A new delicious salad and a pie

I am bushed tonight, y'all, but it's been a productive, good week. We received several letters from the boys; Jack sounds positively ebullient, and Oliver does too, in his own understated way. No one who knows him will be surprised to find that with all manner of found object -stones, cobwebs, pine needles, etc- he has erected Tent 7 Town Hall underneath his tent (they're raised structures) at camp and is running it in his down time. We know not who else participates in T7TH but perhaps that doesn't matter. 

I am really starting to miss them and will be beside myself with anticipation one week from Sunday when I first get to lay eyes on them. Aah!

In the meantime, a beautiful pie and a new salad to share.


The pie is a strawberry rhubarb balsamic. Because yesterday was so humid, I could take great liberties with my oil-based crust. It's often quite finicky but is a snap on a wet day. So, fleurs.

And this salad arose from a burst of creativity and a need to use up some produce. I shaved a bulb of fennel and a nectarine, halved a few cherries, and chopped some fennel fronds and mint. I had some pepper-crusted goat cheese and roasted pistachios too, so those went on, and then I drizzled the whole thing with salt, freshly ground pepper, peppery olive oil, and some pear balsamic. Dreadful photo, scrumptious salad. Summer on a plate!

not the prettiest photo, but alas

not the prettiest photo, but alas


Simple dinner, awful chili, exciting news

Despite the hot weather, Jack asked for chili tonight, red chili with beef and beans to be precise. Now red chili is not something I make very often, so I did a quick search for a recipe and came across one that sounded simple and good. Cubed sirloin, beans, nice spices...I made it all, served the boys, tasted it myself and we all went "BLECH!" and on to dinner #2. What a waste, but it is not good, just no good at all. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. Brilliant words Kenny, just brilliant. The Gambler is such a great song.

Anyway, for my own sup, I made a simple salad of mozzarella di bufala, shaved fennel, lemon, salt and olive oil (I swear I saw some version of this somewhere about six months ago), opened a can of best-quality vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, toasted some bread and called it a meal.

mozzarella di bufala, shaved fennel, sungolds, olive oil, salt and lemon

Do you know what I just registered for and am going to?? BlogHer 2013, a fantastic conference for bloggers in Chicago in two weeks. I am even able to attend the pre-conference day! I cannot believe this all came together, and I thank, profusely, everyone who is helping me with the kids (husband, father-in-law, friends!) as well as dear friends who are hosting me in Chi-town. Unbelievable and exciting opportunity.