Monday, July 03, 2006

Cooking From Gourmet...Plus a Fun Cake and a Funky Good Pizza

After dinner at an Irish-style pub called Claddagh Friday night (okay Irish stew, but mine is better. However, J's steak with blue cheese butter was fab & they make a pretty decent key lime pie martini...reminded me of the vodka gimlets I used to drink) & hot dogs at the pool Saturday, I was ready for some cooking last night. I had planned to make meatloaf, but my Beloved begged me not to, saying she would love to have something like you see in Gourmet.

I had been eyeing this month's produce issue, so it was a perfect opportunity. The cover features a beautiful pasta dish, which turned out to be only part of a whole menu. I picked up the groceries for it & made it. Much of it is grilled, but we did everything in the oven instead. We had angelhair pasta with fresh tomato sauce, broiled salmon (for J & Pie) & tilapia (me & Boot...although he was only willing to have one bite before turning to a turkey sandwich because "I don't believe in fish") with lime butter sauce, green beans (with no arugula because there was none at the nearest grocery & I am just not that committed) and corn with chives and basil. The issue, July 2006, is still on the shelves & the dishes are very good. I urge you to pick it up...or at least pop into the library with a notebook & try the recipes.

I also made a fun cake I saw on Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade show. It was a beach cake, supposed to be made using a pre-made angel food cake. However, in addition to arugula, Giant Eagle had none of those. So, J made one from a mix. We went to the pool while it cooled, then I iced it. I used canned vanilla frosting to cover the whole thing, including the marshmallows I stuffed in the center hole. Then, I made a very comical attempt to use a gallon Ziploc bag & a star pastry tip to make waves on the sides with icing I had tinted blue. After getting dollops of icing all over the floor and my hands, I gave up & spread it on in wave-like swirls with a butter knife. It looked just fine. I topped the cake with gummi octopuses I found at the B.A. Sweetie candy store (what a cool, cool place that is! We bought all kinds of cool candies there, from seafoam to barrel of monkeys candies) & cocktail umbrellas. It looked really cute & the kids were both delighted with it, especially Pie. We were all pretty happy about the taste, too. My Beloved was very, very pleased with her dinner and it was one of the first things she talked about this morning when she awoke. I love making her happy with food.

I was able to do that this afternoon, too. She had a migraine and was ensconced on the couch watching the Van Damme marathon on Spike t.v. through her eyelids. I managed to find her some of the delicious and hard-to-get Jarlsberg spread from Giant Eagle that we both love. I also took her a vanilla latté, brevé, for a little sickie spoiling. Our lunch was mini asparagus quiches from the freezer, along with nibs of Jarlsberg spread with olive oil bread & some cashews for J.

Tonight's dinner, which J was not thrilled I was making & tried to talk me out of and which I now will admit to being very skeptical about myself, turned out to be great, too. It wasn't swanky at all, but was quite yum. We had BLT pizza, salad (romaine, radicchio and endive) and chunks of fresh pineapple. The kids, especially Pie, hated the pizza. J & I liked it quite a bit, though.

BLT Pizza
1 pre-baked pizza crust
1 tbsp. cornmeal
3/4 lb. cooked bacon, crumbled (I am fond of John Morrell when I'm not indulging in Nueske)
2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
4-5 diced plum tomatoes
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 c. shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease pizza pan (I used cooking spray) & dust with cornmeal. Top crust with cheese and bacon. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool. Mix tomatoes with mayonnnaise, salt, pepper. Spread on pizza and top with lettuce.

I know it sounds weird, but trust me. If you like BLTs at all, you will like this pizza, too.

No comments: