Pizza is Always the Perfect Choice

Guest post from Matt DiGiovanni. Follow him on twitter!

Last night Liz and I decided pizza was the perfect dinner choice (realistically, pizza is always the perfect choice). Not just any pizza would suffice though; we would be making French Onion Soup and Bacon, Onion, and Pineapple pizzas!

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(Left: French Onion Soup Pizza, Right: Bacon, Onion, and Pineapple Pizza)

Here’s what you’ll need:

French Onion Soup Pizza
½ bag of pizza dough
1-2 Large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced
3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2-3 tbsp of butter
1 cup beef broth
¾ cup dry red wine
1 tbsp flour, with additional for the dough
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy cream
1/3 lb Gruyère cheese, shredded

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Welcome Back. Let’s Hear It For Pasta.

Our last post left us in a sort of limbo. It was evident that we needed to upgrade and reorganize our vision, and it was clear that this project had the potential to become community-based endeavor. So, without further ado, welcome to the new Edible Opinions!

Pasta is one of those meals that can be so versatile. I could eat it, well, always. So why wouldn’t I come back from a very long hiatus with a pasta post?

Let’s get started.

I tend to treat pasta as a vehicle for other edible wonders, like sauce, cheese, avocado (thanks to my roommate), etc. For this recipe, though, I wanted to bring the focus of a pasta dish back to pasta, so that’s exactly what I did!

What you will need:

1/2 Red Pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 Orange Pepper, thinly sliced
1 Small Onion, thinly sliced
1Tbsp Garlic, crushed
1Tbsp Butter
2Tbsp Olive Oil
I Box Pasta, of your choice

To start, thinly chop onion and peppers.

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A Sweet Treat For You: Fruit Tarts

Our friend, Laura, is back with a great installment and this time she takes on a classic treat! Check it out!

Hey Edible Opinions readers! I have a great recipe for you that’s perfect for summer occasions. It’s a simple fruit tart. Fruit tarts are a classic dessert that is showcased in every great bakery and in just about any cookbook with a dessert section. They can sometimes look intimidating but after giving them a chance, I promise you’ll love them! There are three components to any fruit tart: the actual tart, the filling, and the fruit. The fruit is the easy part, all you have to do is buy it and cut it up if necessary! You can use any kind of fruit you want, when selecting just remember to think about who will be eating it, and where the event is, and e.g. is it out side in heat or in an air-conditioned room? That takes care of the fruit, only 2 parts left!

Let’s move onto the filling. A lot of people think there has to be some kind of fancy filling to make a proper fruit tart. That may be so at weddings, but not a family barbecue or a gathering of friends. You can use anything, you can make mouse and use that, or use a pastry cream, or even pudding. You could literally go buy Snack Packs and scoop them into it, and they would still turn out well. If you want something fancier than a pudding, you can use pastry cream, homemade, or you could purchase some; certain bakeries sell their creams. This weekend, I went with mouse. I chose mouse because I was preparing them for my niece’s first birthday party. I knew there would be cake and a ton of other food, so I didn’t want to make something too heavy like pastry cream. To make the mouse you need the following:

  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • ¼ Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cups of Heavy Cream
  • ¾  Cup of Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Container of Cool Whip

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Chill Out

Beat the heat and chill out, my friends!

I don’t know about you guys and gals, but this heat   across the US has me wanting to escape to the arctic! Fortunately, I have a few tips to help us keep cool while giving our taste buds a little treat. Win, win!

1) Eat astringent foods- Astringency is the term used to describe that dry, almost puckering feeling you get when you drink red wine. Astringent foods contain tannin, the molecule that provides the “dryness.” When you consume astringent foods, the tissues of your body contract, or shrink, and increase water absorption by the body. Because it takes a lot of energy to increase the temperature of water your body’s internal temperature stays cooler, longer.

2) Make Green Veggies Your Best Friend! Green, leafy vegetables (i.e spinach, kale and broccoli) are packed with calcium, which is crucial to your body’s thermoregulatory abilities. I found this tip a little hard to believe because I am ALWAYS hot and love veggies. Perhaps I don’t consume enough ‘green?’

3) Avoid the Diuretic Foods. You need to stay hydrated during the summer months, and consuming food that acts as a diuretic is redundant. Like coffee? Stop drinking it! Iced coffee has forever been a go-to of mine in the summer, but, come to find out, it actually makes things worse in the long run! Who knew? Not this guy.

4) Put down the steak! Consuming foods that are high in protein force your body to work harder. It takes your body a longer time to break down protein, so don’t eat as much when it’s a thousand degree’s outside!

