Friday, April 30, 2010

Boho Cultivation

As we look at funky apartments in funkier neighborhoods, I've decided that in this next incarnation of my life, I am going to really need to cultivate my inner bohemian.  I plan to find new and innovative uses for things like glass jars and bottles, burn lots of candles, and perhaps take on some sort of unplaceable, Madonna-esque faux accent.  I am also working on costuming and decor ideas.
To this end, I've used the last of my Christmas gift card stash to procure this maxi-dress from Banana Republic.  With an arm of bangles and some strappy sandals, I think this will be the cornerstone of my new boho style.  Nevermind that it is from Banana Republic; let's overlook that for now.
I also spied these gorgeous earrings by Babette over on Cup of Jo.  These "zen hoops" are made with antique French beads, and I think they are the perfect accessory.
My friend in Brooklyn has a knack for finding funky lanterns at street fairs and flea markets and making them awesome.  Get ready to get your hunt on, Mama S... I'm thinking our outdoor space needs to have a distinctly Moroccan vibe.
Now all I need is to serve homemade sangria in Mason jars while playing the music of some sort of really obscure instrumental virtuoso from some very far away country. 
I'm also going to have to learn how to do this with my hair.
I have my work cut out for me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Stuff

In the midst of all the house-hunting and other assorted moving-related chaos we're wading through right now, I am working hard to stay focused on the important things in life: my family, my friends, my work and my bloggy blog.  SMJ is my creative outlet, my little space for me, and no matter how busy things get, I try to make time to sit down and ruminate, write and share.  This is what feeds my soul.  I also want to keep growing and evolving this space into something bigger and better, and to that end, I've had some good stuff happen lately. 

I am really excited to share that I've been chosen as a Foodbuzz Health Contributing Editor!  Foodbuzz is launching a new Health Section, and has picked an interesting cross-section of health professionals and health-interested laypeople to write for them.  I'm among the health hobbyists who will be contributing weekly to this section.  It is all still a work in progress, but starting next week, look for Health tags on my posts which will link back to and be posted on this Health page.  Foodbuzz is looking for posts on diet, fitness, and recipes and I have so many ideas, but I want to hear from you!  SMJ readers, what health and wellness related topics would you like to hear about?  I'd love to know.  Please comment or e-mail me at sweetmamajane@gmail.  Thanks for any thoughts you have to share!
I've also recently reconnected with a friend from growing up who has her own organic farm in Maine near where my parents live. We're going to work together to come up with recipes for her CSA newsletter, which I'll also share here on SMJ.  I hope to make a photo field trip to her farm soon to share the visual beauty as well.  Let me say that the town where we grew up is NOT a farming sort of a place, so I am especially impressed and inspired by her doing this all on her own.  You go, Laura!  I can't wait to feature her and her gorgeous produce here, and to work with her to share some truly seasonal, special recipes with you.  Head's up: she tells me she's going to be long on kale, so get ready for some kale-riffic cookin'. 

I'm hoping this new focus on health leads to great new recipes, interesting new work outs to try and a vibrant, vital to start to the spring and summer.  I'd love to hear more about what your healthy inspirations are right now, so please drop me a line!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

City Finds

We're in the city this week, doing a bit of house-sitting and pouring on the house-hunt.  I'm visiting parts of Boston I've never seen before, and finding incredible new things to love around every corner.  When I lived in Boston before, I mainly stuck to a well-worn path between the South End and Somerville, and while I have old favorites there I can't wait to revisit, I am loving discovering the far reaches of town and the gems that exist there.  Some of my favorite new Boston finds:
Sofra Bakery and Cafe, Cambridge
This bakery is the side project of the chefs/owners of the shwanky Boston restaurant Oleana, and it is amazing.  The food is "inspired by the cuisine of Turkey, Lebanon and Greece".  Friends have raved about this place, particularly their breakfast, which looked gorgeous.  I was heart-broken that we only had time for a quick coffee stop there on the way to see an apartment, but the mocha I got was life changing.  Thick, rich, tangy and chocolate-y, and with enough caffeine to wake the dead (just how I like it).  The display of pastries was tantalizing, with really unique things like orange blossom morning buns and lebanese croissant with za’atar.  The breakfasts that were coming out, served in hammered copper bowls, looked ridiculously good.  Plus, they have an elaborate hummus/mezze bar with all kinds of interesting salads and olives and nibbles.  When we finally settle in down here, I can't wait to buy up a mess of mezze and host a killer tapas party.  We'll be back for breakfast ASAP as well.

