Monthly Archives: September 2013

Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn {A Recipe}

Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn | Faith and Composition
Fall was in the air this weekend, with its slightly cooler temps and a quick rainstorm that sent us all scurrying to the car in the midst of Little Man’s flag football game. We don’t get many changing leaves in Texas, and 90-degree days can stretch well into October, so any respite from the heat is welcome. The kids asked to nap with their window open on Saturday so they could listen to the rain, and well, how do you say no to that? Later that evening we trekked to a nearby park and went for a short hike as the sun began to set. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the image I posted of the sky aflame. It was beautiful!

Prior to our hike, I made a batch of this popcorn, and we devoured it in no time. I concocted the recipe last week, when I was craving a simple, but sweet after-school snack, and the result was delightfully addictive. After a few handfuls, I knew I wanted to share it with you.

I almost feel guilty calling it a recipe … it’s just six simple ingredients, but those ingredients make for a sweet/salty snack that will have your hand perpetually planted in the popcorn bowl. At least it did mine! So without further ado, here’s our new favorite snack. Try it after school, for movie night or before a hike with the family. And let me know if you find it as addictive as I do!

Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn | Faith and Composition

Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn
Serves 4

Coconut oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup all-natural salted peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons raw, local honey
Sea salt

Spoon coconut oil into the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot; you want enough oil to leave a thin layer on the bottom of the pot. Throw in a few kernels, and heat the pot over medium high heat. Once the few “test” kernels have popped, quickly add the 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Top the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and then gently swirl the pot to coat the kernels in oil. Once the kernels begin to pop, reduce the heat to medium. As the kernels pop, periodically shake the pot (take care not to burn yourself on the lid; it will be very hot). Remove the pot from the heat when the kernels have slowed to popping every three to four seconds.

Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn | Faith and Composition
Meanwhile, heat the 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 4 tablespoons honey over low heat. Stir to combine; you may have to use the tongs of a fork to smooth out any peanut butter clumps. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is a smooth consistency, remove from the heat and drizzle one-third over the popcorn. Toss, drizzle another one-third, then toss and drizzle the remaining peanut butter and honey mixture over the popcorn. Top with a sprinkling of sea salt. (If you used unsalted peanut butter, you may have to add more sea salt.) Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn | Faith and Composition
A few notes: A heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid is essential for stove-top popped popcorn. Lighter pots just don’t distribute the heat evenly. Also, feel free to play with the proportions in this recipe. Not sweet enough? Add more honey. Want to give it even a bit more kick, add some cocoa. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s a simple base that can include a host of variations. If you try this treat and like it as is, or if you come up with an addicting variation, please come back and let me know! And as always, I would be delighted it you would share!     

Linking up with Annapolis & Co.

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Five-Minute Friday {Truth}

Good Friday, dear friends! I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker today for her Five-Minute Fridays … just five minutes of unscripted writing. Today’s prompt is truth, and it’s a candid one, from a transparent heart. It was encouraging to me as I penned it; perhaps it will encourage you too.

What I know to be true | Faith and Composition
I once had a friend who told me I intimidated her. A friend who’s honest and transparent, real about her own struggles. “Before I really got to know you,” she said. “You intimidated me. You were pretty, and you seemed so smart.” I was a bit surprised by her admission, and truth be told, my pride was a bit bolstered. I hate writing that latter part; pride is ugly. But it’s an honest admission from a sinful heart.

Pride reared it’s head in that moment because we all long to be told we’re pretty, captivating, desirable. Her words felt good because truth be told, I so long to hear it, because I so often doubt it.

Here’s the truth. The real me struggles with doubts, insecurities, fears and anxiety. There are dark places, broken places, and too many failures to count. I get frustrated with my kids, and I keep an imperfect house. I desperately want to be a minister of grace, but all too often I dole out harsh justice. I have the beginnings of crow’s feet, and a few age spots, and that bio pic over there on the right hand side of the page … I photoshopped it just a bit to remove imperfections. And I write because it’s as vital as breathing to me, and I believe God has given me a ministry of words, but I’m scared to death to pursue it. There’s a book proposal collecting dust, one that I submitted to a lone publishing house who told me they would consider publishing it if they hadn’t just signed a similar project. And I shelved it when I got their rejection letter. I’ve never shopped it to anyone else because I’m fearful: fearful of the work, of the critics, of failing.

All of that and so much more (things that would take significantly longer than five minutes to share) is true about me, and those truths shape my days, but you know what? There’s another truth. And this truth … it prevails over all my own shortcomings. This truth triumphs over even death. And it is this:

What I know to be true | Faith and Composition
I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who knew me even before He laid the foundations of this earth. I know that I am prone to wander from that God, but He pursues me with an unrelenting passion, even to the point that He sent His son to die a gruesome death on an ugly cross so my defiant heart could be ransomed and reconciled. I know that there is no truth apart from Him, and His truth brings light and life and freedom. I know that my way is determined, my path is protected and my hope is secure. I know that I am clothed with strength and dignity, I am an adopted royal heir, and the King delights over me with singing.  And that King … He promises to never leave me, nor forsake me.

