Spring has sprung, or rather, spring has exploded. Temperatures have shot up to 27°C and we all spent the week end outdoors in short sleeves and summer shoes. This is by no means normal for this time of the year, we were still wearing jackets and coats last week. I am pretty sure temperatures will drop soon again so I am enjoying every minute of it while it lasts. This is what has been happening outside my kitchen window while I have been cooking.
Now, enough blabbing about the weather. There is much to say, so I better get on with it.
First of all, despite some technological problems, the bake sale for Japan was a success beyond expectations. We collected more than three times the initial target, with a whopping US$8269! So thank you first and foremost to Sabrina and all of you bidders. Thanks for the support on Twitter and Facebook, thanks to all the bloggers who baked and cooked up such fabulous treats. And finally, thank you to Second Harvest Japan for the work they are doing on site to help the earthquake victims. Once again, and I cannot say this enough after a few personal experiences these past couple of weeks, it always amazes me how the foodblogging community gets together to help and support each other in good times and bad.
On this note, I would like to thank Manu for the lovely awards for my blog and would like to pass them on. There are so many great blogs out there and amazing people behind them, so it is really hard to make a choice. I decided to pass these awards along to some of the newer blogs I have discovered.
So here's to you: A Bucks County Kitchen, And Baby Cakes Three, Brown Eyed Baker, Burp and Slurp, Design Wine and Dine, Dulce Delight, From Donuts to Delirium, Indian Simmer, Labna, Life's a Feast, Like Mother Like Daughters, Moomser, My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good, My Kitchen in the Rockies, Taste of Beirut.
a few garlic cloves
about 1/2 cup bread crumbs
about 1/2 olive oil
1/2 -1 cup white wine
Cut off the stems of the artichokes and set aside. Take off the outer leaves and cut the tops if you are using the thorny variety. Slightly separate the leaves with your hands. For the bread crumbs I used taralli, because I had an open pack I wanted to use up, crushed directly in their bag with a rolling pin. If you are using bread crumbs, you can slightly toast them in a pan. Heat up some olive oil (re-use the same pan so you have less washing up) and a few cloves of garlic. I crushed mine, but kept them whole because I did not want the garlic flavor to be overpowering but the original recipe calls for minced garlic. Pour the garlic oil into a bowl and add a cup of white wine, the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and freshly chopped parsley and mix well. Place the artichokes in an oven proof pot with a top and preheat your oven to about 220°C. Peel the stems you set aside with a peeler and add them into the pot. With a spoon, douse the artichokes with the oil and bread mixture. Bake the artichokes covered for about 45 minutes and another 15 minutes uncovered. You can make this dish adding any ingredient you like: try chopping up capers and anchovies or even sundried tomatoes to mix into the flavored oil.