End Of Summer BBQ: Caprese Salad

Close up caprese salad

In Calgary, it feels like we’ve barely had a summer (with exception to this week), so it was kind of sad to think that this past weekend was the final BBQ of August, which to me means the end of summer. :(

I invited over some amazing friends and we had a great time laughing, playing with my new ‘magic 8 ball’ and watching the kids tear it up to some One Direction.

On the menu was grilled corn, caprese salad, homemade bacon potato salad, ichiban salad and homemade burgers. The burgers and corn were pretty straight forward, but I’ll share the salad recipes as separate posts.

First up, the Caprese Salad.

caprese salad

Ingredients 

  • 6 firm but ripe tomatoes (I prefer the vine ripened ones)
  • 1 container of boconcinni cheese (this is fresh mozarella and can be found in the deli section of your supermarket)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • Good Olive Oil
  • Cream of Balsamic Vinegar (you can use regular balsamic, but the cream version is thicker, sweeter and won’t water down your salad)
  • Sea Salt
  • Coarse Black Pepper

Recipe

Start by cutting the ends off of the tomatoes and then slicing them into 1/4 inch thick pieces. To assemble the salad, place one slice of tomato on a platter, lay a basil leaf on the tomato slice and top with a medallion of boconcinni. If the boconcinni you purchased isn’t in medallion form, cut each ball in half and put one half on the basil leaf. Next lay a tomato slice slightly overlapping the bottom of the first slice, add a basil leaf and boconcinni piece, repeating this process until you reach the end of your platter or you run out of ingredients. Just before serving, drizzle the tomatoes, basil and cheese with olive oil and balsamic and then top with a sprinkling of coarse pepper and sea salt.

Enjoy friends! :)

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Summer Smoothie

Hi Friends!

Well, I’ve officially survived Stampede 2013, however I feel like I am going to paying for it for a while. With the warm days and now carrying a few Stampede pounds, I am craving healthy and light alternatives to the heavy meals that I have been eating the past little while.

I’ve discovered Almond Fresh’s Coconut Milk and have pretty much become obsessed. ;) Naturally, this forms the basis of my healthy summer smoothie.

Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Frozen blueberries (1/2 cup)
  • Almond Fresh Coconut Milk (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 banana
  • Handful of whole almonds
  • 4 leaves of kale

Directions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients until fully blended. Drink immediately! Do NOT be alarmed by the colour….it’s not cute, but mmmmmmm……this is delicious.

Oven Baked Kale Chips

kale chips

I love kale. As far as ‘super foods’ go, this one is pretty darn awesome. It’s great in pasta sauces, it’s great sautéed with garlic, but my current favourite is kale all by itself (well, almost) and baked. Three ingredients, 20 minutes……come on friends…..it doesn’t get much easier than that. :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Seasoned Salt (to flavor)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse kale leaves and dry in a salad spinner. Cut kale leaves from the stem and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and seasoned salt and toss to cover the leaves. Bake for 20 minutes until leaves crisp up. Enjoy!! :)

Happy Monday.

xoxo

Kim

My blog…..going forward……

I’m back. :) I took last week off of blogging to give myself a bit of a break. Ever the type-A, only child, I took on this blog with my usual over-the-top commitment, and realized quickly how much work a blog is. Last week’s ‘time out’ was perfect because it made me realize how much I love sharing my thoughts and ideas with my friends, however I also don’t need to turn blogging into a full-time profession. As such, my posts going forward may not be on as a regular a basis as before, but I promise to keep sharing the cool things I find, and the fun ideas I come across.

xoxo

Kim

Tex Mex Slow Cooker Chicken

Tex Mex Chicken

My sister-in-law and her boyfriend wanted to pop by and visit Nugget this week, so I decided to experiment on them with a new slow cooker recipe. Thankfully it turned out amazingly. :) Despite having so few ingredients, it certainly didn’t lack flavour. The recipe I used was adapted from the Kraft website, however I substituted my beautiful friend Cindy’s recipe for taco seasoning in place of the Taco Bell seasoning. Did I mention that it was amazing?!?!?!

