Showing posts from July, 2015

Summer Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is another summer favorite - it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare- its quick, easy, delicious and versatile.

When I can, I use fresh vegetables and basil from our garden. (I will tell you though, winters are long waiting for our garden to start up again!)

For the type of Caprese pictured at left, you need: some grape or cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella "pearls" from the deli section, (or a cubed block of store bought mozzarella will substitute in a pinch) fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and a drop of balsamic vinegar. The amounts will vary depending on the flavors you prefer, but generally, use equal amounts of cheese and tomatoes, and add all the other ingredients to taste, going light on the oil as to not make it too soggy, and going the lightest on the vinegar or it will be way too strongly flavored.

Wash basil leaves gently, and set on a towel to dry.

Meanwhile, cut the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place in a servin…

Mom's Avocado & Orange Salad

This is a recipe that my mother used to make in the summer when I was a kid. 
My mom grew up in Florida, where avocados and oranges were plentiful. This was her "go-to" summer salad that goes well with just about anything.
I had completely forgotten about this wonderful dish until one day a few years ago I was slicing avocado onto my garden salad and suddenly it was just there again! 
Its now a permanentpart of our regular weekly dinner menus all summer long.Versatile and delicious, this is the most refreshing and easiest summer salad you will ever make! 
Mom's Orange & Avocado Salad: (Serves 2-3)
2 ripe Avocados 2 medium Naval orangesOlive OilSaltBlack Pepper 

Cooking: Salad Solutions

We love fresh garden salads in our house, but we each like different things in it: Jay likes iceberg lettuce, onions and sliced mushrooms, Lauren does NOT like olives or tomatoes (unless they are grape tomatoes), and I like baby spinach, avocado, sunflower seeds and feta cheese.

So after grocery shopping and during my 'once a week' cooking, (I will discuss that in a separate blog post) I take about 20 minutes to wash, dry and prepare the salad greens, vegetables and other salad fixings, and place them in separate containers, so that individual salad preparation is a breeze. 
At dinnertime, I can just set out everything on the buffet - 'salad bar' style, and have everyone make their own. Time saved: about 30 minutes each time salad is served.

That is what we call a Stress-Free Salad!
What time-savers do you use in your own kitchen?
Tell us in the comments below!


Controlling the Clutter: Entryways

Entryways tend to get cluttered quickly because we just drop things there as we come in. Most of these items don't belong on this table, because they serve no purpose or function in this space.

My dad use to challenge us kids to 'find a place' for our things, or they would "dissappear". That is exactly what needs to be done here.

For a quick de-clutter, place all unnecessary items in a box or basket to find places for later.

For a permanent de-clutter, skip the box or basket, and go right to finding places for everything.

Only keep the items in this space that absolutely belong there.

If there is no place for it, then maybe you don't need it at all. If you don't need it, donate it or toss it. If it's broken, fix it right away or toss it. You may need to do this once a week-as I'm sure your home is as lived-in as my own, but it takes less than 5 minutes, and is absolutely worth the effort! Make it a habit and soon you will have de-cluttert…