Monday, December 20, 2010

Basil, Mozzarella and Sausage Skewers

As of today, December 20th 2010 I am officially done with Christmas shopping! I must say that this is a new record for me and I pretty much have Amazon and all the ridiculously creative people on Etsy to thank for this year's efficiency.  If you've never been over to Etsy, I suggest you head there right now.  Yes, leave my post - it's ok.  The site's that good and full of amazing presents  :)  How's your holiday shopping progressing this year?

Mozzarella Skewers
With all my newly discovered free time, I'm back in the kitchen.  Though that sounds oddly 1940's domestic I'm happy to get back to baking and into the warmest room in our house.  Seriously, folks.  If you ever find your toes getting cold, just head into the kitchen and bake something.  You'll feel much better about life AND your house will smell good.

Mozzarella Skewers
Today's recipe is easy and perfect for the holidays.  I love this recipe because not only is it Christmas colors, but it also comes together quickly and is an excellent finger food.  All too often, I find myself at a party trying to eat an appetizer and having it fall all over my white clothing.  Who wears white clothing in the winter besides me?  Lesson learned.  Put finger foods on toothpicks to make life easy for klutzes like me!  Unfortunately, not too much "heat cooking" is involved so you'll just need to put some snuggle socks on instead.

1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
12 basil leaves, preferably large
12 toothpicks or short wooden skewers
2 -3 sausage links of your choice

Combine the garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and olive oil in a medium glass bowl. Cover and microwave on high until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Cool. Add the bocconcini and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 24 hours.

Pan fry sausages and allow to cool slightly.  Slice sausages.

Thread a tomato onto a skewer, wrap a bocconcini in a basil leaf and add to the skewer; finish with a sausage

Repeat with the remaining cheese and tomatoes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Safeway Home Delivery Review

I've never thought of myself as a control freak, but when it comes to grocery shopping I must say that I am classic type-A.  I really do love grocery shopping and I have some crazy primal need to pick and choose what goes into my basket.  So, when I was offered the chance to try out Safeway's grocery home delivery service I was both excited and frightened at the same time.  Would I really be able to let a stranger pick and pack my groceries when ahem, there is a Safeway basically across the street from my house?
Safeway Grocery Haul
Along with my control freakness, I tend to be an impulse buyer at the grocery and can't really leave without spending at least $50 so I figured this if anything, this would be a good exercise in purchasing what I actually need. Luckily, the shopping purchase was pretty easy as I picked a recipe (Creamy Lemon Soup with Lamb Mint Meatballs - amazing!) and went to town from there. For good measure I picked out some produce to see what I'd get.

Result? It was a bit hard for me to wait for the groceries to arrive. Luckily, they give you a pretty short window for delivery and my driver was kind enough to call on his way over.  The process was quick and easy and the next time it is too cold for me to leave the house, I'm thinking this ain't too bad of an option.  Finding ground lamb isn't always and easy task so I was happy to be able to order this online and not travel from store to store in search of such an elusively good item.  All in all a great service - one I can imagine would be uber helpful in the big city!

Disclosure: Thanks to Safeway and Foodbuzz for the chance to review. I was not compensated for the review but did receive a stipend to try out their fantabulous service.  The opinions are my own.