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Although it is not properly summer yet, we are full-on committed to eating as though it is. Big BBQs, fresh produce, and eating alfresco for every meal is pretty much the norm. Since we tend to have slightly less responsibility during the warmer months, one would surmise that our meals may in fact become slightly more involved. Well, that would be incorrect. We have talked about our "minimal effort-maximum results" approach before, right? No, it's not a series of workout dvds! It is a philosophy about the kitchen that falls somewhere above slightly lazy, but just below making much effort. Consider that modus operandi for any day the temperature climbs above 70. What do you expect, it's beautiful outside, we have things to do!

As far as minimal effort recipes are concerned, this one would be right on the top of the heap. It is one of our most favorite things during the warmer months. Gazpacho has huge flavor for something that literally takes five minutes to prepare! Not to mention, it is quite healthy, and healthy is good. We often make a big batch and just keep it in the fridge for a quick snack or a light lunch. It is also especially great when you are entertaining the possibility of testing the limits of beef on bun consumption later in the day. Take it easy people, you deserve it. 

  •  4-5 medium tomatoes, skins removed
  •  1 english cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 small red sweet peppers, or 1 large
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for serving
  • salt tt
  • parsley for garnish
  • hot sauce (optional )
  • finely diced sweet pepper, cucumber and serrano pepper for garnish ( optional )

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pepper, garlic, vinegar and olive oil in blender.  Puree until smooth. Season to taste.  Serve immediately or chill.  Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, hot sauce, parsley, and pepper and cucumber.  Relax and enjoy!


lasagna rolls

I suggested to L that to appeal to a more wide ranging audience, we give this dish two distinctly different names. One reasonable, and one worthy of making it to the upper tiers of every Kraft foods worshiping Pinterest board this recipe comes in contact with. Something that really appeals to people who believe that there are actual "chefs" at Olive Garden. Something like, "Sicilian Cavatagliaroni-involtino Parmesano". Just add endless soup and salad, and we would have had a winner. L disagreed with this approach.

 It has become really apparent to us that to get ahead without compromising what, and who we are, is going to be a difficult task to overcome. This is becoming increasingly clear as we are growing and becoming more available to a larger audience; both here on B&C, and out in the world. But, what are we if not honest?? We say, nothing.

We have talked a lot lately about how simple is good. No gimmicks. No unnecessary deep frying, outlandishly cutesy names, or covering things in bastardized mother sauces. There is plenty of that already. We do this because we love it. Plain and simple.  No bandwagons will be jumped upon, no cake mixes will be doctored, and these recipes haven't been adapted-they are our own. 

I guess what I am mostly saying is thanks for being here.  For allowing us to make our own place in the interwebs, and letting us be our genuine, sometimes soap-boxy, selves.  We hope you keep coming back, and not just for the soup, salad and breadsticks...

lasagna rolls

for the tomato sauce:
  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes-28 oz
  • salt tt
  • pinch of oregano 
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles, cooked until just softened
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 cup mozzarella, optional ( we wanted to lighten it up a bit)
In large saute pan,  heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add carrot, celery and onion.  Cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute-take care not to burn.  Add tomato paste and cook for another minute.  Add wine, stock and tomatoes.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and process in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Thin with water if necessary.

for the bechamel:

  •  5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk 
  • salt tt
  • handful of finely chopped parley
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth (mixture should be the texture of warm peanut butter).  Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and add parsley.
make the rolls:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Butter a baking dish. Ladle tomato sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out  lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful of bechamel evenly over each noodle.Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Roll up and place in baking dish.  Repeat with remaining noodles.  Cover with tomato sauce and mozzarella ( if using).  Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling.  Uncover and cook until cheese is melted.  Garnish with parsley.  Serve warm.