August 2, 2010

A Block in Brooklyn

After weeks of stifling, miserable, all consuming heat, Mother Nature gave us a break.

It was beyond lovely this weekend. We turned off the air conditioners, put in the window fans, and even had to sleep under a blanket at night. Saturday morning I took a walk through the 'hood to get some food for the week - to 5th avenue for olive oil and fresh feta at the Greek market, and also to my favorite fruit and vegetable lady who always has a megawatt smile on. Back to 3rd Avenue to the grocery store and down a street that took my breath away... Everywhere I looked there was something beautiful, charming, or funny to look at. It could have been the lovely weather, the sunshine, or just my general happiness about grocery shopping (a task that I love), but I found myself taking out my phone and clicking away at the shutter button.

This is what I saw:

 Sunflowers climbing toward the roof,

A Sunflower saying hello to it's neighbor, (she still has her hair net on!),

 A chipping, peeling, rusting door that I hope they never touch,

This plant obviously brought back from Jupiter,

A riot of pink and yellow,

Said riot of pink and yellow making a break for it,

A chair fit for a princess,

The alien plant's cousin,

A patriot amongst the weeds,

 The newsstand cat, posing.

These simple stuffed cherry tomatoes that just happened to make their way to our lunch table.

Stuffy Cherry Tomatoes

Large cherry tomatoes
Bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
Seasoning of choice
Olive oil
Butter (or the fake stuff like Smart Balance)

-Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle some olive oil on the baking sheet, set aside.
-Wash tomatoes. Cut off the tip of the bottom end (in other words, NOT the stem end, you need that side intact for balance). Using a small spoon, pairing knive, grapefruit spoon, or any other tool that can do the job, scoop out the seeds and flesh from the tomato, discard.
-The crumb to Parmesan ratio is 2 to 1. So 2/3 cup crumbs, to 1/3 cup Parm for example. Add seasoning to taste. I used a mixed Italain dry herb mixture, but you could use Herbs de Provence, Old Bay Seasoning, or some other mix you like. Taste the mixture, depeinding on the cheese and seasoning you may want more salt or pepper. 
-Stuff the tomatoes, patting down the mixture then topping off each tomato with more crumbs. 
-Before baking, put a small dab of butter on each tomato. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden and the tomatoes have wrinkled but kept their shape.


  1. I LOVE this, Duchess!! :-) I'm grinning so big here at my desk. Grocery shopping is my favorite "chore" too. It's like a mini-vacation every time. :-) Love your finds on your walk. :-)

  2. Hi,my sweet Duchess,

    This was one of my favorites: food, street life, flowers all culminating in a recipe. As always, charming and delicious - but even more so.
    And I love the picture of you. A question though - as your mother, I always thought although born on the cusp, that you are actually, a Leo. Am I wrong?

    Sarah Jane