Caprese Panini/ Westford Farmer’s Market

Summertime makes me think of a couple of main things. The smell of BBQ wafting into the streets as you drive or walk by. Sunscreen white as snow sticking on sections of your face you forgot to rub in. Cold ice tea or lemonade dribbling down thirsty lips and throats. Fire cracker red, white, and blue popsicles in all their patriotic glory. Of course, the one thing I always look forward to is caprese. The room temperature mozzarella clinging to the juicy ripe tomatoes with basil to accent it all into perfection. A wonderful snack, and an even better panini sandwich.

This is the most easy snack or meal you could ever make besides a PBJ.

You Need:

  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • large fresh basil leaves
  • thick cuts of mozzarella, but if you are watching potions you can use the thin pre sliced at your local market
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread. I think pumpernickel would be amazing with this but I lacked it. Whole wheat worked.
  • Grilled mushrooms (optional)

1. Make your sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, basil and optional mushrooms.

2. Lightly coat each outer side of the bread with olive oil. You can make it grilled version in a skillet or put it into a panini press.

3. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until you get how you like it cooked.

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Avocado Artichoke Dip and Cilantro Mango Dip

So I feel like I’ve been MIA for a good month now. With weddings and my application to college for the fall… it’s been busy. Well enough of that!  Back to the food! I’ve missed writing here and sharing more experiences with you. Since I last talked to you all I’ve:

  • Been to 2 weddings
  • Took a wine making course (post to follow soon)
  • Bought my first wine making kit.. it’s going to be a Malbec!
  • Got accepted into the Honors Program at the college I applied to! Woot!
  • Learned some new recipes
  • Found out that ignoring your garden can still get you something
  • Was shown a raised garden and given advice for my future gardening endeavors.
  • Went to an amazing tea shop in Portland Maine called Dobra Tea.

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Homemade White Corn Tortillas

I had picked up the June copy of “bon appetit” and found this very easy recipe for making homemade tortillas. I loved the idea of fresh, hot tortillas made from scratch. I searched everywhere for a tortilla press that they mentioned in the magazine, but none of my local stores had one. I will have to order one online or look in a kitchen specialty store. For today, I just used wax paper and my hands. My Nana mentioned using a rolling pin might of helped, but I kind of like the uneven look to these mini tortillas.

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Earthfest 2012 in Boston

On Saturday, I volunteered from 8am-10:30am at Earthfest. This free concert is hosted every year in Boston around this time of the month, and there are always volunteer opportunities. This was my first year finally being able to go because I’ve always become sick around my birthday. Not this year! This year I volunteered and was placed with the Casella Recycling. My job was to set up the recycling bins and make sure that no recyclable items were shoved in the trash. I met a couple of new people who exchanged information with me; Charli and Jess. It was their first year volunteering there as well. I ended up spending more time with Jess than with Charli.

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Salad in a Grapefruit. Watching your portions with the rind.

Sometimes to watch my portions especially with meat or even protein packed vegetarian options, I used my grapefruit rinds to hold my meals. It’s a great way to portion out your food and make it look fancy at the same time. I’ve been really into red grapefruits lately. My stomach gets upset or bloated, and the red grapefruit is there to save the day! I used to hate a lot of citrus foods as a kid, but as I’ve grown older I have found they can be my best friends. Packed with rich vitamin C and other things to keep my poor immune system running. When you work with children, especially in the first year, you seem to catch every cold and disease known to man one after the other. It’s constant punches I have to dodge. So such simple meals as the one above help keep it in check.

This has quinoa, broccoli slaw raw, cherry tomatoes, and romaine lettuce. Simple and easy for a quick dinner.

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Fruity Smoothie and Garden Update

After a long good 5-6 hours working on my garden area, I felt I deserved a healthy and delicious reward. We had a ton of variety of fruit in our fridge, and I needed to take advantage of that. Smoothies are really easy to make and they can be made however you prefer it. All you really need is a blender to make a smoothie.

 

Alicia’s Fruity Sa-moothie

You Need:

1/4 cup strawberries cut

1/4 cup of pineapple

1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

1/2 cup Orange Juice (no pulp)

1/2 cup peach non fat yogurt

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Vanilla Brown Rice Custard

Happy May Day everyone! This is my month! YEAH! Well.. more like my birthday is in 20 days. WOOT! Beyond that, I was in the mood yesterday to have some homemade rice pudding. I found a couple of recipes, but most of them called for an egregious amount of Half and Half. Last thing I wanted was 3 cups of Half and Half in my rice custard. I also wanted to use brown rice over white rice to change it up a bit. This weekend was mostly dedicated towards my garden area and celebrating Arbor day late. So here is a simple and delicious recipe for Vanilla Brown Rice Custard.

You will need:

  • 13.5 ounces of milk (coconut milk, soy, or almond would be delicious too)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar for step 1 of the recipe
  • 2/3 cup sugar for Step 2 of the recipe
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1 1/2 cup of vanilla non fat yogurt or greek yogurt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tbs of Vanilla Extract

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Happy 18th Birthday Little Brother! Also More Garden Updates!

Mom and I team worked a granny/mac apple pie today in less than an hour and it was so delicious! It must be a boy thing, because my brother kind of just wanted the pie to himself. No friends and simply dig right in with a half happy birthday in a capella. I’m getting a lot better with peeling. One thing I’m learning about food in general is patience. Patience growing, patience harvesting, and patience preparing. It seems I never really had that good of patience, and it’s been giving me the time to reflect and put the effort in.

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Healthy Quick Pizza

 

Friday is usually pizza night at my house. Even though pizza can be cheap.. buying for a family can get expensive, especially if it’s every week. That’s a lot of dough. On top of that, I feel this ping of guilt for eating away the calories I just burned off. I mean, I just came back from the gym with my best friend Kelly. We both did 2 miles. Her and I are trying to get in peak shape for this summer. So to gorge away all those burned calories hurts mentally and physically. So what to do? My dad mentioned we had some left over meat sauce from pasta night on Wednesday.

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I love getting feedback from other blogs because then I find their blog as well. Very happy when I find one that can inspire and teach me new things. This is one of those blogs. I think I’m going to try making one of these next weekend.

Two Barn Farm

Step by Step Instructions on how to build your very own Worm Composting Bin. This is a 5 minute project. I completed it in 3 minutes with a cold beer in one hand. You can buy worms locally or from several sources online. I purchased 2lbs of Red Wigglers online for $29.99.

Here’s all you need:
2 Rubbermaid  tubs (or cheap knock-off like these) or some old 5 gal buckets.
2 blocks (in this case a couple 2×4 pieces)
Shredded Paper (I find that worms like bill  collection letters the best)
Kitchen Scraps (no meat or dairy products just veggies)
Crushed egg shells (provide calcium)
Cheerios and coffee grounds (with filter)
Worms (Red Wigglers or Eisenia foetida, are the best compost worms)
Drill (2 bits 1/8″ and 1/4″)

Step 1: Drill 1/8″ holes in the top (for oxygen) and 1/4″ holes in the bottom for worm juices. In…

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