A Patio Make-Over and a Recipe

Today was a beautiful Sunday, and I was feeling rather inspired! The patio off of my bedroom has been looking rather drab lately… I built it a couple of years ago out of slabs that were sort of randomly dispersed throughout the yard when I moved in, but i never quite got around to landscaping it… It’s right next to the duck coop and every time I planted something (I started with iris, then moved to canna lilies), the animals would just shred them to bits… then I mulched and the ducks dug it all out, blah blah blah it was just a pain in the butt.

Last year, my parents’ neighbor offered me these 2 ligustrum trees that he had bought, but they didn’t turn out to fit where he had planned. Never one to turn down a beautiful tree, I took them, but could not for the life of me figure out where to put them. So they’ve sat on my front driveway for over a year. Anyway, the other day I got to thinking about how I don’t really have much in the way of container gardens and my patio would actually be a great place to put those trees! So here it is now, the patio makeover. It was reasonably cheap, too (maybe I can scrounge up a “before” picture somewhere)…

Trees- Free, Cement slabs- (came with the house)free, Cobblestones- (also came with the house)free, Pots- $25/ea. , Plants/soil/mulch- $150

After the backbreaking labor, I came inside for a delicious summertime sandwich…

Seared Tuna and Caprese Melt


  • Sashimi grade tuna medallion
  • 1 slice of 12 Grain bread
  • 1/2 Ripe Tomato
  • 2-3 slices of Mozzarella (the kind that comes in a ball)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Balsamic Reduction (for garnish)

On a skillet brushed with olive oil, sear the tuna over medium heat (about 1 minute per side). Tuna should be grey on the outside, but pink almost the whole way through the rest of the medallion. Remove from pan and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Lay slices to cover bread. ‘

Over low-medium heat, brush skillet with olive oil and place bread in pan, tuna side-up. Use the same pan if you have room for the next steps, otherwise use a separate skillet also on low-medium heat– Lay tomato slices directly onto skillet. Heat them on each side until warmed through and place on top of tuna. At the same time, lay mozzarella directly onto the skillet and heat both sides until melted. Lay mozzarella on top of the tomatoes on top of the sandwich. Allow sandwich to continue to heat until bread is toasted and remove from heat. Place sandwich on a plate, lay fresh basil leaves on the top, and drizzle with balsamic reduction. DELICIOUS!

I personally use a skillet because I don’t have a toaster oven, but if you have a toaster oven, you can create the sandwich by just assembling the bread, tomatoes, and cheese and placing in the toaster oven until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, put the basil and balsamic on top and voile! Same results, but much simpler steps 😉


~ by Rachel on May 16, 2011.

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