Monday, August 31, 2009

Part-way home, sort of!

Where have I been, I hear you cry! Middle of bloody nowhere is the answer, for the most part at least! There are still parts of the civilised world where the hotels have no internet, you have to sleep in a single bed (first time since 2001) and its freezing cold in August.

I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland, Saturday August 15th, arriving the following morning. I was unable to check in to my hotel until the afternoon, but they did fortunately store my luggage. I changed into some clean clothes and wandered around Edinburgh for several hours, walking briskly and with purpose, so as not to appear as a tourist. The best part of my day was spent in the Botanical Gardens, which should be missed by none! Great great gardens.

I undertook some semblance of work for the next week, although since I didnt get to chose the sites, I didnt actually do that much work; the sites were mostly inappropriate. I spent the weekend with my parents strolling along the beach, taking afternoon tea and cake and hiking through the rolling hills of Northern England. The best thing about the entire trip was meeting Mrs Goudie and spending a peaceful afternoon alone with her talking the talk and looking at pictures of her family when it was young. We then spent a lovely evening at a wonderful fish restaurant called The Ship on the Shore, where David was so very kind as to buy us all dinner. Wonderful wonderful evening, probably helped by the fact that Dave and I polished of a bottle of delicious Rioja between the two of us, oh and the Clams appetiser, Haddock over stir-fry veggies and apple and rhubarb crumble with custard that I consumed, not to mention the amazing company! The only good meal that I ate in the U.K. was an out-standing one!

I left Edinburgh Thursday August 27th, departing my hotel room at 830am and arriving at a Sheraton in downtown Sacremento, California, twenty two hours later, exhausted yet unable to sleep more than a few hours. Thankfully the field chief was rather lenient on me as I was incapable of anything resembling work friday and he didnt even seem to mind that much that I woke him up at 530am in the morning. I mean, come on, I had laid there waiting to get him up for about 2 hours already!

This trip would be inconceivable should I not have been meeting my love, but here we are together in California, and they call this work! My trips are usually excruciatingly painful on the body, even a young one like mine! The hours tend to be over the 12 mark and I constantly long for my love; but here we are, together, sitting on a boat for 8 hours a day armed with nothing more than paper, pencil and a GPS, then strolling down to Paesanoes for a revitalising Sangria in the early evening. So usually I would be complaining like a trooper in my third week away from home, but Im sitting back (in my life jacket, of course) and enjoying the hot Californian sun on my face.

I do miss my boys, but I hear they are behaving themselves so much that even I would be proud of them! So to you my lovelies, Ill be home Saturday and I promise you a walk Monday morning!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


ugh, so my three weeks at home were my chance to drop those recently gained pounds and get my fitness back to where I wasn't ashamed of it. I had got my journey to Coon Town from 17 mph average up to 18.5 mph and was really enjoying my rides. Then out of the blue my knee started hurting on my ride monday and that was my week shot. So now I have had no exercise in my life since monday and I leave town saturday for three weeks. So I feel horrid. Again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I don't just cook!

A little insight into other aspects of my life today.

Im not just a cooking, exercising, eating machine you know.

When I'm not travelling the country playing with mud, or the world for that matter, I spend eight ours a day sitting at my desk in front of my dual screen, very powerful computer. Don't ask me specs on the pooter, I just need it to work!

Believe it or not, this is the part of my job I enjoy! For the most part at least! I love organising things, even it is hundreds of thousands of numbers! And yes, colours are usually involved in the organisation process, particularly pink.

It you promise not to steal my idea, Ill tell you what I am currently spending my time on. Although it is not technically solely my idea, I have to give my boss credit here too.

The Conterminous United States is divided into Ecoregions by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There are different levels of details, but I tend to work with Level III Ecoregions.

The approach used to compule this Ecoregion map is based on the premise that ecological regions can be identified through the analysis of the patterns and the composition of biotic and abiotic phenomena or relect differences in ecosystem quality and integrity (Wiken 1986, Omernik 1987, 1995). These phenomena include geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology (USEPA, 2007).

My home and the surrounding areas lie within Ecoregions 65, The Southeastern Plains, and 74, The Mississippi Valley Loess Plains.

