June 29, 2012

Recipe: Mediterranean Summer Salad

My herb garden is already overflowing with fragrant parsley, mint and basil.  Here's a quick and easy recipe that takes advantage of living herbs.  It's light, refreshing and, paired with a skewer of grilled shrimp and fresh fruit salad, makes the perfect summer dinner.

  • 10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (3 cloves), minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, diced

Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables.  Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss gently.  Enjoy! 

Click HERE for more vegetarian recipes. 


June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the wonderful men who are present and engaged in their children's lives, and also the amazing fathers who have passed away but still live on in our hearts and memories.  

With great appreciation to my beloved for being such a wonderful father.  We love you. ♥

And, to my dad.

 Happy Father's Day!


June 15, 2012

Recipe: Grilled Portobello Mushroom Spinach Salad

For many of us, summer is synonymous with grilling and outdoor barbecues.  Burgers and hot dogs have their place, however we are most fond of vegetables prepared on the grill, with mushrooms topping the list.

Spinach Salad 

Spinach serves as the base for this salad.  Add any of the following that strike your fancy:
  • Grilled mushrooms (see instructions below)
  • Toasted nuts (such as walnuts, pine nuts, sliced almonds,...)
  • Chopped and whole fresh herbs (such as parsley, tarragon, chives, basil, thyme,...) 
  • Crumbled feta, bleu or goat cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • Red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • Mandarin oranges and/or sliced fresh strawberries 

Grilled Mushrooms 

Marinate portobellos in equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Grill over high heat, turning frequently, until tender.  Grind fresh black pepper on top.  Slice.  [TIP: Can be sliced first and then grilled, using a grill basket like the one found HERE.]

 Hot Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Bacon, cut in small pieces and cooked in skillet - our personal preference is for turkey bacon [TIP:  cut bacon using scissors]
  • Tbsp. minced shallot
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
Fry bacon until crisp and remove from pan.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. fat; sauté shallots, whisk in brown sugar, Dijon, vinegar and oil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Crumble bacon and other toppings of your choice over salad and toss to coat.



June 10, 2012

Justin's Fan Club Shows Its Support at Graduation

Graduation is a time for celebration.  Traditional decorations were not going to cut it for Justin's big day!  Justin's face on sticks was the answer.  There were 22 Justin faces in all, circulating Pottsgrove High School's stadium the evening of graduation.  Many, many thanks to everyone who attended and showed their support!     

DIY:  I cropped and resized Justin's cap and gown photo using Picasa (a free photo editing program from Google), printed them on card stock, cut them out and then used packing tape to adhere them to paint stirrers.  This was so much fun!  I might try it again for a birthday celebration.

Congratulations, Justin!

...and to the entire Class of 2012!  Hats off to you!


June 5, 2012

Justin is the Recipient of The Student Government Perseverance Award

per·se·ver·ance:  steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.

Today, Pottsgrove High School held its annual Senior Awards Day Ceremony.  Justin, who has autism, received The Student Government Perseverance Award.  The Perseverance Award is presented to an individual who has displayed tremendous courage in overcoming obstacles throughout his/her high school career.  That certainly is our Justin. 

Justin received the most applause.  He was thrilled.  I cried. ♥  

Following the ceremony, there was a lovely reception in the library where our rock star principal, Mrs. Yolanda Williams, congratulated Justin.

Congratulations, Justin and the entire class of 2012. 


June 2, 2012

Saint Aloysius Feast Day Community Carnival

Join Saint Aloysius Parish for its community carnival, with exciting games and fun rides for all ages!  This five-day event will be held June 26 through June 30 at the former site of Saint Pius X High School, located at 844 N. Keim Street in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  Click HERE for directions and a map.  

There will be thrill rides for those more adventurous, as well as family and kiddie rides.  Sixteen rides in all!  Skill games and games of chance will abound.

Food offerings will include:  meatball sandwiches, pork BBQ, sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, Spanish ethnic food, sno-cones, homemade waffles and ice cream, funnel cake (one of my favorite guilty pleasure foods) and more!  No sandwich will cost more than $3.00.  Wow!

In addition to single ride tickets, every night will be family night, with unlimited rides only $20 per individual.  An advance discounted price of $15 is available at Saint Aloysius Parish located at 223 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.

History buffs will enjoy knowing that this is actually the second carnival held by the Saint Aloysius Parish, with the first being thirty years ago.

For more information, call:  610-326-5877.

See you there!