Two Years

May 9, 2010

Two years.  Two years ago, after falling in love with several food blogs, I sat down and started one of my own.  I had no idea of how it would all go.  I wasn’t sure I would like it.  It took me a while to find my voice, a little longer to upgrade my camera, a little longer still to ask someone to design a site for me.  All the while, I kept cooking and I kept writing.  I opened up more, shared more about my life and my boys.  I got incredible support from comments and emails along the way.  I have gotten to know some amazing people and some exciting doors have opened for me.  I am thankful to be writing and thankful that you are reading.

I love that this year, my blog-versary falls on Mother’s Day.  It just seems fitting somehow.  Being a mom, a writer, and loving food.  Pretty much my life these days.

So thank you all, even if it is your first time here.  Thank you for your interest, your comments, your emails, your questions, your encouragement.  It would have been a lonely two years if not for all of you.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to pop down the Pike Place Market to buy candied orange peel for this cake.  This market, centered on the Western edge of downtown, is one of the most special things about Seattle.  They have produce vendors year-round and all kinds of homemade crafts.  There are lots of nooks and crannies hiding countless treasures.  I really only needed one thing but these purple baby artichokes stopped me cold.  Aren’t they beautiful?  At that point, I had no plans to cook for the next few days, but I bought them anyway.  I couldn’t pass them by.

I headed to DeLaurenti where I knew I would be able to find the candied orange peel.  Never ever walk into that store thinking you are only going to buy one thing.  I don’t think it is possible.  They have the most incredible cheese selection, fresh breads, specialty chocolates, all manner of fresh and dried pasta, antipasti, a huge selection of oils and vinegars, and giant kosher pickles which I can never resist.  They also have large bags of their own sun-dried tomatoes which are the best I have ever had.  Supple and moist but without swimming in a jar of oil.  I wasn’t sure of my supply back home so I bought another large bag.

When I got home, I realized that I already had an almost-full bag and immediately I knew I wanted to give these away.  Whenever I talk about buying sun-dried tomatoes, I always suggest trying to find this kind.  I have seen them in grocery stores and have bought them, but nothing compares to the ones from DeLaurenti.  I want you to have my new bag.

Coincidentally, I went to a talk featuring Mario Batali last week.  Tom Douglas, a well-known and respected local chef and restaurateur, invited him up on stage to discuss his new book, restaurant trends, and life in general.  All of us got copies of Molto Gusto, Mario’s new book.  It is a really nice cookbook.  The recipes are very simple and there are lots of vegetarian options.  Still, I don’t feel I need it.  I have so many cookbooks and besides, my neighbor has a copy.  I can always borrow hers.  So, if you would like a large bag of the greatest sun-dried tomatoes and my autographed copy of Molto Gusto (it even has my name on it) , just leave me a comment telling me what you might do with those sun-dried tomatoes.  And if you have eaten in a Mario Batali restaurant, tell me which one and what you ordered (if you remember).  You have until Friday, May 14th at noon, PDT.  Time is up!  Winner will be announced soon!

Back to those artichokes.  I think if you are going to go to the trouble of using fresh ones, you should make something where their special flavor really shines through.  If you are just going to bury them in with a bunch of other ingredients, you might as well save your time and money and just use frozen.  My idea was to braise them in some white wine along with onion and those special sun-dried tomatoes.  I thought that sounded a little too plain to serve as a side dish, so I decided to build a salad around them.  Fresh greens, a mustard lemon vinaigrette, the artichokes, and – because a salad just isn’t a salad without it – avocado.  There are people who think salad is boring and tasteless – a what’s the point? dish.  Make this for them and change their minds.

One Year Ago:  Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich
Two Years Ago:  Meet Me

Braised Artichoke Salad with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette

Dana Treat Original
Serves 4

Whenever I use fresh artichokes, I always buy the babies because they rarely have a choke to cut out.  You can certainly use full-size ones here, they will just be more work.  I would use 2 or 3 in that case, depending on their size.

