Thursday, July 23, 2009

Woman's World Magazine!

JULY 27, 2009 ISSUE

I am so excited because I was interviewed by the magazine Woman's World and the article came out this week!!!! So if you're in the supermarket or convenience store...pick up a copy and check out my interview (top of page 41). The reporter, Kristina Mastrocola, had stumbled upon my blog and enjoyed it and called me to ask me about my favorite store bought lemonade....of course I had to say it was Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade...I really do love this stuff! Anyways...I am just excited to see my name and my blog's name in a national magazine!

So fun!!!!

Article on the top of page 41 about the best lemonade

My part!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Easy Pizza with Farmer's Market Ingredients

Pizza alla Neapoletana

I'm having some problems with my picture editing program so my posts from my Arizona trip are taking a little longer than I wanted. Sooooo...I'm posting a recipe from my weekend trip to the local Farmer's Market. It is held in downtown Omaha in the Old Market Area and I just love going on Saturday mornings....obviously we have some great farmer's here in Nebraska and this is such a wonderful way to support them and get really fresh (and often organic) veggies and meat. I bought some amazing basil, tomatoes and jalapenos so of course first thing I thought of making was pizza!!! I'm not a big fan of lots of sauce on my pizza and with all these great fresh flavors I didn't even add any meat to this pizza and let me tell was just perfect! So next time you want to eat pizza....don't just think of ordering a greasy...saucy pizza over the phone....make your family a really fresh and healthy version and I promise that they will love it!

Avesta's Version of Pizza alla Neapoletana
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees (use a pizza stone if you have one)

1 Large Pizza Crust (pre-baked) (I like thin crust so I usually use a Middle Eastern flatbread for my crust or I make my own but you can use whatever crust you like)
(12 or 14 inch)
2 garlic cloves chopped fine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Yellow Tomatoes (or any heirloom tomato you can find) (sliced thin)
3 Roma Tomatoes (sliced thin)
1 Jalapeno (seeded and diced)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
fresh mozzarella (I used to large balls that I cut up in small pieces)
sea or kosher salt to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle on top

Mix the olive oil and garlic and spread all over your pizza crust. Then layer the crust with slices of tomatoes, jalapenos and fresh basil. Sprinkle with salt and top with the fresh mozzarella. Drizzle the top of the pizza with the rest of the olive oil to get that golden brown effect. Bake for about 15 minutes or until it is golden and the crust is crisp.

Make sure to spread the toppings evenly over the crust.
I love fresh mozzarella but if you don't have fresh mozz you can substitute this with any shredded pizza cheese that you enjoy.
This isn't a very good picture but I hope that you can see how good this pizza was with the golden baked fresh mozzarella and all those fresh ingredients I got at the farmer's market...simple but oh so good!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Nephew's 4th Bday Party

Maxwell's 4th Birthday Party

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The next few posts are going to be about my trip to Phoenix last week visiting my sister Avein, her husband Paul and my nephew Maxwell. The trip to Arizona started off with Maxwell's 4th Bday party. My sister and brother-in-law went all out for Maxwell's party, including a popcorn machine, snow cone maker and a giant blow up slip-n-slide that was the hit of the party. I jumped in and took over the food portion of the party (of course). We did simple kid friendly food and it all turned out perfectly! Not only did the kids have a good time.....the parents did, too! I'm not sure how much those blow up slippy slide things cost but believe hot Phoenix weather...that was the best money spent....and it seriously was so much fun!

The menu consisted of mac n cheese, little smokies in puff pastry, fruit, veggies and cheeses. For this entry I am going to post my fruit dip recipe that is always a hit and much better than that pink stuff you can buy in the store.

Avesta's Fruit Dip
1/2 Cup Vanilla or Plain Yogurt (if you can find Greek Yogurt, even better!)
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons peach or apricot preserves
Squeeze of lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a bowl, mix and then microwave for 30-45 seconds. Mix well and spoon into a serving bowl. Chill until ready to use. Before serving, drizzle with a little honey on top. Serve with fresh fruit.

Maxwell's cake was a train. He loves train's and this cake turned out perfectly! The inside was chocolate with a chocolate mousse filling....yum!!!!

My sister rented this huge blow up slip and slide. It was like having an water park in the was awesome!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back in Omaha

I'm finally back in Omaha and back to work. I was in Chicago and then went to Phoenix to cater a couple events for my sister and brother-in-law. I love doing this traveling chef thing....I wish I could do this full-time. I am gathering all my photos and trip recipes so that I can start posting about all the wonderful food I made during my travels. Look for postings to start on Sunday.

I hope you're all having a wonderful summer! To help make your summer even more fun...try my favorite summer cocktail. I love Minute Maid's Pomegranate Lemonade and though I drink it a lot without any alcohol in it....last summer I decided to try to make a martini out of it and let me tell's amazing!!!! You've got to try this out!

Avesta's Summer Martini
2 oz vodka
1 oz pomegranate liquor
2-3 oz Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade (2oz if you like it strong, 3 or 4 oz if you want it to go down really easy)
lemon to garnish

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass. Enjoy!!! This is also good made in big batches in a pitcher. I slice lemons in it and then serve it in glasses with ice. It's so easy and your guests will love it!

This Minute Maid Lemonade is so addictive!!!!!

And doesn't it look so good?