INSALATA CAPRESE: THE BEST AND SIMPLEST MEAL

I always have this delusion that I must have been Italian in my past life, only because I love Italian food! I can live on pizza and pasta everyday and I can munch olives like they were peanuts.

Five years ago, I got a little lucky and found myself to be walking on the cobbled streets of my imaginary homeland, Italy.   Aahh, authentic Italian spaghetti.  I had to keep reminding myself not to look for hotdogs on them, undeniably very Pinoy hehehe 🙂  It was during this trip that I discovered a salad that would be my new favorite from then on, the INSALATA CAPRESE.

Made from the freshest ingredients, Insalata Caprese is a light and healthy salad that’s perfect for health-conscious individuals.  Perfect too for our Balik-Alindog project.  It’s very simple and easy to make plus the ingredients are readily available in your supermarkets, and the best part is… it’s NO COOK!  Here it goes…

WHATCHUNID:

MAIN INGREDIENTS:  Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Basil Leaves, and Tomatoes (cherry / grape variety or regular tomatoes)

MAIN INGREDIENTS: Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Basil Leaves, and Tomatoes (cherry / grape variety or regular tomatoes)

Dressing:

Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
Chilli Flakes (optional)

Olive oil, salt & pepper are the main Caprese dressing. I just like putting balsamic vinegar and chilli flakes for that extra kick.

Olive oil, salt & pepper are the main Insalata Caprese dressing. I just like putting balsamic vinegar and chilli flakes for that extra kick.

HOW TO DO IT?

Just like any other salads, you basically just have to toss everything together, chill and it’s done.  This can already be your light dinner or, as I recently discovered,  you can pair it with Beef Salpicao or with your favorite steak.

Easy peasy, isn’t it? No-cook dinner in minutes!  Buon Appetito! (in my fake Italian accent)

If you're using cherry or grape tomato variety, cut them into half.

If you’re using cherry or grape tomato variety, cut them into half.You may use regular tomatoes too.

You may use regular tomatoes too.
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WHEN LIFE THROWS YOU LEMONS, DETOX… And Decorate

For almost ten years now, lemons have been a staple item in our household. Apart from its usual use as ingredients for cooking, making tea and juice, we use it for our daily lemon water.  Dear Hubby and I started the habit of putting lemons to our pitcher of water when we learned that it actually helps clean toxins out of our body, not to mention it has Vitamin C content and can help in weight loss (well, well, well!).  Commercial alkaline water can be expensive and I think lemon water is the closest and least expensive alternative.

When we moved to Jakarta almost three years ago,  we discovered other variations of detox water and incorporated it with our usual lemon water fix.  We added Cucumber and Mint Leaves and we liked the fun twist on it!  I recommend that you try it and make it a habit.  Enjoy!

LEMON WATER

Health Benefits:
*source: energiseforlife.com,

  • Lemon: Lemon water makes for a powerful detox drink; lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalize the body.  It has excellent digestive properties and can ease heartburn, bloating and other digestion problems.

Lemons are  loaded with Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, which aids the body in weight loss. Antioxidants are known to remove toxins (such as fat cells) from the body, which is why lemon water is such a good aid in weight loss.

Additionally, Vitamin C found in lemons is known to boost the immune system.

  • Mint: Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion. Mint is also loaded with strong antioxidants found within the leaves and stems, as well as vitamin A, calcium, folate, potassium, and phosphorus…making it a helpful aid at preventing disease and illness.
  • Cucumber: Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water makes for excellent rehydration, and cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties.

And while you’re at it, here’s a couple of suggestions on how to creatively store your lemons and mint leaves.

Instead of the usual fruit basket, try using clear vases to store your lemons in.  It makes a great center piece too.

Instead of the usual fruit basket, try using clear vases to store your lemons in. It makes a great center piece too.

Supermarket-bought mint leaves can be placed in a watered vase.  It gives longer life for the leaves and it decorates your kitchen counter.

