Archives for category: June 2011

I signed up for Bella Cucina’s new Farmer’s Market Basket’s. Basically it is a basket filled with fresh, locally grown groceries as well as products by Bella Cucina. My basket last week had fresh tomatoes, blueberries, ham, parmesan polenta, pasta, an assortment of pestos, a tart, and a ton of purple peruvian potatoes.

Until last week, not only had I never seen a Purple Peruvian Potato, but I didn’t even know they existed. For dinner Tom & I decided to have the heirloom tomato and goat cheese pizzaette that was in the basket- and as a side I made Italian roasted purple potatoes.

They are super dark on the outside- almost black

Almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I cut into them- bright purple!

I tossed the cut up potatoes in seasoning & olive oil in a bowl

Here’s what you need:

Purple Peruvian Potatoes
Herbes du Provence
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil water and drop in potatoes. Since these are small potatoes no need to poke holes in them or anything- they cook pretty fast. After 10 minutes, remove from heat, drain, and run under cold water.  Once they have cooled- place potatoes onto cutting board and slice them into (not-too-thin) slices. With these sized potatoes I cut them into 3 pieces.

Place slices into bowl and toss with herbes du provence, salt, pepper and some olive oil. Spray a cookie sheet and throw the potatoes into the oven.

Cook for about 10 minutes, then flip and more around the slices. Cook for 10 more minutes. You’ll know when they’re done when they are slightly crispy!

I’ve still got tons of purple peruvians left- I think I’m going to make this via Bella Cucina! I loved having a basket filled with delicious, local food- it’s a great way to give back to the community!

Just got a new blender, yes. A blender. And just like a housewife, I am oh, so excited about it. It’s a compact blender that makes drinks, soups, sauces, etc. right into a tumbler. I’ve been playing around with different smoothies and discovered something awesome….

…Vitamin Water Zero. They’re an awesome base for icy smoothies.

Blend ICE, vitamin water zero LEMONADE, couple of STRAWBERRIES, and 1/3 of a PEACH.

It’s light, cold & the vitamin water makes it very flavorful. Also uber healthy and doesn’t weigh you down like a milk based smoothie (who are we kidding, milkshake..) would.

Almost drank it all before snagging a picture!

I got an awesome rolling pin for Christmas and love when I get to use it!

Pizza’s are the ultimate pick-eaters dish – you can totally customize the pizza with toppings that you love – or compromise with a buddy and go 1/2 and 1/2. Make it on date night- the preparation is fun!

For the dough there are a couple of options. You can use pre mixed dough or make it from scratch. I have found that making dough from scratch takes a LONG time because the dough has to rise. Trader Joe’s has fresh dough that comes in a bag- you can find it with the cheeses. The crust always turns out great & it comes in regular and whole wheat. I tend to stay away from the boboli-type pizza crusts- they never taste as fresh and are packed full of sodium.

So- here’s what you need:
Pizza dough- regardless of what type you go with
Shredded and/or crumbled cheese- mozzarella and feta are flavorful & great on pizza
Toppings- I tend to go heavy on the veggies, this version had green and red bell peppers and mushrooms
Chopped fresh basil
Sliced onion
Minced fresh garlic
Garlic powder
Salt & Pepper  to taste
Flour to need

Preheat oven based on package directions- usually 425 degrees.

If you are using fresh premixed dough- open package, remove dough from bag, and place onto a clean surface. Dust surface and dough with flour to make it easier to roll out. Use a rolling pin, jar, can or anything cylindrical to roll out the dough. Make it as thin or thick as you like- but remember if you have a lot of toppings keep your dough thicker to avoid any breaks in the dough.

Chop up your veggies, onions, garlic and basil. Spread tomato sauce around the center of the pizza- leaving about an inch around the edge for the crust! Top with 1/2 of the cheese, basil, onion, some garlic powder and 1/2 fresh garlic. Evenly spread the veggies then top with remaining cheese and garlic.

Place pizza into oven- cook according to package directions- the Trader Joes dough usually takes 11-13 minutes. To get the ultra crispiness- I cook the pizza for 8 or so minutes on a pizza stone- then pull the pizza straight onto the rack for a remaining 5 or so minutes.

Let cool, slice up and enjoy!

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