Sometimes life just has to center around what you enjoy the very most. Not work. Not stress. Not working out. Not finances. Not relationships. Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy life. Tres would say I do this quite too often, which I find very healthy but he doesn't think it's the most natural.
Here's the conclusion I've come to: stress and worrying turns to an unhealthy lifestyle and can eventually lead to death so why let it happen in your life? Before I was a full-time chef/blogger, I was in pharmaceutical sales. I sold 8 different drugs for 6 different types of disease states, some that eventually cause death. Guess how many of those diseases/conditions can be caused by stress? Every. Single. One. I know it's easier said than done but... Please, stop the stress! It's not worth your life and quite frankly, not worth your time. Your time on this earth should be spent having fun!
My ideal day of leisure is sitting on a sunny patio with Tres or surrounded by my favorite people with a bottle of wine (or champagne) and a fresh, in-season dish or cheese plate at the center of the table between us chatting, laughing, and soaking it all in. That's what I enjoy most. Sometimes in these actual scenarios, I literally stop, close my eyes and breathe it all in because that's how much I love life. Panzanella salad remind me of days like this because it's Italian and "taking it all in" is something Italians do daily. Europeans statistically live longer than Americans, and I'm convinced this is why. Don't ever take for granted what you enjoy the most. Do it often. And stop stressing.
Grocery list (4 folks):
- 3 tbsp, plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and more for drizzling
- 1 small loaf French bread - cubed
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 2 large firm heirloom tomatoes - cubed
- 2 blood oranges - peeled and segmented
- 1 large naval orange - peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup basil - roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Toss in the bread and a sprinke of salt and pepper. Stir and flip until bread is browned and toasty on all sides. Set aside.
2. To a large bowl, add the tomatoes, blood orange segments, orange segments, and basil. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of salt and stir together.
3. In a small bowl, squeeze about 2 tbsp of the leftover juice from the blood orange and orange. Add the red wine vinegar, honey, and remaining olive oil and whisk together. Add the bread cubes to the tomato mixture, pour the dressing over, and toss together. When serving, drizzle with more olive oil and top with more basil leaves.
CHEERS TO HAPPY EATING!!!