Happy Thursday Friends!

xoxo

Kim

Spring Brights

Spring Brights

1) J Crew Floral Scarf  2) F21 Faux Suede Heels 3) Modcloth Jade Blazer 4) J Crew Fuchsia Crewneck Sweater 5) AE Scalloped Purse

It’s amazing how what you are wearing can really set your mood for the day. I do a lot of ‘research’ for this blog, and have really noticed a trend in bright colours as we get closer and closer to spring. These are some of my favourites. What I particularly love about them is that they are the pop of colour your outfit needs to give it that happy, spring-y edge, but when styled with basics, they aren’t overpowering. What are your spring must-haves for your closet??????

Happy Wednesday Friends!!!

xoxo

Kim

Baked Broccoli Bites

Broccoli Bites

I have really been trying to search for healthy snacks for Nugget and I. As easy as store-bought snacks are, I am also aware that many contain yucky preservatives, which end up defeating the whole ‘healthy snack’ purpose. Confession time: I really don’t like broccoli. I like it baked in my mom’s broccoli casserole, but other than that, I’m really not a huge fan. So….inspired by the combo of broccoli and cheese, I came across a recipe which I then tweaked to make it my own. These healthy treats are not only delicious, but filling too.

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 crowns of broccoli
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of whole grain or whole wheat bread crumbs (I made mine by toasting 3 slices of whole grain toast and blending in a food processor)
  • 1-1/2 cups of grated fat-free cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Broccoli Bite Patties

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut up broccoli into floret-sized pieces and steam or cook until tender. In a bowl, combine broccoli, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and salt & pepper. Mix well. Form into 2″ patties. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 15 meetings, flip and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately! :)

Stay warm and safe friends!

xoxo

Kim

Snow Day

Since starting this blog I have tried to post something every weekday. This weekend I was in Lethbridge (southern Alberta) for a swim meet when we were hit with a major snow storm. Unfortunately, the storm hit right when we were ready to leave so we ended up spending an extra night before attempting the drive for a second time in the morning. Despite the stress of the storm and our attempt to get home, my co-coaches and I decided to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons we were given by mother nature. So here are our collective tips for braving out the snow when stuck in a hotel in small town Alberta.

  • Go for a jog in the hotel gym
  • Brave the snow on foot to go pick up healthy/not-so-healthy snacks & ‘spa’ supplies
  • Do hair & face masks in your hotel room
  • Pick-up supper from the across the street and enjoy it while sitting on the floor of your hotel room
  • Laugh until you cry
  • Try to watch TV but fall asleep early

Masks

So despite the craziness of the weather, we ended up having a pretty fun night together!! :) Thanks girls!!!

xoxo

Kim

Pugs and Sequins

Pugs and Sequins
To finish of the work week, I decided to put together a fun little ensemble that combined two of my favourite wardrobe items: sequins & pugs. The red sequins on their own can be a bit showgirl, but I felt the balance of my fun, pug muscle-tee and my ‘all business’ blazer created the perfect mix that wasn’t too over the top to rock at work. The Donald did have some delightful commentary on this outfit, but given that it was less-than-blog-friendly, I’ll have to e-mail it to you separately if you are interested in knowing.  :)
Have a safe and fabulous weekend Friends!!!
xoxo
Kim

California Roll Salad

california roll salad

I was supposed to have a sushi date with a friend this week that sadly needed to be rescheduled. To appease my craving for california rolls, I whipped up this little gem for dinner. The best part? Nugget was a huge fan of the ingredients (so long as they were served to him separately) so he got a healthy dose of veggies too! :)

Ingredients

  • ready-to-eat mixed greens (I used half spinach, half field greens)
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • 1/2 english cucumber, diced
  • large carrot, shaved into thin slices (I use a vegetable peeler to do this)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 sheet of nori (seaweed) cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups of imitation crab (pollock) chunks
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

In a food processor, chop the imitation crab chunks until finely diced. Move diced crab to a separate bowl. Add mayonnaise to the crab and mix well. Flavor with pepper to taste and set aside. Combine mixed greens, avocado, cucumber, carrot shavings, green onions & nori into a large bowl. Top with crab mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. In a separate bowl, mix sesame oil, soy sauce & rice wine vinegar.  Add dressing to salad and toss. Serve immediately. Enjoy! :)

Makes 1 large meal salad or 2 side salads.