Sicilian Fennel Salad

This recipe is the first course on a 1-Hour Sicilian inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!  Fennel salads are classic Sicilian fare!  It must be the fresh sea air.  Or, how well fennel pairs with the island’s abundance of frutti de mare  In Sicily, there are countless variations of this dish. Restaurants and families alike put their own stamp on it.  Fennel is a constant, and its almost always citrusy. The most common variation involves sliced oranges, grapefruit, olives (usually black), and fresh herbs (usually mint). A handful of raisins can also be quite common.  The black olive and…

Being a Conscious Consumer + prAna

The terms sustainability and conscious consumerism get peppered into conversations and onto the page a lot.  By “a lot,” I mean they are everywhere.  Who you ask determines what they mean.  In fairness, the terms can refer to many things, which isn’t bad.  In fact, its good! I think the most compelling arguments for each exist amidst these intersecting definitions. When its a question of sustainability, my personal philosophy starts by asking myself the following questions. How does this practice impact:  the environment or ecosystem? others (the people who produce, grow, or participate)? myself or my body? the future? When it comes to being a conscious consumer, I ask very similar questions.…

Summer Salads and Sides: Peach Burrata Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Some salads are green.  Lots of salads are pretty.  But some salads are SHOWSTOPPERS! This salad has my whole heart! Say “hello” to a lllll of the stonefuits!  Peaches, plums, and cherries.  Plus, sweet blueberries, cherry tomatoes, fresh mint and basil leaves, and chopped almonds for crunch!  Drizzled with most amazing champagne vinaigrette – made with champagne vinegar and fresh squeezed orange juice Oh, and did I mention the GIANT ball of burrata in the center?  No?  Well, there is a giant, creamy, gooey ball of fresh burrata cheeeeeeese in the middle.  In. Heaven.   This salad is gorgeous, delicious, and packed with all of the amazing fresh flavors of…

Summer Sides and Salads: Lightened Up Goat Cheese Dip with Pistachio Basil Pesto

There are few things I like better than a really good cheese dip. So the other week, I was scanning some of my favorite food blogs and ran across a to-die-for looking whipped goat cheese dip with pesto. I pinned it (which is how I save everything that looks delicious). When I finally got around to reading the ingredients and realized that the 1 cup of goat cheese was whipped with 2 cups of whipping cream, I was a bit horrified. 2 cups? I love goat cheese because its tangy and delicious, but also because it tends to be healthier than a lot of other cheeses. But adding 2 whole…

Summer Salads and Sides: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

I wish I had the olive toned complexion of a Greek or the shiny dark hair of the Lebanese. But mostly, I just wish I could eat and cook Mediterranean food every day of my life.  (Maybe with a sprinkling of sushi and Thai food every once in a while, just to mix it up.)  But in general, Mediterranean food is my absolute favorite!  The flavors and colors make my stomach growl and my eyes grow wide. Ya’ll, I eat far less meat these days than I have in the past, and there are some sad-sad vegetarian options and alternatives out there.  In my opinion, Mediterranean cuisine has the best…
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