Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm a Bad, Bad Diva

Much like this chandelier, I'm off-kilter. Tilted. A little bit skewed.

No, I'm not tipsy, drunk or stewed. In short, I'm on vacation. And I hope to have righted myself by the time you're reading this.

Will anyone be surprised if I admit that I haven't got a ready store of posts for you while I'm gone? No? Right! I'm a bad, bad Diva ... and its not because I don't care - I do. I really do.

It's mainly because in the weeks before I travel, I go crazy. And not the fun, hey-let's-do-shots-and-pretend-we're-25 kind of crazy either. I mean flat out, someone-call-the-authorities-lock-this-Diva-up-and-throw-away-the-key crazy.

Let's just say I have issues. I have issues with leaving my nest. Maybe its because I'm a Cancer, or because I'm a natural born worry-wort, but leaving home pushes every anxious button I've got ... to the extreme. The week before departure is a blur for me; a tortured haze of tears, Advil, and massive infusions of chocolate. That's just how I roll.

The only saving grace is that once I'm actually gone, I'm fine. I know I will relax and enjoy the holiday ... so long as I survive the 72 hours beforehand.

Suffice it to say that between crying jags, and what seems like 500 pounds of laundry, I haven't exactly found the time to write. Hang in there with me and I will return, sometime after Labor Day weekend.

Until then, be good - and if you can't be good ... call me, we'll go for drinks!


p.s. - Sadly, no, that's not my dining room. This picture was taken by mistake, in part of the building where I work. Kind of spooky, isn't it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost Ratatouille

"August is the best eating month of year." So said the husband between bites of native corn and a succulent squash saute the other night. I couldn't agree more.

Farmers markets are fairly bursting with the goodness of the earth. The tomatoes are ripe and inviting, the squash more plentiful then anyone can handle, and, really, is there anything better than that first, crisp bite of tender, native corn? I think not.

To honor such bounty, and more particularly the glories of my bro's garden, I cooked up this little saute. Its almost a ratatouille, but not quite.

This zesty side dish comes together in a hurry and features a delicious mix of red onions, shallots, garlic, zucchini, yellow summer squash, red paste tomatoes and a few herbs and spices. Think of this recipe as an outline, merely a suggestion of method and mix, but feel free to jump off at any point and do your own thing. Have a few peppers lying about? Throw them into the mix. Fancy a more traditional ratatouille? Go right ahead and add some eggplant along with the squash. And don't worry your pretty little head about amounts here either - use what you've got, as long as it fresh, and the results are certain to charm.

Almost Ratatouille:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • small pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper
  • medium zucchini, washed and sliced
  • medium yellow squash, washed and sliced
  • 2 medium to large red paste tomatoes (or any variety)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (a couple good pinches) herbes de Provence
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra if needed
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • some chopped fresh basil and parsley
1. Heat the oil in a large non-reactive skillet over medium-high heat. When it just begins to shimmer, add the shallots, onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes or so, until the onions soften a bit and become translucent but not yet browned. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and continue sauteing, stirring often, until the squash picks up some color.

2. Allow the squash to brown slightly, say 4 minutes or so, then add the chopped tomatoes, a few good pinches of herbes de Provence and about 1/8 teaspoon (or more to taste) of smoked paprika. Stir. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and the white wine and allow the mixture to come to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or so, allowing the flavors to meld.

3. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more of anything you wish. Just before serving, remove from heat and stir in some chopped fresh basil and parsley. Serve and enjoy!

The yield will depend on the size of your produce. In my case, I'd say it served 4, but your amounts may vary.

By all means feel free to dust the finished dish with some freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. And if you'd like a spicier dish, don't be stingy with that smoked paprika. I was going for subtle here, allowing the natural flavor of the veggies to shine through - but if you want to ramp it up a bit, I won't be mad at you.

Lastly, this dish only improves with age. A day or two in the fridge and the left-overs will be even more flavorful. Use them as a simple sauce for some freshly cooked whole wheat pasta and call it dinner.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Thank you! ... and a Question

I want to thank you all for your kind comments and words of affirmation on the new blog design. I have to admit I had a moment of panic the minute I hit that button and applied the changes to my blog. I've never been much good at change, and part of me missed that riot of noxious pink the moment it was gone.

