Open Letter to Inspiration

Hello there, Inspiration.

I know you’re floating around out there somewhere. Elizabeth Gilbert says are you an entity all your own. I think, deep down, I always knew that; and it seems so right – that you have been just waiting for me to be ready to accept you back.

You feel like an old friend whom I parted ways with, but I want to get to know you again.

I know I’ve been very headstrong in believing I can only write when I’m unhappy. And then, still, I don’t write when I’m unhappy. Clearly there has been something missing.

And I think that “something” was you. I pushed you away. I actually felt that I didn’t deserve you so you kept your distance until – hopefully – now, when I know I deserve to have you back in my life. I’m going to work really hard at accepting whatever you give me, if I feel I’m up to it.

I’m sure someone else has written you an open letter like this already. But they haven’t used my words or my soul to say it just like this. It may not be an original idea, but it is an authentic letter – written to you because I needed you to know I’m still here and I still want your gifts of ideas and magic.

If it’s poetry you want to get written, I can be your girl.

If it’s a blog post, I can be your girl.

If it’s an article about whatever, just tell me – I can be your girl.

Hit me with the tingles or deja vu. Find a way to communicate with me and I promise I will be listening. Choose me.

I miss the nights we used to spend awake until 2:00am in our pjs blogging and writing with all the angst a 17 year old could muster. Let’s get those days back.

Your Old Friend,
Heidi

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No Measurements Monday

I’m still not good at consistently taking photos of food. As I’m spooning or shoveling food into my mouth I realize – shit – I was supposed to take a picture of this. *resumes shoveling*

So, in advance: Sorry for the lack of photos.

Tonight I’m initiating a new series of posts called No Measurements Monday. I’ve seen similar types of ‘recipes’ around the internet and the concept makes so much sense to me. These focus on whipping up a quick and healthy meal without all the hassle of multiple measuring spoons and cups (less dishes to wash!! Yay!!!).

Welcome to the first No Measurements Monday or #nomemo as it’ll be known on social media.

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This week’s NoMeMo is a pasta dish with a creamy garlic mushroom sauce. It’d be easy to make even if I did want you to get the measurements exact, but I’m giving you a pass to skip the precision and just go with your gut and trust your tastebuds.

The below instructions are for two generous servings, increase your ingredient amounts proportionately if you’re serving more people (ie: double or triple my suggestions). Don’t worry – you can’t mess this one up – unless maybe you dump in too much salt!

Ingredients:

Cooked pasta
Butter
Minced Garlic
Mushrooms (I used Crimini)
Other veggies chopped, if desired
Heavy Cream or Whole Milk
All-purpose flour
Herbs De Provence
Salt & Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • First, get your water boiling with a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. (I used capellini which cooks super fast: ~4 min). Once the pasta is al dente, mix  in a little olive oil (I actually used white truffle oil to enhance the earthy flavor I wanted) into the pasta and set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, melt a good amount (about 2 tbsp) of butter in a non-stick skillet. When the butter has started to brown just slightly, toss in some minced garlic (this is optional – we love garlic in our house so I did one oversized clove!). Let the garlic sauté until fragrant (1 min).
  • Once garlic is stinking up your house real good and fending off Kristen Stewart, throw in a nice big handful of Crimini mushrooms (more or less, depending on your love of ‘shrooms) into the butter. Let these sauté until golden brown.
    • If you want to make this a hardier meal, feel free to add in additional veggies. Onion, bell pepper or zucchini would be great additions. I suggest cooking these before the mushrooms, since mushrooms cook a lot faster. I did peas in one variation of this meal and it was amazing.IMG_5828
  • Now, the fun part! The cream sauce… awwwww yissss. Pour about half a cup (give or take depending on the serving size you’re aiming for) of heaving cream or whole milk into the skillet with butter and mushrooms. Add about a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the mixture and whisk together until combined. Then add a generous dash of Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper to taste AND grated parmesan cheese (as much as your little heart desires). Mix this up real good and let simmer for a few minutes on low heat until the sauce has thickened up to your liking, stirring often so not to burn it. What’s worse than spilt milk? Burned milk.IMG_5829
  • Toss the sauce in with your pasta and mix well. Serve in a bowl with a little extra parmesan on top and, voila! You’re done.

