Friday, May 4, 2012

Return of the Blog

Yes!  I'm alive!  For a while, I was pretty sure that the food blog world would mourn my inevitable passing as time went on and everyone realized that there were no more posts to be found from me, however, it's just a short term trend while I got back on my feet from my last excursion.

I'd share all the lovely pictures but, alas, they were all stolen.  If you ever didn't want to re-learn a lesson in your life that you already knew, then you know exactly where I'm coming from.  It was one of those scenarios that you know is happening right in front of you, but as the clueless tourist I am, did not heed the warning bells in my head.  Always listen to that.  I knew this.  Around and around in circles we go.

Needless to say, there aren't many pictures (the backup plan is a product endorsement I would rather avoid today, but I still bought one of them; and thank you my friend for letting me fill your phone with my frivolities.)  I spent this week pretty much replacing all my stuff.  In the meantime, my blog has suffered greatly from negligence again, BUT on the bright side, we have a new photographer.  For the time being I will post my own (mediocre at best) photos of the food I make but when she contributes, I'll be sure to let everyone know who's work it is (like you won't be able to tell - lol.)

Today we're taking on that continuation of Monday from 3 weeks ago.  I would LOVE to share what I learned on my trip, but they're not so good for the sugar free crowd (fried plantains) but they are my current addiction.  Finally, I found a market today that sells the good ones.  I fried three, ate them all with my version of Costa Rican sour cream (plain yogurt) and then realized that was probably 2 more than I should have eaten.  They were really good though.  So, for the gluten free, sugar free crowd, today we have a nice "salad."  It's more of a classic and surely nothing new or exciting so much, however it IS one of my personal favorites and a great addition to a summer table.  Healthy and colorful, this would be a great salad for your table during tomorrow's festivities.

So, my meal suggestion/recipe for today is a modified Caprese Salad.  The traditional Caprese has mozzarella, basil (or some type of pesto) with nice bright red tomatoes and hearty olive oil.  But today, I'm changing things up a bit, we're going to add some kick and your friends and family are guaranteed to love this salad on a hot summer day as a nice cool, light meal.

Kicked Caprese

2 bright full red tomatoes, chopped
1 medium ball of fresh mozzarella, chopped (a little bigger than one of the tomatoes)
couple handfuls of torn basil
2 medium hardness avocados, chopped and drizzled with lemon or lime juice to slow the browning
salt and pepper to taste
salad worthy olive oil of your choice
clean and bright balsamic vinegar of your choice

The simplicity is part of the fun in this summer salad.  Since everything is chopped, gently toss them together in a bowl.  Crack some fresh pepper over the top - I love to use a multi colored pepper, reds and black and white, all together to give it some snap.  Give a couple twists of fresh ground sea salt over the salad - go easy, the cheese will give it some saltiness.  Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over in light handed quantities. I do not put exact measurements on this because one person's dressing is another person's swimming pool.  You could even leave a couple nice bottles out of the oil and vinegar separate from the salad so people can add their own, and completely skip the step with adding these dressings.

This fresh salad is a crowd pleaser, easy to make, and visually fun.  Enjoy!

If you're wondering where my beautiful fresh basil leaves are in this picture, well you'd be as sad as I was to realize after I chopped everything, I didn't have any fresh basil.  I did sprinkle with dried, but it's simply not the same.  Make sure you have real, fresh basil before making this salad, you'll be oh-so-not-sad you did!

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Did you enjoy one of the recipes or just killing time at work on a Friday? Let everyone know! Also, if you modified a recipe with great success - post it! We love new ideas and delicious foods! Keep it clean and family friendly!