On and off for the past few years, I have been organising precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) and discharge (flow of water through channels) data for the 84 ecoreigons of the US. Sad I know, but I do actually find this really interesting!

The rate of change in precipitation (calculated over the period of record) for Ecoregions 65 and 74 are 1.15 and 1.10 mm per year, respectively (I tried to put the graphs in as they are beautiful, but I cound't manage it for some reason, sorry). That means that this area gets approximately 11 cm more precipitation per year now than during the 1900s. Because I ahve also broken this data out by season (using NOAA seasonal definitions; DJF, MAM, JA, SON), I can tell you that we actually have a decrease in summer rainfall and that most of our increase in rainfall in this area has been occurring during autumn months; September, October and November. Cool, eh!?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quick weeknight dinner (and its vegan)

I haven't really felt like cooking much this week, but we still need to eat. Im also trying to get our food stock down to nothing by Saturday when I leave, so Im all about throwing stuff together.

Whenever we have rice for dinner, I always make sure I cook way too much for one meal. So I decided to use it up last night! These are the veggies I used because its what I have to use up, but you can use whatever you have in your fridge or freezer; peas, carrots, corn, cabbage, whatever you want, just make it colourful! I often also use fresh ginger and garlic, but didn't have any and couldn't be bothered to chop, respectively!

Fast Fried Rice

a good lug of vegetable oil
1-2 c pre-cooked brown rice (seriously, whole grain products are so much better for you!)
1/4 onion, chopped into small pieces
1 small zucchini/courgette, chopped into small pieces
1 small red bell pepper
two handfuls of green beans, chopped into small pieces
one handful of cashews or your favourite cooking nuts
Lemon juice
Your favourite Asian stir-fry sauce, just a few lugs as you have other liquids in here also
Soy Sauce
Rice Vinegar
Sesame seeds to serve

1. Microwave rice for 3 or 4 minutes.

2. Heat oil in pain on almost the highest setting. Stir fry onions until translucent, about 2 minutes.

3. Add other veggies and stir fry another minute. Add all liquids and stir fry another minute.

4. Add rice and stir around until everything is mixed together. Add nuts. Adjust sauce levels so that everything gets covered well. Might want to take off heat at this point so that rice doesn't stick to pan.

5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds once in bowls.

Dinner in 15 minutes, start to finish!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday slow-down

Today seemed much more relaxed than yesterday, though I still seemed to achieve a lot, oh and Im quitting early!

I did not feel like cycling, so I did skip that, which gave me an extra two hours. Oh and I didnt sleep in since Danny and Timmy came home at 830am, so I got up and talked to them before they went to sleep!

Mostly spent the day weeding in the back, though I did manage to make 2 zucchini bread loaves and two rosemary garlic focaccia, which look irresistible! Im quitting now, at 4pm, to chill with my book for an hour or so. I would work some more in the garden, but I split a chili with my finger nails earlier to put in the bread for some kick and now my fingers are really sore! Wimp, I know.

Zucchini Bread
2 tea loaves or reduce baking time and use mini-loaf pans and give as gifts

2-2 1/2 c shredded zucchini, 2 medium zucs
3 c flour
1 3/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg and powdered ginger
3/4 c apple sauce
2-3 eggs, depending on size
2 tbs ground flax
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tbs vanilla
1 c raisins
1 c walnuts
1 c multi-grain cereal (oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds etc)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two loaf pans with oil.

2. Combine egg, oil, apple sauce, vanilla and flax and whisk.

3. Gradually add spices and sugar, continually whisking. Fold in flour and multi-grain cereal.

4. Mix in zucchini, raisins and nuts.

5. Distribute mixture evenly between loaf pans. Bake 1 hr 5 mins.
Cool in pans

This is a great breakfast when smeared with cream cheese! It freezes fantastically; I usually chose to slice then freeze. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Salsa Queen

Well, I kinda disobeyed my promise. Not Kinda, I did. I promised to make another (better) tomato soup today, but I haven't. I thought there was not much point since I have a delicious looking one made by she who is formerly known as Ms. Ermin, so I thought I would eat that later. Instead I made salsa with my 10 lbs of tomatoes from the farmers market. Ive provided the recipe below, before I forget it! It might just be the best salsa to date. I was rather worried about making salsa since I didnt write the recipe down last year, but it worked out wonderfully, with some minor tweaking, so I thoroughly recommend it. I would also like to point out that the whole process took just 2 hours, compared to last year when each batch of salsa would take me an entire afternoon. The reason why, now I have a fantastic food processor. So please, if you dont have one, make sure you put it on your birthday list (thats how I got mine!) it has saved me hours and hours of tedious chopping and shredding this harvesting season. I have the largest Kitchen Aid food processor there is, and I recommend it to everyone!

