Well, not last Thursday.
Or today, for that matter, but generally speaking I do go to Bible study on most Thursdays.
(These photos have absolutely nothing to do with this post. In the editing process, I realized I ended up rambling quite a bit, and large chunks of rambling text without pictures to distract you from the rambling nature of the text makes me uncomfortable. Hence, we now have distractionary pretty pictures from my archives for your viewing pleasure.)
I've been to a lot of Bible studies in my day, but this one is far and away my favorite. Ever.
Why is it my favorite you ask? Three reasons.
A Bible Study Trifecta, of sorts.
First off, there is the study itself. It's been a great one. Really, really good.
Part two is...the people.
As I said, the study itself is wonderful, but the interaction between the participants and what I've learned from each of them is truly the highlight of the study for me.
What started out many months ago as a very diverse group of ladies, some of whom were perfect strangers, has ended up as one of the closest knit groups I have ever been a part of. Each and every lady there now permanently owns a pretty large chunk of my heart.
I love these ladies.
Part two of the trifecta actually has its own two parts.
A. The aforementioned lovely ladies.
B. One of my very favorite short and smushy people on the planet, Baby Tyler.
Baby Tyler is not a little baby anymore, he's a Big Baby. Immediately after his very first photo shoot last summer, I invited myself to become his honorary Auntie Teresa. I didn't really even ask his mom or grandma if that was okay with them, I just used the assumed sale approach and so far it seems to be working.
If it's not working, mom and grandma are too nice to tell me so.
I've been a shameless baby hog during every single study, and as such I got to enjoy one of my very favorite pastimes ever.....giving a sleepy baby his pre-nap bottle.
Baby Tyler and his mama Jess aren't going to be able to come on Thursdays anymore, and they will be missed in a very big way. It just won't be the same without them. My lap will be empty, the seat next to me on the couch will be empty, and no one will be trying to rip my Bible study book to shreds.
At least I don't think anyone else will try to shred my book. A couple of these ladies do look like they've got a little wild side hiding under the surface, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
In an attempt to fill the hole left by Tyler and Jessica's absence, I will now move on to the third Bible Study Trifecta factor.
Oh, the food.
When we started meeting way back when, I'm pretty sure the food was supposed to be on the snacky side. But, very quickly it evolved into full on lunch, and not just typical lunch....fabulous lunch.
The last time we met up, it was my friend Delia's (Tyler's grandma) turn to wow us with her culinary skills. She did not disappoint. Among other delicious things, Delia made a Greek pita bread salad, and I found myself going back for seconds, thirds and fourths.
Delia shared the recipe, so I made a batch the next week and proceeded to eat the entire thing in two days.
I made another batch yesterday, and this time I had the good sense to take some pictures before it vaporized before my very eyes.
This is one of the few recipes without cream cheese that I've deemed worthy to share on this blog. It is delicious, and when you go to the store to buy the ingredients, make sure you buy enough to make more than one batch because I guarantee you'll be making this more than once.
Greek Bread Salad
1/4 cup chopped jarred pepperoncini, plus 1-1/2 tablespoons pepperoncini brine
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano - I didn't have any oregano
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved - I used Campari tomatoes from Costco
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
cucumber, peeled and sliced. I didn't peel mine. Lazy.
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup sliced kalamata olives - I think Delia used black olives and it was equally delicious
1/2 small red onion, halved and sliced thin - I left this out
2 (10-inch) pita breads, (not pockets), torn into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced - I left this out
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley - I left this out, too
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine pepperoncini brine, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and mustard in medium bowl. Slowly whisk 5 tablespoons oil into vinegar mixture. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, feta, olives, onion, and pepperoncini and toss to combine. Let sit 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss pita, remaining oil, garlic, and remaining oregano in medium bowl.
Bake pita on rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.
*The second time around I baked my pita at 350 and stirred them every four minutes. They got away from me the first time:(
I also cut up all six pitas in the package and just tossed them in olive oil and sprinkled them with Kosher salt. Why toast two pitas at a time when you know you're going to make the salad at least fourteen more times.
Stir toasted pita and parsley into salad. Let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Since I wasn't serving the entire salad at once, I added the feta and pita to the veggie mixture each time I made a bowl for myself. Soggy pita is not happy pita.
I have no doubt I will eat this salad on a very regular basis until I make myself sick and never want to see it again.
Greek Bread Salad....an entire batch every two days will do ya good.