Thursday, April 29, 2010

Foodie Friday - cocoPop

When bloggers get crazy busy they don't blog.  When bloggers who usually write about food get busy, they don't blog or cook.  In my case, life has gotten hectic, and I've been doing minimal cooking that will leave enough left over for a second or even third meal. Oh, and I don't stop to take photos. Even though last night's meatloaf was fabulous, I didn't have time to coax it into becoming photogenic.  We ate it, I dumped the dishes in the sink, and ran to a meeting. So lately food has to be simple in our house, that's why I like this new product that we recently discovered in Wegman's, our local upscale supermarket.

Let me introduce you to cocoPop rice cakes.

They're nifty whole grain 'cakes', about 5" in diameter, that are freshly 'shot' from an exotic machine right in the store.  (Think puffed rice here.)  The first time we heard them being made, I thought it was a gun shot!  Luckily, I did not embarrass myself by diving into the cheese counter.  I love Wegman's and do wish to keep shopping there.

Here's what an unadorned cocoPop looks like. 
Nothing special, and rather plain tasting.  (Think rice cake.)

They do look better stacked, don't you think?
And they'll look even better to you when you read this label...
That's right, only 16 calories each, no fat, no cholesterol, and only 4g of carbohydrates!  I think this may be the new miracle food.  With those low numbers, you can put hummus, or other spreads on these babies and not feel guilty.  Put some pico de gallo on them and you're burning up all of the calories that have just entered your mouth by the simple act of chewing!   (One cake + 1/4 cup pico de gallo = 34 can you beat that???)

Of course, I've discovered that they are best with Nutella.  Oh my, oh my...How that changes the calories.  One cake + 2Tbsp. Nutella, (no sense skimping), = 216 calories.  Hey, it was dessert! Still not too shabby!
I have no way of knowing how widely available this product is nationwide, but if you spot them in your local supermarket give them a try.  Oh, and don't forget the Nutella!

This post is being linked to Foodie Friday.  To start your culinary adventure, just click on the link. Our hostess, Michael Lee, has Mr. Linky ready to escort you to dozens of wonderful food blogs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Food For Thought

Traveling With Pomegranates ****
Traveling With Pomegranates is listed as a 'travel memoir', but don't be deceived by that simplistic classification.  Sure, there's a bit of souvenir shopping, and wonderful passages that describe foreign locales, but there are other much more complicated journeys occurring in this book. 

Sue Monk Kidd is approaching her 50th birthday and has entered perimenopause with a bang.  Her daughter Ann, is about to graduate from college and enter the 'real' world. Each is crossing the threshold into the unknown and both are confused, and at times depressed, about the changes that are occurring in their lives. Trips through Greece and France bring direction and revelations, while their time spent traveling together renews and strengthens the mother-daughter bond that Sue fears may have diminished while Ann was away at school.

Early on, it becomes apparent that both women are also on spiritual journeys. Sue is continuing the trek she chronicles in her earlier works. Ann's is just beginning.

After reading the book jacket blurb, I fully expected to have a strong connection to Sue, considering she's my peer and the 'mother' half of the writing team.  I was rather surprised to find that I was much more in sync with daughter Ann!

I lost patience with Sue's attitude towards menopause, and her search for her 'Old Woman'.  She spends far too much time contemplating her own death, instead of embracing her new freedoms. About half way through the book, I also lost interest in her obsession with the Persephone-Demeter myth and her quest for the 'sacred feminine' through the Black Madonnas. I suppose that my religious background, combined with a 'Snap out of it already!' attitude are responsible for my irritation with Sue, but those are the reasons that I dropped this book to 4 stars. (Okay, I was a tiny bit sympathetic, but not enough to go for the full 5.)

(FYI: If you ever need a Greek Goddess refresher course, click here and bookmark. It will direct you to a very clever website that's an invaluable and fun resource.)

Before I explain my attraction to Ann's travelogue, I should mention the 'edibles' encountered in the book. Remarkably, little is mentioned about the food in France, although there is a funny hamburger scene.  There are, however, several meals mentioned during the travels through Greece.  This made me happy. This made me cook!

Of course there was the obligatory Greek salad as shown in the first picture.  Always a delightful first course!

Next up...Moussaka.  Ann experiences the Greek national dish while on tour with her college history class.  I read. I salivated. I created.