5) Water it up! Like stated above, water is key to a happier, cooler body temperature! Try eating foods that have a high water content, like watermelon and cantaloupe. And instead of that sodium-rich soda, try adding just a glass of water to your dish. I know, I know– water isn’t delicious. Well, I promise that your body will thank you!

If you liked these tips and want to see a few more, visit our friends! I found the information contained in this post on:

4 Foods to Help You Stay Cool and

Foods to Avoid During A Heatwave

Stay refreshed!

 

-Shawn

Transplantation and Recovery

Not only have I neglected to update the blog in a few weeks, but I also neglected my plants. Sad, I know, but let me explain. I kept my plants in the living room, and one day I decided that I would bring them upstairs to a spare bedroom to make room for my family that would be visiting for my graduation. It was a great location; there was a lot of room and sunlight! Unfortunately having them out of sight allowed me to overlook my responsibility of watering them and caring for them.

When I moved out of Connecticut and back to Rhode Island last Friday, I saw the sadder than sad looking plants and vowed to bring them back from the almost dead. Once you start to lose them, it’s hard to get them back! It didn’t help that they were squashed during the move. Whoops.

I weeded and leveled off my old garden at home to allow space for my dying friends. It’s been a week and the look as though they will make an 85% recovery. I did lose one green bean plant, two cucumber plants, and 4 summer squash plants. They’ll forgive me, right? Whatever, they are just plants. Come at me, bro!

Here’s their new home!

Anyway, I’ll be sure to continue the updates a little more frequently  these days. I feel like I say that a lot. Oh well.

Happy Summer!

-Shawn

PS- If you follow us on Twitter you know that the tomatoes have been dead.

Week 5ix

I’m not even going to try to pretend that I didn’t skip a weekly garden update because I did. I am sorry. I take full responsibility. Now let’s move on!

The best news of the past two weeks is that, after a little pruning, the tomatoes have finally showed a little more enthusiasm towards life, which is great. I mean, considering. This angled shot makes them look smaller than they currently are, but whatevs.
The green beans are essentially a jungle these days. What’s new with them, you ask? Well, for starters, they are starting to flower! This means that they are in their fertile, reproductive stage. Eventually the flower will wilt and just the ovary will remain. The ovary is what becomes the bean! As a gay man, I find this slightly unsettling. Ovaries. I cannot promise that what I wrote above is 100% accurate, but it is a slight paraphrase from multiple web sources. As you are probably aware, this isn’t common knowledge. Anyway, I digress.

I wish I could find a picture that accurately represents the growth of the cucumbers. I mean, they are SO close to producing fruit! I probably said something in an earlier post that would contradict this statement, but I have a feeling that the cucumbers will lead the reproductive race. They just seem super ambitious. Like, they were the first to appear above the soil. It just makes sense.

Slow and steady wins the race, or at least that’s what the squash have adopted as their motto. They could be a wildcard this season, but that is somewhat doubt-able. My research indicates that I may have overlooked a crucial step prior to planting. Some websites suggest that I should have started my squash in a near freezing temperature soil. I don’t know how accurate that is, but there has to be some truth to it if more than one source indicated such. Hopefully it wasn’t mandatory.

If my numbers are accurate, which they should be considering I am pretty good at math, my plants were planted 45 days ago. With that said, I should, technically, have visible fruits available in about 12 more days! I will know that the seed packets lied if I don’t see the fruit. I will also cry. Maybe not.

What kind of planting myths have you read about? What else have I done wrong, internet?

Happy Monday!

– Shawn

I’m a Part of the PPC!

My office is such a fun place to work. We are always coming up with simple ways to make the environment more fun and inviting for outside guests, and this week was no different!

We formed a Party Planning Committee a few weeks back and we have had a few events, but the best idea of all was executed this past week. IT WAS BANANA WEEK! The banana was the highlighted food of the week and each day we made food showcasing our mushy friend.

Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday: Banana Poppers- bananas were covered with chocolate and a dab of peanut butter was added.
Tuesday: Banana Cookies- this was a VERY soft cookie that had the most banana flavor. So good!
Wednesday: Banana Spice Muffins- This was my day! I took a recipe that I use often for zucchini bread and used banana’s instead. It was lovely! Here’s a picture!
Thursday: Banana Creme Pie- My good friend, Angela, brought these babies in. It was a little messy, but most delicious things are!
Friday: Banana Pancakes- We made SO many of them! I booked a room and had a lot of people walk through. It was probably the best way to end the week. Mmm.

I really love that I work with people who know the importance of integrating fun into the work day. It makes me happy!

Want any of the recipes? They will be up this week!

Happy eating 🙂

-Shawn