Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Last Bites of Summer

My parents came to visit last weekend bearing the last of my dad's tomatoes for this season, which made me a bit melancholy.

...but they also brought free babysitting which allowed Ivan and I to actually go to a movie, which lifted my spirits immensely :)

We went to go see Julie and Julia, a story of 2 women living in different times, struggling to find out who they are and finding themselves saved through cooking. I loved the movie and it was part of my inspiration for Food Week... the fact that the modern day Julie is a blogger, well that was just ganache icing on the cake :). One scene that really stuck out for me and made my mouth water is when the Julie character made bruschetta for her husband and he could barely speak as he stuffed his mouth with it while oohing and ahhhing ecstatically over the taste.

Voila! I found the perfect way to say goodbye to the summer tomatoes!

Bruschetta is wonderfully simple and easy to make, but what really made me salivate was instead of toasting the bread in the oven, Julie pan-fried it in a pan of butter... and I just love butter so very much. So I found a recipe for Portobello Mushroom Bruschetta on the Food Network and fried the rustic baguette slices in minced garlic and butter instead of toasting it in the oven.

It was really, truly wonderful, the fresh happy taste of tomatoes and the crisp buttery bread...mmmmm... I felt I did justice to the last of the tomatoes....
Goodbye Summer!

The past 2 days of Food Week have been great for me as I've been finding new confidence in the kitchen. Recently Ivan and I came across an old Williams Sonoma gift card from our wedding (over 4 years ago!) which surprisingly had a little over $50 left on it! This is where you, my foodie friends can help me out in deciding how to spend it. Is there a small appliance in your kitchen you'd be lost without (I'm happy to add on a bit to the gift card for something truly useful and worthwhile)? A number of small gadgets that you find invaluable? As I grow more confident cooking, I think a little trip to buy kitchen gear will keep the motivation going! (As an aside, we do already have a Cuisinart food processor and Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer- both of which I am building up the confidence to learn how to use.)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


nicola@which name? said...

oh, bruschetta is a favorite in our house. yum. and date nights are wonderful. (saying this having just had one!) liz told me i need to see julie and julia. that it is so ME. :)

as for gadgets...my brother is here and we have been cooking and baking together A LOT. in fact, we've been pouring over cook's illustrated and in addition to that ipod cozy, we bought him baking illustrated. so my response to your question is another question. what items are you considering? stian (my brother) has been reading A LOT of the product reviews as he is on the verge of setting up a new home of his own. as for me? i would spend it on some of the newer baking technology, starting with an oven liner, to catch drips and rid my oven of aluminum foil. and then maybe some silicone baking/cupcake cups.

Anonymous said...

last tomatoes, can't help but be a bit sad too. it's happening here too.

hmmm...kitchen gadget. so the thing that is at the top of my kitchen wish list is an ice cream machine. did you catch the article in mothering last month on ice cream...with vegan options? plus as a raw foodie, we enjoy our raw milk and sweeteners...want to combine the too for a relatively healthy indulgent experience.

so there is my two-cents for what it's worth.


Neptune said...

Yum! These certainly looks delicious.
You sure looks like you enjoyed your night out. I don't know what I would do for one of those!

As for kitchen item, sometimes in a kitchen, less is more...Wait until YOU find something that you feel you really need. My fav. gagdet isn't necessairly my sister's fav. And it all depend on what type of cooking you do. Give yourself a bit of time, and of cooking, and at one point, it will be obvious to you how to spend that remaining gift.

Simple Mama said...

I think we may take your lead and make some here tonight as well. Our tomatoes are just about done. I think I'm in denial.

Emma said...

We love our waffle maker from W&S! Though we have it in a round shape, I *think* that they also sell them in a heart shaped version:)

Andrea said...

depends on what you cook i guess and what you already have. i have Alton Brown's guide to culinary gadgetry-(this is not the real title) and its GREAT because he researches brands so well and is so very knowledgeable. he is also in favor of multitasking kitchen tools around, or single use if they are truely useful. that said, i can't live without my microplane zester/grater and immersion blender. i always look at this book before buying any kitchen stuff. if you want to borrow it let me know.