Get creative with this dish. Experiment with seasonings and different veggies. It’s an easy and cheap way to get a delicious and people-pleasing meal on the table.

Thanks for your attention and I hope you enjoyed the first No Measurements Monday post.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave them below or email me!

 

A New Tradition: Homemade Pizza Night

I got it in my head yesterday that I wanted to make homemade pizza and I wanted to use the fresh sage from my tiny herb garden. We also had this amazing Italian truffle cheese in the fridge. I’ve been obsessed with that cheese since we bought it and I thought it’d be great on pizza.

I ran to Trader Joe’s to pick up some ingredients (including their dough because why try to improve what’s already good and easy?).

What I came up with was a sweet and savory, buttery and crispy pizza that has me drooling as I type. There is something about the truffle flavor that gets me in a tizzy. Mesh that with some sage and oh my gosh caramelized onions. HEAVEN. Then top it with a little Prosciutto and BAM – favorite pizza ever.

Let me tell you, I have not stopped hearing Brian talk about this pizza. He said he woke up thinking about it.

Without further ado…!

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First, we gotta prep the onions and get those cookin’. I used one yellow onion for this pizza and it was plenty. Cut onion(s) into strips from top to root or dice. Heat butter in pan on Medium heat and toss in the onions, stir to coat them with the butter. Stir every 3-5 minutes – it will take a while for them to caramelize so while they’re cooking start prepping everything else. Eventually, you’ll start to see dark residue on the pan. This is the fond. Add a little water to the pan (2 tbsp) and scrape the fond off the pan and stir into onions. This is what helps give the onions rich flavor and color. For more info on caramelizing onions click here.


I used Trader Joe’s Wheat dough but here’s a good how-to if you want to make your own. For the TJ’s dough, let it sit at room temp for about 30 min. Preheat your oven to at least 450º (the higher the better – I did 475º) for 30 min. Lightly dust your work surface (I used a wood cutting board) with flour. Stretch and pull the dough into desired shape and transfer to your pizza stone or a flat rimless baking sheet. Brush entire surface of dough with the truffle oil and sprinkle with sea salt. I then par-baked the dough for 3 minutes while I finished up the onions.

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I layered on the onions and cheese (for the cheese I cut cubes of fontina and Italian Truffle cheese and spread evenly). Then I baked the pizza for 8 minutes.

During these 8 minutes I melted about 1 1/2 tbsp of salted butter until it began turning brown and added the sage. The sage fried until crispy.
I also tore a slice of prosciutto into small pieces.

After the 8 minutes I drizzled the butter & sage sauce over the entire pizza (especially the crust!) and added the prosciutto. Then cooked it for 3 more minutes in the oven.

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Then it was ready to eat!

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For being a fairly involved recipe, it was easy. I was able to sip my wine and take bites of cracker and truffle cheese (just can’t get enough) while I cooked.
We also had no leftovers. 😦

Here’s the recipe. Post your comments and questions below!

FULL RECIPE
Ingredients:
1 yellow or red onion
4 tbsp butter, divided
Pizza dough of your choice
1 tbsp Truffle Oil
Sea Salt to taste
8+ Sage leaves
1/4 cup cubed fontina cheese
1/4 cup Italian truffle cheese
Small handful of proscuitto, torn

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 475º for 30 min.

2. While oven is preheating, melt 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut 1 onion into slices and toss in the melted butter. Let cook, stirring & deglazing fond occasionally, until caramelized to your liking.

3. Flatten and shape dough on a lightly floured surface. Season crust with truffle oil and sea salt. Par-bake crust for 3 min.

4. Load up the pizza crust with caramelized onions and cubed cheese. Bake for 8 minutes

5. While pizza is baking, melt remainder of butter in a small pan and fry sage for 3-4 minutes.

6. Remove pizza from oven and drizzle butter sage sauce over crust and toppings. Top pizza with proscuitto and bake for 2-3 more minutes until proscuitto is slightly crispy.