For the sake of posterity, I'm preserving a bit of "Diva Pink" in the banner - at least for now. Or until I finally get off my ass and make a real header ... but don't hold your breath for that ... unless you've got 911 on speed-dial.

I've added a recent comments link in the column at right. I think it helps to foster a sense of community and I hope it will help you to more easily visit your fellow "Beach-goers" and discover some cool new blogs in the process.

Speaking of comments, I've had a spate of spam lately ... and a most insidious form of spam it is, too. Cloaked in the guise of semi-constructive / negative comments, this new form of spammer seeks to promote whatever it is they are promoting by pretending to be a person and leaving provocative comments - in hopes that readers will click on their name and be directed to their site. If you do, you'll be directed to any number of commercial websites. Its maddening!

I've been deleting them, but its happening with greater frequency.

I'm debating moving to comment moderation mode, but I'm not wild about the idea. I'm frequently away and I think it would be frustrating for you to post a comment in good faith, yet not have it appear for a few days. In particular, I'm concerned about weekends, when I'm rarely near a computer. Which leads me to my question of the day:

How do you feel about comment moderation? Would it frustrate you to leave a comment on a Friday and not have it appear until Monday? Would that inhibit you from commenting?

Please feel free to state your honest opinion in the comments. I want you to enjoy your experience here on Beach Eats and I appreciate your input.

Meanwhile, its pouring today and I couldn't be happier about it. The skies are gray, the temp is a shocking, and most welcome, 68 degrees at present and I am loving every minute of it. Such a relief after the relentless heat we've had this summer. I'd say its a perfect day for baking, but I'm consumed with more mundane and less tasty chores today.

I hope to have one or two yummy bites for you later on in the week, but for now, its back to the chores.

Happy Monday, and thanks again!

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Look!

I've been meaning to change the look of this blog for ages now. I think I'm over the pepto-bismol pink, and maybe you are too. So here we are.

I'm guessing this will be a work in progress and I fiddle and futz with it, tweaking to get the colors and the layout just right. Please be patient if the blog looks a little wonky over the next few days. It may take some time to work out the kinks.

I suppose at some point I'll get around to designing a header ... all in due time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

It seems I've somehow lost my print-fast button in the change over, so I'll be working on that as well. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Diva Cat Lucy and I wish you all a beautiful weekend!


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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays: Mysterious Mezcal Cocktail Edition

In search of a cocktail to launch the weekend, the husband found the formula for this drink last Friday night ... scratched out in haste on a post-it note, stuck to the front of one of my bar tending guides. Barely legible and cloaked in the mystery of my own particular brand of short hand - I obviously thought enough of it to save for later use, but didn't think to write down the name or the origin. More's the pity.

The husband promptly mixed up a batch and, honestly, we were stunned. This cocktail is so perfectly balanced, we fell instantly in love. It features an intriguing blend of mezcal, Aperol, tequila and sweet vermouth. A somewhat unlikely combination that yields the most delicious result.

At first sip, notes of tequila are present, followed by the inviting, herbal notes of the Aperol. The drink is quietly smoky on the finish, due to the mezcal, and that subtle hint of smoke is most pleasant, indeed! In fact, I'd go so far as to say this is my new favorite use for mezcal. I hope you'll try it!

The Mysterious Mezcal:
  • 3/4 ounce of Mezcal
  • 3/4 ounce of sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • dash of orange bitters
Pour all of the above into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Close the shaker and shake well, until the outside of the shake frosts. Pour the contents, ice and all, into a rocks glass - serve and enjoy, repeat as necessary!

I hope you'll try it ... and, if you do, you'll see for yourself that its an addictive little mix. You'll definitely want a second and possibly a third. Beware, though, it does pack a punch. You've been warned. ~wink~

I only wish I knew the origin of this drink. I've Googled my little fingers off and can find it anywhere. If you know the origin, please shout it out in the comments ... I'd like to give credit where credit is due.


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poblano Flecked Cornbread

Operating on the theory that you can never be too festive, too good looking, or have too many recipes for cornbread - here's another one for your files.

What? You've never heard that saying? That's my version and I'm sticking to it. ;)

Given the extreme poblano situation here, cornbread seemed like a good idea. Plus, you can't really serve chili without cornbread, right? Right.

