Living Lite

Springtime Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad

May 7, 2017

I anticipate strawberries all year. And the Farmers Markets are finally brimming with them. The first fruit of the year, strawberries signifiy spring, new beginnings, and everything that's good. There are so many ways of eating strawberries. The simplest is right off the vine! But strawberries can be used very creatively, not only in desserts, but in savory dishes, too. This recipe can be served as a side salad or a main course.

Mike Gardner's Springtime Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad
This is a great salad for a hot day.  Let the strawberries sit long enough to absorb the balsamic vinegar flavor while you take time to catch up with friends and enjoy the summer day.
For the strawberries:
1 pint of ripe strawberries, if they are large, cut them in half
1/2-3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
For the salad:
Baby spinach
Baby arugula
Goat cheese crumbles
1 small red onion, sliced
For the dressing:
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the strawberries by placing them into a bowl and add the vinegar.  Let them sit for a while to absorb the flavor of the vinegar- an hour or better.  This can be done at room temperature.
In a separate bowl. make the dressing by combining the vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Slowly stream in the olive oil, tasting for flavor balance.  If necessary, add additional mustard to taste.
When ready to serve, combine equal parts of baby spinach and arugula.  Add in the sliced red onion, and lightly toss the salad with a small amount of dressing, adding more as necessary slowly dressing the salad as to not drench it all at once.  Add the goat cheese crumbles.  Lastly, plate the salad onto a chilled serving plate.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the strawberries from the vinegar and place them on top of the greens.  Finally, top with fresh ground pepper and serve.

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Happy 150th Birthday Grace Church Georgetown!

May 3, 2017

On Saturday, May 6, 2017 Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown will sponsor a community celebration in honor of the church’s 150th anniversary.  Festivities will open at 1:30 pm with a procession beginning at St. John’s Church, Georgetown at 3240 O St. NW.  The procession will continue to Christ Church, Georgetown at 3116 O St NW, and then turn west on M Street and south on Wisconsin Avenue.  The procession will recognize and honor the aid and support of Grace Church’s two “mother churches” in the founding of Grace Parish.  

The afternoon celebration on the church lawn will begin when the procession arrives, at about 2 p.m., and will include music, food, and family-friendly fun.  Music will be provided by Andrew Barnett (, Marshall Keys (, and Friends.  Plans also include a sing-along for all, led by the Grace Church Choir.  Interpreters will present the rich history of Grace Parish throughout the celebration, at thematic stations on the lawn.

The Grand Finale of the celebration will occur on the front Steps of Grace Church, weather permitting.  Several distinguished guests are scheduled to attend and will be featured at this point in the festivities.  Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington will speak.  The program also includes remarks by the Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Congressional delegate; the Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia; and DC Councilmember Jack Evans of Ward 2.

The festivities which take place after the procession will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC (Below M Street, near the C&O Canal).  Limited parking is available ($11/space) on South Street behind Grace Church.  Parking is also available at several nearby commercial garages.  The Circulator Buses run from the DuPont Circle and Union Station Metro Stations to Georgetown.  Exit the bus at Wisconsin and M Streets.  There is a Metrobus stop at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street; see for details.  For additional information contact John F. Boynton, Coordinator, Grace at 150, phone  301.213.3947, email,  or Rev. John Graham, rector@gracedc.orgor 202.333.7100.

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Rose Park Farmers Market Opening Day

April 30, 2017

On Wednesday, May 3, at 3:00, the Rose Park Farmers Market finally opens for the year. It's an event I look forward to every spring. The Market is a place for neighbors to gather, for children to taste freshly picked fruits and vegetables, and for shoppers to buy all the produce they need for the week. Rose Park, established in 1918, is a treasure in Georgetown.  "Throughout the year, Friends of Rose Park raises funds to improve and maintain the Park's landscape, playgrounds, and recreation areas in addition to hosting free events for the community," according to the website.

This Wednesday, you'll find kale, spinach, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes, leeks, pears, apples, herbs, flowers, and more. There are also pizzas made in a wood-fired oven, Maine lobster, high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegars, baked goods, cheeses, spices, and more. Right now, asparagus is abundant, so try one of my favorite asparagus recipes, and make enough for several meals.

Buying fruits and vegetables from the Farmers Market, where the produce is picked at peak ripeness, giving it superior flavor and nutrients, is a way to ensure your family eats 5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.

See you at the Market!

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