Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Birthday & Burrata

My Mum's birthday was Monday. Her answer to "What do you want for your birthday?" is always the same... "Nothing, save your money." I don't know why I go through the ritual of asking her each year because the answer never changes.

This year I got her a bunch of books. She's an avid reader so I hooked her up with the latest from her favorite authors. I made her a basket of some of her favorite treats. British stuff like shortbread, licorice allsorts, Cadbury's. I got her a gift certificate for lunch at her favorite restaurant we'll use next week sometime. Though in true Mum fashion her absolute favorite gift (and the cheapest) was this photo. I took one of the shots of us in New York City (still waiting on more pictures from Progresso), blew it up and framed it. Mum's are so easy pleased. I BBQ'd steaks for dinner. She had a nice day.

While I was BBQing I noticed the patio could use a good scrub. So yesterday I spent outside cleaning. I mean really cleaning. Standing on a step ladder scrubbing down the garden canopy/gazebo thingee, hosing the house down, scrubbing patio furniture. I ache today in areas I didn't know I had muscles.

After everything was put back into place we sat outside and had one of my favorite treats. Burrata Cheese. If you haven't tried Burrata. Do it. OMG it's worth every stinking fat gram. Burrata, "buttered" in Italian, is a specialty of the Puglia region of Italy (the heel of the boot.) It's basically a hollow ball of fresh mozzarella filled with panna (a cream that contains scraps of mozzarella left over from the mozzarella making process.) When you cut into the ball the cream oozes out and my excited heart skips a beat. A few bites of this and you are dreaming of being on a balcony in the sun-drenched south of Italy.

You'll find it in specialty cheese shops. Henry's and Whole Foods carries it too. Trader Joe's is now carrying "Burrata" in a 2 ball container but my initial taste test verdict is: Mr. Joe is off his rocker while I love most things at TJ's what he's calling Burrata is not Burrata. Skip it. My favorite brand is Il Pavone.

You'll want to use it fast, it's fresh and should be eaten with a few days of purchase. Sometimes I serve it savory with a bruschetta like topping of chopped fresh basil and fresh tomato. This time I did a sweet variation of grilled Farmer's Market peaches (brush with oil, toss on BBQ, chop up) and a drizzle of agave nectar (SF Vanilla Torani would work great too.) Seriously though it's so good it needs nothing but a spoon.

Practice moderation. It's not a low fat cheese. If you've read my blog for awhile you realize I don't do lowfat. Here's my theory of post weight loss surgery fat grams. I eat full fat cheese. Fat = flavor. With lowfat or non-fat cheese, yeah I'd get to eat more but whoopity-doo, all I think is how it tastes like cardboard and I sit wondering when I can have my next meal. Instead I have a few bites of the full fat good stuff, savor the utter deliciousness and move on fully satisfied. My premium pouch space is reserved for only the tastiest stuff.


Deanna said...

Hi there,

That looks delish, I will have to try it, I am excited, they are opening a Whole Foods in HB!

Question though off post, when you are drinking your oodles of coffee are you adding protein powder to it? I do, just curious? Also, I am getting ready to order the protein powder you use, does it dissolve easily in liquid? Thanks for your posts, its gets me through the day!

T2Nashville said...

Well, gotta make a Whole Foods run to see if they carry Burrata! Oh, and a lovely pic of you and Mum. I think we'd all be great friends if we lived closer! Happy Birthday to Mum!

mystkmac said...

OMGosh! This cheese business looks awesome! I am with you on the fat=flavor theory. You rock Shelly! ;)
Please say Happy Birthday to your Mum for me!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thanks guys :) Yeah that Burrata is worth a search. If you live in an area with a good Italian Deli it should be available there too.

@Deanna Now I don't add protein powder to coffee (it would add up to too many cals in a day with the way I drink coffee) but in the beginning when I didn't get as much from food I did.

Trick to adding protein to coffee (or anything else hot) Add protein to the cold milk mix then top with hot coffee to avoid clumps.

karen said...

I cna see where you get your beautiful smile from.

Donna said...

