Home making · Kitchen Tips · Meal planning · Spiritual Refreshment

Mid-Week Kitchen happenings

Kitchen is a busy place – not just when you’re cooking. It takes daily work to keep things organized, efficient and well-planned. This is an important part of the work in the kitchen.

I was away last week and then have been quite busy since returning home. That means things were lacking in the kitchen. I have been working to get things straightened up, freshened up and planned for the week ahead.

I love to gather inspiration for meal planning. I find lots of good ideas in the Relish magazine that comes in the Sunday newspaper.

How cute is that board full of fall treats? I’m definitely going to make a version of that this month!

These sliders look so good, too! They’d be perfect on game day, if you have some football fans! They would also be good for a weekend supper.

If you’re in a menu rut, pull out an old cookbook and flip through it for some fresh inspiration. You might even find an old recipe you haven’t made in a while that you need to recreate! Go to the library and check out a new cookbook or a food magazine like Taste of Home. You’re sure to get some good inspiration there! I know the Internet is full of great ideas, but sometimes I find it easier and more fun to use a printed form.

I am freshening up some kitchen decor. I’m removing all the red items in my kitchen and the last things to go were my red rooster canisters. I found clear glass jars at Home Goods and they were exactly what I was looking for! The opening is large enough for a cup measure to fit inside – a must, in my opinion!

I also took some time to clean out the drawers in my island and while I was at it, I changed out the drawer liner. It’s amazing what a little addition like that can do!

I love being in the kitchen, and keeping it inviting is important. It keeps me motivated and happy about being in there!

Let’s use all this to make a spiritual application. It can be so easy to be busy doing all the things that followers of Christ do – attending church, serving others, teaching a class, and attending a Bible study that we forget to maintain our own walk with God. Things get “messy” and overlooked. We must intentionally take time to just be with God. Spend longer time in prayer just enjoying communing with Christ, hearing from Him as you sit quietly and allow Him to speak to you. Sing. Confess. Worship. Fellowship with the God who loves you and rejoices over you because you are His child. You’ll find that you are energized for the spiritual works before you.

So, what is the mid-week activity of your spiritual life looking like? Are you too busy? Stop and focus on the Lord so then you can move forward in your tasks with purpose and joy!

In your kitchen, are you planning and also staying motivated for meal times? Are there areas you need to freshen up? It’s worth it to spend a little time taking care of those needs. You’ll probably find you’re more productive! But if you can only focus on one area, start with your spiritual needs and then ask the Lord to guide the work of your hands.

Fall · seasonal decor

Cozy Fall Decor for All the Senses

After reading The Cozy Minimalist Book a few years back, I have taken a whole different approach to decorating for fall. I have only a few “fall only” pieces in my home. Now I try to use real leaves, real pumpkins, and things from my yard. I pull out my fall-colored dishes and candles. I attempt to incorporate all five senses to find fall touches all through my home. Let me give you a few glimpses of what I mean.

In my kitchen I have a cookbook on a book stand, opened to a fall cake. The pumpkin plate on the stove is one of the few pieces I mentioned. I’ll use it September – November as my spoon rest as I cook.

The lazy Susan on my island holds a candle that I try to keep lit. It is a Wood wick that crackles. It gives a great aroma of fall scents, but also the sense that a fire is crackling somewhere. The tiered stand has a couple snack plates and a fall leaf spreader on one side.

The other side holds an orange Fiesta cup used as my salt pillar, a succulent and a couple pumpkin napkin holders.

My Southern Living Magazine is opened to a page of fall scenery and a tall pillar candle rests on top. Here there are both fall visuals and scents.

For the mantle I put branches from trees in the backyard into a white pitcher. They last a long time in water! I like it so much better than a stem of fake leaves!

Twinkly lights in a bowl filled with moss balls and wooden decorative balls add a little more sparkle and warm glow in the living room.

Cozy layers rest on my leather ottoman in our family room. Leaves from my yard are my florals and a magazine picturing a yummy stew is there on the tray.