I always make my salad dressing in a jar rather than a bowl, that way it can be shaken rather than whisked and stored easily in the refrigerator.  Salsa jars work well because they have a wide mouth.

For the Salad:
About 16 baby artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
10 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 5 ounces of your favorite lettuce
1 medium avocado, cut into 1″ chunks

For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, pressed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil, or more to taste

To trim the artichokes: Fill a large bowl with cold water.  Squeeze the juice out of both halves of the lemon and add the lemon itself to the bowl.  This will help keep the artichokes from turning brown.  Trim both the top and bottom of the artichoke, then start to break off the leaves.  Continue going until the leaves are very tight and lighter in color.  Trip the base of the artichoke so that it is flush with the leaves.  Cut the artichoke in half, scoop out the choke (the hairy stuff) is there is one, and put both halves in the bowl of water.  Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the onion.  Sauté until softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Scoop the artichoke hearts out of the water and add them directly to the pan with the onions.  Sauté for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine.  Raise the heat to medium-high, cover the pan, and cook until the artichokes can be easily priced at their thickest part with a fork.  You may need to add more wine if it evaporates too quickly.  Once they are done, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and set aside.  (This step can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before using.)

Meanwhile, wash and dry your lettuce.  Place in a large salad bowl along with the avocado.  Once the artichoke mixture is cool, add that in as well.  Toss with dressing with just enough dressing to coat the leaves well.  (You may have leftover dressing.)

For the dressing: Place the garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, mustard, a healthy pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper in a jar.  Cover and give it a good shake.  Open the jar and pour in the olive oil, then re-cover it and shake until the dressing is emulsified.  Taste for seasoning.  I like my dressing really sharp so I add less olive oil than what is traditional.  Do what you like.



64 Comments »

  1. I will use those sun-dried tomatoes to make your amazing tofu wraps again! After an unsuccessful hunt for them in LA, I think I’m the most deserving :) Haven’t eaten in a Mario Batali restaurant, but I’d love the cookbook. Happy Mother’s Day and Blog-versary!

    Comment by Jessica — May 9, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  2. I would make lots and lots of delicious pasta! And as a pizza topping. Man, I love good sundried tomatoes, but they are so hard to find around here. Never eaten in a Mario Batali restaurant, but I do enjoy his recipes!

    Comment by Emma — May 10, 2010 @ 12:13 am

  3. I love them on salad and in pasta dishes. Hope you have a great Mother’s Day!

    Comment by Shawnee Farnsworth — May 10, 2010 @ 12:33 am

  4. Mmmm… I could think of lots of things to use quality sun-dried tomatoes. What first comes to mind is an old favorite dish in our home. Polenta, white beans, caramelized onions, garlic, parmesan and the tomatoes.

    Comment by Katie — May 10, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  5. Dana! I just made this salad last week and guess what one ingredient I did not have in the house: you guessed it Sundried Tomatoes! Do you think my small town grocery store carries them? NO. Did I make a trip into the city? (not this time).. anyway, the salad is good even without the S.D.T. but I better it would be even better with yours.
    http://www.fresh365online.com/recipes/2010/3/8/warm-lentil-salad.html
    happy blog-anniversary and Happy Mother’s day. I love how your site combines two of my favourite things: motherhood and cooking. and I love nourishing my family with your great recipes.

    Comment by catherine — May 10, 2010 @ 1:20 am

  6. Happy Mother’s Day and Congratulations on two years. I always look forward to your posts and recipes. Keep up the good work. I love sun dried tomatoes, I love them using them for pizza, pasta, pesto, bruschetta, etc. Gorgeous artichokes!

