As I jump into entrepreneurship and all the highs and lows associated with it I am extremely blessed to have such a badass role model on speed dial.
My mom left a successful career track in banking, to the chagrin of her bosses, to go back to school and become a lawyer. She faced not only the sexist prejudices of the time but also entered law school quite a bit older than her classmates. I am SO glad she did. Though I never knew the version of my mother in banking, the version of her in law was a force to be reckoned with. My mom is passionate, confident, driven, and giving. She embodies the idea that it doesn’t matter how old you are you or what your original plan was, you can always find and follow your bliss. There is no reason to maintain the status quo if it is making you unhappy. Create a plan and follow through. An idea she has carried into retirement effortlessly. She is the person I take my craziest ideas to in order to level set and/or fill in the cracks, my full time therapist, and my sous chef.
Growing up we ate a wide variety of food. My mom, although Pescatarian, cooked many meat based dishes really well. I never realized how healthy we ate until I went to college and tried, unsuccessfully, to live on easy mac and other processed foods for a quarter. I later learned that cooking was basically just a means to an end for her. It has been a joy since I have discovered my love of cooking to spend our time cooking together. It has turned a formerly monotonous activity into something we genuinely enjoy. We swap stories and recipes and either enjoy the end result together or laugh at failed attempts. It is a blessing to have such willing guinea pigs and food explorers in your parents.
This month’s menu is probably my absolute favorite meal I have ever produced for my family. It was a birthday/mother’s day gift to my mom a few years ago. A chance to try out some new recipes or riffs on her old favorites and it was wildly successful. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Special shoutout to my first favorite food blog TheEndlessMeal for all the inspiration.
Appetizer: The beet salad is a wonderful way to start a meal. Whether your goat cheese is fried or soft and crumbled or you choose arugula or spinach as your base the varieties are endless. My riff on our favorite salad came by turning it into a handheld, one bite appetizer. The Endless Meal provided the inspiration. Paired with this we had pear tartines with blue cheese and honey .
Side Item: Corn bread is one of our favorite sides. It pairs well with meat dishes and soups. The best cornbread is from The Pearl in the Short North. Thankfully, it is so wildly popular you can actually find the recipe online!
Main Dishes: Our birthday’s are both in May. When cooking in the Spring for a crowd we are firm believers that the grill is the way to go (thanks for the help Dad!). For my mom, roasted veggies with a almond lime satay sauce. For the carnivores, Thai chicken kebabs with spicy peanut sauce.
Dessert: Now how in the world do you finish such a random but oddly complimentary meal? Three words: Bourbon. Bread. Pudding. We are a bourbon obsessed clan and when my mom mentioned her long standing love for a good bread pudding I could not resist combining two of her favorite things into the ultimate dessert. Guys, there is bourbon cream on top it actually couldn’t get any better. Out of all the elements of this fantastic meal, this recipe has been repeated most often.
While this was the first meal created in honor of the best Mom I know I am sure it won’t be the last. Let me know if you make any of these dishes or if you have other Pescatarian recipes you think we should try! Finally, and I probably should have said this first, Surprise Mom! Bet you didn’t think you’d be first.
Check in next month for my second Sentzational Spotlight. 🙂