With spring weather (finally-maybe-is-it-really) coming to most of the country it’s about time to start talking gardening. Now, to put it nicely my cooking technique focuses on creativity and innovation at the expense of perfection and measurement, and my gardening experience, not surprisingly, has had about as much success as my baking repertoire. Which is to say…not much.
So I was excited to receive a shipment of Gro-ables, a foolproof new way to grow herbs and vegetables in your backyard, garden or kitchen. Gro-ables are ready-to-plant seed pods that come with a built-in environment for your seed. Each pod contains growing materials, plant food and seeds (basil, spinach, cilantro, dill, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes and more). All you need to do is open the seed pod, drop it in some dirt and then water occasionally. Now that’s my kind of gardening.
With sunny weather on hand this week, I was inspired to get going with my Gro-ables — planting some basil, cherry tomatoes and lettuce on my windowsill. That in turn got me hungry for some fresh herbs and veggies, so while I’m waiting for those to grow, I took the basil I already had on hand, whipped up some fresh pesto and put together a new take on an ES favorite sandwich.
BLT Sandwich with Fresh Pesto, Mozzarella and BasilRead More›
So the food world is all atwitter about 300 Sandwiches. If you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t check your food blog links 5 times a day, here’s the gist: New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith was befuddled by her boyfriend’s obsession with sandwiches, especially after she made him a particularly tasty one and he replied “Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.” Calling his bluff, Smith started a blog chronicling her quest to make 300 perfect sandwiches, and she is damn well expecting a ring once the list is finished. Feminist bloggers were unsurprisingly appalled. Personally, my reaction was the same as pretty much any other guy’s, saying to my girlfriend, H: “honey, we should do this!!!” To which I received an epic eyeroll along with a response I perhaps should have seen coming: “If you like sandwiches so much why don’t you make me 300 sandwiches?”
She had a point. I do like to cook, and I am constantly perplexed at the gf’s inability to understand my intense love for the magnificence of meals between bread. “I’ll do it!” I said. I’ll make her all 300 sandwiches, and by the end she will have to understand why I love these beauties so much. It will bring the gf and I closer together and help us land, if not a wedding date, at least a blog-to-book deal.
I set to work.
Re-creation #1: 300 Sandwiches’ gorgeous mozzarella and homemade pesto BLT:
I’m usually a mess in the kitchen, but this time I followed Smith’s instructions to a T — frying up crispy bacon and layering it on a baguette with pesto, arugula, tomato and fresh mozz. I resisted my urge to get creative and made just one game-time decision: frying the baguette in leftover bacon grease instead of toasting it. I mean, come on. Obviously.
I have to admit I set out wanting to make fun of Smith, but gotta give credit where credit is due: this sandwich is not only pretty, it’s delicious. Definitely one of the best I’ve had in a while.
Um, maybe too delicious though. By the time H made it in to the kitchen, the BLT’s photogenic appearance had evaporated, along with 60% of the sandwich.
Oops! No worries. Still 299 attempts left to solidify this love between myself, my girl and my lunch.
Re-creation #2: Spring Cleaning Goat Cheese and Basil Grilled Cheese:Read More›