During the summer months, we eat tons and tons of salads from the locally grown veggies that come in our CSA share. Lately, I’ve been making my own salad dressings to go with them and they’re delicious. Below are my two favorites recipes. Hope you enjoy!
Balsamic and Mustard Dressing
¼ cup balsamic vinegar* (the higher the quality, the better the dressing)
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I prefer grainy, but smooth is fine)
1 teasppoon honey (agave will also work)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard.
2- Slowly pour in the olive oil and honey, whisking constantly until combined.
3- Season with salt and pepper.
1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 ½ teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1- Whisk together and shake well before serving.
Spring has me coveting easy-breezy outfits. Here’s a little collection of what I’m loving.
1- I’m attending a wedding later in the month that called for something a bit more formal and exotic. This flowy maxi shows off my favorite features and fits like a glove. I love it!
2- An easy knit dress that transitions from cocktail parties to networking. It’s super comfortable and easy to wear.
3- I’m a maxi girl through and through. The chevron pattern is super flattering and I love that it cinches at the waist.
4- We have a few vacations this summer where I need some outfits for a bit more active activities. Since I basically live in summer dresses, I knew I’d need to pick up some shorts. These are a great price and come in fun colors.
5- This cuff was on my one-day-wish-list and then I won it! I wear it all the time and get many compliments. A+ in my jewelry department book!
Recently, we’ve been receiving eggplant with our CSA share. I never really know what to make with it so have been on the hunt for new recipes. We’ve made this twice and I must say, it’s delicious. However, it’s definitely not the most healthy so it’s a special occassion dish only. Enjoy!
Spicy Sausage & Eggplant Bake
1 large eggplant, cut into 1” square pieces
2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 oz dry wheat spaghetti
1 cup red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ lb hot Italian turkey or chicken sausage (make sure to get the spicy kind), casings removed
1 ½ cups marinara sauce
2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup 2% reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
a few basil leaves for garnish, sliced (optional)
1- Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
2- In a large bowl, toss the eggplant cubes with one tablespoon of the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste until eggplant is lightly coated. Spread the eggplant in a single layer across the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
3- While the eggplant cooks, fill a pot with water, salt it, and bring it to a boil. Cook the spaghetti al dente according to package directions and drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
4- While the water boils/spaghetti cooks, pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a large skillet or sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until onions are softened and almost translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden or plastic spoon, until meat is cooked through. Stir in marinara sauce and reduce heat to low.
5- When the eggplant is finished roasting, remove it from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 375. Lightly mist a 7×11 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
6- When the spaghetti is finished and drained, add it to the sauce mixture and stir to coat. Add the roasted eggplant and the crushed red pepper and stir until combined. Remove from heat for about 10 minutes. Mixture will still be warm.
7- Add the mozzarella cheese, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and the 1/3 cup reserved pasta water to the pasta mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs over the top. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the crumbs on top start to turn golden and the cheese in the pasta is bubbling throughout. Top with sliced basil leaves and serve.
Yields 6 (1 cup) servings
Image and Recipe
Are you a podcast lover like me? If so, then I highly recommend you check out The Dinner Party Download on NPR. It’s “an hour-long celebration of culture, food, and conversation designed to help you dazzle your friends at this weekend’s get-together. In every episode you’ll learn a joke…bone up on an odd bit of history and then wash it down with a themed cocktail…meet an artist of note (say, Spike Lee or Willie Nelson)…learn the answers to your burning etiquette questions…savor an emerging food trend…and hear your new favorite song.”
I’ve been listening to it during my daily walk and it has me learning something new, laughing out loud and most importantly, it’s making my workout fly by. Thanks Jamie Meares for the introduction.
Since it’s spring, I figured many of you might be into spring cleaning. For me, that means organizing. Organizing my closet, house and now, my digital life. I don’t think I’ve ever shared my favorite apps that help make life easier so here’s a little round-up. What are you liking these days?
1- Runkeeper – This awesome fitness app tracks my calories, pace, time and route. I love that it has a feature where it talks to me so I know if I’m falling behind on my speed. It also has a training plan feature that prompts you when it’s time to start running/start walking. I’m using it with a 1 minute run, 3 minute walk and it’s awesome.
2- Yahoo Weather – The standard weather app features – satellite, hourly temperatures, wind speed and projected forecast – paired with curated flickr images of the city you’re viewing makes for one gorgeous weather app.
3- Keeper – Keeps all my passwords at the touch of my hands. I have it broken into banking, email, healthcare, household, shopping, social and work. Definitely more secure than handwritten in a phone book. And certainly more convenient.
4- Kitchen Convertor – A super simple converter I use all the time when I’m cooking. (I couldn’t find a webpage for it.)
5- Grocery IQ – I have multiple lists that are synced between my phone and Stephen’s. He adds something and it shows up on my phone. I add something and it shows up on his. It has definitely simplified our list creating.
6- FoodNews – I really try and follow the dirty dozen and clean fifteen with buying organic produce. This handy app is a quick reference when I can’t remember which fruit and veggie is which.
7- Pandora – My favorite artists mixed in with other musicians who are of similar style. I’ve been exposed to so many awesome bands and seriously listen to this app all the time.
8- Wunderlist – I wrote about this app a few weeks ago and I’ll just reiterate what I said then, I’m able to create multiple lists, add in detailed notes, sync the list with my computer, and generally feel like I have a better manage on what needs to be done. I have a work list, home projects, personal wish list and home wish list. I really love it and can’t recommend it enough.