This is truth that trumps all others. And even when my own shortcomings threaten to choke it out, it prevails. This is God’s truth, and it is constant, secure, eternal. This is truth that forgives, truth that transforms, truth that holds. It’s truth for me, and it’s truth for YOU! 

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
– John 8:32

I pray this transparency was encouraging. It takes a bit of bravery to be honest about our shortcomings, but I think that honesty allows others to open up about their own struggles as well. So please be encouraged today, friends. And know that whatever failures or insecurities may be true about you, His truth overcomes them all!

I also linked this post with the lovely Casey Wiegand.

Fall Printable {Free 8×10 Art Print}

Free Fall Printable | Faith and Composition
Today is the third day of Fall (not that I’m counting), and the weather in Texas has actually felt a little bit like autumn. I’ve had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season, and I’m ready to welcome cooler days, pumpkins and equestrian boots. So to celebrate the promise of all that’s to come this season, I created this little printable. Featuring an image I took while we were vacationing in Maine a few years ago, as the leaves were just beginning to display their brilliant array of colors, this 8×10 printable is free for you, dear friends. (Be sure to adjust the orientation of your paper to landscape before printing.)

If you enjoy this art print, or know a friend who would, please show your appreciation by sharing the link. I would be tickled pink! 

A Photo Shoot with the S Family

I always relish the opportunity to sneak behind the viewfinder and attempt to capture fleeting moments with the lens. So when my sister-in-law asked if I would be willing to photograph she and her boys recently, I was happy to oblige. We trekked to a park recommended by a friend, and I shot quickly as the sun began to sink behind the clouds and my husband attempted to wrangle my own kiddos out of the shots. Despite the fact that my nephew had a headache, we were able to snag a few images that I hope will hopefully delight my sister-in-law. Enjoy this sneak preview!

A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition    A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
A Photo Shoot with the S Family | Faith and Composition
Enjoy your day, dear friends!

Five-Minute Friday {She}

Photo ©Shalene Roberts

Photo ©Shalene Roberts

This past week was a busy one. We had family in town for my daughter’s third birthday, and then each day just rolled right into the next (funny how that happens, especially with little ones at home!). Needless to say, I neglected this space for a few days, but today I’m back. And I’m linking up with none other than Lisa-Jo Baker for her Five Minute Friday series. (You can find my other FMF posts here.) For this week’s prompt, I couldn’t help but recall the events that preceded the arrival of baby number three, and how she was literally God’s goodness made manifest to me.

SHE

In some ways, she was a bit unexpected. But God was already at work shaping and molding her well before I saw those two little pink lines … The pink lines that appeared on the stick just two weeks before we were scheduled to leave on a mission trip to Belize.

We were to leave the other two kiddos at home in the care of my mom and board a plane bound for jungles and the tangible expression of God’s grace. I had battled severe bouts of anxiety in the months leading up to the trip: debilitating struggles that sent me spiraling downward into darkness and eventually found me lying motionless in a claustrophobia-inducing machine awaiting an MRI.

Anxiety is an ugly, silent beast, and it manifests itself in ways that only fuel the fire. Crippling fear, vision problems, loss of sensation and tingling in my face and hands were the manifestations of my anxiety.

The source of it … I believe it started when I said yes. Yes to Belize, yes to the distance of a country between my children and I. I told my husband I would go if he desired. But shortly after, the fears crept in. Fears caused by a thief who seeks to steal and destroy.

As the fears grew stronger, I sought a way out. “I’ll go,” I told my husband, “UNLESS I’m pregnant.”

Five-Minute Friday, She | Faith and Composition

We didn’t think it was possible, not yet. But it was my Hail Mary, my shot in the dark.

The MRI came back clear; my vision improved; the tingling abated; my heart learned to trust a good God. And then, those two lines. Our unexpected gift. And we discovered the news of her impending arrival just two weeks before we were to leave. If my flesh were to have its way, she was my excuse made manifest.

But God doesn’t give us a spirit of timidity; He gives us a spirit of power. And in the wonderful mystery of His ways, she became not my excuse to stay, but my assurance to go. She became my promise that God is in control, and I am in His hands.

His timing isn’t coincidental. And she was my gift to a heart that had forgotten how to lean into God.

So we went. The hubbie, myself and her, with her tiny, first-trimester body tucked inside. We left our other two for one week, and we served a people who have empty homes but overflowing hearts.

And then 8 months later, she was born; our promise of God’s goodness made manifest. 

If you’re interested in reading more about my own struggle with anxiety, or if you’re looking for some encouragement to help you through a similar battle, I wrote a whole 6-part series detailing my journey. If you’d like to read through that series, you can find it all here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me!