Friday, September 28, 2012

Caprese Salad On A Stick

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I know summer is over, but . . . this:


Some might say that I maybe got a little bit obsessed with Caprese Salad this year, perhaps because of this and then this.  

Those people would be right.  I've moved past the denial stage.

But how can you blame me for wanting to post about the same three ingredients again and again:  crisp tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves.  This may just be the best flavour profile to have ever existed, and I ate it again and again and again this summer.  

So, I know that summer has come to an end and now it's time that I officially go into soup, casserole, and stew mode for the dreary fall and winter months (not that I'm complaining...I love those foods too!).  This year it does kind of feel like an endless summer, at least in the place where I live.  The sun keeps on shining, and the rain hasn't yet arrived.  The Hubby and I are leaving for the weekend soon to head to Kamloops, B.C., for his brother's wedding.  I am a bridesmaid and he is a groomsman, and all of his family and most of our friends will be in attendance, so it's sure to be a really fun time.  The bonus is that when I come home I will have a new sister!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Triple Coconut Banana Muffins (Gluten-Free)

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Triple Coconut = Triple Yum (as in Yum, Yum, Yum).

I was a little hesitant to make these muffins.  It's not that the title of them didn't sound delicious - Triple Coconut Banana Muffins.  I would be fine with just Singular Coconut or even Double Coconut anything, let alone triple.  So no, it wasn't the title of the muffins that threw me off.  

It's just that I have so far never in my life cooked with 'only found in the natural food aisle' ingredients.  I never struck myself as a person who would do this, either.  I have always happily skirted that aisle in the grocery store, and pretty much have avoided completely organic or natural grocery stores altogether.  I have always been a big fan of my regular whole wheat flour in baking, have never shopped organic for produce, and will only occasionally substitute soy milk for skim milk in my Starbucks Grande Half-Sweet No Foam Fat-Free Hazelnut or Vanilla or Chai or Early Gray Tea Latte.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Arugula, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad w/ Basil Dressing

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I like when a recipe lists all of the ingredients in just the title.  Baby Arugula, Grape Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella, all topped with Basil Dressing.  You may have figured out that this is just a Caprese Salad in disguise.  What can I say?  I love this flavour combination!

Forget about food for a minute, because I want to talk about me.  I want sympathy please, because I have been at home with shingles all week.  That's right, shingles.  Shingles!  Not the roof kind.  When the doctor told me I had shingles, I didn't even know what it was.  It seems like such an archaic illness.

And let me be the first to say that shingles is flipping painful.  I feel like I have been bludgeoned in the head (repeatedly), like I have a burning pain all across my skin, like I have bugs crawling through my hair, like I am getting an electric shock every 20 - 30 seconds, and like any time my skin comes into contact with anything (at all) that my skin has been lit on fire.  I've also been working at home for four days, and I'm going a little out of my mind with cabin fever.  I know there are many, many, worse conditions out there than shingles, and so this week I've been trying to perk myself up by singing lyrics to songs like, "All the Shingle Ladies, All The Shingle Ladies."  The Hubby says that I'm going to have to start going to Shingles Bars if I keep this up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Goat Cheese Pesto Torte

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So, this is a keeper recipe.

Every time I have made this spread I get asked for the recipe at least a handful of times, and you will too.  It's very easy to throw together quickly, and it's a make-ahead dish, so you can impress your friends and still have time to paint your nails (or whatever guys do, such as watch an old episode of Mr. Bean.  Which is totally not at all what The Hubby is doing right now as I type this, in his boxers on the couch.  Not at all).

I brought this dish to a bridal shower (a bridal shower with gluten-free cupcakes!) a couple of weeks ago, but cut the recipe into two halves, one with the sundried tomatoes and one without.  The bride, my future sister-in-law, doesn't like tomatoes, sundried or otherwise.  It was a hit, so I made it again for a birthday dinner, and again for a baby shower that I threw for my best friend.  Phew!  That's a total of four times in about 10 days.  You should make this too!  It's very very good on sliced baguette or crackers (gluten-free crackers if you're me).

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