Before you get distressed that I used a canned good in my salsa, I have not done this before but was worried about my onion to tomato ratio, if you dont want to use anything canned (as I usually dont) then please half the amount of onions suggested. Last year I did not use hot peppers, but I have tons from Summer's Grandfathers pepper plant so I thought I'd throw them in! Summer lovingly grew it from a seed from one of his peppers and gave that seedling to me, so now I lovingly feed and water it each year, its like a little bush now!

Awesomeness Fresh Tomato Salsa

Approximately 10 lbs fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 large onions
2 green bell peppers
6 cloves of garlic (increase or decrease depending on your tastes)
3 hot peppers (optional and amount negotiable!)
1/2 c dried Parsley ( if you want to use fresh, you will just have to use twice as much)
Lemon juice
Lime juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
6oz can of tomato paste
Black Pepper

1. Place jars and lids in water bath canner and fill with water until jars are covered. Set on highest temperature, your aim is to boil the jars at least 10 minutes before filling and it takes a really long time to boil that much water!

2. Skin the tomatoes; if you want to blanch them, thats fine, but I find that takes forever and this method is much more time efficient.
Cut all tomatoes in half, through stem. Place cut side down on baking dish and grill (English), broil (American), for 8 minutes. Tops of tomato skins should turn black. Remove tomatoes from tray and fill tray with next lot of tomato halves. When tomatoes have cooled, skins should peel off easily.

3. Remove outer layer from onions and inner layer of bell peppers, chop into quarters. Using shredder applicator of food processor, shred onions and green peppers in a matter of seconds. Failing this, spend the next 15 minutes chopping the onions and peppers into little tiny pieces. Place in large, heavy bottom saucepan.

4. Remove skins from garlic cloves and seeds from hot peppers and whiz around food processor with blade applicator. Failing this, don rubber gloves and chop garlic and hot peppers into little tiny pieces. Add to saucepan with onions and green peppers.

5. Place skinned tomato halves in food processor a few at a time and pulse with blade. Failing this, chop tomatoes into small cubes and get tomato juice all of you, your work surface and the floor. Dont worry, the dogs will probably lick it up. Add to saucepan.

Time to date, if you have a food processor: 30-45 minutes
Time to date, if you do not have a food processor: 1.5-2 hours
Go buy a food processor!

6. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan. By now you are probably cursing me for forgetting to type how much of all the liquids and spices I used. Well I didn't exactly forgot to type it in, I just forgot to pay attention to how much I used. So here are some estimates, but just remember that you should keep a bag of chips handy at all times for continual taste testing!
1/2 c lime juice
1/2-1 c lemon juice (concentrate)
1 c apple cider vinegar

I shook the tub of salt over the pan three times distributing salt, maybe adding a tablespoon or so each time.
2 tbs black pepper, although this is definitely a preference thing
2 tbs cumin, but that really is a guess, sorry!

Bring to the boil and simmer. The length of time you simmer will depend on a) how thick you want your salsa b) how much tweaking of spice and liquid quantities you have to do and c) how much time you spend eating it out of the pan! I would say I probably simmered it about 20-30 minutes from start to finish, but I added the tomatoes a bit at a time as I whizzed them round my hand-dandy food processor! Shame Im not sponsored by Kitchen Aid really, although I totally could be, I love their products!

Since it was really hot, we ended up putting a spoonful into a bowl and letting it cool down before we could taste it, which is probably why I simmered it so long. That and I was doing the washing up in between so that there wouldn't be that much mess at the end!

