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October 29, 2019

A Friendsgiving Recipe from Abby Turner

We got to know Abby Turner, founder of A Table Top Affair and Friendsgiving recipe expert. We’re excited to share her journey as a blogger and heart behind hospitality. Bonus, you’ll get the recipe to her favorite Friendsgiving dish at the bottom of this page!

“It’s so important for us to sit down at the table and partake in a meal with others, but sometimes that can be hard. Hard because Pinterest tells us it has to be perfect or Instagram has to know.”

MEET ABBY TURNER

1. When did you start A Tabletop Affair? What inspired you to create your blog?

Originally, the blog was supposed to be quick and easy recipes for entertaining. I saw a need about a year ago to start sharing God’s Word and how easy hospitality can be. Plainly put, our generation has lost the art of a meal at the table. The first piece of actual furniture God teaches His people to build in the Old Testament was the Table. He taught us this right after He taught us how to make the altar. I don’t think that is any coincidence that second only to the altar is the table.

The emphasis on the table stretches throughout God’s love story to us and finally on Jesus’ last night on Earth – what did He do? He sat around a table. Not on a hill, not along the shore… but He took His disciples to the table. It is so important for us to sit down at the table and partake in a meal with others, but sometimes that can be hard. Hard because Pinterest tells us it has to be perfect or Instagram has to know and you feel like it’s not “Instagram-worthy” – but my blog is out there to show you how to spice up your store-bought apps or give a little pizzazz to your desserts! It can be fun – and I hope my readers get that.

2. What is your go-to cooking ingredient? Your go-to utensil?

I love crescent rolls. If you follow my blog or Instagram at all, you know I use crescent rolls for EVERYTHING! I always have them stocked in my fridge.

I also love my handheld lemon juicer. It’s such a small and old-fashioned utensil but I just love juicing fruit on it! But don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love my Staub Cookware. It’s on the pricier side, but if you want to splurge – they have an incredible line of cookware that I’m slowly bringing home with me!

3. What is your advice for people who want to host others/who feel intimidated about hosting/cooking Friendsgiving recipes for others?

Don’t look at Pinterest or Instagram and think your meals need to look like that. I promise they won’t! Mine don’t… and I kind of do this for a living 🙂

I learned a long time ago that most things on Pinterest or Instagram have been shot by a professional photographer, and some even use food stylists for their images! Don’t use those images as your standard. Hosting is bringing someone in your home and providing for them or giving them something. God’s definition of hospitality doesn’t require decor or even food… His definition is all around spreading the Gospel and building relationships. So don’t get overwhelmed and start small!

4. What is your advice for women who feel too busy to cook?

Don’t stress about cooking, hosting is just about providing! You can provide for others just as easily with a meal from Chick-fil-A as you can with a home-cooked one! I would hope that my blog inspires stressed and busy women to take something store-bought like an Italian Flat Bread Pizza and spice it up with fresh basil and a side of dipping pesto.

My prayer is that when people come to A Table Top Affair, they are inspired: not only to cook but to slow down and enjoy eating a meal with people at their table.

5. Why is hospitality so important to you?

It’s a directive from God. 1 Peter 4:9 says “be hospitable.” That’s it. He doesn’t write “try to be hospitable,” or “consider it.” We must do it! And we must do it without grumbling or complaining. So to that stressed and busy mom: be hospitable. To that single woman who doesn’t feel her apartment is big enough: be hospitable. To the grandmother who doesn’t feel she relates with people: be hospitable. That’s hard to do in 2019 when Pinterest and Instagram are constantly showing us perfection and telling us that we must live up to this impossible standard. I’m passionate about sharing about the ease of hospitality because it’s a gift God has given me, and when you are given a gift as a Christian – your natural posture is to share it! My prayer is that the joy I find in hospitality is the joy others can hopefully find too.

Abby’s table styled with our Remi Woven Striped Beach Towel

6. If you could meet or train with any chef in the world, past or present, who would you meet with and why?

Wow! What a question. I would love to learn from Laura Lea Goldberg. She is probably at the top of my list because she takes what is available at her local farmer’s market and creates culinary masterpieces with the ingredients! I love her sense of adventure with food and creating unexpected flavor combos. But I would also love to cook with Jennifer Garner! Her “Fake Cooking Show” cracks me up and I love how she forsakes all sorts of “rules of the kitchen” and just makes it up as she goes along.

7. Why do you love the recipe you chose to share with us?

Simple. It is easy! Everyone can make it and you don’t need any special tools. I don’t like using strange ingredients and I try to use all of the ingredients in their entirety – nobody likes leftover ingredients they will never use!

8. What does ‘Friendsgiving’ mean to you? What does it look like in your life?

Thanksgiving to me has always been a public celebration of all of the ways that God has blessed my life. Naturally, Friendsgiving is a day that I can celebrate the friends in my life that have become family. God has made us as humans crave community. I don’t live near family, but I have an incredible community that surrounds me and loves on me all year. Friendsgiving is one simple way that I can give back and love on my “framily” that have been there for me all year!

9. What drew you to the mission of 31 Bits?

31 Bits focuses on the positive impact that you can make throughout your life and in the lives of others. Whether that positive impact is hosting people in your home or buying from 31 Bits to impact women all over the world, we must continue to promote positivity on this planet!

10. How can people keep in touch with and continue to support you? Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Follow A Table Top Affair on whatever social media platform you have! Share your creations with your friends and with me. I’m always looking to my readers for inspiration! Part of A Table Top Affair is making myself available to my readers so that I can help you when you are in a jam or need a bit of inspiration. Just the other day I had a reader reach out and ask for help for her Thanksgiving table…so I sent her some links and decorated her table from a thousand miles away! Stay in touch and share your hosting wins with me – I’d love to see them.

Friendsgiving Recipe: Butternut Squash and Apple Bruschetta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3-5 minutes

Total Time: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 12-16 pieces

Ingredients:

1 package frozen butternut squash (10 oz.)

1 apple, cut and diced into small pieces

1 French baguette (I like a smaller baguette to make the bruschetta smaller), cut into 12-16 pieces

6 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cloves

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

1 cup feta cheese

10 sprigs thyme

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I like a Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to broil on high at 525º F.
  • Heat the butternut squash according to the package, but only halfway.
  • Toss the butternut squash and apples with oil, honey, and spices, retaining 1 tbsp of salt.
  • Place the French baguette slices on a greased cookie sheet and top with 1 tbsp of the mixture.
  • Sprinkle the remaining tbsp of salt, 1/2 of the feta cheese and chopped thyme over the top of each slice of bruschetta.
  • Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes, watching so it doesn’t burn.
  • Remove and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with remaining feta cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy!

TIP: You can pair this Friendsgiving recipe with new arrivals in our Goods Collection!