recipes and talk about:
natural foods
whole grains
local foods
the heirloom garden

roasted red pepper and kalamata olive pasta sauce

nom nom nom

Sis and Mom were thrilled with the dinner party. “You can do this anytime,” they cooed conspiratorially, and they began plotting holiday schedules. “Thanksgiving, Christmas…no, Mom will still do Christmas…Easter….”

calm before the PARTY STORM

I hadn’t hosted an event of this magnitude before. A bit over a month ago my sponsor, Foodbuzz, contacted me with the offer to host a pasta and wine-pairing dinner party using free coupons supplied by Buitoni Riserva. That shit’s expensive, so I jumped at the chance. Read more on roasted red pepper and kalamata olive pasta sauce…

i-can’t-believe-it’s-meatless tomato sauce

red wine tomato sauce

Hello, my pretties. We’ll be quick today in honor of tax season. I have a zillion e-mail records to go through (the bane of online work) and missing 1099s to calculate by hand. My tax preparer, who also happens to be my best friend from grade school, is in 90 degree-plus Virginia this week, so I really can’t say which of us has it worse.

mmm, red wine

This red wine tomato sauce recipe can be subbed for a jar of any red store-bought pasta sauce. I like to double or triple the recipe and freeze it because hey, if I’m going to the work of making my own sauce, I may as well have some for next time.

sautéed onions, coated in the spices

But is it really work? Read more on i-can’t-believe-it’s-meatless tomato sauce…

October 4, 2009 in main course, sandwiches, shameless plug6 comments

basil-garlic mayonnaise on a blt

blt with basil-garlic mayonnaise

Neat, this made Foodie Views of the day! They gave me a pretty button to go with it:

Have I ever mentioned that the last thing I gave up when going vegetarian was bacon? Beef: I never liked it anyway. Nearly the same with chicken. Fish: next to last. I like me some canned tuna.

yes, that is bacon. used in a perfectly normal, bacony way. dammit.

I’m not going to wax poetic about bacon, though. That’s so 2008. Are you as tired as I am of candied bacon, bacon smoothies, bacon popcorn, and bacon ice cream? I’m sure they’re wonderful, but all of the swooning over bacon is becoming a tad unseemly. Let’s be seemly, shall we?

an even closer look. that sandwich is gonna bite you.

Suffice to say

But have you ever had one with basil-garlic mayonnaise?

basil-garlic mayonnaise on toast, ready for bacon

It elevates the humble BLT to a thing of beauty. The fresh basil complements the tomato, the garlic enhances the bacon, and a few drops of hot pepper sauce add little heat but a lot of flavor.

ooh, free bread!

Now, the nice people at Nature’s Pride sent me a couple loaves of bread: 12-grain and 100% whole wheat. Since they sent me free stuff, I’m likely to say nice things about it, so be forewarned. They make their bread with all natural ingredients and no HFCS, which is a big plus for me. When my cousin and I were making the sandwiches, he asked what kind of bread I had, and stipulated, “No whole wheat.” I gacked, because I don’t keep anything but whole wheat around. He had to get whole grains anyway, in the form of the 12-grain loaf.

He survived, and said the 12-grain was really good. Whether he was being polite or not I’m not sure. Either way, I don’t care. My sandwich got validation. Read more on basil-garlic mayonnaise on a blt…

caprese skewers

plate o' caprese skewers

Want an easy, colorful, summery, fancy-schmancy looking appetizer to serve guests? These little fellas fit the bill, the bright crunch of juicy tomato mingling with sweet basil and fresh mozzarella, all drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.

There. The food porn description is out of the way.

tomato, basil, mozzarella, together at last. just like nuts and gum.

We threw a surprise party for Mom Saturday. As I apparently noted several times near the end of the night, it was a smashing success. Why several times? Seems I got drunk off my ass by the end. As planned. It wasn’t an accident ffs.

Look at that awesome cake Stacy’s mom made for the surprise party

Mom's birthday cake

People kept asking ahead of time how surprisey it was going to be. I briefly wondered at the wisdom of shocking someone with a history of heart problems, and laconically waved those concerns aside. “Not much, I think,” I told them. “We’re doing family pictures right before the party, and we expect people will begin showing up and we’ll be setting up right in front of her.”

Thanks to the big ass house, though, we were able to pull off a complete surprise. While the final pictures were being shot in the living room, Jennifer and I rushed off to the family room to get tables and chairs out and set out the cake. By the time we led Mom to the family room, most of the partygoers had arrived, and wound up giving her a proper “Surprise!” shout.

They're like little tomato soldiers, aren't they?

Oh, my point? One of the things I made was caprese skewers. I also made corn and crab dip. Crap. It’s gone. I didn’t get pics of it. Oh well, caprese skewers will do for now.

P.S. two to three of these is a 100-calorie snack. Believe me, you won’t have a chance to get your hands on more. Go for three. The calorie listing includes all of the balsamic vinaigrette, and I only wound up using about half of it. Read more on caprese skewers…