Friday, May 18, 2012

Asparagus with Lemon Zest and Pine Nuts


My mom has always been wonderful about buying in-season, local foods. She was hip, before hip was cool.

As a kid we’d eat fresh vegetables either out of our garden or someone else's. And when spring rolled around there were always plenty of asparagus to go around. Mom would generally steam the stalks just long enough for them to turn a bright green, then she would drizzle with butter and toasted bread crumbs. Yum!

Did you know that the proper way to eat asparagus stalks is with your fingers? Yes siree Bob. I learned this little tid bit from Elizabeth Taylor. I’m not sure what the interview was about or why asparagus came up, but she taught me that it was okay to use my fingers. And as a kid, that was just one more plus for the green veggie. So whether you are at a fine dining establishment or sitting around your family dinner table you can use your fingers. Now if the stalks are not firm, or cut into pieces in a messy sauce, I’d advise you to use your fork, but otherwise dig on in with your hands.

Soph made the above asparagus one night as a side to some yummy turkey meatballs that Em made. Okay, I’ll admit it I cooked nothing. I sipped my wine and watched my girls do their thing and thought, “You are one lucky lady to have not one, but three awesome daughters who like to cook.”  I pretty sure I cleaned the dishes, but the dinner was so wonderful I didn’t mind that one bit.

Sophie’s Asparagus

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Set the oven temp to 350. After rinsing asparagus pat dry and lay in one layer on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, or if you have it Meyer Lemon Olive Oil (this to me is heavenly). You can pour some oil into a bowl and brush it on if you want a more even coating. Sprinkle with pine nuts (a handful) and zest some lemon peel over the top. Place in the oven for about 8 to 12 minutes. You want to take it out as it turns a bright green. The stalks should be somewhat firm, but not hard.



So easy, and so good. Next week I’ll give you the recipe for Em’s turkey meatballs. They were melt in your mouth good.

This dinner received 4 smiles. We are working on the five year old, that for some reason won’t even look at asparagus. She doesn’t want to talk about it, so I don’t ask.

What is your favorite way to eat asparagus?


The Conflicted Chef

Monday, May 7, 2012

Inspirational Monday- Kim Osborne and Hope For Savannah


This post has been a long time coming. I interviewed Kim right before I started dealing with some health issues. I have to apologize to Kim for it taking me a few months to get this up. But I am so thrilled I have the opportunity to share with my readers such an inspiring lady and her organization!

First I’d like to tell you that I got to know Kim through a dear friend of mine. Before I became friends with her on FB I had heard amazing stories about her from our mutual friend. I ended up buying some homeschool curriculum from her and friending her on Facebook. What a gift it was. I’m able to keep up with all she does, especially Hope for Savannah, the organization that helps not only cancer patients, but their entire family. Their mission is:

“ to provide hope and comfort to cancer patients and their families through an intentional outreach driven by our web site and support programs”.

When Kim and I talked one of the first things she said was, “This organization is not about me. It’s about what we can do as Christians.” She went on to say that she didn’t set out to start this organization but that “God ignited a passion in her heart. And when He does that, it changes everything.” Kim will be the first to tell you she has no prior experience with a non-profit organization, no business training. But, as I've watched this organization grow and have seen all the outreach programs they have established it is hard to believe Kim has never done this before. One of the reason she inspires me is that it is easy to see that she is doing what God intended for her to do. She has followed her passion faithfully.

That passion was born from her best friend who was diagnosed with, and eventually died from ovarian cancer. As she watched her friend suffer she wanted to help, but had no idea what to do. She credits this experience with bringing her to Christ. Years later her young son would be diagnosed with cancer. She describes this time as “horrific”, but was amazed by the ways God was constantly speaking to her and her family.

As I speak with Kim I am touched and inspired by her strong faith. She works everyday with families that are suffering terrific burdens, she sees children suffer and die from a terrible disease, and yet her faith remains strong. She hopes others will see God reflected in the work that Hope For Savannah does, and I have no doubt that as you learn all they do you will see His amazing grace at work.

I could go on and on about everything this organization accomplishes, but instead I’d like for you to go to their website and see for yourself. I can not do it justice.

I asked Kim what someone  can do to help, even if they are not in the Savannah area. She told me one of her passions is to create pages on Hope’s website where people with all different kinds of cancers can go for resources. So if you or a loved one  has been diagnosed with cancer she would love for you to share any resources you have gathered about the disease and treatment. Also, if you can share the YouTube videos they have created. They, in themselves, are inspiring and fill you with hope.

I’m going to leave you with one of those videos. Thank you Kim for having the courage to follow God’s plan for you. Hope for Savannah is making a difference in so many peoples lives!