City Feed and Supply, Jamaica Plain
painting by Kristine Cortese
On Jamaica Plain's hipster main drag, Centre Street, City Feed is a fantastic natural food store/deli/cafe.  They have all kinds of local and artisanal food products, a great coffee bar, a cozy section of tables where you can enjoy your grub, and a delish sandwich menu.  We've been stopping here for to-go sandwiches to fuel us through afternoons of apartment showings.  My favorite is the Eight Fold Path (to my stomach): locally made firm tofu, hoisin sauce, fresh cilantro, fresh mint, match stick carrots, cucumber, and crushed peanuts on an Iggy’s baguette.  Yum.  You probably wouldn't want to do a whole grocery shop here ($$$$), but it is the perfect place to pick up a few special ingredients for dinner or a great cheese or wine to bring to a friend's house.  There is also a whole bath and body section in which I could do some serious, serious damage.  Danger.  Step away from the organic body wash, SMJ.

Roslindale is an up and coming little 'hood adjacent to Jamaica Plain, and Fornax is its Crown Jewel.   They bake a wide variety of delicious breads, and have a simple and gorgeous lunch menu featuring grilled sandwiches and beautiful salads.  We brought some of their homemade Hostess cupcakes to friends and they were thoroughly demolished.  I plan to return ASAP for their breakfast sandwich: banana, almonds and Nutella on boule with apple slices.  Ridiculous.
The Arboretum is the oldest in North America, and part of the "Emerald Necklace", a 7-mile long network of parks around on Boston.  I never visited this park when we lived here before... I actually didn't even know it was there!  But it is such a gem, and I am so happy to know of it this time around, especially since we have the baby and the dog now.  There are tons of trails to walk and gardens to explore within the Arboretum, and they're famous for their lilac gardens.  I can't wait to spend Sunday mornings strolling through here with our pup!
Jamaica Pond is another place I never knew existed in my previous life in Boston (I could tell you all about the bars downtown, though... ha!  How times have changed).  Jamaica Pond Park is another stretch of green space that makes you forget you are pretty much in the heart of one of America's major cities.  We'll definitely be grabbing City Feed sandwiches and picnicking here regularly, and they also rent rowboats and sailboats and give sailing lessons from the boathouse; when Baby J is a tad more seaworthy, I think that sounds like a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

I told you we were searching far and wide!  Finding these hidden treasures in the city is a good reward for all the miles we're covering.  Please excuse my sporadic posting as I wrestle the real estate demon.  I know what you're thinking... it is a major city, how hard is it to find a 2-bedroom apartment, SMJ?  Well, peeps, all the amazing history here means many buildings are old, old, old which means they have lead paint, which means not-so-much with a babe.  And the ones that have been deleaded are often gut renovations, not so keen on renting to people with a dog (as charming and handsome as he may be).  So, the hunt continues.  I know our home is out there waiting for us and we are going to cross paths with it soon.  I'll let you know when that happens!  In the meantime, my adventures around town will surely yield more fun finds, so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Resolutions

Happy Earth Day!
The husband and I both work in the environmental field and fancy ourselves as greenies, but the fact of the matter is that we can always stand to improve our ways and reduce our footprint.  As we find ourselves on the cusp of settling into a new home (hopefully soon), I thought the best way to celebrate Earth Day would be to spend some time thinking about how to be greener in a new home in a new city.  I have these Green Resolutions to offer:

