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.