    Comment by Maria — May 10, 2010 @ 1:44 am

  7. Happy Mothers Day and Happy 2 years!!!

    Comment by Leslie — May 10, 2010 @ 1:44 am

  8. I don’t need the book either, I love his Mario’s Italy….

    just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy Mother’s Day and a happy 2 year anniversary and a happy purple artichoke day.
    xxoo

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — May 10, 2010 @ 2:09 am

  9. Happy two years! Your blog is so gorgeous and inspires me every time I come here…here’s to many more!

    I love stores like DeLaurenti where you can’t possibly come out with only one item. Those sun-dried tomatoes sound delicious. I bet they would make for a great pesto or tomato sauce…something that would allow their flavors to really shine!

    Those artichokes look delicious! Love the purple.

    Comment by Joanne — May 10, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  10. I have never eaten in a Mario Batali restaurant, but I miss his old FN show terribly. I would like to try these sundried tomatoes in a savory palmieres recipe that I saw on the Barefoot Contessa. And on pizza. And tossed with some pasta, goat cheese and arugula. Or in a turkey sandwich.

    Comment by alicia — May 10, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  11. Hello, my friend! Happy blog anniversary to you!

    I would really love the book and sun-dried tomtatoes. You know why?

    When Danny, Lucy, and I had lunch at Salumi with Armandino Batali, he talked about his son’s new book. As you know, I’ve been trying to focus more on vegetables and lighter meals. Plus, there was the honeymoon in Italy. All those would be memories intermingling with the smells of the kitchen as I cooked

    And the sun-dried tomatoes? Well, like you, I can’t go into DeLaurenti’s without buying a lot. That means I don’t go anymore. I have never bought their sun-dried tomatoes, but they look wonderful. I trust your taste. I’d love to eat them, cook with them, put them on pizzas and pastas and maybe some of the vegetarian dishes Danny has been creating. Mostly, I’d feed them to Lu.

    Comment by shauna — May 10, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  12. Happy Mother’s Day Dana!! Alejandro and I are still trying to to come up to Seattle sometim soon. We soooo need a vacation.

    We ate at a Batali restaurant in Vegas (and Ugh, I HATE Vegas!), but this meal was incredible. I had homemade squid ink pasta with spicy house-cured salami and arugula. It was seriously amazing. Definitely the best meal we had in Vegas.

    Congrats on two years, and I hope you had a great day!

    Comment by Allison Arevalo — May 10, 2010 @ 3:20 am

  13. I would use those sun-dried tomatoes to make this salad, it looks so good! And the cookbook would be great too, just decided to go completely vegetarian and am looking for as many recipes as I can! Definately have been using this site for a lot of my meals :)

    Comment by Brittany — May 10, 2010 @ 4:24 am

  14. I have eaten at Po — back when I lived in CT. I think I had a variation of squid ink pasta as a remembrance of my father who used to make it for me, but I don’t remember what else I had. I am not sure the sun dried tomatoes will make it too far out of the bag, but if they do, I would simply eat them with pine nuts, good olive oil and a nice mild goat cheese (probably also from delaurenti).

    Comment by Mariko — May 10, 2010 @ 4:59 am

  15. Love Mario and those tomatoes look so plump and juicy! I’d definitely make one of my favorite pasta dishes that has sundried tomatoes and fennel. Happy 2 year anniversary!

    Comment by Julie — May 10, 2010 @ 5:30 am

  16. Grilled vegetable panini’s with sun dried tomatoes!!

    Comment by Amanda M — May 10, 2010 @ 6:01 am

  17. Happy Blogiversary, Dana. Yours is one of my absolute favourites for reading, inspiration, and actually cooking from!

    I adore sundried tomatoes and those do indeed look wonderful, but I think I’ll leave the contest for others. If I had that bag I’d probably just snack the whole thing away!

    Comment by Ele — May 10, 2010 @ 6:42 am

  18. Hey Dana,
    Happy Blog Birthday!
    I love stopping by your blog, your food is just so appealing and this salad is a perfect example of that. Mmmmmmmm!
    As to the tomatoes, I think I would make a risotto with them, with lots of wine, garlic and basil and topped with oddles of parmesan shavings.