1) Park the car!  Some say the greenest way to live is in the city.  The sprawl in the suburbs and rural areas means you're constantly driving too and from somewhere.  I can't wait to go down to one car: our clean diesel VW.  I hope to take it out once a week to the grocery store (because you've seen my work, and unless I hire a sherpa, there is no carrying my groceries home on foot), and then leave it parked the rest of the time unless we're getting away somewhere for a weekend.  How cool would it be to use one tank of gas or less a month?
2) Compost.  This was actually one of my New Year's Resolutions, but little did I know we were about to become gypsies for several months...gypsies who can't really roll with a compost pile.  Still, I feel awful about the amount of organic waste we create that goes out in the trash.  Once we're settled into our new home, the hub and I are putting our head's together and coming up with a workable, non-stinky compost plan.  He's been wanting to do this forever, so this one goes out to you, B!  I'm on it!
3) Remember my re-usable mug every time, or suffer a no-latte penalty.  I mean, honestly... this shouldn't be so hard.  Grow up, SMJ, and throw the mug in the car/stroller/bag... every time.
4) Find a CSA in the cityCommunity Supported Agriculture is where it's at.  In Vermont, we knew our farmers by name.  I hope to be able to approximate this in some way in the city, even though it surely won't be the same.  A CSA will be the best way to seek out and support our new local growers and make sure we eat local food as much as we can.
5) Eat less meat.  Meat should be a treat, not a meal you repeat... it's better for your wallet, and better for your seat.  Like that one?  I just made it up. 
6) To quote one of my favorite mamas, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."  I'm talking yard sales, not catalogs.  Repurposing, reusing and getting crafty.  I'm all about it.  And there are so many great role models to learn from in this arena... the internet abounds.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, really, but some good food for though on this fine Earth Day.
How will you be greener in 2010?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce + Beans and Greens

After a weekend of cupcakes and wine, and it is time for some clean eating.  As a Libra, I'm always searching for balance, and so after a weekend of total indulgence, I like to reign things back in once the week begins.  This week, I'm keeping things vegetarian, and focusing on whole grains and fresh vegetables. One of my favorite easy weeknight dinners is whole wheat pasta with slow-roasted tomato sauce.  The flavors are gorgeous, and the recipe couldn't be easier.  We've been getting incredible local cherry tomatoes, so I simply rinse about a pound of them and put them in a baking dish, throw in 6 whole cloves of garlic (okay, 7.  okay, 8... but if you can't roll with garlic like my family, keep it to a half-dozen cloves or less), drizzle the whole thing with olive oil, sprinkle it with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and toss it in a 350 degree oven for about 90 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bubbling and oozing.  In the meantime, I boil a pot of salted water and cook a pound of whole wheat pasta (I'm really digging angel hair at the moment, but spaghetti, orchiette or penne would be lovely as well).  You can really just toss the tomatoes with the pasta, generously douse the whole thing in parmesan cheese and call it dinner.  However, to really take it to the next level, I've been doing two things: adding about a cup of chopped fresh basil, and buying this amazing marinated mozzarella salad at our local Italian specialty shop, chopping up all the little bocconcini and other little goodies in there (which appear to be marinated red onions and some fresh herbs) and tossing that in as well, along with the oil that salad has been marinating in.  This little bit of fat adds calcium and keeps things from getting too virtuous.
I'm also craving dark green veggies, but not so much in a salad way, so tonight I did a little variation on our usual beans and greens to go along side the pasta.  I bought beautiful rainbow chard and chopped it into ribbons.  Then I chopped a whole mess of, you guessed it, garlic (3 cloves?  okay, 4.) and sauteed that in some olive oil. I added a drained can of chickpeas and sauteed them over high heat until they started to get crispy, then added the chard and tossed it until it was wilted.  I finished the dish with salt, fresh ground pepper, and the freshly squeezed juice of one lemon. This would also benefit from a healthy sprinkling of roasted red pepper flakes, but one of my customers this evening has a tender palette and prefers things not so spicy, so I left it simple... but if you are cooking for a house of iron tongues, go for it. 
We've got protein, we've got fiber, we've got vitamins galore, whole grains, and healthy fats.  I feel redeemed already.  And they say red wine has health benefits as well...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Birthday Bliss

