Thursday, November 4, 2010

Helping the Homeless and Hungry

Here are the angels packing up the boxes of food that are going to help the hungry families right here in Orange County.  Our church is so wonderful in its ministries to help the poor and needy.  Being that our family's mission is the same, we of course had to share in this donation.  Every time we encounter a volunteer outside of a store asking for donations, both of my children light up with eagerness and determination to help.  "Mommy, we have to give to that!", squeals Giovanni, to which Sophia responds, "Yes, Mommy, we absolutely do!"  I am confident that this blog project has achieved its initial objective of raising their awareness, and is now venturing on into the world of active giving.  I planted the seed, it sprouted, and is growing more and more each day.  I couldn't be more proud, and I couldn't be more honored to watch my children unfold into the generous charitable souls that they were intended to be.

I know that I have not had too many vegetarian recipes on here, so here is an AWESOME one...great for a party buffet.  This is published in the "THE BEST OF fine cooking FRESH & QUICK 2010"; No. 37.

tomato salad with feta, olives, and mint

6 oz. feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt
1/2 lb. cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice
1/2 lb. bite-size tomatoes in assorted colors, halved
1/2 cup Nicoise or Kalmata olives (about 15), pitted and halved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Crumble the feta into a small bowl.  Add the chopped mint and toss; set aside.
Season the tomato slices with salt and then arrange them, overlapping slightly, on a serving platter.  Sprinkle the cucumber over the tomato slices.  Season the bite-size tomatoes with salt and scatter them over the cucumber.  Sprinkle the olives on top.
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. 
To serve, scatter the feta over the salad, garnish with the mint sprigs, and serve immediately.
Serves 6.

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