Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Bread Salad...Panzanella

I love carbs.  All of them.

Especially bread...pasta maybe bread...pasta...bread...pasta....bread!

 I need therapy.

This summer I have discovered a way to make my bread a meal.

This is a traditional Italian dish and it is brilliant.  Those Italians know what they are doin'!

The Italians call it Panzanella. I call it yummy.  I also call it easy.

Day old crusty bread, fresh mozzarella,  basil, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar. And as always...salt and pepper.

Coat bread with oil and liberally season with salt and pepper.

I grilled my bread until it was toasty on both sides.

I let it cool for a few minutes, then cut it up into bit sized chunks.

I cut everything else up roughly the same size as my bread pieces. 

I tossed in the bread and let it soak up the yummy juices from the cheese and tomatoes. It is a briny, fresh, earthy combo that can't be beat. 

I also drizzled it with olive oil and vinegar, I used a light vinegar because that is what I like.  Whatever floats your boat though...I don't judge.  Unless you have a mullet.

Serve for lunch to friends along side chilled white wine and sliced strawberries with mint.  Or pair it  with grilled chicken, meat or veggies for your family on a warm summer evening.  

Wine optional...but recommended.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fresh Corn Salsa

It is really summer around here.

I know that because there is corn in the stores.

True summer only happens when the corn arrives...I'm serious.  That's how Native people marked the arrival of summer.

I made that up.  Sounded good though huh?

I make stuff up all the time and then try and convince my kids it's true.  I told them we bought the cat an elliptical machine for Christmas because he is really packing on the pounds.  That was months ago, and I keep telling them they are on back order but that it will be here soon.  I told Marcus just last week that he better get cracking and design and make something quick so I don't look like a liar to my kids.

They will need therapy.

I hope you still like me even though I make stuff up.  And mentally abuse my children.

I made this up today though and I think it is pretty good.

I made it because it is summer.  Because I love corn.  Because it is delicious.  Because it has lime juice in it.  Because I am obsessed with mexican food.

Gather your friends in close.

Chop you veggies, I like every thing to be about the same size.  It makes for easier eating.

No need to cook corn here, just cut it right from the ear.

Pile it all up.

Add your cheese, I used feta.  But you could use cotija, queso fresco or omit it completely if you are doin' the vegan thing.  You could also omit the black beans if you are doin' the raw thing.

The juice from half a fresh lime.  Also some olive oil, salt and pepper.

And there you have it!  
It could be served with chips, over brown rice, with tacos, on top of salad or all by it's lonesome.  

Any way you look at's all good!

Corn Salsa
5 ears fresh corn
1/2 small diced red onions
1/2-3/4 C small diced tomatoes
1/2 C chopped fresh cilanto
1/2-3/4 C feta cheese
1 can black beans
1 lime
2-3 Tbls. good olive oil
salt and pepper

Remove corn from ears.  Dice and chop all your veggies, add to the corn.  Add feta and beans, toss to combine.  Add lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Summer Cooler

The other day I came across a recipe that made a light bulb go off in the ole' mellon.

I have had this before.  And I liked the feeling.

For all my buddies out there in Auburn CA...who have been to Latitudes (who hasn't?)... you will recognize it too.

At Latitudes they call it Herbal Iced Tea.

The recipe I found called it the same thing.

But I am calling it something else... because I can.

This is all you will need.  I meant to grab RED Zinger... but ended up with this one instead.  It is just as yummy as the Red.

Oh...and this...

Steep away!

I wanted to show you  how beautiful this tea is just by itself.

Once the juice and the tea is mixed it has a lovely rose color.  It would be jewel toned if you used filtered apple juice.

This is the perfect thing on a hot summer day.  It goes well with everything, or nothing at all.  My kids love it.  My husband loves it, and there is no caffeine in it. I usually stick with the fully leaded kind, but this is a nice treat sometimes.

Summer Cooler
4 bags Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger Tea
4 bags Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger Tea
4 C hot water
4 C apple juice

Steep all 8 tea bags in 4 C boiling water for about 10 minutes.  Mix with 4 C apple juice and refrigerate.  Pour over ice, garnish with something beautiful, insert straw and ENJOY!