7. Having boiled jars and lids for at least 10 minutes, remove from water bath canner and stand mouth side down for a minute to make sure all of the water is out. Then put 1/2 to 1 tsp of lemon juice in each jar. Fill jars with salsa, leaving at least 0.5 inches head room (I probably left a little more than this). Wipe jar mouth clean and firmly place lids on jars. Immerse jars in water bath canner ensuring 2 inches of water above jars (its ok to lay them down if you have room and dont want to use as much water). Boil for 40 minutes.

8. Remove jars of salsa from canner and check seals. Leave to cool, returning to check they have all 'popped'. If not, this just means you have some eating to do! Salsa in jars that have not popped need to be refrigerated (when cool) and eaten within the week. Label them up and put them in the pantry for your next party!

Since I have a fantastic food processor, I was not making salsa all day! I also walked my dogs at 630am, went to the farmers market for a mooch around (didnt really need any food since we go away next weekend). Went for tea with my girlies. Did the grocery shopping. Picked up my dry cleaning that I dropped off in June and forgot about. Went to the pool with my wonderful husband, read my book and swam 30 laps. Got ice cream at Sonic. Shaved the dogs, again. Cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floor. You know you have a sad existence when the highlight of your saturday night is changing out the mop head for a new one. c'est la vie.

So that was my saturday!

I have been wondering lately, why I have been so incredibly tired. But when you write down everything you do in a day and it takes an entire paragraph to include achievements prior to 7pm, I suppose its no wonder that you might be exhausted on a regular basis!

My most handsome husband is out shooting a wedding this evening and is then taking himself off 'to the boats', which translates into, "Im going to go waste a bunch of money at a casino". The conversation was rather funny actually:
"Honey, Timmy says Amanda wants to go to the casinos for her birthday tonight"
"Yes dear, why are you telling me this?"
"Well, what do you think?"
"Let me ask you this; will you be able to have a good time without me? Will you feel like Im abandoning you if I don't come? Is it rude for me not to come out for Amanda's birthday?"
"Well, I could probably have fun if you weren't there, even though Id like it if you were, and no, I don't think it would be rude for you not to come. But would you mind terribly if I did go without you?"
"My love, you will be leaving town at 10pm, arriving at the casinos close to midnight, I will stand behind you not speaking to you, since you will be focusing on the card game, you will be increasingly aware of my tired eyes despite me not showing you how tired I really am, and eventually you will feel so guilty that we will come home, even though you will want to stay. The alternative to that is that I sit here and watch tv, do a little ironing or crocheting and go to bed around 10pm. Which do you think sounds like my preferred option!?"

Needless to say, Im going to have a wonderful night in with the pups and go to bed early! Then Ill probably get up early and go out on my bike whilst he sleeps of his sleep hangover! I think Ill be waking him up by 1pm though, mark my words!

How Bolddid your tomato soup making antics go?
Have you an answer to the question; what is the difference between marinara and tomato soup?

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Resurrection of Friday Night Date Night (for one week at least!)

Its so hard to find time to spend together when life and responsibilities take over. To combat this we used to do Happy Tuesday, where you celebrate the other person on Tuesday with a gift, a card, a special meal, lunch out etc and with Friday Night Date Night. They have both fallen by the wayside of late, mostly because we have been away on so many fieldtrips that we havent been in the same town, or sometimes even the same country, to do nice things for each other. This week was different... we spent last week recovering from our respective trips and we will probably be spending next week getting ready for the next ones, but this week was fair game. Monday we discussed our future, tuesday we listened to music and read our books, wednesday Danny did some Captured stuff and I made bread, thursday was the all important Fantasy Football Draft and tonight, well, tonight we are going on a good old fashioned date! We will be eating roasted butternut squash and fig pasta at home and then going into town to get the scrumptious Belgian Chocolate Bread Pudding at the Downtown Grill. Then I will hopefully kick Danny's bee-hind at Canaster (a card game, yeah ok, we are old!). Im so very excited!

Some might say good karma, others might say I am just really lucky to have wonderful people in my life, because today lots of people did nice things for me! My friend bought me a beautiful little footstool as a thank you for looking after her dog next week, a great gift gift since I cant reach the top-shelf in our lovely grownup new closet. Then a gentleman at work named Sam Testa, whom I gave a couple of cupcakes too yesterday and made some bread for, brought me in some dried figs from his tree and Yavuz brought me a big bowl of tomato soup that his gorgeous new wife made! Im going to save it for my dinner tomorrow night! What amazing people I have around me, such kindness all in one day! Thanks guys.

