Sunday, May 27, 2012

Caprese Salad & Back-Yard Fire's!

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie."
                                                                                                          ~Jim Davis, "Garfield" Cartoonist

It's that time of year when there's so many opportunities to bring a favorite dish to a get together. There's cookouts, graduation parties and other celebrations to attend. One of my favorite salad's to make and bring especially this time of year to a gathering is that deliciously simple combination of fresh grown tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. My favorite version of it is shared below.

 I love the sentiment in the quote above because it's true; when it comes down to it we really like to eat what we like.Whether you're on a diet or not. I try to keep a balance between exercise and healthy eating. But I love a slice of Lemon Cake and a really good Chocolate Chip Cookie once and awhile too. So be it. Life is short. And why not try to enjoy it?

As for back yard fire's, it's a good time for that too. There's a chill in the air as the sun sets and the mosquito's haven't arrived quite yet. My daughter's and I sat around our fire-pit Friday. And of course we had to make s'mores.

Caprese Salad

1 lb. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced thin
2 large Ripe tomatoes, sliced thin
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
 1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped fine
Salt and Pepper to taste
 Fresh Romaine Lettuce, cleaned and dried

Take a large platter and place the romaine lettuce in a thin layer. Layer the mozzarella and the tomatoes on top of the Lettuce. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh basil and salt and pepper as desired. Chill slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chocolate Crown Cake & Recipe for a Fabulous New Sandwich!

I baked a chocolate crown cake for dessert this week. It's such a fun and easy cake to make. I bake a chocolate cake in a bundt pan, let it cool and then drizzle it with lots of melted dark and white chocolate. It does look a little like a crown!
My son was home from school one day this week. I decided (since as a growing teen he's always hungry) to make a special lunch for us to share. Food always brings us together in a way that we can talk and share about things that matter.
I was in the mood to make French Dip sandwiches: those yummy sandwiches with sliced roast beef, cheese and au jus dipping sauce but I didn't have roast beef or au jus sauce on hand.
I decided to be creative instead and come up with a new specialty from items already in my fridge. Below is the recipe of what I came up with. We ate it with roasted rosemary, olive oil and garlic potatoes.
Black Pepper Turkey with Feta & Sharp Cheddar Melts with Barbecue Sauce
Yield two sandwiches
4 Slices Black Pepper Turkey, thin from Deli
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Hearty Fresh Oatmeal Bread
Barbecue Sauce
To make:
On a medium heat warm a skillet and place the bread buttered, face down and add the turkey and cheeses then cover with another slice of bread buttered on the top. Grill until brown and cheese melts. Slice in half and serve with potatoes on the side. Take a small bowl and warm Barbecue sauce in the microwave and serve as a dipping sauce along with the sandwich.
If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake!

Monday is the last day of classes for one of the College Writing courses I've been teaching. By now my students have read and discussed many essays, wrote many entries in their journals and have written four essays to place in their final portfolio's.

Cake (really yummy cake that's made from scratch and with love) is a perfect way to celebrate the end of a semester. They've worked hard. We've worked hard together.

I'm baking a Lemon and a Banana Chocolate Cake over the weekend to share on our final day.
It reminds me that when I used to sell my cakes (before going back to teaching) I hand-printed my own label designs with a message that said eat more cake it'll make you feel good!