Mourning and Dancing

This post deviates from my normal recipe-sharing ways but I simply can’t ignore the reality behind the blog.  Big Guy’s Mom is incredibly sick and was moved to hospice this morning.  This post is simply a place for me to share what’s helping me during this journey.  I promise to be back soon with normal programming.  Below are excerpts from the current 2-week reading plan on She Reads Truth.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for every matter under heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to uproot.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

“Mourning and dancing—they don’t always take turns. Not in my story, not in yours, not in our world. While people celebrate weddings and first steps and the sweetness of life, the broken world continues to break our hearts, sometimes at the very same time. The tension is there—wondering when to celebrate and when to cry. Often the best thing we can do is acknowledge that tension and do both, seeking the Lord as we navigate the complexities of this world.

We must never stop mourning brokenness. It is right to mourn.
And we must never cease to celebrate life and beauty. It is right to dance.”

I leave you tonight with a verse that I read this morning as part of my daily devotion.  While I’m certain I’ve read it before today was the day that I needed to read it again.

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
-2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Mexican-Style Roasted Corn

The title should read “Mexican Street Corn with an Italian Twist.”  Or it should read “Maggie is going to be mad I made this without her.”

I couldn’t resist roasting a couple of ears of corn last Sunday after a full day of packing the freezer with corn for later in the year when fresh corn is no where to be found.

Mexican Street Corn is super simple and simply requires you to roast the corn until it’s charred a bit and then spread on some mayo before sprinting with seasoning and cheese.  Instead of using cotija cheese and cilantro, I made the street corn with an Italian twist.

The corn is soaked with the husks pulled back for 30 minutes and then it’s cooked over medium-high heat on the grill, turning occasionally, until a little charred.  Immediately slather on a little mayo (Duke’s is the only mayo I use) and then sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese along with a little paprika, pepper, salt and some fresh basil confetti.

street corn

I served our street corn alongside a gorgeous smoked bone-in pork chop that was incredible.

I can’t decide if strawberry season or sweet corn season is my favorite.

Fresh Corn Cakes with Summer Salsa

This past Sunday, Big Guy harvested our corn that I’ve been patiently waiting for to eat.  We were pleasantly surprised to have a lot more than we did last year so we spent most of Sunday afternoon prepping the corn for the freezer.  We did almost everything outside to prevent too big of a mess inside.  We shucked the corn, boiled the corn on the cob for about 4 minutes and then shocked it in ice water before freezing.  We froze some on the cob and then we went ahead and cut some off the cob and froze.

And while I am so excited to have our freezer stocked, I was even more excited to save a few ears for dinner on Monday night.  As soon as I saw this recipe for corn cakes in the most recent issue of Cooking Light I knew that it was happening as soon as our corn was ready.

I was even more excited that I was able to use other stuff from the garden:  zucchini (instead of yellow squash), chives (instead of green onions), basil, and fresh jalapeño.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to use our tomatoes as they are still green – but I know that before long I’ll have more tomatoes than I know what to do with.

corncakes

I loved the pop of corn in the corn cakes.  They were delicate and flaky and reminded me of corn bread.  They would be insane with a drizzle of honey as breakfast or lunch.  The salsa was bursting with freshness and was lovely on top of the warm cakes.

Summer, I love you.

Seared Scallops with Snap Peas and Pancetta

Scallops are not something I typically cook at home.  While I adore them, it can be hard to find scallops that live up to my expectations.  Last week I made a run to Raleigh to pick up some lamb as well as wine and I couldn’t help but grab a pound of the biggest, most tender, wild caught scallops at Whole Foods.

The scallops stole the show in the 5-ingredient show stopper dinner.  The key to good scallops at home is to make sure you don’t overcook them – they will become chewy.

The snap peas are sautéed in a cast iron skillet first before cooking the pancetta and shallots.  The snap peas, pancetta and shallots are then combined before searing the scallops.They only need a minute or so on each side so don’t walk away.  The scallops are served on top of the snap pea mixture – along with a glass of wine.

searedscallops

This dinner was so gorgeous that I couldn’t help opening bottle of Iron Horse Chardonnay to sip alongside the scallops.

 

Egg and Tomato Open-Faced Sandwiches with Cheddar Zucchini Chips

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope y’all had a great weekend.  My sister and brother-in-law were in town and we enjoyed taking them to a wine dinner on Friday evening and then relaxing by the pool on Saturday.  After a quick visit with friends to the new brewery in town, Koi Pond, we headed home for an afternoon and night of good food and laughs.  And while I was sad to see them leave yesterday morning, we have multiple “reunions” coming up that I have to look forward to.

If you’re anything like me, come Monday I crave light, vegetarian dinners.  This open-faced sandwich is not only easy, peasy to throw together but it’s also the perfect, light end to Monday.

Toasted bread is topped with about 1 tablespoon of sundried tomato hummus followed by lettuce and a slice of heirloom tomato.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add a sprinkle of chopped olives.  Finally, the sandwich is finished off with a fried egg.

I served this sandwich with cheddar zucchini chips that I made by slicing up a zucchini and then topping with a mix of shredded cheddar and breadcrumbs plus some salt and pepper. The zucchini is then broiled for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tops begin to brown.

eggtomatosandwich

I hope you all have a great week (bonus:  it’s a short week for me)!

Grilled Mushroom Pizza with Rosemary and Smoked Mozzarella

Name your favorite food.

So hard, right!!!???

I honestly have no idea what my last meal would be but pizza is a strong contender.

There are just SO many toppings you can put on a piece of homemade crust and the end result is absolutely amazing.

Our latest creation included pulling out the smoker but I am confident that you live in a bigger city than us and can find smoked mozzarella.

And yes, this pizza does not include meat but I promise you will not miss it between the smoked mozzarella, fresh herbs and mushrooms.

mushroompizza.jpg

If you need the “how to” to smoked mozz, please talk to Big Guy.  All I know is that it involved ice, the smoker and some close supervision.

Pizza Sunday should be a National Holiday.