    Comment by Jacqueline — May 10, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  19. Cheers to you on your 2 year blog anniversary! I’m comforted to read about the progression on your blog regarding the writing, design, and photography. I’m rounding the corner on 1 year with my site and these are all things on my mind. Thanks for being such an inspiration on all of the above, and of course for the great food!

    Those sun dried tomatoes do look luscious! I have in mind a lentil bulgur salad that I have been dreaming up. The tomatoes would step in to give the sweet note that it needs. I’m betting that there are some good ideas for those tomatoes in that cookbook as well. How generous to give away this autographed copy!

    Here’s to many more years!

    Comment by Sarah — May 10, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  20. My daughter is finishing up her ESL certification and Master’s in Education. Because there are no local teaching jobs available, she will probably be taking a job offer that takes her 1200 miles away from home. This summer is my last chance to nuture and feed my beautiful, idealistic and vegetarian child/adult. I would use both the cookbook and the tomatoes to create more food/love memories and recipes for her before she departs.

    Comment by margaret — May 10, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  21. Mother Nature gifted us Seattlites with a weekend of gorgeous weather, and when the weather is like a dream I turn to dips & veggies for quick meals so that I can maximize my time in the sunshine. I bet I could make some killer sun-dried tomato hummus with those beauties. Maybe throw them into a walnut-pesto spread?

    Comment by RH — May 10, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  22. I would put those beauties all over a veggie pizza. I’m blessed to have a three year old who appreciates the lovely things in life, like tomatoes of any form. I can’t wait for the summer when she will graze in the garden. It’s what dreams are made of.

    Comment by Anna — May 10, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  23. It’s always good to have new ingredients in salad. This new ingredient is so cool. I would add chill pepper on it for exciting spices.

    Comment by Anne — May 10, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  24. Those tomatoes sound great! I would use them as a pizza topping and in a pea soup I make with poached eggs and cilantro.

    Comment by Anne Patterson — May 10, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  25. It is so nice of you to offer these things to your readers. I started reading your blog a few months ago and I’m so glad I did; I enjoy every post. I too am vegetarian.

    I had dinner at Lupa in NYC the summer of 2000. I was a 19-year-old intern in NYC, dating a 25-year-old, and feeling oh-so-grown up for the first time: the little girl in the big city with the older boyfriend. Lupa was the first “nice” restaurant I’d ever been to as an adult, on a real date. I had the only vegetarian dish on the menu(at the time): linguine with shaved Parmesan and fresh herbs (sadly I don’t recall the herb varieties). It tasted adult and elegant in a way I never knew a plate of pasta could. It was a very poetic summer for me and a very symbolic meal! I would love the Mario Batali cookbook.

    Thanks for the offer!

    Comment by Kathy — May 10, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  26. Happy 2nd blogiversary! I guess I found your blog less than 1 year ago, but it went into my bookmarks right away, even if now I read less blogs than I used to

    I love your style!

    Comment by SallyBR — May 10, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  27. I would use those beautiful tomatoes to make a yummy sun dried tomato pesto to spread on freshly grilled pizzas, topped with roasted summer vegetables and maybe sprinkled with a little cojita or queso fresco. On the side, a grilled corn,tomato,avocado salad with a honey lime vinagrette, because i agree, it is not a complete salad without avocado! Happy 2 years, i only recently started reading your blog, but i’m so in love with it already! I wait anxiously for your new posts to read and to of course try your scrumptious recipes!

    Comment by Natalie — May 10, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  28. happy blog-o-versary!

    Comment by matt — May 10, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  29. Happy anniversary! Those are some gorgeous artichokes. The color is lovely, and the size is just right. They look delicious in the salad.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — May 10, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  30. Those sun dried tomatoes would be great on a savory tart!

    Comment by suzy — May 10, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  31. I’ve never eaten at a Mario Batali restaurant but would love to. As for the tomatoes, they sound amazing and would throw them onto a pizza topped with goat cheese and spinach and maybe some lemon zest cuz that sounds kinda good right now. Happy 2 years of blogging, it’s been great to get to know you through your blog.

