Today was beautiful (actually still is delightful). Today I really felt inspired and shifted in my perspective of things in quite a long while. Thank you god! The past couple weeks have been a bit stressful, including travel for things not pleasant, and a whole lot of tension in the apartment due to work, obligations and just transitions in general. However this morning I felt started on a fresh foot. Getting to sleep in late was helpful and that was followed with a beautiful kayak trip along the Hudson River, and a short yet fulfilling trip to the Farmer’s Market to boot.
As I enjoyed my first morning of enjoyment in several days I began to realize how setting, intention, vision and collaboration are all things that I pay close attention to in my daily life. It is why I am a photographer and very visual person. It is also why I can/and try to make most every thing I do into an experience.
Life can be experienced in many ways and one way is to enjoy your surroundings, making the best of all things that surround you and then you can kick in and begin to combine, create and collaborate things together to make the experience memorable, noticeable and with intention. Its that moment of trying to get your keys out of your bag while balancing five other things in frustration and then looking up and seeing a beautiful butterfly land on your car moments that can shift you. Grab you out of your usual daily grind and create something different for you to experience. There are moments like this always.
Cutting ripe cherry tomatoes with a paring knife, watching the skin burst and watching the fresh juice drip down my arm.
Noticing the water droplets form and settle on the vegetables after being washed
Receiving the warmest smile and wave from toddler at the farmers’ market
Not everything comes together like this. We all get caught up in the “life” stuff. It’s human, but sometimes a little inspiration can create your surroundings into something spectacular like fresh tomato and cheese tartines.
This afternoon at the Farmer’s Market the tomatoes that I saw sitting in the sun were just about perfect; sun-ripened, bright red with a light fur that caught the sun. They were mine. A fresh ball of mozzarella later and I was in business. Recently I had discovered Beatrice… and her blog La Tartine Gourmande. Beatrice Peltre is a French/American blogger, food photographer and cookbook writer based in Boston. She is inspiring and everything that I hope to accomplish someday. She is influenced greatly by French cooking, so you can see where I am going with this. My time living and cooking in France was just wonderful. After returning home from that adventure I was taken in a completely knew direction and had gained a completely new perspective on vision, intention, setting and creativity surrounding food. Thank you France! Anyways, Beatrice shared a recipe for tartines with Martha Stewart that was to die for, so I was in.
The previous evening my fellow foodie friend discussed how traditional mozzarella buffalo balls and cherry tomato skewers were so blasé and not that great. Honestly I had to agree. With the ingredients in front of me I didn’t want to end up making some lame mozzarella and tomatoes salad so I took a conscious turn for the best. I was to make “not another lame” tomato and mozzarella salad. With this intention and vision in mind and the remnants of tasty tartines on my mind, I got to work. (tartines by the way are a French version of open-faced sandwiches). I was determined to use these lush tomatoes and fresh cheese in a new twisted way. Hence became my recipe for the best tartine sandwich I have tasted and a new way to experience tomatoes and mozzarella, as well as a new way to see things, a different combination of things with a new intention and a new creation.
Enjoy and bon appétit.
Recipe for “Twisted” Mozzarella and tomato salad:
1 pint of fresh local cherry tomatoes
1 small handful fresh cilantro
1 small bunch of fresh basil
1/2 large ball fresh mozzarella
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fresh snap peas
1 medium shallot
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine tomatoes, cilantro and basil, lightly dust with salt and pepper and let sit. If you need to drain out the extra juice from the tomatoes, no worries just make sure you save it as it is quite delicious. Then add chopped mozzarella, fresh shallots and snap peas. Gently toss and add olive oil.
On your choice of toast, ( I used a locally made peasant olive bread) lightly brush with olive oil and toast till crispy. Then add arugula pesto and top with salad. Then savor and enjoy!