Supermarket-bought mint leaves can be placed in a watered vase. It gives longer life for the leaves and it decorates your kitchen counter.

A BREAK-UP LETTER TO MY BLACKBERRY

My old Blackberry with its perennial white screen... sometimes it's black.

My old Blackberry with its perennial white screen…

Dear Blackberry,

I fell in love with you the moment I laid my eyes on you.  Your perfect keyboard helped this large-thumbed woman create perfectly spelled texts every time.  You and I knew each other so well, I didn’t have to think which punctuations or emoticons to use.  We’ve been through a lot together. We made travel arrangements, sent messages to family and friends, read news (and gossips) from across the globe.

That’s why what I’m about to say is very difficult.

I’m breaking up with you.

I know there’s no easy way to say it but you’re all business and I wanted to cut the chase.  You seem to be powering down a bit… no, a lot, lately.   My daily routine of rebooting you has caused my entire phonebook to go kaput. It was fine, I just had to update all my contacts manually. I’m a very patient woman.  But must you make me do this everyday? I didn’t give up on you but I gave up updating my phonebook and handle the embarrassment of  sending out a “who you?” message.

When you asked me to upgrade my Facebook to version tra.la.la,  I said yes.  But you conked out again and made the whole app disappear.  You know very well that Facebook, together with Twitter and Instagram, are my connections to the “outside world”.  I need them to stalk, uhm, to keep up with everyone.  You didn’t have Instagram but I remained devoted to you.

And because of my fondness on your alarm features, I let you sleep on my bedside so you’d be the first one I would see when I wake up.  Why did you choose to stop working and sleep like a log on the morning that Little Boy had a performance in school?! Had we not made it on time, I wouldn’t have forgiven you.

Out of respect for you, I’m telling you that you’re being replaced by the iPhone.  Dear Hubby gave it as a present to me on Mother’s Day, who says no to that?   I’ve flirted with the iPhone on my mind but you know that  I’m a Blackberry in a world of iPhones.  Please believe me when I say, “It’s not you, it’s ME.”

iPHONE.BB

I’ll terribly miss you even when others made fun of you.  You know I hate those fingerprints on my screen!  This new guy is pretty intimidating, I hope it will be just as patient with me as you were when I was just learning which buttons to press.

I hope we can still be friends.  I’m putting you in a safe box and shall bring with me anywhere a new sim card would be required and we’ll still reconnect.  Thank you for your years of service and dedication, I will always treasure our time together buddy.

Thanks again,
A

DOMESTIC DIVA DAYDREAMS: Home Office

I know, I know… One might wonder,  I have long been away from the corporate world and have become a housewife so what would I need a home office for?  Guess what. I’m not “just” a housewife or a “stay”-at-home mom, I’m a WORK-at-home mom.  Yes, we work and you know as they say, “Every mother needs a cockpit”.

This is where we run the show, our very own mission control center where we make our grocery lists, prepare the weekly menu, update budgets, pay the bills, write our blogs, and a gazillion other things that a mother like me are preoccupied with.  When I work at home and I hop from one work area to another (our dining table, the living room, my bed, the guest room), I can’t help but daydream of having a space like this…

image courtesy of Houzz.com

image courtesy of Houzz.com

Isn’t this the sweetest home office you’ve ever seen? I can’t help but lust over this, look at those walls!  And the color scheme, feminine but not juvenile.  I’ve always been drawn to fun and bright spaces, white furniture and chic chairs.  Such a perfect place where you can clear your mind, gather your thoughts and just be creative.  It’s a sanctuary.  But I must admit, I might not do actual work in this space but just look at it the whole day admiring this beauty… and do a lot of cleaning and organizing in this understated glamor.

I really really REALLY want to have a space like this.  If men can have their man-cave and the kids can have their study area, I need my glammed-up cockpit as well… and I will have it.  I’m saving up for it.  Someday, this home office will no longer be a daydream. Someday :).

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