Pressed for time, I opted to simply chop the poblanos and throw them into the batter as is. Tasty to be sure, especially if some of the peppers have a little heat, but it also occurs to me that roasting them would be a good idea. If you have the time and inclination, I'd suggest a brief roast before chopping. And, if you're looking to gild the lily, you might also choose to throw a handful of sharp cheddar into the batter. You can never go wrong with the chili/cheese combo.

Finally, this is my standard cornbread recipe. Its moist, crumbly, and not a bit too sweet. If you have a favorite cornbread recipe, by all means use it. I offer this as but one variation on a theme ... and there's always room for interpretation.

Poblano Cornbread:
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large (or 4 small) fresh poblano peppers, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • 1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, optional
1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour baking powder and salt. Whisk well with a wire whisk to blend. Add the diced poblano and stir to incorporate. Reserve.

3. In another bowl, combine the maple syrup, milk and beaten egg. Whisk well to fully incorporate. Add the melted butter and whisk again until thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined. Add the shredded cheese, if using, and fold in to distribute evenly.

4. Pour the batter into a buttered, 8 x 8 inch, oven-safe glass baking dish and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked throughout. Remove dish to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

p.s. - Stay tuned for the return of Thirsty Thursdays tomorrow. I'll have an unusual and exceptionally delicious cocktail for you. You're going to like this one, I promise.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Will this blog explode if I post one more chili recipe here? Probably. But that's a chance I'm willing to take. I've got a situation here.

My fridge seems to be breeding poblano peppers. Like tribbles. Only greener and more tasty.

I could swear Mama Diva brought down 2 or 3 poblanos when she came to visit recently. But then I blinked and there were 4. Blinked again and there were six. At last count, there were eight. Clearly, they're planning a coup. I'm not waiting around to see how this turns out. It's time for action. It's time to make chili.

Chicken and White Bean Chili:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 large poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of Kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho or New Mexican chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • one 14.5 ounce can of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno
  • one 15 ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup non-fat, low-sodium chicken broth, plus additional for simmering
  • chopped red onion
  • chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skilled over medium-high heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the onions, garlic, poblano peppers and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir and saute until the onions are translucent, but not yet browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the ground chicken and saute until no longer pink, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring and using a wooden spoon to break up into bite size pieces.

3. Add the chili powders, cumin and cayenne pepper and stir well to incorporate. Saute 1 minute, then add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth, stirring well to blend. Add the drained white beans, stir. Allow the chili to come to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour - adding a bit more chicken broth as necessary to keep things moist. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more of anything you wish. Serve garnished with any and all of the above and enjoy!

As written this recipe will serve 5 to 6, depending on portion size.

Notes: If you do not have poblano peppers, you may substitute green bell peppers, though the chili will not be as spicy. In that case, you might choose to add a diced jalapeno to ramp up the heat if you wish.

As for the chili powders, use whatever you have on hand, or whatever blend you like. No need to be too specific, I believe in cooking with what you've got!

I also believe in serving chili with cornbread ... and I'll tell you all about that later on in the week. Stay tuned.

Bon appetite!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick Roasted Tomato Sauce

When life, or your brother, hands you a bushel of tomatoes: make tomato sauce ... from scratch!

While slow-roasted is all the rage, sometimes there's no time for slow. Sometimes you need quick. I often need quick. Such was the case on Saturday night. Having returned from a long day at BlogHer, I was tired, I was hungry, and there were several, large, needing-to-be-used tomatoes on my kitchen counter - courtesy of my bro's magnificent garden.

I washed them, cored them, cut them in half, and popped them in the oven. The rest is history ... or, at least, the substance of today's post.

Quick Roasted Tomato Sauce:
  • 5 large tomatoes, washed, cored and halved
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, or to taste
1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a large, walled baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on a bit of Kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper and roast in the middle of a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Or until softened slightly and just beginning to color. Remove from oven and allow tomatoes to cool for 10 minutes.

3. Using a food mill set over a large bowl, puree the tomatoes two halves at a time, until all tomatoes have been pureed. Discard the seeds and skin, reserve the pureed tomatoes. Add any tomato juice from roasting pan to the puree. Reserve.

4. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive sauce pan over medium high heat and to it add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced garlic, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, pinch of Kosher salt and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Stir and saute for one minute, do not allow the garlic to color. Add the pureed tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.

5. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, the basil, and the parsley, lower the heat and allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Sauce will thicken a bit as it simmers, stir once in a while to prevent sticking. Prior to serving, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more of anything you like.

