Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On the Road Again and WIAW

After traveling this past weekend to see my brother and his family we made it back home only to turn around and take off again. Before leaving though we Mr. J  managed to whip up this fantastic dinner on the grill. We had tons of veggies from a CSA just calling to be grilled. Mr. J was loving the grilled red and yellow beets. My favorites were the beet greens and zucchini. 

Breakfast was a fruit smoothie. OJ, frozen banana, and blueberries. It has been so hot. Getting ready in the morning is not fun.  Smoothies. Cold smoothies make mornings much, much better. 

The airport I am in and out of the most does not have the best dining options. The one sit down restaurant has a chicken sandwich I normally get however last weekend I switched it up with the nachos. They hit the spot. I was so looking forward to getting them again.  Mr. J got hot wings and then ended up nibbling away half of my nachos. 

Dinner was at my favorite restaurant in Clemson, South Carolina. The Blue Heron always has good food. I got the Ribeye steak with green beans and french fries on the side. 

Looking at this post I think I need to nix the red meat for the next couple of days.  It was good eating though. 

I also love the Southern hospitality and manners.  Yes, sir.  Yes, mam. All the men always hold open the doors. Seriously, why do the Northeast states not have the same manners? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Caprese Garlic Bread

Phew, I am tried. It is the best kind of tired though. Mr. J and I took a long weekend and hopped down to Washington DC for a visit with my brother and his family. My nephew was so cute. And although it was super hot and humid we managed to do some exploring at the National Zoo, Old Town Alexandria and my personal favorite Julia Child's kitchen at the American History museum.  It was a great weekend and a bit sad that we are on our way back to Connecticut as this is posting. 

Before we left we made some amazing summer garlic bread. It was piled high with cheese, tomatoes and some balsamic reduction. I have been against oven use for a while with it being so hot but this bread was definitely worth it. 

The fresh tomatoes and basil scream summer flavors and blend together with the smoothness of the cheese and balsamic reduction. And I don't know about you but I am a bit obsessed with garlic bread in general.  The garlic taste is still flavorful in combination with the other ingredients. 

I could eat this every day for the next month.  You can serve this as a side or as an appetizer but we just had it for dinner.  

Yep. Both halves. All gone. One night.  

Cheesy Tomato Garlic Bread

by Emily Morris and Two Peas and Their Pod
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer basil cheese garlic tomato
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 loaf Italian bread, horizontally cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place both sides of the baguette on a large baking sheet with the cut side up.

Combine butter and garlic in a small bowl and spread evenly on bread halves. Place the mozzarella cheese slices on top of the bread, making sure the cheese covers the bread completely. Bake the bread for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

As the bread is baking, make the balsamic reduction. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar to a boil, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about half, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

When the cheese is all melted and starting to bubble, remove the bread from oven.
Top the bread with tomato slices, salt and pepper, fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction to taste. Cut into slices and serve.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

What I am reading lately...

It has been a while since I wrote about what I have been reading lately. I have several I want to let you know about. No time like the present to jump right in.

The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the author of The Descendants, is a novel about Sarah St. John. Three months ago she lost her twenty one year old son, Cully, in an avalanche. She is just starting to go back to work and figure out how to continue with life.  Her father tries to distract her with various QVC purchases.  Her best friend is struggling with her own messy divorce.  

While cleaning out Cully's room she uncovers details of his life she knew nothing about. These details bring up more grief and questions about her abilities as a mother when Cully was alive. Family, friends and even strangers help Sarah find direction in her life. 

The book is sad but not sappy and portrays love, friendship and overcoming grief. The book reads smoothly and fast. I got done with the whole thing in one flight. 

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