Posts made in May 15th, 2012

layered fruit gazpacho


Posted on May 15, 2012 in Food

layered fruit gazpacho

Can we just go ahead and declare it summer?

I mean, I know we’re still a good month off from the summer solstice and still a few weeks away from the unofficial start of summer—Memorial Day—but it certainly feels summer-y here. And I’m ready to embrace it. I’ve got my shorts out, my flippy-floppies on and a year’s supply of gin and tonic water. Let’s do this.

There are a lot of things I love about summer. I love to be in the water. I love grilling watching Babyface grill. I love green grass and summer flowers. I love tank tops and sundresses. I, obviously, love gin and tonics. Summer is my jam. But probably the thing I love the most about summer is the food. It’s so light and refreshing. The heat and humidity make heavy foods positively unappetizing. You’d get some strange looks if you served a big entrée salad at a dinner party in December, but in the heat of summer? It’s perfect.

The same philosophy applies to summer desserts. You guys know that I’m head-over-heels in love with chocolate, but even my chocolate-loving soul has space to embrace the fruit-based desserts of summer. Sweetness without heaviness. Delectable without being sinful. Delicious without the sugar hangover.

I whipped up this cold fruit soup this past weekend to eat as a light dessert, but you could easily serve it as a big part of breakfast or as a mid-summer afternoon snack. If you want to add a touch more decadence, try dolloping with a small amount of whipped coconut milk.

My fruit gazpacho (such a fun word, amirite?) has three, brightly-colored, fruit-based layers. I went with kiwi, cantaloupe and raspberry, but really, the possibilities are only limited by what fruits are available to you. This combo was absolutely perfect after spending all day out in the sun watching my nephew and niece play t-ball and softball.

Of course, it’s a total bonus that summer desserts are chock-full of goodness. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants galore, it’s hard to beat fruit-based desserts when it comes to health factors. For example, just the kiwis alone in this soup are health rockstars. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, potassium, copper, magnesium and vitamin E, all which help protect the heart and blood vessels. Not into kiwis? Well any fruit you use is a good plan, because studies show that people with a diet rich in whole fruits have up to a 40% lower risk of stroke over those people who consumed little to no fruit.

Fruit is good!

Layered Fruit Gazpacho

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Adapted fromAndrew Weil


  • 10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 12 ounces unsweetened lemon-lime sparkling water
  • 5 kiwis, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cantaloupe
  • 4 kiwi slices, for garnish


  1. In the basin of a food processor or blender, combine raspberries and honey. Pulse or blend until pureed. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard seeds. Mix in lemon-lime sparkling water and set aside.
  2. Combine the peeled kiwi and lime juice in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.
  3. Add the cantaloupe in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.
  4. To layer gazpacho, gently spoon equal amounts of kiwi puree into each of four bowls or glasses. Repeat with cantaloupe puree and raspberry puree. Garnich with kiwi slices.
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What’s your favorite summer dessert?

things i’m digging…


Posted on May 15, 2012 in Lifestyle

1. Good food. Healthy food. Real food.

This past weekend was an eating disaster (holy dramatic, Batman). I try not to beat myself up over a gin and tonic here (yum) or a slice of birthday cake there (double yum), but when you combine all of that into one weekend plus add a dash of delivery pizza, a few beers and some Hollandaise sauce, it’s a recipe for trouble. By the time Sunday morning rolled around, I felt like I was hungover, even though I never got drunk! My body was craving nutrients and, boy, did I feel it. Healthy food is such an amazing thing. I sometimes forget how good it makes me feel, but then I have weekends like this and am quickly reminded how important the food I put into my body is. Real food, FTW!

2. Ultimate Direction Katoa Waist Pack.

I had a moment last week where I realized that I’d probably need to carry stuff during my 39.3 mile breast cancer walk next month. Duh. So I did some research and landed on this hydration waist pack. I didn’t want to have something on my shoulders for a marathon distance, and this seemed like a good compromise. I love how it fits and that the pack part is big enough to carry all the stuff I might need for 12 hours on the streets of Chicago (Body Glide, moleskin, extra socks, Nuun tablets, chapstick, cell phone, etc.) without being too big or bulky. I love the two water bottles, too. I plan on using one for straight water and the other for sports drink. Yay!

3. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails.

I’m trying to grow my nails out again, and this stuff is a must on my nails while they are long. It helps keep my nails from chipping or splitting. In fact, when some of it wears off, I can almost guarantee I’ll break that nail if I don’t reapply. Plus, the slight tint is a nice touch. I can wear it alone, or as a basecoat or topcoat. One of these days I’ll naturalize my nail care stuff, but for now, I’m sticking with this chemical-y classic.

4. Gilmore Girls.

I’ve watched the whole series from beginning to end at least three or four times, but I was in desperate need of some comfort TV this weekend and I turned it back on from the beginning. I love this show so much. It will always and forever be my favorite TV show. Even Babyface loves it! It never, ever gets old. Oy, with the poodles already!

5. Followgram.

I’m a big, huge, annoying fan of Instagram, but I’ve always disliked that it’s so smart-phone centric. I love my iPhone, but I know a lot of folks out there don’t use smart phones and since there are no online profiles, there were no ways to link to the photos I post. Then I found Followgram. You login with your Instagram credentials and then Followgram pulls all of your Instagram content into an online profile so you can link people to your photos and activity. Woohoo!

What are you digging?