And last, but not least...dessert.  Baklava would have been appropriate, but Galaktaboureko was something I had been craving. 

Flaky phyllo dough is filled with a custard thickened with farina. Then the entire pastry is bathed in syrup that is flavored with orange peel and cinnamon. A perfect end to a perfect meal. Indeed this was food for the Gods and Goddesses!  (I think Mary would have approved, too.)
Now back to Ann, and why I was so taken with her version of the story.  I was only a year younger than Ann when I found myself in Greece for 2 1/2 months. My closest friend and her mother were going on an extended vacation to visit family and asked if I would like to go. I hesitated, but like Ann, I heard, "If you don't go, you'll regret it."  I listened. I went. It changed my life in a way that was very similar to what Ann experiences.  The tour guide assigned to Ann's college group tells her that this life changing experience is called 'the Greek Miracle.'  I didn't know there was a name for it.  I just know that it happened to me.

Ann was a history major in college, and was researching a paper on Athena while on her first tour.  She was hoping to see this relief in the museum at the Acropolis in Athens, but the museum was closed. She doesn't get to see the piece until a return trip a few years later.  When she does finally get to view the real thing, her interpretation is different. Her life has changed. She sees the relief through different eyes.
I was an English major, and except for the photos in our art history textbook, and the Parthenon made out of sugar cubes that was enthroned in a corner of the art room, I had little knowledge of Greek art.  I reveled in all art that I encountered in Greece, but the statue of Aphrodite and Eros fending off Pan that is on display in the National Museum in Athens, struck a particular chord with me.  I probably would have been transfixed in front of this piece for several hours if the museum hadn't closed for the night.

I thought that I was Aphrodite in this scenario, because I was the Queen of two dates.  If I didn't think a particular date was 'the one', I refused number 3, sandal in hand.  I was working my way through college and didn't have the time or inclination to waste on dead ends.  My mother used to tell me that I was too critical.
Now, many years later, I'm wondering if I was actually Pan in the grouping. Was I afraid of being alone?  (His name is the root for the word panic.) 

I did start dating my husband a few months after I returned from the trip.  When my mother flippantly asked me if they'd be seeing 'this one' again, my immediate answer was, "Yes. This one I'm going to marry."  I had a new open heart and equally open mind, but I still wasn't willing to settle for 2nd best. Lo and behold, Mr. Right had materialized.Strange, no?

It took me a long time to write this post.  I kept stopping to look at pictures and postcards from that trip, and reread the journal that I kept that summer.  Honestly, I think I enjoyed my reverie more than I enjoyed Sue and Ann's memoir. Our experiences certainly do color how we feel about what we read.

(Note: If you're a fan of Sue's novel, The Secret Life of Bees, you can watch the groundwork for the book take shape during the authors travels.  I also feel compelled to explain the lack of pomegranate photos in this post. Earlier this week, I scoured my corner of NE Pennsylvania for one of these exotic beauties, but alas, my hunt was 'fruitless.')

This post is being linked to Food for Thought. Please click on the link to discover more timely 'edible' book reviews.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Food for Thought

Here If You Need Me ***** Kate Braestrup is not just another housefrau, and her book, Here If You Need Me, is definitely not just another run of the mill memoir. The story begins when her husband, Drew, a 34 year old Maine State Trooper, is killed in an automobile accident while on patrol. Left a widow, with four young children, Kate is led to pursue her husband's dream of becoming a minister.

After she completes her studies, Kate seeks employment as a counsler with the State Police, which was Drew's goal, but there are no positions available, and she is ultimately employed by the Maine Game Warden Service.

Drawing on her skills, (she was already an accomplished writer), Ms. Braestrup chronicals her husband's death, her experiences as Chaplain to the Warden Service, and the trials of being a single parent. She does this with a very deft hand. She also explores the spirituality of death as it relates to her family and job situations, and the healing power of love. I truly admired the candor she displays in the telling of her amazing journey through difficult situations. Her honesty is at once refreshing and awe inspiring. How she manages to pack this all into a relatively short book is downright amazing.

Food vignettes in this book center around comfort food. Right after news of Drew's death reaches the community, a neighbor brings brownies to the family's doorstep. It's just the first of many such deliveries that will be made in the weeks and months following the accident.

