Monday, August 29, 2011


i love re-creating dishes that i have eaten while at a restaurant or even that i've seen a photo of somewhere. i saw this on the front of a magazine when i was at the airport, and i had to invent a way to make that dish!

also, i love tomatoes. and that's another reason why i'm making it.

also, i love heirloom tomatoes even more.

also, i love how colorful this dish is.

also, i love that this is a cold dish, and i enjoyed it on a hot summer day.

also, it tastes good. real good. 

okay, i just like everything about this dish.

(also, this recipe has cheese, and though i usually don't eat cheese, every once in a while i like to have it as a treat.)
heirloom tomato napoleon
2 cups grated parmesan
2 tbsp finely minced red onion
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 cups arugula leaves
1/2 cup basil, chopped
20 slices of heirloom tomatoes of all colors and sizes (about 3 lbs)
12-15 various cherry tomatoes, halved
1. pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. line baking sheet with parchment paper, spread grated parmesan over the entire surface of the sheet.
3. bake cheese until light brown, anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
4. let cool, then break into about 16 pieces (about 3 inches wide).
5. in small bowl, whisk together the minced onion, apple cider vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and salt.
6. in large bowl, mix together the arugula, 1/4 cup of the basil, and half of the vinaigrette mixture.
7. arrange the salad evenly among 4 plates.
8. alternate the heirloom tomatoes and parmesan crisps on top of salad mixture, with 5 slices tomato and 4 parmesan crisps on each plate.
9. arrange the cherry tomatoes around each napoleon on each plate.
10. with the remaining vinaigrette mixture, drizzle on top of each napoleon (about 1/2 tbsp each).
11. with the remaining basil, sprinkle on top of each napoleon (about 1 tbsp each). 
12. serve and enjoy!
- serves 4...if you didn't already get that. :)
- keep an eye on the parmesan, as the thickness of the cheese and your oven can make cook time differ greatly.
- i used a pizza cutter to help me cut the parmesan into crisps after baking.

hope you enjoy this on a hot summer day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

my nephew, zeke!

i want to introduce to you my nephew, ezekiel. these photos were taken when mark and i visited washington d.c. and virginia beach (where this little one lives) back in march. i just wanted to capture a little bit of who he is to give you a small taste! 

he was two months old when the photos were taken, but right now he is a whopping seven months old! needless to say, these photos are a little outdated. but still cute!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011


my sister's best friend got married last week. the wedding was planned in about two weeks, with many people who love the couple helping out and giving as much as they can to make the wedding happen.

my sister asked if i could i could maybe design the programs and i jumped to it! i was excited to do this for them as a gift.

that was front and back, respectively. what do you think? i like 'em.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

to whom it may concern: part 3

don't mind me, it was just another pet-peevy day.
dear status updaters:
when you want to brag about something, just do it. don't say, "oh, you know, just shopping in LA on rodeo drive!"  actually, i did not know that, how could i have? but you just told me so now i.......OH i get it! saying "oh, you know..." was your way of BRAGGING! oh ok. i was confused. i thought i was supposed to know that you were in LA for some reason. next time, maybe just brag the normal way. for example: "OMG i'm in LA and i'm shopping on rodeo drive!! so exciting! aren't you jealous?" and then i would know that you are bragging, and i could answer your question normally, without confusion..."no. i'm not jealous that you are shopping on rodeo drive. not in the least. but good for you! i'm glad you're doing something you enjoy."  just quit it with the "oh you know"s please. because i did not know.

oh, you know.

warning: the next "to whom it may concern" will be strikingly similar to the one previous.