We're still recovering from the little man's first birthday weekend.  One of his beloved aunties came up from NYC for the weekend with her honey, and many a fun adventure was had, including...
The little guy's first haircut!  He loved tolerated it, and my sister was a champ at holding him still.
Hanging out and playing in an awesome aunt-built fort.
And plenty of just hanging out in the kitchen, noshing and chatting... the best part of any weekend.
But the highlight of the weekend, my friends, were the cupcakes.
Oh my, the cupcakes...
Why did I bake 50-odd cupcakes for 10 people?  Because I have issues.  And because different people like different kinds of cupcakes, and I aim to please.  So we had vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and, arguably the best of the bunch, carrot cake cupcakes with classic cream cheese icing: all homemade, all delicious.  My sister lives blocks from and loves the famous Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan, so I used their vanilla cupcake and buttercream recipes and they did not disappoint.  Next time an occasion calls for cupcakes, I highly recommend these:
And then, those carrot cake cupcakes...
Cream cheese icing = to.die.for.
These were RIDICULOUS.  I made carrot because they are the fave of my dad, my sister's boyfriend, and my cousin's wife who just had a beautiful baby girl two weeks ago and should be brought whatever she wants on a silver platter at the moment, and these blew all my expectations out of the park.  So. Good.  And why were they so good?  Because the recipe is from my personal guru and unofficial godmother of my child, Ina Garten.  I swear, I have yet to prepare a recipe written by this woman that hasn't been proclaimed THE BEST of whatever it is by anyone who eats it, and this was no exception.  If you love carrot cake, you must try Ina's recipe ASAP:
And I am not ashamed to admit that one of these with a cup of strong coffee makes a heavenly breakfast.  And with that, our little man is 1 and we are all feeling happy, proud and on a pleasant sugar high around here.  Cupcakes and babies... does life get any better? 

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Amazing Year

Happy First Birthday Baby J!
 This year has been a gift.
We've watched you grow from a sweet and mellow baby into a wild and crazy (but still sweet) pre-toddler.
You've made us so happy, and you made us a family.
We can't wait to see what the next year has in store...
Cake time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bite of Brasil

My favorite things to bring home from travels abroad are recipes.  Long after you've lost an earring from the pair you picked up in that flea market or worn a hole through that t-shirt advertising the local beer, you can still whip up a bowl of Tom Kha soup or sprinkle some za'atar on a pita, and be taken right back into that memory of an amazing adventure.  One of the best trips I've taken was during the first year the husband and I were dating, with my family, to Florianopolis, Brasil.  So many things made this trip a dream: my future husband doing some priceless bonding with my family, the incredible graciousness of the family friends who hosted us and fed us like kings night after night, the beachside location, and that special sparkle in the people that is just inherently Brasil... it's magic.
The husband in particular paid close attention to every meal we were served and has mastered some of our favorite Brasilian recipes completely.  One of the best dishes that he makes from this trip is a special seafood stew called Muqueca.  In the photo above, our Brasilian hosts took us on a day trip to Lagoa da Conceição.  We took a boat across the water and went to a restaurant whose specialty was this delicious dish.  We were totally enchanted by the sweet, savory, coconut-y deliciousness of Muqueca, and knew we had to recreate it at home. Through a combination of flavor memories and internet research, we've come up with a version that brings us right back to this day.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 can light coconut milk
2 lbs. firm white fish (halibut, cod, swordfish or tilapia all work well)
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon 
1 tsp. each paprika and red pepper flakes
Pinch of salt and pepper
1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Heat olive oil in a deep skilletAdd the onions and peppers and saute for 10 minutes, until soft.
3) Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, lemon juice and spices and mix well.
4) Place the fish, skin side up, on top of the sauce and sprinkle with paprika. Cover the skillet, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
5) Remove the skillet from the oven and the skin from the fish.  Break the fish into pieces for serving.  Serve over rice.
Recipe serves 4, with leftovers 
 Any recipe that brings back a day out on the ocean with my dad is a keeper in my book.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kiss of Sunshine

I've always been a blue girl.  I love blue sweaters, blue glass, turquoise jewelry, teal accent pieces and generally all things aquamarine.  Certain friends have even been known to call me Blue as a nickname.  But this spring, I'm finding myself drawn to yellow, which goes along quite well with this week's theme of focusing on the positive. 
What is more cheery than yellow?
I pass this forsythia on my run everyday, and it never fails to make me smile in all its wild beauty.
And I love the idea of painting a kitchen a warm, buttery yellow.
Photo from Apartment Therapy - Love the contrasting colors and the Coltrane poster.
I'm warmed by the notion of sipping coffee in such a happy and inviting space. 
And you could then go to town with accent pieces in green, which happens to be the hub's favorite hue.
I spotted this multi-media piece in my favorite local gallery, Nahcotta.  I don't know if you can see the dimension in the asparagus spears and the string, but it is fabulous.  I think this would look gorgeous in my yellow dream kitchen.  BTW, have you ever photographed art in a gallery with a 25 lb. baby strapped to your front trying to grab the camera, a bag full of naan and Kombucha in one hand, and the camera in the other?  My strength training workout is done for the day, thank you.
   I'd serve strong espresso in these Anthropologie mugs.
And paint the inside of the pantry door a funky turquoise...
...because once you're a blue girl, you're always a blue girl.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lululemon: A Love Affair