    Comment by kickpleat — May 10, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  32. Hi! Happy Mother’s Day and happy anniversary!

    I would use the tomatoes on pizza with arugula, parma ham (sorry, I am not a vegetarian) and buffalo mozzarella.

    And as an extra: I have never eaten in a Mario Batali nor do I own one of his cookbooks! Pretty please!

    Comment by Annika — May 10, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

  33. I’d take the time to make home made pizza. A lot of gluten free crusts available commercially just aren’t worth eating. So sun dried tomatoes would join roasted garlic, and cheese, and fresh herbs and…wow am I making myself hungry.

    I’d make dinner, and it would be glorious.

    Comment by Lily — May 10, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  34. Ooh, I love sun-dried tomatoes. They seemed so hip and trendy in the mid-nineties, when I was just starting to learn to cook. But I never grew tired of them. I would use them for numerous things, including stuffed zuchinni blossoms, roasted corn and goat cheese pizza, and the lovely walnut pesto recipe I discovered on Smitten Kitchen several months ago.

    I have never been to a Mario Batali restaurant, nor do I own any of his books, but I used to love watching his shows years ago.

    Comment by Holly E — May 10, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  35. Congrats on 2 blogging years and to being a mother of two beautiful boys! Those artichokes are so cute. DeLaurenti is awesome!

    Comment by Jacqui — May 10, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

  36. Hi Dana:

    I’m fairly new to your blog…been following you for a few months now and enjoy reading about you and the family and trying out your
    recipes..healthy and yummy. Hmmmm, sun-dried tomatoes…love them in whole wheat pasta with arugala and toasted pine nuts. Now, I am a spoiled New Yorker, actually off with friends tonite to Batali’s Lupa to celebrate our dear friends birthday. Have been there many times…it’s truly a favorite…give it to me for low key simple Italian
    fare..But on my birthday, please take me to
    the best Italian restaurant in New York by far….BABBO!

    Happy Anniversary…keep up the fabulous work..,your are greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Linda — May 10, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

  37. Hi Dana! I love getting your messages in my in-box and I try to make at least SOME of the many beautiful recipes you post. They are always fun to cook and so, so yummy.

    I have been lucky enough to eat at Babbo – I grew up in NYC and my best girlfriend from 5th grade on still lives there. When I visit her, we always go to Babbo and my favorite dish is the spicy morrocan squid stew and the sauteed escarole. Yum!

    If I won the sun dried tomatoes, I think I would bring them up to Whidbey Island with me next weekend and I would whip up some goat cheese, sun dried tomato crostini and serve them to a group of beautiful women I know…

    Comment by Sophie — May 10, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

  38. I would make fettuccine and shrimp with sun-dried tomato pesto. I can’t usually afford the higher end dried tomatoes, so I’m sure these would improve this dish greatly. The book sounds fun too. I’ve not had the pleasure of eating at one of Mario’s restaurants as yet! I do enjoy your blog. Happy Anniversary!

    Comment by Libby — May 10, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

  39. Congrats on two lovely years. I found you just 6 months ago and your blog is always a sunny spot in my week. Love the recipes and your spunk.

    And those lovely tomatoes. I’ve never such lovely ones- I would love to create a pasta with mix of fresh herbs and oil with some crumbled ricotta salata.

    And I haven’t been to a Mario Batali spot yet- but I would like to see that in my future.

    Cheers.

    Comment by Sandra — May 11, 2010 @ 12:34 am

  40. Mmm, I would probably use the sundried tomatoes for your salad. Looks mighty tasty! Otherwise, pizza/flatbread is always a great option.

    Congrats on the blog anniversary!

    Comment by Shila — May 11, 2010 @ 5:37 am

  41. Lupa Update: Had the most delicious, light as a feather, ravioli,
    folded like a cravat, filled with spinach puree and topped with
    parmesan and pine nuts. Incredible!

