Friday, October 22, 2010

Ode to Caprese Salad AND a Recipe!


Want some food on a yacht?


I can tell you that I want some food on a yacht... Caprese salad, I miss you. I miss the simple flavors of the buffalo mozzarella mixed with tomatoes, basil, e.v.o.o. (how Rachel Ray says extra virgin olive oil), balsamic vinegar, and sea salt.

I miss you like a couch by the window during a snow storm misses a friend to sit and read To Kill a Mocking Bird on it. I miss you like a surfer misses a good set of waves. I miss you like my new black and red cardigan misses the oh so needed black tank top to go under it. Point being, I miss you.

But! Thank goodness for moms, gardens, and fresh tomatoes. Did you know that one can just about mimic a caprese salad here in the United States? I wouldn't have thought this to be possible because I thought that only in Capri Italy could one eat a caprese salad (yes, it originated in Capri) except that I learned a little secret. It is this -

1 - Fresh tomatoes and basil make the best caprese salad

and

2 - Mom's who grow fresh tomatoes and basil in their garden so that their daughters can make caprese salad are the best ever

Another few big tips. First, the secret to a good caprese salad is the right cheese. Now costco has the closest thing to buffalo mozzarella (the cheese you would use in Italy on your caprese salad). If you look in their cheese section, you will find a cheese called BelGioioso. Next to Italy, this cheese is as good as it gets and it makes for a pretty tasty salad. Second, not all e.v.o.o. is the same. Did you know that you can tell the quality of e.v.o.o. by the amount of times that the olive has been pressed? For this salad, you need a good olive oil. You want to buy one that says first cold press on it. This means that the olive was only pressed once so that you are getting the best and freshest olive oil.

Ok so a Caprese salad is pretty easy to make. All that it entails is a layering of fresh tomato, followed by an equal size of sliced belgioioso, and a big piece of basil. After I have layered all of these ingredients on top of each other, I sprinkle the salad with course sea salt. I then drizzle e.v.o.o. lightly but evenly over the salad. Sometimes if you like, you can put balsamic vinegar over your caprese salad for another tasty treat. Yum!!!

And this is how you can have a taste of Italy right here in the U.S. :)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Song of Myself

Inspired by Walt Whitman


I cherish you, my failures and my flaws

I cherish the bad decisions and shortcomings

I cherish the multitude of mistakes

for they let me know that I am human


To the battered and bruised, join me

For we know that only through weakness comes growth


To you who have experienced hurt and pain

(and you have, I know you)

I say to you, come


Come rejoice in your accomplishments

Come sing praises to the existence of life

Come acknowledge the peace maker of your soul


It is only through recognizing success

that all fear of failure dissolves


When we feel weak, do not say to yourself

I fear the journey

When we feel weak, stand up and walk


Walk when others let you down

Walk when all seems to be against you

For we know that only through weakness comes growth

Thus I say, I cherish you

my failures and my flaws

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We no speak Americano

I've probably watched this about 50 times since I found it yesterday. This is why I am sharing it with you, so that you can watch it about 50 times today :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love Notes from Matthew

Life is about simple things such as my love note from Matthew, my dear friend from institute with down syndrome. I was pleasantly surprised to receive this from him today after class (and if you have a hard time reading it, don't worry! I will translate at the bottom:)

And the translation - Yo Hey Jaimie How are you? Oh Jaimie Why did the hamburger go to the gym? it wanted better buns what do you call a cow with a twitch? beef jerky. what do you call a cow with no legs? ground beef. why was the ant confused? because all of the ants were uncles! Im so proud of you. Do you have a school picture of you? And do you have a cell phone? Thanks for being my new friend! here we go silly Jaimie the cutie girl!

Matthew from institute, thank you for making my day a little brighter :)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Faith and Curios

Today in relief society, I shared an experience that I had this last week that I decided I would like to tell you all about as well because it has come to mean a lot to me.

Lately, I've been feeling like I am going through some interesting trials that really test my faith. I'm sure all of you have felt this way at one point of your life or another. To combat these trials, I made the attempt to do the basics (prayer, scripture study) with a little bit more faith. That is how this story I'm about to share with you comes about.

When I moved back to my parents house, I decided that I wanted to clean out my room and just organize my life and put things into focus, both with my room and who I am personally. Part of me doing this entailed buying a new shelf to replace the hand me down that my brother Gary had given me. I put $40.00 in my shelf budget (I'm a very thrifty girl) and looked online on ksl for about a month and a half waiting for the perfect thing. I was getting really discouraged because I could never find what I wanted.

Eventually my frustration over my pile of clutter in my room due to the lack of shelf became a little bit to much for me to handle. Then, I started to think about the gospel. I realized that I have a testimony that there is a Heavenly Father, but could he help me with my shelf problem, as small as it? I decided to put this question to the test and see if Heavenly Father really cared about the things that are small, but yet important to me in my life. I prayed Monday on my way home from school in my car and let Heavenly Father know that I had faith that he could help me find a shelf and that I needed his help because I wasn't able to find what I needed on my own.

When I got home and checked ksl, somebody posted the perfect shelf! (well, technically it is a curio)


I loved it! I loved it so much, that I was even willing to double my budget and spend $80 for it. I bought it that night, stuffed it in the back of my friends truck, then placed it in my room. The girl I had bought it from told me that her mother gave it to her as a wedding present and that it was a Palecek shelf so it was probably pretty nice. I didn't know what this meant and didn't really care, I was just glad to find a shelf. Then after getting it home, and admiring it, I researched palecek a little bit more.

This little shelf that I had bought for $80 is priced around the ballpark of at least $2000, but probably realistically about $3000. I was shocked! and amazed and very grateful.

I credit any success that I received for getting this shelf to the fact that I prayed to a Heavenly Father who loves me and listened to my prayer. I don't always have the faith to know that he will answer, but when I put forth the faith on my part, Heavenly Father blesses me and ultimately wants me to be successful and happy. The value of this lesson is even more meaningful to me than my new shelf.

This is my story and my belief. I live it and love it

Sunday, October 3, 2010