I'm back!  I was in a bit of a funk last week, and appreciate all the supportive comments and e-mails I got after last week's post.  After that brief hiatus, I'm feeling better and ready to get my head back in the game.  I'm keeping it positive and focusing on the things I love that feed my soul: my family, my cooking and EXERCISE, which is single-handedly keeping me sane right now.  I've been doing a lot of running, and am itching to get back in a yoga groove as well.  And what could be more inspiring and smile-inducing than a post about one of my favorite things: killer athletic gear from Lululemon Athletica.  Lululemon is just one more reason to adore Canada.  Their line of gear is so flattering and so comfortable, it is hard to imagine working out in anything else once you've gone there.  The clothes are an investment, but if you care for them properly (no dryer ever, ever, ever!), they'll last forever. 
LOVE IT (current fave piece in my Lulu collection):
The Groove Pant is the Old Reliable of Lulu.  It hits every curve the right way, and is about the most comfortable thing in my closet.  If I could, I'd wear these every single day.

COVET (on my Lulu list):
Okay, check out this little collage, made by moi on my newest favorite time suck website, Polyvore.  Polyvore is a way to gather ideas and images, and arrange them together into little virtual inspiration boards. In my homage to Lululemon we have (clockwise from top):
The Astro Pant: How is it different from the Groove Pant, you ask?  It's not really, and I don't care! I do love the little overlap on the waistband.  There, that's how it is different from the Groove Pant. :)
The Define Jacket: My buddy Molly has been sporting this on our beach walks, and I openly covet it here.  The pullover mitts make it perfect for cold weather runs.  Love.
The Luon Headband:  Ever since my fave new Boston hairstylist "reshaped the inner architecture" of my hair, I'm getting wispies in my face while I run.  It's worth it for this cute new haircut, but one of these babies would nip that problem right in the bud.
Cute Lulu runner chick:  For inspiration.  Although I don't think I could pull off the pulled up sock thing, nor would I want to.
The Manifesto Racerback:  Since the baby, I really appreciate all tops that don't hug the belly area.  This tank looks like a great combo of support up top and forgiveness in the mid-section.
The Run:Team Spirit Crop:  These look like the perfect spring running pant.  I am currently running in yoga pants (not ideal) or freezing my buns off in my sister's hand-me-down soccer shorts (also not ideal).  Loving the looks of these for wearability and practicality.

And there you have it: merely thinking about getting a good sweat in one of these get-ups is enough to raise my endorphin levels.  I am already smiling.  Creative project on Polyvore? Check.  Virtual window-shopping retail therapy?  Check.   Now I just have to get out there and hit the road.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Having Faith

Awesomely tongue-in-cheek banner from Megan Galante

Honesty is the policy I try to abide by, on this blog and elsewhere, so I must admit, it has been a bumpy couple of days here at (temporary) Casa SMJ.  What to say?  The hub and I bit off a huge mouthful with this move:  a new job for him, a new incarnation for me at my job, no more daycare for our boy, a new city by way of another new city, the odyssey of the homeless dog, moving in with my parents, the Boston real estate rollercoaster... I could go on and on.  Altogether, it seems to have amounted to a bit more than we can chew, and there is some collective choking going on this week.  I am calling out for a Heimlich here.

