Thursday, September 11, 2014

Off-Topic with Tammy: Pinterest Inspiration: Olive Cheesy Bread

My husband and I have led a small group at our church for years and years. We love the opportunity to spend intentional time getting to know lots of different people with lots of different stories and ideas. Life Group is meant to give us an opportunity to encourage one another as we all attempt to grow in our relationships with Jesus. The large group setting of a traditional church worship service is great, but I have found that it's easy to come and go without making any significant connection. For me, this has meant that church can feel like a particularly lonely place. Being involved in a Life Group makes connections possible, and it is with this small group of people that I can truly be myself, faults and all. It can take a bit of time for people to gel and learn to trust and accept one another, and certainly some groups are easier than others, but the friendships are always worth the effort and the risks. It is these people who walk through the tough stuff alongside me.

We have been with our current Life Group for several years now. While we're always inviting new people to join us, we've had the same core for awhile. We take a break in the summer, and we pick it back up in the fall. This Sunday is our first meeting. As my boys like to say, "We're getting the band back together." For our kick-off, we're having an "Appetizer Potluck." Doesn't that sound delicious!!! This upcoming event found me turning to Pinterest to find something fabulous to make for my peeps, and Pinterest did not let me down. I found this recipe for Olive Cheesy Bread, and I will be making this on Sunday (and maybe Saturday night as well - because, you know, I have to make sure it is good before I serve it to the gang).

So, I'm sharing my Pinterest find with you all, and in this context, I'm also taking a minute to encourage you to join a Life Group (sometimes called Small Group) at your church this fall, especially if you're feeling a little disconnected from church and wondering how to get back into it. Commit to a group and be open to knowing a few people who you might not naturally choose to hang out with otherwise. You might be surprised at how much you'll learn about yourself, about other people and about Jesus through these new relationships. It will be worth the effort! (Oh, and the snacks served at Life Group are generally "the bomb"!)
Olive Cheesy BreadYield: Serves 10
  • 1 French bread baguette (or loaf of French bread)
  • 2 stalks green onions (about 1/2 cup), sliced into thin pieces
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/3 cups green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups black olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated
Tip: If olives are too salty, soak them in the cold water for 15-20 minutes and then drain.
Place butter into a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Add cheese, olives and green onions. Stir together until thoroughly combined.
lice the bread in half lengthwise (you can then cut each piece in half crosswise, they fit on a baking sheet that way).
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread each piece of bread generously with the olive mixture (spread it all the way to the edges too).
Note: bread can be refrigerated or frozen at this point until you’re ready to serve it.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning. Cut into slices and serve.

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