Dinner Perfection

Hello there.  How was your day?  I hope you got to do something that made you smile.

The weather was gorgeous here in the Midwest today – perfectly sunny, 72 degrees with a slightly strong but really nice breeze – it doesn’t get much better than this. 

Even better, I had a very productive day.  The family came over and we got the jungle in my back yard cleared out completely.  Now I can walk out my back gate without getting smacked in the face with tree branches and the old man who lives next door will stop saying, “So, you’ve really got some weeds growing, huh?” every time he sees me.  We filled the entire Yard Waste Only dumpster, I have cuts all up and down one arm (stupid, attacking rosebushes) and my skin might be permanently dyed with poke berry juice (side note – now I know what a pokeberry is!).  The random, sloppy fire pit that a previous renter dug in the middle of the yard is gone too.  I am SO happy.  Needless to say Brody is IN LOVE with all the new open space.  Sadly, I was too lazy to grab my camera so there are no pictures of the yard OR the Brody.

As a bonus, my bathroom also got painted today!  Back when I moved in, the rest of the house was such a hot mess (seriously, the color combinations could have caused seizures) that the plain white bathroom wasn’t a priority.  We finally got around to it and have transformed it from a teeny room with smudged white walls to a teeny room with lovely gray walls.  To celebrate, I treated myself to some pretty aqua hand towels and a cute, fuzzy round aqua rug.  I smile every time I walk by the room now.  I would have taken a picture but it’s really such a small room that there’s no way to take pictures of it.  I can barely turn around.  It’s TEENY.

Anyway, after such a productive day I decided to reward myself with a delicious dinner.  Thanks to R and her husband (he works at a fancy meat company), I have an abundance of fancy Italian salami right now.  They gave it to me as a thank you for babysitting C last week.  I couldn’t wait to break into that stash!

While I was out grocery shopping, I picked up an assortment of mortadella and coppa as well as some Companion Bakery Bavarian Pretzels.  I also treated myself to a chunk of Italian Truffle Cheese from Trader Joe’s.  (Will you marry me, Trader Joe?  Please?) 

Back home, I roasted some garlic and cut up a few of the pretzels into slices to toast in the oven.  I threw the coppa, mortadella, sopressata, and parmesan salami onto a plate with the cheese and added the toasted bread – with melted butter – and roasted garlic.  Full disclosure – I had to use a small platter, there was too much food to fit on a regular plate.  Brody sat and watched (and drooled) while I squeezed cloves of garlic onto slices of bread and smeared it like butter.  HEAVEN.  So delicious.  I tried different combinations of meat and cheese and just completely enjoyed the heck out of it. 

Isn’t it pretty?  I’m jealous of me.  I may or may not have texted The Dude a picture of this at work with “Aren’t you jealous?”  I also may have texted R to say, “I love your husband’s meat!”  I’m weird.  It’s okay.

Hello, gorgeous roasty deliciousness.

How to Roast Garlic

Ingredients:
1 head of garlic
olive oil
aluminum foil

*Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
* Cut off the top of the garlic, so each clove is exposed.  Peel off some of the papery outer layers.
* Place the cut head of garlic on a sheet of foil and pour olive oil over the top.  Rub it into the top of the garlic, making sure it gets into the little crevices.  Make sure the entire bulb is coated in olive oil and wrap the foil around it tightly.
* Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.  The top will be golden brown and caramelized.  Once it cools a little, you can easily squeeze each individual clove out.  They’re soft and easily spread on a toasty, buttery piece of bread if you’re so inclined.  Please, be inclined.  It’s AMAZING.  You can also use it in mashed potatoes or anything else you want.  Except maybe dessert.

Are you jealous of my lovely dinner?  The Dude is.  Probably he’s also jealous of my fantastic day.  Poor Dude.  To make up for being mean and texting him pictures of my amazing meal when he’s stuck with his weird turkey and banana pepper sandwich from Subway, I promised to make this for him any time he wanted.  That cheered him up.

Happy Weekend, friends.  I hope you get to do something wonderful.

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