Sunday, January 21, 2007

Salad, Crisps and a Side of Mercies

My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
-Steven Curtis Chapman and James Isaac Elliott
Based on Psalm 103:17

The sun is back! I awoke early this morning to the realization that something seemed different.... audaciously bright, somehow. I hurried to the sitting room (it has floor-to-ceiling windows), and looked out on the backyard. Sunny! Green! It was as if the grass and clover sprang up overnight, knowing the sun would be there to bathe them this morning. I put on my shoes, grabbed my camera, and hurried out to greet the green. As I lay on the soft grass, breathing in the sun and its spring sneak-peek, I sighed. Every morning His mercies are new....

Just seeing and feeling that grass made me strangely hungry for something... anything!... green. Why is it that in winter nearly everything we stuff ourselves with is served in a bowl: soups, stews, oatmeals, puddings, etc.? I have yet to get plumbing installed for a dishwasher, so I can't tell you how many spoons and bowls and saucers have made an appearance in the drying rack near my sink. Suddenly, though, I'm craving green... and crunch. I'm craving crunchy greens. I'm wanting to hold a fork and trade my bowl for a lovely-rimmed salad plate. Today... today I'm making salad.

Oh... you know what would really be good? Salad and Cheddar Crisps. Ah-ha! We'll forget there ever was a winter! We'll make it and eat it out in the warm sun and think about new mercies. How 'bout it?

So here's how it works. Make a salad. Any salad. Take anything green you like and toss it with any other vegetables and dressings and cheeses you like. Today I've used a spring salad mix with baby radishes and crumbled Feta cheese and homemade vinagrette. But go with iceberg and diced tomatoes and ranch dressing, if you like. Once you've made your salad, whip these pretties up. You'll send yourself a thank you note.


4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
½ t. red pepper *
1 ¼ c. flour
1 c. Rice Krispies (yep)
1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or use baking stone or tile. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat together cheese, butter, and pepper until combined. (*DO NOT leave pepper out. Do not think you’re doing your grandkids or sister or picky-eater daughter a favor by leaving this out. The pepper only serves to enhance the flavor of the cheese and nuts; it does not make the recipe spicy. Promise. If you leave it out, your crisps will be missing something.)
3. Stir in flour until mixed, then carefully mix in cereal and pecans.
4. Roll into ¾ inch balls and place on baking sheet. Flatten into a disk with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass.
5. Bake in a 375 F oven for 9 minutes, or until edges are golden and lacy. Cool and remove from pan. Store in airtight container, if you have any left!

(Note: These are amazing! Eat with salad, as an appetizer, or for snacks. You won’t be able to keep them in the house, I promise! I often half this recipe, and usually buy “pecan bits” at the store – they’re cheap and already chopped. Feel free to use white cheddar, traditional cheddar – anything you like – for this recipe. If you don’t keep ground red pepper in your pantry, you can certainly use crushed red pepper, or “pizza pepper” as it’s sometimes called.)


CrunchCrunchCrunch. Gosh, it's so refreshing to eat crunchy, green things. It's delightful to feel the warm sun on my shoulders again. And it's comforting to think of how every morning... sunny or not, realize it or not... every morning God's mercies are new. Wow. My Redeemer is faithful and true! ...

(...And these Cheddar Crisps are really good! :D)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you think to write about a Steven Curtis Chapman song and salad in the same blog but you do it and it's great! I haven't seen salad look that good in a long time. I'm not sure about the nuts in those Cheddar Crisp, but they do look good!!!