderful hosting the live holiday hospitality workshop for you all (it’s been watched 218 times; you lovely people!!) and I plan to offer more workshops. They’ll help us grow, learn, and press into camaraderie, fellowship, and good health — together!

Topics I’m thinking of offering so far:

  • How to Organize Your Recipes for a Healthier Year [+ menu planning too]**
  • Organizing Your Pantry & Kitchen [making cooking easier + more enjoyable]
  • Empathy: The Care & Keeping of Community

**Download your free recipe organization pre-planning checklist here.

Kitchen Fellowship Boxes

This coming year I’d love to experiment with different ideas to bring folks together for kitchen fellowship. One thought I had was to put together boxes of goodies for you that contain most of the items you need to host a small, meaningful gathering with a craft or kitchen-y project. Sort of like all those “subscription box” services you see out there but with super sweet handmade touches and the mission of fostering and enriching community.

Retreats & Get Togethers

I’m unsure how this will come together but “retreats” has been on my someday-list for Kitchen Fellowship for several years now. Praying over this – that wonderful opportunities materialize this year so we can experience solace and restoration together around the table. I’d love to host several weekend getaways that make space for sole renewal, friendships that transform, and food that nourishes.

And for those of you who are local, I plan to continue on with the Arts & Eats Mini-Retreats that I host here in my home with my friend, Kristi.

Causes

Suicide prevention, community development, and orphan care are near and dear to my heart. I’ll be praying for ways I can make an impact and give back with my time and income to these causes this year.

How Can I Serve You?

What ways can I help you through Kitchen Fellowship this year? What are you looking for when it comes to community, hospitality, sharing meals, cooking, fellowship? “It’d be really awesome if you could _______!” Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below or send me an email at alysa@kitchenfellowship.com. Looking forward to meeting you where you are!

Warmly,

Alysa

2 comments

traditional thumbprint cookie recipe, thumbprint cookie recipe

Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

Both my grandmas made lovely Christmas cookies! Pretty sure they each had variations of the thumbprint cookie in their Christmas repertoire, so it was fun to make these in remembrance this year.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg (separate the white and yolk into 2 bowls different bowls)
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup nuts, roasted and chopped (I used pecans but use whatever nuts you’d like)
1/2 cup jam (I used cherry preserves but you can use your favorite)
milk

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350*F.

To roast nuts (if they’re not already roasted) place 1 cup of them on a cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon butter. Pop them in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the nuts to coat in butter. Sprinkle with salt and place in oven for another 8 minutes. Stir halfway through. Set aside to cool while you prepare the dough.

With an electric mixer (if you have one) cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy for about three minutes. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and cream together until well mixed. In a separate bowl stir flour and salt together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

If the dough appears too dry, add a splash of milk until the dough comes together. If it seems too wet, add a little more flour (a tablespoon at a time) until a nice dough forms.

Finely chop the nuts. Beat the egg white with a fork until it is frothy. Roll about 18 (1 inch) balls of dough. Dip the cookies into the beaten egg white and then roll them in the chopped nuts and place them on a cookie tray. With the bottom of a cup, flatten each cookie just a bit. With the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb, create a small indent on the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and use a spoon to re-press the indentations into each cookie. Fill the top each cookie with jam. Bake another 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on tray 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

This thumbprint cookie recipe also looks tasty, mostly because they’re filled with chocolate and sea salt! If you want a gluten free option — you might try Domata GF flour or this GF/Vegan recipe.

Jam Ideas:
Raspberry, strawberry, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, peach, apple butter, lemon curd, fig, apricot, grape, lingonberry, cranberry, etc.

Christmas Cookie Favorites?

What’s your go-to Christmas cookie of choice?

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