Summer is in full force and so is this pregnancy! My favorite part about summer is having friends and family over on the patio, food and wine pairings with ingredients fresh from the garden, or a nice glass of wine on a hot summer night, so you can only imagine how I might feel like I’m missing out a little this year. It’s all for something amazing though, so it’s totally worth it.
It’s funny though, when I’m pregnant I don’t have the urge to cook and create as often as I do when I’m not. I have a much simpler pallet and in turn, my cooking takes a back seat for most of my pregnancy. Maybe it’s because I’m just too exhausted to stir something up ha. The recipe I’m sharing today is perfect for those days when you just don’t have the energy to cook or maybe you’re not world renowned chef. It’s easy, quick, and quite delicious.
Over here at B: we often like to keep things simple. Not because complicated is bad, but we know that we’re not master chefs, gardners, or fitness trainers… we’re just your every day girls who enjoy these things and like incorporating them into our life as we can. We share with you, who we are, and who we are is pretty basic… and we love that!! We want to celebrate the non extraordinary things that we do in life so there’s more to share! I am not saying that we ourselves are not extraordinary people and we are definitley extremely talented at a lot of things, but sometimes I feel like we live in a world, or rather country, that only celebrates or showcases the exceptional talents that we have. Teaching us that the simple moments or talents don’t matter as much. We only applaud those that take the best pictures, have the perfect lawn, Olympic athletes, and master chefs. What about the little people ha ha :). Here I am, someone who is good at a lot of stuff but not necessarily award worthy at it all and some times I find myself thinking, is that good enough? Is it share worthy? I’m learning it is. We are all at different places, embrace where you are at! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a believer in everybody needs a trophy but if we don’t learn to celebrate the average things in life, we’re missing out on a lot of great moments.
I started thinking about this last year a lot. As of November 2017, I started staying home with my son to take care of him and my family. I started finding that I was relying on my career to feed me my affirmations and I was also comparing myself to others on social media. The people I followed were typically master chefs, Martha Stewarts, fashion experts… you get the picture. When you took away my career, what I thought was my “thing” I was good at, I was left with a bunch of things I enjoyed doing when I had time but never became great at because I was so invested in work. So now what? Kids and hubbys definitley don’t pass out rewards or raises, although it is rewarding just being blessed with them in my life. However, that wasn’t enough. After speaking with friends, family, and my amazing life coach, I’ve come to the realization that my affirmations need to come from me and that those feel good feelings I got from raises, hitting deadlines, etc. need to now come from embracing the things that I love doing during the day. Whether or not I’m perfect or an expert at them yet is not important; rather, the important thing is that I am putting out an effort to accomplish something and see the project through. In the end, my reward is to enjoy what I’ve created or my accomplishment, however good or bad that it comes out. What’s hindered me in the past however, is the notion that if you can’t do something perfect, then why try? If you are not great at something, why bother? So now, I just try and I try at my level. I’m finding the more I try, the more I can do the next time I set out. Start at the bottom and work your way up; just like I did at work. No one starts off being an expert, it takes time.
This brings me to my dish, it’s an oldy but goody. If you are a new lover of cooking, raw ingredient salads are a great place to start because it challenges you to learn flavors at their purest and freshest forms. Cooking changes flavors so a fresh salad will help you grow your pallet on how things taste before they are altered. I feel like I’ve come a long way with cooking but sometimes simple is just better. This Strawberry Caprese Salad is a crowd pleaser and will have you and whoever you serve it to, very impressed with the complexity of flavor with so little ingredients. Not only is simple sometimes the best but it’s also perfect for a busy schedule, no matter what level of chef you are. I’ve hesitated to share some recipes because of their ease but lets be honest, just because it’s basic doesn’t mean everyone has had it or made it, right??
So that’s that! I hope you enjoy this salad and a good glass of wine too. It pairs perfectly with the North Coast Sparkling Rose and the whole dish, including the wine, is just what the doctor order on a hot summer night. The hints of strawberry in the rose with the fresh strawberries on the salad, are balanced by the soft taste of the mozzarella cheese. The ONEHOPE Meyer Lemon Olive Oil adds just enough citrus to pull the whole thing together. You can use the strawberries from your garden or if you’ve killed all of yours (like I did for two years in a row), Target sells tasty ones too 😉
Be kind to yourself and do what you can. Happy cooking!
- 8 ounces of fresh strawberries sliced; extra to garnish
- 4 ounces of baby spinach
- 2 halved and sliced Roma tomatoes
- 4 ounces of fresh pears of Mozzarella
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh lemon basil - extra full leaves as garnish
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Olive Oil (I used ONEHOPE Meyer Lemon for this recipe)
- Drizzle of your favorite Balsamic Vinegar - I used ONEHOPE Blackberry Balsamic
- Toss everything together but leave garnish and balsamic vinegar for last
- Drizzle and garnish
- Serve with a side of toasted baguettes