Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taking A Breather


I'm taking a blogging break for a while....I'll be around here and there, and if something strikes me as super blog worthy of course I'll post it. But for now, I'm just going to step away from the blog for a tiny bit. Don't forget me, I'll be back!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reposting An Old List

I was looking back in my archives for something a few minutes ago when I came across a list I made one night in response to something that made me angry. I had Googled something like "Ways to make your life better" or something silly like that and the number one response was "Get married". I didn't like that answer. So I made my own list, which I am reposting for you now...


1. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you, who make you laugh, and who would be most likely to step in front of a bus for you.

2. Step in front of a bus for those people.

3. Laugh out loud at everything that makes you laugh. Don't stifle the giggle. The giggle doesn't like to be stifled.

4. Be whimsical whenever possible. Even if Especially if it makes you look silly.

5. Drink lots of water. I don't know why, but it helps.

6. Take pride in being the best at what you do. If you aren't the best at what you do, take pride at doing the best you can. Even if that means coming in last.

7. Take the time to notice the little things that make people wonderful-the hidden smiles, a mischievous sparkle in their eyes or the way a friend makes 3 hours seem like 5 minutes.

8. Hug a kid. Make them shower you with kisses. Make them laugh so hard you think they might need diapers again. Play Hungry, Hungry Hippos until your fingers fall off. Sing songs and paint pictures. But only do it if you know the kid. If not, you should be reading another list.

9. Do what you love. If you aren't doing what you love, take a step in that direction.

10. Thank God for the things you do have. It's nice to give thanks instead of always asking for more.

Once you've done all of these things, then you can work on the marriage part. Or not. Just make sure you keep your smile.

What's Cookin? Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

Some people hate her (how?) but Ina Garten is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. (I even wrote a paper on her in culinary school!) She seem so friendly and jolly and she cooks food that real people like to eat. She adds a touch of class to everyday normal food, and that's exactly my style. Plus, she owned a little shop and catered, just like I want to do.

Plus, everything I've ever made of hers, turns out to be fantastic. Just like this Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart, pictured above. I made it last night for dinner and boy was it good! It's very easy to make too, which is another great feature. Here is an unmodified recipe courtesy of Ina Garten. Make it-you won't be disappointed.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Directions

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.