It’s May and All’s Okay

springtrees

Dogwoods in my neighborhood.

Silly little rhyme I know. But all is okay, thankfully, and I’m still cooking. I truly just haven’t had time to experiment on anything new due to work commitments. (Not a bad thing!)

Still, there have been moments squeezed in to enjoy the glory of Spring and some time with family and friends. Here are a couple of little slideshows of what’s been going on since last I posted…so long, long ago in April.

Mother’s Day brunch strata and some scenery in Florence, Alabama…

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Spring blooms and woodland walks…

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And of course, I had to make some Souvlaki and tzatziki, because it reminds me so of our Spring honeymoon in Greece.

I hope this post finds you all well, enjoying happy seasons and good weather. Summer is rapidly approaching for us, and with it all the great produce that comes our way. Rest assured, I’ll be sharing more recipes with you soon so stay tuned. Have a lovely week!

Here’s the recipe for the strata I made for Mother’s Day brunch. It’s great for any special occasion and it feeds a crowd!

Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Strata
(Adapted from Bon Appétit) Serves 6-8 generously

16 1/2 inch slices of sourdough bread, crusts removed
8 ounces of prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
6 ounces of provolone cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped green onion
6 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup well drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes
3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
7 large eggs
2 1/2 cups 2% or whole milk
1 generous tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish, or same size casserole, completely with 1 layer of bread, trimming slices to fit. Arrange half of the prosciutto over the top of the bread, then sprinkle half of the goat cheese and half of the provolone over that. Sprinkle half of the green onions, half of the sun dried tomatoes and half of the basil. Repeat the layers in that order, beginning with a second layer of bread and ending with the basil. Cut the remaining bread into 1/4 inch cubes and sprinkle over the top of the strata.

In a medium size bowl, combine the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper, and whisk well. Pour the egg mixture over the strata, pressing down on the bread with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and uncover the strata. Let the strata sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the strata and bake for about one hour, until the center is set and the top is golden. Cut into large squares and serve.

Note: You can substitute your favorite cheeses easily in this dish. Fontina would be nice instead of the provolone, for instance.

I served this with Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar. Delicious.

Finished Strata.

Finished Strata.

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A Year Ago…

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For some, it’s a way to express their passion about what they enjoy doing most. For others, it’s a means to an end in pursuit of a writing career. And maybe for all of us, it’s a way to reach out of the loneliness that our human existence can sometimes have, and share common interests and conversation, while learning a thing or two in the process. Whatever one’s reason may be for starting a blog, the end result is exposing yourself to a whole new world. And that’s actually what I like about it the most! Continue reading

Get Sauced

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Over the years I’ve done my share of stressing over the holidays, and although I enjoy them a whole lot, as I get older I do feel at times that the thought of all I MUST do, keeps me from doing some of the things I WANT to do, namely spend more time with friends and family. That’s why I always like to keep a little dessert trick in my back pocket so that when I’m entertaining I can pull something out for a “homemade” show-stopping dessert involving very little of my time. This is an easy chocolate sauce that I like to call by the very original name of: The Best Chocolate Sauce. Continue reading

Postcard from Florence

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