Green Tomato Caprese

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Garrett took me to a fancy restaurant this weekend.

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Like, the kind where they let me sip my $8 Riesling before committing to a full glass. Posh!

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I tried to teach G the art of dinner lingering. Like, taking our time in between courses while discussing art and politics. Unfortunately, we have no interest in either of these subjects and I smeared butter all over the table so it kind of ruined the vision.

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The highlight of the evening came when the waitress brought the dessert menus. My heart was set on this cookie/brownie/ice cream delight. My husband, on the other hand, has this newfound disdain for refined sugar so he was all, “Nah let’s save room for late night french fries.” I respected his logic and appreciated him speaking my true love language, but I couldn’t let him know this just yet. I closed the menu and slid it over to him. When the waitress came up to the table, I said, “No, I don’t think he wants any……….” & I sheepishly looked away. She kind of glared at him & walked away. G was all, “OMG she thinks I think you’re fat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Well, feed me bread, appetizers, dinner, dessert and late night french fries & I won’t have to play tricks on you.

 

 

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 green tomatoes, rinsed + sliced thin
  • 2-3 red tomatoes, rinsed + sliced thin
  • 3-4 oz. of fresh mozzarella, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinaigrette
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Heat balsamic vinaigrette in a sauce pan over low-medium heat
  • Reduce for 4-5 minutes
  • Arrange tomatoes in an even layer on a plate
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella + basil + S+P
  • Drizzle with some balsamic reduction
  • Serve cool
  • Slap leftover tomatoes on face for a deep cleansing mask

Caprese Eggplant Stacks

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Every house has a theme. Ours is, how you say, Goodwill chic.

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A hodgepodge of items we’ve collected over the years with the good intention of one day painting to look like that furniture from Pinterest. Instead, it sits, not matching any of the actual nice crap we’ve acquired & just making me sad.

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So after weeks of negotiating & begging him to stop buying workout accoutrements, I convinced him to “browse” at a furniture store. A real store with salesmen following you around the place & repeating today’s discounts 18 times. Praise Jesus.

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I’m quiet, not too eager – letting Garr think he’s in control of the situation. I lead him to the dining room tables. I show him one I like. He’s unimpressed, keeps meandering. He stops. Stares. & then, “I like this one.”

….Don’t react, Rachel. Play. It. Kewl. “Oh, yes, that’s nice. I like it.”

“Yeah, it’s modern & simple & kind of industrial. Not overwhelming. You want it?”

Wtf. That easy??? I wanted a little cat & mouse here, for crying out loud. “Yes, dear, wrap it up.”

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& just like that, we made our first, real adult purchase. Can’t wait to ruin it somehow!!!!!!

 

 

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Serves: 12 stacks

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 12 even slices
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • 1 tsp. of dried basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. of water
  • 3 tomatoes off the vine, sliced thin
  • 12 slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Add eggplant slices to a colander + add salt, let drain for 30 minutes
  • In a bowl combine water + egg
  • In another, add panko + parmesan + oregano + dried basil + S+P
  • Dredge eggplant rounds in egg + panko + arrange on a lined baking sheet (you’ll fill two baking sheets)
  • Add to oven baking for 40 minutes, flipping once halfway through
  • Meanwhile, add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan + reduce over low heat for 4-5 minutes, remove from heat
  • Once eggplant are done, remove from oven
  • Layer with tomato slice + mozzarella + pepper + add back to oven, letting cheese melt for 4-5 minutes
  • Remove from oven + serve with a basil leaf + some balsamic reduction
  • Place a stack over each eye + let them soak into your soul

Caprese Panzanella

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It’s Topanga’s golden birthday! Mama’s sweet girl turned 5 yesterday. Where in the world does the time go?

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It seems like just yesterday I picked out the tiniest pup in the whole place. It was a cosmic moment. Like, “I shall call her Topanga & she will be mine.”

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I named her Topanga Starr, letting her drop our last name on her 2nd birthday. Everyone doubted me. “You’ll never get a dog to respond to a three syllable first name!” K.

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She has just really flourished. She’s gone from eating all of my underwear to just the occasional pair. We’re still figuring out the leash thing, but I think this is her year to master it.

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Happy Birthday, T! Gotta make the snacks for the awful Frozen-themed party you requested.

 

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 slices of whole wheat sourdough bread, cut in chunks
  • 1-2 cups of grape tomatoes, rinsed
  • 2 oz. of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Lay out tomatoes on a lined baking sheet
  • Sprinkle with S+P + drizzle with a tbsp. of olive oil
  • Roast for 6-8 minutes
  • Remove from the oven + add bread chunks to the sheet, sprinkle with S+P + drizzle with other tbsp. of olive oil
  • Put back in the oven + roast another 5-7 minutes or until the bread is just slightly browned
  • Meanwhile, heat vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer + turn down to low-med, letting it reduce for about 7-8 minutes
  • In a bowl, combine bread + tomatoes + mozzarella + basil + S+P
  • Drizzle each bowl with some of the balsamic vinegar reduction
  • Don’t share just eat all of this yourself it is better that way trust me