The theme of this week is “Spring Break for the Soul.” I’m calling it this for many reasons. Reason number one being that it’s only four days in and I already feel renewed, rejuvenated, and refreshed (and all those lovely other ‘r’ words that go hand-and-hand with vacation). Maybe it’s the late morning workouts, afternoon naps, and three rounds of Sweet Mandy B’s I’ve endured. Reason number two being that I’ve spent the last four days catching up with long lost friends and loved ones that have reminded me of memorable moments, funny happenings, and catchy inside jokes. Last but never least, reason number three being that all this rejuvenation has allowed me to tap into my more creative and fancy-free side. I enjoy this side of myself. The side that gets a little carried away with whimsical and idealistic notions and tends to run a bit further with them than the 5-day-work-week, more practical version of myself. So, for now, I’ll be running with this creativity despite the risk of it becoming temporarily misplaced amidst the stacks of paperwork I’ll be returning to next week.
Recently, I’ve spent a bit of time drooling over other, more successful, blogs’ photos. I’ll even go as far as saying that I’ve become slightly obsessed with analyzing the lighting, props, and angles of food photos on my favorite blogs. Altering between feelings of envy, inspiration, and defeat, I decided it was time that Blissful’s photos started stepping up to the plate. After a few consultations with Dan and his SLR, I figured I’d tap into the photographer in me and give it a whirl with a fresh spring recipe I had been working on. A few pretty pennies spent on Anthro props, an artichoke lost to the gravity gods during staging transport, and an hour of Picasa-ing later and this is what I’ve got. They may not be perfect, but they’re proof that a quality camera goes a long way. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be using that high-def BlackBerry camera of mine again anytime soon.
Blissful Basil’s Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Basil Oil (Serves 2)
6 baby artichokes
10 small basil leaves, finely shredded
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the halved artichokes to the pan, insides facing up. Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper over the inside of the chokes and grill on each side for 3-5 minutes or until chokes are wilted, tender, and slightly charred. While grilling, mix together juice from 1/2 of lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, basil, and a dash of sea salt.