Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We are home!

We had a lovely time in Vancouver with our family. Thanks to everyone who played host, and those who also made the trek to British Columbia for our family gathering :) No family gathering is complete without lots of food -- we had our fill of delicious Dim Sum, piping hot Vietnamese Pho noodle soup, carefully crafted sushi, and Grandma's homemade Chinese desserts. It was all so good, I came back three pounds heavier. LOL ;)

We're home safe and sound, with the only mishap being a delayed suitcase. Mind you, it was full of Whole Foods Market organic truffles that got to spend an extra night in Miami, but they're still quite edible; although now kind of stuck to each other.

Our good friend John, fisherman and mechanic extraordinaire, stocked our freezer full of lobster tails while we were gone. I thawed four of them out, snipped through the shells with kitchen shears, top to bottom, front and back, set them in a baking dish, lined with parchment paper, drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil on the tails, seasoned them with McCormick Roasted Garlic seasoning, and baked those at 350F for about 25 minutes. Yum yum :)

It's officially summer here in the Florida Keys. The air conditioners are on full-time, and the long-sleeved clothes have been put away. DH diligently watered our organic veggie garden while Kaylee and I were away, and it just exploded with growth! Rachelle was right... the zucchini has decided it owns that garden bed. The eggplant didn't quite take root, but that has now left an empty spot, which may be the new home for the basil. That poor basil plant is doing all it can to hold what little ground it has, next to the monstrous, ever-growing zucchini. The basil is doing very well, however, and we just enjoyed a nice Basil and Tomato salad. Florida tomatoes were on sale at the store, and we definitely try to buy local; if not local and organic.

On that note, does everyone know not to refrigerate their tomatoes? Refrigerating them diminishes a good portion of the lycopene and other goodness in the fruit. Buy only what you can use up immediately.

Back to our salad, I chopped up one tomato, tossed it with a little sea salt and just a wee sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper (gotta keep it kid-friendly for Kaylee). I then added four freshly picked basil leaves from our garden, cut into fine strips, and drizzled extra virgin olive oil on top. Let all this sit for about a minute, to let the flavors mingle. The basil brings a nice freshness to the mix, but Kaylee, like most kids, won't eat the basil leaves themselves. That's what that brief marinating is for -- to infuse some of that basil flavor, and then I can pick out just the tomatoes for Kaylee. She gobbled up the first bowl, and asked me for seconds. Thank you, sweltering heat, for this delicious and refreshing summer salad :)

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