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Good Neighbors (Recipe – Toasted Pita Salad)

I grew up in the country, which as I’ve talked about before, means no next door neighbors. We did have people who lived near us, if you call a quarter of a mile away near, but we never had the “hey… can I borrow a cup of sugar?” kind of close neighbors.

We have been blessed in both of the homes that Nick and I have owned to have had good neighbors. We borrow eggs, sugar, rum and vodka, we steal herbs without the risk of police intervention, we have impromptu happy hours on our decks, we watch out for our houses when someone is away, we swap kids and very simply, have a lot of fun together. With family living far away, our neighbors have become like family to us… we will often spend holidays together and celebrate special occasions with each other.

Over a year ago, a family that we spent a lot of time with in our neighborhood put their house on the market. Nick, my kids and I were all sad to hear that this family was moving out of the neighborhood to a new home. I was especially bummed because as a stay at home mom, I know how critical it is to have a great network of people nearby…even if it is just to vent by the mailbox. It may sound like a silly thing to pray about, but I prayed that God would put good people into that house. I added “Hidden Hills” to my Vision Board (if you ever watched that show on NBC, you’ll understand that connection).

Last summer, Rich and Laurie along with their sweet daughter Caitlin, moved in and we soon found out that God did answer my prayers. We added another great family to our block who have since become great friends.

Rich and Laurie had us and another family over for a barbecue this past weekend. While we were there, enjoying the lovely Kansas evening and company, it dawned on me that no… I may not love living in Kansas, but if it weren’t for living here, I wouldn’t be blessed with the neighbors and friends that we have surrounding us.

This is the salad that I brought to the barbecue…something light to counter the overly fattening cheesy potatoes I also brought with me! Other good thing about great neighbors is they will let you experiment new recipes on them…this one was a success!

Toasted Pita Salad (August 2009 Cooking Light)

2 (6-inch) pitas, split in half horizontally
3 cups chopped tomato (about 4 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place pitas on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely; break into small pieces.

3. Combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through parsley) in a large bowl. Combine lime juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour juice mixture over tomato mixture; toss gently. Add pita pieces to bowl; toss gently. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

CALORIES 111 ; FAT 3.5g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 42mg; CARBOHYDRATE 17.5g; SODIUM 256mg; PROTEIN 3.8g; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 1.4mg

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  1. We are blessed to have you as neighbors, and more importantly, GREAT friends too!! It’s not easy to move such a great distance, but you guys helped to make us quickly feel at home here in KS! We had such a great time the other night – thanks for your yummy salad and potatoes!! Looking forward to many more of these get-togethers to come!!

  2. That recipe sounds delicious…and I think I have most of the ingredients growing in my garden right now. I will definitely put it on the short list of things to make. Thanks!

  3. This sounds fabulous. I love the lime-based dressing! I love it that you have the calorie count for it as well. Thanks for posting it!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Italian Almond Cookies =-.

  4. I saw that recipe in CL and thought it looked interesting- I might try it now after a good review! I’m grateful for good neighbors too, but I have to say I dream of living somewhere with a lot of space too!
    .-= Sara @ Our Best Bites´s last blog ..Garden Week Giveaway! =-.

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by….So happy to read your blog, and love the pita panzanella!
    .-= unconfidentialcook´s last blog ..BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Mango =-.

  6. This sounds and looks amazing – what a wonderful summer or anytime salad!
    .-= Cathy – wheresmydamnanswer´s last blog ..The Emperor Has No Clothes – “Healthcare Reform” =-.

  7. I love salads like this that could work as a meal on it’s own.
    .-= Wizzythestick´s last blog ..Give Your Dog a Makeover =-.

  8. See, now these are the kind of neighbors we hope to have in our new city. I guess instead of hoping, I should be praying! So much more practical…

    Your salad sounds delish! I think I’ll try it just as soon as it’s not “just me” in the house…
    .-= Shalee´s last blog ..What Happened To Miss Independent? =-.

  9. I love lime vinaigrette. It is just so summery. I have one set of good neighbors and one that I’m pretty sure is in witness protection. We NEVER have seen her…but know she exists.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..A Tiny Cake For A Big Birthday Month =-.

  10. You are lucky to leave in such a great neighborhood! We have neighbors that are NOT VERY NICE. yuck!
    Love the salad
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Southwestern Egg Rolls =-.

  11. You’re wicked lucky to have good neighbors. I haven’t had much luck in that regard. Course, I’m poor and tend to not live in very… savory neighborhoods. Heh.

    The salad sounds great. It’s been hot here and this seems like just the thing!
    .-= Bob´s last blog ..Turkey Tamales =-.

  12. Great neighbors are priceless! And your salad looks delicious- I love the flavor combination of the lime and cumin with all the veggies!
    .-= Lynda´s last blog ..Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts( slightly adapted from Steven Raichlen) =-.

  13. This looks delicious!!! I’m totally going to make it. Good neighbors are SO important! I don’t know about mine yet…so far they’ve woken me up at 4am going up and down the stairs, talking, and partying. Hmmm!
    .-= Claire´s last blog ..Cake and claire(fontaine) =-.

  14. I love this salad, it’s perfect for this summer heat. My neighbor is my sil, we really are blessed to have her there.
    .-= Bunny´s last blog ..Salads and Dessert for the Dog Days of Summer =-.

  15. Your neighbors sound great. Mine are all kinda jerky, but we’re hoping to move one of these days.

    The salad looks yummy!
    .-= Karly´s last blog ..Creamy Onion Garlic Bread =-.

  16. looks refreshing and tasty!

  17. The recipe sounds wonderful!

    I know what you mean about maybe not loving the place you live, but having amazing friends and neighbors makes it all better! We got lucky to move into a neighborhood a few years ago that is so wonderful that we would hate to leave it now!
    .-= patsyk´s last blog ..Nature Valley Nut Clusters =-.

  18. I loved “Hidden Hills”– never understood why it didn’t make it.

    Definitely trying this one out and soon.
    .-= Amy J´s last blog ..Save Venice! Please. =-.

  19. I want you guys as neighbors. Mine suck. The one is foreclosed and the other couple is past retirement and don’t drink. boo!!!!!

    Never heard of Hidden Hills must go to google to find out more…..
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Quinoa and herb salad =-.

  20. That is my requirement on the next house we buy – to buy in a good neighborhood with good neighbors! Especially one who would bring over a salad like this one!
    .-= Deborah´s last blog ..Zucchini & Yellow Squash Soup =-.


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