Did you miss posts from me last week?! It was my one week each year off of work, and I started it off by forgetting my Chromebook at my grandparents house 30 miles away from home. I use the Chromebook for my blogging and photo editing, so I took this as my sign that I needed to take a vacation from all work, not just my 9-5 (okay, or 7:30-4:30) work. No blog posts went up last week, but since it was my first blogging break of 2019, I forgive myself!
What did I do instead? Well I finally tackled the basement dungeon that I’ve been avoiding – it is now all cleaned up and organized, and even the laundry is caught up! I cleaned all of my windows inside and out and I steam cleaned the grout on my tile floors. I also got some sun on my porcelain skin, celebrated a friend’s birthday, took a one day trip with Michael, and did some fun cooking…from which Michael was most definitely the largest beneficiary. He loves to eat, and I love to cook, so you could say we’re a match made in culinary heaven! I’m pretty sure he would not argue on that last point.
I made a shrimp and mussels cioppini on Tuesday with a caprese salad on arugula. Wednesday night was rosemary garlic pork tenderloin with a strawberry basil salad I borrowed from Cookie + Kate, plus a side of sautéed spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Thursday night I decided to do something I rarely do – steak! I did ribeye in the cast iron skillet, with baked goat cheese in phyllo dough over a simple greens mix tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. The steak was yummy, but a bit overcooked for both of us – we decided from now on I’ll season and he’ll cook when it comes to steak!
For the grand finale, Mia (his daughter) and I planned a Father’s Day picnic at a park downtown, where I could also get some family pictures of him and his kids that he’s been wanting (a little collage of some of them is below). I put together a spread of antipasto kabobs, BLT and PBJ skewers (basically just BLT’s and PBJ’s cut into quarters and pierced with a toothpick), strawberry and dark chocolate turnovers (I might be sharing this recipe soon as well), some cheez-it’s for Gabriel, and the subject of today’s Mediterranean Monday post – a tomato salad!
I got the idea from an episode of Barefoot Contessa that I watched a couple of months ago where she had a picnic with her husband and served various types of salads, including a tomato salad. Michael loves tomatoes, so I decided to come up with a tomato salad just for him. It turned out so good, I had to share this one on the blog with all of you! So here goes…
Summer Tomato Salad
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (I used an heirloom variety container from Aldi)
- 1 TBS fresh chopped basil
- 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
- 1-2 sliced of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions, pickled in apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 TBS olive oil
- 1-2 TBS white balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- First things first – the onions! To do these, I thinly sliced about 1/4 of a cup of red onions, then cut the rings into halves. I put them in a glass jar with a lid, poured in apple cider vinegar until the onions were just covered, put on the lid, then popped them into the fridge while I made the rest of the picnic foods. I would allow them to pickle for at least half an hour before using.
- On to the rest of the recipe! Start by frying the bacon, then setting aside. While this is cooling, slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to a bowl. Remove the onions from the vinegar and spread these into the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper, then toss ingredients of the bowl together.
- Crumble the bacon and sprinkle on top, then drizzle on the olive oil and the white balsamic. We picked up a bottle of white balsamic from a little shop in downtown Columbia, Missouri called Boone Olive Oil Co., and it has an incredible flavor!
- My friends, that is it! Your tomato salad is ready to serve. How simple is that?! Incredible flavor with minimal effort. You could easily add a little crumbled goat cheese to this dish as well, and if I hadn’t had lots of cheese in the antipasto kabobs already, I probably would’ve.
- This recipe makes about 4 servings (or 2 if your name is Michael!), but can easily be doubled if you need it for a larger gathering.
Coming up later this week I will have a garden update. The weekend before my vacation week, we (and by we I mean mostly Michael, with Logan as an assistant, and a bit of help from myself and my mom) built the enclosure for my tomato bed to keep out the squirrels and it turned out so good! I can’t wait to share it with you, so stay tuned for that post hopefully on Thursday!
Have a wonderful week!