Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spring, and Success in the Kitchen at Last!

I fail at baking and cooking. A lot. Enthusiastic for food I am. A chef I ain't. But life is filled with ironies. And the irony of the week is that the absolute simplest thing I made, really more assembling than cooking, turned out to be a big hit. Where has crostini been all my life? It is so easy that even I can make it! And I didn't even have a recipe.

Here's the lowdown: Slice a ciabatta loaf fairly thin. Brush with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I put them on a tray and baked them at 350 for 9 minutes on one side and 7 minutes on the second. A little crisp but not like Melba still had the tender "breadiness" on the inside. Then I mixed a giant Trader Joe's log of garlic and herb goat cheese with a block of plain cream cheese. I chopped an entire bunch of green onions, a packet of chives, and maybe half a cup of fresh basil. I mixed about a fourth of that green mixture into the cheese. Then it was as easy as spreading the cheese on the toast, sprinkling with the rest the greens, laying a bit of sun-dried tomato on top and drizzling the orange oil from the tomato jar across the top. I wager you could use any fresh herbs you want and this would still taste good.

Some part of my brain said "You are literally making toast with cream cheese and foisting this off as a dish on your friends." But you know what? A huge plate of it went like hot cakes. Tangy goat cheese cut with fresh onion, perfumed with basil, and topped with chewy, sweet nuggets of tomato. Hey, I'm calling this a recipe and a dish to make often!

As if to celebrate my success, because mother nature and the entire celestial constellations all hinge on my baking habits, Spring has sprung here in California!

After the massive rain storms of the winter, California is blooming!

So here is to a beautiful Spring and easy appetizers!

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