And so it begins (with bocconcini).

I’ve wanted to start a blog with a little food in it for some time now; it was just a matter of when. I started thinking about it seriously in April, as I lost my hair and sanity throughout exam period, but reconsidered, for fear of sounding like a deranged ninny. Instead, I decided that it should be done in summer. Summertime is perfect for starting a blog- fresh ingredients everywhere, lots of time, and endless relaxation! That’s the theory anyways. Between working seven days a week, becoming a new mom to a pair of rats, my parents selling their house, and stealing time from my deckhand boyfriend, it hasn’t been the endless lolling days I imagined. One thing hasn’t changed though-the food. Whether I’m wrapping chocolate at Organic Fair or slicing rat brains at the UVic labratory, food won’t stop my mouth from watering. The season has only accelerated this, as I dream of cherry trees slung heavy with red drop earings, peaches with skin sliding off from ripeness, green grapes popping with sass, carrots carrying on crunching, and pitchers of iced, minty tea beading up with sweat. How can someone help but find poetry in a blueberry brule or a strawberry pie? Flaky crust and fixing custard, oh how they complete us. So the time has come. I cannot help myself any more. I have to express to the world how much food means to me, and may have to include a few life musings of the student-y sort. Do not be alarmed if there is a mention of “my boys” (Mitchell and Cameron, my cuddly rats), I know rodents and food have never been an in vogue combo, but they are just so much fun. The other boy, Sebastien, is my taste-tester Frenchie boyfriend, who is the one who provoked the beginning of this blog. Now you know a little cast and crew, I am Jennifer Marie, better known as Jenny. And so it begins.

A very, very simple appetizer that always looks pretty enough to impress people.

Tomato-Bocconcini Salad

Count on at least 3 per person, depending on the other appetizers being offered

2 portion bocconcini cheese (size varies)
1 portion tomatoes
1 portion basil
enough skewers for one portion
reduced balsamic for drizzeling **

First thread on one bocconcini ball, then one tomato, and then one more bocconcini ball onto the skewers. You can choose to thread fresh basil around the tomatoes, but I often just chop basil into strips and sprinkle all over the plate for some nice shape variance. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic. Serve! Simple, fresh, and only needs great organic ingredients.
** Reduced balsamic is great for salads and garnishing plates, so make a good amount, it lasts literally forever. Pour a bottle of balsamic into a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Leave the lid off and turn the fan on (don’t stick your nose in the pot like a certain sibling did). Watch it closely, and wait until its thick enough to coat the back of a spoon- the final idea is a syrup consistency, but if it is as thick as syrup when its hot, it’ll be super thick when it cools down. Don’t be too tempted to keep heating it after you are able to coat the back of a spoon nicely- you can always heat it back up if you find its still too thin. Shut it off and let it cool fully.


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