This week was a good week for discussion. The proverbial tide was in and there was lots to share and understand. As we near the end of Restless, this week focused on pulling together key points and our notes from the chapters we’ve discussed thus far. The book asked us to take a hard look over the threads that make up our lives. What seemed like a simple task (and it really was) turned into a challenging endeavor for many of us. Yet God is faithful and I am awed and amazed at how God revealed Himself to each person that shared. And He isn’t stopping there either, some are still working through things, others are being challenged, and others are still trying to make sense out of the mess that is their threads. This right here is exactly what Dinner & Discussion is all about.
If we stop and look around, transition is in the air. Though it may not feel like it, fall is here. Apples are everywhere, winter squash is abundant, and there is no mistaking the mass quantities of orange pumpkins everywhere. I love this transitional phases at the farmers markets because I can still get great tomatoes and butternut squash at the same time. I let fall be my guide for this menu.
Grilled Pork Chops: This started out as “apple cider glazed pork chops” but didn’t really end up like that. Did a 24hr brine and for ease of cooking I chose to grill them last minute. I did make a type of a sauce to pour over them but you really couldn’t taste it. Plus we won’t talk about the fact that I spilled most of the juices/sauce all over the table when setting it down on the table. Regardless, nothing beats brined grilled chops in my book.
Roasted Butternut & Pear Soup: To me, fall and winter require roasting. So instead of the boiling the squash in a broth I instead roasted it along with pears. Goodness, the caramelization of the pear added such a natural sweetness to the soup. Followed with a good broth, good apple juice, sage and some fall spices it was a delectable creation that I hope to share with you soon.
Kabocha & Pomegranate Salad: This was a beautiful hearty salad out of The Zenbelly Cookbook. The colors are enough to win anyone over before they even taste it. It was also perfect timing because the very first pomegranates of the season were at the farmers market.
Fried Apples: Apples are a well known pairing with pork. I went simple with these and resisted the urge to use sugar. Instead I sautéed them in butter and a good pure apple juice with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and sage. Skins left on, of course.
Chocolate Cupcakes w/Whipped Chocolate Cream: While I haven’t tried too many grain free cupcakes, these guys were pretty darn good. So good that not a person at the table knew they were grain free. I wanted to do the coconut whipped cream but for some reason my coconut milk didn’t set up. Thankfully I anticipated things going wrong and bought a back up pint of whipping cream. This is another one from The Zenbelly Cookbook. You can find a similar version over on the Zenbelly blog.
Dinner and Discussion is a weekly gathering over a meal and discussion. Read more about this series.