Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fresh Mozzarella in Winter

Fresh mozzarella is generally considered a seasonal food. Demand goes up with the arrival of fresh tomatoes in the garden and in the farmers' markets and then crashes again in early fall.  

I buy it year-round though. In fall and winter I replace those fresh tomatoes with cooked vegetables. Three of my favorites combinations are fresh mozzarella...


... with sauteed peppers and onions. This combination I discovered as a vegetarian. I had a craving for a peppers and sausage sandwhich one day. I replaced the sausage with fresh mozzarella, and added lots of oregano to the peppers and onions. Delicious.


... with artichoke hearts. This is a new one. I saute a little onion in a melted cube of basil frozen in olive oil, and then add sliced artichoke hearts (preferably frozen, not canned) and a splash of red wine vinegar.


... with sauteed mushrooms. I saute garlic with fresh mushrooms and herbs. I prefer oregano with the woodsy flavor of mushrooms, but anything you like will do.


These sandwhiches are perfect for other odds and ends as well. A few sliced olives, a few slices of roasted peppers from a jar, whatever you have on hand. So, the next time you see those fresh mozzarella balls on sale in the grocery store, go ahead and buy a few, even if tomatoes are not in season.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Two Years and Counting

Today my little Alessia turns two. She runs around making motor boat noises and stops just long enough to declare "I'm running." A couple of weeks ago at the park she conquered the slide, which she prefers to call by its Italian name "scivolo." She's starting to be aware of her emotions, like fear. She'll happily eat a whole bowl of mixed veg and cold plain tofu or a bowl of spaghetti with butter and cheese, but don't even think of offering her a piece of cheese or mashed potatoes. She is definitely living up to her new status as a 2-year old. She's very contrary and does naughty little things with a twinkle in her eye. She is madly in love with her daddy. She's jealous of Olivia, and takes it out on me and Adam. At the same time, as Olivia grows I think Alessia is starting to see the possibility for interaction. All of this is to say that she is amazing, and I adore her.


Today is my two-year anniversary as a mom, specifically a stay-at-home mom. I wouldn't change my decision to stay at home with my children for anything. That's not to say there aren't days when I dream of an hour-long commute on the train and lunches out with co-workers. I just wouldn't give up my current job to have those things. Watching Alessia, and now Olivia, develop and grow and taking the major part in the direction that development takes is a great joy.