We hope you enjoy these recipes with excerpts taken from the She Reads Truth Joy to the World: Advent 2017 Devotional!
by The She Reads Truth Team
Makes: 10 feet
This is a perfect use-what-you-have holiday activity. Using oranges will create a classic look, but you can go bigger with grapefruit, redder with blood oranges, or use lemons for a darker, caramelized color. We love any Christmastime project that takes minimal effort, treats multiple senses, and pays off for days and weeks after the work is done. Start these in the oven in the morning and your house will smell festive all day long!
5-8 pieces of citrus (oranges, grapefruit, blood orange, or lemons)
whole cloves (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Slice the citrus into 1/8" - 1/4" slices and pat dry with a paper towel. Stick a few whole cloves into the oranges for added visual interest, or simply for added aroma while they cook.
Arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 200 degrees F for 5-6 hours, turning and checking every hour.
String up dried citrus on a cotton string, jute cord, or ribbon. Drape your garland with greenery across a window, or even vertically along a doorpost. Citrus will continue to dry as it hangs.
by Amanda Barnhart
A bowl of creamy soup in the dead of winter is one of the things I look forward to most during the holidays. This recipe can be made weeks in advance and frozen - perfect to serve when family visits or as an entree substitute for vegetarians. The comforting texture and delicious, subtle flavors are sure to make even the toughest vegetable skeptic a fan.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium butternut squash, skin & seeds removed, cubed (roughly 6 cups)
Salt & pepper
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups vegetable stock
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 8-ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained (optional, for added protein)
1-2 rosemary sprigs, removed from stem & finely chopped (for garnish)
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot and add diced shallots and garlic over medium heat. Saute 2 minutes, until soft.
Add cubed butternut squash, paprika, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, at medium-low heat. Add more olive oil as needed to keep ingredients from sticking to pot.
Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, honey, and butter beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover and let simmer 15 minutes, or until butternut squash is soft.
Using a food processor, blender or hand mixer, puree soup until it is silky smooth.
Pour the puree back into pot and add more seasoning to taste.
Garnish each bowl with rosemary and fresh cracked pepper. Serve with a side of crusty bread and a drizzle of coconut milk.
by The She Reads Truth Team
Warm drinks and crisp air are staples of the season. This year, our team put a twist on traditional hot cocoa by turning it upside down with white chocolate and chocolate whip. Try the chocolate whipped cream on other sweet treats this season, too - like cakes, cupcakes, or pies. We think you'll love it!
white hot chocolate ingredients
4 cups whole milk
1 cup good quality white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Combine milk, white chocolate, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
Whisk continuously until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. (Do not boil.) Serve immediately with chocolate whipped cream.
chocolate whipped cream ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
white chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, marshmallows, candy canes (optional, for garnish)
Place a metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove bowl and whisk from freezer. Combine heavy cream, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar in bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes, or until it holds its shape.
Scoop a dollop of whip onto hot chocolate.
Garnish with white chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, marshmallows, candy canes, or cinnamon sticks.
Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
by Raechel Myers
Makes: 12 dozen cookies
One festive afternoon every December, our extended family descends upon the Myers home - frosting spatulas in hand - to bake, decorate, and devour dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies. When we're planning our December calendars, Cookie Day is first priority. By the end of the day, the kitchen and dining room are a glorious mess of sprinkles and flour and cookie crumb trails.
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 cups flour
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream together sugar, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt.
Gradually add baking powder, baking soda, and flour to the creamed mixture.
Chill overnight - this is a must!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out on a heavily floured surface and cut out cookies. Bake on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the bottoms are very light brown.
Blend frosting ingredients and frost cooled cookies. Now get creative with toppings!
Christmas is a feasting season, and nothing says "feast" like a rich and hearty main course. We love this recipe because it looks and tastes like something technically advanced, but it's actually very simple. One of our favorite steps, from an artistic perspective, is the pan searing at the beginning. Think of it as starting with the end in mind - a chance to art direct your meal well before the guests arrive.
3 pound boneless ribeye roast
1/4 cup fresh rosemary or other favorite herbs, chopped
1/4 cup garlic (about 20 cloves), chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cups of a variety of mushrooms, sliced to about the same size
1 cup beef stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine rosemary, garlic, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
Season ribeye liberally on all sides with salt and pepper, then use kitchen twine to tie the roast.
Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan. Once the oil is hot, sear all sides of the meat.
Carefully remove skillet from heat and coat the roast with rosemary-garlic mixture.
Cook uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 135 degrees F. Let the roast rest outside the cast iron skillet for at least 10 minutes. For a medium rare roast, the final temperature should be 145 degrees F.
White the roast is resting, saute the mushrooms over medium heat in the empty roast skillet with 2 tablespoons butter until cooked through and no liquid is left in the pan, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Set mushrooms aside in a bowl. Add stock to the skillet and deglaze, scraping all the bits from the bottom. Let simmer until sauce thickens.
Add the mushrooms to the sauce, stirring in the remaining butter, until sauce is silky. Place the roast back in the cast iron or on a serving platter, and spoon the sauce over the roast.
Garnish with remaining fresh rosemary.
ROSEMARY AND GARLIC ROAST BEEF
by The She Reads Truth Team
I'm a bit of a late arrival to the Yorkshire Pudding party, which probably explains why I was caught off guard when they tasted less like a donut and more like a quiche. Like most baked goods, Yorkshire Pudding is a science experiment every time, which makes it extra exciting. Will they "pop over"? Will they flop? Either way, this traditional English side is destined for holiday greatness when served alongside our Rosemary and Garlic Roast Beef.
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Brush the melted butter generously in and around each hole of a 12-hole nonstick muffin or popover pan, all the way up to the top.
Place the pan in the oven for a minute or two to heat the butter. Don't leave it in too long!
To make the batter, add the flour to a bowl and stir in the eggs and milk until smooth. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Remove the heated tray from the oven and carefully distribute the batter evenly among the 12 cups.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the puddings have puffed up and turned a beautiful golden brown.
Serve piping hot with a roast or other cold-weather meal.
YORKSHIRE PUDDING POPOVERS
by Raechel Myers
Serves: 12 muffin-sized
popovers or 6 larger
My friend Natalie is a fair weather hockey fan, but year-round caramel corn fan. The last time her family came over to watch a hockey game, Natalie brought "the world's best caramel corn" for us to munch on between fights and icing calls. I don't remember much about who won the game that night, but the memory of that caramel corn is clear as day. A year-round win, caramel corn is especially appropriate for the holidays. Make a batch to keep on-hand for drop-in holiday guests or that last-minute party invite. Just don't make it too early, or you may not have any left to share.
2 bags buttered microwave popcorn
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
Prepare microwave popcorn as directed and set aside. Try your best to remove any unpopped kernels.
Combine butter, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Cook on high, stirring constantly.
Once it reaches a steady boil, decrease heat to medium, continuing to stir until it reaches a good caramel brown color. Plan on 15-20 minutes of stirring. When you think it's done, stir it 5 more seconds, then it's ready.
Pour the hot caramel over the popcorn and stir to evenly coat. Be careful - it's very hot!
Let sit 5 minutes, then serve.
by Raechel Myers and
Serves: 4-8 (or just 1)