-eliminated the pasta, replacing it altogether with thinly sliced, peeled eggplant
-replaced the ground beef with ground sausage
-doubled the fresh garlic (and started the layering with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh minced garlic)
-eliminated the mushrooms
true confession here: i intended to use the mushrooms. i'm frankly embarrassed and in heaps of trouble right now with the husband for letting perfectly good fresh produce go to waste over the last few months. i promise, i'm working on that.
this was delish. my only tweak next time will be to add ten minutes to the bake time, and that with a foil cover to begin steaming the eggplant. it was a wee bit un-appetizingly chewy this time. bless my friend stacy and her family for loving it anyway.
how does one conceive of the mustard-seed we bore through labor and love... now larger-than-life and a heart of his own, ready to pierce the world with his passions and vision, passed down from his true Papa?
but for the busy st. petersburg traffic outside the light-drenched picture windows, we'd have thought we were in a little cafe in france.
except that, darling as alesia is, it isn't just a french cafe. noooo, it's vietnamese and french - the food-child of a love affair between two foodies and their family.
some of us didn't mind being photographed, and some of us just wanted to feast. which is fine, because the fun of family requires doesn't, i suppose, require capturing every time.
true fact: i wake at night longing for pho. i had to share so the rest of my people would understand the need.
to be honest, i'd discovered this place on my own and fallen in love with a dark chocolate-filled croissant and lox over baguette with cream cheese and capers. so it wasn't my first visit. and although solitude and a solo feast are a rare treat, i'd longed to share this treasure of a spot with my favorite people.
a thought i may have shared before: on our first "real" date (one involving food, of course), i asked my someday-to-be-husband for a taste of whatever dish he'd ordered. he looked at me askance and in that moment he was forced to decide: share or appreciate the last date with moi. and the rest, as they say, is - well, it's a houseful of food sharers.
and yes, dessert. times a few. but how to say "no" to chocolate mousse, crepes with nutella (gasp!), and flan?
run away. pack a sketchbook or journal or dreamy novel; leave your phone in the car. pretend you're in paris but enjoy that you didn't have to fly, and treat yourself.
alesia is a fresh vietnamese-french cuisine in a bright contemporary setting located in st. petersburg, florida.
this month, the Allrecipes Allstars crew partnered with Johnsonville Sausage to re-make some classic ground beef dishes, and to try some of Johnsonville's quick recipes on the Allrecipes.com website.
the first recipe we tried is 1-2-3 Jambalaya. while i'm not a rice girl (unless it's sticky jasmine rice, then i'm all in & swimming without my floaties), i did enjoy this recipe with my gang, who was all-too-happy to enjoy a Sunday-after-church hearty and spicy rice dish. using the quick rice blend made it super fast and easy, but i do think we'll make this again and try cauliflower rice or a long-grain and wild rice blend.
special thanks to Johnsonville,
who provided samples of their sausage for our cooking and sampling
pleasure! they also spoiled the Allstars with a rockin' casserole dish
set from Sur La Table. i'll be showing those off soon!