Hey everyone! So sorry for SUCH a long delay! I felt under the weather nearly ALL week thanks to Katie passing on her 'summer cold' germs. So dinners consisted mostly of chicken broth with tortellini (or, in all fairness, tortellini with chicken brothJ) all weekJ But we're both finally feeling better & I wanted to rewind a bit and show you the goods from LAST weekend, since they were pretty tasty!
So that horrible heat wave FINALLY broke last Sunday, leading to cooler temps and a BLISSFUL day in the low 70's last week. It was HEAVEN ON FALL EARTH, albeit, SUCH a teaseJ But anyway, here was the COOOOOOOOOL menu I had mentioned, for when it is JUST. TOO. HOT. (which, I'm sure we will have a few more days in our August future...sighhh...)
First up was one of my prettiest dishes to date: A mango & peach caprese salad!
I'm not a big 'raw tomato' fan (if I haven't mentioned that 10 million timesJ), so this fruity swap was the perfect change of pace! I simply layered sliced mango & peaches with fresh mozzarella and topped with a few sprigs of fresh basil. Right before serving, I drizzled the salad with a mix of:
- 1/4 cup basil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- dash of salt
(Not pictured...sorry!) The mango/peaches made for a pretty presentation and the basil drizzle added just enough PUNCH to bring out all of the flavors. Definitely do yourself a favor and make this to dazzle at your next summer picnic. Your guests will thank youJ
Next up was a seashell pasta salad with buttermilk-herb dressing. Yes, you have to turn on the stove to cook the pasta in advance, but after that...it was smooth & cool sailing!
OK...so we DID turn on the toaster oven for ONE more element for dinner. We made a batch of 'green goblin' garlic bread....but we had a good excuse since our niece was dining with us, and this is one of her favsJ But you can always serve this meal with a regular (COOL!) loaf of Italian bread to round it out. It definitely was a great compliment with the mango caprese saladJ
So there you have it....a perfect cooool menu for those dog days of summer! I was certainly happy with this meal after multiple days 42093742093% humidityJ
And since we were celebrating my fellow coconut lover/Mother-in-law's birthday that night, I whipped up a quick pie worthy to conquer ANY sweet tooth. (trust me, this thing is VERY SWEET) First, I added about 12 chopped mini Almond Joy bars to the bottom of a pre-made graham cracker crust...
SIGN OF A GOOD DESSERT:
Next, I topped with a layer of crumbled coconut cookies....
Then a layer of coconut...and lots of it!...
And finally, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk...
Toss in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until the center is set...
...and WALLAH! Almond Joy pie!
And like I said, this baby is SWEEEEEEET! A very small sliver goes a LONG wayJ
I also had a fun little 'girls night experience' last weekend, where a Groupon led us to Chocolate Lovers' Club in Princeton, NJ for a 'savory & sweet fondue experience' that the store hosts on Saturday nights. First up was the 'savory,' with an array of cheese, crackers...
...and WHITE CHOCOLATE!
I LOVED the salty cheese with the creamy white chocolate. It went perfectly, especially with the harvarti & brie cheese.
And for the sweet, we were served an array of fruit with chocolate...
...along with a scoop of their chocolate nib gelato, that I loved! It was creamy & dotted with crunchy & bitter cocoa nibs. I'm not a huge fan of DARK chocolate, but this hit the spot for some reason.
But, OK, let's be honest....some cheese, fruit & chocolate does not a dinner make. So what did we do?? Pretty much THE most indulgent "PLAN B" and headed off to the 'new' Delorenzo's in Robbinsville, complete with their old sign in the entry way...
Well, this weekend was also rounded out by too much cheese & some more pizza (the delicious Federici's, this time!) So it is BACK TO THE GRIND todayJ My workout schedule also took a hit last week, but I started taking some GENTLE yoga classes at the end of the week to start getting myself back to work, and then dove 2 feet in for some boxing class yesterdayJ I was VERY happy to get out and MOVE, I must sayJ
ALRIGHT!!! Enough from me! Have a good oneJ