The Warden Service also runs on food. The Wardens fish, trap hunt and then prepare their catch. They even do all of the cooking and serving at their annual dinner.
Kate's on call 24/7, and sometimes is on extended duty during search and rescue missions. She mentions endless cups of coffee and sandwiches eaten in the cabs of the Warden's trucks, and the stews and soups dipensed by the Salvation Army canteens set up on site.
Family meals get a nod too, and are woven into the tale of balancing a life where multitasking is the norm.

The book ends with the description of a search for an Alzheimer patient who has wandered into the woods. Volunteers who are too old to search the woods gather at the firehouse and cook for the professionals and volunteers combing the area.

I really admire Kate Braestrup and I'm totally taken by this book, but I feel obliged to issue a warning. If you're the least little bit squeamish about the mechanics of death, you may want to read this memoir with a bit of caution. It's not gorey, just candid and real...very, very real.
This post is being linked to Food For Thought. For more reviews, please pop over to the website by clicking the button at the top of the page.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Foodie Friday-Thai Style Rice Noodles with Chicken

I just love cooking in the wok. There's only one pan to wash, and once the prep work is done the meal goes together in a flash. This Thai style noodle recipe is one of our favorites. It's hearty and satisfying in the cooler months, yet seems light and refreshing on a warm summer day. It's truly a dish for all seasons.

Here's the cast of characters:

7 ounces rice stick noodles - 1 Tbsp. canola or safflower oil - 2 cloves of garlic, minced - 3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped - 4 scallions, chopped - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sambal oleck (or one small red chili, seeded and finely minced) - 10 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely chopped - 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced - 1 large carrot, finely shredded - 5 cups shredded Chinese or regular cabbage - 4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice - 2 Tbsp. fish sauce - 1 Tbsp. soy sauce - For garnish, any of the following: pickled ginger, cilantro, fresh mint

1) Place rice sticks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes or according to package directions. Drain well.

2) Heat oil in wok and stir-fry garlic, ginger, scallions and chili for about one minute. Add chicken and stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes just until it begins to brown.

3) Stir in the celery and carrot and stir-fry for another 2 minutes to soften. Add Chinese cabbage, then stir in the lime juice mixed with the fish sauce and soy. (Note: If using regular cabbage, you may want to cover and steam for a few minutes now. It takes a bit more cooking than the Chinese leaves. I also double the amount of liquid to accomodate the extra cook time.)

4) Add the drained noodles and toss to heat through.

Sprinkle with the garnishes. We use fresh mint from the garden in the summer and cilantro the rest of the year.

Here's a picture of the wok full of good eatin! It's also very tasty as a cold leftover next day.

For more recipes and a tour of what everyone has been cooking this week, please head over to Designs by Gollum. Michael Lee is our hostess for Foodie Friday, and she's got the tour bus, (Mr. Linky), up, running and ready to take you on a trip to some pretty wonderful food blogs.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary Foodie Friday!

Happy First Anniversary Foodie Friday!

In honor of this momentous occasion, I've baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and invited a few friends to help celebrate. You're invited too, as we thank Michael Lee, at Designs by Gollum, for a year filled with fabulous recipes and wonderful Foodie ideas.

Pull up a chair, grab a cookie, then hop over to her blog and join in the fun and festivities.

And again, thank you Michael for a wonderful year of Foodie Fridays. I've met new friends, tried new recipes and learned much. I've had a ball, and I'm looking forward to year two!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Food for Thought

Very Valentine****

This post is being linked to Food for Thought. Please click on the icon to the right to connect to more "Edible Reviews."
In my little reading corner 'chick lit' always has its place. Sometimes I need a pick me up, or I know I'll have limited reading time. In those cases, I need a novel that's a quick read and not too thought provoking. But most frequently, I treat myself to this genre in between 'heavier' reads.

A good piece of chick lit can serve the same purpose as a sorbet served between courses in a fine restaurant. It can cleanse the mind the way the sorbet cleanses the palate. The very best chick lit can also stand alone as dessert, and that's where I would place Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that it's part of a trilogy, and the novel ends with unresolved story lines. A fifth star will have to be earned by books 2 and 3. (The second book, Brava, Valentine, was release last Tuesday and is on its way to me now.)

