Ember Days of Spring and Lenten Fridays

Ember Days of Spring makes me think America the Beautiful. But that’s a whole other subject, right? Today is both an Ember Days of Spring and the second Friday of Lent.

Ember Days should be celebrated. Each Ember Days give us yet another opportunity to count our blesses and to give thanks to the Lord for all we have received. There are times when a blessing might not seem like a blessing. But all blessings produce fruit if allowed to grow.

God, may the sacrifice of today be a reminder of our dependence on You.
For from You come true blessings and joy.

In addition to the Second Friday of Lent and an Ember Days of Spring, today also happens to be National Soup It Forward Day. Now I realize that in the past we have talked at length about the importance of this day. We are encouraged to make a big pot of soup to pass along to someone in need. It might not be a need for soup so much as it is a need for a kind act and a little compasion. These are important – more important than the soup itself. If you insist on making soup, by all means do. If I might suggest the Soup It Forward recipes from the past –

Smoked Turkey Club Panini with Tomato Basil Soup
Simple Peasant Soup (with Smoked Sausage)
Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup

Or you could invite someone to share your Lenten Supper. These tostadas are simple yet so beautiful. The point of today is to give thanks, to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming Easter Season and to show compasion to one another. Not just today, but every day.

Shrimp and Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Salsa
Corn Salsa
1/2 cup Corn, frozen
1/4 Red Onion, minced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 large Jalapeno Pepper, diced
2 tablespoons Hatch Chili Salsa
2 teaspoons Chili Lime Seasoning
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 Avocado, diced
1 Lime, juiced

Thaw corn under cold running water. Drain well, place in a bowl and set aside. Peel and dice onion, add to the corn. Seed tomato, dice and add to the corn. Stem jalapeno, retain seeds for desired heat, add to the corn. Add Hatch Chili Salsa. Season with Chili Lime, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Just before serving, peel and dice avocado. Gently fold into the corn salsa. Cut lime in half, squeeze lime juice over the salsa. Toss to blend.

Shrimp and Black Bean Tostadas
1 lb medium Shrimp
1 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Chili Lime Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 (15 oz) can Refried Black Beans
1 tablespoon Lard
8 Baked Tostada Shells
1 tablespoon Jalapeno Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

Peel and devein shrimp; remove tails. Place shrimp in a plastic bag. In a small bowl combine Red Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Chili Lime, Salt and Pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning blend over the shrimp. Toss to coat, let rest in the refrigerator for about an hour for the flavors to develop.

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Empty black beans in a microwave-safe bowl. Add lard. Warm in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir in the lard. This will make the beans easier to spread.

Spread a thin layer of black beans on each tostada shell; followed by a sprinkling of cheese. Arrange tostada shells on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the heated oven to bake for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

While the tostadas are baking, warm oil in a large skillet. Cut shrimp into bite-size pieces. Sauté the shrimp in the warmed oil for about 4 minutes, or until pink.

Remove tostadas from the oven. Divide shrimp among the tostadas, top with the salsa and serve with plenty of napkins!

Don’t forget the Holy Water – aka Margaritas!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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