Balsamic Roasted Asparagus With Goat Cheese

Balsamic roasted asparagus with goat cheese and pancetta

I was thinking recently about how often I find myself saying something to my children that sounds so ridiculous but makes perfect sense to us.

Things like, “Hey guys, we’re not going to pretend to be cheetahs while we’re at church, OK?”

And then there are those times when you’re having a simple conversation with your child, innocently answering their questions, never realizing that those answers could come back up sometime later.

Usually this involves embarrassment, hilarity or both.


Case in point…while making this yummy dish of Balsamic Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Pancetta for Easter, my son wandered into the kitchen just as I was opening the packet of pancetta.

“What’s that mom?”, he asked.

“Well, it’s called pancetta”, I replied. “It’s kind of like bacon. Expensive bacon.”

The word ‘bacon’ in our house is sacred. Revered. We love bacon…in moderation of course! He reached his hand out to grab some, I swatted it away (it’s expensive!) and that was the end of that…or so I thought.

We loaded into the car and headed over to my in-laws home for Easter dinner.


Balsamic Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Pancetta, Pine Nuts

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Pancetta, Pine Nuts


  • Asparagus
  • Goat Cheese (flavored variety like lemon and herbs)
  • Pancetta
  • Pine Nuts
  • Lemon
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425
  • After washing and trimming off ends of asparagus, pat dry and place on foil lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over top followed by 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle with appx. 1 tsp. sea salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Using hands roll asparagus back and forth until all sides are coated.
  • Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes making sure asparagus is soft but still firm to the touch.
  • While asparagus is roasting, lightly crisp pancetta in a frying pan.
  • Toast pine nuts in small frying pan (do not use oil in the pan).
  • Remove asparagus from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Top with crumbled goat cheese, crumbled pancetta, pine nuts.
  • Squeeze juice from fresh lemon over the top.
  • Serve immediately.

And as my father-in-law went to reach for the dish of Balsamic Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Pancetta, my son said, “Oh, hey Papa, just so you know that bacon is REALLY expensive!”

My father-in-law just stared for a moment and then we all dissolved into laughter.

And pancetta will now forever be known in our house as the “expensive bacon”.

My life as a mom seems to be divided into two categories. There are those big, huge moments. The ones that are videotaped and preserved in photos and talked about over and over again.

But, then there is the other category.

It’s filled with small moments. Small moments of laughter over a funny comment from my kids. Small moments of praying with them at bedtime. Small moments of going on a ladybug “expedition”. Small moments of cooking together in the kitchen and having water balloon fights and going for walks in the woods and losing my patience and asking for forgiveness. Of holding a little hand in mine. Of holding another hand that used to be little but now is almost as big as mine. Of snuggling and wiping tears and kissing “owies” and answering tough questions.

roasted asparagus with goat cheese

And these moments, collected together end up being just as meaningful as those seemingly “bigger” moments. Perhaps even more meaningful. They are the stuff of my everyday life. The ins and outs of this roller coaster ride called motherhood. My journey to being called “mommy” was not easy. It was fought for.

You can read about it in my A Labor of the Heart series.

Cropped Family

As I was writing this post I began to notice something.

Every time I wrote out the word ‘moment’ I saw the word ‘mom’.

And I don’t think I will ever pronounce it the same again.

From now on, it will always be ‘mom’ent to me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet me today At the Picket Fence,


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  1. Vanessa – What a beautiful post for Mother’s Day! Yes, those precious “little” moments in our lives as Moms usually turn out to be the most remembered.

    Happy Mother’s Day to a great Mom.


  2. I never thought that a post that started with a great recipe can bring me to tears at the end…beautiful post Vanessa…and I shall never see that word “moment” again without thinking of you…you are so right!!

    Have a beautiful Mother’s Day..filled with many, many “mom” ents to treasure for a lifetime!!!
    Shirley@Housepitality Designs recently posted..Ever So Clever, Ever So Pretty Friday, #10…A Metal Lampshade MakeoverMy Profile

  3. Wonderful post, Vanessa! My mom taught me very early that there are no ordinary moments … many moments seem ordinary but they aren’t for the simple reason you are alive to enjoy it. Life is a gift, so is motherhood! Enjoy both for they are full of extraordinary moments… Love your observation- I think, from now on, it will always be a “mom”ent to me, too.Thank you for that! Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!
    Sylvia recently posted..For MomMy Profile

  4. The small mom-ents are the best. :-) Lovely post, Vanessa ~ Happy Mother’s Day!
    xo Heidi
    Heidi @ Decor & More recently posted..Celebrating our Moms {Preschool Moms’ Tea}My Profile

  5. Happy Mother’s Day to two great mothers and wonderful daughters. Love you both very, very much! Mom

    • KimAn avid reader of your blog via FB (KD) cued me in that you’d made this sttiusbution. Sounds like an excellent option for when asparagus isn’t in season. We’ll definitely be trying it (and maybe we’ll ask you to bring it to dinner next time)!

  6. Oh Happy Mother’s Day and I love all the “mom”ents!
    Bonnie @ Uncommon recently posted..Printable Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

  7. There is something very special about the two words, “…my son…” which you included in your comments. When your Nanna Opal was near death I was able to get to her bedside where your Aunt Joy and Aunt Naomi were already attending to Mom. I did not think she would be aware of my being there, but, she heard my voice when I said, “I’m here Mom.” She was not able to open her eyes, but, she did say, “My son.” Although I am recalling a sad moment, I can still hear a sweet contentedness in my memory of her voice saying, “…my son…” Years and years of nurturing, disciplining, saving for college, fried pies, homemade shirts to be thrifty, cowboy/cowgirl birthday parties for me and my twin sister, disappointment and frustration when I failed to live up to my potential, backyard softball, (Did I mention fried pies?), digging in my ears so they would be clean for church on Sunday morning, doing three jobs at once (teaching in public school while working on a Master’s Degree and raising three children!!), and so much more. Vanessa, your dad is very happy as we approach this Mother’s Day that you can use the words, “…my son…” And what a son he is!! And what a mother your are!! Love, Dad

  8. As I read this post I have two big thoughts running through my head. The first…”HER CHILDREN WILL RISE UP AND CALL HER BLESSED! Good Moms are God’s priceless gift to children. And you children are blessed because of you!!! Remember what I say to you Vanessa, some day your children (probably when they just about all grown up)will rise up and call you blessed! They will thank you and praise you for the way you are raising them. All the little things you do, those precious little MONents will add up to a young man and a young woman who fear the Lord (the greatest gift) and who will be so equipped to live right life. I have prayed for you today… that God would continue to bless your babies and watch over them. That he would grow up your children HIS way… and that he would give you the wisdom and strength to do so. And I thanked God for you!!! Keep blogging and encouraging other young moms to love the Lord and their children the way you do!!!

    The second thought is totally unrelated… YUMMY! Pancetta or bacon! What a great recipe!

    Happy Mother’s Day! xo

  9. Wonderful from start to (delicious) finish. I would make this. That’s why I pinned it…
    But more than the dish, I smiled at the story and the MOMent.
    Debbie recently posted..It’s A Piece of Cake!My Profile

  10. Yum! I adore asparagus! I’ll be trying this recipe for sure!
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal recently posted..Color Me TurquoiseMy Profile

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