The main character is Valentine Roncalli, a 33 year old, single, Italian-American woman who abandons her career as a high school teacher to become an apprentice to her octogenarian Grandmother. Together they create handmade bridal shoes in their workshop/home in Greenwich Village. Along the way, Val has a proposal of marriage from her long standing boy friend, Brett. Here's her reaction:

"...I felt the great relief that comes with being alone. I needed to seek my own counsel, to think things through. So I made a dish of spaghetti with fresh tomatoes from this garden, olive oil from Arezzo, and sweet white garlic. I made a salad of artichokes and black olives. I opened a bottle of wine...Then I sat down to eat a glorious meal, slowly savoring every bite and sip.

I realized that my answer to his proposal, upon his return, would not be the great moment; the great moment had already happened. He had asked."
Valentine is a woman who enjoys good food and she's also a thinker.
She turns down Brett's offer of marriage, because she realizes that they're heading down different paths.
Of course another love interest pops up in the form of restaurateur Roman Falco. He's a hunk and he cooks...need I say more? He prepares a meal for Valentine's family on a night that his restaurant is closed. Truffle ravioli is the pasta course, followed by roast pork with root vegetables and preceded by a fabulous sounding antipasto. Despite the sumptuous fare, the evening is ruined by a Roncalli family squabble.
Roman has issues with the in-fighting in his own family, and he is not amused.
Roman and Val are both devoting huge amounts of time to their careers and business problems, and not making enough time for each other. To make amends, Roman makes plans to meet Val on the Isle of Capri after she concludes a buying trip to Tuscany with her Grandmother.

On their arrival in Tuscany, they check in to an inn where the proprietor knows Gran from her previous trips. The Senora serves them each a crock of perfect minestrone, crusty bread, fresh butter and wine.
In Tuscany, Gran reveals a few secrets about her past and present. Val meets one of Gran's suppliers who is also a special friend, and his son Gianluca. Gianluca becomes Valentine's tour guide in Tuscany and when Roman has to cancel his trip to Capri because of problems at the restaurant back in Manhattan he also shows up on the Isle. Val is attracted to Gianluca, but basically remains faithful to Roman, despite his no show status and her subsequent anger.

Left to her own devices on Capri, Valentine spends her days working with an elderly master shoemaker, Costanzo, who is 'besotted' with her. He approves of the fine shoemaking skills that she has aquired. She learns much in only a week and she hates to leave him. He feeds her breakfasts of fresh figs and pizza alige, and makes a special lunch of fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella on her final day. He calls it their 'last supper.'
Valentine falls in love with Tuscany and the relaxed lifestyle, but she has to admit that she also loves Manhattan. She ponders how to bring elements of Tuscany into her New York life. Ironically, I was reading Frances Mayes Bringing Tuscany Home while I was reading Very Valentine, and they made perfect companions.

Not too long after Valentine and Gran return home, Gran takes a fall and is hospitalized. Gianluca and his father fly to New York as soon as they hear, and in an amazing hospital room scene many things occur, including a face to face meeting between Gianluca and Roman. Roman is there because Gran was complaining about hospital food and he had specially prepared panne cotta for her.

I liked this book for many reasons. I've always loved New York city. I learned to love Long Island, (although it took a while), and I love Forest Hills where Val's parents live. (We actually have Italian family there.) We always go to Ferrara's in Little Italy for pastry, and we've been to a wedding at Leonard's of Great Neck. All of these places are exactly as Trigiani describes them. She writes with warmth, humor and great affection for her characters. You really can't ask for much more.

I love this Italian family and found it refreshing, and much more realistic, that they were portrayed as just a loud, large Italian family and not cast members of the Sopranos. The family members as written are people I've met. Gran is a very hip 80 year old, Valentine is the quintessential 30 something New Yorker, and Val's mom is the chic middle aged Italian matron that I've encountered several times over.

I also liked the fact that there were no shortage of food scenes in this book. If I illustrated them all, I'd still be in the kitchen! I even finally used the pasta machine and ravioli press that my husband bought me last year! Thank you Adriana.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Foodie Friday - A Chinese New Year Valentine

This year, Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year are on the same day, and what better way to treat your sweetheart than with a few of his favorite Asian dishes. This worked out well for me, because I prepared one dinner that covered both occasions. I planned this for tonight because of this post, and the fact that it will leave us free to do brunch on Sunday! That's a nice bonus.

