Dried figs—just one or two—are perfect sliced
Bites, nibbles, crumbly blobs of Parmesan and breadcrumbs on small pieces of eggplant. This experiment made at least a dozen rounds in my kitchen before reaching this blog. It sounded good, but unless I took out duck-tape, the ‘breading’ had no inclination whatsoever to actually stick to the eggplant. I tried egg whites and whole eggs, small sized eggplant and eggplant cakes. The taste profile worked: it is a mini… [more]
Every so often, the boys and I trek to the Paperback Exchange—an English bookstore—near the Duomo in Florence. While their books are a bit overpriced, it remains a gem as it is full of paperbacks, cookbooks, school books and more. Plus you can turn in already-read books for pennies on the dollar (we are big fans of ‘recycling’ books—it is less about the pennies).
On one such day, Anthony (my… [more]
Talk of tomatoes. chitter, chatter, chatty-chat-chat. Whisper, buzz, tweet and twitter. Giggle, gossip, pass the docket. Call me, tell me, ring me, text it. Talk, talk, talk, chitter-chat-twit.
Hhhmmmmm—ever want to just put a sock in it?… [more]
… or a pile of breadcrumbs, pine nuts and Parmesan. That would work too.
Sometimes it is worth putting a sock it in. I mean, I am ALL for riveting dinner conversation, and
(No, this is not a photo of a jar of fig spread. But it is involved with what to do with a jar of fig spread, so keep reading).
I finally bought a jar of fig spread.
I have seen jars of fig spread, staring me down from the store shelf, daring me to try it. Daring me to see if I was as clever as it was poised. Could… [more]
The containers are critical. You need containers that are no larger than the slices of eggplant being layered. The eggplant is both the bottom and ‘lid’ layer. I used fresh tomatoes, but I also made it successfully with really yummy jarred tomatoes. The sky is the limit: look in your fridge for the little bits of vegetables remaining. Who is congregating in your veggie drawer?
Grill or saute the vegetables.… [more]
I find ‘white bean spread’ to be a spy-cover for what it really is: roasted garlic spread (at least—my version of it).
It is so common in trattorias and osterias all around Tuscany and greater Italy, to find a mix of bruschetta or crostini on the menu. In Tuscany we frequently run into these crostini toppers: liver spread, tomatoes, lard with or without honey, olive paste, ricotta, and very frequently:… [more]
How fun! I thought I had already posted this ‘easy app.’ My sister in law brought it to a holiday party and all it took was a bowl of crackers for this appetizer to gain notoriety among guests. Not much to say (this, coming from the talker?!); all you need is goat cheese (room temperature, spread onto plate), pesto (make your own or buy your favorite) and lightly toasted … [more]
I am taking Asian cuisine this quarter. It is not my usual fare—though I enjoy the flavors and am intrigued by the many tastes. In fact, I had a choice of a handful of different classes and effectively made myself take Asian: just for exposure sake. Asian cookery is known for its different techniques and emphasis on texture; it is often quite counter to what is ‘classic’—aka French—cuisine.
Some of… [more]
If you know Aunt Vicki—or are my extended family— then you know exactly what cheese ball I am talking about.
We grew up with this appetizer at holiday after holiday party. Christmas primarily. It was its own icon; Aunt Vicki would show up looking splendid, out dressing us all (some have it, some don’t…. she does), and with her came THE cheese ball appetizer.
Now when I was 6 or… [more]