My friend Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast, somehow knew that I was having a bad week.
She decided to cheer me up.
She could have sent me a new cooktop but, instead, based on the ‘teach a person to fish’ methodology, she gave me an Award…..
An Award that says I have to think of 10 things that make me happy and then tell the world what they are.
Might I just say: Harrumph! Oh, and: Bah, Humbug!
As if that wasn’t enough I had to also tell the world which of my favorite bloggers regularly brighten my day.
There you have it…. Ruth is determined to drag me, kicking and screaming, right out of my foul mood.
And I was really starting to enjoy it, in a Machiavellian sort of way.
10 things that make me happy – in no particular order:
1. Spring gardening. I love planting the little seeds, watering, waiting and watching for the first signs of growth. Makes me smile just thinking about it.
2. Fall gardening. Harvesting, cooking, eating and freezing what I’ve grown. Makes me feel so very self-sufficient and productive.
3. Strolling the streets of Paris or Barcelona in summer with mon mari…. wandering aimlessly, finding a sidewalk cafe for lunch and a glass of wine.
4. Walking in the mountains. Exercise, beauty and tranquility all at once – what more does one need?
5. Christmas. I love Christmas, not the whole gift-giving thing, we don’t do that, but everything else is special…. esp.
the chocolate I indulge in.
6. Going on long bike rides in summer with mon mari. He’s much more adventurous than I am and, with him in the lead, we go exploring.
7. Curling up in my favorite chair in front of a blazing fire with a few cookbooks. Why don’t I do that more often?
8. Dinner on the terrace in summer: candles lit, sun setting, Vivaldi in the background, good food, better wine…..
9. Good wine. I’m afraid I have a rather expensive palate. We don’t indulge in the really good wines very often, but when we do, I smile.
10. Books and bookstores. It makes me smile just walking into a Barnes and Noble, but I’m pretty happy trolling Amazon if I’ve decided I can order a book or two. And I’m happy just perusing my own books, flipping through and reading a page here and there. All of my books: classics, cookery, language courses, murder mysteries, science fiction and bodice rippers – love ’em all! Even books I don’t like, I like if they’re mine.
And now, the blogs that make me smile:
I’m not going to tell you why I like them; assume the writing is witty, the tales humorous and the food good. Go have a read for yourself.
10 bloggers that make me smile – in no particular order:
Please, accept this award – and do your own lists of 10 and 10…. We’ll
Joanne, of Eats Well With Others
My Year on the Grill
Elizabeth, of blog from OUR kitchen
Zoomie, of Zoomie Station
Nuria, of Spanish Recipes
Charlotte, of Living Small
Denise, of Quickies on the Dinner Table
Ina, of Gluten Free, Delightfully Delicious
Bellini Valli, of More Than Burnt Toast
Penny, of Lake Lure Cottage
Well, that worked up an appetite….
Hot house tomatoes actually work better for a pastry like this as they are not as juicy as a garden-ripened summer tomato. One of the rare times when that is a good thing.
Tomato, Green Garlic and Ricotta Pastries
1 large tomato
3 green garlic or 3 green onions and 1 clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup ricotta
Pastry: Thaw puff pastry, if needed. Cut out 2 circles, 5 – 6″ (12 – 15cm) in diameter. (Use a bowl as a guide). Lay the cut pastry on a baking sheet. Using a table knife, lightly score a line .5″ (1.25cm) inside the edge of the pastry.
Green Garlic: Cut the stem ends off the green garlic and remove the outer layer. Slice about 1/8″ (.3cm) thick including green tops. If using green onions, trim and slice the same way and mince garlic. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add green garlic or onion and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.
To finish: Cut 2 – 3 thick slices from tomato, enough to cover the pastry inside scored line. Divide the ricotta and spread on the pastry out to the scored line. Top with sliced tomato. Spoon green garlic on the tomato. Bake in a pre-heated oven, 400F (200C), for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and serve.
In addition to this, for the weekly menu for March 26 we have Salmon with Horseradish Sauce, Risi e Bisi, Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken on Pimiento Sauce, Meatballs in Tomato Ricotta Sauce, Pork Chops Diablo, Buttered Beets, Mangetout….
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