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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
In 2014, as Collective was finding its footing, we established what would be one of our most important outreaches into the community and one of the most sincere expressions of our ministry: Collective Cares. Collective Cares is a unique safe and open space, a meeting place, and a resource center for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies in Volusia County.
As Collective has stepped into its own, a new space for our community became a necessity. Little did we know that the search would bring us to the Dreka Theater, a downtown DeLand historic venue in the heart of our award winning mainstreet community.
Sunday Soul Brunch has become a beloved tradition here at Collective and though this event, which ties good music, good food, good conversation, and good company together with the thread of spirituality, is on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to share what makes this event so special for us and the downtown DeLand community with a little bit of history, some reflection, and a video or two.
As the Florida heat rolls in and tropical weather kicks up our afternoon rain forecast, our barbecue cravings skyrocket and we're all amped about using the grill. Those perfect char marks, that smokey flavor..... and then the flood gates open. If you experienced this on Memorial Day Weekend, you're not alone. I had some time to get creative and keep that same dinner vibe with some indoor options. Simplicity at it's finest.
Pulled Chicken | CrockPot Edition
Ingredients - Four Chicken Breasts, One Bottle of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, One Sweet Onion Sliced, 1 Tablespoon Sweet & Spicy Grill Seasoning, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Cook in Crockpot on Low for 5-6 Hours. Shred with fork and serve in Hawaiian Rolls with Chopped Dill Pickles or Slaw.
Ingredients- One Yellow Cake Mix, Vanilla Bean Ice cream, 2 Cans of Peach Pie Filling, 3/4 Cups Unsalted Melted Butter, Cinnamon Sugar Mix, Caramel Drizzle
1. Oil the glass casserole dish and preheat oven to 350.
2. Pour peaches with heavy syrup in the bottom of the dish.
3. Sprinkle Cake Mix over the peaches.
4. Pour melted butter over the top evenly and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.
5. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Thanks for checking out the blog. More coming soon!
-Jess Serwanski, Director of Operations & Community Development
Mastering Hibachi at Midnight
Craving that late night Hibachi order we were so spoiled with in the past? I had no idea that this would be something that I actually took for-granted, but it is. Every Sunday night following our weekly service, ten minute pick-up time for that salty shrimp or chicken hibachi order with extra white sauce.... $10. A few weeks into quarantine, when the flexible dinner schedule had officially reached random midnight meals and sleeping in until 11AM... I had to have some hibachi and I literally experimented until I had something.
PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE
Ingredients | 1/2 can Diced Pineapple, 2 Cups Jasmine Rice, 1/2 Sweet Onion Diced, 1/2 Cup Veggie Medley (chopped carrots, peas, peppers), 1 Cup Soy Sauce, 4 Cloves Garlic Minced, 1/3 Cup Sesame Oil, 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Honey, One Egg, Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, Olive Oil to Fry
Bundt Cakes & Basic Baking.
Day 7001 and I have officially baked 6 cakes to gift to friends and family in under a week. This week's inspiration was an excessive number of red apples and oranges that I couldn't possibly see go to waste. I'm a serious sucker for Pinterest recipes and I usually use them as the base for the recipe and then take on my own spin. Here are this week's masterpieces!
ORANGE BUNDT CAKE
Cake Ingredients (7.5 inch bundt) | 1.5 cups flour, 1.5 tsps baking powder, 1.5 cups granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 3 tbsps milk, 3/4 cup Vo-Lasalle Orange Juice, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla, orange zest from 3 oranges, pinch of salt
Glaze Ingredients | 1.25 cups powdered sugar, 3 tbsps orange juice, 1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt Pan. In medium bowl mix all cake ingredients. Pour the batter in the bundt and bake for 35 minutes.
2. Let cool on stove top for fifteen minutes. Then gently take out the bundt cake and drizzle with orange glaze and powdered sugar.
Hot Off The Grill.
Easter Week called for outdoor dinners and tequila cocktails. Grilling in Florida always calls for a beachy drink filled with citrus notes and a little kick. The grill has been calling my name this week. The past few weeks have felt like comfort food and cozy sweatpants, but today feels like full-on summer (my favorite time of year). It's time for a tan, a summer dress and the smoky flavors on my rickety gas grill.
