roman tomatoes with risotto and basil

tomato flesh and liquid is mixed with risotto rice, basil, oil, salt & pepper before being put back in the tomato
In the 70's stuffed peppers were pretty trendy. Yuck. They kinda ruined any interest I might have in any other vegetable being stuffed - especially with rice. That is, until I learned how to make this classic Roman dish. Seriously, you are so going to love these.

This is how it's done. Cut the tops off of some good sized seasonal tomatoes (round and firm work best) and scoop out the innards (see above) and place in a bowl mixed with 2 heaping tbsp of uncooked risotto rice per tomato, lots of chopped fresh basil, 1tsp of olive oil per tomato, salt & pepper. Mix the ingredients together in the bowl and reload the tomatoes. Pop the tops you cut off back on like little hats to enclose. Bake in a glass ovenproof dish for 1 hour at 350 degrees). You can wedge these in the dish with potato wedges, which will roast alongside your tomatoes and keep them tightly packed in place.

In Rome, this is a summer dish often cooked late at night or in early morning when it's still cool outside. The dish is served at room temperature later in the day when it's simply too hot outside to cook. I do up a load and have them over the course of a few days. We've got a lot of hot days like today on the way... These are so good you'll find yourself wanting to make them all summer!!


gluten-free birthday party...time warp.

gluten-free party circa 1975 that's me on the far right.
This is my seventh birthday party. Back in the day, being celiac on your birthday meant that you were special in more ways than one. Your hot dog was "special" your bun was "special" and your cake - was "special"... meaning gluten free (and often funny looking). Mum got full marks for pulling it off. 

Nowadays... a full on gluten-free birthday party could be thrown without comment. You can find gf versions of pretty much everything - and if you don't mind the expense... every kid can eat what the "special" kid is having.  

Today marks my 44th birthday... and everyone celebrating with me will be "having what I'm having". Times most certainly have changed!!


Queen B Pastry = gluten-free decadence

I think that this photo speaks volumes. A few months back I tried a chocolate walnut Queen B Pastry cookie at Dark Horse Espresso Bar here in Toronto. It was so delicious that I ate it all before even considering that I might want to photograph it for this blog. A few weeks back I was in the same cafe and discovered this amazing "CROWNIE" (a cross between a cookie and a brownie.... hell yes!).

I was down to the last two bites when panic struck. I'd almost eaten the whole shebang... and these were too good not to share the word...so I took this little morsel home in the gorgeous package so that I could capture it on film and share it with you. I'm going to let their website tell the rest of the story. Click HERE to read up on where you'll find Queen B Pastry's incredible goods. The flavours have layers. I'm telling you, gluten-free has never tasted this decadent.