Sometimes I get jealous. Even though I have an incredibly wonderful life (awesome family: check, dream job: check, roof over my head: check, money in the bank: check, a rad new haircut: check), the green-eyed monster still pops out every now and again just to make sure I don’t get too confident.
A large chunk of that jealousy stems from a feeling of inadequacy (doesn’t it always?). I see someone doing something better/different/more creative than me, and immediately think, “Wow, look how inferior I am. I’ll never be as awesome/creative/successful as them.” Sometimes it’s the truth—I’m probably not going to be the next Martha Stewart—but more often than not, it’s a feeling that’s really not founded in reality.
For as long as I can remember, people have called me “creative,” but I always felt like a bit of a poser. Sure, I can pick out colors and take a decent picture of food, but as far as truly, trend-setting, innovating creative? That’s not me. It never has been, and I don’t think it ever will be. And for the longest time, I thought that meant I was a failure.
Back in a previous life, when I was a full time graphic designer, I experienced this feeling of creativity inadequacy all the freaking time. Why couldn’t I just think of the next big thing? Why was I so good at hitting singles but never could hit the home run?
I think a lot of what led to my demise in that profession was that feeling of inadequacy (among other things). For some reason, I thought entering a new, but equally creative, profession would solve it. Um, no. Sometimes, I still get that same feeling of inadequacy when I scroll through my Instagram feed and see all the AMAZING and CREATIVE and GROUND-BREAKING and TOTALLY AWESOME things other recipe developers and bloggers are doing. Why didn’t I think of that? Why am I not that creative?
And then I remind myself that there is beauty in simplicity.
The truth is, aside from my penchant for sparkly nail polish and addiction to cruising antique stores for vintage bakeware, I’m actually a pretty simple country girl. I like that I live in the middle of nowhere so no one just shows up at my door. I like that I can get ready in less than five minutes. I like that my uniform is jeans and a t-shirt. I like that my bedtime is frequently before 9pm. And I like that the food I love to cook and eat the most is simple, easy, wholesome dishes that anyone can make. I’m not a super creative, super trendsetting, super unique person—and you know what? I’m okay with that because I think that’s exactly how most of us are.
You know how I know this? Because the most popular recipes on my blog aren’t the ones I think they’re going to be. They’re never the ones that I spend hours brainstorming in my head and crafting. They aren’t the ones where you have to go to the health food store to special order ingredients. The most popular recipes on my blog are the ones that are normal, easy, simple everyday eats. The ones with just a few ingredients. The ones that aren’t really ground-breaking or creative. Like this simple, delicious, and totally me Avocado Caprese Salad.
This salad is pretty much my favorite summer lunch. I try to make sure to always have fresh mozzarella balls (I like the perlini size—AKA “pearls”) and avocados on hand in the summer so I can make this when basil and cherry tomatoes are coming off fresh from the garden.
The key with this avocado caprese salad, as with all simple food, is to really focus on getting good ingredients. Since there isn’t a complicated flavor profile going on, you really want to make sure the flavors that are there are the best possible. Use fresh basil and tomatoes (hence why I only tend to make this in the summer), snag a ripe avocado, and make sure to use good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I actually order good extra virgin olive oil from Amazon for dishes like this. I don’t use the expensive stuff to cook with—I reserve it only for “raw” eating in salads or dips. Enjoy the simplicity!
Products Recommended for This Dish