Personal, Appetizer, Gluten Free, Summer, Salad


It's a version of the same conversation we had at our old apartment when I was pregnant with Curran. As a couple, you become so used to the cadence that is just the two of you. There is both quiet and dance parties and nights when you feel like cooking and others when it's refreshing to get dressed up and go out. Before kids, it's hard to imagine how he, she, they, will fit in to a rhythm that is not always easy, but familiar. But somehow, and not without tears and grace in the adjustment, it's as if I don't remember our son not being here. I don't pine for the quieter days or cleaner floors or less expensive grocery bill. I never felt something was missing, but he makes us feel more whole. "What will it be like with another little person around here?" I ask. It's more rhetorical. I don't expect Hugh to have the answer but suppose by asking, I want him to tell me it's going to be alright, that we can do it, that we will adjust just like we did the first time and he does. 

There is a big sliding mirror behind our bathroom sink and not a beautiful one. It is heavy, hard to open and has a yellow gold trim dating it's origin to the 70's when the house was built. I stand profile to it to take in the shape of my belly. My thighs and hips are showing the lack of exercise and bean and cheese burritos that have taken the place of my pre-pregnancy gigantic green salads. Same song, one year later, I feel like I was just doing this? I was. My body has carried a child, now growing another one, and in my own self consciousness' that can often steal all of the joy from those magical feats, I remember the work that that belly, thighs and hips are doing. The growing and the nursing, your body doesn't feel like your own for well over a year and I think it's ok to find that a little crazy making. I am growing a little girl, our daughter, and vanity aside, it's the most magical process. It feels different this time - harder, hungrier, less beautiful, if I may be so honest. They are babies and then they are PEOPLE! Curran has his own language that we can sometimes understand and gives hugs with a little pat and deduces that any toy that does not move or make noise needs a battery ("mommy. daddy. bowerry?"). He waves at airplanes and dislikes the car seat and really likes to throw things "awey". I, we, are completely taken by him. How does one do that twice?!?! So much to process and anticipate but come January, we will be welcoming a baby girl to the family and I may just burst from how completely I love my babies. 

Thank goodness I do recipe development for work because it forces me to cook when I otherwise can easily talk myself out of it lately. Ashley and I have been developing recipes for Electrolux this past year and they have a seriously delicious looking collection going on over there now. Because it has been blazing hot here and the less heating elements I have to turn on, the better, I wanted to point you towards this super simple salad. I realize we're seeing the end of stonefruits and tomatoes now but they are still sweet and juicy so get to it. 


Serves 2-4

The full recipe can be found at Live.Love.Lux. along with a heap of other great tomato recipes this month. Think of this as less of a recipe and more an assembly of produce and creamy cheese at it's best. I like this with a bit of balsamic too or pile the goods on garlic rubbed toast. 

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Appetizer, Salad, Gluten Free, Summer



We don't have cable, and I don't do a whole lot of internet searching that is not food related, so a lot of news passes me by. It may lead me to be a bit out of touch, naive concerning political matters, and over reliant on my twitter feed to update me on breaking headlines, but it has worked for us. I want to believe that we are capable of being good to each other, and too much news convinces me otherwise. From world wide issues over politics, money and religion, to the tragic shooting in Colorado, or something right under your nose like a stranger stealing your stuff, I am completely dismayed that people want to harm other people... people they don't even know. Hugh and I chatted in circles, not understanding this motivation. It can be overwhelming, fear-inducing really, to think of the sadness and hurt, all the "bad things that happen to good people," and how I feel the only way to encourage other's to be good to people, is to be good to them yourself. Ironic how that conversation led me in to the topic of today's post about treatment and wages on our tomato fields in America. Tomato fields in Florida have been quoted as being "ground zero" for modern day slavery. It all starts somewhere doesn't it? Today we are making noise for change and standing up for

slave free tomatoes

This summer, International Justice Mission has partnered with The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and The Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) to create Recipe for Change, a campaign to raise awareness about injustices in U.S. tomato fields. The goal is to create a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor and sexual abuse. Through both of these organizations and consumers like us, we want to ask the CEOs of major supermarket chains to endorse the Fair Food Program, ensuring the tomatoes you buy are slave-free

Corporations that join the Fair Food Program agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5cents per pound) and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these standards and away from those who don't. The locations that support slave-free tomatoes are Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Farmers Markets and CSA programs. 

Spreading the word is the first step to educating people about this problem. If you feel called to action, you can send a letter using this link to contribute to the voice that is trying to make a change. Support the cause by purchasing tomatoes from the slave-free locations mentioned above. 



Inspired by Big Sur Bakery Cookbook

Take note of the size of your burrata balls, you may need two. I assume about 4 oz. per person. This salad is very free form, don't pay too close attention to measurements. It's a summertime salad, it's meant to be easy going. 

1 cup torn bread (preferably from a baguette or fresh loaf)

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 sea salt

fresh ground pepper

1 1/2 lbs/ 4-ish heirloom tomatoes

sea salt + fresh ground pepper

2 cups soft lettuce of choice (arugula, spring greens, butter lettuce)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1 shallot, finely chopped

8 oz. burrata cheese, room temperature

good quality extra virgin olive oil

balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven (ideally toaster oven) to 400'. Spread the torn bread on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are crisp and brown. Set aside. 

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4'' slices and arrange them on your serving tray in concentric circles. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and the chopped shallots. Chop the soft greens and basil together, toss them gently with 1 tsp. each olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then mound it in the center of the tomatoes. Distribute the croutons on top and then place the burrata in the center of the lettuce pile, breaking open the creamy center if you'd like. 

Drizzle the burrata with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste and finish with a sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper. 

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