Friday, September 29, 2006

blonde quote of the day

"It is great to be a blonde. With low expectations it's very easy to surprise people."

- Pamela Anderson

Sunday, September 24, 2006

August Re-cap

I’m a basket case. It’s practically October and I’m just now getting around to my August re-cap. And can we please not address the fact that I went on a gorgeous, decadent trip to Europe and didn’t even bother to write one, single short little blog entry about it? I’ve got stacks of notes all over my desk at work, and a disposable camera still waiting to be developed, and I just can’t seem to get it together.

New Restaurants:

Cute little French places:

Cute little Italian places: (yes, that is a cat!)

Not so cute American airport places:
Chili’s To-Go – JFK International Airport
Chili’s To-Go – Atlanta International Airport

Cultural Event:

Nice, France!

Sori, Italy!

Knoxville, Tennessee! (emergency re-fueling, we weren't allowed off the plane!)

I think I saw something on the plane…but the sleeping pills I took may not have helped me remember it.

Uh, yeah…. No. But I did pick up a lot of Italian cooking magazines.

Cook? Who has time?

This is pitiful….August was quite possibly the best month of 2006 to date and this is the worst re-cap imaginable! But at least it has pictures…

Friday, September 15, 2006

blonde quote of the day

"I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for."

- W.C. Fields (1880-1946)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Crazy Things We Do for Love...

Love makes you do crazy things.

I’ve highlighted my hair, poured hot wax on my nether regions and tinted by eyebrows – all in the pursuit of love.

I’ve written short stories, the better part of a trashy novel and even a one-act play – all inspired by love.

I’ve teetered around in too-high heels, stuffed myself into “suck ‘em” and “tuck ‘em” contraptions of every size, shape and color and doused myself in costly colognes reeking of exotic fruits and flowers – again, for love.

But never, never have I made a savory tart on a weeknight for the man that I love. Till now.

Inspired by a recipe I found on Orangette, I’ve made some adaptations that have resulted in two very tasty tarts (if you can find it in your heart to forgive the camera phone photos!).

Roasted Tomato Tart with Crème Fraîche and Thyme
Inspired by Orangette, which was inspired by Food & Wine, June 2003

4 lbs ripe heirloom tomatoes, halved
½ - ¾ cup olive oil
1 bunch lemon thyme, leaves plucked off
salt and black pepper to taste
½ package refrigerated pie crust dough (you could make your own, I suppose, but it’s a weeknight!)
2 Tbs crème fraîche
2 Tbs dijon mustard
Zest from half a lemon
1 Tbs lemon juice
½ cup shredded cheese, one that melts well (I used the Quattro Formaggio blend from Trader Joe’s)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss the halved tomatoes with the lemon thyme leaves, olive oil, a healthy pinch of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Place on baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for 30 minutes. Flip the tomatoes so they are cut side up and roast for another 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the pie crust dough into a greased and floured 8 or 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Cover loosely with tin foil. Use pie weights or beans if you have them to help the crust maintain its shape. (I never bother – I live on the culinary edge and take my chances.) If you have room, put the crust in the oven with the tomatoes for the final 15-20 minutes. The crust should be just barely golden, and the bottom firm.

As the tomatoes and crust cool to room temperature, in a small bowl combine the crème fraîche, dijon mustard, lemon juice, zest, a small pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Pour this into the cooled crust and top with the shredded cheese. Arrange the roasted tomatoes on top of the cheese decoratively and then put back in the oven for a final 15-20 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the crust golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variation: Roasted Zucchini

Instead of the tomatoes, slice zucchini lengthwise into ¼” strips and roast in the same manner for 15 minutes on each side. Assemble as directed above and enjoy!

Although I haven’t tried it yet, I believe that this tart base would be delicious with any number of different roasted vegetables, or perhaps some caramelized onions. It’s very easy to modify and with a little practice, very easy to whip-up on a weeknight!