I've clearly been breaking my New Year's resolution of posting at least twice a week recently, and I apologize. I'll take some of the responsibility for this flaw but will blame the rest on my computer's recent bouts of erratic behavior. It's been bringing the sass, and I'm a bit tired of it (ahem, dearest Toshiba Satellite). So, for the time being, I'm no longer a PC but a Mac (a big "thank you" to Dan who's been letting me use his fancy MacBook).
During the 11 days since my last post, I've been busy with all sorts of fun things including hosting a family get-together for the very first time. I feel so grown-up. Dan and I decided to graciously welcome the honor of hosting a Mother's Day celebration at our place this past Sunday. While we technically hosted, it was really a collaborative effort as all of our guests pitched in and contributed food and beverages to our Italian-themed celebration of motherly awesomeness. Homemade pizza was on the menu, and we asked each of our guests to bring a topping, a salad or dessert, and a beverage of choice. My contribution was a caprese salad, cheese, and 90+ Cellars Sauvignon Blanc ($7.99 and a Kim Crawford taste-alike). Oh yes, and I can't forget the flowers. I decided that taking on the honor of hosting a celebration at our place gave me an excellent reason to purchase a few
too many bunches of flowers. I love when I have a defensible reason to purchase pretty things that make people smile when they glance at them.
The celebration ended up being a huge success, and I definitely recommend the make-your-own-pizza idea for a family get-together. It was nice to host an event without the pressure of trying to appease the appetites of 15+ people. We ended up making the pizzas in pairs, one pair at a time, and allowed everyone to graze on the different creations along the way. My step dad (aka "pops"), who brought oodles of his homemade dough that he had already separated out into pizza-size portions, took on the responsibility of rolling out the dough for each pair. I have to say, it was a fun bonding experience to see everyone put on their chef's hats and get creative in the kitchen, and I learned a thing or two about cooking the perfect pie. My mom and I made our favorite pizza: shredded mozzarella, roasted yellow peppers, Roma tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, drizzles of balsamic reduction and evoo, and fresh basil. It was amazing. Okay, all this talk about pizza has left my stomach signaling that it's time for dinner, but I'll leave you with some food for thought: make that pizza combo and make this caprese salad...
Blissful Basil's Caprese Salad (Serves 10-15)
4 large vine-ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
16 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 large bunch fresh basil, finely shredded
1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced (see below)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Pour balsamic vinegar in medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil while whisking. Reduce heat to medium-high and allow to simmer until reduced by half, being sure to whisk frequently.
2. Arrange the tomato slices on a pretty platter and top with mozzarella slices. Artfully drizzle the balsamic reduction and olive oil across the caprese stacks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with fresh basil and serve immediately.