Tomato Gazpacho with Pickled Onions and Parsley Oil

Isn’t it great how some of the most enjoyable foods are the simplest?  A scrumptious garden tomato with a simple sprinkling of salt is a delicious gift.

So simple.

I made my case for peaches being one of the greatest foods of summer, but tomatoes are right up there too.  The kids and I had an opportunity this past weekend to pick at a local farm here in San Diego, Suzie’s Farm.  We’ve done many farm tours there for school and we love being able to pick baskets and baskets of produce goodness.  The Best.  When summer fruits and veggies are at their peak, very little needs to be done to improve upon them.  God created a tomato or a pepper to go from incredibly sour and inedible, to juicy and sweet in just a few days, thanks to that glorious summer sun.

What a fantastic overseer and gardener God is.

Thank you, God, for tomatoes.

I think gazpacho is a such an amazing soup. It actually existed way way back in the deep dark corners of the history books.  Maybe it’s just my love of history, but I think it’s pretty cool to eat something like they did in Rome long ago, don’t you think?  It was created to both enjoy the produce of summer but also to eat on a hot day.  Quite simply, it is a tomato-based soup served chilled.  All of the ingredients are thrown into the blender, so no cooking over the stove or turning on the oven for this recipe!  The pickled onions add a little tang and the parsley oil adds some fun flavor and color.

Ok, let’s blend…

Toss all of the gazpacho ingredients in the blender.  Puree for a few minutes or until completely smooth.  Season to your liking.

Pour into bowls.


I find arranging buffet style toppings for meals encourages kids to create their own meals and eventually try things which  would normally cause them to freak out.  Having a small level of control even helps mine to branch out and try new things.

Above, I have hard-boiled eggs, pickled red onions, parsley oil (see below), bruschetta, goat cheese, cucumber, and avocado.  If you had shrimp or crab available, that would be fantastic too!

I also served ours with bread since it is an automatic comfort to my kids when they are eating something with a texture like a soup.  Gazpacho or even tomato soup are delicious with torn pieces of bread in them.


Tomato Gazpacho with Pickled Onions and Parsley Oil

For the gazpacho:

6 regular size tomatoes, preferably heirloom

1  large avocado

1 sweet pepper, any color

1 regular size cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. paprika

1-2 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper, to taste

For the toppings:

pickled onions

avocado, chopped

hard-boiled egg, chopped

fresh bruschetta (chopped tomatoes, dash of olive oil, garlic, salt)

goat cheese, crumbled

cucumber, peeled and chopped

Parsley Oil:

1 c. of fresh parsley

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

salt, to taste

Blanch the parsley for 1 minute in boiling water.  Strain and blend with the olive oil in a blender.  Serve, salt, and refrigerate.

Add all of the gazpacho ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Season to your liking.  Add the toppings and enjoy!

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Pet Pigs

We are a family of  9 now!






Leonard the Pug

Peter, Figueroa, and Woody the guinea pigs! *NEW*

We are 10 if you count the worm family in our compost bin.

11 if you count the rotating lizard or beetle member.

I had guinea pigs growing up, all the way as late as high school.  They were wonderful pets and I was so excited to share these amazing animals with my kids one day.  While my middle and oldest went to Las Vegas with my husband to be with their grandparents while he worked, my youngest and I devised a plan to get some guinea pigs.  I’ve been searching on our local guinea pig rescue site for a solid year and RARELY saw babies.  As you can imagine, when they did appear, they got snatched up.  Frustrating.  I’ve also been checking Craigslist but the rare ones i did find were snatched as well.  So, when I texted the people looking for a home for 3 adorable short-haired baby guinea pigs, I assumed they were gone in 60 seconds.  So, I said a little prayer.  No, I really really did.  I said a prayer for some guinea pigs.

I thought the timing was perfect for these little guys and thankfully, so did God.

A Camping We Will Go

Soooo…we tried a new campsite this year.  As you drive down the 5 South toward San Diego, you will notice a rather obscure campsite off to the right-hand side, near Camp Pendleton.  It’s inconveniently placed near the San Onofre power place.  Yes, those are the ones that are shaped like boobs.  It’s true.  Everyone knows it.  We had driven by this site a lot over the past few years and wondered how good it might be.  You see, this campsite is right next to the beach which is AMAZING, but it’s also right next to the freeway.  Unfortunately, the  closeness to the beach doesn’t remove the noise from the freeway.  I was hoping it would, but it doesn’t.  We still enjoyed a nice few days with some friends and family.  If you plan for some noise, it’s a great place for surfing and boogie-boarding.

Good Times.


Ginger Peach Hand Pies

I’m sharing some delicious ginger and peach hand pies today.  While I was working my way off of vacation, my recipe was posted on Beautifully Rooted.  Go check it out!

Peaches are AMAZING right now.  So, go scoop some up and make something awesome before summer is over.

You know it will happen before you know it.

Slowing Down

Just popping in to say hello to you all.  It’s the last week of summer vacation for us so I am trying to soak it all in.  Only problem, I feel like this week is jammed with event after event.  Actually, I think that is just life in general.  There seems to be a lot of  “stuff” right now.  I feel tugged in a lot of life directions and am just praying for peace.

So hard to choose a direction sometimes.

How do you know when to say no?

Just taking it one day at a time and be confident in the ways God is using me TODAY, without worrying about next week.

Hope your summer has been peaceful, friends!

Can’t wait to be back with you again soon.

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