Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gazpacho and Caprese Salad

One of my favorite summer things to eat is gazpacho; it's easy, healthy, and cool. I recently discovered a great salad idea at a local Italian restaurant too, so I'm including my version of that below, along with the recipe for gazpacho.


3 lbs. tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
bunch of basil or coriander
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil (or more if you desire)
juice of two fresh lemons
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 can V8 tomato juice (optional)
I also like to add curry powder (inspired by my hubby) and hot red pepper flakes, totally optional

Just food process everything except the celery together, the celery is better left in chunks then added to the food processed soup. Adjust ingredients to suit your taste. We also like to throw in avocado chunks to the finished soup. Great accompanied with sprouted bread toast.

Caprese Salad - 1 serving

1 head romaine salad
1 regular or 2 plum tomatoes, nice and ripe
roasted red peppers
fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil
olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or a nice Italian dressing

I use one head of salad per serving. Chop up the lettuce, slice the tomatoes then slice them in half, cut enough strips of roasted red pepper to cover the salad plate, cut half a round of fresh mozzarella in to chunks, and chop the basil into easily eaten strips.

Put the salad on a plate, then decorate it with all the other ingredients. Put dressing on to taste.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Some Foods of the Middle East

We like food. We like GOOD food. We feel very fortunate to have discovered in Allentown, PA, a Syrian presence along with ethnic Syrian restaurants rife with absolutely out of this world offerings for the most discerning palate. Take a look at the Damascus Restaurant web site for a sample of what is available, here. If you've never eaten Middle Eastern food, this restaurant is the place to start, it's ALL good! I've taken the liberty of snapping some shots of our latest dining experience at Damascus, and I hope if/when you are ever in the area, you are able to stop in to enjoy same.

Smoked eggplant dip blended with lemon juice, garlic & sesame paste. (rear plate)
Yogurt spread. This is home made yogurt, best I've ever tasted.  (plate in foreground)
I meant to get a shot of the appetizers before we started, forgot, and almost missed even getting these!!!! It is THAT good!!!

 Lovely olives
 Stuffed grape leaves
Chopped parsley, onions and tomatoes mixed with bulgar wheat, oil, lemon juice and spices
 Lovely fresh garden salad with each entre
 Know why this is their slogan? Because it's true!
Lamb Supreme
Cubes of lamb, mushrooms, green peppers, onions cooked with our special spices.
Spears of eggplant topped with chick peas and onions, baked in tomato sauce.

Kafta Kabob
2 skewers of ground beef mixed with parsley & onions and topped with fresh tomatoes and tahini sauce.

Ground chick peas, combined with fresh damascus spices, deep fried & topped with tahini sauce, tomatoes, parsley and lettuce.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flours for Mother's Day

Being with people who think outside the box is always an adventure. On Mother's Day this year, I came downstairs to a bunch of flours, with a note from son J telling me he wanted to get me a classic Mother's Day gift. Classic it was!! As I looked around, I realized he had cleaned everything up as well, which, for me, was the best gift ever, as we had spent the previous day in NYC, got home late, and the house was a mess.

More treats awaited me...
 Hand mades and licorice drops from T&C

Below are some other flowers I am appreciating, and at the same time wishing I could send their lovely odors through the blog post, there is nothing quite like walking outside and being enveloped in the scent of lilacs and peonies : )


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Earth and Her Gifts

It's been a bit longer than I had intended, but Mother Earth was calling, and I could not ignore her. Digging in the dirt is one of my favorite things to do.

Here are some thought provoking links:

Our friend EJ posted this on Facebook, definitely worth the 20 minutes it takes to watch it.

Link 1

For another great space video, which has become a YouTube sensation.

Link 2

Last, but not least, to watch the trailer for Journey of the Universe on film, click here.

Link 3