Tomato Salad

Who knew summer could be so exhausting?   It's been a lot of fun -- especially this weekend, but I feel like I've have barely done anything at all, at least in school standards.  However, I found a kitchen for next year!  Well, I found a room too, but who cares about anything but the kitchen?  Ok, well, maybe the kitchen isn't the most important part, but still.
A few weeks ago, I discovered really cool colored cherry tomatoes at the little grocery store in the center of town.  I've never seen them at a bigger grocery store around here, but they had them at the tiny, small town grocery store.  From the day I saw them, I knew I needed to make salad with them.  And it's been at work in my mind since then.
I love the combination of basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella, and I love balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  I was actually toying with the idea of actually using balsamic vinegar, but I decided vinaigrette was a better idea.  I have just realized this summer how much I like balsamic anything -- especially strawberries and tomatoes.  This weekend I had chicken with balsamic vinegar and strawberry slices.  Yum.
Tomato Salad

1 1/2 - 2 pints cherry tomatoes (colored, if possible!)
6 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls (or chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped into strips
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.  Toss the mozzarella, basil and tomatoes in a salad bowl.  Drizzle with vinaigrette to taste.

Now I have made my salad, and I can stop imagining it every time I go into the grocery store.  Or, maybe I can't.  But I know it was good.
I also made beef stroganoff in the crockpot tonight.  It was really simple -- it was cubed beef, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some fresh chopped parsley that cooked in the crockpot on low for about 7 hours.  I then added a cup of sour cream.
And it left something to be desired.  Mom and I have decided that first and foremost, it needs some corn starch to thicken it.  Secondly, it needs some salt, and third, it just really needs mushrooms.  Sorry, dad, but it just needs some veggies.
I love summer.  I love eating on the porch.  I love watching fireflies at night.  


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