A lot has happened in the last week, both in real and virtual life.
Let’s start with the virtual. I was beyond surprised–and pleased– to learn that my little ‘ole blog here was the Runner Up for local food blogs in the Ann Arbor Current Readers’ Choice 2012 issue. Funny thing is, I’m sure I got one vote only, from Maeve, who mentioned she voted for me quite a while ago. I didn’t even vote for myself, as I was unaware of said contest. Annoying thing is, they got my URL soooo wrong that I’ve been getting virtually no new traffic as a result. Hmpf. The ever supportive friend that she is, Maeve, however, emailed the Current to correct the situation (to no avail unfortunately).
“Hi! I am so pleased that my friend Liza won the runner-up spot for local food blog for 2012 – and she’s right here, super-thrilled too! But could you fix the URL? It should be provenceinannarbor.wordpress.com. That’s ProvEnce (not Province) and WordPress (not Worldpress), and there’s an “in” after Provence. She is very excited about this, and she’d love to get more hits on her blog – and you can help with that by fixing the address in the listing online. Thanks so much! Whoo hoo!”
When that didn’t work, Maeve took matters into her own hands and posted about it on her fabulous lil’ blog, Bitzen Pieces. Take a look (and make sure you scroll down to see the picture!). Saying she’s got a way with words is an understatement. So is saying she’s a supportive friend, for that matter. Thanks again Maeve!
A final bit to this story is that I finally got in with the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers. That’s been a goal of mine, to hook up with local food bloggers and hopefully I’ll be attending one of their events in the near future (thanks go to Cynthia of Mother’s Kitchen for finding me despite the Current’s butchering–hee,hee– of my URL.)
And for the real life component, it’s officially summer (!)–not on the calendar quite yet as you well know, and it’s been summer-like weather for quite a while now as you also well know–but I’m off! Vive les vacances d’été! I’m going to try to savor this feeling, the one of hope, promise and lots of sleep in the coming weeks, not to mention a 4th of July annual pilgrimage north and a return to Provence. That’d be the real one, not my backyard. Most of all, I’m going to appreciate that the feeling I had when I wrote this post shall not apply for another 10 weeks. I know. I’m lucky. La vie est belle.
Now it’s finally time for some food, if that’s the reason that you’re in fact here. There’s been tons of that lately too. Like these cute little stuffed squash blossoms. I’ll give you the details later. But aren’t they adorable?
There was also a dinner at Barb’s. Recipe-testing à deux, if you will, where I mixed up a D I V I N E Rosemary Gin Fizz that I had spied on Cup of Jo, and which I did not alter in any way as it is pure perfection.
The Rosemary Simple Syrup is also nice mixed with iced tea.
Barb did Ina’s Polenta, and as recipes from Ina seldom do, it did not disappoint. I’m pretty sure I had a dream about it that night. She served it with Grilled Flank Steak marinated in this now sadly out-of-business country inn’s marinade. Miam.
And since her grill was brand spankin’ new, I christened it by grilling some Romaine Hearts, which for quite some time now has been an intriguing concept for me. Grilled lettuce? My family is really going to think I’ve lost it when I present this salad at our annual 4th of July shindig. Yes sirree. I can’t wait.
Grilled Caesar Salad
Serves 6. Dressing adapted from Rachael Ray.
- 3 romaine hearts, cut in 1/2
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- one garlic clove, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 teaspoons worchestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- freshly grated parmesan
First, mix dressing ingredients (anchovy paste through olive oil) in a jar and shake. Set aside.
Next, wipe clean the romaine with a damp paper towel. Brush with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper, just like you would anything you put on the grill. Grill over medium heat for about 30 seconds, then flip and grill for another 30 seconds. What you want here is a slight char on the lettuce only.
Finally, top with dressing and freshly grated parmesan and serve. It’s astonishingly delicious.
And lest I forget, we finished the evening with Joy’s Marshmallow Bars. I swapped the jam for Nutella and bananas. Oh Em Gee. Her pictures are better than mine. Look at hers instead. I will say, though, that since one does not purchase marshmallows in small quantities, or Nutella for that matter, these are going to appear again very soon.
Now that this post is finally coming to an end, I no longer feel like telling you (and that’s a good thing) about how on the last day of school I had to write a two-page narrative defending myself as an “effective professional”. Nope. I’m over it now.