Now that the warm weather is in full-swing here, I’m finding that although the days are longer my free time is shorter. Instead of just the house to maintain, we have the vast gardens on our palatial estate (Alfredo can mow the lawn, front & back, in 16.4 minutes if that gives you a hint to what I really mean by palatial!). Also, with gentler climes comes the desire to just lay back & enjoy the outdoors. Sooooo, with that said, I’m explaining why I have not posted anything in about a week. I’m one of those people who gets distracted by bright & shiny objects – the sun, in this case.
First, I want to send a HUGE, warm, full of love hug out to Honey B at The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch who tagged me with an “You Make My Day Award.” My goodness, thank you! It was YOU who made my day by dropping by for a “visit” & leaving your sweet comments.
I now would like to tag the ever-wonderful Deeba at Passionate About Baking with this award. Deeba has linked my blog to about half a dozen of her recent posts and it is such an honor to me that she even takes a peek at my blog, much less mention it on hers. I adore everything about Deeba & her blog, so it is without hesitation that I give this award to her.
Second, I want to give an abrazo muy fuerte to Gloria at Canela’s Kitchen who tagged me with an “I Love You This Much Award.” Well, thank YOU! Gloria, you really are a sweetheart. Your blog really speaks to my heart with all of your yummy, fresh recipes with a little Chilean kick.
There are really so many people who I really adore out there in the blogmosphere…. below are just a few I would like to pass this award to in no particular order. I literally check these blogs out every time I have the chance!
- Deeba, Passionate About Baking
- Marie, Proud Italian Cook
- Farida, Azerbaijani Cookbook
- Nicole, Art & Aioli
- Jessie, Cakespy
- Susan, Food Blogga
- Diva, The Sugar Bar
- Lori Lynn, Taste With the Eyes
- HoneyB, The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Lorraine, Italian Foodies
Third, Farida tagged me last week with her inaugural tag Look What I Made! Well, she couldn’t have tagged a better person than myself for this one because ALL I do is make dinners & desserts that I have found on other people’s sites. I’m going to tag HoneyB, Nicole & Gloria for this one – I can’t wait to take a peek at their found recipes!
HERE ARE THE RULES to LOOK WHAT I MADE!
1. List the names of 2-5 recipes you tried from other blogs. Provide a direct link to the recipe. If not available, give the blog link and let the reader search for the recipe by name.
2. Shortly describe your experience with the recipe.
3. Tag 3-5 other bloggers or the authors of the recipes you listed to post the links to the recipes they have tried from other bloggers. Note: If you are new to the blogging world and haven’t had a chance to try any recipes from your fellow foodies, just pass the tag on to someone else.
4. Notify the tagged bloggers about the tag either by leaving a comment on their blogs or by emailing them.
Below are the recipes that I have recently tried & haven’t (yet!) posted:
- Alessandra Spisni’s Ragu all Bolognese, from We Are Never Full. It was delightfully easy to prepare & very tasty. Initially there was a typo in the recipe which confused me (happens all the time!), but Amy quickly got back to me to set me straight. During our emails, we both agreed that adding 2-3 tbsps of tomato paste would have enhanced the flavor. I will be making this one again & again. Thank you, Amy, for helping me out on this one!
- Lemon-Rosemary Scones, from Art & Aioli. I followed Nicole’s instructions exactly (except for using whole milk) and everything went along a lot smoother than I had expected. I’ve made these twice now & have been given LOADS of compliments. I did notice that when I prepared the dough the night before to have ready first thing in the morning the scones were more moist. Last Sunday when I had a 40 minute window to make scones for a ladies’ tea at church, the scones were more dry…. But, the compliments were plenty nonetheless.
- Goat Cheese & Poblano Quesadillas with Pineapple-Mango-Habanero Salsa, from Food Blogga. Best quesadillas EVER! Coming from Texas, I sometimes have notions of how Tex-Mex or Mexican food should be prepared & Goat Cheese has NEVER been a part of the ingredients list…. until now. Honestly, I was wowed by the experience. I hope my friends from The Big D don’t read this – I might be shamed from any future barbecues. The one addition that I did make to Susan’s recipe was to add some shredded chicken to make a meal out of the quesadillas. Muy bien!
- Spaghetti all’Aglio Arrostito, from Passionate About Baking. It was the perfect compliment to my lazy mood. I wanted something tasty for dinner, but not ALL the work. Deeba beautifully described the process to make the sauce & “voila!” it was done in a snap. I served it with Italian sausage & braised endive (recipe below). I always remove the casing from my sausages so they look a bit funky, but still full with flavor.
Finally, this brings me to why I titled this post “Endive into Summer!” I’m sure that we’ve all had endive at one time or another. They make the perfect little boats to carry a variety of cheeses or pates for appetizers & add a depth of flavor to salads. However, did you know that they are also remarkably easy to serve cooked! I did not know this (no surprise, really!). My generous, loving neighbor went on a tour of the only endive farm in the US last week and shared some of her endives with me. Thank you, Liliane! The taste leans towards the bitter side once they’re cooked, but Alfredo & I loved them. The kids were on the fence. I felt really sophisticated having them on my plate of pasta & sausages!
- 6 heads California Endive
- Chicken Stock
- Salt and pepper
- Trim 6 endives and slice them in half lengthwise. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat some butter and brown the cut side of the endives over a high flame. Do this in batches, adding butter each time. The pan will brown, which is fine – just don’t allow it to blacken; if it does, wash it out before the next batch.
- Place the endives, brown side up, in a gratin dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour chicken stock into the dish to a depth of ½ inch. Cover tightly and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until quite tender. Serves 6.
For a richer, more savory version, the halved endives can be wrapped in thinly sliced pancetta or bacon before browning. This requires a slower flame and browning on both sides. The butter will still be needed to keep the meat from sticking. This makes a fine first course all by itself, or it can be a delightful accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats and birds.