I, like everyone else everywhere, started out the year with high hopes that included organizing my craft room with custom made labels that I found on Pinterest, purging my closet of anything I hadn’t worn in over a year and losing 50 pounds in two weeks.
Let me break these down for you, one at a time.
The craft room is a dump, and not just for craft supplies, but for everything. I mean everything. I will be able to comfortably survive in my “craft room” when the zombie apocalypse hits. I have winter coats and boots, enough tax records to burn for a year and an embarrassing amount of candy. Just the other day, I stumbled upon an unopened Christmas gift in there. Pecan Turtles. The apocalypse is going to be delicious. It’s not that I haven’t done anything with the craft supplies. They are now all crammed haphazardly into one hutch. As long as no one walks into that room too quickly, we’re fine.
I nailed the second one. I not only tore through my own closet on a mission, but Layla’s as well. I rolled up to Goodwill like I owned the place, my mom-SUV packed to the brim with trash bags (classy) filled with garments both too big and too small for me, unmatched socks (sorry Goodwill), and all the toys that I found stuffed in the back of Layla’s closet that she hadn’t touched in a year. Task? Crushed.
I think we all know how the final “goal” went. Besides the fact that it is physically impossible to lose 50 pounds in two weeks, I have this condition. A condition that compels me to eat bread and cheese washed down with red wine until I literally can’t move. Again, I haven’t totally balked on this goal. I have lost 5, maybe 6 pounds, but I have come to the realization that any weight loss I experience is going to be slow and drawn out because I would rather have to shop in the “Women’s” section of Target for a little bit longer than end up gorging myself on bread and wine while I sit weeping under the kitchen table, ashamed of my unhealthy relationship with carbs.
Even the darkest feelings can be extinguished with a good baguette, a bottle of red and a chunk of fresh mozzarella. As you can plainly see from this recipe, I am not ready to give up that crutch. So, yes, carrot sticks and fat-free, organic Greek yogurt are now a part of my diet, but so still is this dip. And that is what I consider to be balance.
- 1 baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¾ cup sweet white wine
- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 3 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- Set your oven to a low broil.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice the baguette into thin slices, arrange in a single layer on the cookie sheet, brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.
- Place under the broiler until a light golden brown and cheese just begins to bubble, 2-5 minutes depending on your oven. Leave the broiler on.
- In a large skillet that can be transferred to the oven, saute the red pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil until the peppers are translucent.
- Very carefully add the wine to the pan and simmer until the wine is reduced by nearly half.
- Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, capers, sugar and Parmesan to to sauce and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes until the Parmesan is fully melted.
- Cover the top of the sauce with mozzarella slices and place skillet under the broiler until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to bubble, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle chopped basil on top and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil oil over dip. Serve with crostinis.