Friday, July 29, 2011

Italian Friends Cook Figs

My Italian gym rat friend, Charlie, loves to cook, eat and talk about Italian food.  Every morning when I see him, at 5:30 am!, he has a story or a recipe for me.  Today was no exception.

"Hey, Susie-Q, how are you today?  Cook anything good last night?"  Unfortunately, I haven't been in the kitchen since my party last Saturday night and couldn't add much to the conversation.  Granted, at 5 in the morning, who really wants to add to any conversation?  Charlie continues...

"My 'goomba' friend, a REAL Italian from Brooklyn, told me about figs he made last weekend.  $5.99 for a box at Costco.  Oh, God, I DIE for figs.  My friend made them in the most unusual way!"  Being from New Jersey and being Italian, I took a little exception to his "REAL" reference, but point taken.  I think the Brooklyn Italians are much more hard core than the New Jersey breed.  We're more watered down, perhaps.

Charlie goes on to tell me that his "goomba" friend prepare the figs by slicing them in half, spreading goat cheese on them, wrapping them in prosciutto and baking them.  "What!?" I say.  "Charlie, I wrote about this in my newsletter last month!  Didn't you read it?"  Apparently, he didn't.

As an American Italian, I could not grow up not loving figs.  Sadly, most of us only ate the figs right off of the tree and never did anything else with them.  Oh, what they all are missing!

It's fig season, so go and get yourself a few figs, slice them in half lengthwise, spread a small amount of goat cheese on each side, wrap each half in a piece of prosciutto, and bake for 10-20 minutes in a 350 oven.  You won't be disappointed!  For an even better experience, sprinkle each fig half with a PINCH of sugar, before you spread the goat cheese.  You can also make your very own goat cheese and really wow your friends with this one!  Enjoy!

Chow Bella Cooks Goat Cheese

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Changes For Chow Bella Cooks

July was a very busy month for Chow Bella Cooks.  Each week was packed with classes and requests for new recipes.  In fact, I'm still trying to catch up.

In August, I will be taking some time to re-structure, plan and continue writing my book, and starting in September, classes will be by request only.  The private parties and request parties have become quite popular, and since there is only one of me to go around, I had to make some changes.  Until the Chow Bella Cooks facility is built, and I have more people on staff, this is the strategy I've chosen.  For those of you who are wanting and waiting for a special class (i.e. Thai or Indian).  If I have enough single requests, I will run a party for that particular cuisine and let you know the proposed date.  You can also get 4 or more of your friends together and make it a private party.  Private parties can be held for two people, but the cost is a little more, due to the time involved.

Stay tuned for more good changes, and in the meantime, please keep the requests coming!  My blog and newsletter will stay active, for August, and I'll also be taking some classes to broaden my horizons.

Until next time,

Enjoy and Chow!
PS - visit the website for the latest recipes.