Thursday, August 28, 2014

Caprese Salad


Well.

Harrumph. 

I don't have anything to talk about. I've been sitting here for over 45 minutes, staring at my pictures. Actually, that's not true. I opened up my blog, stared at it for 5 minutes, and then immediately opened a new window to FaceBook. I think the reason I can't think of anything to talk about is because I'm so mad. Friends, I'm honestly thinking about getting rid of FaceBook. It's an addiction that I think my life would be better without. I've been noticing a pattern over the last couple of months. My current morning routine is to make coffee, feed the dogs, and sit down on the computer to catch up on news, FaceBook, email, and blog stuff. I can be in a perfect mood upon sitting down, and immediately become irritated and angry over the sheer load of ignorance and brutality that people post on social media. Is that really the best way to start the day? It's something I'm considering. 

I know you're sitting there thinking, "Geez, what happened?". Here's the thing- nothing. Just the same old stuff. People being cruel to people they don't know. Friends posting completely isolating and hostile political messages. And the thing I can't get over the most- the criticism of the ice bucket challenge. Really??? I've never seen so much backlash over a charity event. One of my "friends" posted a rant saying that ALS is rare, and why would anyone donate to such an obscure and meaningless cause? Talk about blood boiling. Another posted that ISIS is out there recruiting Americans and beheading innocent people, yet Americans just keep ignorantly pouring ice water over their heads. Wow! I was floored. ALS does matter. It does kill people, and in a slow and horrifying fashion. One of my high school teachers passed from ALS. He was the P.E. teacher, a former high school and college football player, and probably one of the strongest men I knew in my childhood. It was devastating and absolutely heartbreaking to watch this disease destroy this man as it took his ability to walk.  We had to watch this former football hero, who had once had the strength and size of an ox, take to a wheelchair. What came next were the tremors and the inability to control your body. The inability to move your mouth to talk. The inability to move a finger or wiggle a toe. These people become prisoners of their own bodies and brains. How can anyone sit there and say that they don't matter? ALS may be classified as a rare disease, but I guarantee if you or someone close to you was touched by this disease, you would think it mattered.


Yes, there are problems in the world. Yes, there are people that want to kill Americans just for being Americans. But you know what? They aren't going away. There will always be threats. That's just a fact. Humans have been destroying each other since the beginning of time, and you think we'll ever stop? This is just a fact of life, but why focus on it? After all, that's what these terrorists want. They want Americans to panic, quit going about their daily lives, and to cower in fear. They want Americans to only focus on the ugly stuff in life, rather than how beautiful life can be. There's nothing I can do about what they want. I instead choose to focus on what's important in life- my family, my friends, my dogs, my home. And for me, a big part of what's important to me is helping other people. I'm been so fortunate in this life, I only wish everyone was so lucky. 

So I will continue to pour buckets of ice water over my head. I will continue to snap up coupon items to donate to homeless shelters and animal shelters. I will continue to sign up for 5K's benefiting ALS, multiple sclerosis, Hodkin's lymphoma, and other rare diseases. They may be rare, but to the person suffering, it does not feel rare. It feels all too sadly and completely real.

My apologies for the rant, but you know, not even the most prolific food blogger thinks about food 24 hours a day. Much as I wish that I did :)



So, Caprese Salad! My tomatoes started coming in (YAY!) about 9 days ago, and I must confess, I've been eating a lot of Caprese Salad. Because as you know, I also have waaaaay too much basil. For me, this is the perfect lunch. I always seem to be getting lunch around 1-2, and dinner is usually around 6. Needless to say, I don't do big lunches. Give me a few tomatoes, some good quality mozzarella, and plenty of fresh basil. I'll be happy until the dinner hour. This salad is super, super easy to make. Slice the tomatoes, cover with a bit of cheese, then top with basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. I suspect even the most kitchen-challeneged cook should be able to complete this dish :) Summer is the best time to make it, because let's face it- garden fresh tomatoes are the bomb.com and supermarket tomatoes in the dead of winter are, well, mealy. They just don't have the flavor of summer tomatoes. So make this today with your summer bounties!

Happy Thursday friends! One more day till a long, holiday weekend! :)



Ingredients (serves 1):

2 medium sized tomatoes, thinly sliced
5-6 fresh mozzarella balls, halved (ciliegine-size)
Handful of basil leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1. Place sliced tomatoes on a plate. Place cheese halves on top of tomatoes. Top with a basil leaf.
2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and vinegar together. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 



Looking for other tomato, mozzarella, and basil dishes? Try these!










4 comments:

  1. Never apologize for ranting! It's healthy. Those people criticizing the Ice Bucket Challenge are missing the point. It's about awareness. And it's raised over 50 MILLION dollars for ALS research since it began. I posted about this on FB Saturday night. I think the challenge is a wonderful thing.

    Oh and on an unrelated note, when I was in Germany Beate and I had a dish that looked just like your tomato, mozzarella, and basil dish!!

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    1. I was reading an article that said that the ALS foundation usually only receives $2.5 million in donations in a normal year. People have raised so much money for such a good cause. My anger has now passed, and now I'm just feeling sorry for people that can't see the good this challenge is doing.

      And on the unrelated note, I'd been preparing this post for awhile when I saw a picture on my friends blog that looked almost exactly the same! D'oh! I guess great minds think alike! :)

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    2. Hello, Jessica. I just read ur blog and, even tho it was written 2 yrs ago, unfortunately it's still relevant and always will be! I was a teen in the late '60s & joined the Air Force, hoping to make a difference. Am now 62yo & am proud that both my daughters are kind & compassionate. Keep "ranting" bcoz you never know who might read ur blog in another 2 yrs & be as encouraged as I am that younger people still care! As they say, "haters are gonna hate" but we can't let that stop us from caring and loving! Good luck.

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    3. Thank you Wanda! It's sad that this is still relevant. I wish I could say I'd seen some changes, but it seems like society (as far social media goes) is getting worse. Argh! It's frustrating.

      And you are right! Haters gonna hate. I say, bring it on! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by Wanda!

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