Sorry for my absence this past week. I had a very busy and stressful 4-day work-week and 3-day trip home to Chicago. Well actually not busy or stressful at all. But I thought saying that would make my lack of blogthusiasm these past few weeks seem better. So here’s a tribute to what I was doing at home while I wasn’t blogging.
1. You can call me Marissa Appleseed. My freshman year of highschool (cough, 9 years ago) I did an extra credit project that involved planing a tree. I chose an apple tree because I like apples. It was a twig. Now it is massive and has real apples which the deers and I enjoy eating. See below. Newlywed brother in law and sister in the far background.
2. Tomato and tomAto are not the same. Every year my mom grows tomatoes, and this years crop, product of a few wee plants from nature’s very own Costco, produced massive quantities of ridiculous tomatoes. The taste doesn’t even resemble the stuff you buy in a grocery store. I was going to attempt to bring some home but then I had a terrifying vision of tomatoe juice and seeds all over the clothes in my suitcase and I wisely changed my mind.
Instead, I decided to make brunch for my family. I made an amazing frittata with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and a mozzarella/fontina cheese combo. My recipe: Sautee chopped onion and mushrooms in some olive oil with one halved garlic clove to add a little flavor (to be removed later). When just about done, add spinach and let it wilt. Season with salt and pepper, remove garlic clove and set mixture asside to cool. Once cool, add raw chopped tomatoes. and mix in 1/2 cup cheese (I used mozzarella and fontina). Whisk 5 whole eggs with 5 egg whites and mix in with veggies/cheese. Pour into sprayed oven safe pan or cast iron skillet. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes or until almost set. Switch oven to broil and sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese on top so it gets brown and melty. Broil for about 2-3 minutes and serve.
3. Herb gardens are better when they’re NOT inside a 12th floor apartment window. My mom’s thriving little pot has basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and parsley.
Being the helpful daughter that I am, I decided to help my mom put them to use by making some homemade pesto. Our recipe: 3 cups loosely packed basil leaves, 3 big garlic cloves, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 3/4 cup olive oil, squeeze of one lemon wedge, pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. First grind the basil and garlic in the food processor. Add the parm and nuts and slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is going. Then season with salt,pepper and red pepper and hit with the lemon juice (my theory was that this would keep it bright in color and flavor). Was so good that I kept “taste testing” it…aka, eating it plain with a spoon.