Smile, Wednesday: Downton Abbey Premiere

on September 20, 2011 in Scotland, Smile, Wednesday with 17 comments by
[UPDATE: It is 2:23pm in Scotland and I am JUST realizing that today is Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Sorry. And weird.]

I’ve been a lame blogger this week. Forgive me.

But here are tons of pictures from our Crossroads Church Girls Dinner / Downton Abbey Premiere on Sunday night. Yep, Downton Abbey Season 2. I know. You’re totes jealous that we get to watch it already. And rightly you should be. Season 2 has started off with a bang.

So we invited any girls over to make dinner and watch the show.

Two of our Chinese friends are looking to learn to cook, so I threw them right in.

Jessye and Esther hanging out in the kitchen.

Here is a funny picture. Sarah, operating the computer, is taking an American cookie recipe [this one for White Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies] and translating the measurements while Jess and Penny do the grunt work. This was quite a challenge, being that I didn’t have scales or the appropriate baking tools. But they make it work. 🙂

Hannah and Mary with their dinner and a large collection of garlic bread.

Here’s most of the girls… I think there are about seven more doing dishes or cookies. We had TWENTY total. Can you believe that?!? TWENTY! [My dishwasher can’t believe it either.]

Sarah and I. Man, I love this girl. I met her in January when she was still in high school. Now she’s moved to University of Edinburgh and it is only because I am full of self-control that I don’t call to hang out with her every day. You’re welcome, Sarah.

I think pictures of dirty dishes are funny. You gotta laugh, or they make you cry.

People applauding the arrival of the cookies. They are worth a standing ovation. I highly suggest this cookie recipe and I bet with proper measuring equipment and all the ingredients [we don’t have peanut butter chips here], they would be insane.

Watching Downton Abbey. We were in heaven. Lots of gasps and shock and when it ended, everyone was like, “yeah, I’m hooked.” And I was like, “well, that’s great. Cause I’m pretty hooked on having my house full of girls on Sunday nights.”

This is my favorite moment from the night. Three girls who, prior to this dinner, had never met. They are all snuggled and leaning and connected and it made me want to pass out from too much happy.

And to think, one month ago we didn’t know most of these girls. They hadn’t even moved to this city yet! And yet, God has connected us and drawn us together over food and conversation and a period piece from 1916.

Truly. This night amazed me. I couldn’t believe how many girls came and how God has just heaped students into our basket. I’m really grateful. It is one of the highest joys in my life to have a house full of young women connecting to each other and connecting to God, so to see that happening here in Edinburgh makes my chest fill until it might burst.

. . . . .

Have you seen Downton Abbey?

Do you have any recipes that are cheap and easy for 20+ girls? Cause I need ’em. Real bad. We’ve got 7 more episodes to go, so that’s 7 more dinners! 


  1. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 8:29 AM  |  reply

    20 girls!!!! I’ll have to think on the recipes and email you.

    I can put some peanut butter chips in the mail if you’d like!

    • Annie
      posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 8:43 AM  |  reply

      Recipes would be great! No worries on the chips… we’re making do. But THANKS for offering. 🙂 You’re the best.

  2. Emily
    posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 8:34 AM  |  reply

    If you like Downton Abbey you might like this Edwardian make-over video!

    • Annie
      posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 8:43 AM  |  reply

      Um. Yes. I like so much.

  3. Merideth
    posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM  |  reply

    Never seen the show. Not sure if I’ve even heard of it. Can you email me that cookie recipe? My computer won’t click on the link. I’ll have to think of the recipes and email you. I love to bake, so I have tons of cookie recipes, and a few meal ideas. What did you guys have for dinner besides garlic bread, by the way?

  4. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM  |  reply

    I love this about you and your ministry there!! And that it revolves around a TV show.. that’s awesome!! So excited for you and what God is doing. Praying that even more girls show up.. cause why stop with twenty?!?! Granted I don’t know how big your flat is, but hey, we serve a BIG God!

    I would recommend Poppy Seed Chicken. It was a staple in our New Zealand/we need to feed an army days. Cream of Chicken, Sour Cream, Shredded Chicken, Poppy Seeds, Butter and Ritz like crackers. Let me know if you want more details. Easy but delish!

