Another week, another menu plan. Here we go! And this week, toward the end, we get visitors – my parents (Mimi and Pops) are coming for a short visit – so I will enjoy going out to dinner with them and have a food prep helper in the kitchen.
Butternut Squash, Kale, Chicken Skillet Bake (variation from this recipe that I got from a friend on Instagram)
Asparagus Ham and Mozzarella Frittata
Fig Flank Steak with an Asian Salad (an idea I got from a friend)
Fall – I think for a lot of us kitchen people its one of our favorite seasons. Pumpkin. Cinnamon. Sweet Potatoes. Apples.
But, I don’t think I had ever experienced a Fall season until I moved to North Carolina in 2000. See, I grew up in central Florida. The only two seasons we had were Summer and Christmas Day (and some years we only had one season). I loved it. I was close to Disney World though I only remember going in high school and college when I would do Night of Joy with the youth groups. I was close to the beach (though we had a pool, so my Dad couldn’t figure out why we needed to spend money going to the beach).
But, I remember moving to Wake Forest, North Carolina to start seminary right before a huge snow storm – rethinking the whole moving north thing. But, then fall came around at the start of my second semester. I adored the sound the leaves made as I walked through them on my way to class. I loved wearing jackets with my jeans (even though I would sport some flipflops usually). I loved sitting down with a warm cup of chai or steamed milk or hot chocolate to study out on the lawn. The bright blue Fall sky against the browns and yellows and reds of the leaves. Gorgeous.
And of course, Fall brings pumpkin! I could eat pumpkin goodies year round, but yesterday when I stepped outside for an early morning out, and felt the slightly cooler Atlanta air, I knew I was ready for Fall. So, I whipped up these pumpkin butter muffins for my mister. They were a winner. (This recipe was inspired by Joy the Baker)
Summer food should be pretty. The sun is shining. The gardens are bursting with fragrant herbs and brightly hued fruits the way God imagined and created them.
While I didn’t grow the items found in this summer salad, I did buy them at the Whole Foods in Buckhead (a delightful shopping, eating, and living area of Atlanta). This Whole Foods takes the cake on any one I’ve been in. The produce alone would be reason to keep coming back to it again and again. I remember the first time I took our older son in there. He exclaimed “watermelon” while looking at the sample containter of beautiful red, completely juicy, delicious watermelon. (And that was the first time he had said it!)
And another favorite thing I love about this salad is the dressing. I do love to make my own, but when you’ve found a simple summer vinaigrette such as this one: Brianna’s Real French – why waste the time in making my own? It is slightly tangy and fragrant and rests lightly on any food you put it on (this salad and our pink grapefruit salad are our two favorites). And if you want to know where to get the delicious Yard Blend that I use in this side dish, contact my friend Jayme over at Holly and Flora.
So, without further ado – here is a perfectly simple summer side dish that would be a great accompaniement to your next light summer affair. Get some crusty bread, cheese, wine, berries, and this – night well made.
Later this week, I’ll give you a “state of the blog” address. After a long discussion earlier this week, I will be narrowing my focus here on the blog and in life – and be able to really master one area and serve my family, those who come into my home, and our church well during this season of life.
Here’s what I’m making this week:
BBQ Pork Chops (recipe forth coming)
Roasted Chicken with a Dill Aoli on Sourdough (Sandwich of the Week)
Pretzel No Bakes (Two Peas just had a little baby this past week – congrats!)
It is just starting to drizzle here in the ATL metro area. I love it when it rains here. We’ve had several days this week of thunder and lightning and pouring down rain. I’ve loved it.
Our older son loves to stand at his window and look out at the rain and explain “whoa” or “wow” or “oh” every 10 seconds. He must be fascinated at the creation of God. I love how God is so in charge of the weather! Every rain drop falls at his bidding. Amazing.
And, in God’s amazingness – He gives us chocolate and marshmallows and heavy whipping cream.
Don’t you love how life teaches you lessons? We all have days where we learn valuable lessons that will profit us to use them in the future.
Like don’t go out without an umbrella if skies are threatening rain.
Don’t date guys who don’t love Jesus first and foremost.
Always wear the same shoes – vital.
Love above all else.
When you get hurt (and you will), don’t hurt in return because it doesn’t do anyone any good.
Leave your heart open for new relationships and friendships.
And this S’mores Pie.
I found out on Instagram yesterday that today is National S’mores Day (who is in charge of making these things up, anyway?). So, all I had to do was get a few things from the store and this pie is all set for when we get home from church tonight. It is dark, fudge, not too sweet, and topped with fluffy, sugary goodness. Slightly burnt edges – just like the perfect campfire marshmallow before you smush it between some chocolate and graham crackers.
The lesson I learned in making this pie? Buy a culinary torch. It will just do you wonders and save bunches of time (because my life as a full-time mommy comes first to my adventures in The Charming South Kitchen, so I’ve gotta use those nap times wisely). At least I was able to sip on my McDonald’s diet coke while I was waiting for my lighter to slightly burn the edges of the marshmallows. (I adapted this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)
Do your weeks ever change on the fly and fly by all that once? Well, ours definitely changes from time to time, depending mainly on my taste buds and my time in the kitchen. So, I’m going to start just posting menus for the week but not really putting days with them unless they go with a specific moment in our week.
This week I have several friends coming to visit. And I’ve totally changed our eating. And we get a raincheck to celebrate the mister. All good things.
And there you have it. As you can see – pretty grain free. I think its hard to go grain free for breakfast (eggs get boring) and lunch (because I love sandwiches and pizza)! But, its working so far and I feel better!
I grew up listening to country music…they always talked about Sundays in the South. I love Atlanta on a Sunday. No one busy going anywhere. Families out enjoying the green space. Church. We love our new church.
Tonight, as we do on every Sunday that we celebrate Lord’s Supper, we have a fellowship time. It was desserts! My husband did great and went through the line for me and the boys and just brought me fruit which I asked him to do. Though I did steal a bite of Sebastian’s Banana Pudding and a bite of Elijah’s rice krispie treat. The watermelon and canteloupe were so good though. Perfect summer fruits!
Enjoy your Sunday. Relax. Love on others. Rest up for the long week ahead! Weekend’s are just too short!