Food Fridays: Arugula, Prosciutto, & Strawberries

Note: I’m spending so much time in the kitchen these days (to my great pleasure, because I love food and making food, and it forces me to spend time NOT holding the baby) I thought I’d share some successful recipes here every Friday.

Spring is here! Never in my life have I noticed how quickly and beautifully plants bloom until now, while hanging around home with the baby day in and day out. We’ve got a bed of arugula outside that’s growing in every direction, and not picking it daily would be a sin. 

So in light of the new season and the rampant arugula, I whipped up a light lunchtime arugula salad adapted from  this recipe. I’m excited to see spring, but I’m secretly hoping summer would arrive because I spent last summer so pregnant and swollen I could barely bring myself to the refrigerator. Given that the original recipe was intended for fresh summertime figs, I replaced the figs with more accessible strawberries (yum!) While arugula is known for its peppery flavor, the prosciutto adds salty depth and complements the light tanginess of the strawberries. I ate this salad over an hour ago and I’m still satisfied – which is a good sign in my book. 

Image taken w/ Samsung Galaxy S4 Mobile, edited w/ VSCO Cam preset A6
 
Salad:
1/2 lb arugula, about 2 bunches
6 medium strawberries
6 slices of prosciutto
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 

Dressing: 
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
dash of freshly ground pepper
In a tightly closed jar or container, mix all the dressing ingredients together and shake it like a polaroid picture. Some prefer to whisk dressing ingredients together, which you can also do. 
Over washed and stemmed arugula, thinly slice strawberries lengthwise. Trim fat off prosciutto if desired, and gently tear each slice in 2 or 3 pieces. Add thin slices of a shallot, toss together and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over salad to your liking. Serves 6.

Happy Friday, and Happy Eats!
 

Teeth and Mobility

One moment, she’s scootering around with her newfound awareness of upper body strength, and the next, she’s got a hole in her gums where we’re impatiently awaiting the first pearly white to emerge. Keep posted, we’ll post a picture when it finally makes an appearance!

I am FLOORED by how fast things are moving along in the land of the Jojo right now. Keep in mind, development isn’t always this lightning fast – I’ve been muttering mama in her ears since day 1 and she can still only manage to blab dada-dada-dada-da, much to Chris’s delight. 

We’re excited to see what else is in store for us!

As an aside, Chris and I have finally jumped on the VSCO Cam game, he on the iOS and I on the Droid. Don’t mind our beginner mobile photography.

Free LA: Playa del Rey Beach

Okay, I know I’ve been open about how much I love the Bay Area more than Los Angeles, but let’s not kid ourselves, SoCal beaches are pretty nice. The fifteen minutes it takes to drive over to a beach here in LA trumps the hour or two through windy roads it usually takes to get to Stinson in the Bay (which is still tremendously beautiful).

I used to wait for a sweltering hot day in July or August to drive out to Stinson beach with my body board in tow to catch a few waves. Even then, the water’s stabbing cold temperature crept up on me like pins and needles, but I knew it wouldn’t get any warmer and I just had to dive in. Here, I’ve been to the beaches numerous times in the middle of January “winter” and I have nothing to complain about. The water is still a little chilly, but to be able to enjoy the beach in a tank top and shorts before spring is more than I can really ask for when I have friends across the country enduring a polar vortex.



So here’s to another FREE activity, going to the beach. My personal favorite is Playa Del Rey, a relatively secluded beach with beautiful homes nestled against the shore. There’s free street parking and cheap lot parking nearby, and a wide bike and foot path if you want to soak up the sun and sea smells without enduring the sand between your toes.

I’ve taken Jojo here a few times, but this past weekend was the first time she ventured into the sand. Chris let the water creep on her toes, and she was quite shocked at the chilly sensation she’s never experienced before. She wasn’t exactly happy. One day she’ll come to realize the endless fun that ensues when water and sand collaborate to make castles. Until then, we’re going to have to keep acquainting her with the numerous beaches Socal has to offer.