Why I’ll Leave the Hummus-Making to my Friends

spinach artichoke hummus

BJ and I have been a part of a wonderful Life Group for more than five years. During that time some of those dear friends have since moved out of state, but we’ve always been really fortunate that the new couples who join in their place are really awesome. We’ve hit the life group jackpot for sure…five solid couples, most with children and the rest with babies on the way. Super fun girls, great guys, and the best part…a bunch of amazing cooks. We eat well every time we’re together and we eat A LOT of hummus. Of the group, half are Armenian and I’ve learned the Armenians know their hummus. They know their food in general. I’ve been introduced to some of the most delicious food because of these sweet friends…

Yalanchi (stuffed vegetarian grape leaves), Cheese Boureg (baked cheese in phyllo dough), Pilaf (my friend Ani still can’t believe I called it Armenian Rice-a-roni), Shish kabobs, Armenian string cheese and Soujouk (Armenian cured meat), and hummus.

Oh yes, the hummus. It’s straight forward enough, right? I mean, we can all make hummus. Combine chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seed paste), garlic and lemon juice and let it go for a spin in the food processor. Done.  And we’ve all seen the variations…roasted red pepper hummus, roasted garlic hummus, spinach hummus, etc. You’ve seen the hummus trios on restaurant menus, right? So I had the grand idea to whip up my own variation, Spinach-Artichoke Hummus. I thought it would be so smart to take that super fattening, but super delicious dip, and lighten it up a tad.

So I made a traditional hummus and started adding stuff. I added spinach, artichoke hearts, I roasted an entire bulb of garlic, and threw in a handful of parmesan cheese. Ta-da!! Spinach Artichoke Hummus. I was impressed and thought it was quite tasty. BJ came home and asked what I made.

“Hummus!” I answered.

“That’s hummus? It doesn’t taste like hummus.” He argued.

“Well it’s my spin. It’s Spinach-Artichoke Hummus.”

I was annoyed. I didn’t think it would warrant an explanation after he tasted it. Wasn’t it so obvious?

Hummus with pita

He reassured me that it tasted wonderful but maybe not like hummus. I still thought he was wrong and I packed it up to take to the beach where we were meeting our friends Reed and Ani. Ani is Armenian. She’s Armenian and she’s honest.

I proudly whipped out my fresh pita triangles and my hummus. She tasted it. She liked it. Then she called to her husband, “Reed, do you want some dip?”

“Dip??” I asked, “It’s hummus.”

Ani replied thoughtfully, taking care not to offend me, “It’s really good, but I wouldn’t call it hummus. I mean, it has the consistency of hummus…but…is there parmesan cheese in there?”

We laughed and I thanked her for making this blog really easy to write. This blog for Spinach-Artichoke Hummus-like Dip. Whatever you want to call it, call it your snack next time you rent a movie or throw a party. It’s very tasty; full of all of the flavors you love in Spinach-Artichoke Dip, but with half of the fat and calories. It’s a snack you can feel good about. We gobbled it up and I’ll absolutely be making it again soon. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Hummus…or dip?

Spinach Artichoke Hummus

Spinach-Artichoke Hummus (Dip)

15 oz. chick peas, drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini, plus more to taste
1 bulb of garlic
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the top 1/4 inch of an entire garlic bulb off. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until garlic is soft.
  2. To remove garlic cloves, simply squeeze the entire bulb into the bowl of a food processor. Garlic will slide right out, leaving the peels behind.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and process. Drizzle in olive oil while the machine is running until it reaches your desired consistency and taste.
  4. Serve with pita chips or raw veggies.

Special Saturdays

farmer's market peaches

There is nothing I love more than a good Farmer’s Market. Saturday mornings and farmer’s markets go together like grilled cheese and tomato soup. Sure, one is fine without the other – enjoyable even. But put them together and you have something special, and this past Saturday was just that – special.

It’s rare that we are able to do anything last-minute these days. With a rambunctious two-year old boy and a very scheduled three-month-old girl, outings take advanced planning. Who am I kidding? A shower, a bathroom break and even a moment to brush my teeth in the morning all take advanced planning! However, the stars aligned this Saturday morning and when both babies had been fed and BJ and I had downed our first round of caffeine, we loaded up the car and headed into the Village for our first trip to the Laguna Beach Farmer’s Market since Allie came along. It was a gorgeous summer day- blue skies, warm air, cool breeze. Tourists were still asleep and had yet to descend on the tiny town, which meant there were plenty of parking spots. God was smiling down on our gutsy little adventure for sure.

