Sunday, September 2, 2018

Giada's Antipasti In Jars

I used to have one warning phrase for my family and they understood perfectly what it meant. If at any time I announced "I'm done", they understood this to mean they should only come to me if there was an emergency.

In the past month, I've graduated. I've hit a whole new level of being done.  It's called "I just can't" and it's way more serious than "I'm done." 

"I just can't" means I simply CANNOT do one more thing. "I just can't" is full of eye rolls and death stares and other nefarious types of body language.

I've never been an "I just can't" kind of person and I never used to understand how one becomes that way. Until now.

The person who just can't has been pushed and pushed to the total and complete brink. They've worked and they've toiled and they've gone from sunrise to sunset every day nonstop, for an extended period of time, until they simply just can't any longer. At times I thought I'd reached this point, but I was wrong. I hadn't reached it until now.

So now, I'm an "I just can't" and it's kind of an eye-opener.

Today, as I sat in rebellion of all that had to be done, I decided that today "I just wouldn't" do all the things that needed to be done. I just couldn't be bothered if the laundry is done, if the groceries are bought, if lesson plans are made, or if the kids play on their devices all day. I didn't care if the lawn was mowed, or the plants were watered, or if any of the other weekend chores were done in advance for the work week. I couldn't even be bothered to make a blog dish.

Then, as I laughed about my newfound rebellion, I remembered Giada's recipe for Antipasti In Jars and mustered just enough energy to run in the store for some olives and baby mozzarella balls. Putting antipasti in jars is something I could do, and so I did!

You could roast peppers, and buy artichokes and various other ingredients. You could create colorful layers and really go all out to make these fancy. Or, if you're feeling like me, and you simply "just can't", then you can visit the antipasti counter at your market and buy olives and cheese that are already marinated. Then simply come home and throw it all in jars. Even if you're sloppy it will still be cute.

I'm going to snack on these and take them to school for lunch this week. I'm going to try my best to stifle my laughter when people comment about "all the trouble I went to, to pack a cute lunch." The truth is I couldn't be bothered at all. I just threw stuff in jars and angrily ripped off a hunk of bread and ran out of the door to work. They'll think I have my act together. Little do they know.

Antipasti In Jars
Adapted from Giada In Italy
by Giada DeLaurentiis
Makes 2 (10-ounce) Jars

1 cup ciliegine (baby mozzarella balls)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup pitted green or black olives

*Note: Feel free to use any type of antipasti you like. I think the key point here is to marinate the ingredients and place them in jars. Roasted peppers and artichokes would be nice, as would chunks of salami or pepperoni. The sky is the limit. I opted to use some sundried tomatoes I had made in place of the grape tomatoes. 

In a small bowl, toss together the mozzarella, olive oil, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. In a separate bowl, toss the tomatoes with some salt and the basil. Allow both mixtures to sit for 5 minutes so the flavors can marry.

Divide the marinated mozzarella balls evenly between the two 10-ounce jars. Spoon the tomatoes over the cheese and top with the olives. Cover the jars with their lids and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.


  1. I definitely have my "I just can't" moments...more often than I'd like to admit lol. Love that these little jars are cute and look like they took a lot of effort...but are actually super easy!

  2. Don't we all need a recipe like this in an act of defiance. Hope the new school year hits a reset for better days to come!


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