All posts tagged: recipe

Hail Caesar

The absolute best Caesar salad I ever had was in an Italian restaurant at a resort in Acapulco, Mexico. (Huh?!) My brother is my witness. And just because we were starving and eating a 10:00 PM dinner, does not mean we were slippin’ in judgement. Anyone would have been wowed by the table-side, ingredient-by-ingredient preparation that forever raised the bar on a classic.

AarikaHail Caesar
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Protein Bars

I wanted to make healthy treats to deliver to some of my favorite brand contacts in town, so I found this awesome Five-Ingredient Protein Bars recipe from Chew Out Loud. Amy from COL says… “These 5-ingredient Protein Bars are super easy, packed with good nutrition, and perfect for breakfast or snack on the run. Plus, they are a no-bake recipe! This one’s a keeper.”

AarikaProtein Bars
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You gotta love the Real Simple Meals Made Easy cookbook, especially the No-Cook Meals section…

This week, I made my very first panzanella. Panzanella is a Tuscan chopped salad of bread and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. (It’s April, but it’s warm in South Carolina. So, what the heck?)

I made this for lunch (because Joe does not like tomatoes!), and it took hardly any time. I even thought to take picture proof of how pretty it looked – and like the book photo.  🙂

Rating = Simple, indeed. Full of flavor. Go for extra Parm!


1) To enjoy panzanella like an Italian, set aside the prepared dish at room temperature for about an hour before serving to allow bread to absorb tomato juices and vinegar.

2) The recipe on Real Simple’s website DOES call for cooking – drying the bread for 15 minutes in the oven first.


  • 1 loaf day-old wheat or white bread
  • 6 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, shaved


  1. Tear bread into 1-inch pieces, for about 5 cups total.
  2. Place bread in large bowl with tomatoes, onion, olive and basil.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and parsley.
  4. Drizzle vinaigrette over bread mixture and toss.
  5. To serve, plate and top with Parmesan.


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