After pulling into a fabulous spot, BJ loaded both kiddos into the stroller and I hit the ATM so I would have plenty of cash. Everyone at the market was in a lovely mood; how could they not be with the aroma of perfectly ripe peaches, succulent basil and sweet tomatoes wafting through the air? Oh take me back!

loryn-at-farmer's-market_forweb

 

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I’m kind of a spazz at the market. There is no method to my madness- I just pick what looks good at each stand, not wanting any one vendor to be left out. Sometimes I legitimately sympathy-buy. That’s when I go for the onions. I could have shopped for days but knowing we will be heading out of town this week, I tried to be sensible and only buy what I would actually have time to cook. I also tried VERY hard to stay away from the flowers…So hard! I did come away with a ton of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers the size of baseball bats…ok maybe t-ball bats…purple basil, mint, cauliflower, almonds and some gorgeous bunches of scallions.

farmers market tomatoes

 

farmers market cucumbers

 

I’m ready to cook! Except I’m not. It’s been getting hot in the afternoons and when I turn on my stove or oven the house heats up like no one’s business. So I’m not going to cook. Instead, I’m going to let all of this glorious produce speak for itself and make three beautiful gazpachos. A classic red, a lovely green, and a fun white one. I’ve never made gazpacho so I’m excited! I’m also excited that this trip to the farmer’s market is not going to sabotage my weight-loss plan. Oh speaking of weight loss and sabotage, did I mention the prosciutto empanada BJ and I shared while strolling through the stands? Holy buttery, flaky, salty goodness. Yum. I cried a little when it was gone. But how fun is that? Not only can you get ridiculously fresh and fabulous fruits and vegetables, you can hit up an emapanda stand or the tamale cart and EAT while you shop. Kellan’s favorite is the popsicle cart. He may or may not have enjoyed a strawberry lemonade popsicle at 9am. Don’t judge.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the gazpachos and will share the three recipes in the next week or so. Hopefully BJ will humor me. I suppose I can always hand him some tortilla chips and call it salsa. We shall see! 🙂

Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Asian Meatballs

In my quest to shed any and all remaining baby weight, I’ve been looking for lighter weeknight meals. Last time I wrote about my weight loss goals, I still had ten pounds to go. Today it’s a much friendlier number– four measly pounds. Something tells me these four will try their darnedest to stick around as long as possible; I’m a pretty accommodating host and a lot of fun to be around after all. But I’m doing all I can to kick them to the curb. Well…all I can except maybe eat the occasional Bourbon Bacon Burger with Pimento Cheese, but I ran an extra two miles to even the score on that one.

These Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps made their way to our kitchen table this week. The original recipe called for chicken, but I’m just not a fan (See ‘I Hate Chicken’). So I switched out the ground chicken for extra-lean ground beef, and felt very good about my choice. The meatballs were really delicious, bathing in the sticky Hoisin-Blackberry glaze. I also really love butter lettuce, and don’t really see how serving the meatballs in this way is any kind of sacrifice. It’s just smart and yummy!

I hope you’ll try these soon. They will absolutely be on next week’s meal plan, so get ready! Don’t forget- we’re running a HUGE special on annual subscriptions until August 1st. I’ve gotten such a big response, there are clearly a TON of people out there who need some help planning their weeknight dinners and I’m so happy to be the one to help them. If you’re interested in giving Menu Therapy a shot there’s never been a better time to sign up. Use the coupon code “ocladiesnightout” for an ANNUAL subscription and it will only cost you ten bucks for an entire year. Woo hoo! Remember, you only have until August 1st!

Happy cooking!

Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (white and green parts)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 squirt Sriracha, to taste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup blackberry preserves
2 tablespoons Sambal (optional for added heat)
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the milk and the breadcrumbs and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Using only your fingers, gently combine beef, breadcrumb mixture, green onions, garlic, soy sauce, Sriracha and egg until just mixed.
  3. Roll into 24 equal sized meatballs using approximately 3 tablespoons of the the mixture per meatball.
  4. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile add hoisin sauce, blackberry preserves and Sambal to a small saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for 10 minutes and then finish with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. When meatballs are out of the oven, coat each one with the Hoisin-Blackberry glaze and top with toasted sesame seeds. Top separated butter lettuce leaves with two or three meatballs and serve.

Meatballs with Hoisin Blackberry Glaze

Bourbon Bacon Burger with Pimento Cheese

CAUTION: Things may appear fuzzy after eating this burger…or even after just looking at this burger. It’s the bourbon! …Only kidding. The camera played a mean joke on me and not one photo of this gorgeous burger came out in focus. My apologies! 🙂

 

I have two words for you– Bacon. Jam.

Make that three words– BOURBON. BACON. JAM.

