Tomato, Cucumber, Feta, Basil and Oregano Salad - aka The "I love summer" Salad

For the dressing:

  • about 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry to give it a little kick!
  • a couple of leaves of fresh oregano (from the herb garden!)
  • a couple of leaves of fresh basil (from the herb garden!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • a couple of plum, grape or roma tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cucumber (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (coarsely chopped), yellow adds a nice color without too much intense flavor
  • some pitted black greek olives (preferably brine-cured) (coarsely chopped)
  • sprinkle (or more!) crumbled feta cheese

It should turn out looking something like one of these:  (YUM!)

My version of the salad: (YUM!)

Colors of Summer

These photos make me want to paint, a great way to spend a 100 degree day in MD. Enjoy a view of our gardens and the beautiful colors that I photographed this morning!


10 Things to Love (most of which are free, or close to it!)

1.  Being near water: We will be spending Summer 2011 in these two places! (Thanks to our hard-working parents.)

2.  Blog surfing: Here are a couple of new favorites

3.  BBQ season on the deck: No explanation needed.  Its just freaking delish.

4.  Reading a good / thought provoking book: Just finished "The Emperor's Children" by Claire Messud - 4 stars!

5.  Flowers/Gardens/Growing things: Currently watching my basil take over brings a little smile to my face.

6.  J.Crew + Sales: it is truly the best of both worlds, crazy sales (+ an awesome 15% off for teachers in stores) and great fashion!

7.  Spanish Fútbol: Real Madrid is my team of choice and has been now since studying / falling in love with Spain in college.  Google their team if you need further evidence, ladies!

8.  Cooking / Experimenting in the Kitchen: Being curious and adventurous doesn't always have to be so difficult, just whip up something new for dinner :)

9.  "Projects" - My grandmother taught me this skill as a little girl.  The ability to invent a little project (craft, baking, etc.) and go through with it.  When my brother was born, I spent countless days "preparing" for his return from the hospital cutting paper and making collages, coloring pictures and "nesting".  The fun hasn't stopped since!

10.  Fresh veggies - (bonus points if I grew them myself or at least got to pick them out at a farmers' market, double bonus points if they are grilled in my backyard and I grew them!)

Baltimore Farmer's Market -

See Fruit Stand Obsession -



Planting Day...

...Is one of my favorite days! Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to plant flowers once the weather warms up.  It is a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring and cheers you up for days on end!

Today I worked on two planters for our front porch: (each one has a  pink geranium, magenta dianthus, a yellow marigold, creeping vinca vine and a hen and chick plant)