What's the key to flavorful dishes on the grill? A killer spicy rub and sweet marinade- paired with a little patience, hence the beverage. This week, I've been leaning into a Sweet Carolina BBQ Sauce and a new Sweet Heat Rub from Gaffs that will clear out your sinuses from its punch to your nose. Choose your poison- a sweet marinade and a strong rub from home. Yes- sometime's we'll provide entire recipes with all of the little details, but what I love most about cooking- is that no dish is ever the same. So this week- be inspired to master your favorite grilled dish, and choose items from your currently stocked pantry!
Shopping Safety During Covid-19.
Germs. People. Crowds. Exposure. We all have a heightened sense of anxiety when visiting our local grocery stores in this season. How can we remain safe while still keeping our pantries stocked?
1. DEVISE A PLAN. Make a grocery list- not on your phone, on actual paper. Make a plan and stick to it. Paper lists allow for you to skip the germs spread from your phone screen and onto new spaces at home.
2. CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM. Personally, Publix is overwhelming to me right now. I've opted to shop locally with Gaff's Meat & Specialty Foods via their new curbside option. Their products are available on Facebook and a simple phone call is all you need to make your order. Super quick turnaround time and the perk of shopping local! If you try Gaff's this week- order a slice of Devil's Food Cheesecake... Indulge. You deserve it.
For vegetables, I've been visiting Kelly Crump at Vo-Lasalle on Thursdays to pick items for the week. They have honey, fresh squeezed orange juice, snap peas, tomatoes, onions, and sooooo much more.
If you're not comfortable with these options, you can venture out to your local Publix or Winn-Dixie store in town for supplies with a few extra precautions in place. If you're up for trying delivery, check out Shipt online for grocery items delivered to your door. Still not comfortable? Maybe you know a local restaurant owner who is selling a small list of grocery items for curbside pickup? The Table Restaurant and 4-Rivers are two that I know of.
3. SAFETY FIRST. If you're ordering items curbside, have the grocery or restaurant attendant drop the items in your trunk. Create a cleared space in your kitchen to drop the bags and wash your hands. Grab disinfectant and a paper towel, or maybe a couple Clorox wipes. Take each item out of the bag and wipe down the exterior package, then place it in a different section of your countertop or directly into the fridge/pantry. Move all bags to an outside trash can. When you've completed the process, sanitize the countertop space and wash your hands again.
If you're visiting a grocery store location, wear a set of plastic gloves, and a fabric mask to prevent yourself from touching items in the store and then making contact with your face. Maintain your distance from those around you. Don't use cash transactions, if possible. When you get to the car, dispose of your mask and gloves in the trunk of your car to responsibly move to your trash at home.
If you're visiting a local farm for fresh veggies, bring your own basket! Also, bring scissors, your own bags and knives to pick items fresh from the ground. Make sure to rinse everything thoroughly at home and clean any reusable bags immediately.
4. EXTRA PRECAUTIONS. Wash the clothes that you wore out to the grocery store when you get home. Leave your shoes at the front door. Wash your hands!
5. REST. Grocery shopping can be a big deal these days. Don't let the anxiety get the best of you. Get inspired to make that first meal with all of your fantastic finds.
Check back later this week for some inspiration. Stay home & healthy.
-Jess Serwanski, Director of Operations
Creativity in Isolation.
It's Day #24 at home for the Collective Staff and like most of you, we've taken some time to slow down, regroup, clean, cook, exercise and explore. But if you're like me, this rainy Sunday forced you into a slump. I'm a Florida girl so I usually love the rain, summer storms, the smell, the calm, not today. I felt myself sinking into the couch slowly, trapped in my home- no motivation to move. It's somehow 5PM and all I've accomplished is 10 reviews online... Lord help me.
So here I am-- digging through the fridge for something... anything to inspire me. Lemon, Garlic, Mushrooms, Pasta.... always cheese. I made a comfort meal, something you'd find at Carrabba's for a quarter of the price in my own kitchen. Mixing spices, chopping fresh veggies, singing Norah Jones songs while the rain drips on the windows... that' my jam. I was able to reset my mood through a perfect meal for one.
I'm here to challenge you to find your reset button. I sure as hell don't expect you to be up at 7AM running a marathon and making a killer breakfast for your family of five, but let's start small. I challenge you to find your sense of creativity today. Think about your options, make a choice and embrace it. Whatever that means for you- take it in and set a plan or an outline. You might get something out of it. Time is on your side today.
"I challenge you to find your sense of creativity today. Think about your options, make a choice and embrace it."
So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.