I’ve returned from a lovely and relaxing weekend spent in Boston with my amazing college friends feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on the week! I took a break from the camera over the weekend, which proved a great decision on my part. While I don’t mind taking pictures in front of people, it really was nice to set the Nikon aside for the weekend and enjoy my meals in good company without constantly whipping out the camera to take pictures of the food. If anything, I feel the photography break over the past couple of days has reinvigorated my photographic energy (for lack of a better term) for the upcoming week!
And honestly, I feel like I’m going to need all the energy I can muster to survive this heatwave that has recently descended upon the Northeast. As I write this, it is a balmy 97 degrees here in Hartford. It’s probably a balmy 100+ degrees in most of my apartment (thank GOD my little room has an air conditioner!).
The extended forecast doesn’t look much better. We’re talking high 90s + high humidity until the end of the work week.
With the temps soaring sky high in my top floor apartment, I picked up some supplies at the grocery store designed to minimize my need to turn on the stove. There’s no need to add any more heat to my kitchen, thank you very much. It’s rather Dante’s Inferno-esque as it is.
The first of the no-cook meal series came tonight in the form of that lovely and refreshing summer soup known as gazpacho.
The particular recipe I followed had a unique spin on the traditional Spanish dish via its inclusion of watermelon!
….Adapted from The Food Network’s recipe
- 1 large tomato, cored
- 1/2 jalapeno
- 2 cups watermelon cubes
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 2 tbsp diced red onion
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro + more for garnish
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt + pepper to taste
- In a blender, add cored tomato, jalapeno, and half of the watermelon. Blend until smooth.
- Then add vinegar, EVOO, cucumber, red onion, cilantro to blender, and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill soup in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove soup from the fridge and add the rest of the watermelon cubes.
- Garnish with cilantro and feta, and enjoy!
This gazpacho was such a unique take on the traditional dish…I loved the way the sweetness of the watermelon complemented the acidity of the tomato and the pungent taste of the feta. It was such a nice combination of flavors.
Perfect for a bazillion degree summer night!
On the side, I enjoyed some whole wheat olive bread….
….and cottage cheese. Gotta get my protein in somewhere, and what better way than in the form of glorious 4% organic cottage cheese? Love that stuff.
All together, my meal looked like this….it was perfect for this toasty evening.
In the exercise department, I ran 3 miles on a dreadmill in a little under 30 minutes this afternoon. I normally hate to run on the treadmill; but when it’s 82 degrees outside at 6 in the morning, that’s a pretty blatant sign that you should take it indoors for safety’s sake.
I relished my treadmill run if only because I was able to enjoy some air conditioning while I was there. It was a beautiful thing.
I hope all of you are faring well with this summer heat, wherever you may be. Dog days of summer indeed!
Question: Have you ever tried gazpacho? Do you love it or hate it?
I used to hate it, but it’s since grown on me. I now appreciate how refreshing it can be on a hot night.