Prior to making this salad, I had never grilled fruit before. Is that weird? Needless to say, I’m grilling peaches like crazy now. It doesn’t even matter if they’re ripe or not, the grill works its magic and in about 5 minutes you have a soft, warm, delicious peach to enjoy alongside your salad. Yum!
Grilled Peach Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Arugula
Adapted from Farm + House + Table
2 peaches, cut in half and pitted
3-4 large handfuls washed arugula
1 small red onion, slivered
5 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. dijon or whole grain mustard
2 Tbs. minced chives
1/3 c. olive oil
1 Tbs. heavy cream
Heat your grill to med-high. Halve and pit the peaches. Lightly salt the cut side and drizzle with olive oil. Place cut side down onto the grill. When the peaches are beginning to soften and char (about 5 minutes), remove from the grill and set aside.
Combine the balsamic, honey, mustard, and chives in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Whisk in the cream. Toss the arugula and onion with the dressing and arrange on a serving platter. Nestle in the peaches and mozzarella, and season with sea salt if desired. Serve.
This summer, I’ve gotten really into making my own iced tea - take that, Starbucks! To me, this is a perfect summer drink. The green tea is super refreshing (not to mention full of antioxidants), and the raspberry syrup gives a subtle fruit flavour.
Now, if you want to be a proper Southern woman which I am not but secretly want to be, you must always make a simple syrup when making iced tea. Nothing is worse than drinking iced tea with grainy sugar. I like to drink my iced tea, thanks - not chew it. That being said, this recipe is a great base to let your iced tea creative juices flow! Any sort of tea can be used, as well as whatever fruit is tickling your fancy (that sounds gross). Enjoy!
Raspberry Green Iced Tea
2 green tea bags
10 oz freshly boiled water
1 tbsp raspberry syrup (recipe below)
To make the raspberry syrup, simmer 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool and discard the raspberries. Store unused syrup in the fridge for future use.
Pour the hot water over the tea bags and steep for at least 5 minutes. Pour 1 tablespoon of the raspberry syrup into a tall glass and fill with ice. Pour the tea over the ice. Stir and enjoy!
Construction is moving along quickly on our new house!
Cash & Rocco checking out the view.
We went to the lake on Cash’s 14 month birthday. He had a great time and was pretty tired afterward!
Cash in his new Johnny Cash t-shirt.
Cash and his daddy.
So I have literally been THE WORST at blogging lately. Summer got to happening, and we got to doing things, and all of a sudden it’s been ages since I’ve blogged about anything. Ugh.
This recipe brings back nice memories of when my basil plant was still alive. For some reason, it kicked the bucket a few days ago (I suspect it couldn’t keep up with my basil demands). Anyhow, I think I could eat caprese salad every night - it’s so fresh, and simple, and delicious.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
- 12 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Thick
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Good Olive Oil, For Drizzling
- Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.
When you’re ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction. Store extra balsamic reduction in fridge for a later use. Serve.
FYI - I’m basically obsessed with fish tacos. If I’m at a restaurant, and fish tacos are on the menu, you can bet on me ordering them. That being said, I don’t always enjoy making them for some reason. I think it has something to do with taking my food processor out to shred the cabbage - too many dishes! But really, fish tacos are super easy, and each time I make them, I wonder why I don’t do so more often.
These were a quick weeknight meal for us one night. I had pico de gallo already made, so it literally took only a few minutes to season and cook the fish, and prepare the cabbage - and voila! We had dinner in about 20 minutes. Yay!
Grilled Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
Inspired by Confections of a Foodie Bride
For the fish:
1 lb white fish (I used basa)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
Warmed corn tortillas
For the slaw:
1/2 head of shredded red cabbage
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
Heat your grill to high. Toss the cabbage with the vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Brush oil on both sides of the fish. Squeeze the lime over the fish and season with chile powder, salt and pepper on both sides. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side until the fish flakes easily and the centre is opaque.
To assemble the tacos, place some fish on each tortilla, top with cabbage slaw and other toppings such as pico de gallo and guacamole as desired. Serve.
Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are great in a salad, and even in frozen yogurt; naturally, the pairing is just as delicious on a flatbread. There is something so quintessentially summer about eating strawberries for dinner. What can I say, I’m a fan!
Balsamic, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Flatbread
Adapted from Pink Parsley
- 1 lb of pizza dough
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- about 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- good balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 basil leaves, minced
My tip of the day: Make this for dinner ASAP! I happened to have an extra huge eggplant, so we ended up eating this for dinner, and then for lunch the next day. Let me tell you, it was just as delicious as a leftover. Eggplant, in addition to being rich in nutrients, is a great hearty vegetable which makes for a delicious sandwich. Plus, this was a cinch to prepare with little clean-up thanks to the fact that it’s all cooked on the grill. Yum and yum.
