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.
- 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.
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.
Apparently June 4th was National Cheese Day. I find this post very appropriate for June now, and I’m glad I waited on posting. If you have never tried Groupon, I suggest looking at their deals. I’m finding I’m able to sign up for more classes and activities than I did the previous years without bankrupting myself. This was one of the deals, and I took my mom with me. It was an hour-long course with a starter at-home kit to make the cheese.
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.
My mom baked me a vanilla frosted spice cake. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had spice cake. I don’t think she ever made me one before, but it was the perfect way to end the night. It was peaceful and no stress creeping up. The cards become more important as you get older than just ripping open to find the money like we all did as kids. All of my grandparents sent me a card and a short letter inside. My parents gave me money for the bike I want to get, and my brother hugged me a lot. The kids on my junior high bus ride sang me happy birthday, and I cringed when they chanted “Are you 1? Are you 2? Are you 3?…”
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.
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.
My friend Kristin’s birthday was today. Yesterday, I decided to make my first cheesecake ever. I am a glutton for cheesecake, but I hate how fattening it can be. So I went searching around on the internet for different ideas that could inspire a little bit healthier version that wouldn’t hurt my hips as much. I came up with this recipe below, and I made two of them. One for my family, and one for my friend’s birthday to bring into my summer job.
The picture above is the first one I made. I felt the graham cracker crust was too thin, so I added more to the recipe. I also used Hershey Light Syrup in the cheese mixture to make a semi swirl on the top before baking it. I’m still not 100% great at the whole swirling a cake or bread. Any advice?
Low Fat Cheesecake Recipe
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there or even people who have to act like moms to others! Today is a gorgeous day and I just got back from a family reunion of my dad’s cousins, aunts, and uncles; most I have never met before.
My lovely mother with me at the reunion.
My Uncle Dave and Uncle Bill went with us and spent the night last night. My Uncle Bill happened to notice the turnips that were starting to sprout in my fridge and he asked what I was planning on doing with them. The only thing that could come to mind was a soup of some sort, but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea.
“We used to mash them like potatoes. Boil them up, slab some butter with pepper and salt and mash them up. It’s very delicious,” he said.
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
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