We started our meal with Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls accompanied by nuoc cham for dipping. Round rice wrappers, (banh trang), are soaked in warm water until softened, then filled and rolled like an egg roll. These were filled with prepared rice noodles, cooked shrimp, cucumber, carrot, scallion, snow peas, and fresh cilantro. They're a year round favorite here, but are especially nice during the summer when it's too hot to do much cooking. When the mint is over running the garden during the warmer months, we add that too.

Our main course was Thai Green Curry Chicken with Long Beans. Chicken is poached in a coconut milk sauce that is seasoned with Thai green chile paste, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce, lime, and fresh basil leaves. This dish is packed with flavor, and can be mildly hot or very hot, depending on how much curry paste you add. We serve this over jasmine rice. The rice collects some of the sauce, which is very thin, and also mitigates a bit of the heat. This dish is simple to prepare. Finding 'exotic' ingredients is what consumed my time.
I would have made Thai Black Rice Pudding for dessert, but in my travels to local food stores I've yet to find the special rice. As a substitute, my husband requested my regular rice pudding. It's a perfect finish to almost any meal, so I'm including the recipe that an Aunt gave me years ago.
Creamy Rice Pudding

Cook 3/4 cup long grain rice in 1 quart of water. Don't let dry out. When the rice absorbs most of the water and looks creamy, add 1 quart of milk and bring back to a boil.

Thoroughly mix together 2-3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, a dash of salt, and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. (You can also add a cup of raisins now, if desired.)

Using a whisk, whip the egg mixture into the boiling rice mixture. Stirring constantly bring back to a boil. Pour into a large serving bowl. Chill before serving. (Note: Pudding thickens as it stands.)

This post is being linked to Designs by Gollum, where Foodie Friday is well under way. Please stop by and visit our hostess, Michael Lee, and see what others are cooking up for the dual holiday on February 14th.

Happy New Year and Happy Valentine's Day..........Nancy

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Foodie Friday - Japanese Steak House Sauces and Restaurant Week in NYC

If I ask my husband what he'd like me to make for dinner, 9 out of 10 times it will be some type of Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Thai food will put a smile on his face any night of the week.

One of our favorite dinners is a Japanese steak house style plate. Mushrooms, zucchini, and rice are the mainstays. We use beansprouts if we have them, and then we complete the meal with chicken, shrimp, scallops, beef or lobster. This past week we chose chicken, because I had some in the freezer.
While the meat or fish and vegetables are certainly delicious served as prepared, they are tremendously enhanced by the addition of ginger or mustard sauce. Years ago I stumbled upon the recipes for both. I make them well in advance of preparing the rest of the meal, so the flavors mellow a bit.

Japanese Ginger Sauce

1 small onion , sliced 1 small piece of ginger cut into small dice

1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix at high speed for 2 minutes, until ginger and onion are finely chopped. Just before serving, strain if desired.

Japanese Mustard Sauce

1 Tablespoon dry mustard 2 Tablespoons hot water 1/4 clove garlic, crushed

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted 3/4 cup soy sauce 3 T. whipping cream, whipped

In small bowl, combine mustard and water until smooth. Place in blender and add remaining ingredients except whipped cream and blend on high until smooth. Remove to bowl and stir in whipped cream.

BTW: You don't need a hibachi table to prepare this meal. Any griddle or large flat fry pan works just as well.

Please go visit our hostess, Michael Lee, at Designs by Gollum for more Foodie Friday surprises. She'll have Mr. Linky up and ready to take you on this weeks culinary tour.

Foodie Friday Extra!!!

Restaurant Week is drawing to a close in NYC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, participating restaurants charge a reduced price for full course lunches or dinners. This year the lunch price was set at $24.07. Reservations are snapped up quickly, but this year my son was able to get one for lunch at Nobu, chef Nobu Matsuhisa's trendy restaurant in Tribeca. He's wanted to go there forever, but the budget of a family of four didn't really permit the luxury. To say he was excited would be a total understatement. He kept sneaking pictures of the food with his phone and sent them along after each course! Here's the email he sent when he returned home...further proof that some Foodies are born into the fold. (BTW: He's a really good cook, too.)

