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Hi.

Vanessa here. The over-caffeinated cat lady in black behind girlfriendtoast.com. Welcome to my little space on the internet where I post about food, clothes, wellness and the like. <3

a veggie-filled picnic

a veggie-filled picnic

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I love picnics but I'm also such a homebody (and it's been so hot in Portland lately that I honestly haven't wanted to be outside for long periods of time). There's an obvious solution for this hermit who loves a picnic--a good old fashioned indoor picnic. This setup takes me back to indoor tea parties with my friends growing up. I'd sift through the linen closet for the perfect blanket, plate some snacks, and serve everyone with my mom's real china (I was way beyond the plastic tea set). The nostalgic picnic feels are real, but this meal is much more grown up. These are just a few random recipes I whipped up that wouldn't necessarily go together but they were delicious all the same. There are no rules anyway, right? Feel free to mix and match for your own personal floor picnic adventure. 

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French Inspired Salmon Salad
Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 

For the Salad: 
3 cups of torn butter lettuce (or lettuce of choice) 
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1/4 pound smoked salmon (just a few slices)

For the Dressing: 
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
1. Prepare salad ingredients and toss together on a bowl or in a plate. 
2. Make dressing by combining olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, and salt + pepper
3. Drizzle over or toss into your salad and serve immediately. 


Veggie Rice Bowl
Serves 4

Ingredients: 

For the Bowl: 
1 cup rice of choice
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bell pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup carrots
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

For the Dressing: 
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions: 
1. Cook the rice according to the instructions and set aside to cool. 
2. 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
3. Chop carrots into small pieces and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they become tender and brown on the edges. 
4. Chop tomatoes and bell pepper into fine small pieces to match the carrots. 
6. Prepare the dressing by placing all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisking to combine. 
7. Mix the rice together with your beans and veggies and toss with the dressing. Top with chopped cilantro and quickly stir once more.  Plate with avocado, and another spritz of lime! 


The Best Lemon-y Hummus
Makes ~8 Servings

Ingredients: 
2 cups chickpeas (I used canned but you can cook your own too) 
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Peel garlic cloves and place on a parchment lined baking sheet with a tiny bit of olive oil. 
3. Place on the middle rack in the oven and roast your garlic until it begins to brown and you can smell the garlic-y goodness (about 8-10 minutes). 
4. In the meantime, rinse and drain your chickpeas, pour them into your food processor and add the olive oil and tahini. 
5. Juice your lemons to make 1/2 cup lemon juice and add that to the food processor as well. Once the garlic has roasted, place in the food processor and begin to pulse all of the ingredients together. 
6. Once you get things going, set your food processor to high and run for approximately 1-2 minutes to create as smooth and creamy consistency. 
7. Add salt and pepper to taste (as well as more lemon juice if you like!) and pulse once more until fully incorporated. Pour into a serving dish, top with more olive oil and a sprinkling of cumin and/or lemon zest. Serve with freshly chopped veggie sticks (or pretty much anything for that matter) and enjoy this beautiful feast. 

I'm listening to Leap Year by Maria Taylor. 

fresh breath puppy mints

fresh breath puppy mints

peach season

peach season