Updated 2014-09-03 16:44:57 ID=680:0

© 2014 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

Day by Day Getting back into the Kitchen's Swing of Things

The last few months have been a blur for me! I had two unexpected surgeries thrust upon me, plus organizing and cooking for our family reunion. Now, I'm FINALLY getting back to my normal routine that I love so much-cooking and writing about it. And with the budding of Fall starting, my mind is racing with all the autumn fun-filled food ideas to "play with!"

The last few months have really been frustrating! I've been tossing some ideas for recipes back and forth with my husband, but actually getting them cook-proof and ready enough for publication for my readers to try has been another matter. So now that I am recuperating in decent enough shape to sit and tell you about them, as well as share my ideas for making them, I want to tell you about a couple that you should try while the ingredients are still available.

©2014 The Romantic Table, Crostata is an Italian version of a pie 2014-09-03 16:47:47:360
©2014 The Romantic Table

Crostata is an Italian version of a pie, Delicious as a light breakfast with a protein-filled Greek Yogurt "chaser" or of course for dessert-with-or without a little vanilla ice cream on the side.
This past summer it has been a fantastic season for stone-fruit! It was practically impossible to buy a lousy peach, nectarine, cherry or apricot. And boy! Did we ever let our taste-buds cravings dictate the recipes!

With all the good fruit sitting around, of course the first thing to come to mind was a fruit-filled pie of some kind. As you know, I prefer quick and easy, so we tried a Cherry Crostata, a Peach Crostata, and even a Nectarine Crostata! ( A Crostata is Italian for pie) Boy! Were they ever good.-Delicious as a light breakfast with a protein-filled Greek Yogurt "chaser" or of course for dessert-with-or without a little vanilla ice cream on the side.

But what was REALLY fun, was in lieu of tomatoes which were pretty lousy again this year, we'd grill peach or nectarine halves and serve them on a bed of Spring Mix dressed lightly with a little Balsamic Vinegar for an out-of sight- delicious salad-treat! (The grilling process caramelizes and magnifies the fruits' sweetness.) It made every-night seem special! And we're still grilling them nightly! They're so good, you do not need a dessert!

Another recipe we came up with was one so simple in ingredients, you'll be really surprised by it's delicious multi-layered flavors while being pretty healthy too. While we were up in the Bay Area (with fantastic grocery-stores!) we saw some picture-perfect small zucchini just waiting to be turned into a delicious recipe. A couple weeks earlier we had tried an unusual zucchini appetizer at one of the local restaurants up there. So when we spotted the "perfect little zucchinis" we couldn't help but try our version of the offering.

For two people the total ingredients are: extra-Virgin Olive oil, a little garlic, a few tablespoons of blanched and sliced almonds, 3 zucchini, some chopped Italian parsley and some Percorino cheese! It's so simple, it's almost confounding! On a hot-hot summer night when appetites are not that big, you could serve this little zucchini "surprise" as a light meal along side some Spring mix and a grilled nectarines or peaches as described above. And complement with a chilled white wine.

Another comfort-food that I dreamed up and was craving "comfort" is a soup for brisk Fall days. It's chicken-based with all the good mellow ingredients that jump to mind: Pearl barley, carrots, mushrooms, thyme, and nutmeg.-Not to mention also a classic trito as a starter.

So you can see, while I wasn't very prolific in writing during my absence due to unexpected turns of events for me personally, my mind was still going fast and furious with some tummy-tempting ideas to try. So I am once again, rolling up my sleeves and getting back "in the kitchen 'saddle" so to speak and I'll be posting all sorts of new things for you to try.

I do hope you'll join me trying them out!

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A tip from Sue!

An easier way to pound your meats and poultry

Been frustrated by plastic wrap that won't stay as you pound your meats? Save yourself some grief by using an extra plastic bag from your grocery store's meat or produce counter. Simply place the breast of meat inside flat between the top and bottom of the plastic bag, laying flat and pound away.