Saturday, February 16, 2013

Under the Tuscan....gun

Watching cooking shows is my weakness.  I'll often have it on "in the background" and I can hear the host mention one word.....one ingredient....and I have to go in, sit down, and watch.  My TRUE weakness is anything that pertains to Italian food.  I harken back to my childhood....and I'm a goner.

Today I have to go into work at Disney and my husband made me fresh blueberry pancakes (for the second day in a row!) So I wanted something a little "substantial.....but light" (if that makes any sense, LOL) before I had to leave.  I decided to take the fresh basil, fresh strawberries, fresh arugula and some of the mixed greens from a bag in the fridge, and some chunked (is that a WORD?  I think so.) up homemade Italian "toast" I had made ...and make a "salad".  When I got it all together....I had no idea what type of dressing to put on it....so I took about 2-3 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar, about 1-2 tablespoons of honey, the juice of 1/4 of a lemon and heated it, stirring constantly.  I brought it JUST to a boil....then let it cool slightly after which time I "drizzled" it over my salad.  The result?  HEAVEN.

But then let me tell you about my OTHER "inspiration" this morning!  This week at Publix, they are selling their pre-made Italian pizza doughs at a "BOGO" (buy one, get one free).  I had gotten two while shopping on Thursday and made a fresh pizza for that night but the other one, due to last minute things that came up late yesterday was still in the fridge this morning.  I didn't really want to make an entire pizza and eat it before work....so I hatched a plan.  I rolled it out onto my cutting board into a large rectangle.  I melted 1/4 of a stick of butter and ran a (large) clove of garlic through my garlic press.  I then used my pastry brush to "brush" about 3/4 of the mixture over the surface of the rolled out dough.  Then I sprinkled on chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh basil, and some dried oregano and topped all of THAT off with about a scant 1/4 c. of grated Parmesan.  I rolled it and then placed it into a bread pan that I had sprayed with cooking spray and painted the top of it with the remaining butter/garlic mixture.  I had a small amount of the cheese left so I sprinkled that on as well and baked it for about 40 minutes in a 350 oven.  It was delicious.  My only regret was that I felt I should have rolled it tighter, so if you try this....roll tightly.

I can't wait for my husband to wake up (he works nights, but will wake up before I have to leave today) to try the bread.  I only wish he could've had some while it was warm...and that he could have tried the salad (I ate it all...LOL)

I love coming up with great ideas on my own....and hope you do to.  That's what the adventure of cooking is all ABOUT.  I could eat Italian every day.  I love Mexican food (due to 10+ years spent living in Southern California), I love Greek food (due to many years with Greek neighbors and friends) but I LIVE for Italian food.  I don't think there's ANYTHING that smells more beautiful than fresh basil, fresh parmesan cheese, the smell of garlic cooking in really good olive oil....it's perfume for the senses....and the soul.

Food quote: "La cucina piccola fal la casa grande." (Translation: "A small kitchen makes the home big")

Buon appetito a tutte


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