Friday, July 6, 2012

bright and cheery summer salads to eat during a thunderstorm

i'm super lucky to have my laura (and her always entertaining partner ryan) here! we're having a great time doing and sharing items and places of cultural importance.  for the 4th of july, team USA decided to show the swissies what we do for the 4th of july: have a barbecue at the park (with fireworks).  this was a huge cultural hurdle for our swiss friends.  after all,  the swiss, for their independence day on august 1st, have a barbecue at the park (with fireworks).

the fireworks were lacking (which suits me fine because after living in china, well, ive had enough fireworks to last me a lifetime), but mother nature provided a dazzling light show in the summer sky which i found much more rewarding.  as we all gathered at the park, a storm was gathering itself together as well.  we saw the foreboding clouds as we were walking to the park...  gorgeous!

here it comes!
while the grill was warming up, laura and ryan took advantage of the winds to fly a kite!


i threw some peaches on for salad number 1, a delightful combination of greens, grilled peaches, and mozzarella.


the first time i made this salad was for my mom, and the poor woman instantly became hooked.

rest assured, the salad is easy to put together.  when i made it for mom, i used buffalo mozzarella, because it was on sale, but regular ol' mozzarella is still tasty.

assemble your salad greens as desired, throw in grilled peaches, add sliced mozzarella, and done! 

the salad dressing is a combination of balsamic vinegar, mustard of choice, and honey to taste, with a healthy blob of crème fraîche (greek yogurt would be super delicious as well).

laura prepared a potato salad, swiss style (she got the basic recipe from christian's mom), and i made another pot of beans in addition to the salads.
potato salad with corn and chives
my other salad was inspired by what we had laying about: 1 cucumber. and since im a huge fan of quinoa, i decided to throw those two items together.  i mixed in some fresh mint from the balcony, some chopped parsley, and added a good swig of rice vinegar.   laura looked at the salad and said, "hey, why not throw in these apricots?" and i said, ooooOOOoooo, yes.  and i'm glad she made that suggestion.  the salad went from awesome to super! awesome!

laura and i watched the storm approach and very cleverly packed up all that we could, save what was on the barbecue, and waited. we had barely gotten things grilled (the carnivors made a pile of sausage) and on a plate when the skies opened up...

we ran to the covered boat dock not far from where we were situated and continued our picnic, along with others seeking shelter.
dining by candlelight 
lightning storms are amazing here, and especially over the lake.  we had front row seats to a dazzling light show.

bon appétit <3

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