Late Summer Heirloom Panzanella


by Emily Welsh

I always feel like September is the best time of year to eat ripe tomatoes, its still warm out but you can certainly feel the fall in the air and the days are starting to get shorter. I especially like to visit the farmers market to find heirloom tomatoes in different colors – orange, green, yellow, even rainbow pink! You could even turn this recipe into a panzanella caprese and add some fresh buffalo mozzarella.

What’s your favorite type of late summer dish?

Late Summer Heirloom Panzanella
Serves 2

3-4 Heirloom Tomatoes
Baguette diced, about 1-2 cups
Large handful basil, torn
Good Olive Oil
Good Aged Balsamic
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut tomatoes and put in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Set aside. Do this first, it helps flavor the tomatoes.

Cut baguette the same size as your tomato dice. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Toast about 8 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Combine tomatoes, toasted baguette, and basil. Add more sea salt to taste and the fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle with the balsamic. Let sit 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

What’s In Your Toolbox?


Posted by Judy Moon

I speak alot about my “wellness toolbox.”

I have lots of tools that I use on a daily basis or as needed for self-care, health and sanity.

Sometimes the “tools” are actual objects, like a tongue scraper. Sometimes they are rituals or actions, like meditation.

There are really simple tools like drinking warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning from my Morning Mantra Mug – that says Nourish Me on it. Easy one right?

Dry Brushing my skin before I get in the shower.

One of my favorites – the 4-7-8 breath. This is literally my secret weapon for diffusing stress.

Obviously, massage therapy is a power tool in the toolbox, as are visits to my Chiropractor and my favorite acupuncturist.

But let’s be real for a moment, we are “human doings”, not human beings. We are busy, scheduled folks. Fitting self-care rituals and tools in to the already jammed day might seem impossible.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not!

We launched a Wellness program last summer called Nourish Me, combining various bodywork treatments with gifts aka tools from our Wellness Boutique to start your own toolbox.

The feedback that I am getting from people who have completed it makes me smile.

Making TINY shifts in your day, creating simple easy rituals, taking mere moments for a little self-love makes a HUGE impact.

I encourage you to begin to create you own personal “wellness toolbox” if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, take inventory- is everything working for you? Is anything missing or needing an upgrade?

What’s the first item/ritual you’d like to put in?

Enjoy Every Sandwich!

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

Well, it’s official! I’ve had my first “best summer sandwich”. Best in my opinion at least! I know I’ve mentioned it before, maybe in the first ever post I wrote for this blog, the one about cucumbers, but the sandwich I wax poetic about is so simple and satisfying and SO summer it couldn’t be anything but the best.

Cukes, tomato, sweet onion, mayo, salt and pepper on bread/toast of your choice. That’s it folks. My summer memories are full with these perfect lunch delights. With the grandparents, the aunts and uncles and mostly with my parents, especially my Mom. 
I say “official” for today, but it’s more like pure. I’ve created a few variations in mid and late July, but the tomatoes weren’t that luscious and sweet yet and I think I added some cheese and maybe a few pickled something or other. Don’t get me wrong, all lovely lunches! But today’s sandwich was special. It tasted like the ones I remember my Mom making with veggies from the garden, warm with the mid-day sun that shone on us as we gathered them.

Today I used a stunning orangey/yellow tomato and a thin, Asian variety of cucumber that we had purchased on Sunday from the Headhouse Farmer’s Market (Thank you fabulous Farmers!!!). A sweet Vidalia onion, some mayo (whatever your favorite happens to be), fresh ground pepper and some lovely sea salt from McClellanville, S.C. from Bulls Bay Saltworks. The Charleston Sea Salt is the variety I happen to have (Thanks Aunt Linda!) but the smoked one looks lovely too.

I lightly toasted some sourdough bread, slapped it all together and… Wow! SUMMER! Pure, sweet summer flavors. What more can I say….

…I’ll let that wild man and sage storyteller/songwriter Warren Zevon send us off here with some words to live by;
 “Enjoy EVERY sandwich!”


How Far Can You Spit a Watermelon Seed?

Posted by Judy Moon

I learned something yesterday – in the U.S., July is National Watermelon month – who knew?

It made me instantly think of summers at my aunt’s cottage at the lake, wrapped in a towel after swimming eating watermelon wedges over a flimsy paper plate puddled with juice and seeds. I also had a memory of being allowed to just spit the seeds into the grass, giggling the whole time doing it seeing who could spit them the farthest.

I was surprised to learn that 1 cup of watermelon has 1.5 times more of the antioxidant lycopene than tomatoes. If you want to read more fun facts about watermelon check this out.

Here’s a fun drink you can whip up using watermelon –

Watermelon Cooler Slushie
4 cups cubed seeded watermelon
10 ice cubes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup white sugar (or substitute agave or your sweetener of choice)
dash of salt

Blend in your blender till smooth
*I think this could easily become an adult beverage with a little vodka , or rum???

So, how far CAN you spit a watermelon seed? I am not sure, but I intend to find out. Happy Watermelon Month! Cheers!

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If It’s a Saturday in the Summer, You Know Where to Find Me.

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Posted by Judy Moon

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love the beach. I almost crave it. I usually spend at least one weekend day in the summer sitting in front of the glorious ocean.

I have been asked more than once – “why do you love the beach so much” or “what is it about going to the beach that you love so much”? It made me think a bit.

There are the obvious reasons –
1. It’s great to be in nature – living in Philadelphia it’s a huge shift from my typical day.
2. There’s no schedule on the beach – again, a big shift from my usual day to day – as a massage therapist, my day is all about schedule and appointments and looking at the clock.
3. It’s relaxing, fun, good people watching, quality time with my sweetie, time to catch up on all of my reading, nothing like a cold Corona on the beach, etc.

I knew there was something more and deeper to it. Our connection to water is primal. We begin our life in the womb surrounded by water. Throughout history, water has represented purification and cleansing.

Research shows that the sound of the waves alters patterns in the brain resulting in a calmer state. Aaaahhhh….

As the waves break on the shoreline, air particles break apart releasing ions into the atmosphere. Scientists claim that sea air contains an abundance of negatively charged ions. In our world we have too many positive ions in our life. You may know positive ions by another name – free radicals. Because electricity, computers, TV and electronics are all sources of positive ions in our lives. Increasing our exposure to negative ions has many health benefits including enhancing the immune system, increasing alertness and improving concentration. Sounds good to me.

The heat of the sun affects our endocrine system – the part of our body, which secretes endorphins – the natural chemicals in our body designed to make us feel relaxed and less stressed. I can vouch for that.

I think there is a deeper reason for me why I feel it to be so healing – “The healing rhythm of the sea and the babbling rhythm of a mountain stream are reminders of the greater rhythm of life. The human body is filled with rhythms from the cadence of breath, to the beat of your heart, to our hormonal cycles. When we are in a naturally rhythmic watery environment, our body synchronizes and harmonizes itself with the rhythm of nature.”

Bingo! Thanks Denise Linn for why I feel so much better when I am sitting on the beach! I read that a few years ago (while sitting on the beach!) in her book Secrets And Mysteries.

I invite you to tap in to that rhythm the next time you have the pleasure of sitting by the ocean. Notice whatever it is that you notice.

Maybe I’ll even share where the parking meter is in Atlantic City that gives you five hours for one quarter…. chances are, we are already parked in it.

Don’t forget your sunscreen!