What a busy weekend it was! I was up in all parts of Northern Virginia this weekend to celebrate my best friends bridal shower, which took us from Reston to Purcellville to Leebsurg and back. We had a lovely time celebrating her upcoming nuptials with her FMIL, MOB and other family and friends. I fell in love with her FMIL’s dog, Rocky, and everyone should consider it just short of a miracle that the dog did not come home with me. After all the festivities, we went and got German food (my biffle is a huge Germany person, especially after studying abroad in Berlin) and she exposed me to the Donner Box. Genius creation and something worth driving all the way back up to Leesburg, for. Or you know, going to Germany to try.

After driving all over creation (or just Northern Virginia), I drove down to Charlottesville to meet up with Will to watch the game. While I love my best friend, I did not feel it was safe to be in her presence in case Germany did not win the final match of the World Cup (sorry, dear). So Will and I determined Charlottesville was halfway from N.Va and Blacksburg, so we found a pub and settled in. It was exciting to see him and the excitement in the bar over the game, was just right. We were happy to see Germany finally win a well-deserved World Cup final game. It was intense and well-matched, which is always wonderful to see at the end of the tournament. And after all that excitement, I came back home and hunkered down with the monsters (aka the kitties). A spider kill and a beeping smoke detector topped off the weekend and now we’re on to the regular workweek.

Tying this all together, this recipe is great to make after a busy weekend like the one I just described. A few weeks ago, I had a similar all-over-the-place weekend and this is what I whipped up late on that Sunday night. Because you just toss it all in the blender, it makes this easier than pie (why is that a saying? Pie is time-consuming). The bread took more time and I prepped the dough and actually baked it the next day. Overall, I liked the gazpacho, though it is a smidgen tart and I do recommend eating it with a bread. The bread was fantastic and you should eat it every day of your life, it that was healthy. Check these out!

 

Zucchini Gazpacho (adapted from Real Simple magazine; serves 6-8)
1 bulb spring onions
2 cucumbers
1 giant zucchini
1 yellow squash
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup basil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
S&P, to taste


Puree spring onions, cucumbers, zucchini, olive oil, basil and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Add 1/2 cup yogurt and S&P and pulse to combine. Serve topped with additional yogurt, torn basil, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!

Herbed Cheese Wheat Bread (serves 6)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup shredded cheese, your choice
A handful of large basil leaves, fresh
Several sprigs fresh oregano

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, cheese and chopped/destemmed/washed herbs. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours (preferably overnight). When the mixture is ready, heat the oven to 450 degrees. When it has reached 450, place a cast iron pot or Dutch oven in the oven and heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack and let cool. Wrap in a tea towel to keep and enjoy when ready to eat!

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