Dried leaves and wheat stalks are in a tall vase on the armoire. I love those turquoise candle sticks in the brass holders. I learned that you should always burn the wicks of your candles. A little drippy wax down the side of the candle adds to the coziness.

Another fall picture is on display and ready for reading in the comfy chair.

One thing you can’t see is my Alexa that plays the Autumn playlist I’ve made up. It has songs like, Autumn Leaves and songs from Little Women. Cozy music is so-o-o inviting!

It’s all the little appeals to the five senses that make a house feel like fall is slipping inside. I have also added my fuzzy pillow slipcovers and some soft throws on the couches. Yep, it feels, looks, smells and even sounds like fall in my house.

Do you consider all five senses when you decorate for the seasons? What else do you add?

Refresh the senses for fall!

trust

Trust

I found myself sitting here, hands on computer keys, staring into the screen. How many minutes have passed?  My heart has been racing, my thoughts swirling as I try to lasso the questions in my mind and answer them with Truth.

A situation happened that has caused me to run back to the Word that I had just heard preached.  It was a simple, yet impassioned message – 

“For with God Nothing shall be impossible.”  Luke 1:37  Another reminder was –

We are just pilgrims here. Our time is very short.” 

Our time is short. 
Our time to make a difference. 
Our time to reach the lost. 
Our time to lay up treasures in heaven. 

This also means that Satan’s time is short and he knows it.  He is busy.  His our enemy.  He hates us. he hates God.  He hates Christ. He hates the Truth we are tucking away in our hearts and sharing with others.  Why will I waste my time focusing on the problem? Instead I must turn my thoughts to Christ and His Word.

But with God nothing shall be impossible!  No conflict, no struggle, no need, no person, no trial, no sickness, no threat is too great for our God!  Praise the Lord for that truth that anchors our hearts when they are shaken!

What do you need to trust God for today? Be comforted that nothing is too hard for our God and remember that your time is short on this earth. Rather than focusing on the problem, look at Jesus.

Believing the God of the impossible,

baking · Comfort Food · Fall

Link to Favorite Fall Foods

Would someone explain to me why when fall rolls around I get this insatiable desire to bake everything delicious? The temps drop, and I seriously want to make Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Cake, Donuts, Muffins of every sort, and a whole assortment of cookies! I need to join a support group.

If you’re like me, then I’m going to help you. I wrote a post last year about my Roll Call of Favorite Fall Foods. I recently added a BUNCH more of my favorite recipes to that post! To make it easy to find, I have added a “Seasonal Foods” category to my recipe index. Scroll down below 30-minute recipes and you’ll find Fall Favorites there.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is an example of one recipe in my line-up of fall favorites – I’m pretty sure I post this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake every year, but it’s with good reason! It’s the BEST pumpkin recipe I’ve ever made. Everyone loves this cake and it’s so easy it’s crazy!

The list of fall foods is complete with main dishes, breads, soups, all my favorite pumpkin recipes and more! I hope you’ll avail yourself to my list and cook and bake up a storm this fall!

Who else gets the urge to bake when it turns cool outside?

With love from my country kitchen,

entertaining · Fall · Outside decor

Outdoor Decor For Fall

Happy Fall, Y’all!

We love being outside when we’re home. For that reason, I wanted to add some nice fall decor to enjoy out there. I’m not finished yet, but here is where we are so far.

I can’t wait to build a fire and have friends/family sitting with us around it!
This swing is my favorite piece of outdoor furniture! Who doesn’t love to swing? But it also lays down flat, creating the perfect place for a nap!
Blankets are ready for cool nights.
Here’s a peek at the front with my GIANT mum that has come back for several years now.

I look forward to entertaining outdoors this fall. Fires in the fire pit on cool evenings are just so cozy and inviting. I’m praying about planning an event so we can invite our neighbors over.

A simple menu of

  • Hot dogs
  • Donuts
  • Cider
  • Marshmallows to roast

would be so easy to pull together! What could you do simply that would pull people into your backyard or home? Popcorn? Pizza? Donuts from Dunkin or these easy homemade ones? Pray about it, then put it on your calendar! Use it to encourage others, pray for the hurting and be a blessing to your own family.

From my cozy backyard,