Friday, September 6, 2013

FFWD ~ Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza, and the IFBC Seattle 2013

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza
This weeks French Friday pick was for Tuna (Prosciutto), Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza.  Since I don’t do raw fish, I changed out the tuna for prosciutto. These were quite easy to put together, whether you choose the tuna or prosciutto.  Using frozen puff pastry, cut out 4 ½ inch rounds and place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Then place another pan on top to weigh them down.  Bake 15 minutes and cool.  In a medium skillet over medium heat, add some olive oil and then the onions.  Cook till soft, but not colored. Sprinkle the onions over each of the puff pastry rounds.  Now it’s time to layer with the mozzarella and the prosciutto (tuna).  Top with the rest of the ingredients fresh basil, olives, cherry tomatoes and radishes.  A sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper to finish them off, and thats it! The flavors were wonderful. The warm mozzarella, prosciutto, salty olives, fresh tomatoes and basil, all piled on top on a buttery round of puff pastry! Absolutely delicious!
A side note.  Honestly, I did not read the last paragraph of this recipe until after I had already made the pizzas. I was not aware that you... pop them back into a 400 degree oven for a few minutes... to heat through or until the tuna is opaque.  I would have eaten opaque tuna!  I will be making these again using the tuna next time! A lesson to be learned here…always read a recipe through to the end!  Happy Friday everyone!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook “Around My French Table” or here on Epicurious.

A delicious lunch!
Rounds of the puff pastry
Easy and delicious!
A winner for sure!

And now for the IFBC….


Almost three years ago, I joined a group of bloggers on a journey to cook through Dorie Greenspans cookbook, “Around My French Table”.   Joining this group was definitely a stretch, out of my comfort zone. Yet it excited me.  I had been reading food blogs for years and, baking was a passion. Who would have thought that, three years later, this group would have forged virtual friendships? Three years of visiting each other week after week, commenting on all those recipes, and getting everyone’s take on whatever we were cooking or baking that week.  It has bonded us.  We are the kindred spirits of the food world.  We share a love for food, cooking and baking! We sang the praises of Marie Helene’s Apple Cake, and wondered about Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar (at least I did).  We were there when Guyla welcomed her new grand baby. We shared the sadness when Mary lost her dear husband. We saw Liz, Cher, and Tricia send their teens off to college.  We watched with interest and excitement as Betsy started raising her bees. Susan has gone through the government furlough. Alice has given birth to another lovely little girl, and made a move back to the U.S. from England. Trevor has taught us Haiku, and always keeps us laughing! In fact, he’s the one who coined the phrase “Dorista”.  Adriana will be traveling the furthest (Puerto Rico).  As for Nana, at 82 she just inspires me!  

Well, after three years, some of us will be meeting for the first time on September 19, at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle. It seems fitting, that Dorie Greenspan is our keynote speaker.  She will also be making some time to meet with our little group of Doristas.  Of course, this is really exciting. The planning started months ago, and finally we are down to the wire.  The excitement is building!  We are all looking forward to finally meeting each other, and Dorie. The IFBC is organized by and Zephyr Adventures, and was the first ever conference for food bloggers.  It debuted in May of 2009.  This year it will have over 300 bloggers in attendance. The conference focuses on three main themes: Food, Writing and Technology.  There will be educational and informational sessions including food photography, cooking demos, technology seminars, writing and food sessions, and opportunities to network and promote your blog. I’m sure I will be bringing home some great ideas to make my blogging journey even more fun and exciting then it has already been!  I will be posting more about our adventures in Seattle…so stay tuned for the fun!      

Monday, September 2, 2013

Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Balsamic Roasted Cherries
Cherries have been showing up at all of our farmers markets and grocery stores lately! The season is so short! I just love cherries! Growing up, I lived next door to my grandparents. On the property was a  peach orchard, and many fruit trees. Apple, pear, and quince to name a few.  My favorite tree was a lovely old cherry tree, that grew right outside my grandparents kitchen.  Most years it gave little or no fruit.  However, I remember one year, when that old tree was filled with the most beautiful big, Queen Anne cherries.  It was the year my cousins came to visit from Boston.  They lived in the city, and were so taken by life in the country.  My grandfathers garden, the peach orchard and all the fruit trees fascinated them. But for my cousin Patty, it was that old cherry tree she loved!  She would pull up a bench and climb that tree to pick as many cherries as she could reach. To this day, she still talks about that cherry tree.  Funny thing is, after that summer, I don’t think that tree ever produced very many cherries again.

A week ago, I was at Sam’s club and bought way too many cherries. I forgot my husband was on the South Beach diet. He can’t eat fruit during the first phase.  What was I going to do with all these beautiful black cherries?  I could freeze them to use later but, they were so perfect now!  So, as always, I searched the web for some ideas! I found a recipe for roasted cherries…YUM!  They were calling my name. I pitted them, rubbed them with some olive oil, sprinkled them with some balsamic vinegar, and into the oven they went.  Let me tell you…they were amazing!  So far, I’ve used them on my yogurt, on a salad, and an open faced sandwich with goat cheese (a tartine)!  If you happen to find yourself a big bag of cherries…and you don’t know what to do with them, try roasting them. You won’t be disappointed!

Roasted Cherries…just out of the oven 
I love them on top of my yogurt…amazing!

How about a tartine…some rustic bread, spread with goat cheese and toped with the roasted cherries…yum!

The cherries were great on this salad with goat cheese, assorted lettuce (just picked), and pecans.

Balsamic Roasted Cherries
 my take on the roasted cherries