Look, it’s gift wrapped cheese!


In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I completely stole this recipe from one of those little commercials that run on Facebook. Looked easy and it was!


Square off a zucchini so it’s an even surface on all sides and is less roundish. Use your mandoline to cut long slices like shown above.


Use either bocconcini mozzarella or cut 1/2 thick slices into quarters so they are roughly the same diameter as a quarter


Form a cross with 2 slices of zucchini and center the mozzarella piece.


Wrap the mozzarella and keep overlapping the slices and direction. When completely wrapped in zucchini, stick a short toothpick through all layers to hold together.


Mix some fresh parmesan and panko and set out along with 2 beaten eggs and about 1/2 cup of AP flour. This is a wet hand / dry hand operation!


First dip the packages of cheese in the flour and coat well, then dip in egg wash and then roll in the panko cheese mix. Put in refrigerator for about an hour.


Meanwhile heat canola or veggie oil in a deep, heatproof dutch oven. If you drop a drop of water in and it sizzles, it is ready. Gently lower the cheese and zucchini into the hot oil and cook until brown. DO NOT walk away from hot oil at any time. Safety first! When done, serve immediately on a bed of mixed greens tossed with olive oil and fresh pepper and lemon or on a bed of fresh marinara! Great summer appetizer!


Easy Peasy Pizza Pie


Been hearing a lot about skillet pizzas? Me too! And with good reason! Easy to put together for a quick supper, or an afternoon football party, because…bowl games, or even a treat for after school.


When the Hubs and I were in Vermont last spring at the King Arthur Flour store, I picked up a bag of this Italian style flour, it’s a little finer than normal AP flour, although that will work fine too. I just followed the directions on the back label. A little flour, a little yeast, a little water, a little sugar and salt…


A little nap for the dough in a warm place a.k.a the magic folding proofing cabinet…


Meanwhile back at the cutting board, I prepped ingredients for 2 different types of pie. Top photo is prosciutto, bleu cheese, red onion, fresh figs and a little fresh buffalo mozz. The lower photo is sundries tomatoes, shaved parm, the same buffalo mozz, and giant caper berries that are like giant satisfying salt bombs for your taste buds!


Oil a heavy skillet and heat. It needs to be very heavy and very oiled and very hot.


Punch down the dough and form it into a disk that can be cut in half and rolled out into 2 flat 14″ – 16″ discs


You can make smaller ones by cutting dough into either 4 or 6 pieces also


Put dough disc into the hot oiled pan and give it about 4 minutes on medium heat. You will be able to lift the pie once it starts to cook to check on the progress. Once the bottom is browned, you can flip it fairly easily and then top with various toppings.


Let things get a little melty and then add other items as needed. If you want, and you skillet is oven worthy, you can put the pan in the oven to melt everything, but honestly, the cheese melted just fine on the stovetop.


Once cooked, I topped with fresh arugula and some balsamic glaze from Trader Joe’s. But this would be just as easy with some shred cheese and pepperoni and jar pizza sauce! Mix up your toppings, or if you’re having a party, you know I am a proponent of everyone making their own pizza, so set the buffet of toppings out and let peeps design their own!

Because…bowl games.

A little something extra….

At Reagan National airport, which I frequent on my way to or from my corporate HQ, there’s a takeaway joint at the Jet Blue gates that for some reason never has the ability to cook the hot food on their menu. And because I’m usually on the last flight of the day and am starving by the time I get through the heinous security line where pre check is only a distant memory, I usually will need to eat something before my flight. Even if it’s cold. Hence the “love” salad, named by vendor not me.

You have your peppery arugula, you have your tomatoes (yellow ones here,just because)

Then you add your mozzarella and for an added treat, the joint always tosses the salad with some cooked pastina, the little star shaped pasta favored as first pasta for babies. Always makes me smile.

Add some basil, EVOO, and balsamic and toss. If you’re in the airport add a bottle of water and find a corner of an almost empty gate by a charging station and enjoy!

Pizza Supper…

The annual yoga pants Christmas vacation is in full swing and I tell you it’s mayhem….staying up late, sleeping late, going out to breakfast with the Hubs, getting a holiday mani, and you still have energy to do a little experimentation with dinner! I always consider a meal a success if I manage to eliminate one or more products from the fridge or freezer that only have one serving left and I hit a trifecta with this meal..


I started with mini naan breads, thawed from the freezer..

Then I spread it with the end of the jar of fig spread…

Then I added fresh roasted butternut squash…

Then a caramelized onion…

Then the end of the container of mozzarella…

Then some bacon…and into a 475 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is a little melty..

Top with arugula that has been tossed with evoo and balsamic…

Presto, pizza!

Summer Salad

I’ve been making a lot of salads lately…for a variety of reasons.  All of which contribute to a lifestyle of healthy, wealthy and wise… so bear with me while I present an unfolding panoply from the last few days !

First up a copy cat recipe from of all places, Ireland. It’s not really the first place you think of when you see an avocado!

IMG_3082[1]But on our last nite in Clifden last summer, we had dinner in Foyle’s hotel and both my sister and I ordered the “baked avocado” salad. I honestly don’t remember if there were greens on the plate, but I do know that there was a whole avocado, cut in half and the top had a melted piece of mozzarella on it. Well that’s easy…


I tossed some cherry tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and then placed them in a foil pan with the halved avocado and two slices of mozzarella. In the future I will start the tomatoes before hand because I like them a little roastier than they came out.


I placed the whole package on some arugula tossed with some balsamic glaze and added a little bit more salt and pepper. Nice protein fix from the cheese and avocado, so this was dinner for the nite. You could serve as a side salad also if you desired. But the baked avocado becomes much creamier with the heat. Just need to balance heated through versus melted!


Simple Supper


Sometimes, simple is best. Like when you spent the day spring cleaning and the Hubs helped Minutemen and British regulars all day at the annual reenactments for Patriot’s Day. So I decided to keep it simple and whip up some plain cheese omelettes with a garlic salad topper. I start them by melting butter and a little olive oil in the pans and swirl it to coat the pan. Add beaten eggs mixed with cream or milk and some salt and pepper. Plan on two eggs per person.

As the eggs start to cook, move the edges back and let more eggs run in. Eventually the eggs will solidify and I add  little bits of mozzarella cheese. Cook through and then fold over once, lower heat and cook for about another two minutes. 


Meanwhile, back in a bowl, toss some arugula with chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Slide the omelette onto a plate and top with the salad. Quick and easy! In fact, simple!

(Oh, and notice the omelettes are yellow for April’s color challenge!)

It’s Not the Same…


It’s good, but not the same….as the one you could make in the middle of summer with your own arugula, basil and tomatoes. You know, the kind of tomatoes that are still warm from the sun? And basil that perfumes the whole house when you crush it? 

I had all the ingredients for a classic caprese salad. Toss the arugula with some lemon juice and olive oil, add tomato, a soft pillow of mozzarella or burrata       ( pictured)  and a “paste” of basil and olive oil.

I don’t know about you, but I’m jonesing for July!