At these times, the only thing I know is that I need to Have Faith.  But what does that mean really?  What does faith mean to a Jew who posted a grilled bread salad recipe in the middle of Passover?  What is faith to someone who hasn't made it to a house of worship anytime in recent memory?  I want to cling to this intangible notion that someone, somewhere is looking out for our best interests, but when I look at the randomness of the hard times in the world (and, of course, see how our First World problems pale in comparison), I find it hard to believe that someone is especially concerned about whether we find an apartment with laundry and parking, on a decent T line, sometime in the next 2 months.  I want to have faith in the husband and me as grown-ups: that we'll find the best way to conduct ourselves even when we're buried under a mountain of stressors, that we'll make the best decisions... fiscally, geographically, for our son and for eachother... but sometimes I get scared that we're just overgrown kids who haven't the slightest notion what we are doing.  What I keep coming back to is Faith.  I have to believe that we're on a pre-determined path bringing us to something better.  I do believe it.  I do.

One morning, visiting my in-laws years ago, my mother-in-law's best friend came down for morning coffee wearing a bright green t-shirt that said "This Girl Knows that God is in Control".  That shirt made me smile that day and has stuck with me ever sense.  While Ms. Pesach Bread Griller here is clearly no devout anything, something about the notion of this absolute trust in someone with a higher plan comforted and inspired me.  Whether you think of God as a big man with a beard or an intangible, omnipresent force, doesn't feel just a little better to imagine him/her/it being there?  Thinking that someone else is in control in a time like this is a balm I can't resist.  Does that make me weak or wise?  I'm just not sure.

In any case, it has been a sort of a week of half-eaten veggie burgers and buttered toast so far, so I am afraid I don't have any recipes to share.  Iced coffee, Sauvignon Blanc and my running shoes have been my main companions.  And, of course, my beautiful family (by blood, by marriage, and by sisterhood), for whom I wake up every day, and who have all rallied around us near and far to get us through this little rough spot.  I have faith in them most of all.  I am filled with gratitude to them for being there, and to you for listening.  I have faith that with them in our corner, and with the husband and me together, anything is possible.
Tell me, what do you do to keep the faith?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grilled Panzanella Salad

Grilling season is here!  The husband is in the midst of an amazing grilling triple-header this weekend.  Friday night was surf n' turf, tonight is grilled tilapia for fish tacos, and last night, we made an incredible Grilled Panzanella Salad, from my personal hero, Ina Garten.  Vegetarian and vegan friends, are you tired of eating mushroom after grilled portabello mushroom from April to October?  You have to try this beauty of a vegetarian side, which is actually special and filling enough to be a main dish.  I initially made Ina's regular Panzanella at Christmas this year, and it was a huge hit, but the grilled items really take this recipe to 11. 
Veggies, please just disregard the sausages at left... this recipe really is for you!
The peppers and onions take on a smoky sweetness, and the bread gets crisp and crunchy.  Meanwhile, the hothouse cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil (all not grilled), provide a fresh, sweet counterpoint.  The capers add the perfect little bite.  This salad is an instant classic, destined to appear at countless Summer 2010 SMJ barbecues.  You must try!
Good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large ripe tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 large basil leaves
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1/2 small ficelle, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1) Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals. Brush the grilling rack with olive oil.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
3) Place the cucumber, tomato, basil and capers in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss together. Set aside.
4) When the grill is ready, brush 1 side of the onion slices and the peppers with olive oil. Place them, olive oil side down, on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Brush the other side with olive oil, turn them over and continue cooking an additional 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the grill and place on a cutting board. Slice the peppers 1/2-inch thick, separate the onion rings and add them both to the cucumber mixture.
5) Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil and toast them on the grill until golden. Add them to the cucumber mixture. Pour the reserved vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss together. Serve warm.
My grillmaster... one of my favorite sites of summer.
Happy Sunday! And Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Things that are making my day

Lobstah boat sighting (a pretty turquoise one, no less)... the season is almost upon us!
Wood-grilled flatbread pizza with prosciutto, balsamic fig jam, Great Hill blue cheese and fresh arugula
This Guy

To Do: Kitchen Edition

I am so in the mood to get my cook on and do some serious time in the kitchen.  I am also a total food blog junkie, and could wile away a whole day just surfing the interwebs, admiring the food porn.  I often see so many fabulous things, I forget what I wanted to bookmark and make, so today I'm setting up a little virtual recipe box, with my favorite things I've seen on some of my favorite sites lately.  The theme of what I'm loving seems to be healthy, seasonal, and fresh.  I hope you'll be inspired!