Archive | June, 2011

Summer Caprese Salad

29 Jun

Summer brings so many great things – fireflies, watermelon, beach days, sun tea, thunderstorms and…

juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.  Is there anything better?

I wait all winter long for them… for the traditional Fierstein cheese and tomato sandwich (Grandma makes it best), for homemade pico de gallo, for cherry tomato snacks.

One of my favorite ways to eat them, though, is in a simple caprese salad.  For this one, I used yellow heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil (grown in the backyard, of course.  Okay, that’s Mom.  We all know I’m not a gardener).  A little drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a few cracks of pepper.

The end result is an appetizer (or, sometimes dinner) that is the essence of summer.

And don’t forget the bread.  You want to soak up that deliciousness!

What’s your favorite summer dish?

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Custom Cuts: Graduation Day!… But for Me, More School

27 Jun

I know, it’s been weeks.  I’ve missed you too.

I could go on and on about what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been.  But the long and short is I’ve completed 3/4 of a semester in 3 short weeks.  I’ve learned new words, new strategies, new acronyms (turns out the education profession LOVES them), new people.  You get the point.

So, my writing has been devoted to papers and presentations lately.  Would you like to know about the benefits of using a student think aloud as an informal assessment?  Well, I can tell you.

But I’ve already upset you with my lack of communication.  So I should just get to what the people want…

Cookies!

In the midst of all this crazy school, I did find time to finish an order for a lovely lady who graduated from high school.  Can you guess her school colors? 

Why, blue and gold, of course!  Luckily they made their way to New Jersey in one piece and, from what I understand, were a huge hit.

Hats off to all the 2011 graduates.  (To think, I’ll be one in 2012… yikes!).

I Made a Cake

7 Jun

It’s no big deal.

Except that it was pretty.  And really delicious.  

So delicious, Aunt Gerry wanted to lick the plate.  And Mom ate a whole piece.  You know, despite not liking chocolate cake.  And Grandma didn’t share her second half with Granddad.  

Yes, people, it was so good, my family was starting to show their ugly sides.

Except for Cousin Pam.  Probably ‘cause the cake was for her birthday.  So she could eat however much she wanted. 

Dark chocolate cake.  Layers of whipped chocolate ganache.  Covered in a rich Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Drizzled in chocolate ganache.  Because a touch more chocolate was definitely needed.

I cut, I cooled, I smoothed.  I cooled again, I covered, I drizzled.  

The end result?  Worth every step. 

Psst… Interested in seeing the steps?  Take a look at Sweetapolita.  She gives an amazing step-by-step.

Sunday Funday

5 Jun

When I was little, I can remember dreading Sundays – school looming around the corner.  Homework had to be complete and early to bed.  I mean, what was fun about that?

These days I have an entirely different opinion.  In fact, Sundays are one of my favorite days.

We have the farmer’s market in the spring and summer.  Football in the fall (oh, you didn’t know I’m a die hard football fan?  True story).  As for winter?  Eh, can’t win em’ all, right?

Anyway, for awhile now, Mom and I have been taking Sunday’s as a day to recoup and relax, starting with homemade Sunday brunch.  This week entailed a muffin from the farmer’s market, hash browns made from locally grown new potatoes and tarragon scrambled eggs.   And a mimosa.  Or two.

It is  Sunday after all.  And so we begin Simple Sundays.

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