{twd} pizza rustica

I have talent. I’ve been told it takes real talent to break your patella (kneecap) and that’s what I did. I fractured and dislocated my right patella. I’d love to tell you I did it rappelling off the side of a mountain while rescuing cute endangered animals or while executing  a bicycle kick to score the winning goal in a soccer match. The truth is I did it by tripping over my own feet while walking my dog.

Yeah. I return to the orthopedist next week for more x-rays and to see if I’m properly healing. I hope so, because I don’t want surgery. I especially don’t want surgery in the weeks before our wedding (6 weeks from Saturday for those counting). Yikes.

On a more happy note, I’m pleased to present this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection: Pizza Rustica. It’s not the kind of pizza I was thinking it would be when I read the title. It’s more of an Italian quiche-like pizza, with a mixed up filling made with eggs, cheese, and in my version sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The dough is sweetened and again in my case, baked in 6-inch tartlet pans.

I liked the contrast between the sweet dough and the savory filling, but I know it wasn’t popular with a few of the TWD bakers. Paul liked the taste too, but didn’t like the sun-dried tomatoes. I knew the tomatoes were iffy with him and I thought I was pulling a jar of roasted red peppers out of the pantry. He’s requested I make the recipe again but this time with the prosciutto or regular ham.

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia or at either of the wonderful hosts of this week’s selection:  Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home.

my fractured patella

{sms} Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins

Yes, this is an actual post. You are not hallucinating. I’ve been busy living life and  having an awesome summer.  It’s a weak excuse for not posting. I’ve been baking along with the the various weekly baking groups. I have internet and a new computer at home. I’ve been lazy with taking pictures and writing posts.

I’m recommitting to Pink Stripes. I feeling disconnected to the the food blogging world and I miss my blogging friends.

With that note, I’ll move along and tell you about this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe: Bosc Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins. Rather than sweet, these are savory muffins. I adore the combination of pears and blue cheese. I also like walnuts. Trader Joes did not have bosc pears so I subbed bartlett pears. I liked the muffins. I think they would be great with manchego instead of blue cheese because manchego also pears (hee! Okay, pairs) well with pears.

I probably won’t make them again because I would rather eat blue cheese and pears on their own with out all the mumbo jumbo of the other muffin ingredients.

Thanks to Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe visit her blog or buy the book.

Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

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Pumpkin Week continues…

I made this salad for lunch on Sunday to share with my mother and then took leftovers to work to share with Aaron. Aaron made out like a bandit this week with home-cooked meals. Lucky dog. The recipe comes from the October 2009 issue of Bon Appetit and once you peel and seed and cube the pumpkin (is there a trick to this?) it’s easy. The pumpkin is roasted with cumin and paprika while the lentils cook on the stove. Once both are done and cooled they are mixed with the goat cheese and other ingredients. It’s actually the perfect meal for the Indian Summer we’re having in Southern California–Fall flavors served chilled.

You can find the recipe HERE.

Dinner Party!

I hosted my first dinner party last week. It was small, just me and three guests. I worried about the menu because one of the guests is a picky eater. I only cook vegetarian and he doesn’t like/won’t eat vegetables. I also wanted to make something that would go with French Bread so I could get the next bread on my list from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge done–nixing pizza or cheese enchiladas (as suggested by picky eater).

The Menu:

Edamame

Rosemary Roasted Almonds (From September 2009 issue of Cooking Light)

Olives (From Whole Foods olive bar)

French Bread (From The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, made into 2 oz rolls)

Toasted Goat Cheese Ravioli with Red Pepper Dip (from September/October 2009 issue of Clean Eating magazine)

Creamy Rigatoni with Gruyère and Brie (from September 2009 issue of Cooking Light)

Slow-roasted Tomatoes with Sea Salt and Ground Coriander (from Orangette)

Dessert was the Chocolate Caramel Crunch Tart for next week’s Tuesdays with Dorie…more on that on Tuesday. As for wine, I threw myself on the mercy of the wine guy at the 3rd/Fairfax Whole Foods in Los Angeles. He asked me questions on my menu and walked me around the entire wine section. For a starter wine, he suggested the 2008 Marquis de Goulaine Rosé d’Anjou.  For dinner he suggested the 2007 Protos Verdejo, a Spanish white wine. The wine choices were excellent and reasonably priced. I’m definitely going back to him.

The dinner was a big success and loved every minute of it. I prepped most of the day, but was relaxed and carefree for the party. The guests enjoyed everything and we’re all looking forward to doing it again.

toasted goat cheese ravioli with red pepper dip

Next weekend I’m heading to San Francisco to attend the Blogher Food Conference. I’m excited to meet my fellow bloggers, network,  and to visit some of my old haunts. And guess who is the closing speaker? David Lebovitz. Yay!

Thank you to Nasoya–maker of all-natural tofu products, noodles, wonton & egg roll wraps–for sponsoring my attendance at the conference. I’ve been a fan of their tofu, but until now have not tried their other products.

I hosted a dinner party this past Saturday and to start things off I served Toasted Goat Cheese Ravioli with Red Pepper Dip. These are super easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time, and taste outstanding. They are light and a great starter for a heavier dinner.

I found the recipe in the September/October 2009 issue of Clean Eating magazine.

TOASTED GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI with RED PEPPER DIP

Adapted from Clean Eating magazine
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 24 Nasoya wonton wrappers
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese with herbs (I like the herb & garlic goat cheese from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar), patted dry & chopped
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F and coat a baking sheet with oil spray.
  2. Arrange wonton wrappers on flat surface. Spoon a bit of the goat cheese slightly off-center onto each wrapper. Using your fingers, wet the edges of the wrappers. Fold wonton over and press to seal.
  3. Place wontons on baking sheet and coat with oil spray. Sprinkle grated cheese over tops.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes until wontons are golden and toasted.
  4. Meanwhile, make red pepper dip: place red peppers and sour cream in blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer dip to bowl and fold in basil. Season with salt and pepper.

The ravioli can be assembed ahead of time and be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bake them straight from the freezer, just add a couple minutes to the baking time. The red pepper dip can be made 3 days ahead too.