    Comment by Linda — May 11, 2010 @ 7:07 am

  42. Happy two years (love the house pics from the last post too)! Sun dried tomatoes are my favorite in just a simple pasta dish. And man, do these look good compared to tiny grocery store versions!

    Comment by fresh365 — May 11, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  43. Two years…woo-hoo to you, Dana! As for the cookbook and those tomatoes, I’m sure I could put them to good use. I would love to try Saveur’s Vegetarian Lasagne, which calls for sun-drieds, as well as shallot, carrots, skiitakes, spinach and lots of fresh herbs. My younger son has recently declared himself vegetarian, while my older son doesn’t think it’s a meal if it doesn’t have meat in it. And, guess what? They’ll both be home from college this summer…and the “dinner dance” will begin. So, I’m sure we could get some mileage out of those tomatoes!

    Comment by Vicki Wilson — May 11, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  44. Oh yum. I am thinking of a simple picnic sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, baby spinach, and maybe a balsamic-marinated portabella.

    Comment by Rachel — May 11, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  45. Love your site. Sun-dried tomato risotto. Mmmmm.

    Comment by Pam — May 11, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  46. Happy Mother’s Day and anniversary! I am amazed by the continuing creativity coming not just from your kitchen but in your writing as well. Always a pleasure to read.

    I would use the tomatoes in a pasta dish my husband I make with fresh lemon pepper pasta from the farmer’s market and brown sugar smoked salmon from our local fish monger, a little lemon juice and some dill. Yum!

    I have never eaten in a Batali restaurant but hope to someday!

    Comment by Kate — May 11, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  47. Congrats, Dana, on 2 years! So glad you started your blog as it is a lovely place to visit.
    Those artichokes are fantastic…wow… so beautiful!

    Comment by Kristen — May 11, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

  48. Dana,
    So glad I found you! I’m a vegetarian and a yoga teacher who really enjoys your blog, and was actually going to comment on your sandwiches, which will be perfect for me to make and bring on our annual Memorial Day camping trip. Basil grows like weeds in Houston in the summer, and I would include sun-dried tomatoes in the pestos we make. And they would really perk up a potato salad!

    Comment by Rie — May 11, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  49. Well, I am somewhat embarrassed to admit it but, I buy giant jars of sundried tomatoes at Costco. It’s because I use them in just about everything. My old standard of what should I make for dinner is a creamy tomato sauce with carmelized onions, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts over pasta (or “sta” as my 18 month old proclaims). I love to chop them small and tuck them into salads and hear people ask, what are these little bits? They go into my quiches, lasagnas, sometimes enchiladas … if I am the lucky recipient of your stash, they would definitely be enjoyed. And if I’m not, then maybe I’ll try dehydrating fresh tomatoes in my dehydrator again, hopefully to greater success than my previous attempts.

    Way to go, Dana! Two years – that’s notable for a mother of young children!

    Comment by Denison Lee — May 11, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  50. Sun-dried tomato pesto is one of my favorites. I put it on everything such as pasta, chicken, sandwiches, crostini…I can’t get enough of it :) I would love to try yours in my next batch!

    Mario Batali is hands down my favorite chef. For my last 2 birthdays AND last New Year’s Eve I’ve gone to his restuarant Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles (where I live). I’ve ordered many things but my favorite thing I’ve had was a special from the mozzarella bar. Imported mozzarella from Puglia on top of braised leeks served with garlicky toasted ciabatta…yum! I’ve also eaten at his restaurant in Las Vegas, Enoteca San Marco (twice) where my favorite dish is a tie between the Bavette Cacio e Pepe and the Bucatini all’Amatriciana. What a talented man! Don’t have any of his cookbooks…yet!

    Comment by Jessica S. — May 11, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  51. These sundried tomatoes would go great in a panini, with some good cheese, pressed until the insides are melty and the outside is crusty. So good.

    I would love this book too. I’m a fan of Mario’s food.