  5. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 9:59 AM  |  reply

    Crock. Pot.

    Make a big crock pot of taco soup (or a big pan) and some cornbread. 🙂

    I used that recipe recently and it was SUPER yummy.

    And please, please tell me you’ve introduced them to Sweet Tea?

    This post made me smile. I can so relate to the excitement of girls connecting and being able to sit back and watch it finally happen… its a beautiful thing!

  6. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM  |  reply

    I’ve been wanting to watch Downton Abbey! Now I’m sold.

  7. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 11:33 AM  |  reply

    No chips here, but I still might try that recipe. They sound really good. I do have some reg. chocolate chips I brought from the U.S. so I may substitute them and just do a little extra peanut butter.

    20 people – Shepherd’s pie might work with mince, italian sauce and lots of vegies thrown into with the meat then top it all with mashed potatoes. I like to sprinkle cheddar cheese on top too. Bake it all until it is hot and serve. You might need 2 pan with that many. You can also use a brown gravy instead of spaghetti sauce – it is just easier for me to do the spaghetti sauce. Serve it with a salad and you are good to go.

    Pizza rice casserole is an old standby of mine too. Again you use spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce. 2-3 cups cooked rice for a 9 x 13 pan. Mix the rice with some cottage cheese put the pizza sauce over that, add your pizza toppings and then cheese. Bake until it is all bubbly. It is really good! I have put zucchini & thinly sliced eggplant in with all the other normal pizza toppings and it is great and you get more veggies :).

    Hope that helps!

  8. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 2:37 PM  |  reply

    Netflix JUST told me, in their final gasps of relevance, that I should add that to my queue. And so now I will 🙂

  9. posted on Sep 20, 2011 at 5:42 PM  |  reply

    I would check out the Duggar’s website. They’re pretty used to cooking for a crowd. I’m not sure what kind of recipes you’re looking for or if you can find ingredients in Scotland, but it’s worth a look.

  10. Janet Houstoun
    posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM  |  reply

    Delighted you had such a great turn out. People will connect for anything so keep going.

  11. jennifer
    posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM  |  reply

    this is a recipe for chicken brunswick stew (courtesy Southern Living magazine). I love this’s really easy, really tasty and feeds a lot. I bet you could make it in the stove if you don’t have a crock pot. Some people use bbq sauce instead of chili sauce (and I am really picky and think heinz chili sauce is far superior to any other). I also add butter peas, chopped potato and/or okra. I know, it’s really southern now….but so good. Of course, you need some corn bread with this if you can. Give them a taste of your American home.

  12. posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM  |  reply

    LOVE Downton Abbey! And yes, so jealous that you get to watch it already. Sigh. I don’t even have a TV, so I have to wait for Netflix (or whatever it is called these days).

    I also totally relate to wanting your house filled with girls eating, chatting, connecting, etc. I was a youth worker and mentor for years, and still informally mentor some young women. Such a wonderful experience. My life is rich because of those girls! Yay for you!

  13. Caitlyn
    posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 6:32 PM  |  reply

    girl! we just did this the another night, minus downtown abbey. and plus sausage and ground turkey stuffed green peppers. hollowed out peppers stuffed with a sausage/ground turkey mix with rice, garlic, and jalepino thrown in the mix and baked. delish!

  14. posted on Sep 21, 2011 at 9:57 PM  |  reply

    Did you see or have you heard that Downton Abbey won several Emmys?!

    On the topic of recipes….what about a potato bar one night. Potatoes are usually pretty cheap and you could have a few different options for toppings!

  15. Treneka
    posted on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:29 AM  |  reply

    This is one of my favorite easy/cheap recipes,but IDK what the cost of the ingredients are where you are!

    rotini pasta ( Or ne pasta you like! I like angel hair)

    1/2 lb. Italian sausage (you may want more with the amount of people you have)

    1 pkg. (6 oz.) baby spinach leaves
    2 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

    COOK pasta

    MEANWHILE, cook sausage large skillet on medium-high heat 10 to 12 min. or until done, stirring occasionally. Drain; return sausage to skillet. Add spinach and tomatoes; cook 2 min. or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally.

    DRAIN pasta; return to pan. Add sausage mixture & enjoy!

    PS. this is also good with a lil parmesan on top!

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