dear status updaters:
when you want to brag about something, just do it. don't say, "attending a grease sing-a-long with the besties, no big deal." you're right, that really isn't a big deal.....OH i get it! saying " big deal" was your way of BRAGGING! oh ok. i was confused. because for me, that really ISN'T a big deal. well i mean, i would rather shoot myself than attend a grease sing-a-long, so maybe THAT would be a big deal. but i digress. i get it now. you think it is a big deal, so you said "no big deal". well, if you think it's a big deal, then why would you say that? it's just confusing. next time, brag the normal way. for example: "OMG i'm with my besties at the grease sing-a-long and it is so much fun! it cost like $40 for me to get in! aren't i awesome because i like doing things like this?!?!!" that would be much less confusing for me to read. thanks.
yours 4eva,

the big deal

dear status updater:
really?? "oh, you know, just having a movie marathon of all the bests with my bridesmaids: love story, steel magnolias, hope floats, and terms of endearment. no big deal."
no. just no. double no.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011


i live in houston, texas. do you know what the weather has been like here recently? yep. you're correct. freakin hot. so hot that i only want to eat cold things, like salads or sandwiches. those two things can only make you happy for so long. so, why not try a gazpacho? (which, if you didn't know, is just a fancy name for a cold soup.)

this gazpacho is very good and flavorful. and what's good about gazpacho is you can save the recipe and make it during colder months as well, just as a regular ol' soup.
tomatillo gazpacho
1 lb. tomatillos, husked, chopped to medium dice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 cups vegetable broth
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced (about 1/2 cup when diced)
1/4 small red onion, diced (about 1/4 cup when diced)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup when diced)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1. heat oil in 3-quart saucepan or larger over medium-high heat.
2. add diced tomatillos and garlic, cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
3. stir in broth, heat to a boil.
4. when soup begins to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tomatillos are cooked through but still hold their shape (about 1 minute).
5. remove saucepan from heat, let cool slightly for about 5 minutes.
6. carefully puree mixture in blender or with an immersion blender until smooth, place mixture in fridge to cool quickly.
7. when mixture has cooled, remove from fridge and stir in avocado, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
8. refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
9. before serving, taste and adjust seasoning with more lime juice, salt, or pepper as needed.
- serving sizes should be small for gazpacho, no more than a cup in size.
- serves 4-6.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


i hate it when i am experimenting with a new food creation and i'm all excited about it and i even take amazing photos of the dish and i can't wait to put it up on my blog and then i try it sucks. can you relate with me? ugh. 

i was inspired by a recipe, which looked amazing in a photo i saw. to make it, though, i have to change the recipe to fit my food limitations, as well as my husband's. and to make it my own to be able to publish. the changes were fine. it was the things i didn't change that ruined it.

now i know, and i will tell myself these things: 1) bailey, you will never like olives. even scaling down the recipe from 3 tbsp minced olives to 1 tbsp will not help. just don't put them in anything you ever make. ever.  2) bailey, you might not be that picky anymore, and yes, the feeling of cornstarch and water in your hands may make you giddy, but sometimes texture matters. and you won't like every texture. especially if it's in your mouth. be wary.

now, you might like olives, and you might not have a problem with different textures, but i will not put a recipe on my blog if i don't like it. even if i did take some amazing photos of the thing. maybe one day i'll have a post of all my failures. :)

all that being said, what i had planned for a post today went in the trash. so i did something pretty for you. sometimes people just need to be inspired. so here it is. some color inspiration. because i love color. and pretty photos. taken in macro.

credit: megan cieloha for the amazing floral macro shot.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

camp blessing

yes, i know i've been gone a long time. and for that i am extremely sorry. i doubt you missed me that much, anyway.

this summer i was privileged to work at a camp called camp blessing, a camp for people with disabilities. i've worked there since it began in 2006, but this year was the first time that we had a ropes course. since i got certified to be a ropes course facilitator this past march, my job was to be at the ropes course all day every day for eight weeks, mostly running the zip line and the climbing wall. 

it was fun. soo fun. i love working outside. and getting to see the smiles on those kids' faces after they went on the zip line was one of the best things ever.

these are some of the cuties i got to be with every day while i worked at camp:

we'll get back to regularly scheduled programming soon.