    Comment by Ellen — May 11, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

  52. I forgot to mention what I would do with those sun-dried tomatoes, opps. I’d most likely make some kind of pasta or maybe a spread, or maybe pizza or in a fancy egg dish, so many choices, but I’d really love to find a new recipe I’ve never tried before. And those sandwiches you posted sound so so good!

    Comment by Jacqui — May 12, 2010 @ 2:19 am

  53. Happy Anniversary! I discovered your blog this summer and fell in love instantly.

    I dig sun dried tomatoes on homemade pizza among other things.

    Comment by Kelly N. — May 12, 2010 @ 3:23 am

  54. I’ve never seen baby artichokes before! They’re so pretty. I’m going to have to bookmark DeLaurenti for the next time I’m in that area! I’d love that bag of sundried tomatoes & cookbook – as for what I’d do with the tomatoes… add them to scones! And pasta.

    Comment by Ashley — May 12, 2010 @ 5:14 am

  55. Happy two years!

    Comment by peabody — May 12, 2010 @ 5:55 am

  56. Two years, congratulations! Your blog is inspiring, your food delicious, and your writing invites us in. I was just telling a friend about one of your recipes, and I said “My friends makes this wonderful soup…” Then I realized we haven’t even met, but I feel as though I know you a bit, and trust your wonderful taste. Thanks so much for sharing a bit of yourself with us.

    As for sun dried tomatoes, I love them on any sandwich I make. And they make their way into most of my pasta dishes as well.

    Blessings!

    Comment by Heather — May 12, 2010 @ 6:12 am

  57. Hi Dana! I love your blog and I check it EVERY day! I would love to have those lovely sun dried tomatoes to explore some fun recipes that I have been holding onto! One of them in particular calls for sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh herbs in home made pasta. YUM! I am also really excited about that cookbook! Nothing gets me more motivated than new recipes! Am I using enough exclamation points? :) Thanks!

    Comment by Julea Sanders — May 12, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  58. Congratulations on your two year mark! It must be wonderful to be so established and really know how your blog works in yoru life – I’m still working on figuring that out.

    Those artichokes are beautiful, I have two in my fridge (your standard green variety, however) that need to be used. I think tomorrow I will do that.

    As for those sun-dried tomatoes, I’d roll out some pasta dough, dice some of those tomatoes up, mix them with some ground pork, some chopped onions and garlic, a little bit of tomato paste and ricotta to hold them together and make some ravioli. You would just need a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated cheese to serve them with because the inside would be so delicious. :)

    Comment by Liz — May 12, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  59. I’d make a pasta salad with feta, olives and sun dried tomatoes. yum!

    Comment by Veggie Belly — May 13, 2010 @ 12:23 am

  60. Hmm, now you have me curious. I wonder if the DeLaurenti tomatoes are as good or better than the dry farmed early girl tomatoes I get in San Francisco and dry each September (the reason for my annual end of summer SF trip!). Might have to try a tomato-off. Interested?

    :-)

    Comment by tea_austen — May 13, 2010 @ 6:22 am

  61. Absolutely love your blog! It’s awesome! Take care!

    Comment by Edwin — May 13, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  62. Dana, I can’t believe it’s been two years already! I’ve been meaning to try one of your delicious sandwiches, so that’s probably what I’d make with the sun-dried tomatoes. Perhaps the Zesty Tofu Wraps? Needless to say, I love your blog. I hope you continue to inspire us with your amazing recipes and “joie de vivre” for many years to come!

    Comment by Katie — May 13, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  63. I recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying it so much! What a treasure trove of recipes!
    I have never eaten at Mario’s restaurants, but have dined at Mario’s parents’ restaurant, Salumi, in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. It was delicious!
    The sun-dried tomatoes would taste wonderful in Ina’s sun-dried tomato dip. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
    Happy Anniversary!

    Comment by Susan — May 13, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

  64. Happy two year anniversary! Your blog is beautiful and I love to read it! Thank you for your great ideas.

    Comment by Alexandra — May 14, 2010 @ 12:45 am



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