6. Serve over cooked pasta with a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some additional chopped basil and parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

Notes: The tomatoes used for this sauce were "Hungarian Hearts" ... they were enormous! Even larger than those pictured above. If your tomatoes are of lesser stature, use more. Ditto for my bro's garlic: its huge. We happen enjoy a garlic-y sauce, chez Diva, but your milage may vary, of course. Use as much or as little as you like.

The tomato paste is added to give the sauce more body. Fresh tomato sauce can be on the thin side. I find a bit of paste serves to improve the texture. The longer you cook the sauce, the thicker it will be - use your judgement. Its not rocket science.

Lastly, the more flavorful your tomatoes, the more flavorful your sauce will be. We loved the Hungarian Hearts, but if you can't find those, choose your favorite variety. Use the freshest and most delicious tomatoes you can find, their essential tomatoey-ness will only improve with time spent in a hot oven.

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Things I Learned at BlogHer '10: A Re-Cap, of Sorts

Last weekend, 2,500 bloggers gathered at the Hilton New York for BlogHer '10. I was one of them. As a food blogger, I knew I'd be in the minority at this general conference, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Would the breakout sessions be useful for what I do? Would I be the only non-mommy blogger there? Would I do a better job taking photos and documenting this experience than I did at BlogHer Food?

In short: Yes, No, and No.

In general, I tend to find the conference experience somewhat overwhelming - and BlogHer '10 was no exception. So much to see, so much to do, so many people to meet; it all becomes a blur for me at some point. Hence, my continued inability to capture the experience in photos! I will, however, try to capture a bit of it in words.

Below, the highlights ...

The Top 6 Things I Learned at BlogHer '10:
  • Community Counts. Meeting and connecting with other bloggers continues to be the highlight of any conference experience for me. I met Lindsey who writes about interior design; and Erica who writes about modern day manners. I met women who write about writing; and women who write about their daily lives. I met still others who blog for corporations, or private industry, and, naturally, those who write about their children. I met women who tell their stories in words, and those who speak through pictures. And most of all, I met my friend Mo Diva, whom I've been meaning to meet for ages now! We had a blast together! Yay!
  • A Significant Number of Women Who Blog Are Named: Jen. Like this Jen, and that Jen, and even this Jenn. I enjoyed meeting them all!
  • Writer's Block is Writer's Block, Across the Board. It doesn't matter if you're a food blogger or a free-verse poet, writer's block sucks. Shaking out of it can be difficult, and the session on Writing Inspiration: Stoking Your Creativity offered several good and useful suggestions for doing just that. Hit up the link for the live-blog transcript of the discussion.
  • I Need a Better Camera ... And to Pay Attention While Taking My Pictures! And I'm working on that. I attended a really great photography session on day one, and have decided to bite the bullet and buy a DSLR and learn how to use it ... despite the fact that they terrify me. I've also learned that I need to do a better job of thinking before I snap the shot. It sounds silly when I read that back, but nevertheless, its true.
  • Its OK to Love Your Small Blog. Blogging is work; hard work, sometimes. The bigger the blog, the more the work. I'm a small fish in a HUGE pond and I'm OK with that. Why? Because I sat in a room with hundreds of others like me and connected to what they said. You can read about it here.
  • Never Underestimate the Power of Advil and a Really Comfy Pair of Flip-Flops. Dude, by the end of day one I was sore all over. Every part of me hurt. Hurt! The fact that I was laden with bags and bags of swag may have had something to do with it, or it could just be my age. I walked billions of miles in cute silver sandals on day one. Day two? Soft cushy flip-flops and Advil every 4 hours. Really. I mean it. I still haven't recovered.
Of course there's more, much more, but the hour grows late and this post grows long. I went, I saw, I learned, I connected ... and that's what conferences are all about - for me, at least. If you're reading this and you're a food blogger, I strongly suggest you make plans to attend BlogHer Food '10. I'll be there, and I can tell you from experience - its not to be missed. You might also choose to attend the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. And, if you're lucky enough to have the time and the resources, by all means do both.

If you're reading this and you're a blogger of a different feather, make plans for BlogHer '11 in San Diego ... oh, and don't wear heels!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Left-over Magic: White Pizza Edition

Sometimes - ok, often - my fridge is a disaster; full of left-over bits of this, and unused bits of that. If I've been cooking a lot, the shelves will be a melange of monkey dishes featuring half-cups of veggies, perhaps a solo portion of meat - the sum of which would not quite yield a full meal, much less dinner for two. I suspect I'm not alone in this.