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine
1 large eggplant, (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds), cut into 12 1/4-inch-thick rounds
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan, or Asiago cheese
4 small pieces focaccia bread, or rustic Italian bread
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces baby spinach or arugula
1 cup crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Place eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Coat both sides lightly with cooking spray. Brush both sides of focaccia (or bread) with oil.
Place spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in the wrap. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Combine tomatoes and 2 tablespoons basil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave until bubbling, about 2 minutes.
Place all your ingredients on the baking sheet with the eggplant and take it to the grill. Grill the eggplant slices until brown and soft on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill the bread until toasted, about 1 minute per side. Return the eggplant and bread to the baking sheet. Reduce grill heat to medium.
Place 1 eggplant round on top of each slice of bread. Layer 1 tablespoon tomatoes, 1 tablespoon wilted spinach (or arugula), and the cheeses on each slice of eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, spinach and cheese. Sprinkle each stack with some of the remaining basil. Place the baking sheet on the grill, close the lid and grill until the eggplant stack is hot and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.
Confession time: I don’t typically enjoy stir-fries. Sure, I’ll eat them, but they certainly are not at the top of my list of things to eat, or make for that matter. I blame all the bad stir-fries I made in university before I knew how to cook. They were soupy, nasty, and a mish-mash of whatever I had in the fridge at the time. But the moral of the story is that I tried and didn’t surrender to frozen stir-fry from a bag!
I decided to make this stir-fry because it had eggplant in it. I’m always searching for new ways to use eggplant (you can only do eggplant parm so many times, people!) and this seemed like a good, kid friendly option. We all loved this stir-fry. If you don’t like heat, omit the sriracha; however, my 1 year old didn’t mind it one bit. Enjoy!
Beef and Eggplant Stir-Fry with Sesame Sauce
Adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese rice cooking wine (or dry sherry)
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha
12 oz flank steak, cut into strips
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice cooking wine (or dry sherry)
3 scallions, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
5 tsp olive oil
1 eggplant (about 1lb), peeled and cut into 3/4” chunks
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/2” thick
Whisk all the sesame sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Toss the beef with the soy sauce and wine and let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.
While the beef is marinating, combine the scallions, garlic, ginger, and 1 tsp of the oil in a small bowl.
Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the beef and cook lightly until browned on all sides but not fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover, set aside.
Add 1 tsp more of the oil to the skillet. Heat on high heat until shimmering. Add the eggplant and cook until it begins to brown and is no longer spongy, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the beef and keep covered.
Add the remaining tsp of oil to the skillet over high heat. Once shimmering, add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Clear the centre of the skillet, add the garlic mixture, and cook, mashing the mixture into the pan until fragrant, 15-30 seconds. Stir it into the mushrooms.
Return the eggplant and beef to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine and add to the skillet. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the beef is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice.
This recipe has been making it’s way around the blogosphere lately and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it delicious, but it’s incredibly simple to make with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. It’s perfect for those evenings when you need dessert - STAT! Which is pretty much me every night…
So far I’ve only made this using strawberries, but the recipe is easily adaptable to any fruit you want really. I think peaches might be an idea for next time!
Strawberry Tapioca Parfaits
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
For the Tapioca:
2 cups water
1/3 small tapioca pearls
1 cup cream
4 tbsp sugar
1 pinch koscher salt
For the Strawberry Puree:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups hulled and halved strawberries
1. Using a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Whisk in the tapioca, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the tapioca turns opaque, about 15 minutes.
2. Whisk in the cream, sugar and the pinch of salt. Continue cooking until tapioca is cooked through and no liquid remains, about 3 more minutes.
3. Transfer tapioca pudding to an ice bath until cool, or place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
4. Using a food processor, pulse the prepared strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar until coarsely puréed.
5. Divide the strawberry purée among 6 six-ounce glasses. Top each serving of berries with a layer of the cooled tapioca pudding.
6. Chill the parfaits in the fridge until cold, about 1 hour.
for our friends & family out there who don’t have facebook, here are some pictures of cash on his 1st birthday. we were fortunate to get a break from the wind, not only on the day of his birthday party, but on his actual birthday as well so we were able to play outside and take some pictures. as you can see, he and rocco are best friends! it’s hard to believe he’s 1 already!