Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A picnic in the park

Dear Sally,

Where has the month gone? I remember the beginning of June as if it were yesterday and here we are already near the end of August. Since we got back from the wedding both Jesse (yes Kim the other one) and I have been super busy.

As you know we each take turns planning a special date each month and it was my turn this time. We usually plan for the 14th of the month but because we were away for the weekend I opted for last night instead. With little time to prepare after work on Monday I quickly put together nibblies for a special picnic for two. We drove around the countryside of Newmarket looking for the perfect place to spread out our treats and found a little park in the middle of nowhere. I made a special veggie dip for us lactose-free folk, panchetta wrapped asparagus, homemade spicy pizza (for Jesse) and chocolate dipped fruit (also for Jesse). OH! AND I made deviled eggs with a spicy yolk mixture. Everything was delicious and as usual there was too much for just two people but MAN was is yummy.

I think cutting out wheat is one of the best things you can do for the GI system. I have been playing with alternatives as well and find that things can be very yummy without all the grains.

This letter is getting long but I just wanted to let you know that I am very excited for your Spanish lessons. I expect great things when you start your course and will hopefully be able to learn a thing or two from you.

Love Always,

(Adapted from 200 Best Lactose Free Recipes and Jamie's America)

Creamy Vegetable Dip
1 cup lactose free yogurt
1/4 mayonaise
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp dried tarragon

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
100g Panchetta

Wash and blanch asparagus for no more than 2 minutes. Wrap 2 spears with once piece of panchetta and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes or until panchetta is crispy. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Homemade Flatbread Pizza

2 1/2 cups flour
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup warm water plus more if needed

1. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
2. Make a well in the center and pour in the olive oil and warm water. Use a fork to combine all ingredients adding more water as needed. Mix until the dough just comes together and let set for about 30 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 5 small balls and flatten out with your hands.
4. Place each flatbread on a baking sheet or directly on the rack and bake for approx. 7 minutes on each side.
5. Cover with desired topping and bake again for about 10 minutes.

I used pizza sauce, olives, jalapenos, panchetta and cheese on Jesse's pizza but you can use whatever you want.

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