Last term, I serendipitously got to know a fellow blogger at school. It was especially serendipitous for me because that morning I had forgotten to bring my pants to school and was freaking out. Not my best moment, especially with the addition of unnecessary expletives that I rarely use, but someone took pity on me and lent a complete stranger their neatly pressed pants. I couldn’t thank her enough (more so because if it weren’t for her, I would’ve had to miss at least two out of three classes that day just to go back home and get my pants) and as we tried to figure out when our schedules would next collide, I told her my name to which she connected with Jessica’s Dinner Party! I was even more embarrassed at that point, but I shook it off and realized that you never know who, when, or where someone can help you. Ever since then I’ve been meaning to properly thank her, but it didn’t happen until months later…today. Continue reading →
One of my roommates is in dental school and for the past couple months she’s been busy preparing for the board exams. We’ve been living together for two years now and have shared quite a few food memories. We occasionally make dinners, go out for Restaurant Week, and even took a couple of cooking classes together!
When she asked me if I could pack her lunch on the day of her board exams I was happy to do it. I kind of felt like a mom sending her kid off to take the SATs. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I planned to cook in the morning so the food would be nice and fresh. I was afraid I might not wake up in time, which is silly because I’m one of those people who don’t need an alarm to get up. I kept on looking at my clock throughout the night and finally at 6 am (1 hour before I planned to wake up) I got out of bed and started cooking.
To enjoy the dog days of summer, I thought it would be nice to go on a picnic with some friends. Cold drinks, food, and a nice spot in the shade seemed like a good idea. I didn’t plan on making most of the food myself, but my secret wish came true. I don’t go on picnics very often, so if I was confined to one dish, I think I would’ve had an even harder time picking out what I wanted to bring. I mean, I thought about the picnic menu for days and ended up with almost two types of everything. It probably didn’t help that I went to Whole Foods without a definite plan or grocery list. My friend kept on telling me to get inspired by the seasonal ingredients, but I couldn’t! I’m just not experienced enough to know what I can do with what. Every time I get something, thinking I can make a certain dish, I end up having to run to the local deli in front of my house midway through a recipe because I don’t have fresh chives, tarragon, or heavy cream. Well, after more than an hour I finalized what I was going to make, and bought almost everything I needed. I did end up going to the deli once though.
The first sandwich I made is made with roasted tomatoes and onions with feta, black olives, and oregano. It was inspired by Martha Stewart’s amazing Tomato Hand Pies. I made them a couple of weeks ago for a potluck and everyone devoured them. I wanted to make them again but didn’t really want to be bothered by the Pate Brisee again. So I decided to make it into a sandwich! It was really incredible. The roasted tomatoes were sweet and savory while the soft onions really provided a depth to the flavor. The feta, olive, and oregano topping gave the sandwich a nice greek twist. I thought about using mozzarella instead of the feta and olive combination, but just decided to stay closer to the original recipe. Next time, I may lay a piece of mozzarella on the bottom of the sandwich because my bread did get soggy by the time I got to the picnic. But I think it was good, soggy bread and all. The juices were all soaked up in the crusty soar dough slice. If you have the time and patience, I really recommend making the hand pies, but if you want a faster and easier version, make this sandwich!