Let’s pause for a moment to reflect…

BJ dreamed up this burger last weekend as we were in the mood for something out-of-the-ordinary and fun.

“Have you ever had bacon jam?” He asked from the kitchen.

I had, and he had too, he just didn’t remember. We had bacon “marmalade” atop a tiny mason jar of pimento cheese when we dined at Hugh Achenson‘s Empire State South in Atlanta. It was a scrumptious little appetizer, as anything served in a mini mason jar usually is. I reminded BJ of that date night almost a year ago now, and then these burgers happened. He was inspired and my mouth was watering in anticipation. BJ came up with every component of these Burgers- the bourbon bacon jam, the pimento cheese, and the pretzel bun between which it would all be nestled. I helped him carry it out by flying to the nearest grocery store during the kids’ naps, then coming home and furiously grating cheese, crisping bacon, and basically completing all of the prep work so he could throw it all together. The results were AHHH-MAZING!

Bourbon Bacon Jam needs to live in your refrigerator, perhaps in a cute little jar, for the duration. Yes, you will be tempted by it on a daily basis. Yes, it’s likely definitely not the healthiest condiment in the world. But man…it’s good. As Joey Tribbiani from FRIENDS would say,

“Bacon? Good!”

“Shallots? Good!”

“Brown sugar? Good!”

“Bourbon? Goooood!”

Slather it on a cracker, a biscuit, or some toast. Use it to add some oomph to your next grilled cheese, or maybe stir it into some polenta or grits. However you eat it, you’re going to be glad you know how to make it.

On a side note, this pimento cheese recipe is no slouch either. Inspired by the recipe from Husk in Charleston, SC, this little bit of goodness took me less than 5 minutes to prep and really hit the mark. The original recipe called for bourbon as well, but I wanted it to be kid-friendly and there was already enough bourbon in the bacon jam to go around. Feel free to keep it in there if that’s your fancy.

To pull all of these components together, don’t skimp on the pretzel bun if you can help it. We found ours at Whole Foods, but I’m sure some of the other higher end mainstream stores carry them as well. The bun was almost my favorite part, probably because I just thought it was so smart of my hubby to suggest it. We’ve had a lot of fun picking out special buns for our burgers lately. It really takes a ho-hum burger to a whole other level. Even if all you can find is King’s Hawaiian Buns, it makes a huge difference!

You’re going to love this burger! It’s a winner on every level and will undoubtedly be the star of your next cookout. I’m not going to put this burger on next week’s meal plan…I think it might be too much for a weeknight dinner. However, since the recipe is posted here you can make that call for yourself! 🙂 If you need help with other dinner ideas, meal plans and shopping lists there has never been a better time to subscribe. As part of a Ladies Night Out event happening in Orange County this week, I’m running a HUGE discount on annual memberships. New members get 80% off with the coupon code “ocladiesnightout”. That’s just ten bucks for an entire year! Crazy, I know. The code is good until August 1st. Happy cooking!

Bourbon Bacon Burger with Pimento Cheese (4-5 servings)

1.5 lbs. ground beef (I use 85% fat for juicy burgers)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
salt and pepper, to taste
canola oil, for brushing
butter lettuce, leaves separated
Bourbon Bacon Jam (recipe to follow)
Pimento Cheese (recipe to follow)

  1. Using your hands, gently mix beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt and pepper until just combined.
  2. Divide beef into 4 or 5 equal portions and shape into patties. I like to flatten mine out as much as possible and then press a small well into the center of each to keep them from turning into burger meatballs on the grill.
  3. Brush a small amount of canola oil on each side of the burger patty and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat and oil a grill to high heat. Once it’s screaming hot, lower the heat to medium and add the burgers. Close the grill. After 4-5 minutes, flip the burgers and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Check for desired doneness and move to a top rack to finish cooking if needed.
  5. Build the burgers by topping the bottom of the pretzel bun with the patty, some butter lettuce, 2 tablespoons (AT LEAST!!) of bourbon bacon jam, and 2 tablespooons (AT LEAST!!) of pimento cheese. Serve. Swoon.

bourbon bacon jam

Bourbon Bacon Jam

1.5 lbs. good bacon
1 cup of shallots, finely chopped
2 cups sweet onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup bourbon
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Lay a wire rack inside a sheet pan and line the rack with the bacon. You may have to do this in batches or use two pans.
  2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is extra, extra crispy. Set aside and reserve a few tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once bacon has cooled, chop it up finely.
  4. Heat reserved bacon fat in a large skillet or sauté pan on medium heat. Add shallots and onion and cook until caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so longer.
  5. Carefully deglaze the pan with the bourbon, scraping up any bits that have formed along the bottom of the pan. Add the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika and chopped bacon. Continue to cook for about ten minutes or until the mixture starts thickening up and looks like jam.
  7. Drain any excess fat off and pour into jars. Store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or warmed up in the microwave and slathered all over anything that looks like it needs a slathering. 🙂

 

Pimento Cheese

 

Pimento Cheese

3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup jarred sliced pimiento, rinsed and finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add all other ingredients and combine.
  2. Store in the refrigerator.

pimento cheese crackers

What else can I do with this ricotta?