Im going to try making a new tomato soup saturday hopefully, and I promise to put more effort into it this time. I hope you have been perfecting yours! Please post your recipes!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Easy weeknight dinners

I love running, I love that time alone, the pounding of your feet, listening to pumping music for an hour, being alone with ones thoughts or without any thoughts at all, but gees, running does something to my body that no other exercise can do! I am so exhausted today after a 6 mile run yesterday, having not run in a while! I had a wonderful evening of laundry and ironing ahead of me. I wanted to re-hem my linen pants too. But instead I came home from work a little early and laid on the futon. Couldnt sleep because all I could think about was eating so got up and had a piece of avocado on bread then tried laying down again. I was out cold until just now when the dogs got up because Danny came home, almost three hours after he left! Needless to say, Im not a napper, so now I feel all groggy and am even less inspired to do my ironing and chores than before. Another night will go by that Im not organising stuff. ugh. Danny says thats what the weekend is for, but I dont want to be doing this stuff on my weekend, I want to be going to the farmers market and weeding and canning salsa. I guess Ill just have to squeeze in laundry and dusting too, somehow!

We have had some good dinners this week, and quick to prepare...

Monday I made this mammoth sandwich. If you and your significant other like different fillings you could try what I do - make all the different sandwich fillings and set them on a plate, just providing the bread! We used this amazing french country bread I made at the weekend as a starting point. I would give you the recipe, but it was such a mission, Im pretty sure none of you would try making it, so Ill save myself the typing! Our topping options were herbed chicken, avocado, roasted red bell pepper, dry pan-friend zucchini and tomato slices, marinated artichoke hearts, marinara sauce, pesto and cheese (cheddar and mozzy). Since I had everything except pesto and cheese, my sandwich was aout 4 inches tall! I took three full bites before it fell apart onto my plate! But never panic, I ate it as two halves, a roasted vegetable marinara half and an avocado chicken half! Still delicious! Danny somehow kept his together til the end.

Tuesday I made Cookbooks 101 Summer Squash Gratin with a slight modification - I used sweet potatoes for half the potatoes. I actually sliced the squash all up sunday with the food processor, and tossed in it lemon juice so when it came to cooking tuesday night, all I did was blend the fresh herbs and toss it all with cheese (I used feta) and the potatoes, pour it in to the baking dish and top with french country bread cubes. This was accompanied with home grown greens beans and pork chops (not home reared!).

Wednesday I made an attempt at tomato soup with grilled cheeses (actually used up the last of the french country bread which was rather hard by now, but decent if sprayed with some olive oil, filled with cheese and squished in the George Foreman Grill - the perfect, evenly cooked grilled cheese). My tomato soup was less than perfect and in fact, according to Danny resembled marinara sauce more than soup. I skinned some tomatoes, I used all different coloured hierlooms, because thats what I had. I sauted some onions, garlic and fresh oregano and parsley, added the tomatoes having blended them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, red wine, balsamic vinegar and a tiny dash of hot sauce. A totally unplanned additive was a cup of shredded zucchini because I ended up having to shred another one for my cupcakes and had some left over. I thought it was yummy, would have been better blended more but my blender has a crack in it so I avoid using it. Still trying to decide if I want to replace it with another cheapy one or get the super impressive one Meg has.

So this leads me to the question:

What is the difference between marinara sauce and tomato soup?

Please help me out with this seemingly unanswerable problem.

Tonight I am not cooking. I havent the energy. Left over gratin sounds pretty darn good right now, for my second dinner of the day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My lesson with frozen shredded zucchini

So remember ages ago I said that I had heard that shredding and freezing zucchini is more space efficient than making zucchini bread and freezing that? Well I decided that I didn't want to keep freezing bags and bags of shredded zucchini without knowing how it would work out for baking. So this afternoon I decided to make some ginger zucchini cupcakes. Because I decided this at work this afternoon, there was no time to come home and defrost the zucchini, but I thought it would work out if I put the bag in a bowl of hot water. Well, no, that didn't work. So I emptied the block of icky green stuff into a colander and poured two kettles of boiling water over it before it was fully defrosted. Then I had to squeeze all of the water out of the zucchini. By the time I had done this, my two cups of zucchini was reduced to one cup. Save going through the whole mess again, I just shredded a fresh zucchini.