At such times, the answer, my answer is: pizza. Pizza is the perfect vehicle for combining the stray portions of several meals ... with the added bonus that, ultimately, you feel like you're eating an entirely new meal. Sweet!

Such was the case last week, when I was itching to use the remains of that roasted zucchini and tomato dish, and the 1/2 cup or so of left-over chicken sausage and peppers. Ultimately, I decided to go with a white pizza, which turned out to be an inspired idea, indeed!

I took the easy way out and used purchased, prepared pizza dough - and to that, added a garlic-y white sauce, some seasoned low-fat ricotta cheese, the zucchini and tomatoes, the bits of sausage and peppers, and topped the whole thing off with shredded low-fat mozzarella and some Parmesan cheese. It was spectacular!

I'm not so much giving you a pizza recipe here today, as I am encouraging you to think creatively about your use of left-overs. I will, however, include a recipe for the garlic sauce and for the seasoned ricotta. The rest is up to you. You're smart, you'll figure it out.

White Garlic Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup of fat-free Half and Half, at room temperature
  • 1/8 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add the minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, and saute stirring, for one minute. Add the flour and stir well to combine with the oils, saute for one minute.

2. Add the room temperature half and half and immediately raise the heat to high, whisk well to incorporate the roux with the liquid. Bring the mixture to a full boil and let boil, while whisking constantly, for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and is reduced to the consistency of Alfredo sauce. The thickened sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low when properly thickened.

3. Add a pinch of Kosher salt, some freshly ground black pepper to taste, and a grating of fresh nutmeg if desired. Add 1/8 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and whisk to melt into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more of anything you like. Remove from heat, cover the sauce pan and reserve until pizza time. (Hint, be sure to whisk the sauce again prior to use to smooth as it may thicken further as it cools.)

Seasoned Ricotta Cheese for White Pizza:
  • one 15 ounce container of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well until thoroughly incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more of whatever you like. Reserve until ready to make the pizza, chilled in fridge if necessary.

Some rough directions for pizza assembly: spread crust with an even layer of white garlic sauce, top with dollops of seasoned ricotta cheese, using a fork to spread ricotta in an even layer. Pile on your pizza toppings (meaning use up your left-overs!) then top with a handful of shredded low-fat mozzarella and a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, according to pizza dough directions ... or your own pizza wisdom.

Of course, once you've turned the lonely bits and pieces in your fridge into a new and exciting meal, you'll sometimes - ok, often - end up with left-overs of your left-overs. Worse things could happen.

Bon appetite!

Monday, August 2, 2010

BlogHer '10 + Farm Fresh Garlic

No, BlogHer and garlic have nothing to do with one another ... at least not as far as I can tell. I'm simply using this photo as an intro to my question of the day. I'll tell you all about the garlic, in due course.

So, are any of you going to BlogHer '10 this Friday and Saturday (8/6 and 8/7) in NYC this weekend?

I am! If you'll be there too, please drop me a line in the comments so I will know to look out for you! I already know that Jenn from Savor the Thyme and Mo Diva will be there ... and I'm looking forward to meeting you both! Anyone else making the trip???

Though this is the general BlogHer Conference, and not the foodie edition, I figured I'd check it out - especially as I had such a good time at BlogHer Food '09. I'm looking forward to it and hope that some of my foodie pals will be there as well. Let me know if you're planning to attend!

As for the garlic, this is just a sample of my bro's summer 2010 offerings. He's harvested hundreds upon hundreds of sweet, succulent fresh garlic from his garden, and he was gracious enough to put together a sampler for me. Above from left: German White Garlic, Bavarian Purple Garlic, and Spanish Roja Garlic. Seen at the very end of the display are some lovely shallots - also fresh from his garden.

I've been having lots of fun incorporating the different varieties into our meals ... and I hope to tell you all about it ... soon. This week is a little hectic for me. Mama and Papa Diva will be here for the day on Wednesday and I'll be at BlogHer on Friday ... so my posting may be sparse.

Hang in there and stay tuned for the garlic themed dishes to come. On the menu for tomorrow: white pizza with garlic sauce. You won't want to miss this one ... it was spectacular!

Have a happy Monday!