I know you're not a carb-eater, but Burrata on a rye crisp with roasted onion and garlic preserves is to. die. for.

Chelsea's Mom said...

Happy birthday to your Mum! Being a mother, I know how it is when your kid asks what you want. Last year I told my daughter to just write me a letter telling me about some of her favorite childhood memories. That meant the world to me! I'm sure your Mum had a wonderful day with you and what wonderful gifts you gave her! The cheese looks out of this world - that's next on my list of things to get!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I was in a coffee shop studying Political Science with my study buddies. Rock and Roll! I'm not from here, that shizzy is wild. I'll bet you sure did feel it up there!


Danielle B. said...

On this protein note, Shelly: How many grams of protein do you try to take in a day? Or, what did your doctor tell you was your protein goal for the day? Also, I know you don't really count calories, but do you have an estimate of what number you try to stay around for the day? I am a year out of surgery and I find that I can eat SO MUCH MORE now, and I don't really WANT to! Trying to be really conscious of what I take in in a day!

Oh, and I know a million people have said it, but...YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL in all these makeover shots. Holy Hot Mama! :)

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thanks guys. Mum had a great day!

@RPGypsy Whoa huh it was a big one. The mirror in my entry swung away from the wall. Never had that happen. Eeek. Glad all is well and seems like not much damage at all.

@Danielle Thank you for the sweet compliment. I eat about a cup at each meal. I aim for 70 grams protein a day. 50% protein, 25% complex carb, 25% fats. About 1400 cals a day (some days more, some way less) From food, protein supplements (shakes, ice cream, baked stuff) and all my lattes LOL. I'm active but not overly (30-45 minutes a day)

My best advice is to enter your stuff in every few months for a few weeks to be sure you are on the right track... it's a pain at first entering everything but after awhile most people repeat the same foods so it's easier. Seeing stuff in B&W every once and awhile helps.

mystkmac said...

So, I was making speghetti for the hubby for dinner and I was going to eat the meat sauce, throw some parm reggiano cheese on top and call it dinner...I like to make my own sauce, but after work and traffic...who has the I saw the sauce you've mentioned in your blog...Rao's. Hubby says, it's kinda pricey,don't ya think? I had to use your line..."I have limited pouch space and it is reserved for only the tastiest stuff" 'Nuff said! :)
And btw...the sauce was awesome! lol Hubby loved it too! Thanks for the tip!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

LOL Shanny! Exactly. Rao's is my fav... I freeze it BTW (divide 1 bottle into 3 portions) put it in container that you don;t care about (it stains) or those non-staining ones they have now.

Anjanette said...

It sounds like you both had a great time! Thanks for the cheese tip. I will have to try it!

Enjoy your day.....

Kayla said...

I wish I could eat full fat foods! Anything with a high fat content makes me dump. So jealous of those that can eat the burrata.. it looks heavenly

T2Nashville said...

Well, I went to Whole Foods on my lunch break and bought some burrata. Brought it back to work and prepared my afternoon snack with a white peach. Took a bite - it's a lovely texture, but I guess I was preparing my mouth for more of a brie flavor, and it's nothing like that. It needed something sweet. (Cheese aficionados, close your ears and your eyes.) So I sprinkled Splenda on it. YUM! It was really good. I ate about 1/4 of my small ball (probably too much, but it was good with that peach!), and I can definitely see me using the rest of it on a pizza - or drizzled with olive oil, cracked black pepper and smothered over tomatoes and basil. It's really good, and worth the $10 I paid for it! Thank you for the tip!

Danielle B. said...

Shelly, thanks so much for the advice! I'd forgotten that I'd posted on this day and I just remembered and got all excited that you might have had responded! Haha...

I did start to keep a food journal, and it's helpful. Definitely helps to see your intake in black and white and it makes you so much more accountable for what you're putting in your mouth!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

saw this recipe for buratta cheese and tomatoes and thought of is the link..

thanks for all your groovy recipes..had the pancakes this morning and have made the ricotta pie 2x in the past 2 son keeps eating them!iveyrow on daily strength