The food was simply outrageous. It WAS the best meal I've ever (and probably will ever have) eaten. The portions were proper, too. We left satisfied, and didn't have to make an emergency stop at Grimaldi's on the way home (that was our contingency plan should they give us teeny-tiny bites of really nice food). If they do it next year, I want you and Dad to come - he would've been in heaven between the Rock Shrimp Tempura w. Creamy/Spicy sauce and the Beef Anticucho. The sauce on the Anticucho was brilliantly spicy with Peruvian peppers, and required the provided sticky rice to temper the heat - right up Dad's alley. You probably would've chosen entree #3 - almost every diner around us did - the broiled Black Cod with Miso. It smelled heavenly, and the fish was flaking off of everyone's chopsticks. It looked perfect.

The Sashimi Salad was pan-seared tuna with pepper crust, two large pieces, over mixed greens, with Chef Nobu's personal dressing, the best variation on a sesame-ginger I've ever tried. I tasted equal parts ginger/garlic/onion, and had a low acidity point, as to not further cook the fish. The sushi was fantastic - every piece melted in our mouths, not like what we get at places around here, which is tasty but requires some work. These were all "like butter!" M shared two pieces of her tuna roll with me, as well as the maguro (tuna) and cooked shrimp sushi. She polished off three different pieces of white fish (looked like sea bream, yellowtail, and smoked salmon), salmon, salmon roe (I identified it for her - she loved it), and 4 pieces of the tuna roll.

Dessert was Tofu Cheesecake! I was worried we'd get some variation on green tea ice cream, but they totally came through - light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious, it was served with a lemon-orange sauce, a spoonful of syrupy diced apple, and a crispy chip seasoned with cinnamon and cardamom. It made for a perfect finish to a perfect meal.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Food for Thought

Consuming Passions - A Food Obsessed Life *****

Do you read cook books like they're novels? Do you enjoy a good memoir? Do you like to laugh? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West should fly to the top of your 'must read' list.
Author West takes us on a guided tour of the southern kitchens that she knew as a child, but she doesn't stop there. With a witty and breezy writing style, she also candidly chronicles her adventures and mishaps in her own kitchen, while sharing treasured family recipes. Stories about making breakfast for her new husband, mastering the art of making her grandmothers buttermilk biscuits, her husband's foray into bee keeping, and the quest for the best egg salad recipe are wonderful telltale vignettes of a true foodie's life.
There are also helpful hints scattered through out the book. We learn how to season cast iron cookware, what type of food to bring to a funeral, how to handle kitchen fires and what to do when you're burned while cooking. The aunts and Mama also liberally dispense advice on men folk, and some of their hysterical observations certainly ring true!
Along the way we're introduced to a wonderful cast of family characters. Aunt Dell, the family 'artiste', Aunt Tempe, renown for her coconut cake, and Ary Jean, West's mama are just a few of the colorful southern women who bring spice and life to this memoir. They're so skillfully drawn, that you feel you know them by the end of the book.
So pour yourself a tall glass of sweet tea, (if you don't have a recipe there's one in the book), and settle down for a most enjoyable read. Of course you won't be seated for long, because when you read some of these recipes you'll be on your feet, in the kitchen, and up to your elbows in flour!
This post is being linked to Food For Thought. If you'd like to read more book reviews please just click the icon at the top of this page. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Foodie Friday - Cheatin' Pizza

Meet my new best friend... Yes, it's that cute little Poppin' Fresh, and he brought me a pizza crust! That's a good thing to have on hand when you've had a hectic day, all of a sudden it's 6PM, and you need a quick, easy dinner. (This is especially true when it's really, really cold outside, and a trip to the local pizza joint just isn't gonna happen.)

My husband and I like thin, crisp crust, so first we roll the dough out with a rolling pin on a large, very lightly oiled cookie sheet.
It goes into a hot oven for a few minutes to crisp up a little,
Then my sous-chef, aka: husband, will cover the crust with sauce and toppings. This particular 'pie' is half white, which is a mixture of ricotta, grated pecorino romano and shredded mozzarella. We ran a small clove of garlic through the press and chopped some fresh basil, then tossed those seasonings into the cheese mixture as well.
Now back into the hot oven for about 12 minutes, (NB: After 5 minutes, your house will smell like a wonderful Italian restaurant. It's a nifty bonus!)

Now for the finished product...
Start to finish this only took us 25 minutes, and there's always enough left over for lunch the next day. Best of all, it was piping hot, because it didn't have to take a ride in a cold car and be carried though a 16 degree night.
Please stop by Designs by Gollum and see what else was cooking this week around the blogosphere. Our hostess, Michael Lee, has provided Mr. Linky to guide you on your way...