Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My herbs




so, this is how condo dwellers do herb gardens. we put them on our windowsills and pray to the green-thumb gods to smile down on our herbs. my basil didn't get the message.

for some reason the basil hates it's new home. i don't know if when i plucked it from the home depot it was having a wild love affair with the basil next to it, but i've tried everything, more light/ less light, more water/ less water, i tried to give it a pep talk (look, this is a major upgrade from the home depot, pull it together), NADA. i have an unhappy basil plant. any ideas out there?

the jury is still out on the parsley,

...but my oregano is a total rockstar! :D

3 baby eggplants sliced = ALOT of eggplant

i do enjoy cooking, but grocery shopping, eh not so much. BUT the other day, i found myself on the other side of town in the best publix EVER, the one by dadeland. man, if that is your normal publix, i envy you, now THAT'S a produce section.

i was inspired by the cutest 3 pack of little eggplants i picked up there.

i woke up yesterday wanting eggplant parm, but i'm not big on frying, so i went on a mission to find a baked eggplant parm recipe. and what do you know? i found one...

Eggplant Parmesan II



ok, so i have to preface that this was a super involved, time consuming recipe, but hey i only needed to check the oven, not worry about splattering oil all over the place so i was a happy camper.

so after reading scores of reviews, i saw that i had to bake them at 425 for 10 min per side, but after i did that, the eggplant was nice and crispy but still wasn't fork tender, so i put them back in the oven for another 5 min and they came out good.

the assembly was fun, the only other change i made was instead of mozzarella, i used an aged provolone blend that had mozz in it and added some shredded Parmesan/Romano blend. when i popped this sucker into the oven for the last 35 minutes, the most delicious smell filled my home.

i never judge on smell alone, so i scrambled to make a side dish, i grabbed a 1/4 filled box of angel hair pasta and another 1/4 filled box of what i thought was more angel hair pasta (cause well, that's how i roll :P), but when i threw it into the pot it looked different. CRAP! i threw in half angel hair (cooking time 4 minutes) and half spaghetti (cooking time 11 min), ay ya yi! i threw some olive oil and some crushed garlic in a pan and heated on low while i tried to figure out how i was going to save the pasta.

save the pasta, save the dinner...

i really hoped my nose was predicting a really good dinner and decided to cook the pasta for 7 minutes, a little fuzzy math and a lot of trying to fish out one strand of spaghetti got me to this number. it worked...phew. tossed the oil/garlic in with the pasta and topped with the parm/romano and some 'fresh' basil.

served it up and viola!


served it to my hubby and as he inhaled it, i asked him, do you like it or did you just not eat lunch? lol. he said it's really good, cept the bigger slices have chewy skins is it supposed to be like that? um, yeah babe, it is. do you want more?! :P

so all in all a good dinner, a slight mishap on the pasta-front and on the chewy skins, but all is well.

next time i may sweat the eggplant or just cut more uniform slices, but it's definitely a keeper. ;)


***UPDATE***
ok, so this was so much better the next day. it's like the ingredients got to know each other better overnight -they had a few laughs and came out of the fridge much better the next day! :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mmmmm....lunch!

Lunch- a meal eaten at mid-day.

Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it ROCKS. Today's lunch is the latter. :)

Today i've devoured (actually currently devouring as i type) a slice of Pizza Rustica's, Pizza Rustica (clever name, doncha think?)



Yup, that's a slice, it's about 12" x 8", one hell of a slice! And it's so yummy.

From their website, pizza-rustica, my pizza is topped with plum tomato sauce, fresh mozzerella, tangy sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, fresh diced plum tomatoes, the finest proscuitto ham, kalamata olives and fresh basil. Cept i don't think the kalamata olives made it to my slice. :P And though it's topped with a ton of toppings, the crust is nice and crispy, when i bite in, there's a satifying crunch.

And if you aren't into pizza bombarded with toppings, they make a great round cheese pizza. Great flavor, really great mild sauce and the pizza dough is nice and soft. It's actually just the opposite of my slice here, but just as good.

Pizza Rustica is an established pizza place on the beach, it's really tiny and they've got quite a selection of different styles of pizza. I saw that they opened several more locations, and to that i say- bravo! Oh wait, hold please i just bit into a kalamata olive! Sweet! Yeah, this pizza rocks! :)

So if it's in your hood, get thee to Pizza Rustica, and enjoy yourself a slice today! Tell them meli sent you (actually don't, they have no clue who i am and may look at you funny, or maybe just politely laugh and then look at you funny)! ;)

Pizza Rustica
www.pizza-rustica.com
863 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, 33139
(305) 674-8244

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Off With His Head!

So Easter has come and gone and what's left? A chocolate bunny. hmmm... what should i do with this thing, i wonder. i can bite off it's head, but for some reason that weirds me out. what to do what to do...




So i made hot chocolate last nite, you know the one from the envelope with the miss from the neutral place?! When i walked into the office, i offered my hubby a sip. He's like i'd love a hot chocolate, i said too bad that's the last hot chocolate in the house. I tasted it, and thought, well that tastes like crap, actually more like dust, but you know, whatev. I handed it over and told him to enjoy it. Then a light bulb goes off in my head. DING! Oh Mr Easter bunny...

After scouring allrecipes.com for a decent hot chocolate recipe and turning up empty handed (ok, so there's a lot of recipes, but none of them were as easy as, warm up water in the micro, dump envelope, stir, enjoy), i found myself at the amateur gourmet searching for hot chocolate. If you've never been to this guy's site, make sure you go, it's well written, clever, funny, informative and well, inspired me to start up my own food blog! :)

And what do you know, he did make a fabulous hot chocolate durning the NYC blizzard of 2006 and you know what it IS as easy as heat, stir and enjoy! Here's where i found it:
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/the_amateur_gourmet/2006/02/how_i_survived_.html

So here's the lowdown. It will now forever be known to me as the best f*ckin hot chocolate EVER!

the best f*ckin hot chocolate
serves 1

1 cup milk
2 oz chocolate (i lobbed off the head of my dark chocolate easter bunny) roughly chopped

in a small saucepan, warm the milk over med/ high heat. add chocolate, stir till melted. bring to a boil, remove from heat and whisk the sh!t out of it. put it back on the stove, reboil, remove, rewhisk. pour and enjoy.

It was amazing! While i was waiting for it to cool (i still burned the sh!t out of my tounge), it got slightly thick, not too thick, but slightly and it was AWESOME!

And since it's uber-boring to read blogs with just text, i'll have to make it again to snap picts. darn. ;)