So now that you have a nice batch of homemade ricotta in your fridge, let’s figure out how to use it! I’m assuming you have some left over after making the roasted cherry tomato bruschetta, and that’s a bold assumption because I definitely didn’t. But good news– even if you’re out, you now know how  easy it is to make more.

Like I said, I ran out post-parent picnic, but I had already brainstormed all of these wonderful ways to cook with it so I’m seriously making more tomorrow. Good thing I have a steady supply of cheesecloth in my pantry. So here are my thoughts and some useful links that will help you get the most out of that creamy, wonderful goodness just lying in wait in the refrigerator. Let me know which ones you use and always let me know if you come up with something totally awesome that I haven’t thought of…I would LOVE to try it!

(More) Uses for Homemade Ricotta Cheese 

  1. Pancakes
  2. Stuffed Shells
  3. Summer Vegetable Tart
  4. Scones
  5. Muffins
  6. Cheesecake!! duh
  7. Pizza- See my “weird pizza” OR this one!
  8. Gnocchi!!!!!!! (I’m excited about this one!)
  9. Cookies
  10. Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms

Need a few more dinner ideas? Check out this Food 52 article that will inspire you to squeeze 6 dinners out of one batch of ricotta. Or if you’re ready to move on from our cheesy friend but still need some dinner ideas, become a Menu Therapy subscriber for just $5. We will plan your dinners, write your grocery lists and help you become a superstar in your kitchen. 🙂

Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Shallots and Thyme

roasted cherry tomato bruschetta

This might be my favorite way to make bruschetta. Scratch that– this is definitely my favorite way to make bruschetta. I serve this as an appetizer every time we have someone over for dinner, and it’s usually gobbled up so quickly that I only get to sneak a bite or two.

Assorted cherry tomatoes roasted with shallots, thyme, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of brown sugar. Di-vine. I usually put the tomato yumminess in a bowl and serve it alongside toasted crostini and a log of goat cheese topped with lemon zest and red pepper flakes. So good! I love goat cheese, even if my best friend Haley thinks it smells like a farm. She’s kinda right. I ‘ve actually noticed lately that the goat cheese has such a strong presence that the subtle sweetness of the roasted tomatoes can be overlooked, and that’s just a shame. To remedy that and to help the tomatoes shine like the star they are, I served it up with…you guessed it…the homemade ricotta from a few days ago.

roasted tomato crostini

One bite and I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing the Hallelujah chorus. Hello match made in heaven! The creamy ricotta with its mild hint of saltiness is the perfect base on which to serve the bright tomatoes bursting with sweetness and flavor from the shallots and thyme. We took these little cuties to our sunset picnic at the beach with my mom and dad, and they ate them up long before the sun dove into the Pacific. My mom referred to them as “crack”. I double checked and confirmed that was a compliment.

If you heeded my advice and made yourself a ton of ricotta, let this be one of the ways you enjoy it. It will be hard, but don’t use it all up because I have a few more suggestions coming your way soon. Once I started brainstorming it was hard to turn it off! There are apparently an infinite amount of ways to cook with ricotta, each more delicious-sounding than the next. What’s a girl to do? I guess I’ll go curdle more milk!

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

4 cups assorted colors of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stem
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare a sheet tray by lining with aluminum foil. This will make clean up easier and keep all of the goodness from sticking to the pan.
  3. Scatter halved cherry tomatoes, shallots and thyme on the tray and lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper and toss to coat tomatoes evenly.
  4. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes are bursting and shallots are softened and beginning to caramelize.
  5. Remove from oven and spoon everything into a serving bowl.
  6. Serve alongside toasted crostini and ricotta cheese.

If you like this recipe, let me help you plan and cook dinner every night. I’ll do the hard part and you do the cooking  Become a subscriber for just $5. Happy cooking!