The end result is pretty delicious!

Lessons learned from using shredded frozen zucchini:
1. when bagging up, a sandwich sized bag filled to the brim is two fresh cups of zucchini
2. defrosting takes a long time so remember to take out the veg in the morning
3. squeeze really well to get all of the water out
4. you will need to use two sandwich size bags to get two cups of zucchini (a quantity most recipes ask for)

I had forgotten how much I loved these cupcakes!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tomato Throwdown!

A challenge is being set, ladies (and possibly gentlemen!). Should you chose to accept this challenge, you might win the respect of your peers!

Who has the best fresh tomato soup recipe of them all!?

I will be making my attempt on Saturday while Danny is at a wedding, since he wont eat tomato soup and that would just frustrate me. You have all week to think about your recipe, taste it, improve it and share it with us! Its ok it you buy the tomatoes, not everyone has the right environment for tomato growing, but they must be fresh, not canned!

I cant wait to try making your recipe!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday evening happiness

Mr. and Mrs. Ozeren.

I got to dance with the groom!

And a brief dance with the wedding photographer!

Surprisingly my food went down a treat... thankfully.

It was a lovely wedding with all those close to Yavuz and Kevser present. Then we all met up at Roosters on the square and had a drink with the happy couple and their friends on the balcony.

Have a happy married life!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday morning sadness

Thursday night, Danny organised a bachelor party for our good friend Yavuz Ozeron, who gets married today. He and his brother did a pretty good job of sneaking into the house quietly at about 1am but you cant really sneak anywhere when you have two protective dogs. So needless to say, I didnt get a full nights rest thursday. If you were considering robbing us during the night, you may wish to consider as your presence will not go unnoticed. I still managed to get up at 6am and walk the dogs as usual though. I think there would have been a riot had I not succeeded in this morning activity!

After an exceedingly boring day at work friday, we took Danny's family out to Texas de Brazil in downtown Memphis as a thank you for sitting our dogs so often whilst we are away. I think they were pretty blown away by the delicious salad bar and incredible amounts of meat offered. We then went to see the latest Harry Potter, which I have to say, I wasnt all that impressed with. Too much teenage drama, which just bores me and perhaps even aggravates me. So we didnt get to bed til 2am last night. So for the first time in a long time, I did not enjoy grocery shopping this morning. Shock horror, I know. Its usually my favourite activity of the week, although I am away that its a sad past time to have. Im somewhat tired and grumpy, so perhaps best to avoid me today! At least until I get a full nights sleep! I enjoyed the Farmers Market with my girl friends and picked up some figs, but alas no butternut squash this week. I ordered my Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, which is a weight off my mind! This brings me to the title of this post... the reason I am sad this saturday morning is that my favourite blueberry stand had its last batch of blueberries this weekend. ah. So I bought 3 large cartons, two of which I put up in the freezer for those rough months when I can not see the end to the winter dreariness in sight!

Today I am honored to be making the vegetarian food for the union of Yavuz and Kevser. I am going to make a lime peanut coleslaw, Veganomicon's Corn Edamame salad and hopefully a garden fresh cucumber tomato salad with all my different colour tomatoes! I hope to squeeze in a little gardening and save enough time to wash up for the wedding at 6pm.

Corn and Edamame Salad
(great for lunches)
2 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce

2c frozen, shelled edamame
1c fresh or partially thawed frozen corn
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
generous pinch of salt

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile. whisk the dressing ingredients.
Boil edamame for 3 minutes. Add corn and boil another 2 minutes. Drain into a colander and run under cold water until cool enough to touch. Add the corn and edamame to the dressing and toss to combine. Add the sesame seeds and toss again. Salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes.

Tomato Cucumber salad
Fresh tomatoes (never place fresh tomatoes in the fridge), sliced
Cucumbers, sliced
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil

Place sliced veggies in rows on a square plate or concentric circles on a round plate - presentation is everything! Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs and salt and pepper. Simple yet visual spectacular and oh so tasty!

OH! Its raining!