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I’ll have the house made ricotta, please!

homemade ricotta cheese in cheesecloth

Have you ever been to a restaurant that offered house made ricotta cheese as an appetizer? Why would you order that, right? Can it really be worth the $12 price tag when you can get a 16 oz. tub at Trader Joe’s for $2.99? Yes, friend. Yes. I promise you, yes. I order it at one of our favorite places in Laguna Beach. It’s served alongside a honeycomb and always makes me feel super fancy. It’s something about house made anything that will make you feel that way. I’m a sucker for the chipotle ketchup, house made crackers, sausage ground and stuffed in the back of the house, or butter that was just churned up that morning by the prep cook. Homemade cheese makes me giddy as well…in a restaurant and especially in my own kitchen. I love when something sounds daunting when in reality, it’s a breeze.

Homemade ricotta cheese is the easiest thing you’ll ever make.

Bring milk and cream to a light boil.
Add vinegar.
Watch milk curdle.
Strain with cheesecloth to separate the curds from the whey (yep, this it where that came from).
Eat.

Cheesecloth in strainer

Cheesecloth layered on top of strainer, awaiting the goodness that is to come!

Milk and cream begin to curdle when vinegar is added.

Milk and cream begin to curdle when vinegar is added.

Curds of cheese being strained of as much liquid (whey) as possible.

Curds of cheese being strained of as much liquid (whey) as possible.

Delicous, creamy, homemade ricotta cheese. You will never go back!

Delicous, creamy, homemade ricotta cheese. You will never go back!

You barely cook, but friends and family will think you are a culinary genius. Homemade cheese??!! That’s so impressive! Impressive until everyone finds out how insanely easy it is, then it’s just smart. Why would you buy the grainy, flavorless excuse for ricotta cheese you can get at the store when you can make twice as much, twice as cheap, that tastes twice, no, let’s say INFINITELY better? You wouldn’t– and you never will again!

This is too easy not to try, and I promise you will find a ton of uses for it after it’s made. You can use it in lasagna, pancakes, gnocchi….hmmm…I feel another blog coming on. My favorite use for it is to smear it on a crostini and call it a day. See ya, butter. There’s a new girl in town and her name is Ricotta. She’ll be slathered on my toast until every last creamy bit is gone. And then I’ll make some more. Why not? It’s too easy and too delicious not to!

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (this is NOT white “cooking” wine)
kosher salt, to taste, about 1 teaspoon
cheesecloth

  1. Combine milk, cream and salt together and bring to a gentle boil in a heavy enamel pot, like Le Creuset.
  2. Once boiling, remove from the heat and stir in white wine vinegar. Let sit untouched for 2 minutes or so until it begins to curdle.
  3. Cover a fine mesh sieve with two layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Pour curdled mixture into cheesecloth and let stand for 25 minutes until the curds and whey have been separated and most of the liquid has drained into the bowl. What remains in the cheesecloth is your ricotta!
  4. Pat yourself on the back and find the nearest crostini, lasagna recipe, or whatever!

Need some cheesecloth to get this job done? Menu Therapy now offers cheesecloth via Amazon.com. Order a pack today so you can be eating cheese tomorrow!

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Summer in a Salad

watermelontomsalad1_forweb

It’s almost the 4th of July! How did that happen so fast? July 4th is always so much fun in California, and this year it will be almost perfection as my parents are making a last minute trip to join us. I’m so excited! I’m quickly learning that two grandchildren is twice the lure of one. I guess that may seem obvious but we already got a good amount of visits from the grands with just Kellan; but now that Allie is here too we recently got a fun surprise visit from BJ’s mom and dad and now my parents are coming again! I’m loving it! I can’t wait to share all of the July 4th festivities with Nonni and Papa. We’ll go to the beach, grill something tasty, and cap it off with fireworks in Dana Point. I also cannot WAIT to dress my littles in their red, white and blue outfits…there’s going to be a lot of cuteness going on!

Whoa sorry, that was not where I intended to go with this blog. I wanted to talk about Summer. Summer is in full swing and it is absolutely glorious. Warm nights, beautiful sunsets, fun beach days…I LOVE Summer. I also love this salad. Watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, basil, feta cheese and lemon juice- this salad embodies all that is good about Summer. It’s all about seasonal bounty; it’s simple, lightly dressed and a little flirty. If ever Summer were found in a salad, it would be found in this one. There’s no real recipe here, just take as much as you like of those ingredients, throw it in a bowl and toss it in olive oil and lemon juice. Easy. You won’t even have to break a sweat in the kitchen for this one, and isn’t that always a happy thing?

Happy 4th!

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Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized pieces
heirloom tomatoes of all sizes and varieties, chopped or halved accordingly
feta cheese, crumbled
basil, chiffonade
pine nuts, toasted (optional)
lemon juice
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently and serve.

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Interested in more yummy recipes and meal plans? Become a subscriber for just $5. Happy cooking!

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